Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell (D-PA-Clinton) appeared on ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos (along with Senator John Kerry [D-MA-Obama]), and discussed health care and the “Clinton Should Quit” Controversy:
Stephanopoulos: And Governor Rendell, let me begin with you. Senator Clinton’s answer to Pat Leahy was basically “fat chance.” In the Washington Post this morning, she vowed to stay in the race to the convention, and she said, “Even if that takes a floor fight at the credentials committee to seat the delegations of Florida and Michigan,” she said, “that’s what credentials committees are for.” Is that the Clinton path to victory, a floor fight at the convention?
Rendell: Well, hopefully not. Hopefully, the Obama forces will allow all 10 states that remain on the calendar vote, and allow Florida and Michigan to vote. It’s a disgrace that the Obama forces say, well, he’s won the popular vote so he should be the nominee. There are 10 states left. I think Senator Clinton’s going to eat into
the popular vote. And I think if Michigan and Florida actually voted again, Senator Clinton would come out on top of the popular vote. So I think the key is to let the party — it’s too late for the states, but let the party run the primaries in Michigan and Florida.
With Florida, George — if Florida and Michigan voted, based on just the results from the Florida beauty contest, it’s fairly safe to assume that Senator Clinton would win the popular vote, and that would undercut the whole theme of the Obama campaign, is superdelegates, you have to vote for our guy because he’s got the most delegates and he’s won the popular vote. Well, how come we say who won the popular vote without Florida and Michigan in the race?
Stephanopoulos: The Obama campaign has said this [the sniper incident] isn’t an isolated incident. This is a part of a pattern of Senator Clinton fudging the truth, inflating her resume. She also claimed to create the S-CHIP children’s health insurance program. The Obama campaign says that’s not true. She said she played a key role in passage of the Family and Medical Leave Act. The Obama campaign says there’s no evidence of
that. How do you respond to this charge of a pattern of untruthful statements?
Rendell: Well, that’s a perfect example of what Senator Kerry very correctly said shouldn’t be happening. We shouldn’t be bringing up all of the Reverend Wright stuff. We should let that die. The Kerry – excuse me, the Obama campaign… … shouldn’t be bringing up this stuff. If we’re in fact interested in bringing everybody together, if we’re interested in running against Senator McCain, if we’re interested in letting our ideas, like Senator Clinton and Senator Obama’s plans to deal with the subprime mortgage issue, if we’re interested in having voters focus on that, we should stay away from stuff like this.
Look, I can barely remember what I did last Monday, number one. Number two, I haven’t run into one Pennsylvanian who’s come up to me and said, Governor, I’m troubled because Senator Clinton got that stuff in Bosnia wrong. It’s just not an issue for people who are struggling with real things that affect their daily lives and their families, George.
And I agree with Senator Kerry. We can carry out the rest of this campaign drawing differences with Senator McCain and talking about the policies that we want to enact. You know, interestingly, I’ve been going around to a lot of county dinners and breakfasts that we have before the primary. And there’s not one person, whether they’re for Obama or Clinton, who’s worried about us coming together.
They’re interested in seeing the Pennsylvania primary mean something. The people of Pennsylvania want to vote. But the people of Pennsylvania also want their brethren in Florida and Michigan to be able to cast votes. John Kerry knows that Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Ohio, those are the four key states as you go into the November election.
And we can’t afford to disenfranchise voters in two states….
Well, I can’t speak for Senator Clinton, but I would love that [the Democratic runner up becomes the VP candidate]. I would love either way to see these two great people – and I disagree with John respectfully — I agree Senator Obama can unify the country, but so can Senator Clinton. And I think the important thing to understand is who’s got the best solutions for the problems, not just unification. That’s great, but unification is not going to bring us health care.
Senator Clinton’s health care plan is far more workable, far more achievable, and it will not only give universal health care, but it will drive down costs, which are essential.
So I think there are a number of issues that voters have to consider. … I think that this duo, regardless, is a history-making duo. They are both tremendous candidates. They both would make great executives, and I’d love to see that happen….
One thing real quickly. Talking about Iraq. Senator Kerry mentioned Bob Casey’s endorsement. But there was another bolt out of heaven. John Murtha, the number one Democrat in taking on bringing our troops home, endorsed Hillary Clinton over Barack Obama and said Hillary Clinton’s the best bet to get our troops home and get them home quickly.
The Pennsylvania election could be very interesting, because Clinton has to do quite well, not just to keep her in the race, but to build enough momentum to perform decently through the rest of the primaries and withstand a defeat that is essentially inevitable in North Carolina. From that point, it’ll be up to the Superdelegates, which Clinton has been beating Obama out 250 to 215 (the latest count I’ve seen).
Pennsylvania, for the most part, is a Clinton state, with Ed Rendell and Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter supporting Clinton. Senator Bob Casey has endorsed Obama, but his effects will be less substantial than the others’.
So, it’s obvious that Governor Rendell thinks that since Clinton can come out on top of the popular vote, that perhaps the Superdelegates should be supporting her. This back and forth of “Stay in” and “Get out” and all this infighting is going to cost the Democrats the November election.
I’ll try to get up a post of Senator Kerry’s side of the issue.