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WORDS ON WORDS
Clinton Weighs In on Wright
Hillary Clinton, speaking for the first time directly about the association between the Rev. Jeremiah Wright Jr. and Barack Obama, said "getting up and moving" would have been the right response to hearing the preacher's fiery sermons that attacked America.
Wright "would not have been my pastor," Clinton said during an interview with the editorial board of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. "You don't choose your family, but you choose what church you want to attend," she said. Obama, who said he disagrees with some of Wright's sermons, refused to disavow the retired pastor.
Clinton had previously declined to talk about the Wright controversy. But, speaking in Pittsburgh, she cited her earlier condemnation of radio host Don Imus after he insulted the Rutgers women's basketball team as an example of how Obama should have reacted to his pastor's words.
"You know, I spoke out against Don Imus, saying that hate speech was unacceptable in any setting, and I believe that," the paper quoted Clinton as saying. "I think you have to speak out against that. You certainly have to do that, if not explicitly, then implicitly by getting up and moving."
Bill Burton, an Obama spokesman, responded that it was "disappointing to see Hillary Clinton's campaign sink to this low" and noted that Obama had already spoken out against his pastor's offensive comments.
-- Anne E. Kornblut
MANY PUBLIC RETURNS?
Obama Nudges Clinton on Taxes
Barack Obama attempted to up the ante in his effort to force Hillary Clinton to release her income tax returns before mid-April, when her presidential campaign had said it would release them.
Obama released copies of his tax returns covering 2000 to 2006, forms that revealed the income he has received from his publishing deals, and his wife's pay.
"This campaign is now going on into its 14th month, and I don't think voters should have to wait until three days before the next primary to learn more about the finances of the Clintons," Obama communications director Robert Gibbs said in a conference call.
The returns showed the Obamas reported just under $1 million in income during 2005 and gave more than $60,000 to charity in 2006 and $77,000 in 2005. Those donations included $5,000 to Trinity United Church of Christ in 2005.
Gibbs urged the Clintons to follow suit, saying questions had already been raised about the nature of many of their investments. The Clinton campaign fired back by calling Obama's personal finances "opaque" in comparison with the Clintons' release of 20 years of tax returns while Bill Clinton was in the White House. Gibbs said her campaign hasn't released returns from the period since the Clintons left the White House and made most of their money.
-- Matthew Mosk and Alec MacGillis