Clinton suggests tapping wages
By CHARLES BABINGTON, Associated Press Writer 4
WASHINGTON - Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton said
Sunday she might be willing to have workers' wages
garnisheed if they refuse to buy health insurance to
achieve coverage for all Americans.
The New York senator has criticized presidential rival
Barack Obama for pushing a health plan that would not
require universal coverage. Clinton has not always
specified the enforcement measures she would embrace,
but when pressed during a television interview, she
said: "I think there are a number of mechanisms" that
are possible, including "going after people's wages,
Clinton said such measures would apply only to workers
who can afford health coverage but refuse to buy it,
which puts undue pressure on hospitals and emergency
rooms. Under her plan, she said, health care "will be
affordable for everyone" because she would limit
premium payments "to a low percent of your income."
Clinton also suggested Obama would be more susceptible
to Republican attack ads in a general election because
he has not been scrutinized for years as she has.
"I've been through the Republican attacks over and
over again," she said on ABC's "This Week." When Obama
was elected to the Senate from Illinois in 2004, she
said, he "didn't face anyone who ran attack ads"
comparable to those aimed at her.
Obama countered, saying Republicans and independents
would be more inclined to oppose Clinton than him in a
The problem is "not all of Senator Clinton's making,"
he said, "but I don't think there's any doubt that the
Republicans consider her a polarizing figure," he said
on CBS' "Face the Nation."
The presidential contenders in both parties focused
their campaigning Sunday in some of the 24 states
holding primaries or caucuses on Super Tuesday.
Clinton was campaigning in Missouri and Minneapolis.
Obama scheduled a rally in Wilmington, Del., while
some of his highest-profile surrogates his wife,
Michelle, Oprah Winfrey and Caroline Kennedy were
rallying voters in Los Angeles.
Among Republicans, Arizona Sen. John McCain was
stumping in Connecticut, and former Massachusetts Gov.
Mitt Romney scheduled stops in Glen Ellyn, Ill., and
the St. Louis suburb of Maryland Heights. Former
Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee was concentrating on the
South, with appearances in Georgia and Tennessee.
McCain told "Fox News Sunday" he would veto any tax
increase passed by a Democratic-controlled Congress.
McCain, who opposed President Bush's first two tax
cuts, now says Congress should make the reductions
permanent, and that there also should be further tax
reductions for business investments.
His chief rival, Romney, told the ABC program that
McCain "doesn't understand the economy" and that his
advocacy of a higher gasoline tax to combat global
warming would hurt U.S. consumers.
Romney repeated his claim that McCain is outside the
"If we want a party that is indistinguishable from
Hillary Clinton on an issue like illegal immigration,"
Romney said, "we're going to have John McCain as a
nominee. That's the wrong way to go. Instead, I
believe that you're going to want to have somebody who
can show a contrast on issues like campaign finance
reform, like illegal immigration, like global
McCain, who also appeared on "Face the Nation," said
he is "far more conservative" than Romney.
Huckabee said it was time for Romney, who lost major
contests in South Carolina and Florida to McCain, to
drop out of the race.
"I think it's time for Mitt Romney to step aside," the
former governor, who has won only the Iowa caucuses,
said on CNN. "If he wants to call it a two-man race,
fine. But that makes it John McCain and me."
(This version CORRECTS UPDATES with Obama, SUBS lede
for clarification, corrects that Huckabee said Romney
should drop out, sted Romney saying Huckabee should
quit; UPDATES photos.)