Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Clinton says Obama relies on 'words'

Ignoring her crushing loss in Wisconsin to rival Barack Obama, Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton pressed her case Tuesday that the Illinois senator offers little more than talk.After his victory speech, Clinton called Obama to congratulate him and the two spoke briefly.The New York senator tried to battle back from her ninth straight loss to Obama since the Super Tuesday contests Feb. 5, vowing to fix trade agreements like the North American Free Trade Agreement, which have disproportionally hurt working-class voters in places like Ohio.The state holds its primary March 4, and Clinton is depending on victories here and in Texas to revive her fading candidacy.
But exit polls in Wisconsin offered ominous warnings for Clinton as she tries to reconstitute her political base in Ohio and elsewhere.Obama defeated her among less educated voters and nearly tied her among white women — two groups that have formed the core of her candidacy. Young voters turned out in droves for Obama, more than offsetting Clinton's advantage among seniors. Wisconsin voters also said the need for change trumps experience 2-to-1.Clinton did her best to push on, bluntly challenging Obama on his fitness to lead.She also addressed the issue of trade — a vulnerability for the former first lady, who championed NAFTA while it was being negotiated during her husband's presidency. She has since become a NAFTA critic and has advocated a "time out" from similar trade agreements.

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