As their war of words escalates, Barack Obama has some choice ones for Hillary Clinton in an interview to air tonight.
On ABC's "Nightline," Obama accuses his chief Democratic rival of selectively casting her years as first lady. "I think the fact of the matter is that Senator Clinton is claiming basically the entire eight years of the Clinton presidency as her own, except for the stuff that didn't work out, in which case she says she has nothing to do with it," Obama says, according to a report posted on ABC News.com.
"There is no doubt that Bill Clinton had faith in her and consulted with her on issues, in the same way that I would consult with [my wife] Michelle, if there were issues. On the other hand, I don't think Michelle would claim that she is the best qualified person to be a United States senator by virtue of me talking to her on occasion about the work I've done."
Clinton, for her part, is questioning contributions made by Obama's political action committee to elected officials in states early in the nomination calendar. The Washington Post reported today that more than two-thirds of the PAC's money has gone to people in states voting on or before Feb. 5.
"It is our understanding that a candidate's campaign is barred from using the candidate's leadership PAC to benefit his or her campaign which is why we shut down HillPAC when Senator Clinton announced her run for the White House." her campaign said in a statement. "On the campaign trail, Senator Obama is outspoken about his desire to reform the campaign finance system so it was surprising to learn that he has been using his PAC in a manner that appears to be inconsistent with the prevailing election laws."
Obama's campaign rejected Clinton's charge that he had violated the law and sought instead to highlight differences between the two candidates over how much personal and campaign finance information they are willing to disclose.
"The latest personal attack from Hillary Clinton is a completely false attempt to misrepresent Barack Obama’s full disclosure of his campaign finances," Obama spokesman Bill Burton said in a statement. "Senator Obama's commitment to disclosure is one that Hillary Clinton does not share, and until Senator Clinton is willing to make this commitment -- by disclosing her White House records, the list of donors to her husband's presidential library, how much her bundlers raise, and releasing her personal tax returns to the public -- she's not really in a position to point fingers at others."
Clinton, in an interview with Katie Couric of CBS that aired tonight, acknowledged that her campaign has become more aggressive lately.
"It's time," she said. "I have absorbed a lot of attacks for several months now -- my opponents have basically had a free reign. After you've been attacked as often as I have from several of my opponents, you can't just absorb it, you have to respond."
A poll last week suggested that Obama has pulled ahead of Clinton in Iowa, where they are locked in a tight three-way race with John Edwards six weeks before the Jan. 3 caucuses.