ABC News’ Sunlen Miller reports: Sen. Barack Obama, trekking across Pennsylvania aboard the Georgia 300 train, used his whistlestops to cast Sen. Hillary Clinton as a typical Washington insider who’s throwing the kitchen sink at him.
"She’s resorted to what’s called ‘kitchen sink’ strategies. She’s got the kitchen sink flying, and the china flying, and the, you know, the buffet is coming at me," Obama said at a stop in Downingtown.
Obama quickly added that he is tough enough to withstand this kind of politics, refuting a criticism that some have made that because of his inability to withstand such attacks he would be a weaker nominee for the party when running against the Republicans.
"I come from Chicago," he said. "I know politics is hard, you know, it’s not for the faint of heart. I understand that."
Obama repeatedly tried to make the case that the kitchen sink strategy takes away from a focus on the issues.
"These petty, trivial slash and burn, back and forth, tit for tat politics so that we no longer talk about the things that the American people care about, that may be good for the television ratings, but it’s not good for you," he said.
The race in Pennsylvania leading up to the crucial primary on April 22 has not been a smooth one for Obama. The primary is coming in the immediate aftermath of controversial comments he made at a San Francisco fundraiser that small-town Pennsylvanians are "bitter" and "cling" to guns and religion. Senators Clinton and John McCain, the presumptive GOP nominee, both jumped on his comments, criticizing him for being elitist and eliciting a nasty back-and-forth for the last week.
"You’ve been watching this campaign for a couple weeks, at least here in Pennsylvania," Obama said. "And let’s face it, it’s not pretty."
Just four days before the primary, Obama rolled though multiple cities and stopped at four stations to plug his message.
"Get on board the change train," he called to Parkesburg residents while pulling the whistle as the train rolled out of their station.
The Georgia 300 train that is carrying Obama across Pennsylvania has also hosted presidents Carter, George H.W. Bush … and Bill Clinton.