In Maine, Clinton Takes on McCain and Obama

(CBS)
From CBS News' Fernando Suarez:

ORONO, MAINE -- With the Maine caucuses just a day away, Hillary Clinton made a final push to get Democrats to turn out. She spoke for over one hour to a group of 3,000 students, teachers and supporters at the University of Maine and her message was simple: "Help is on the way."

But Clinton, who tweaked the top of her stump speech to focus on her opponents, both Barack Obama and Republican John McCain, found herself bouncing back and forth between jabs at both of them.

"The Republicans are about to choose Senator McCain as their nominee, I consider him a friend and a colleague. But I guess the Republicans like the last 7 years and have decided they want more of the same," Clinton said.

Soon after, Clinton made a veiled attack on Obama's message that he is the 'change' candidate saying, "talking about change is easy, making change is hard." She added, "We need a nominee, and then we need a president with the strength and experience to make the changes we want."

Unlike her campaign speeches in earlier states where she had time to make her case, Clinton finds herself in the inevitable time crunch of the current nomination process. With little time to waste, Clinton has no choice but to distinguish herself - or set "contrasts," as the campaign calls it - from her opponents.

Clinton said she deserves to be the nominee because she is more prepared than Obama to take on McCain in the general election and warned voters that they should consider McCain's "legendary background" when choosing their nominee.

"It will be even more important if our nominee, who will be running against someone with the record and legendary background of John McCain. Democratic voters need to think about this."

Clinton will race through Maine trying to cover as much ground as possible with two more stops in the state before jetting to Richmond, Virginia for a Democratic party dinner.
  • Fernando Suarez

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