Hillary Rodham Clinton unveiled the first TV commercial of her Senate campaign Wednesday and also threw a jab back at conservative Pat Buchanan, who said she wasn't acting much like a lady.
The Clinton-Buchanan dispute started Saturday when the first lady told members of the New York wing of the Reform Party that she wouldn't run on their ticket if Buchanan were the party's presidential nominee.
Buchanan fired back Wednesday, telling the New York Daily News: "I don't think that kind of inflammatory language comports with being a first lady.''
''I think the first lady ought to always try to be a lady even if she falls short. She certainly did in this case,'' Buchanan said.
When asked about the comments, Clinton said Buchanan ''has a history of making prejudiced, anti-Semitic and intolerant comments.''
''That's why I said last Saturday that I wouldn't run on a ballot with him. I took the position that anyone who wants to represent all of New York and all New Yorkers should be taking,'' she said.
The comment was the closest Clinton came to criticizing her Senate rival, New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, who has been critical of Buchanan but stopped short of refusing to share the party's ticket with him. Since the mayor announced last week he has prostate cancer, Clinton has nearly eliminated criticism of him during her appearances.
The first TV ad paid for by her campaign focuses on Clinton's career as a lawyer and the causes she has worked for, including fighting child abuse and chairing the board of the Children's Defense Fund. It doesn't mention Giuliani -- or her husband.
''It never crossed my mind,'' she said when asked about not involving the president.
The first lady also reiterated her disagreement with her husband's administration over military exercises on Puerto Rico's Vieques Island. She said she wanted a quick referendum by local residents.
The administration has said a referendum should be held by 2002. The first lady called for the Pentagon to continue negotiations with protesters rather than forcing them off the island.
Also Wednesday, Giuliani addressed speculation about a woman pictured with him in the New York Post, which called her the mayor's ``mystery brunch pal.'' Giuliani called the woman, Judith Nathan, a ``very good friend'' whose privacy should be respected.
Giuliani is rarely seen in public with his wife, actress Donna Hanover. They have refused to answer questions about their marriage.
MARC HUMBERT, May 3, 2000, (AP) via NewsEdge Corporation
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