NEW YORK (CNN) – Hours before the polls closed Tuesday in the final two Democratic presidential primaries, the Republican National Committee began circulating a video of Hillary Clinton questioning Barack Obama’s qualifications to be commander-in-chief, and acknowledging John McCain has this important presidential credential.
“Senator McCain will bring a lifetime of experience to the campaign, I will bring a lifetime of experience and Senator Obama will bring a speech that he gave in 2002,” Clinton says in the one-minute video of CNN’s coverage of a news conference she held on March 8 – the day Obama won the Wyoming caucuses. “I think that is a significant difference. I think that since we now know Senator McCain will be the nominee for the Republican Party, national security will be front and center in this election. We all know that.
"And I think it is imperative that each of us be able to demonstrate we can cross the commander-in-chief threshold. And I believe I have done that. Certainly, Senator McCain has done that. And you will have to ask Senator Obama with respect to his candidacy.”
The RNC posted the video on YouTube early Tuesday afternoon, just as Obama was on the verge of locking up the Democratic nomination and speculation heated up about Clinton being his running mate.
Tonight, South Dakota and Montana Democrats hold the final two contests of the primary season. Obama is expected to secure the support of enough delegates to claim the party’s presidential nomination as early as tonight, and but no later than the end of this week.
An RNC official tells CNN to expect to see more of Republicans highlighting Clinton’s critical comments of Obama as the campaign now turns to the general election phase.
“We will use it repeatedly,” the official said.