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. The Surly Scholar

    Well gee, I imagine I would have trouble closing a deal too if I had a kitchen sink being thrown at me every other hour. Maybe if you stopped slandering him for fifteen minutes he could manage to get a sentence out of his mouth and have it actually interpreted the way he intended it to be. Wouldn't that be remarkable?

    The longer Hillary stays in this race, the more collective shame she heaps upon herself, and even more tragically, her family. She needs to take a hint.

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

    Because nobody has written that part of the speech for him....or maybe he doesn't really want to win, after all, I'm almost convinced that he only ran for president to promote his book sales! He probably is terrified at the concept of having to clean up, the biggest mess the Country has ever seen!

    April 22, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  3. Richard

    She would run the race and our democratic hopes in the fall into the ground rather than face reality for the good of the party.

    Burn it if she can't have it !

    Never have I see such a greedy and selfish nature in an adult !

    No wonder her base is the uneducated and the senile....

    April 22, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  4. Gerardo in Los Angeles

    Funny, I would think that is an argument against Hillary's candidacy, after all she was the inevitable nominee just a few months ago, so who has failed to close the deal?

    April 22, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  5. HJ in NYC

    If Hillary doesn't win in PA I guess she will start crying again

    April 22, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  6. Mike in Columbus


    "See... I should get the nomination, because he is not beating me bad enough."

    She is amazing!

    April 22, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  7. donnajp

    DR: The people in Ohio and PA are not stupid enough to fall for an empty suit like Obama. And, for your information the steel mills were basically put out of business under the Reagan administration when they allowed imported steel to be dumped in the US. I know this because I lost my job because of it.

    April 22, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  8. Obama supporter to the fullest!

    He hasn't closed the deal? I think the 16-20 points she was ahead has drastically changed.. Hasn't it? Obama will win the nomination and the election... When Obama wins America wins... DON'T LET THE MEDIA PAINT A BAD PICTURE OF OBAMA.

    April 22, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  9. Paul

    Hillary is out there handing cash to people to vote for her today. It's called street cash. Hillary also is a strong supporter of Rush Limbaugh's "Operation Chaos" that has people purposely voting for Clinton to keep this race going. You want to know why Obama is having a hard time beating you. Because he is fighting more than just you, Hillary. Obama's votes are integral while many of your votes are unethical and corrupt. When you have to send out people on the street to buy your votes with cash that tells me that Obama is the real winner here. You are a true loser Hillary. You have no conscience when you are happy to receive votes based on corruption.

    April 22, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  10. Why can Obama close the deal

    Trust...trust..trust.... Obama can NOT BE TRUSTED WITH OUR FRAGILE COUNTRY!!!

    April 22, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  11. Jessica, Michigan

    you do recall she was favored to win the nomination by a landslide...and she's not even in the lead.

    You do know she was up by 20 pts in PA after texas/ohio...now down to 7...

    again, who's not closing the deal?

    April 22, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  12. Ben


    April 22, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  13. LinnieFB

    Why can't she win without: crying, lying about Bosnia, playing the race card, playing the gender card, drinking whiskey, becoming Annie Oakley, and threatening to nuke Iran?

    She is Karl Rove lite.

    April 22, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  14. Larry from LA

    What is she kidding. If this were any other state do your think Hillary would make this statement. She knows she owns Pennsylvania no matter how much money Obama spends. The state is made up of a majority of Clinton loyalist who could care less about Obama no matter how good he would be for the country. I am actually now getting used to all the dumb statemnts that Hillary makes. Hey Hil just don't bring up NAFTA you know the reason that Pennsylvania is in the state it is.

    April 22, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  15. Because of Thugs Like You

    The deal has been closed. His wife is the one that's grabbing at straws with her selfish, self-centered self. It's all about Hillary and not America.

    And he has the American people behind him, who does Hillary have, "the superdelegates" who's careers will be over if they steal this election.

    Obama 08

    April 22, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  16. wolfsbane

    PA is hometurf for Clinton, and even a campaign as poorly run and as in debt as hers has serious advantages that mere spending cannot surmount. She has the establishment machine there, big name endorsements, hometown allure, and she plays the payola game to volunteers (Obama does not). So, she should win there, but not by the margin she needs to make a dent in Obama's lead.


    April 22, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  17. Howard

    I think this will show he has closed the deal. Obama has closed from from being about 20% behind to under 10%. The question is if she has so much support how come she can't bring in the money needed to pay her huge bills. She has racked up close to 10 million in debt to people like her best pal and lobiest for Columbia free trade. Is it possible her big buck lobiest have started pulling back on the dollars now that they can see she's done. Obama should be respected for not taking the big money and selling out like Hillary is doing and Bill has done in the past. The millions of dollars Obama has brought in is mainly from normal people kicking in 25, 50 100 donations and doing it by the millions. That's what you call support.

    GO OBAMA 2008

    April 22, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  18. Gina Clark

    why is it now Hilary is saying a win is a win but all along her campaign trail she's been saying that Obama is only wining small states. Which is it Hilary?

    April 22, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  19. Ashaki

    The only person who should be closing the deal is Clinton. Why is it that in a state that is lousy with her demographics (less than a bachelors degree, whites, women) that she has gone from a 20 point lead to one less than 10%?

    The deal is hers to close all he has to do is close the gap.

    April 22, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  20. Erythrina

    With all the negative ads the Clintons and affiliated groups (that don't count in Clinton spending) are running, Obama needs to spend 3 times more to counter them, and also get out some positive messages. The fact that he has closed a 20 point initial gap to 5 points says his campaign has been plenty effective.

    April 22, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  21. Bill Is A Thug And So Is His Wife

    Don't change the subject Bill, it's all about you playing the race card and you know it.

    Obama 08

    April 22, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  22. Independent voter PA

    I would hate to have Obama on the Democratic ticket. I am one of Clinton's supporters that will genuinely vote for McCain if he is on the ticket. Which I will do if I have to but it would truly be awful.

    Anybody but Obama '08

    April 22, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  23. Anonymous

    mrs clinton, when you both started this race you had the name, the fame, and the money.. that five mill you gave to your own campaign. why is your deal not sealed? i cant believe people are still listening to her

    April 22, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |

    clintons are fraud

    April 22, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  25. RealityKing

    Oil hit $120 per barrel today, as our do nothing 110th liberal Congress talks about increasing green technology funding instead of output capacity.

    Stay tune next week when...,
    Highly agitated progressives, spontaneously combust blaming Bush for their self anointed woes.

    April 22, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
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