Obama Goes on Defense in SC

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GREENVILLE, S.C. - In the final days leading up to the South Carolina primary Sen. Barack Obama is on the defensive.

Still revved up from Monday night's contentious debate in Myrtle Beach, S.C., Obama spent Tuesday stumping for votes and fending off attacks from Sen. Hillary Clinton and her husband former President Bill Clinton.

For more on Brody's interview with Obama, click here.

"I think what we saw last night was that he's very frustrated," Clinton told reporters in Washington. "He clearly came last night looking for a fight. He was determined and launched right in… and I thought it was important to set the record straight."

CBN News' David Brody sat down with Obama in Greenville Tuesday and asked him about the accusation.

"I wasn't looking for a fight," Obama said. "What I'm looking for is a correcting of the misstatements that have been coming out of the Clinton camp, not just from the Senator but also from her husband over the last month."

Obama is campaigning hard in South Carolina, a state where African Americans make up 50 percent of the Democratic vote. At one time, Clinton held a sizeable lead among black voters, but that has diminished.

Clinton left the Palmetto State, Tuesday, to to accept an endorsement from the United Farm Workers Union. She will spend the next two days campaigning in New Mexico and New Jersey.

In the meantime, former President Clinton will travel the state on her behalf as a surrogate.

"I think South Carolina voters will have to make an assessment in terms of how seriously she's taking the state," Obama said. "She said last night that Bill Clinton wasn't the one running for President, but this is the next primary and he's the one who's staying behind."

During the interview, Obama denounced the Internet rumor that says he's a Muslim saying that it was a political ploy.

"Basically the e-mail falsely states that I'm Muslim, that I pledged my oath of office on a Koran instead of a Bible, that I don't Pledge Allegiance to the flag," he said.

"I want to make sure that your viewers understand that I am a Christian who has belonged to the same church for almost 20 years now. It's where Michelle and I got married. It's where our kids were dedicated. I took my oath of office on my family Bible," he said.

Obama's swing through South Carolina includes a visit to historically black South Carolina State University where R&B singer Usher will perform.

Original broadcast January 23, 2008.

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Robin Mazyck

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