Bernie Sanders got defensive during a press conference in Columbia, South Carolina Wednesday morning, arguing that he is still in this “race to win it” and believes his team will pull off a political upset. The presidential candidate argued that he was not giving up on South Carolina even though he was leaving directly after the event for trips to Missouri, Oklahoma and Ohio, just days before the state's primary.
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“We are fighting here in South Carolina as hard as we can but within the context, you know, I think Secretary Clinton was in California the other day, I mean she is writing off the state, that’s the real world that we are living,” he said.
The Sanders campaign has argued that the schedule is front-loaded in a way that favors his opponent Hillary Clinton. The campaign acknowledges that she will likely dominate in the South with its large African-American population and her high favorability there, but his team added that, they think he will do well in the rust-belt and states further west.
ABC News’ Cecilia Vega asked the Vermont Senator about his uphill battle to secure enough delegates to win the nomination given the realities of the electoral map.
“There are a number of people who say the math just doesn’t add up. How do you think you can win the nomination?” Vega asked.
“By getting more delegates than my opponent,” Sanders retorted. “I am pretty good at arithmetic and I can add.”
Sanders asked the room of reporters exactly how many delegates were up for grabs on March 1st also referred to as “Super Tuesday” when 11 states vote. The answer: 880.
“Know what?” the Vermont Senator continued. “We’re going to win a lot of them.”
Pressed to say just how many or make any prediction, Sanders threw up his hands. His press conference, which he billed as a conversation about poverty in the state and among children, had come too far off course. “Here we are talking about children in South Carolina in the wealthiest country in the world who have nothing and you’re asking me to predict to you how many votes I am going to get?” Sanders said bristly. “I don’t know. Nor do you. I will tell you the answer to that on Wednesday, how’s that.”