Obama: You don’t have to talk tough to be tough
NEW ALBANY, Ind. – Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama on Wednesday brushed aside Hillary Clinton’s attempts to portray him as someone who lacked toughness and could not stand the heat of the media glare.
Clinton, who depicts herself as a fighter in her campaign speeches, has pounced on the Illinois senator’s critique of a television debate last week in which he was put on the defensive about issues such as whether he wears a flagpin and the fiery rhetoric of his pastor. She accused him of not being able to handle media scrutiny.
But Obama said it was the New York senator and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, who have been thin-skinned about press questions.
“Nobody has complained more about the press about questions at debates, about being mistreated than Senator Clinton has or President Clinton. And so we have been pretty tame in terms of taking our shots and just rolling with them,” Obama told reporters while campaigning in Indiana, which holds its primary on May 6.
Clinton has tried to underline her message that she is the tougher candidate by running an ad featuring images of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.
The Republican National Committee has weighed in as well, suggesting Obama tries to dodge hard questions from the media.
“I know that people like to talk tough and use a lot of rhetoric about fighting and obliterating and all that stuff. You know that I have always believed that if you are tough, you don’t have to talk about it,” Obama said.
- Photo credit: Reuters/John Gress (U.S. Democratic candidate Barack Obama speaks at his Pennsylvania primary election night rally in Evansville.)