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Clinton denies exploiting gender in presidential campaign
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15:17, November 16, 2007

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U.S. Democratic presidential forerunner Hillary Clinton denied that she has exploited her gender to woo voters in the presidential campaign in the latest TV live debate Thursday night.

During the CNN-sponsored TV debate in Las Vegas, Nevada, Clinton was seated in the center of the stage with the other six male presidential candidates on both sides.

Asked whether she and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, have tried to exploit her gender as an edge over the male candidates in the campaign, Clinton said that she runs for presidency "not because I am a woman but because I am the best qualified and experienced" candidate.

"I am not exploiting anything at all," Clinton said. "I am not playing the gender card here in Las Vegas, (and) I am playing the winner card."

When the CNN questioner mentioned that her husband had accused other male candidates of being "tough" on her lately, the New York Senator said she was attacked not because she is a woman, but "a head." The remarks received lasting applause.

Clinton, who led the Democratic presidential candidate camp in national polls, became the bull's eye in the last TV debate in North Carolina, where her candor and credibility came in for fierce attacks.

Clinton, who has been criticized for her universal healthcare program, stepped up her challenge toward former Senator John Edwards and Barack Obama, also a leading candidate in the presidential race, over their healthcare records.

She said that Edwards did not support universal healthcare when he ran for presidency in 2004 but does now.

Obama, on the other hand, proposed a healthcare plan that would leave about 15 million Americans uncovered, she said.

Obama defended himself by saying his plan also focused on bringing down costs.

"I don't think the problem with the American people is that they are not being forced to get healthcare, the problem is they can't afford it," said the Illinois Senator.

Source: Xinhua

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