Obama says he’s impressed Clinton still raising money despite losses
What does he find so formidable about the New York senator and former first lady?
He listed two things: her ability to keep raising money even though he is ahead of her in the delegate count and her determination to “toughen him up” for the fight he will face in November should he become the Democratic nominee to run against Republican John McCain.
“She’s unique,” Obama told a gathering of newspaper publishers and editors.
“There aren’t many figures in American politics who could sustain 11 straight losses and raise $35 million,” he said, referring to the hefty amount of campaign contributions she raked in during February, despite suffering a string of losses to Obama.
The Illinois senator spoke about his opponent in response to a question about whether he was worried that their hard-fought nomination battle would leave the party in a weakened position for the general-election fight against McCain.
Obama said he thought Democrats would come together once a nominee is chosen.
He said that in the interests of party harmony, he was trying to “show restraint” and wanted to avoid attacking Clinton too harshly on the campaign trail.
But he implied she was not reciprocating.
Obama said it was easier for him to show restraint “since I lead in delegates and states and popular vote. Senator Clinton may not feel that she can be afford to be as constrained.”
He then proceeded to pay Clinton another compliment — sort of.
“I’m sure that Senator Clinton feels like she’s doing me a great favor because she’s been deploying most of the arguments that the Republican Party will be using against me in November and so it’s toughening me up,” he said.
Obama was apparently alluding to Clinton’s attacks on him as an “elitist” because of his describing small-town Pennsylvania voters as “bitter” people who “cling to guns or religion.”
McCain also has seized on the comments about small-town voters and accused Obama of holding a condescending view of the middle class.