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Obama Says Mississippi Election Proves He Can Withstand Republicans


From CBS News' Maria Gavrilovic:

WARREN, MICH. -- Barack Obama today used Travis Childers' congressional win in Mississippi as proof that he will be able to withstand Republican attacks in November and beat John McCain. In Mississippi, Republicans linked Childers to Obama and his former pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, yet Childers won the election.

"They ran ads with my face on it and they said 'look at this, former liberal and his former pastor said offensive things.' I mean they were trying to do every trick in the book to try to scare folks in Mississippi and it didn't work," Obama said at a town hall meeting here.

The National Republican Congressional Committee and Childer's opponent, Greg Davis, ran ads tying Obama to Childers, saying they were "too liberal" for Mississippi, and also called on Childers to publicly reject the pastor's comments. Childers said Obama was not a part of his campaign and was not associated with him.

Obama maintained that Childers' win demonstrates voters' desire for change, which will be beneficial to his own campaign. "The reason it [the attacks] didn't work is because the American people know we need a new direction in Washington," Obama said. "That's why we're going to win Michigan, that's why we're going to beat John McCain here in Michigan."

Obama also assured voters here that their state delegates will be seated at the Democratic convention. He said his campaign is willing to abide by whatever rules are set up by Michigan Democrats.

"Tell us what the rules are and then we play by the rules," Obama said. "If I'm fortunate enough to be the Democratic nominee, I'll have some say about what the rules are and I can guarantee you that we will make sure that the Michigan delegation is seated and that they are going to have a full voice in what happens in the convention."