Exclusive: Obama 'Would Love Edwards' Support'

Obama says he'd like Edwards' endorsement, calls McCain a formidable candidate.

ByABC News
November 7, 2008, 6:21 PM

Jan. 29, 2007— -- In an exclusive interview with ABC News, Sen. Barack Obama said that he has let former Sen. John Edwards know that he would like his endorsement should Edwards decide to drop out of the race. While Obama did not admit to rumors of back-door-dealings for delegate sharing, he said that he would strongly welcome a nod from Edwards.

"There is no doubt that I would love John's support, but I also respect the fact that he is in this contest. He is actively seeking the nomination, and he is a formidable candidate," Obama told "Nightline" co-anchor Terry Moran.

On the day that Sen. John McCain claimed victory in Florida's Republican primary, Obama also said that he believes he would be the best candidate to take on McCain in a general election if that were the scenario. Recent polls have Obama and McCain at a dead heat in a hypothetical general election matchup.

"I think John's going to be a formidable candidate if he becomes the nominee for any Democrat." While Obama said that there's "no Republican he wouldn't worry about," he believes that record turnout among Democratic voters would give him a competitive edge over McCain.

"We have literally doubled turnout in every state, doubled it," Obama said. "That's unheard of."

Obama played up his Kansas roots today in an attempt to sway the Plains State voters who cast their ballots on Super Tuesday. With Sen. Hillary Clinton polling ahead of him in most of the Feb. 5 primary states, Obama will need every state he can get.

In a campaign speech in EL Dorado -- a small town where Obama's grandfather is from -- Obama mentioned his grandparents a lot in an attempt to connect with voters and perhaps to shed the image of himself as "exotic."

"Our family's story is one that spans miles and generations; races and realities, "Obama told the crowd. "It's a varied and unlikely journey, but one that's held together by the same simple dream. And that is why it's an American story."

Obama not only painted his family as the embodiment of the American dream but also stressed his "Midwestern" sensibility." I don't tend to look at problems and say, 'OK, I'm liberal on this issue, I'm conservative on that issue. ' I tend much more to think what is right and how do I think I can solve a problem."