Bradley Experiences More Heart Trouble

By Bob Melvin | July 7, 2008 | 8:25 PM EDT

( - Democratic presidential candidate and former US senator Bill Bradley experienced another irregular heartbeat episode several days ago, his fifth in the past month, but didn't require a doctor's attention, his campaign officials said on Friday.

Bradley, who has a non-life threatening heart condition, didn't tell his staff about the episode until Friday after reporters' inquiries. He then could not remember if the incident occurred on Sunday or Monday, campaign officials said.

"He forgot about it," said Bradley spokesman Eric Hauser. He said the irregular heartbeat was "very, very short and very, very minor."

Bradley disclosed on December 10th that he had an arythmic heartbeat since 1996. Bradley's heart problem seven weeks ago caused him to cancel a campaign event because his heart wouldn't stop racing.The former senator from New Jersey called the condition a minor irritation, and he said that he hadn't felt the need to reveal his condition to the press and public.

A week ago, just days before Monday's Iowa caucuses, Bradley acknowledged suffering four more episodes between Christmas and January 16th.

The latest disclosure again comes at an awkward time, four days before the nation's first primary is held in New Hampshire, a state where Bradley needs to win or do well to stay competitive against Vice President Al Gore.

Anita Dunn, the campaign's communications director, told wire service reporters that Bradley did not see his doctor after the latest episode and had been taking his medication regularly to control the condition. Bradley didn't know why the incident happened, although Dunn insisted it wasn't related to stress.

Asked why Bradley didn't disclose the latest incident right away, Dunn said, "He has said before that he was not going to notify people about these minor episodes when no medical intervention was required. He had forgotten all about it."

Polls indicate Bradley is trailing Gore in New Hampshire with the first-in-the-nation primary to be held on Tuesday, February 1st.