Obama Says Don't Worry About His Electability

(CBS)
From CBS News' Maria Gavrilovic:

DURHAM, N.C. -- Barack Obama addressed questions about his electability today after an undecided voter asked him how he is going to win in November. Speaking at a lighting manufacturing company here, he argued that he is on the right track to nab the nomination despite the controversies that have plagued his campaign.

"If you think about it, as tough a pressed month as we've had and as many attempts to knock us off stride as there have been, the fact that we're still standing here and still moving forward towards the nomination, I think, indicates the degree to which the core message of this campaign is the right one."

Despite continuing to call himself the underdog, Obama accused his opponents of attacking him because of his front runner status.

"Now the problem is once you're a frontrunner, then it is, I think, the obligation of the candidates who are behind to try to whack you over the head and the press is happy to oblige," Obama said, "and so there was a kitchen sink strategy employed that was throwing a whole bunch of stuff at me and we made some mistakes, some self-inflicted."

He described the controversy with his pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, as one for the self-inflicted mistakes and said his campaign took a hit as a result of it. However, he said some of the arguments against him now are far-reaching.

"I mean you know when folks are reaching when the big attack on me is I'm not wearing a flag pin or that I served on a board with a guy who was a member of the Weathermen back in the 1960s, they're reaching, you know, that was the best they could do."

Citing polls that match Obama up with John McCain in a mock general election, he argued that he will be able to carry large states such as New York and Pennsyvlania in November.

"We're still fundamentally tied to John McCain," he said, "States that Senator Clinton has won when she says 'oh you can't win big states, show me way up in California, show me way up in New York, show me potentially winning in Pennsylvania, potentially winning in Ohio.' So don't buy into this electability argument."