Obama Open to Helping Clinton Relieve Her Campaign Debt

By Lindsey Ellerson

May 9, 2008 6:10pm

While taking care to say the very question is premature, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, Friday indicated an openness to helping Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-NY, with her millions in campaign debt.

Clinton’s campaign debt is thought to be upwards of $10 million — not including the $11.425 million she loaned her campaign from her personal funds. They are numbers perhaps not as immediately troubling as the 170 delegates by which she trails Obama in their race to the magic 2,025 delegate number to clinch the nomination — but they are troubling numbers for her nonetheless.

Visiting “Luis’s Taqueria” in Woodburn, Oregon with his brother in law, Craig Robinson — the new basketball coach at Oregon State University — Obama helped himself to some tacos and signaled to Clinton that should she concede the nomination he would help her with the debt.

“That’s not a conversation that we’ve had because our working assumption right now is we’re still in the middle of a race,” he said when asked about her debt.

But when asked again, ABC News’ Sunlen Miller reports, Obama said, "historically after a campaign is done and you want to unify the party — particularly when you’ve had a strong opponent — you want to make sure you’re putting that opponent in a strong position so that they can work to win an election in November."

Obama said, "obviously I’d want to have a broad range discussion with Sen. Clinton about how I could make her feel good about the process and have her on the team moving forward — but as I said its premature right now, she’s still actively running and we’ve still got business to do here in Oregon and other states.”

- jpt

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