Clinton-Backing Congressman Says Clinton Camp Pushed Racist Strategy

Sens. Hillary Clinton, D-NY, and Barack Obama, D-NY, met last night at the home of Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif. -- who is a big supporter, it should be noted, of a joint ticket.

A joint statement came from Obama spox Bill Burton and Clinton spox Jay Carson saying: “Senator Clinton and Senator Obama met tonight and had a productive discussion about the important work that needs to be done to succeed in November.”

But threatening to steal some thunder from the rapprochement comes Rep. Rob Andrews, D-NJ -- fresh from his primary loss to Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-NJ -- who tells the Newark Star-Ledger that it may be tough for the party to unify behind Obama since the Clinton camp "has engaged in some very divisive tactics and rhetoric it should not have."

Before the April 22 Pennsylvania primary, Andrews says, a "high-ranking person" in the Clinton campaign "pushed a strategy of winning by exploiting tensions between Jews and African-Americans.

"There have been signals coming out of the Clinton campaign that have racial overtones that indeed disturb me," Andrews said. "Frankly, I had a private conversation with a high-ranking person in the campaign ... that used a racial line of argument that I found very disconcerting. It was extremely disconcerting given the rank of this person. It was very disturbing."

The Clinton campaign's response, from spox Phil Singer: "Comments like these, coming so soon after Congressman Andrews' crushing defeat, are sad and divisive."

- jpt

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