Barack Obama and wife Michelle at New Hampshire wrap-up rally Monday night in Concord.
(Photo by Lynn Sweet)
MANCHESTER, N.H.--White House hopeful Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) was asked about Bill Clinton's comments that he has gotten a free pass from the media on Tuesday, while stopping at a Dunkin' Donuts on election day in the first-in-the-nation primary state.
"I understand he's feeling a little frustrated right now," said Obama.
Here's a transcript of excerpts of a quick session Obama granted members of his traveling press corps:
Obama: "I understand he's feeling a little frustrated right now. But I think Tim Russert answered Bill Clinton this morning. Every point that he raised was a question that had been answered _ had been asked and answered, not only on "Meet the Press" but repeatedly. It is a little frustrating for the president to _ the former president _ to continually repeat this notion that somehow I didn't know where I stood in 2004 about the war.
He keeps on giving half the quote. I was always against the war. The quote he keeps on feeding back was an interview on Meet the Press at the National Convention when Tim was asking, `Given your firm opposition to the war, what do you make of the fact that your nominee for president and vice president didn't have that same foresight.' And obviously I didn't want to criticize them on the eve of their nomination.
So I said, `Well, I don't know what _ you know, I wasn't in the Senate. I can't say for certain what I would have done if I was there. I know that from where I stood the case was not made.' He always leaves that out. And you know, I understand why he's frustrated. But at some point since we've corrected him repeatedly on this and he keeps on repeating it, you know it tells me that he's just more interested in trying to muddy the waters than actually talk fairly about my record."
Obama was asked if he was expecting more challenges from the Clintons and GOP in the next few days.
Obama: "Oh, I don't think it will be just in the next few days. I think it'll be you know until, you know, a nominee is selected.”
Obama on the Clinton complaints he is getting a pass in the press
Obama: "I don't know. Here's what I know: is that I _ and maybe you guys, maybe I've been missing something, but it seems like you guys have been reporting on me the entire year. I remember during the summer when we were down 20 points and I was getting knocked around pretty good, and I didn't hear the Clintons the camp complaining about how terrible the press was. So my assumption is, is that, you know, my record will examined just like every other candidates."
Clinton called your campaign a fairy tale, how do you respond to that, Obama was asked.
Obama:. I understand they're frustrated right now. I suspect that they'll both try to get back on track in terms of the strategy for them to do better than they feel they're doing right now."