From NBC/NJ's Aswini Anburajan and NBC's Mark Murray
SAN ANTONIO -- In the coming weeks, look for the Obama campaign to seek to start pushing hard against the substance of Clinton's claim that she has more experience than Obama does.
"I think that this week she made a series of arguments about why she would be a superior candidate," Obama told reporters during a press conference on his campaign plane. "She made the experience argument that she's been making repeatedly, particularly around foreign policy and her ability to handle a crisis. And so I think its important to examine that claim and not just allow her to assert it, which is think has been going on for quite some time."
Pointing to Clinton's foreign policy experience, he questioned how tangible it really was.
"I know she talks about visiting 80 countries. It's not clear, ya know, was she negotiating treaties or agreements or was she handling crises during this period of time? My sense is the answer is no," he said.
He also raised questions regarding transparency, saying that it was doubtful that Clinton could make a better argument on ethics and disclosure than him, saying "that's an issue that should be tested." Indeed, Obama's campaign issued a memo criticizing Clinton for waiting to release her tax returns; her campaign has said she will do so by April 15.
"Senator Clinton has also claimed that she is too 'busy' to release her tax returns," the memo reads. "Given the fact she is able to loan her campaign $5 million, you would think the Clintons would be able to hire an accountant. The reality is that she wants to keep this information hidden from voters. The people of Wyoming, Mississippi, Pennsylvania and the rest of the country should wonder why."
And in a conference call, Obama chief strategist David Axelrod, discussing the Clinton campaign saying it would release her tax returns on April 15, wondered why Clinton hadn't released her 2006 tax returns.
In the avail, Obama also blamed the barrage of negative attacks by the Clinton campaign on the reason that many undecideds had broken for Clinton over the past three days. Referencing Clinton's complaint that the press had been too easy on Obama, he turned to the reporters present and claimed that the press had bought into that argument.
"The kitchen sink strategy I'm sure had some impact. Particularly when many of you in the press corps felt that you had been too hard on her and too soft on me. Complaining about the refs apparently worked a little bit this week, so in addition to my call to ["Saturday Night Live" executive producer] Loren Michaels, hopefully people feel like everything's evened out and we can start covering the campaign properly," he said.
But no matter who won the upcoming contests and where the delegate math will stand after all the primaries are over, even Obama acknowledged that superdelegates will have the final say in the process. "There's nothing that binds the superdelegates to honor what the voters in all these states and caucuses have determined," he said.
And what if party members and superdelegates want both names on the ticket? Obama didn't seem that enthusiastic.
"I've said before I respect Sen. Clinton as a public servant, ah -- she's a tenacious opponent. I think it is very premature to start talking about a joint ticket," he said.