April 22nd, 2008
10:28 AM ET
15 years ago

Clinton on Obama: 'Why can't he close the deal?'

CONSHOHOCKEN, Pennsylvania (CNN) – Sen. Hillary Clinton said again that questions should be raised about Barack Obama’s candidacy if he is unable to pull off a win here, given the amount of time and money his campaign invested in the Keystone State.

“I think the question maybe ought to be why can't he close the deal,” Clinton told reporters outside of a polling place after greeting supporters. “With his extraordinary financial advantage why can't he win a state like this one if that's the way it turns out. ... The road to the White House for a Democrat leads right through Pennsylvania to Pennsylvania Avenue.”

Clinton said if she is victorious, “a win is a win” regardless of the margin. A close race, however, would limit her delegate pick-up and make it more challenging to catch Obama in the pledged delegate race.

“My opponent has outspent me probably three to one maybe four to one, an enormous effort on his part on TV, in radio, on the phones, in every way that is imaginable to try to win Pennsylvania. So I think a win under these circumstances is a tremendous accomplishment,” she said.

On a campaign conference call Monday, Clinton adviser Howard Wolfson made similar comments, pointing to Obama's cash advantage and telling reporters that winning Pennsylvania was a crucial test for any Democrat.

"The goal tomorrow is to come out of Pennsylvania with a 'W' and whether it's one vote or a hundred votes or a thousand votes or a hundred thousand votes, it does not matter," said Wolfson.

Clinton will spend the day conducting radio and satellite television interviews across the state. She is scheduled to travel to Indiana on Wednesday. The state holds its primary in two weeks, on May 6.

Filed under: Pennsylvania
soundoff (221 Responses)
  1. lynette

    Grammy in OK, I am shocked at you pushing those terrorists scare tactics. FYI, South Chicago is bad and sad because of institutionalized jim crow which started in the 1940's with the building of projects. Obama isn't Moses, he cannot part the waters to bring that kind of miracle to South Chicago after decades of poverty, you need to get real.

    April 22, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  2. Consider it all, a new brand versus established

    Clinton keeps complaining about the amount of money being spent by the Obama campaign. To be fair I think the Clinton camp should factor in the amounts previously spent to establish their brand. In the introduction of a new product to the market it is normal to have to out spend similiar existing products to establish themselves in the market place. If she can not grasp this simple concept do we really want her analysis of important policies.

    April 22, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  3. Lee WV

    Hillary has been picked to win PA all along,Instead of conceding the state Obama has forced her to spend millions of dollars to keep the gap as wide as possible.Will she have the financial support to continue this into NC and ID?Looks like a poor investment to me.

    April 22, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  4. smokesignals

    I don't understand either, why Hillary's supporters can't see through her shenanigans. She's the spinmeister for sure.

    What I am most concerned about is if people are genuinely switching parties to vote for the Democratic candidate they think will be easier to beat......Are they really doing that? And if they are, I think it's the most despicable, unAmerican thing I've ever heard of.

    April 22, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  5. Tim

    She needs a big win just to stay in the race. Her campaign is still on life support. She will still be benhind in States won, Pledge Delegates, Total Delegates, Popular Vote primary, National popular vote, and her campaign is in debt. This will be over for sure after NC.

    Obama 08

    April 22, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  6. natalie



    April 22, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  7. SK

    Hillary should be closing the deal not Obama. She was ahead in most states by a greater margin. She was also ahead in last years numbers.

    Why media is constantly looking for Obama to close the deal. People in all states know Clinton's for the past 30 years or more. Not many knew about Obama out side of his home state.

    If Clinton brand can not win then it should be discontinued.......

    April 22, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  8. Shelby

    Barack Obama has closed the deal and the majority of the country and the many who despise you can't understand why you can't seem to get that through your head. Mrs. Clinton, the USA is not a dynasty and we are sick of two families screwing up our country. We are sick of old politics and electing liars who say or do anything for their power trip. Because we fought for our freedom to separate ourselves from coronations and bowing down to egotistical, narcissistic myopic freaks who will put themselves before their country, the people and the party they supposedly represent.

    Get off your elitist highchair. We don't owe you the whitehouse.

    April 22, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  9. t

    why is that sad that ordinary people are taking a serious interest in the campaign? isnt that a good thing for our democracy? And its not sad that hillary is 9 million in debt because she cant excite people at all?

    April 22, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  10. last laugh

    Her point is so true. The funny thing is that Obama once again finds himself playing old politics and trying to BUY an election, the amount of money he is using to run smear campaigns and robo calling is amazing and it amounts to him trying to buy the election. He outspent Hillary in Texas and Ohio by the same amount and still not a win – that really says something – that people aren't sure about his ability to provide real, implementable solutions. Not all the money he spends goes into the PA economy folks let's be real.

