This morning on the "Today" show, David Gregory interviewed Barack Obama about last night's primary results. Gregory challenged Obama by saying, "you have also not demonstrated that you can win some of the big states that'll be important in a general election. California, New York, Ohio." Obama countered immediately, "Well, David, we've won Michigan and Georgia and Illinois and Missouri. We've won twice as many states as Senator Clinton."
The "we've won Michigan" line was likely an example of a very tired Obama making a verbal gaffe — he wasn't even on the ballot in Michigan, which is one of the states the Democratic party sanctioned for moving its primary date up too early by discounting its delegates. But Gregory didn't correct Obama's mistake, leaving the unsavvy "Today" show viewer believing that Michigan is firmly in the Obama column.
Watch (full transcript below):
Transcript (via Newsbusters):
GREGORY: But Senator you have not demonstrated that you can decisively put the nomination away. You have also not demonstrated that you can win some of the big states that'll be important in a general election. California, New York, Ohio.
OBAMA: Well David we've won Michigan and Georgia and Illinois and Missouri. We've won twice as many states as Senator Clinton. We have more of the popular vote. We've won more primaries, more caucuses. Keep in mind what's happened here. We have won decisively in a whole number of states and you know Senator Clinton and her campaign have tended to cherry pick which states they think are important. But the bottom line is, is that we are in a very strong position. Senator Clinton barely dented the delegate count yesterday. We are going on to Mississippi and Wyoming where we feel confident that we can do well. And this process is gonna ultimately be about who's got the most delegates and we think we'll be in that position.
GREGORY: You just heard Senator Clinton. She said, unequivocally, that's not how the process works. That there are pledged delegates but these superdelegates should be independent. Should be able to vote how they want. So let's be clear on what your position is. If she tries to get the superdelegates to come over to her side, even if she trails in the pledged delegates, would you consider that, in effect, stealing the nomination?
OBAMA: No I don't think it would be stealing the nomination. She can try to persuade the superdelegates to support her. I think that most Democrats are gonna feel like whoever has won the most delegates in these primaries and caucuses will end up being the nominee. That's why we have primaries and caucuses, otherwise the superdelegates could just go into a smoke-filled room and make those decisions.