U.S. Sen. Barack Obama said Monday one of the biggest frustrations of his presidential bid is dealing with national media that he says doesn’t correct inaccuracies about his candidacy and his record.
Some of those, he said, are pushed by the campaign of Democratic rival U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton, who is locked in a tight race with Obama for the party’s nomination.
Obama, speaking Monday morning to State newspaper editors, cited as an example the reporting of his remarks about President Ronald Reagan as an inaccuracy that hasn’t been corrected.Obama, Clinton and John Edwards are appearing jointly during the King Day at the Dome march and rally Monday morning at the State House grounds.
Obama, speaking of remarks he made to a Nevada newspaper last week, told The State he wasn’t praising Reagan’s policies. Obama said was making a point that Reagan reached across party lines in order to snare a large majority of American voters that made it easier for him to push his agenda.
By attracting so-called Reagan Democrats, the California governor swept into office in 1980 and cruised to a 49-state landslide in 1984. Such big victories gave Reagan a mandate to push change. “Hopefully we can get some Obama Republicans and independents,” Obama said.
Obama continued criticism of what he says is a strategy by the Clinton campaign to use former President Bill Clinton to attack him.
“There is a concrete strategy by the Clintons,” Obama said, saying the former president has attacked his war record unfairly and with inaccurate information.
The Clinton campaign countered by saying everything President Clinton has said about Obama can be backed by fact.
“Despite how many times Mr. Obama says (we’re wrong) facts are facts,” said Zac Wright, spokesman for Clinton’s South Carolina campaign.
Wright said the Clinton campaign has established a Web site, www.facts.hillaryhub.com. That Web site, Wright said, shows the attacks are based in fact, not distortion.
The Obama campaign also has set up a Web site — www.barackobama.com/factcheck — to answer allegations by opponents and media.
Obama, in a wide-ranging interview, talked about what would be the three most important issues of his administration.
No. 1 would be the war in Iraq, and Obama said he would conduct a phased withdrawal that’s “as careful getting out as we were reckless getting in.”
The No. 2 issue would be health care. The No. 3 issue would be an energy plan that seeks conservation, new technology to reduce greenhouse gases and energy independence.