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Obama challenges Clinton's experience claim

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« on: March 05, 2008, 01:20:56 pm »

Obama challenges Clinton's experience claim
Posted: 11:00 AM ET

Obama is challenging Clinton's claim of experience.
(CNN) – Fresh off defeats in Ohio, Texas, and Rhode Island, Barack Obama signaled Wednesday he will be more aggressive in targeting Hillary Clinton's claim she is the more experienced candidate.

"I think that this week she made a series of arguments about why she would be a superior candidate," he told reporters in San Antonio. "She made the experience argument that she’s been making repeatedly, particularly around foreign policy and her ability to handle a crisis."

"I think it’s important to examine that claim and not just allow her to assert it, which I think has been going on for quite some time. She has made the argument that she is thoroughly vetted in contrast to me. I think its important to examine that argument."

Clinton sharply questioned Obama's readiness to be president in the closing days before Tuesday's primaries, repeatedly asserting on the campaign trail his candidacy is based solely on his initial opposition to the Iraq war. She also launched a tough ad in Texas that suggested the Illinois senator isn't equipped to handle a foreign policy crisis. Exit polls in both Texas and Ohio showed voters overwhelmingly gave the nod to Clinton when asked which candidate is better prepared to be commander-in-chief.

"One of the things that I hope people start asking is what exactly is this foreign experience that shes claiming?" Obama added. "I know she talks about visiting 80 countries. Its not clear…was she negotiating treaties or agreements or was she handling crises during this period of time? My sense is the answer is 'no.'"

"I have not seen any evidence that she is better equipped to handle a crisis. If the only criteria is longevity in Washington then she's certainly not going to beat John McCain on that."

– CNN's Chris Welch and Alexander Mooney contributed to this report

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