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. Allan

    Because pathological liars and known enemies of America the Clintons are manipulating the Demo Party machinery to crush the people's will?

    Because a complacent and fraudulent corporate-owned media is going along with the game and pretending Hillary still has a chance so they can drag this out longer and get more ad revenues from the Dems?

    Because every time good and decent men emerge to lead America, evil murderers like the Clintons try to drag them down into the mud?

    April 22, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  2. Danny Beaulieu

    Yeah, and Barack's money just magically appeared. Hillary, Barack has more money than you because more people believe in him. Further, he can't close the deal because you won't drop out. It's quite simple, really. You cannot win this nomination. You are wasting everyone's time and resources.

    April 22, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  3. Patriotic 1

    I think the question maybe ought to be why can't she close the deal. With her supposed "experience," why can't she win the majority of the popular vote, or the majority of the states, or the majority of the pledged delegates.

    April 22, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  4. Jessica in Maryland

    I thought "inevitable" people were the ones expected to "close the deal"... and yet here it is 15 months later, Hillary, and you have yet to do that... hmmmm.....

    April 22, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  5. Kevin, Louisville, Ky

    Grammy In Oklahoma- are you high again?

    April 22, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  6. Amy Jacobson

    Because all the money donated by foreigners, CAIR and other America-hating organizations is not enough to sway us to believe HIS change message.

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

    Hillary Clinton needs to tuck her tail and go back to the U.S. Senate and serve the good State of New York. Of course Barak Obama has out spent her 3 to 1. He pays his bills and have the money to do so. Hillary on the other hand does not pay her bills and struggles to compete with him on fund raising. When did having the money to buy radio and tv ads a negative? I guess it's when your opponent is able to do much more than you can month after month.

    Hillary appeals to the americans Barak Obama spoke to in his speech about race. They are the ones that her husband panders to on the stump. They would rather decimate the democratic party than to let an african american win the nomination or worse the presidency of the United States. She will never represent me as the first female president, we can do better than her!

    April 22, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  8. Get a grip

    Wait a minute, Sen. Clinton started out with greater than 20 point leads in NY, CA, OH, NJ, TX, and PA, not to mention the fact that she had a huge lead nationally as recently as Nov. of last year. She has the luxury of having loyal Dem. supporters throughout the country from her husbands days in office (both local officials and voters) and the political machinery already in place that goes along with that support (just look at how much Rendell and Nutter have done for her alone). The real question here should be about her failures to utilize these overwhelming advantages over the past six months. Show me another candidate in history who has overcome as much as Sen. Obama has during this election cycle.

    April 22, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  9. ObamaMama

    A message for Grammy in Oklahoma,

    What are you talking about? Money does corrupt, expecially when you are taking money from special interest groups and lobbyists. I find that it may be a bit less so, when you are getting the majority of your donations from the American people in $100 donations or less, like Obama is.

    I see you are one of those buying into the Clinton scare tactics-who cares who hopes he will win? Obama is not affiliated with them in any way.

    Why do you think Hillary can bring good "ecomonic times" for America when she can't even manage funds for her campaign?


    April 22, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  10. Sylvia

    He can't close the deal, because HE CANNOT WIN
    he can only control the weak minded fools that would vote for Bozo the clown if he offered them an ice cream cone
    keep it up Obama Zombies, give him all your money so he can work his ego...GIVE HIM MORE and waste it instead of paying for $4 gallon gasoline
    a vote for Obama is a vote down the drain!!!!!

    April 22, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  11. Adam, Los Angeles

    perhaps bc you've been a household institution since the 90's and Obama has only been on the radar for a year.

    or perhaps bc you've been throwing absolutely everything and anything at him in your flailing and speedy decent to failure.

    April 22, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  12. Mary Lou

    Hillary you had everything going for you; but you could not close the deal. What you did in Florida, though , showed everyone just who you really are. You didn't take your name off the ballot, as the others did. Then you tried very hard to show how "badly" you felt for the voters of Florida and Michigan. Americans aren't stupid, thank goodness. Just wait, when Americans ,who PAY THE SALARIES and the money SQUANDERED by Congress are UNITED TO END THIS WAY OF BUSINESS AS USUAL!!!!! iT IS JUST BEGINNING. We have learned a lot about you, Hillary. You can do a lot to help this country; you tried. Now it is time for you and Bill to realize that POLITICS AS USUAL is not what we want!!!

    April 22, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  13. ZONA


    April 22, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  14. Brian

    Isn't Hillary Clinton's campaign bankrupt? Is that who you really want to try and bring back good economic times? A fake smile does not add up to much for a president. And it doesn't look very good for us, the American people.

