Clinton Also Embraces Republicans
Updated 5:08 p.m.
By Anne E. Kornblut
ROCK HILL, S.C. -- Sen. Barack Obama may have said the GOP is the "party of ideas," but Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton is no slouch when it comes to embracing Republicans on the campaign trail these days.
In front of audiences here, Clinton has repeatedly invoked her work with Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), and even cited Sen. John McCain, the newly resurgent presidential candidate on the Republican side. (In recent years, Clinton has embraced McCain so warmly at times that his advisers have worked aggressively to distance the two).
On Thursday, following her remarks on the economy, Clinton hailed the 1950s -- when Republican Dwight D. Eisenhower was elected to two terms -- as a time "people look back at with great appreciation" because the economy worked well.
In response to a question about whether she can work with Republicans, Clinton cautioned an audience in Greenville not to believe what they may have heard about her in the past. "A lot of what you hear people say about me comes from people who do not know me," Clinton said, before going on to outline her work with Graham, who was one of the House managers who impeached her husband during the Monica Lewinsky in the late 1990s. She cited Graham at other stops on the campaign trail, including on the eve of the primary here, where she said that she has "worked across party lines with people that a lot of folks thought I would never work with."
On the same day, Clinton's campaign advisers held a conference call to slam Obama for being too conciliatory toward Republicans and pandering to a GOP audience when he said it was the "party of ideas."
Republican National Committee spokesman Alex Conant questioned some of Clinton's warm words on working with her GOP colleagues. "Even by Senator Clinton's standards, her claims to be bipartisan are dizzying. There is bipartisan agreement that Clinton is one of the most divisive and polarizing politicians of her generation," he said. "Isn't she the same Senator who last week said she's surprised even more Republicans aren't "afraid" of her? Her new claim to be a friend of the GOP is an incredible diversion from her regular litany of blame-the-Republicans rhetoric."
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