On Eve of Primary, Obama Focuses on Issues, Not Opponents

From CBS News' Maria Gavrilovic:

BLUE BELL, PA. -- Barack Obama's first campaign stop today was a small outdoor gathering in a Philadelphia suburb, a stark contrast from Hillary Clinton's large morning rally in Scranton. He spoke to approximately 40 voters on issues ranging from the economy to education. Although he spent most of his weekend criticizing Hillary Clinton, he did not mention her once at the event. On the eve of the primary, the campaign wants the last images of Obama to be those of him focusing on issues and not his opponent.

Obama clearly seems to be poisitioning himself for a loss tomorrow, despite outspending Clinton 3-to-1 in statewide television ads. In a local radio interview this morning, Obama said, "I'm not predicting a win. I'm predicting it's going to be close and that we are going to do a lot better than people expect." The campaign argues that Clinton has the support of the Pennsylvania establishment, and despite his popularity and money, voters in the state are more familiar with her.

Hillary Clinton launched a new ad in the state, asking which candidate has the most experience to deal with a crisis. Images of Osama bin Laden, Hurricane Katrina appear on screen as the announcer says, "Harry Truman said it best – if you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. Who do you think has what it takes?"

Campaign spokesman Bill Burton was quick to respond to the ad. "When Senator Clinton voted with President Bush to authorize the war in Iraq, she made a tragically bad decision that diverted our military from the terrorists who attacked us, and allowed Osama bin Laden to escape and regenerate his terrorist network. It's ironic that she would borrow the President's tactics in her own campaign and invoke bin Laden to score political points. We already have a President who plays the politics of fear, and we don't need another."