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. Mark

    What on earth is she talking about?

    Nobody has closed any deal including her. In fact she is the furthest from closing the deal.

    Unbelievable 🙁

    This type of spin is no different than the sniper fire debacle.

    I just don't understand why her followers buy into this stuff and what they see in her.

    Can you imagine the State of the Union addresses this woman would give? Boy, we would never know what's going on.

    April 22, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  2. Voice of Reason

    ... Queenie, if you're playing that game, why can't YOU close the deal either... and you're closing it even less well than Obama is... we're talking beyond Pennsylvania, now.

    ... the reason Obama outspends you is because you raise less and are in debt. If you had the money, it WOULD be used.

    I'm sure you'll eek out a win in Pennsylvania, and you've set up your damage control for a single digit win already... but you were up by over 30% once.

    So... what happened?

    Ahh, that's right... people realized you were full of it.

    April 22, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  3. Sandy

    IF Obama doesn't win PA, its because
    a) Only Democrats are voting in this primary. In PA, Independents cannot vote in the primary. Independents largely favor Obama. These same independents will not vote for McCain. And they are not allowed to vote.
    b) Many Republicans in PA and other states have switched their registration to Democrat, since their candidate, McCain, already has his nomination locked up. These people are voting for the candidate they think will be easier for McCain to beat – and that is Clinton.

    So think about that.

    April 22, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  4. Enough Already

    Why can't she get the message and get out of the race???? Barack Obama is running up against a twenty (20) year legacy. Come on people. It wasn't a level playing field to begin with, and he has done a GREAT job closing the deal.

    I see that the Clinton dynasty didn't want to run against the Bush dynasty in 2004. No way! Then she would have seen what it is like to run up against someone with the same playing field as her. She just wanted to take the easy way out. Hillary thought it was a cake walk...boy was she dead wrong:-)

    April 22, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  5. NC Voter

    He HAS closed the deal, Sen. Clinton! Not sure why you won't get up and leave this house; you are no longer the tenant here.

    April 22, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  6. Diana NJ

    I always hear Hillary remind us of Obama's financial advantage, since when, how and why Hillary lost that fund raising advantage with her day one ready experience. She does still have a big chunk of donations for the general election, her donors are smart enough to decide where they want to commit their money and get a good investment on return.

    April 22, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  7. Darth Billary

    Why is Billary LOSING?

    Popular Vote: Obama
    States Won: Obama
    Delegates: Obama

    Give it up you old bat!

    April 22, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  8. AZM

    The answer is simple:
    Because people are seeing the total hypocracy that is Obama!


    April 22, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  9. Brian

    Maybe because he is campaigning against the democratic version of Karl Rove? "A win is a win" and it looks like Obama will pick up a win in number of states, number of delegates, and popular vote. Oh and the superdelegates are essentially tied at this point. Are those wins, wins?

    April 22, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  10. The American People

    I no longer have any respect for the Clintons. If she can't win by 10 points its time to rethink her campaign. She did have a 20 point lead before Obama came to town.

    April 22, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  11. Nick, CA

    Hey, at least he has a deal to close. Shut up, please.

    April 22, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  12. Dan in CO

    Hillary, why didn't you close the deal on Super Tuesday?

    April 22, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  13. Grammy in Oklahoma

    Yes, Senator Obama has certainly outspent the Clinton campaign by 4 or 5 times and still is behind in the latest poll. Could it be that voters are beginning to realize that MONEY CORRUPTS and that Senator Obama is a corrupt candidate. After all, the Hamas terrorist organization is hoping he will win.

    We need a candidate who is 110% for the American people. We need a candidate who can bring back economic good times. We need Senator Hillary Clinton. Senator Obama did not bring his disrict in South Chicago economic good times. Take a virtual tour of the area-it is so very bad and sad.

    April 22, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  14. D R

    The reason he cannot close the deal is because of the intellect of the people that are voting in Ohio and PA. Now not all of them are dumb enough to fall for Clinton tactics, but some of them obviously are! How can she sell them on the notion that she didn't support NAFTA, and other deals that sent the steel industry to China????

    April 22, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  15. Nancy

    Hilliary who do you think you're fooling??? This from the candidate that indicated Obama could be a VP - the only problem is that she is trailing him. She is so full of herself....thinking she had the presidency in the bag. If it wasn't for Bill people would be Hilliary who??? Now Bill is showing his true face the one he hid in the white house. I hope that this crap ends in PA and Billary will go back to New York and make only the new yorker miserable.

    April 22, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  16. Lets Get Ready for Change!

    That stuff is getting too darn funny.

    When fighting a machine, the challenge is always great. This chick has the entire PA political machine behind her and she has the nerves to ask why Obama can't close the deal! Let get real! That is like asking why a person cannot win a fight when it is 10 against 1!

    April 22, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  17. Martin

    Surely Hillaries point affects her even more?

    If she thinks that the fact that Obama being unable to destroy her campaign means that he is not the best candidate then surely her inability to do likewise to him and that she is behind him means that she is the even MORE inferior candidate? By her own argument she should quit. However logic and reason are obviously NOT one of Hillary's strong points in this campaign. She's already suggest that a man unfit for President could be Vice President, and she's suggested that the McCain is better than Obama and yet Obama is by her logic again better than her. A win is a win maybe Hillary but when will you start adding up your losses and realizing that a loss is a loss?

    The one state that Hillary wins easily is the State of Denial.

    April 22, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  18. CT Chriss

    "Clinton, however, said the party would unite once the nominee emerged."

    He has emerged.

    It is hard to "close the deal" when the candidate who will not die [but will lie] chooses to destroy the chances of a Democrat winning the GE in November because she was not annointed.

    Time to unite behind Obama.

    April 22, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  19. Honest

    Clinton, why didnt you win in 11 straight contests? Do not try to spin this. You were 20 points ahead. And you never know, you may lose tonight too. Do not just count your eggs yet.

    April 22, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  20. Andrew

    It's over. Stop this nonsense! You tired politics will no longer serve the national interest.

    April 22, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  21. Al

    Heads up all!

    Mathematically Hillary Clinton MUST to win all the remaining states to be elected as the democratic presidential nominee:

    PA, IN, WV, OR, SD, Guam, NC, KY, MO, Puerto Rico and the Superdelegates with margins of 60-40 in order to win the nomination.

    A win in all states with 60% Clinton and 40% Obama.

    April 22, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  22. lhm

    There she goes grasping at whatever she can...

    And what does she mean by "Why can't he close the deal?" Why can't YOU close the deal?

    Obama 08

    April 22, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  23. mimi de la cruz for OBAMA





    April 22, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  24. Bukky

    The spin is stupid funny. She KNOWS she cant blow him out of the water so now she make it seems like a lose here is devastating. Anything less that a 10 point margin is the end of her, not to mention that she needs a 20point margin to keep hope alive

    April 22, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  25. kp

    People say they are for "change" but when its real, they fear it, and return to the staus quo. I'm afraid this country is too divided to bring about any real change that would help the millions who will vote against it.

    Obama for America and America for Obama!

    April 22, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
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