Obama draws distinctions to Clinton in South Carolina

Presidential hopeful Sen. Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaObama marks MLK Day by honoring King for his 'poetic brilliance' and 'moral clarity' Biden breaks away from 2020 pack in South Carolina National Archives says it altered Trump signs, other messages in Women's March photo MORE (D-Ill.) on Saturday sought to draw distinctions between his campaign, which he says aims to bring the country together, and the “textbook” campaign of Democratic frontrunner Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.), which Obama argues is all about winning the election.

“As we saw in the debate last week, it encourages vague, calculated answers to suit the politics of the moment, instead of clear, consistent principles about how you would lead America,” said Obama in a speech in Spartanburg, S.C.


The Illinois senator called Clinton a colleague and friend in his speech and noted that the former first lady “is certainly not the only one in Washington to play this game.”

At the Democratic presidential debate this past Tuesday in Philadelphia, Pa., Clinton took shots from her rivals for her stances on issues like illegal immigration, Iran and social security among others. Obama had recently promised to take a more aggressive posture with Clinton, who is leading in national polls and who won last quarter’s fundraising race, as the presidential campaign nears the Iowa caucuses.

In a conference call after the debate, Clinton advisers decried the New York senator’s opponents — describing it as “six-on-one” — and released a campaign video called “The Politics of Pile On.”

Obama also took shots at the current administration.

“The era of Scooter Libby justice, and Brownie incompetence, and the Karl Rove politics of fear and cynicism will be over,” said Obama.

Laying out several of his positions on climate change, education and Iraq among others, Obama said he could help lead America in the direction it needs.

“It’s a chance to turn the page by offering the American people a fundamentally different choice in 2008 – not just in the policies we offer, but in the kind of leadership we offer,” he said.