PEEK

Clinton Camp Predicts Victories, Throws Mud in Morning Spin Call

They claim she'll cruise in Ohio, Texas.
It may be inside ball, but a good slice of the national media listens to the daily conference call by the Clinton and Obama campaigns. On Monday, a day before the March 4 nominating contests in four states, including Texas and Ohio, the Clinton campaign's top spokesman went beyond predicting "success" in Texas and Ohio on Tuesday. They went after Obama's credibility.

They attacked Obama on NAFTA, saying he told Ohio voters he would revise the trade agreement in a state with a struggling economy while his top economic advisor told Canadian officials to ignore the remarks. (The Obama campaign denies that.) They listed numerous questions they would like to see Obama answer about a Chicago businessman, Tony Rezko, whose corruption trial starts today.

They also suggested if Clinton wins the popular vote in Texas Primary -- but not the party's caucuses that begin after the polls close and are attended by fewer people -- that the Clinton camp would call that a "success," even if Obama ended up with more delegates in Texas. They said November's election was a vote, not a caucus meeting.

"If the popular vote is not the same as the caucuses, it questions the viability of the nominee," said Clinton Spokesman Howard Wolfson.

The Clinton staffers said they expected their campaign to continue, possibly all the way to the Democratic Convention, where super delegates (elected Democrats and top party officials) would weigh in. They said a dozen states had yet to vote and needed to be heard, saying they have now defined the big issues in the Democratic nominating contest: who is best prepared to be commander in chief, and who would be the best steward of the economy.

And they said they would fight to seat the Florida delegation, even though that state was stripped of delegates by the Democratic National Committee after holding an early, unapproved primary. The candidates all pledged not to campaign in Florida, but unions backing Clinton worked for her there, where she won that state. They rejected a suggestion today by the Florida governor that his state hold another primary.

"Our position is 1.7 million Floridians had they say," Wolfson said.
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