    Hillary 08

    April 22, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |

    The game is not over yet, and believe or not Hillary will be the next president of United States, she is the most qualify to get the job done. Obama is not what you think he is, he has a porpose to destroy United States, imagine right now with Bush how can be expect to have an inexperience person that when you ask him a question the only thing he does is hum hn ah and avoid the answer he is a liar and hyprocrsy and arrogant, people WAKE UP WAKE UP!!!!

    April 22, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  12. Ray

    If Senator Clinton gets the Democratic nomination, I will be staying home come November...as will quite a few people that I know. I can't vote for McCain because of his position on Iraq and this sense that he's too out-of-touch with today's world, and I won't vote for Hillary because of how badly she and her campaign have bloodied the waters during this cycle. I'm tired of choosing the "lesser of two evils" so I'm going to exercise my right to protest by NOT going to the voting booth. At least I'll be able to sleep at night...

    April 22, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  13. Emma

    I am so sick and tired of the Clinton Campaign moving the goal posts. Everyone knows that Senator Obama was down at least by 20 points or more and yes he has outspent the Clinton Campaign. This is the reason that the difference is in the single digits.

    I don't understand why Americans are so gullible and believe everything that the Clinton Campaign espouses. If Senator Obama had not outspent her, he probably would be down by 30 points.

    I wish that Pennsylvania give the Clintons' a kick in the pants and Senator Obama wins. I would love to see her squirm and say, he was expected to win with all the new voters and then she would be on to Indiana and then North Carolina. She would find an excuse to stay in the race.

    Obama 2008! Proudly supported him financially and will gladly give more!

    April 22, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  14. typical white person

    Blake, what are you smokin'?? So you think that the millions spent on commercials somehow goes for PA state taxes!?!?! The people who make commercials are not living in PA, they are WORKING in PA, you pay taxes to your HOME state....

    April 22, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  15. Alex in TX

    National poll shows Obama with a 10 point lead. Keep talking Hillary. It only goes up the more you speak.

    April 22, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  16. Pamela-NC40ywf

    Why is she LOSING THE DEAL? This was her state by 20 points and he's got her down to 5-10% in only 6 weeks....and that's not 6 weeks of being in the state constantly! She LOST her lead when ever he talked to people and as they got to know him. This state is supposed to be full of HER base....how is it now that she has lost support from some of her own base. It isn't because he is out spending her on commercial ads. People are smarter than to make a decision based on TV ads!
    I think it is telling how she spins the fact that she has blown her lead with her base into how he can't close the deal. What else does she spin? Maybe she has her own definition of 'truth'. Kindof like her husband had his own definition of 'sex' and of 'is'.
    Obama '08

    April 22, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  17. Greg

    The only reason Obama has not closed the deal is because Clinton has put her interests above those of her party, and worse yet her country.

    She has virtually no chance to win this nomination yet she continues to try to drag down her opponent, all the while helping the person who should be their common opponent.

    Regardless of what happens in PA (and she SHOULD win by huge numbers given the favorable demographics), she cannot catch Obama in pledged delegates under any circumstances.

    Anyone with a shred of character would see the light and do what is best for the party, as well as the country.

    Unfortunately for all of us, Clinton has not an iota of character.

    April 22, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  18. Damian

    He's reaising more money, is winning the popular vote, winning in the delegate count, closing in on the super delegate count (I expect he'll be winning that by the end of the week) ahead in the nationwide polls, cut down the huge lead in PA, what more does she want. The deals closed, she just doesnt' want to accept it.

    April 22, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  19. Hillary

    I think a smarter question should be this: Hillary Clinton comes from a dynasty. She has her husband former President Clinton who is admired by many, she has the people in highest offices backing her, and she apparently (according to tax returns) has millions of dollars in the bank. So the question is being that you come from a Dynasty, why haven't you already won Hillary? If you can't even beat a "rookie" Senator from Illinois, then how can you match the "maverick" Mccain?

    April 22, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  20. AB

    OK lets all ask questions...why did Hillary Clinton's lead vanish from a double digit lead down to 5 in PA inspite support from a popular Govenor and 2 sitting mayors in the State; why has Sen Obama won twice as much States as Hillary; why is she still behind in delegates, and popular votes inspite that sense of inevitability 15 mths ago by the Clintons..etc, etc, etc....

    April 22, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  21. Mary

    I'll tell you why. He is a man of God and would never stoop to Hillary's level.

    April 22, 2008 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
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