Obama: Bill Clinton campaigning behavior 'troubling'
Barack Obama hit back Monday morning against a barrage of attacks launched by former President Bill Clinton.
The upstart presidential candidate and Illinois senator said Clinton's "troubling" statements on behalf of his wife's candidacy inaccurately characterized Obama's positions, and he said the former president's distortions are not in line with the obligation to honesty he has as a onetime occupant of the Oval Office.
"The former president, who we all have a lot of regard for, has taken his advocacy on behalf of his wife to a level that is pretty troubling," Obama charged Monday on ABC's Good Morning America. "He continues to make statements that aren't supported by the facts."
Hillary Clinton delivered Obama a tough blow in Nevada's caucuses on Saturday when she received about 51 percent of the popular vote and was largely declared the winner, although Obama actually received more delegates to the Democratic National Convention because of the state's caucus rules.
Prior to the vote a teachers' union largely populated by Clinton supporters tried to block members of the state's Culinary Workers Union, which backed Obama, from voting in at-large precincts in Las Vegas's massive casino resorts, where many union members work. The campaign denied involvment in the lawsuit, but Bill Clinton accused the Culinary union of trying to prevent its members from caucusing if they indicated they would support Hillary Clinton.
Obama says the former president also distorted his record of opposition to the war in Iraq and his comments expressing some regard for former President Ronald Reagan. For its part, Hillary Clinton's campaign released a statement dismissing Obama's complaints, saying he simply is "frustrated" at losing New Hampshire and defending Bill Clinton's assertions as "facts."
"I do think that there should be some standards of honesty in any political discourse. That's part of the change I want to bring about," Obama said. "If you have something that just directly contradicts the facts, and it's coming from a former president, I think that's a problem because people presume that a former president's going to have more credibility and I think there are certain responsibilities that are carried with that."
Barack Obama talked with Robin Robers on Good Morning America.
This video is from ABC's Good Morning America, broadcast January 21, 2008.