NJ Congressman: Clinton camp uses divisive tactics

June 6, 2008 12:13:51 PM PDT
A Democratic congressman from New Jersey accused Hillary Rodham Clinton's campaign of trying to exploit tensions between Jews and blacks. Rep. Rob Andrews, who supported Clinton, said in a newspaper interview that he received a call from a top member of Clinton's organization shortly before the April 22 Pennsylvania primary who explicitly discussed a strategy of winning Jewish voters by exploiting tensions between Jews and blacks.

"There have been signals coming out of the Clinton campaign that have racial overtones that indeed disturb me," Andrews said, according to a report in The Star-Ledger in Newark, N.J. "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."

Andrews declined to disclose the caller's name. Clinton spokesman Phil Singer denied the accusation, according to the Star-Ledger.

"Comments like these, coming so soon after Congressman Andrews' crushing defeat, are sad and divisive," Singer said, referring to Andrews' unsuccessful challenge to incumbent Sen. Frank Lautenberg in the New Jersey Democratic primary.

Andrews said the phone call came after he angered the Clinton camp by making some positive comments about Obama.