The New York Times’ Patrick Healey, Jeff Zeleny and Adam Nagourney reported on Saturday that, in response to calls for Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-NY, to drop out of the race (from the likes of Obama-backing Sen. Pat Leahy, D-Vermont), "In a conversation with two Democratic allies, she compared the situation to the ‘big boys’ trying to bully a woman, according to interviews with them."
In the Washington Post Sunday, Clinton denied the report to Perry Bacon, Jr.
Q. "There was a story today that said you felt the ‘big boys’ were trying to push you out, ‘bullying’ you. Did you use those phrases?"
Clinton: "No , I did not. … I never said that. I’m always amazed when I read things I supposedly said that I never said. Look, I think that what is going on with people trying to shut this process down is very counterproductive. I think it is not in the best interests of the Democratic Party…
"It would be perilous for me to say, ‘You know, Barack Obama won x,y and z. That’s not enough electoral votes. He should drop out.’ Why would anybody say that? We need to let this contest continue. I know there are some people who want to shut this process down, and I think they are wrong and I have no intention of stopping until we finish what we started, and until we see what happens in the next 10 contests, and until we resolve Florida and Michigan. And if we won’t resolve it, we’ll resolve it at the convention — that’s what credentials committees are for — because I feel so strongly about this. For the life of me, what Barack was afraid of with Michigan I will never understand. There is no doubt in my mind he would have done just fine running a vigorous campaign."
UPDATE: Healey at the New York Times emailed me to say the newspaper stands by its story.