    April 22, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  15. Jessica, MI

    wow Hillary. Really?

    Maybe it's because you are the most dishonest, horrible opponent/person ever and will stop at nothing to throw your filth in his direction.

    April 22, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  16. Gebriel

    Here is the deal. If you start off with a 20 point deficit and give the amount of time and money his campaign invested in the Keystone State then you should see some change. Not necessarily a win but a change in his favor. Which I believe he has accomplished. Same can be said for TX or OH. If you go into a fight as an underdog and u at least try your best to close the gap then u are a winner in my book.

    April 22, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  17. Chuck in Oregon

    It is so amazing how Wolfson continues to lower the bar. Your right a win is a win, but it you cant close the margins then you may as well pack your bags. Why pack you may ask? In the long run an over all loss is a loss weither its 10 votes or 100 votes or 1000's of votes a loss is still a loss. Same goes for the delegates.
    As for Hillary, why cant he close the deal as you put it. It is not that he can not, it is he has made a choice not to be as ugly as you are. Your husband keeps playing the race card, and you keep dredging up the same ol stuff. Of course it works for you, as it keeps you there, the problem is you only end up showing your true self, and that picture is so very ugly, self serving and out right old politics. One day is all I can say some where America will say enough is enough by sending a resounding NO You may not.

    April 22, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  18. Siamak

    It is interesting for me to know what is Grammy's solution for Hamas problem. there are two options, just get ride of them or start negotiation in a positive way. The removing strategy didn't work in the past, the proof is the situation that we see right now there. Obama still observs hamas if not terrorist at least an obstacle in the peace proccess in the Middle East. having such a view, no official diplomatic power, only through his campain they are convinced that he is the man that they like to see on the negotiation table. Please for a moment open your eyes to see reality, ISN'T THIS GOOD? please forget about Hillary and Barak for a sec and think. Isn't Hamas described as a group which has no willing to negotiate? They heard the message of change and respect to all the nations and they are ready to cooporate. It is an advantage for the US presedint to settle an agreement to finish the violence there.

    April 22, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  19. ruby

    Wasn't she the expected winner on super tuesday ?
    Didn't she start with huge advantages in Ohio, Wisconsin, Texas?
    Was she not up 20% going into pennsylvania ?

    Not only can she not close the deal, she can't even hold onto huge leads.

    Why is anyone voting for someone who is always loosing the high ground ?

    April 22, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  20. mike

    thing is, he's spending the money, because he is getting the money. with the economy the way it is we americans are not going to throw money away.... so if the american people are supporting him monotarily, 2 to 1 over clinton and 3 to 1 over mccain there must be a darn good reason.

    April 22, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  21. Frank, Missouri

    Well, if Obama is able to cut down the 20% lead from a few weeks ago, I'll be glad !! Clinton owns the establishment in that states – plus it's one of her four states she was born in.

    And – Billary would have spend more money as well if she would not have mismanaged her campaigns finances earlier. Don't blame Obama that he can manage his campaign and finances better that you, Billary.

    I hope that Obama will only trail by 6% – any percent less is a cherry on top !


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

    Hillary is just plain greedy. She would rather make sure that Obama doesn't win so she can run in four years. My answer is still no to Hillary. yesterday, today and forever..

    McCain will get my vote if she is given the nomination.

    April 22, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  23. Mikeg

    Grammy in Oklahoma April 22nd, 2008 1:44 pm ET

    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.
    To bad she couldn't bring her campaign to economic good times!!

    April 22, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  24. Hillary = Pathetic

    It will be funny to look back on Billary's increasingly desperate and incoherent comments once this thing is all over. Yeah, Barack outspent you because you wasted all of your money! You can't even run a campaign as the prohibitive favorite, let alone our country! And he IS closing on you in PA – a state where you were up by 20 a month ago! You can't make ANY headway in states that naturally favor him, so you try to write them off as irrelevant. Everyone who is not old, fat, and ignorant has rejected you and your candidacy (if they are only 2 out of 3, they go for Obama.) I can;t wait until I don't have to listen to you and your obnoxious lies anymore.

    April 22, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  25. MB

    Hillary Clinton has all the name recognition and Obama without any name recognition, who came from a some town in Chicago has more votes both delegate and popular than you. one strike!! You have 35yrs of experience and a a jr senator with only 2-3 yrs of national experience has raised more money than you even the fact you take money from Lobbists. Thats another strike. You have all the big politican in PA and you are only leading Obama by single digit. Thats three counts against you. So your question about “why can't he close the deal” is irrelevant. A win by one vote is a win. The gap has been closed. He is ahead of you. So drop this petty-lossing-childish politics.

    April 22, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
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