Clinton, Obama Aides Tangle Over '3 A.M.' Ad
By Zachary A. Goldfarb
The Clinton and Obama presidential campaigns sparred today over which candidate has the experience to handle a national security crisis after exchanging a series of controversial television advertisements on the topic.
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton released an advertisement last week that told of a hypothetical 3 a.m. telephone call to the White House and warning, "Something's happening in the world. Your vote will decide who answers that call."
The Clinton campaign and its surrogates were pressed last week to identify a moment when she has faced such a national security crisis, and the question was posed again on several Sunday morning talk shows.
"[Y]ou don't get tested at 3 a.m. with a phone call like that unless you're the president," Howard Wolfson, a senior Clinton aide, acknowledged on ABC's "This Week." "You look at a person's totality of experience, the kind of judgments they've made, who has supported them, what kind of support that they've had."
Sen. Barack Obama's campaign responded to the ad by suggesting that Clinton had already faced such a moment and made the wrong decision, a point that Obama aide David Axelrod reiterated Sunday.
"On the most important question that Senator Clinton has had to deal with in foreign policy -- the red phone moment for her, the vote on the war in Iraq -- she gave the wrong answer," Axelrod said on ABC. "Senator Obama gave the right answer [and] said he thought it was a disaster to go into Iraq."
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