Rendell urges Pa. Democrats to unite

June 6, 2008 6:18:46 PM PDT
Gov. Ed Rendell is calling on Pennsylvania Democrats to unite behind Barack Obama as the party's likely nominee for president. Rendell is addressing a dinner of the Democratic State Committee in Camp Hill.

Speaking to reporters before the Friday night event, Rendell said it's vital that Democrats set aside grudges that developed during the grueling nomination battle between Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Rendell, who previously backed Clinton for the nomination, said his remarks represent his "first Obama speech."

He called Republican nominee-apparent John McCain the strongest candidate the GOP has put forth since the mid-1980s. But he predicted Obama will carry the battleground state of Pennsylvania if he sticks to the economic issues that are important to Pennsylvanians.

Rendell predicted Obama would beat McCain in the state "not by a hair, but no landslide either."