Clinton Campaign Official Recounts Pa. Race

Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton's victory in Pennsylvania was crucial for her campaign. Co-host Renee Montagne talks with Howard Wolfson, the senator's communications director.

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RENEE MONTAGNE, host:

And we do have Howard Wolfson on the line. He's communications director for Hillary Clinton's campaign. Good morning.

Mr. HOWARD WOLFSON (Communications Director, Hillary Clinton Presidential Campaign): Good morning.

MONTAGNE: Well, let's begin with what we were just hearing from David Axelrod, and let me put this to you. There's been a lot of talk about one ad the Clinton campaign put on the night before the primary. It featured Osama bin Laden, Pearl Harbor, asked the question who do you think it takes? The obvious answer would be Hillary Clinton. Barack Obama's campaign has called that fear mongering. And is not, in fact, fear mongering?

Mr. WOLFSON: Well, the ad featured a montage of images from throughout American history, particularly in the 20th century, of some of the important challenges that presidents have faced throughout time. So Pearl Harbor…

MONTAGNE: Right, right. But Osama bin Laden, that right there is a very…

Mr. WOLFSON: Well, yes. Osama bin Laden, yes. The - it is, in fact, true that the United States faces a threat from terrorism, and the next president will inherit that threat because George Bush has so mishandled our efforts to confront Osama bin Laden and terrorism. And it is a fair question in the context of a presidential campaign for voters to consider who - given the fact this job they're seeking, the presidency, is so enormous - who is best able to come into that job on day one and do the job? Now the ads…

MONTAGNE: But, but…

Mr. WOLFSON: I just want to say one thing very clear, so your listeners know. That ad did not feature Senator Obama. It didn't mention Senator Obama's name. It was an ad about presidential leadership and what presidents face when they become presidents and what the next president will face and asks voters who do you think is ready for that job? Now if that's a negative ad, I don't know what a negative ad is.

MONTAGNE: Let's go into where both candidates will be going next. That's Indiana. Is Indiana make or break for Hillary Clinton? Has she got to win it to keep going, even though I know this morning she's saying she is in the race to the end?

Mr. WOLFSON: Indiana, there's no question that Indiana is critically important. It's absolutely important. We are going there today to campaign, and we're going to try to do as well as we can there. It's very important.

MONTAGNE: Make or break?

Mr. WOLFSON: I would say it is critically important. Now we, as you know, we keep coming up to these critically important contests where Senator Obama has an opportunity to knock us out, does everything he can to do that, outspends us in Pennsylvania three to one, runs negative ads against us, by the way, in Pennsylvania to try to knock us out, and is unable to do that.

So, yes, every contest at this point, as we get closer and closer to the convention, becomes critically important. And there's no question that Indiana is.

MONTAGNE: We just have a few seconds left here, but we've just heard Obama's campaign outspent your campaign significantly. The Clinton campaign spent enough to, at this point, be in debt now close to $10 million. Is your fundraising going to improve enough now that Pennsylvania has been willing to run a competitive campaign against Barack Obama?

Mr. WOLFSON: I'm glad you asked that question. Since last night, when the polls closed in Pennsylvania, we've raised $3 million overnight, online at HillaryClinton.com. You have a lot of people who are fans of Hillary Clinton's, who are inspired by her, who want her to continue her fight for the presidency, and they have been giving generously online. And if they are any listeners out there who want to join up, please do so.

MONTAGNE: Thank you very much for joining us.

Mr. WOLFSON: Thank you.

MONTAGNE: Howard Wolfson is communications director for the Clinton campaign. We also talked to David Axelrod with Barack Obama's campaign.

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