Bill Clinton: Under GOP Primary System, Hillary Would Be Winning

By Jennifer Parker

Apr 21, 2008 4:42pm

ABC News’ Eloise Harper reports: Former President Bill Clinton, speaking to reporters after his wife’s event in Pittsburgh, PA Monday, said that under the republican primary system –- his wife would be ahead by hundreds of delegates.

"I did not actually get the delegates necessary to have a first power of the nomination  under the crazy system the democrats have," Clinton said. "If we were under the republican system which is more like the electoral college, she would have a 300 delegate lead …It’s an eternity ’til the general election, an eternity."

ABC News’ Political Unit did some quick math and added up all the pledged delegate counts for the winner-take-all Democratic contest. As of the most recent count on the eve of the Pennsylvania state primary, Senator Hillary Clinton has won 15 state contests and was awarded 1430 delegates, not including unpledged (a.k.a. "superdelegates"). Barack Obama has won 29, and has 1257 delegates.

According to ABC’s math –  Clinton would hold more like a 173 delegate-lead if her and Obama were competing in the Republican primary system given the GOP system doesn’t have superdelegates. President Clinton was correct, but overestimated what his wife’s lead would be by about half.

The former president also said that he thinks the people of Pennsylvania think his wife is "their girl."

Clinton said, “I’ve been to 45 communities, 46. In Pennsylvania alone. I think shell bring a change out there, they like her out here they know she’s their girl.”

He continued, "They were dancing on her grave in Texas and she won anyway, and they never thought after they outspent her two to one in Ohio that she could still win by ten points. So well see. She’s got a lot of good supporters here. I don’t know what’s going to happen. Depends on a lot of things, who shows up how the undecided breaks. I literally don’t know, I just think they’re going to be with her though."

When asked about Republican publisher Richard Mellon Scaife’s paper, The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review’s, surprising endorsement of his wife, Bill Clinton admitted that he was taken aback.

“I’m surprised," he said, "You know I take them at their word. I think they were impressed that she had the guts to go see him."

Clinton raised eyebrows when she met with Scaife, wooing his paper’s endorsement. Scaife helped to fund an effort that ultimately led to the impeachment proceedings of Bill Clinton.

When asked what he thought about Carter meeting with Hamas, the former president bit his tongue. "Well look I’m trying to help Hillary, I don’t want to say anything that is going to complicate her life. If you ask her whatever she says is fine with me. You know I don’t want to go there."

ABC News’ Jackie Klingebiel contributed to this report.

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