The Washington Post reported that what had been a quiet feud became public after remarks by producer David Geffen, a backer of former U.S. President Bill Clinton and a major Democratic fundraiser, appeared in a Maureen Dowd column in The New York Times. Geffen criticized Clinton, D-N.Y., for failing to apologize for her 2002 vote to use force in Iraq. "It's not a very big thing to say 'I made a mistake' on the war and typical of Hillary Clinton that she can't," Geffen said.
Clinton spokesman Howard Wolfson issued a statement calling on Obama, D-Ill, to return a portion of the $1.3 million Geffen raised Tuesday at a California fundraiser, the Times reported.
"While Senator Obama was denouncing slash-and-burn politics yesterday, his campaign's finance chair was viciously and personally attacking Senator Clinton and her husband," Wolfson said.
The candidates tried to steer clear of the fighting. Obama was not at the forum. "I think we should stay focused on what we're going to do for America," Clinton said.