Obama Can’t Confirm John Lewis Backing

By Jennifer Parker

Feb 15, 2008 12:39pm

ABC News’ Sunlen Miller, David Wright and Ursula Fahy Report: At a press conference in Milwaukee today Sen. Barack Obama commented on a New York Times report that said Democratic Congressman and civil rights leader Rep. John Lewis plans to cast his vote as a superdelegate for Obama instead of Sen. Hillary Clinton.

Watch the VIDEO HERE.

Lewis had endorsed Clinton in the Fall. Obama did not confirm the report, telling reporters his call to Lewis yesterday has not been returned.

“I have not spoken to Congressman Lewis, I haven’t spoken to him prior to this report. I put in a call to him after the report to find out what he was thinking but I have not received word from him yet,” Obama said.

"I think the broader point is that there are going to be a lot of super delegates who are examining this race as it moves forward. I think increasingly the super delegates that I talked to are uncomfortable with the notion that they will override decisions made by voters," he said.

"Our position has always been clear which is voters should make these decisions; whoever has the most pledged delegates at the end of this contest should be the nominee and that super delegates should ratify that decision by the voters. I know that Senator Clinton feels differently, we’ll see how the argument plays itself out."

Obama was pressed on whether he will ask superdelegates who have endorsed him, like Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., and Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano, to vote instead for Clinton. The New York Senator won more pledged delegates in both Arizona and Massachusetts.

Obama said his position is that all of the superdelegates should vote the way their state voted.

"You know essentially our belief is that the superdelegates should look at the original function of what their role was and that whoever ends up being that person with the most delegates earned through primaries and caucuses, that person should receive the support of the superdelegates, so that is our position and it’s one born out by the intentions of the original rules setting up super delegates," he said. "I mean there are all kinds of ways of slicing and dicing it. The general point though is that  I think we should look at who the vote goes to and whoever the vote goes to that’s where the superdelegates should go.”

Reporters asked: what about looking at the popular vote?

“Well I’m happy to look at where the popular vote as well , obviously we feel pretty good about where our popular vote is right now,” Obama said.

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