Clinton: I don't understand what Sen. Obama is afraid of

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.), whose campaign for president may depend on holding new primaries in Michigan and Florida, is turning up the heat on Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) on the issue.

Clinton trails Obama in the race for the Democratic nomination and hopes that allowing those two states to vote again would help her close in on Obama’s delegate lead.

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She finished first in both states’ January primaries. But because Michigan and Florida broke party rules to schedule early contests, the Democratic National Committee has ruled they will not count — leaving some to dismiss primaries as “beauty contests.” 

“I do not understand what Sen. Obama is afraid of, but it is going to hurt our party and our chances in November and so I would call on him, once again, to join me in giving the people of Florida and Michigan the chance to be counted as we move forward in this nominating process,” the former first lady said at the outset of an Indiana press conference.

Clinton went to Michigan this week to make her case. However, it appears that efforts in both states to hold a re-vote are coming up short. The Clinton campaign is saying that Obama’s refusal to strongly support such primaries is part of the problem.

“I do not see how two of our largest and most significant states can be disenfranchised and left out of the process of picking our nominee without raising serious questions about the legitimacy of that nominee,” Clinton said.

The Obama campaign did not immediately answer a request for comment.