The barbs become more snide
Senator Barack Obama predicted that Republicans will have a dump truck full of dirt to unload on Hillary Rodham Clinton if the former first lady wins the Democratic presidential nomination. Obama said he offers the party its best hope of winning the White House, a claim Clinton also made.
At a news conference the morning after Super Tuesday, Obama offered some pointed advice to members of Congress and other party leaders who will attend the national convention this summer as delegates not chosen in primaries or caucuses.
He said if he winds up winning the most delegates in voting, they “would have to think long and hard about how they approach the nomination when the people they claim to represent have said, 'Obama's our guy.”'
Clinton, in a news conference at her campaign headquarters in Arlington, Virginia, said, “If voters start to think about who would be the best president, to be commander in chief on Day One, to turn the economy around and who would be the best Democratic nominee to win in November, I am very comfortable with the answers to those questions.”
Obama won primaries and caucuses in 13 states on Tuesday, including his home state of Illinois. Clinton won eight states, including her adopted home state of New York, and American Samoa. Obama and Clinton were in a tight race in New Mexico. Obama said he had won a majority of the 1,681 delegates at stake, although The Associated Press tally showed several hundred yet to be allocated.
Asked about Clinton's recent comment that she would not allow herself to be victimized by the type of attacks that were leveled against the Democratic nominee, Sen. John Kerry, in the 2004 race, Obama said he had been vetted by his opponent in the nominating campaign.
“I have to just respond by saying that the Clinton research operation is about as good as anybody's out there,” he said. “I assure you that having engaged in a contest against them for the last year that they've pulled out all the stops. And you know I think what is absolutely true is whoever the Democratic nominee is the Republicans will go after them. The notion that somehow Senator Clinton is going to be immune from attack or there's not a whole dump truck they can't back up in a match between her and John McCain is just not true.”
Clinton said there is nothing in her past that she tries to play down or hide, including the years she worked as a corporate lawyer for a Little Rock, Arkansas, law firm. Her oft-cited 35 years of experience includes service “in the public, private and not-for profit sectors,” she said.
As to the race between her and Obama, Clinton said, “This is a vigorous two-person contest now. And I think it's only just become a two-person contest in the last, what, 10 days or so. Therefore I am hoping we're going to have more debates, we're going to be able to showcase our records, our qualifications, the differences, the contrast between us, because voters are really tuning in now.”
Salman Rushdie, the acclaimed author who was hospitalized on Friday with serious injuries after being repeatedly stabbed at a public appearance in New York state, is off a ventilator and his condition is improving, his agent and a son said on Sunday. One of Rushdie's sons said his father remained in critical condition but was able to say a few words after getting off the ventilator.
The de facto US embassy in Taipei said the delegation is being led by Senator Ed Markey, who is being accompanied by four other lawmakers on what it described as part of a larger visit to the Indo-Pacific region.
The EU on Sunday said it was "particularly concerned" about worsening conditions for women and girls in Afghanistan after the country's ruling Taliban violently broke up a women's rally. Taliban fighters on Saturday fired in the air and beat up protesters taking part in a women's "bread, work and freedom" march in Kabul. It also stressed that "Afghanistan must also not pose a security threat to any country" per UN Security Council resolutions.
A fire that broke out Sunday in a Coptic Christian church in Egypt's capital Cairo killed 41 people, church officials said. President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi declared on his Facebook page that "I have mobilised all state services to ensure that all measures are taken". Copts are the largest Christian community in the Middle East, making up at least 10 million of Egypt's 103 million people. Egypt has suffered several deadly fires in recent years.
An explosion at a retail market in the Armenian capital Yerevan on Sunday sparked a fire, killing one person and injuring 20, the emergency situations ministry said. Photos and videos posted on social media showed a thick column of black smoke over the market and successive detonations could be heard. The ministry said there were 10 firefighting trucks on the spot and another 10 were on their way.