Look out, Sen. Barack Obama — here comes the heat.
Mr. Obama, a first-term senator largely untested by mudslinging, will face intense scrutiny from his rivals, whom he handily defeated in the Iowa presidential caucuses Thursday.
Hillary Rodham Clinton took some jabs at the Illinois Democrat on the trail yesterday and distributed a mailer questioning Mr. Obama's record on abortion rights.
The mailer says that seven times when he served in the Illinois state Senate, Mr. Obama declined to take a position on abortion bills, while Mrs. Clinton has been a defender of abortion rights.
During his eight years in the legislature, Mr. Obama cast a number of votes on abortion and received a 100 percent rating from the Illinois Planned Parenthood Council for his support of abortion rights, family-planning services and health insurance coverage for female contraceptives. He voted against requiring medical care for aborted fetuses who survive, a vote that especially riled abortion opponents.
Without using Mr. Obama's name on the stump, Mrs. Clinton said he has made "a really big mistake" by not covering all Americans with his health care plan, ceding to Republicans that the Democrats can't defend this proposal and that the party's nominee "is going to be thrown right into that blaze, the inferno known as the general election."
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