CONCORD, N.H. (AP) - A top campaign adviser to Hillary Rodham Clinton resigned Thursday, a day after suggesting Democrats should be wary of nominating Barack Obama because his teenage drug use could make it hard for him to win the presidency.
Clinton herself apologized to Obama as they waited to fly to Iowa for a debate.
Obama's campaign sent out a fundraising letter contending that "this kind of attack is becoming a pattern as Clinton's support declines."
Bill Shaheen, a national co-chairman for Clinton and a prominent New Hampshire political figure, had raised the issue of Obama's youthful drug use during a Wednesday interview, published on washingtonpost.com.
"I made a mistake and in light of what happened, I have made the personal decision that I will step down as the co-chair of the Hillary for President campaign," Shaheen said in a statement released by the campaign Thursday. "This election is too important, and we must all get back to electing the best qualified candidate who has the record of making change happen in this country. That candidate is Hillary Clinton."