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Clinton tells Obama: 'Shame on you'; Obama fires back

  • Story Highlights
  • NEW: Obama says notion that he is engaging in nefarious tactics is "hard to swallow"
  • Clinton lashes out at Democratic rival over "blatantly false" campaign fliers
  • Health care, NAFTA positions misrepresented, she says in Ohio
  • Obama camp says mailers are accurate
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(CNN) -- A visibly angry Sen. Hillary Clinton lashed out Saturday at Sen. Barack Obama over campaign literature that she said he knows is "blatantly false," while Obama called her outburst "tactical."


Sen. Hillary Clinton waves campaign literature she says is false. Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland is behind her.

Clinton jabbed the air with her hands as she told a crowd in Cincinnati, Ohio, that two Obama mailings spread lies about her positions on universal health care and the North American Free Trade Agreement.

"Shame on you, Barack Obama," she said.

Polls show Clinton and Obama are in statistical dead heats in delegate-rich Ohio and Texas, which both hold votes March 4.

With Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland nodding in agreement behind her, Clinton accused Obama of emulating the tactics of Karl Rove, President Bush's former political director who is reviled by Democrats.

Obama "is continuing to send false and discredited mailings with information that is not true to the voters of Ohio," Clinton said. Video Watch Clinton demand a 'real campaign' »

One mailing says her health care proposal would force everyone to buy health insurance, regardless of ability to pay, a charge Clinton vehemently denied.

"Sen. Obama knows it is not true that my plan forces people to buy insurance even if they can't afford it," she said.

The NAFTA mailer says Clinton was a "champion" for NAFTA while first lady, but now opposes it. NAFTA was negotiated by the first President Bush and signed into law by President Bill Clinton.

"I am fighting to change NAFTA," Hillary Clinton said Saturday.

"Enough with the speeches and the big rallies and then using tactics right out of Karl Rove's playbook. This is wrong, and every Democrat should be outraged," she said.

Obama denied Clinton's assertions that the literature was false.

"There's nothing in that mailing that is inaccurate," he said, adding that he was puzzled by the sudden scrutiny since the mailers had been around for days, if not weeks.

"We have been subject to constant attack from the Clinton campaign, except for when we were down 20 points. And that was true in Iowa. It was true in South Carolina. It was true in Wisconsin, and it is true now," Obama said.

He described Clinton's anger as "tactical" and defended his campaign.

"The notion that somehow we're engaging in nefarious tactics I think is pretty hard to swallow." Video Watch Obama respond »

Clinton challenged Obama to "meet me in Ohio, and let's have a debate about your tactics and your behavior in this campaign."

The two are scheduled to meet for a debate next week in Cleveland, Ohio.

Obama spokesman Bill Burton said his campaign looked forward "to having a debate this Tuesday on the facts, and the facts are that Sen. Clinton was a supporter of NAFTA and the China permanent trade treaties until this campaign began. "

"And she herself has said that under the Clinton health care plan, she would consider 'going after the wages' of Americans who don't purchase health insurance, whether they can afford it or not," he added.

Saturday was not the first time the Clinton campaign has criticized mailings from the Obama campaign.

In late January, leading up to Super Tuesday contests on February 5, the Clinton camp said Obama mailings distributed in Connecticut took Clinton's statement about her Iraq war vote out of context.

The Obama flier said the New York senator had admitted voting in favor of the war even though she had not read an intelligence report that cast doubt on claims that Saddam Hussein's government possessed weapons of mass destruction.

The Clinton campaign called the mailer misleading, saying only "a handful of senators" had read the report itself -- and that most, like Clinton, had instead opted for a briefing by the report's authors.

Obama has accused both Clinton and her husband of engaging in unfair attacks.


Obama, who has rolled to 11 straight wins since Super Tuesday, leads Clinton by 140 pledged delegates, according to CNN estimates, going into the Texas and Ohio primaries.

Vermont and Rhode Island also hold primaries on that day. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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