DURHAM, N.C. – Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama took aim on Monday at his rival Hillary Clinton’s argument that he is less electable than her given his recent series of troubles and because he has not been fully “vetted.”
Amid a flap over comments from his pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, and other controversies, Obama has seen his poll numbers slide lately against both Clinton and the Republican candidate for November’s election, John McCain.
Obama publicly denounced Wright last week after the pastor moved back into the spotlight and repeated his inflammatory charges that the Sept. 11 attacks were in part retribution for U.S. policy and that the government spread AIDS to harm blacks.
Obama has also faced questions about his association with 1960s radical William Ayres and about why he doesn’t wear a U.S. flagpin.
The Illinois senator said those issues had hurt his campaign but did not “knock us off stride.” The fact that the impact from those problems was not greater was a sign that his candidacy was strong, he said.