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Wednesday, February 21, 2007
Clinton: 'I want to run a very positive campaign'

Geffen's words sparked a verbal tussle between the Clinton and Obama campaigns.

CARSON CITY, Nevada (CNN) -- Saying she wants to run a "very positive" campaign, Sen. Hillary Clinton said Wednesday Democrats should avoid criticizing each other as they battle for the Democratic presidential nomination.

"I want to run a very positive campaign, and I sure don't want Democrats or the supporters of Democrats to be engaging in the politics of personal destruction," Clinton said at an AFSCME forum in Nevada for Democratic presidential hopefuls. The New York senator had been asked if she believed Sen. Barack Obama, one of her chief rivals for the nomination, should denounce disparaging comments about Clinton and her husband made by Hollywood mogul David Geffen. Geffen, who has no official role in the Obama campaign, co-hosted a high-powered fundraiser for the Illinois Democrat Tuesday night.

"I think we should stay focused on what we are going to do for America," Clinton said. "And I believe Bill Clinton was a good president, and I am very proud of the record of his two terms."

In a Wednesday New York Times column by Maureen Dowd, Geffen admonished the former president and questioned whether Sen. Clinton would be able to win the presidency, prompting a war of words between the Clinton and Obama camps.

The Clinton campaign issued a press release calling on Obama to denounce the comments. When asked if she personally thought Obama should do so, the former First Lady said, "Well, I am going to leave that up to the other campaign."

Sen. Clinton also was asked in an exclusive off-camera interview with CNN whether her choice of the words "politics of personal destruction," a frequently quoted phrase during the impeachment hearings and trial of her husband, was an attempt to link Obama and the Geffen comments to the former president's conservative critics.

"What I've said and what my campaign has said about this speaks for themselves," she said to CNN Congressional Correspondent Dana Bash.
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