The good news is that the press are sharks, and so they won't hammer this point. Moreover, voters are distractable--if they ever paid attention at all--and they won't remember his comments a week from now. But that aside, there's this: Obama could actually turn it back against Clinton.
In her clumsy (vicious, petty) attack back, Clinton has stupidly made it about "bitterness," not clinging. She's handing out "I'm not bitter" bumper-stickers in North Carolina. But of course, people are bitter. (Now that Penn has left, perhaps she has no one to tell her 81% of people think we're on the wrong track.) Obama may have sloppily diagnosed the cause, but not the disease. And now, even before the Monday news cycle picks up again, he's running with the bitterness argument, too:
Barack Obama understands us. He's got it right, we are frustrated -- frustrated with polices that enable businesses to leave our community, pensions to be stripped, health care benefits to be taken away and homes foreclosed. Unlike his opponents, who have been part of the Washington establishment that are out of touch with us, Barack Obama will change Washington. It is policies that hurt us. He will take on the special interests and fight for us.I'm going to make a bold prediction here: I think this helps him in Pennsylvania. Not enough to win, but enough for Democrats to fall in line behind him after the election and start calling for her to step down. She went all-in on this gambit, and I think it's going to backfire.
Robocall from the mayor of York, PA
(See predictive record above.)
Obama on Friday: "You go into these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing's replaced them. And they fell through the Clinton Administration, and the Bush Administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not. And it's not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations."