Obama and Clinton trade barbs on economy

May 5, 2008 at 10:05 AM

SOUTH BEND, Ind., May 5 (UPI) -- Sens. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., and Barack Obama, D-Ill., traded economic barbs on the campaign trail before the Indiana and North Carolina primaries.

Clinton tackled her controversial gas tax holiday relief plan in Fort Wayne, Ind., saying she was the candidate voters can count on to be on their side, while Obama told Tim Russert on NBC's "Meet the Press" Sunday the plan was "a political response to a serious problem that we neglected for decades."

Obama, however, seemed to agree the economic message had voter appeal by telling voters in Indiana he backed a second economic stimulus package, The Washington Post said Monday.

Clinton, who said she has a middle-class tax relief plan in the works, skirted criticism her gas tax holiday was political spin, telling ABC's George Stephanopoulos "I'm not going to put my lot in with economists."

Meanwhile, the Clinton campaign brought out old issues on the campaign stump, criticizing Obama for his comments that voters "cling" to guns and religion because they're "bitter."

On healthcare, Clinton asked for a cough drop and a glass of water during a speech in Indiana.

"See, that's why we need universal healthcare," she said.

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