Obama: Nader not listening

Barack Obama dismissed Ralph Nader's claim that the Democratic candidate is trying to “talk white” and has failed to challenge the power structure to appeal to “white guilt.”

Obama told reporters on Wednesday that Nader, who has run for president several times, including 2000 and 2004, was trying to get attention with “an inflammatory statement.”

In a story published Wednesday, the Denver-based Rocky Mountain News reported that Nader said he was not impressed with Obama and that the senator was playing down poverty issues.

“I haven't heard him have a strong crackdown on economic exploitation in the ghettos. Payday loans, predatory lending, asbestos, lead. What's keeping him from doing that? Is it because he wants to talk white? He doesn't want to appear like Jesse Jackson?” Nader said.

Obama said Nader hadn't been paying attention because he has discussed predatory lending, housing foreclosures and similar economic issues throughout his campaign. Associated Press

Obama to help Clinton erase campaign debt

Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama is sharing one his most valuable assets – his top fundraisers – with former rival Hillary Clinton to help her pay off her debt.

Obama on Tuesday asked his finance team to help Clinton pay back at least $10million from her failed presidential campaign, setting the stage for joint appearances by the two former rivals later this week.

“What I said was to my large donors who are in a position to write large checks, to help Senator Clinton retire her debt, or at least a portion of it. And I think they're going to be those who are willing to do so,” Obama told reporters in Chicago.

Obama's green light to his money bundlers came before he and Clinton were scheduled to meet in Washington today with some of her top fundraisers in a show of unity.

On Friday, the two planned to campaign together in New Hampshire.

The former first lady and New York senator reported a $22.5 million debt at the end of May, more than half of which was a personal loan to her presidential campaign. Associated Press

Bush says Democrats are ‘running on empty'

Campaigning for fellow Republican John McCain in a crucial swing state, President Bush accused Democrats Wednesday of “running on empty” on energy policy, “acting like teenagers with a new credit card” on federal spending and heeding warnings from anti-war activists more than those from Osama bin Laden.

Bush never mentioned the name of McCain's opponent in the November race to succeed him. But his criticism of Democratic leadership clearly was meant to include Barack Obama.

The speech, before a group of about 300 supporters raising money for the state Republican Party, came as Bush is significantly stepping up efforts on McCain's behalf. Associated Press