April 22nd, 2008
10:28 AM ET
14 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. Stacy Clarks, TX

    Obama came behind from a 30 POINT LEAD!!!!

    Anything within the single digits is a win for Obama to me!!!

    Given the name recognition advantage the Clintons had, I would say Obama came up the winner

    and to Clinton, why didn't she "close the deal" on super tuesday as planned?

    OBAMA 08!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 22, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  2. Bridgette

    Why can't she close the deal. She had almost a 30 point lead at one time and now she is struggling to win the state. So who actually can't close the deal. And the only way she can get the votes is to try and use fear tactics. He has more popular votes, more delegates, and has won more states and who can't close the deal.

    April 22, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  3. Jan

    Hillary is so right on.

    He has out spent her 3 to 1, and the sad part is that Obama's
    contributors are the small $5-10-25-50 from those people who are
    on welfare and food stamps.

    Go Figure

    April 22, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  4. Angus McDugan

    After watching Bill singlehandedly destroy her campaign, maybe she wishes Obama would close the deal so she can drop out.

    April 22, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  5. Gorbashov, Long Beach, Ca.

    Two months ago she was up by 20 pts. Nice spin.

    If she doesn't win by double digits she should get out!

    Democrats Unite!

    April 22, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  6. Ty

    I think Barack has a good strategy. Continue to flex your money power to force her to try and keep up...and we all know that means she will run into more debt...with an outcome that might be desirable

    April 22, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  7. Trev

    I agree. Obama cannot buy an election.

    April 22, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  8. Rob

    why can't he close the deal? He's the young upstart facing off against the Queen of the Democrats. He's fighting 25 years of the Clinton establishment and has beat them. Sure he Needs to outspend but the bigger question is how was he able to out raise the Clinton machine? I'm sure if she had the fund raising she'd be the one out spending.

    April 22, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  9. Scott, Wichita

    I have to admit, she does have a point...

    Oh, and why can't they use all this money they're fundraising to hack at each other for something constructive?
    Spend 1 million to put this ad on the air:

    "I raised 40 million dollars for advertising in Pennsylvania, but instead of buying TV Ads, I spent it all helping to start repairing problems and issues in the state... Vote for me."

    April 22, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  10. 58 old white ladies for OBAMA



    April 22, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  11. SheriBaby

    Seriously Hill, call it a day please, so that the winner has time to build up a serious campaign leading to November.

    Even if she gets 60% of the votes in EVERY remaining primary, Obama will still reach the requiredp a 2,025 delegates first. It's abundandtly clear that this is not a likely scenario, so dragging this on any longer does not serve anyone well. Don't be a Huckabee and overstay your welcome, long after the math no longer adds up. Exit with grace and dignity. No reason why you can't run again in 8 years.

    April 22, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  12. Anthony, Baltimore, MD

    Wrong question Senator Clinton! The better question is Why are you losing the Democratic presidential nomination to Barack Obama? We were subjected to months of predictions that Clinton was going to seal up the nomination by Super Tuesday. Since then the talking heads keep predicting her come back. Stop playing games Mrs. Clinton. You and your husband thought a sense of obligation on the part of the Democratic Party would crown you queen. Not this time. Why can't Clinton close the deal? Answer: It's time for a change and Clinton doesn't meet that definition.
    We need to end this and move on to beating John McCain in November.

    April 22, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  13. clarity

    If Obama can't close the deal in the major primary blue and swing states... especially after spending so much – he'll have no chance at closing the deal for the Dems in Novemeber.

    He'd make a good VP though.

    April 22, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  14. honkey white guy from cali

    It is simple you crazy women You are using the same fear tactics and negative garbage the GOP uses to win elections that is why and hum lets see the state is by far overwhelmingly you group of support with almost none of his core group in that state the real question is why are you not receiving a Blow out win!

    Easy these people you have pulled wool over there eyes for far to long and your lies and tricks are very obvious and disgusting! Go join the GOP it is were you belong we no longer want you in the democratic party take you husband with you please!!!

    Go Obama 08 Yes We Can

    April 22, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  15. Manuel TX


    Obama can't close the deal.

    He couldn't do it in Texas either...with the actual popular vote. 🙂

    April 22, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  16. Roger

    Hillary, you don't look good in tears so stop crying.

    April 22, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  17. Bill in NYC

    I wonder if she ever gets tired of moving the goalposts.

    Let's speculate – what if things were the exact opposite? Clinton with Obama's lead in the popular vote and pledged delegates. Let's say Clinton won all of the states that Obama has won and vice versa. Do you think she would still believe that big states are the only ones that matter? Do you think that she would be wondering why she couldn't close the deal? Do you think that the party would allow this to continue?

    I would say a more accurate definition of not being able to close a deal would be a person who is incapable of holding onto a lead despite throwing the kitchen sink at the opposition.

    April 22, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  18. Kel from Auburn, AL

    Yeah, right Hillary.

    Just a few weeks ago you were saying you were going to crush him in this state. Now you're saying he should win? What the heck.

    You and your husband are full of it. I can't wait for Obama to be President.

    April 22, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  19. david goldmen for OBAMA



    OF DEPT.

    April 22, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  20. Really?

    Actually, Mr. Wolfson, the goal is to capture the most delegates to secure the nomination. HRC may win Pa, but will never get enough delegates to secure the nomination. HRC is wasting money and time tearing down a good man.

    April 22, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  21. Blake

    "Huh?" I said, while scratching my head with a puzzled gaze.

    So it is negative that Obama has financial support and she doesn't?

    I do not understand Hilary in Wonderland. If she keeps chasing this white "house" rabbit we all will reap what she has sown.

    April 22, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  22. Boye

    Well I think I would rather go for a candidate that cannot "close the deal" than the one who doesn't even have a deal to close.

    April 22, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  23. AL

    If Hillary Clinton had an ounce of sense, she would tell the Democratic Party that based on their shaft job of her, she is going to run as an Independent. Obama is a lot like Bush: young, arrogant, petulant and in experienced. God save us if he wins the White House!

    April 22, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  24. skh4450IL

    Just a few more weeks and she's toast. The end can't come quick enough for me.

    OBAMA 2008

    April 22, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  25. Doug, DC

    I think it's funny how the self-proclaimed favorite for the Democratic nominations is questioning why Senator Obama can't close the deal. The bigger question is why you can't beat a literal political novist in the biggest campaign of your career?? You're the heavy favorite in every BIG state and every BIG state Obama ends up closing the margins.

    This is a dumb question. They only question that you should be concerned with HRC is why aren't you able to win the popular vote or pledged delegate vote??

    April 22, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
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