Obama Counters Plagiarism Claims

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Sen. Barack Obama admitted today he has been using some of the same lines as his friend, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, but that it was not a big deal.

Sen Hillary Clinton's campaign had accused Barack Obama of plagiarizing part of his speeches, earlier Monday.

During a campaign stop this weekend, Obama used a few lines Patrick used before, making the point that "words matter." He used as examples the words "I have a dream" and "all men are created equal."

"I really don't think this is too big of a deal," he said. He said he's noticed Clinton using his phrases sometimes, like "it's time to turn the page" and "fired up, ready to go."

Clinton spokesman Howard Wolfson said that Obama's borrowed lines are troubling, since Obama's appeal is based in large part on his rhetorical skills.

"It raises questions about the premise of his candidacy," Wolfson said.

But Obama objected to that assertion.

"Now hold on a second. Let's see - I've written two books, wrote most of my speeches," Obama said.

Obama said that the Clinton camp is digging too deep. He said that he and Patrick share ideas all the time, and that Patrick suggested he use the line about words making a difference.

"I'm happy to give Deval credit, as I give credit to a lot people for spurring all kinds of ideas," he said. "But I think that it is fair to say that everything that we've been doing in generating excitement and the interest that people have in the election is based on the core belief in me that we need change in America."

Clinton the Underdog?

For the first time this election season, some national polls show Sen. Clinton as the underdog. Obama is hosting rallies in Ohio and Wisconsin today.

But it was a stop in North Carolina that has many analysts buzzing. Obama met with former candidate John Edwards, who has not thrown his weight behind any candidate yet.

Edwards had support from union members and blue-collar voters while he was running - a key constituency in the upcoming make-or-break states of Texas, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.

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