From NBC's Lauren Appelbaum
After the Chicago Sun-Times earlier wrote about Obama's and Clinton's duel fundraisers in Chicago -- fewer than ten blocks away from each other -- the Clinton camp and the AP were all over Obama's comments first reported in the newspaper.
The comments that have remained in the news cycle still today are about Clinton's experience and fundraising, when Obama said "the only person who would probably be prepared to be president on Day One would be Bill Clinton, not Hillary Clinton," and that "the Clintons could raise much more money than us" because of their connections from when Bill was president.
But this was not all Obama had to say about the campaign, fundraising, and turf wars. Here, we'll provide you with the full context of Obama's statements.
On the issue of Clinton's experience, the Sun-Times also reported Obama said "we're all very qualified for the job," and then made a jab at Clinton by saying it was true in the '90's, like today, that the nation needs someone "to get beyond the politics that have bogged us down in the past." Obama went on to explain why he is the one qualified to do so. "I think that the message that we're delivering is that we can bridge some of the divides that have blocked progress on healthcare, have blocked progress on energy. That's what we're interested in. It's not repeating the same old fights but trying to bring about a new consensus that can move the country forward."
When asked if it is fair to say he questions Hillary Clinton's qualifications, Obama said no. "She's a very bright capable person. I'm sure she will be a fierce competitor throughout this primary process." Yet, he implied that even with these qualifications, she may not be the right person for the times. "We just think that we got a message of change that suits the times."
Obama did make it clear he did not mind Clinton's visits to his home turf in Chicago. "I was in New York last week, you know, so it's far play," Obama said. "If you tally what we've done in New York and what they've done in Chicago, I think we come out pretty well."
On the fundraising quote, Obama also said politicos and the media are making too much of both money and polls at this point. "It's very early and what really matters is the energy that's taking place on the ground," Obama said, referencing a walk for change where 10-thousand people volunteered to campaign door to door. "That's the kind of energy and enthusiasm that is measurable to us because that's going to translate into votes."
That evening, reporters also caught up with Clinton a few blocks away at Miller's Pub, greeting supporters, including a pregnant woman who had waited a few hours to shake the senator's hand. She worked the rope line, thanking the police officers, greeting them cheerfully. She did not give the media nearly as much time for questions as Obama did, but she said she really enjoyed being in Chicago. "It was wonderful being here, absolutely wonderful," Clinton said. "We had a great evening of events. It's just so upbeat and positive. I'm glad to be back."
Clinton was asked about Obama's response to home turf wars. Unlike Obama, she did not invoke her competitor's name but implied Chicago is not only Obama's home turf. "I think I'm running as a vigorous as campaign as I can, reaching out to as many people and of course, I have so many friends that I grew up here," Clinton replied. "They're still with me in every way, so it was great to see them."