PRESS RELEASE from DeFazio for Congress

March 12, 2008
Contact: Jen Gilbreath, (541) 485-1622 or

DeFazio urges democratic contenders to campaign against McCain the next few weeks, not each other

(EUGENE, OR) Representative Peter DeFazio (D-OR) today sent a letter to Senators Clinton and Obama urging the candidates to stop fighting each other and to start fighting John McCain who, if elected, would represent the third Bush term. DeFazio suggested that the campaigns use the next six weeks to show voters how they would conduct a campaign against McCain in the general election.

The following letter was sent today to both democratic Presidential candidates.

Dear Senator Clinton and Senator Obama:

I write today as a concerned member of the Democratic Party and an uncommitted super delegate.

I appreciated the manner in which you both conducted your campaigns during the early primary process. It was a manner that respected the other and tried to highlight policy differences without resorting to destructive smear campaigns.

In the lead up to the March 4th primaries, the tone of both campaigns shifted and the civility that I had appreciated disappeared. The long term goal of beating the Republican nominee took a back seat to the short term goal of proving one's viability by tearing down the other Democratic candidate. We lost sight of the general election, we lost sight of the true opponent and if we continue to be shortsighted, I fear we will lose in November.

The heated rhetoric between both campaigns has continued to intensify as we head into the Pennsylvania primary. While you trade barbs, McCain is uniting the Republican Party around his thinly disguised right wing agenda. In the next six weeks, McCain can sit back, amass his war chest, concentrate his base and delight as you deconstruct each other.

I propose that you not allow him that luxury. You both claim to be better suited than the other to take on the so-called Straight-Talk Express, so prove it. Run the next six weeks of your campaign against McCain, not against the other Democrat. Go after McCain for his policy positions, not the other Democrat for theirs. Allow the Democratic voters to believe in a campaign that can provide a new direction for this country and stop McCain from continuing the failed policies of the Bush Administration. In the end, it is the candidate who can take the fight to McCain and win that deserves my support and, most importantly, the support of the Democratic Party.

Both of your campaigns have been built on the fundamental idea that if elected, you will bring about change. Let's change the way we are doing business in this primary election. In the last few months, you have been running for the Democratic nomination. In the next six weeks, I urge you start running for President.


Member of Congress

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