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Friday, March 14, 2008

Clinton strategist says Obama 'can't win the general election'

Here is what Penn said. We're posting a little more than 2 minutes of his opening statement because we want to make sure you get the full context. It's in the last 20 seconds or so that he says Obama "really can't win the general election." As you'll hear, he also says that "if Barack Obama can't win" in Pennsylvania, "how could he win the general election?"

Later, a reporter asks what he meant. Clinton campaign communications chief Howard Wolfson jumps in to say that "Mark did not say that."
Then Penn says that if Obama doesn't win the Pennsylvania primary, it "raises serious questions" about whether he can win the general election. Here's how that exchange went:

Update at 2:10 p.m. ET:
Last evening, the Obama campaign released a partly tongue-in-cheek reaction to the Clinton campaign's arguments on electability and Pennsylvania's importance.

Update at 9:30 p.m. ET. The Obama campaign responds:

Obama campaign spokesman Tommy Vietor this evening sent this statement to reporters: "It can't inspire too much confidence in the Clinton campaign when their pollster ignores both polls and math by making comments as divorced from reality as this one. Senator Obama is leading in delegates, states won, the popular vote, and fares better than Senator Clinton against John McCain in poll after poll, including critical swing states like Iowa, Colorado, Pennsylvania, New Mexico and Wisconsin."

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