During a campaign swing through Iowa on Monday, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton continued a barrage of attacks on rival Barack Obama. Obama, in turn, labeled Clinton’s comments "silliness."
During a speech in Clear Lake, Clinton suggested Obama has been fixated on the White House since 2005. "You decide which makes more sense: to entrust our country to someone who is ready on day one to make the decisions and the changes we need, or to put America in the hands of someone with little national or international experience who started running for president as soon as he arrived in the United States Senate," Clinton said.
Without mentioning Obama by name, Clinton made it clear for her audience that she was questioning Obama’s readiness to be commander-in-chief."How did running for president become a qualification to be president?" Clinton asked. "Well, this is not a job you can learn about from a book. It’s a job that starts on day one with split-second decision making that can affect the lives of millions of people."
Clinton also disagreed with Obama and another rival, John Edwards, both of whom suggest that rather than an insider like Clinton, it’s an outsider like them who’s needed to change what’s wrong in Washington. "The argument suggests that people like me and Governor Richardson and Senator Dodd and Senator Biden are somehow disqualified from making the changes that America is looking for even though we’ve been doing that for decades," Clinton said. "The idea goes that if you want change, you need to get someone with less, not more experience in actually making change happen. Well, I respectfully disagree."
During an interview with Dave Price of WHO TV, Obama suggested Clinton’s complaints surfaced after he surfaced at the top in a few public opinion polls in Iowa. "Obviously, some other candidates are spending a lot of time looking at the polls because over the last two, three days they have decided that their only strategy is to spend all their time attacking instead of talking about the problems the people of Iowa are facing," Obama said.
Not only has Clinton suggested Obama launched his presidential campaign the day he was sworn in as a U.S. senator, she has suggested his White House aspirations dated back to his childhood. "Over the last couple of days she has cited the supposed memories of my kindergarten teacher about my presidential aspirations. I think that’s the level of silliness that we’ve been hearing out of Senator Clinton and her campaign and I don’t think that’s what the people of Iowa are looking for right now," Obama said. "…Instead of going tit-for-tat…people who are running for president should talk about how we’re going to solve the problems the American people face and that’s what I intend to do in the last 30 days of this campaign."
Clinton’s appearance at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake was delayed for about 45 minutes after a plane carrying the national press traveling with Clinton experienced problems. Officials say the Gulfstream G4 apparently ingested sand while landing in Mason City, causing smoke to fill the aircraft’s cabin. The 15 passengers and three crew members evacuated the plane on the runway In Mason City.
The plane in which Clinton was riding circled overhead waiting for clearance to land. Clinton was over two hours late to an event in Ankeny last week due to a flat tire on her campaign airplane.