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. Rosie

    Bye bye Clinton. See you in 2016.

    April 22, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  2. ***AMERICAN***

    WOW...Arrogance=HRC. The real question is why can't you close the deal?

    April 22, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  3. Mr. C.

    LOL... the clintons would never stop amusing me. Talk about Spin Spin Spin. What happened to the 30% lead a couple of weeks back? Didn't they close up to only 5. Why??? because BO used his money wisely to close this gap.

    April 22, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  4. Lee WV

    A win is a win,then 28 wins to 12 is a win.More delegates is a win,Popular vote is a win.Then how is she going to win?When all of this started she was supposed to be the winner by now,however some voters had a different view.If on June 2 Obama is still ahead most pledged delegates and popular votes the superdelegates must go his way,or forget November.She has had PA locked up all along so what is the difference now?

    April 22, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  5. YY, LA, CA

    Because Obama is not good enough, and he should wait for some more years.

    April 22, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  6. Factcheckr

    Why can't Obama close the deal? Why can't Hillary Clinton hold onto the 22-point lead she had in Pennsylvania polls as recently as March? Could it be that to know her is to not like her?

    April 22, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  7. Dave in Atlanta

    The purpose of Obama's spending wasn't to secure PA. He always knew that would be next to impossible. The purpose was to force Clinton to spend all her money there. And in that end he has suceeded. The Clinton campaign is now broke.

    April 22, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  8. Jen in PA

    How about talking to the voters instead of to the superdelegates, since you're taking every chance to make your "pick me, pick me" argument in public. Sheesh. If you would have not expected a coronation, you might not be in this situation!

    April 22, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  9. christi

    I'm worried about her comments that she will obliterate Iran? HUH? Iran is a Pentagon created distraction. Is she so easily fooled by the Bush Aministration spin????

    April 22, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  10. Bessie

    Voters, don't be distracted by these serial Hillary bashers. All they are promoting is hatred. We've known Hillary for years cause she's been in the public eye, and there will be no surprises. Hillary is a fighter and she will fight for us. She is a candidate with solutions to help fix our economy, our country. Even Elizabeth Edwards has recently spoke out and praised Hillary's Universal Health Care Plan. Hillary CAN and WILL deliver. Vote for HILLARY!

    April 22, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  11. leicheco

    He spends the money because he can, HRC doesn't have any money to spend...poor thing. She is unable to manage her campaign, how is it she thinks she can manage the presidency?

    April 22, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  12. Annasia

    Why can't she get close to getting the deal?

    April 22, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  13. Ken

    Hillary Clintion is right on the money when she said that Obama CANNOT win the big states.

    Bill Clintion said it well when he said that if the Democrat's used the same policy as the Republicans to become the nominee, Hillary would be ahead of Obama.

    This is why we ALL must get behind Hillary Clintion and push her over the finish line, so that she can become our next president. America needs her!

    Obama needs to step aside and let Hillary Clintion become our next president, who by-the-way, the american people want as our next president.

    April 22, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  14. Sean

    It takes a lot of money to overcome the Clinton name. Let's talk more tomorrow...

    April 22, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  15. Terry

    the reason why barack is outspending the clinton campaign is because more people are donating to the obama campaign and she doesn't know how to manage her money. why does she still have 10 million dollars in debt?

    April 22, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  16. georgia

    Possibly because non-issue ,hate mongering roadblocks acertain tag-team keeps throwing out. But the good news is where others would have given up Obama is proving he can hang in w / the foulest of the foul & rise above. The reason is ,unlike some, he is genuine & for the good of all.

    April 22, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  17. cr

    The real question should be why can't SHE close the deal?

    With her "35 years experience", her initial war chest, the "Clinton Machine" behind her, and her initial status as frontrunner –
    why is she getting out maneuvered by a rookie senator no one knew 2 years ago!

    The only "big states" she won by a landslide was her own states (NY & AR). She won NJ by 9 points and TX by 4 points – not exactly blow outs considering she was 20 points ahead of Obama in those states.

    April 22, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  18. usmc vet

    Speak for yourself Hillary. Obama beat the former First Lady in 20+ states. Given her 20 year head start on popularity, I would be asking her why can't she close the deal.

    April 22, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  19. ed

    It's obvious that he has close the deal because Barack does not appeal to the entire democratic base as some, especialy the press, would like us to think.

    April 22, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  20. carrie

    i agree.
    he is winning,but you keep downplying it
    and u fool and scare the illiterate voters.
    you accept votes from republicans and illegalls.
    and if so many people wanted you to win,why are they not sending you money?
    republicans send u mponey because you are a republican and they want to destabilize the democratic party.
    all your friends have climbed aboard the obama wagon
    because they know you

    drop put of the race NOW you shameless witch.

    April 22, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  21. tidho

    ...says the woman that staryed the campaign as a virtual lock?

    April 22, 2008 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  22. JP in Atlanta

    Fair question to Obama. However, a fair question to ask Clinton -with your 35 years of experience, 8 years in the White House, 7 years in the Senate, having the most famous name in the Democratic Party this side of the Kennedy's, why are you behind in states won, delegates, and popular vote to a freshman senator from Illinois?

    April 22, 2008 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  23. Stevo in PA

    Hill is Envy and Jealous. Obama has the money to spend. If Hill had
    1,000,000 donors like Obama she'd be outspending him as well. However, she owes so much to too many. Stop crying and get out the kitchen.

    A new Western "Billiary Mudslingers".

    April 22, 2008 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  24. Shiloh WA

    Cinton has over 30 years of name reconition and 8 years of that as First Lady. Obama's campaign $ are only an equalizer. The fact that he has raised the money is an important factor in considering finace management, organization, and judgement, appearently lacking in he Clinton camp.

    April 22, 2008 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  25. Dave

    I can't wait to hear how North Carolina and Indiana don't matter. They know they won't win either of those states so all you'll hear after Pennsylvania is Florida and Michigan should count.

    I will never understand why anyone would vote for Hillary.

    April 22, 2008 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
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