Clinton attends voting event in Galveston

February 20, 2008 10:02:35 AM PST
Former President Bill Clinton acknowledged Wednesday that the Texas and Ohio primaries could make or break Hillary Clinton's candidacy. Bill Clinton was back in Texas Wednesday for the second time in four days to stump for his wife.

"This whole nominating process has come down to Texas and Ohio," he said of the two states that both hold primaries March 4. "If she wins in Texas and in Ohio, she will win in Pennsylvania and I believe she will win the nomination."

Rival Democrat Barack Obama won primaries in Hawaii and Wisconsin on Tuesday, putting him in the lead in the race for convention delegates. Hillary Clinton, who early on was expected to win the Democratic nomination, is counting on Texas with its heavy Hispanic vote, to bring her back.

Early voting already started this week in Texas and Bill Clinton spoke to an early-morning crowd of several hundred people from the back of a pickup truck in the parking lot of the county courthouse. "If you want the fact, not the feeling, if you want the solution, not the speech, you have a clear choice," Clinton said,

comparing the campaign styles of Hillary Clinton and Obama. The former president mentioned Obama by name just once in about a 20-minute appearance to which he stayed true to his Texas campaign style by showing up nearly an hour late.

"She basically has won the big states and she has done very well," Clinton said.

"She does well in the primaries," he said, ignoring her 10 straight losses to Obama. "Senator Obama does well in the caucuses."

He condensed his basic campaign speech, which was running an hour or more last week during appearances in the state.

"I think there is very little doubt in this country that she understands best the problems in America," he said, citing the New York senator's expertise with the economy, housing problems, health care, education, national security, military and veterans affairs.

"She has had an astonishing record of success doing things helping people," Clinton told the crowd of in this beach city 50 miles south of Houston. "She'd be the best president. She's got the best record of change."

Some of Hillary Clinton's backers have said she cannot afford to lose either Texas or Ohio. Both candidates have begun advertising in Texas, with 193 delegates, and Ohio, with 141, and both have been visiting the two states even before Tuesday's Wisconsin primary and Hawaii caucuses.

Obama was in Dallas Wednesday, a day after appearances in San Antonio and Houston. Hillary Clinton was in the Rio Grande Valley.

Bill Clinton plans stops later Wednesday in Beaumont, Victoria and Houston. Thursday, he plans to hit Midland-Odessa, San Angelo and San Antonio. He was in East Texas all last Friday and spent Saturday in Lubbock, Amarillo and Austin. Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton has campaigned exclusively along the Texas-Mexico border and in San Antonio.

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