Barack and Michelle Obama speak to reporters on the campaign plane en route to San Antonio. (Globe photo)
SAN ANTONIO -- Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, ambled back to chat with reporters on the plane from Houston to San Antonio a little while ago and offered their perspective on the state of the race, the barbed attacks from rival Hillary Clinton, and the media's treatment of the candidates.
"What my head tells me is that we've got a very sizable delegate lead and it's going to be hard to overcome," said Obama, predicting tight contests in Ohio and Texas today. "But look, she is a tenacious and determined candidate, so we're just going to make sure we work as hard as we can for as long as it takes."
Obama said Clinton had run a "pretty negative campaign over the last couple weeks." But he said it was a healthy experience for him and his campaign.
"My theory is that withstanding some of the attacks that have been coming our way over the last couple weeks will just make us stronger," he said. "It's like training camp if I end up being the nominee."
He also suggested, seeming to refer to some tough stories about his campaign in recent days, that Clinton's "spin" about media bias in his favor had worked. "I am a little surprised that all the complaining about the refs has worked as well as it has," he said. "But it is what it is. I don't want to change the tone of our campaign because that's how I ultimately think we'll be able to govern."
The campaign's internal tracking, meanwhile, showed good signs for Obama in Texas today, at least as of noon: Turnout appeared higher than they projected in dense African-American neighborhoods, areas home to many students, and in cities they felt good about, such as Austin, Dallas, and Houston. Voting in heavily Latino districts, meanwhile, appeared lower than projected, aides said.