Republican Challenger Denies Slight on Sen. Clinton

Sen. Hillary Clinton's Republican challenger on Monday flatly denied telling a reporter that Clinton was unattractive when she was younger and suggesting she had had "millions of dollars" of "work."

John Spencer, a former Yonkers mayor, acknowledged talking to the reporter during a flight on Friday but said he didn't make the statements attributed to him in Monday's New York Daily News.

"It's a fabrication. I would never call Hillary Clinton ugly," Spencer told The Associated Press. "That's outrageous. I didn't do it."

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The reporter, Ben Smith, told the AP that Spencer made the comments as Spencer, his wife and Smith sat together. He said he didn't tape-record the comments but did take notes.

"You ever see a picture of her back then? Whew. I don't know why Bill married her," The Daily News quoted Spencer as saying about Clinton.

Spencer said Clinton looks different now, chalking it up to "millions of dollars" of "work," according to the tabloid.

"She looks good now," he is quoted as saying.

Campaigning north of Albany at a senior citizens' center on Monday, Clinton said Spencer was treading into "swampy territory" with his reported comments.

"It's unfortunate that when you don't have anything positive to say about the issues that we can get off in some pretty swampy territory," she said.

Clinton adviser Howard Wolfson added that Clinton has had no plastic surgery or similar appearance-enhancing work.

"Sadly, this is just the latest in a long line of insulting and offensive comments that John Spencer has made throughout his career, and it's unfortunate that he has chosen to run a campaign based on personal attacks," the Clinton aide said.

Polls have shown Clinton far ahead of Spencer in the Senate race.

In their second debate on Sunday, Spencer said he "liked" Clinton and that she would make a "tremendous" candidate for president, although he also said he would never vote for her.

The Clintons recently celebrated their 31st wedding anniversary. She turns 59 on Thursday.