Obama on the Long, Long Primary

In a press conference this afternoon, the transcript of which was just provided by the Obama campaign, Barack Obama argues that the lengthy nominating process for the Democratic Party has not been positive for the party’s chances in November, and that the sooner the nomination is wrapped up the better.

“There is no doubt that if we have additional time to bring the Democratic Party together and the focus on the Republican nominee then we’ll be stronger for it in the fall, and that is why we would like to wrap up this campaign as quickly as possible. So, yes, there has been some time lost,” said Obama.

He immediately outlined the positive side of the protracted campaign season.

“On the other hand I do think having campaigned in Pennsylvania, having campaigned in Ohio, having to campaign here in Indiana and in North Carolina and Oregon, some of these other states, increases registration levels, increases participation in the Democratic primary, builds organization. And so those are all pluses.”

In the press conference, Obama responded to Clinton’s “can’t take the heat then get out of the kitchen” argument by saying, “Nobody has complained more about the press about questions at debates, about being mistreated, than Senator Clinton has, or President Clinton. And so we have been pretty tame in terms of taking our shots and just rolling with them. And in fact I think that one of the things that has characterized this campaign is that we don’t get too up when we are up and we don’t get too down when we are down.”

He added, “And you know, I know that people like to talk tough and use a lot of rhetoric about fighting and obliterating and all that stuff. You know that I have always believed that if you are tough you don’t have to talk about it.”

[“Obliterating” was a reference to Hillary Clinton’s threat to retaliate against Iran if Iran attacked Israel. An earlier version of the post said, incorrectly, that she was talking about what would happen if Iran attacked the United States.]

Obama on the Long, Long Primary