Obama Stumped by Question About WA Nuclear Cleanup - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Obama Stumped by Question About WA Nuclear Cleanup

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     Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama
was stumped this weekend when a woman asked him about cleanup at
the nation's most contaminated nuclear area: the Hanford site in
Washington state where scientists helped create the atomic bomb.
      Obama admitted he didn't know much about the problem, but
promised he would learn about it.
      At a campaign stop in Pendleton, Ore., yesterday, Obama said:
"Here's something that you will rarely hear from a politician, and
that is that I'm not familiar with the Hanford site, so I don't
know exactly what's going on there."
      A spokesman for the Republican National Committee called Obama's
answer proof the Illinois senator has little understanding of
issues that are important to families in Oregon and Washington.
During a visit to Washington state last week, Republican John
McCain said he would speed cleanup efforts at Hanford and push for
technological advances in disposing of nuclear waste.
      RNC spokesman Paul Lindsay asked: "How can Obama deliver change
if he doesn't even understand what needs to be changed?"
      The federal government created Hanford in the 1940s as part of
the top-secret Manhattan Project to build the atomic bomb. The
government now spends about $2 billion a year to clean up the site.
      (Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)