From NBC/NJ's Aswini Anburajan
PITTSBURGH -- Obama expressed shock this morning at hearing that former President Bill Clinton asserted that the Obama camp used the race card against him.
"Hold on a second. So former President Clinton dismissed my victory in South Carolina as being similar to Jesse Jackson, and he's suggesting that somehow I had something to do with it?" Obama asked incredulously this morning at Pamela's P&G Diner here.
"OK, well you better ask him what he meant by that," he added. "These were words that came out of his mouth."
Asked a follow-up question on whether there was any planned attempt by Obama's campaign to get Clinton to make a racially questionable comment, Obama dismissed the suggestion out of hand. "Was there something that we had a plan to get him to say that my campaign was like Jesse Jackson's? You know, I don't know what he's referring to, unfortunately," Obama said.
Discussing today's primary, Obama said that he felt like he had "a chance" in Pennsylvania, though his campaign had known that it would always be an "uphill climb."
"We've made significant progress... We've got a great organization. A lot of it's gonna depend on turnout today and it's really had to gauge," he said.
Speculating on the spike in Democratic registration, Obama wondered aloud on how turnout would affect the race. "You've got over 200,000 new registrants. Do they all came out to vote? If they all come out to vote, they are not being polled and we don't know which way they are going to break so we've got a chance."
Obama also said that no matter what the outcome today, he feels like the race will continue. "You know, I have come to the conclusion that this race will continue until the last primary or caucus vote is cast. And that's not that far away," he said. "And in the meantime, what we're doing is making sure that every single voter in America has a chance to participate in the primaries and the bright side of that is we're seeing record turnouts, record involvement. We're building organizations that are getting tested. Should I end up being the nominee, the work that we've done here in Pennsylvania I think will be extraordinarily helpful in the general election."
Obama also promised that the voters that Clinton is pulling, older, blue-collar economic voters, would be in his camp by November. "Well look, I think we can win no matter what the results," he said of how blue-collar voters will vote in today's primary. "The polling shows that we can win no matter what the results. When I am the nominee, Ed Rendell is going to be working for me just as hard as he has been working for Sen. Clinton."
He added, "There is going to be a clear contrast between the economic message between the Democrats and the Republicans. This whole notion that somehow because there are some voters -- whether it is older voters or blue-collar voters who prefer Sen. Clinton over me -- that means I can't get their vote, that just isn't born out by the polling, and it is not born out by the history of the peoples' voting patterns. The party is going to come together after the nomination is settled."