ROCKY MOUNT - Sen. Barack Obama makes his first foray into Eastern North Carolina today, hoping to shore up support among rural and small-town voters.
But controversy over remarks he made last week could distract those very people.
Speaking about people who have seen companies and jobs leave their towns, he said, "It's not surprising then that they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations."
The campaign of his opponent, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, who also will be in North Carolina this week, has portrayed Obama's remarks as elitist and condescending. But polling and interviews at a party rally Tuesday night in Rocky Mount showed little apparent damage to Obama so far in North Carolina's May 6 Democratic presidential primary campaign.
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