OBAMA, CLINTON SPAR OVER WHETHER MCCAIN IS PREFERABLE TO BUSH
Senator Obama's declaration that Senator McCain would make a better president than President Bush drew a sharp retort yesterday from Senator Clinton, who said she strongly disagreed. "You have a real choice in this election. Either Democrat would be better than John McCain. Ö And all three of us would be better than George Bush," Mr. Obama told an audience in Reading, Pa., according to the Associated Press. "Senator McCain is a real American patriot who has served our country with distinction, but Senator McCain would follow the same failed policies that have been so wrong for our country the last seven years," Mrs. Clinton said while on the stump in Johnstown, Pa., according to her campaign. "We need a nominee who will take on John McCain, not cheer on John McCain, and I will be that nominee."
SCHUMER PREDICTS LARGE CLINTON WIN IN PENNSYLVANIA
One of Senator Clinton's top backers, Senator Schumer, is predicting that Mrs. Clinton will score a big win in Pennsylvania's Democratic presidential primary tomorrow. "I think that she's going to do very well in Pennsylvania, and I think she's going to do better than either the polls, which have always underestimated her, or the pundits have stated. I think she's going to have a strong win in Pennsylvania," Mr. Schumer declared on "Fox News Sunday." Pressed to give a specific margin of victory, the senior senator from New York demurred. Mr. Schumer also sought to dampen perceptions of a conflict between Mrs. Clinton and a liberal group that has endorsed Senator Obama, MoveOn.org. "We have been less successful in caucuses because it brings out the activist base of the Democratic Party. MoveOn.org didn't even want us to go into Afghanistan. I mean, that's what we're dealing with," she complained in a closed-door fund raiser in March, according to an audio recording posted on the Internet last week by the Huffington Post. MoveOn contends it did not oppose the Afghanistan war, though a man who now leads the group circulated a petition calling for "restraint."
MCCAIN DEFLECTS QUESTIONS ABOUT FAMOUS TEMPER
Senator McCain deflected questions about his temper yesterday, saying he is "a passionate man" but that stories about his private outbursts were more than 15 years old. In an appearance on ABC's "This Week," he was responding to a lengthy article yesterday on the front page of the Washington Post that detailed several incidents in which he had allegedly shouted obscenities at colleagues and threatened them. The article also described occasions when Mr. McCain, who has acknowledged losing his temper at times, allegedly tried to get staffers who had crossed him fired. "I am very happy to be a passionate man," he said. "I love this country. I love what we stand for and believe in, and many times I deal passionately when I find things that are not in the best interests of the American people. And so, look, 20, 25 years ago, 15 years ago, that's fine, and those stories here are either totally untrue or grossly exaggerated."
Senator Clinton earned the endorsement yesterday of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, a newspaper whose conservative owner and publisher, Richard Mellon Scaife, was once a leading antagonist of the Clintons during the 1990s. Mr. Scaife, a billionaire, helped to fund several investigations into Mr. Clinton's personal life that eventually led to his impeachment in 1998. Mrs. Clinton famously labeled these critics as a "vast right-wing conspiracy." In the editorial, the Tribune-Review said Mr. Obama was too inexperienced for the presidency and saluted Mrs. Clinton for sitting down for an interview with the editorial board.
DEMOCRATIC PARTY RELEASES AD ATTACKING MCCAIN
The Democratic National Committee is airing a new television ad intended to show Senator McCain as out of touch with the nation's economic distress. "I think you could argue that Americans are better off, because we have had a pretty good prosperous time," Mr. McCain says, in a clip from a January debate. A Republican Party statement called the ad "the sort of dishonest campaigning voters are sick of."