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. Lee Chang

    Hei D R, now you are insulting the people of Ohio and PA – thats exactly what Obama and his supporters do – INSULT those not in their camp. Shame shame on you DR.

    Now what do you know of China? Have you been to China, have a Chinese friend or foe? And know what the Chinese can and cannot do – you do not know 2 bits about the Chinese, and the dependence of USA on the Chinese, and you want to talk about the Chinese – IGNORANCE! We Chines call a person like that "barbaric" = uncultured or descriped a person like that, a "lantern using cowhide" therefore cannot shed light.



    April 22, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  2. A crirtical thinker from Boston

    Why does Obama keep having to respond to the media about the reverend, other far flung affiliations and the ludicrous question about a lapel pin? Shouldn't the media press about real issues facxng us?
    Or, why aren't you pressing HC about lying about Bosnia, her quite CLOSE affiliation with a person who was accused of perjury while president? When will the media stop supporting Hillary? Get out of the way with your ridiculous non-issues. We will decide the next President (in spite of these distractions) and Obama won't be playing ball with the media or lobbyists. Maybe we will rid ourselves of the Clinton politics that so reflect the "anything to win" no matter who gets hurt–even if its your own party . Ruthlessness and arrogance are not characteristics I want in president!
    HC, go back to NY.

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

    I can not believe the "elistist" comments by DR, right up Obama's sleeve! Ohio, and PA are the down to earth real and hard working Americans, that is why what they say matters. The question is really why can't he win the big states, that can not be overlooked. He will lose in the fall to McCain if he is the nominee.......

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

    Are you kidding me? The only reason he is having trouble in PA is because of Billary's REPUBLICAN scare tactics, mud slinging, and one sided debates. Oh, and let's not forget all of the republicans voting for her to give McCain the easy win.

    It is clear that the Billary team released this statement to cover up the fact that they are financially IN THE RED and that the margin of victory REALLY DOES MATTER.

    Statistically Billary needs to have AT LEAST a double digit win to have ANY chance of beating Obama, and yet somehow she is able to twist things up to make it sound like he is the one losing.

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

    Well to tell you the truth......Obama is new to the world and alot of people have not taken the time to really look at this man......unlike the Clinton who have been around for some years......So Obama will always out spend Hillary because he has to work harder to get people to know who he is........Its not like this man has been known all over like the Clintons.....The funny thing is why is Hillary paying out so much money having the name she does....along with being well known because she was Bill wife........now you talking about something that dont make since....... (this dont)......and why are her supporter sending her money.........with a big name like hers she dont need the help.....So the question should be .......WHY IS HILLARY SPENDING SUCH LARGE AMOUNTS OF MONEY AND MONEY SHE CANT PAY BACK BECAUSE SHES ALREADY IN THE RED WITH OTHER STATES.......AND SHE NEEDS TO BE ASKING HERSELF.......WHY IS OBAMA CLOSING IN ON ME SO CLOSE AND i HAVE DONE AS MUCH AS I CAN TO TRY AND BRING THIS MAN DOWN....AND HES STILL ON MY BACK CLOSING IN ON ME.....HAHAHAHA.....HILLARY....GIRL FORM ONE SISTA TO ANOTHER ........GIVE IT UP........

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

    Gallup poll has Obama up 10 vs Clinton nationwide. He has closed the deal. It's very unlikely Clinton can win, but he can't stop them from running. The Clinton campaign can limp along, but pointing to its continuing and saying 'Why can't he close the deal' is misleading. Typical Clinton statement.

    Go Obama!

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

    Maybe the question for Hillary Clinton should be: Why can't you stop losing?

    April 22, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  8. Christian, Tampa FL

    Why can't she close the deal? At least he's ahead in popular votes and delegates. She had a twenty point lead in that state, so it wouldn't seem practical for him to win.

    April 22, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  9. Zoinks

    "Clinton said if she is victorious, “a win is a win” regardless of the margin."

    yep, and that's how it will be when Obama finishes with the most popular votes and most pledged delegates and never having trailed in this race. Hillary you may win Penn, but you are still in second place.

    April 22, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  10. Paul

    True. So true. If someone outspends the other by 3:1 and still can't win, there must be a VERY good reason why.

    Hillary should be the president. But, if for some reason she doesn't get the nomination, at least Obama will NEVER beat McCain.

    April 22, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  11. Blake

    Do you think the money that he spends just vanishes in the wind? It goes to people who are working in Pennsylvania. He has injected millions into the state. The people who recieved the income will pay taxes on it and it will go into helping people. Wow! What a thought that money spent goes back into taxes.

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

    DR thinks the people in Ohio and PA are dumb.
    Just like an Obama supporter

    April 22, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  13. obama 08

    THE QUESTION IS...why won't Hillary go away?

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

    CLINTON 58%

    OBAMA 42%

    April 22, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  15. tell the truth

    you gave your top advsior Mr. Penn your money 10 million. Obama payed his top advisor 250,000. People wake up she started with more money then Obama. Look at her records with food costs,hotel bills, why outspent Obama. Obama is spending money wisely. Face the facts not this other stuff

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

    I believe Obama CLOSED THE DEAL after 11 consecutive primary wins. And let's not forget he won Illinois. If everybody cites New York among her "wins," why does everyone forget Illinois went HUGELY for Obama. The margin in NY wasn't that big for Billary.

    April 22, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  17. jfs Memhis, Tn


    April 22, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  18. Jim Mackle - Phila. Pa.

    Keep up the good work, dumb-o-crats.

    April 22, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  19. Sly in Seattle

    Hillary clinton is pitiful.. she will twist anything to make it sound good for her.

    Obama surged from a 30 point deficet... come on Hillary, really??

    OBAMA 08!

    April 22, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  20. Open your eyes!

    Spare the drama and your lies Hillary, how convenient to always change the story to suit yourself. The FACT that is Obama is significantly getting more funding that you, as well as significantly closing your once great lead in your own home state is proof alone he has what it takes to be president. Go control your husband he's running loose sabotaging your faltering camping!

    April 22, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  21. Carmen

    Hillary why are you saying that Obama can't win. Well if you get your goonies out of the way he can. You are so pathetic

    April 22, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  22. Christopher, South Beach

    . . . Close the deal? Hillary Clinton can't even catch up.

    April 22, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  23. VIVE

    Pennsylvania Final Result

    Clinton – 58%
    obama – 42%


    April 22, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  24. Liz

    Obama can 'close the deal' better than Clinton can. He's proved it time and time again. And the Clintons know it and are afraid of it because he's going to close the deal all the way to the nomination.

    April 22, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  25. Nora

    Hmmm a Hit Dog will holla. She should have closed it on Super Tuesday and now having a 20% lead going into P.A. and that has been cut to single digits. Hmmm sounds like Obama has already closed that deal!!!

    April 22, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
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