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The Kadima campaign has gathered a collection of negative quotes about Likud chairman Binyamin Netanyahu from US secretary of state designate Hillary Clinton and her husband, former US president Bill Clinton, Kadima strategists said Monday.
A final decision has not been made yet in the campaign about whether to use the quotes and efforts are still being made to verify their authenticity. Kadima officials declined to reveal the quotes in their arsenal, saying that they were "saving them for the right time."
One source for the quotes has been The Missing Peace, a book by former Middle East envoy Dennis Ross, who is expected to play a central role in Clinton's state department. Ross is critical of Netanyahu throughout the book.
The Kadima campaign already made use of Ross's book when it distributed copies of a page where Ross told a story about Netanyahu's negotiator on the Syria front, businessman Ronald Lauder, allegedly sending Bill Clinton a letter testifying to how far Netanyahu was willing to go to achieve peace with Syria.
The Likud campaign responded by calling Kadima's usage of the Clintons in a negative campaign "ridiculous." Sources close to Netanyahu said they were unaware of negative quotes from Hillary Clinton about the Likud leader.
"What matters is that Netanyahu has built up good relations with Obama," a senior Likud official said. "There was chemistry between them in their two meetings. Netanyahu's ties with the Obama administration are so deep that nothing can get in the way."
Netanyahu praised Obama on Monday, saying that there was symbolism in his election and that the United States "displayed its greatness" when it elected him president.
"Obama understands Israel's problems and the cruelty of its enemies," Netanyahu said.
Kadima Leader Tzipi Livni bashed Netanyahu in an interview with Channel 10, accusing him of lacking the good judgment and coolheadedness needed to be prime minister.
"The public doesn't just want a strong leader, but a smart leader, who knows when to attack and when to stop," Livni said, referring to Netanyahu's quotes during hospital visits on Sunday and Monday about the war with Hamas being "unfinished."
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