COLUMBIA, S.C. - Two black ministers listed by Barack Obama's campaign as endorsing his White House bid say they did not do so, and at least two others affirmed their support only after being contacted by campaign workers when questions were raised about their endorsements.
The Illinois senator's campaign this month released a list of what it said were nearly 130 senior pastors in South Carolina endorsing his run for the Democratic presidential nomination. But when contacted by the Associated Press, several ministers said they had not decided who would get their vote and were unclear how they ended up on Obama's list.
"I really haven't decided to endorse him yet," said the Rev. Clifford Gaymon of Zion Hill Missionary Baptist Church in rural Clarendon County. "I was thinking about it."
An Obama spokeswoman, Amaya Smith, said the list was created after campaign organizers called ministers and asked to make their names public. "We used all our resources to ensure we had the most accurate and up-to-date list, and we worked to check with everyone on the list," Smith said.
Some ministers said their names were used without their permission. One, the Rev. Michael Blue of Door of Hope Christian Church in Marion, has asked the campaign to take his name off the list, church spokesman Ronnie Green said.
Inaccuracies and murky tallies are not unique to Obama's campaign when touting endorsements of black ministers in South Carolina. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton ran into some of the same questions after her campaign released its own list of endorsements last month. The majority of people endorsing each candidate was accurate, the AP reviews found.
Giuliani's doctor says he's healthy
WASHINGTON - One week after a severe headache forced Rudy Giuliani to spend a night at a St. Louis hospital, his doctor yesterday declared the Republican candidate to be "in very good health."
The statement from Giuliani's personal physician, Valentin Fuster, of New York's Mount Sinai Medical Center, said he was told Dec. 19 that the former New York mayor was suffering from "a significant headache and fatigue."
He said that at the St. Louis hospital, Giuliani underwent a "CT-MRI of the brain, ultrasound of the carotid arteries, and spinal fluid evaluation," and that "these tests all came back normal." A PSA screening - a test done for prostate cancer, which Giuliani has had - "was negligible or undetectable." Fuster said Giuliani was not prescribed any medication.