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. zina

    Can't she ask the same thing of herself?

    I'm really trying to like her in case the nomination is stolen from Sen. Obama, but she makes it harder and harder for me to do that.



    April 22, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  2. Phil G. , New York

    Ok then my question to you is why you are not really in the deal b/c you had the connections, the party, the fame, the name , as well as many other behind you from DAY 1 and yet you're losing.

    its sort of like the 12th man off the bench screaming at a starter saying "You're a bum"

    get back to the issues Clinton Campaign enough with the attacks and distractions. Next time plan better and organize. Whine whine whine whine whine and as a result you still are behind

    Ill support you if you win but please stop the Washington tactics. YOu both are better than McCain.

    April 22, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  3. Alonzo Demetrius

    The reason he can't close the deal is because so many Americans are just now catching onto this loser...

    April 22, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  4. D in atlanta

    “a win is a win” regardless of the margin...

    Clinton speak for " I will continue to lie, cheat, steal and destroy the DNC until I am handed the presidency on a silver platter".

    April 22, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  5. Pappu

    Like John Kerry, Obama will cost the democrats the White House in the fall. Yes he will.

    April 22, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  6. RJ

    I agree with D R.. Clintons tactics are the reason why she can't close the deal. Her supporters will believe anything she says which are mostly lies. If shes so confident,why is she so far behind then? I guess most voters can see beyond her lies.

    April 22, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  7. PoliTrickery

    Excuse me, but hasn't he won twice as many states as you? Don't you spend most of your time talking sh** on him? Who voted for the war? Who didn't speak up against NAFTA when your husband signed it into law? You're a dirty trickster hillary.

    April 22, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  8. Madison , PA

    Shame on you Hillary... We don't trust you anymore. You should cl;ose the deal long time ago; Why do you stay in this race? If you get the nomination you lose my vote. Liar...

    April 22, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  9. anonymous

    It is easy for Senator Clinton to say a win, under any circumstances is a 'Win'. She has long been expected to win this complex state. Her comments about spending are, however, not genuine. Yes, he outpsent her. His spending was concentrated in the two major urban markets in Pennsylvania. Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. It is simply more expensive to buy air time of any kind in these markets than in the rest of Pennsylvania. Senator Clinton could buy 15 -20 ads in markets for the same amount of money that Senator Obama could buy one. Once again, we see the Clinton mantra of poor, poor me. I have always admired her, after watching her performance in the last debate, I have no doubt that she is a manipulative woman who will do anything to get her way. She was nasty. Senator Obama stumbled, she went on the attack, always with a smile and a smirk that was just a bit too much like President Bush. I don't like to see a self-satisfied person who has answers prepared to make her adversary look bad. Sorry, I have lost most of my respect for both of the Clintons. And I do mean sorry. Thank you.

    April 22, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  10. Jane, NC

    Apparently, Pennsylvanians are sending a message that their votes are not for sale. Senator Clinton is right. If Senator Obama can't win a state into which he's put such an obscene amount of money, he can't win in the general election.

    April 22, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  11. pc

    Bill, why can't you chill out? Obama will close the deal. You should retire from public life and become a recluse. Perhaps Monica will join you!

    Obama for President

    April 22, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  12. Franky

    "Take a virtual tour of the area—it is so very bad and sad."

    Is that simple, if they're gonna go that far, you ain't gonna like me these next couple of weeks.....that's all I'm going to say.

    April 22, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  13. Logic

    A win is indeed a win; and Obama has WON far more states than Clinton. Hillary should start planning for a career change.

    April 22, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  14. Kay

    He was 20 points behind in the polls and he has sliced that in half if not more. Doesn't that say something about Hillary? Why can't she just go sit down, she can win today but she won't win enough to do anything, so why can't she close the deal.

    April 22, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  15. Kevin

    How is it that she always fails to mention who is actually contributing that money to Obama? MILLLIONS of Americans from all over the country donate to his campaign; her campaign, however, is in debt. That must make her uncomfortable, and it should. In any event, PA is a solidly Democratic state and the democratic nominee will carry the state in the general election, whether it be Clinton or Obama. This message of "why can't he close the deal" is just a red herring. The same message, applied to her own campaign would be painful...

    April 22, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  16. cvr924

    Obama can't Win a "Major" you do realize that. And won't be able to deliver no matter what dream you dream.
    Don't believe his hype.
    Obama makes McCain electable ,you'll see..

    April 22, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  17. kathy in ohio


    Obamas supporters are as arrogant as he is.

    April 22, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  18. Peter SJ CA


    Clinton is a prime example of how money corrupts... BTW they just made 100 million dollars, the clinton library got over 500 million in donations from people they will not release to the public, Clinton has taken more then a 100 times as much money from Lobbyists and special interests than Obama etc. CLINTON is CORRUPT.

    April 22, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  19. Ryan, New York, NY

    I'd say closing the gap in the polls from 20 points to 5 is pretty impressive. Impressive enough that it'll allow Obama to maintain his wide lead in the delegate count.

    The same could be said of Hillary for the entire campaign – "How do you go from being the widely recognized spouse of a former President who is highly regarded by the party, yet can't lock up your nomination against someone who you're trying to paint as an inexperienced politician?"

    April 22, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  20. Hillarygetoutof theracenow

    The only reason he can not seal the deal is Majority people in Ohio and Pennsyvania are not educated people, they know the clintons for a long time so they stick with it, they do not have the ablity to compare and contrast.

    April 22, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  21. Steve

    She led by 20% a month ago, which has dwindled to single digits. Seems to me that she's hanging on by her fingernails and is the one who couldn't seal the deal.

    She probably will pull of a small win here, but seriously, would PA vote for McCain in November?

    April 22, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |


    April 22, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  23. Texas

    It's better to walk besides the devil you know than to walk with a devil you don't know-

    Hillary 08~

    April 22, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  24. No Big Win in PA Means Hillary's Out

    Considering that Hillary is trailing Obama in the total delegate count by 144 delegates, Howard Wolfson's statement that it "does not matter" whether she wins by one vote or 100,000 votes is absurd. She needs to make a big reduction in the delegate gap. Otherwise she's a lost cause.

    April 22, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  25. pc

    Bill, why don't you chill? Obama will close the deal. Why don't you retire from public life and become a recluse? Perhaps Monica will join you.

    April 22, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
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