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Obama: I Want to Meet Voters, Not Debate

(CBS)

From CBS News' Maria Gavrilovic:

INDIANAPOLIS -- Barack Obama today defended his decision not to debate Hillary Clinton in Indiana or North Carolina, saying that he needs more time to campaign.

"We've got nine days to try to campaign and meet as many voters as possible," he told reporters. "So rather than being in a studio, I want to make sure that we're reaching out to folks where they live, answering their questions and having as many interactions as possible."

He said Indiana is an important state in the upcoming May 6th primary where he and Senator Clinton are in a statistical tie. However, Obama refused to say how damaging the loss of the Indiana primary would be to the future of his campaign. "I'll let you guys prognosticate," he said.

This morning, Obama attended church service at St. Luke's United Methodist, the same church that Sen. Dick Lugar, R-Ind., attends. Obama told voters yesterday that Lugar is type of Republican he would consider working with if he is elected president.

"Dick Lugar and I have worked together closely," he said. "He and I worked together on nuclear proliferation issues, we traveled to Russia together, we have tried to prevent weapons falling into the hands of terrorists that could do us enormous damage. I consider him a friend and I think he is one of the finest senators that we have. So he is an example of the kind of person where I want to be able to work across party lines."

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