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PendO
03-13-2007, 02:37 AM
http://wcbstv.com/topstories/local_story_071165711.html

Sharpton Rips Obama, Keeps Endorsement On Hold

'I'm Not Going To Be Cajoled Or Intimidated By Any Candidate'


http://llnw.img.viacomlocalnetworks.com/images_sizedimage_073161251/sm Marcia Kramer (http://wcbstv.com/bios/local_bio_203134125.html)
Reporting

(CBS) NEW YORK With the race for the Democratic presidential nomination already in high gear, the Reverend Al Sharpton jumped into the fray today with some tough criticism for Senator Barack Obama. The outspoken reverend offered the harsh comments to Obama just as he looked to build support for his candidacy in the black community.

"Why shouldn't the black community ask questions? Are we now being told, 'You all just shut up?'" Sharpton told CBS 2's Marcia Kramer Monday. "Senator Obama and I agree that the war is wrong, but then I want to know why he went to Connecticut and helped [Sen. Joseph] Lieberman, the biggest supporter of the war."

Sharpton also questioned why Obama supports "tort reform, which hurts police brutality victims."

What set Sharpton off was a published report that he is trying to hurt Obama's campaign because he's jealous. Sharpton says that claim is untrue, charging the story came from the Obama camp to pressure him into an early endorsement.

"I'm not going to be cajoled or intimidated by any candidate not for my support," Sharpton said.

Political pundits say Obama is anxious for Sharpton's support because it could hurt Hillary Clinton and help Obama raise money. "At this stage of the game, it's all about the money and I think you're going to see the candidates with the biggest fund raising making it through the end of the year," Political Consultant Joseph Mercurio said.

Does Sharpton's endorsement matter? CBS 2 polled some New Yorkers and the results were mixed, but the majority appeared to lean toward the side that believes Sharpton's endorsement will make a difference.

Team Obama did not immediately return calls seeking comment. Sharpton says they reached out to him this morning, but he didn't take the call. He adds he won't make his endorsement until after his National Action Network summit next month. Obama, Clinton and other candidates are scheduled to attend.