From NBC/NJ's Aswini Anburajan
On a conference call to respond to the "3 am" ad that the Clinton campaign went on air with today, former Secretary of the Navy Richard Danzig, an Obama supporter, gave a terse response when asked if Clinton should drop out after March 4th.
"I would encourage you on March 5th to call Sen. Clinton at 3 a.m. and ask that question," Danzig said.
A morning (and early afternoon) of dueling conference calls and spin started with Obama campaign manager David Plouffe dismissing the Clinton ad. Since that mid-morning call, both Obama and three of his national co-chairs have responded.
Stressing that Clinton failed in her own "red-phone moment," Sen. Dick Durbin today referred to 12:50 a.m. on October 2002 when Congress voted to authorize President Bush to go to war. Durbin called that night a "red-phone moment" and said that 77 senators, including Clinton and McCain failed exercise the right judgment.
Gen. Tony McPeak (Ret.), the former Air Force chief of staff, told reporters that if they want to see who can handle the phone call at 3 a.m., they should examine the leadership the candidates have exercised over the course of this campaign.
"A campaign is a lot like a war in many respects," McPeak said. "If you want to know what kind of commander in chief Senator Obama would be why don't you look at the kind of campaigns that have been run?"
"Are you firing people? Are you loaning yourself money?" he continued.
He also argued that it wasn' t just judgment that was important at 3 a.m., but also temperment. Danzig also responded strongly, saying this type of ad feeds a wrong impression of what it takes to be president and argued that Obama had better judgment and leadership skills than the New York senator.