INDIANAPOLIS, IND.---Here's the official Obama team spin on what is shaping up as a likely Indiana loss: "There really has never been any question that Senator Clinton would win Indiana," said a Obama talking points memo out Tuesday. Team Obama also blames Rush Limbaugh for urging Republicans to infiltrate the primary and vote for Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton.
full memo, click below...
Talking points on Limbaugh Crossovers
Limbaugh has been urging right-wingers to vote against Obama
* There really has never been any question that Senator Clinton would win Indiana, where she has the support of Senator Evan Bayh’s political operation and the demographics heavily favor her. But we saw today that perhaps her strongest asset was that Republicans believe she’ll be an easier opponent to beat in November.
* Right-wing radio host Rush Limbaugh has been urging his listeners to cross over and vote in the Democratic primary in Indiana to help Clinton’s chances at becoming the nominee.
* Reports from Indiana polling places confirmed that record numbers of Republicans were taking Democratic ballots to vote against Obama. And Limbaugh himself bragged about the success of his effort on his radio show today.
Republicans are desperate to face Clinton, because they know Obama will be harder to beat
* Let’s be very clear: the Republicans want to face Senator Clinton in November, because they know that Senator Obama will be a stronger nominee for the Democrats, and will help Democratic candidates down the ballot. Republicans are so scared of Obama that they’re actually skipping their own primary to vote against him.
* That’s a stunning testament to the threat that Obama will pose to Republicans come fall.
* If I were the Clinton campaign, I don’t think I’d be celebrating too hard tonight. Winning a state on the strength of voters who want to see you defeated isn’t exactly the kind of win you want—or the message you want to send to superdelegates.
Comments are beyond the pale—and a distortion
* This afternoon, top Clinton advisor Harolk Ickes said that if Barack Obama were the nominee, there might be a so-called “October surprise” that would hand the election the Republicans. Using this kind of fear tactic is simply beyond the pale—and a total distortion.
* Time after time, we’ve seen that the Republicans are desperate to face Clinton in the fall because they know that Obama would be a stronger candidate. That’s what brought Limbaugh listeners out in droves today to vote for Clinton.
* To suggest that Clinton would somehow offer less risk of an October surprise—at the same time as Republicans are actively working to see her nominated—is certainly curious.
Not the tactics Democrats want to see
* But leaving that aside, this simply isn’t the kind of tactic that Democratic voters and superdelegates want to say. As President Clinton himself said a couple of years ago, “if one candidate's appealing to your fears and the other one's appealing to your hopes, you better vote for the person who wants you to think and hope.”