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. Kenneth M


    April 22, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  2. Paul

    WOW, now that is a lie of lies. He just said those comments yesterday and now he's denying he ever said them. Bill Clinton's legacy is falling harder then Hillary's campaign. Someone needs to put a cork in his mouth before he really hurts someone. This lie is almost as bad as his "I never had sex with that woman" lie. Wow Bill, you are a work of art.

    April 22, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  3. Steve

    "A win is a win" ... even the small states, Hillary???

    April 22, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  4. R.O.B.

    It's because PA has more registered older voters than younger voters.
    Older people tend to be stubborn and stuck in their ways and are not open minded to change (take that how you want to take it). That's not just in PA either. Also, Clinton is well known. PA residents claim that they don't know enough about Obama. So, Obama had to spend more than Clinton to get some recognition within the state to even have a chance of winning. Plus, he has the money, and from who? The American People. Hillary is talking all that nonsense but if she had the money to spend, she would have spent more than what she did. Obama outspent her 3 to 1 because he had 3 to 1 more money than she did. It doesn't take a genius to figure that one out. And last but not least Obama gained ground on Clinton, she's trying to make it seem like he spent all that money and didn't get any results or didn't make any kind of progress. I hope Hillary loses, then maybe she'll see who's really out of touch with the American people.

    OBAMA '08

    April 22, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  5. Hillarygetoutof theracenow

    You and your husband had roots in pennsyvani witch, you were leading 20 to 30% three weeks ago. Now after people in pennsyvania get to know Barack you lead shrinked to 5 to 7%, that is what closing deal is about, after pennsyvania he will still be ahead in everything, nothing will change.

    April 22, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  6. K

    Um, the results aren't in yet? I'll bet he just might "close the deal"

    April 22, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  7. Siamak

    Well, I think convincing people to change their mind is an extreemly task to do. remeber Hillary once had over 20 point advantage. right now some polls show only 5-7. I am a bit disappointed if Hillary doesn't count this as a victory for Obama. Just imagine how much the media acted negatively in the last few days to destroy Obama to see how much his attempt is precious.

    April 22, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  8. mama4obama

    We all know people dont like change. There is a sense of security in keeping what we know. That does not always mean that we are headed in the right direction, but that we feel that at least we know what is going on.

    I, however, am for change. I dont want to lose another job to NAFTA, CAFTA or any other countries that the Clinton's choose to sell us out to. I dont want chinese dogfood poising my pets or toys tainted with drugs.

    I want my kids future and the future of their children later to be brighter than what we are living today.

    The only way we are going to survive is to vote someone who doesnt play typical politics.

    OBAMA 08

    April 22, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  9. Andre

    Grammy are you serious? Hey why don't you Google Paul vs Clinton, and or Peter Paul and then talk about corruption. There are so many gulliable people in this country. People who are so naive that they thought Iraq

    April 22, 2008 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  10. Karen, TN

    The reason he has to spend so much money is that his name is not Clinton. People already know the Clintons – he's coming from way behind and having to introduce himself to people. I think the fact that he is able to come from so far behind in PA and get anywhere close to HRC is a major accomplishment, and speaks to his electability more than anything else.

    April 22, 2008 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  11. George

    Hillary Clinton can't close the deal and America is better for not having her as President. In her attempt to show strength, we are seeing how hawkish she can be. Anyone who speaks of obliterating another nation of people, as she did in the case of Iran, lacks the humanity any country should seek in a President. Genocide in any form is a crime against humanity.

    April 22, 2008 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  12. Dan, IL

    Being from Illinois and seeing that Obama has not produced, sponsored, or co-sponsored any significant piece of true bipartisan legislation – I should add that he has not been sponsor of ANY significant legislation – I prefer to believe the good people of Pennsylvania have just figured him out.

    However, I will take great satisfaction watching one lose the primary and the other lose the general. This will be one of the most entertaining elections of recent memory. I'm not real big on McCain, but, he's better for our country than Clinton and Obama put together.

    April 22, 2008 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  13. dwarren@landam.com

    Shouldn't the question be 'why can't the spouse of a very popular former president who also happens to be a Senator from New York and probably had, at the start of this campaign, the greatest name recognition of any woman in the world win her party's nomination?'

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

    Hey Grammy in Oklahoma, have you taken a look at the South Bronx, or Bedford Sty or Jamaica Queens. Talk what you know!

    April 22, 2008 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  15. Theresa

    Hillary is a well known candiate why is she still behind. Senator Clinton has more ads in South Carolina and didn't win.
    Obama 08

    April 22, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  16. David

    Money can't buy people mrs Clinton.
    You were leading by 20 point but now is like 7 point.
    Why did you still have to be talking?

    April 22, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  17. oletu

    clinton should stop saying that he should win because of outspending her. we all know that clinton is an esterblished name compare to obama, so he need to spend alot to make people know him and his message .

    April 22, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  18. Go Away

    Hillary you are pathetic you still have a place to talk? My god how far will you go with your lies?

    April 22, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  19. PJ, New York Independent

    Ummm.... she's right.

    Of course the Obama supporter's will disagree.

    April 22, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  20. Carl

    if you support one or the other doesn't make you stupid or brilliant or dumb or elitist... it is YOUR OPINION AND YOUR DECISION...

    stop spitting out dumb rhetoric... sadly mostly from the Obama supporters... about 75% of the Obama supporters are ruthless, rude, and arrogant... who would want to side with you?

    My point is vote for who you think is best.

    April 22, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  21. Maggie

    OK CNN, stop the moderation and post for crying out loud

    April 22, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  22. Mike in California

    He has won ONE big state...his OWN...this is a joke!
    He dominates some cacuses (where turnout is around 10%) and we're going to hand him the nomination???
    Super Deleates: Pay attention, this guys is Dukakis!

    April 22, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  23. GG/NYC

    D R: Don't you understand that soundbites like "she didn't support NAFTA" do not accurately represent the position of the parties on complicated issues surrounding free trade? It is very easy for someone - for example, someone like Sen. Obama who is a smooth talker - to say "I oppose NAFTA". The reality is that these political positions involve much more than "opposing" or "supporting" a law - they involve concerns about HOW to trade fairly, protecting workers rights, balancing free trade so that it is fair trade...simply saying that you are "against NAFTA" is not enough, and that is what Sen. Clinton has been saying all along. Its not her fault certain voters are not smart enough to pick up on all of the underlying nuances of these poslitcal positions. However, if you are not that smart, why don't you hold off on calling other people stupid. Take your fresh-faced, smooth talking freshman Sen and good luck getting him elected against hte Republican machine. They will tear him to shreds.

    April 22, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  24. Fed Up Democrat

    Because you and Hillary are a part of the regressive political machine. For some God forsaken reason there are some who still believe in her/you. Thank goodness for technology. Your lies and deciet will not go unaddressed or vetted. Hillary cannot win against the Repubs. She is far more dishonest than you ever were.

    April 22, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  25. Travis

    i thought she was going to close the deal on super tuesday?

    if polls are to be believed - he did close the deal by erasing her 20 point lead.

    April 22, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
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