To: Interested Parties
From: The Clinton Campaign
Date: Tuesday, January 22, 2008
RE: About Last Night
While much of this campaign has focused on Senator Obama’s rhetoric, there has not been much attention paid to Senator Obama’s record. Last night, that changed. With the fireworks now receding, it’s time to focus on the substance.
From questions about his commitment to fiscal responsibility to his relationship with a donor currently under indictment to his consistency on key issues, last night raised new issues that the Obama campaign must confront today.
Senator Obama, for example, was the only member of the Illinois State Senate to vote present on a bill that would have increased privacy protections for victims of sexual assault. Senator Obama claimed he sponsored that bill and only voted present because of “a legal provision in it that was problematic and needed to be fixed so that it wouldn’t be struck down.” But the reality is that he did not sponsor the bill and more than seven years after it became law, the measure has not been struck down. It was one of almost 130 present votes that he cast as a state lawmaker.
Senator Obama claimed that suggestions he does not pay for his spending proposals are false. But in fact, he has failed to say how he would pay for over $50 billion worth of the new programs he discusses on the campaign trail.
Senator Obama asserted that the Clinton campaign has suggested he was not really opposed to the war in Iraq. In fact, the Clinton campaign believes Senator Obama opposed the war – we are simply taking issue with what he did – or did not do – to end the war after he gave his speech in 2002.
As an attorney, Senator Obama represented now-indicted influence peddler Tony Rezko in his efforts to develop government-subsidized slum housing. Interestingly, Senator Obama has thus far failed to return all contributions associated with Mr. Rezko, which included money that was given through straw donors or obtained from Illinois taxpayers.
Senator Obama voted against an amendment that would have capped credit card rates at 30%. Senator Obama says he voted against the limit because it was “too high.” And today there is no cap at all on interest rates.
Finally, Senator Obama said last night that he “never said we should go ahead and get a single payer system.” But the reality is that he said exactly that when he was running in the primary for the U.S. Senate in 2003.