WASHINGTON--Clinton communications chief Howard Wolfson says in a memo (click below) that the emphasis in the near future will be on the economy.
To: Interested Parties
From: Howard Wolfson
Date: April 28, 2008
RE: Economic Leadership = Jobs, Jobs, Jobs
Hillary Clinton’s economic leadership has been key to her victories in Ohio and Pennsylvania and will be the focus of her campaign in the run-up to the Indiana and North Carolina primaries.
As today’s New York Times reports, Senator Clinton is demonstrating her leadership on core economic issues by laying out the boldest and most specific plan to help create jobs of any candidate in this race — and she is the only candidate with comprehensive proposals to reduce our dependence on foreign fuels in the long run and provide relief for consumers in the short term.
Today, she will unveil a plan to suspend the gas tax paid for out of oil company profits in order to give drivers price relief during the upcoming peak driving months of summer. Unlike Senator McCain, Senator Clinton’s plan is paid for and will not raid the highway trust fund. Senator Clinton also has the most detailed, comprehensive trade agenda to ensure that trade is not a race to the bottom and has a bold housing agenda that would freeze foreclosures and create a moratorium on subprime resets. And she would take away $55 billion in special interest tax breaks and put that money back in the pockets of middle class Americans.
While Senator Obama retools his stump speech to reach middle and working class voters, Senator Clinton is going to continue doing what she has successfully done in Ohio and Pennsylvania — reach out to those Americans who work hard for a living and need a champion in the White House to help them in this difficult economy.
In Pennsylvania, 55% of voters identified the economy as their number one issue — Senator Clinton won that group 59-41. In Ohio, 40% of voters said the economy was poor — Senator Clinton won that group by 16 points. Senator Clinton’s specific economic plans — on green collar jobs, on tax relief, on reducing fuel costs for consumers and taking on the oil industry — has clearly resonated with the voters most concerned about the state of the economy.
By contrast, Senator Obama continues to perform poorly with blue collar voters, raising serious concerns about his ability to successfully compete in key industrial swing states like Ohio, Pennsylvania and Michigan. He does do well with those voters who say the economy is good (7% of the electorate in Pennsylvania) or those who are not at all worried about the state of the economy (12% in Texas), but as the economy worsens that group will likely continue to diminish.
Indeed, it is the leadership that Senator Clinton demonstrates on this critical issue that accounts in part for her consistent success in winning over those voters who decided in the last 3 days of the campaign (18 point margins with those voters in both Pennsylvania and Texas). As voters consider the serious challenges facing the nation and the next President in the closing days of these contests, they are choosing the candidate they believe can best be the steward of our economy in rocky times.
As this campaign continues, Senator Clinton will continue to stress the economy in her stump speech and will make clear that, unlike Senator Obama, she knows consumers need relief from gas taxes and deserve a President who has consistently been willing to take on big oil as opposed to awarding it billions in giveaways — as Senator Obama did when he voted for the Bush-Cheney energy bill.