Bill Clinton: Hillary Can Still Win

By Ed O'Keefe

May 8, 2008 12:38pm

ABC News’ Sarah Amos Reports: Bill Clinton insists Hillary can still win the Democratic nomination.

"Don’t believe all this stuff you read in the press, she can still win this thing if you vote for her big enough," Clinton told a cheering crowd of over 500 packed into the City Hall gym in Phillippi, West Virginia.

"We are gonna have to resolve Michigan and Florida and when we do she can win the popular vote," Clinton said, quickly adding, "all this raining on her parade is designed to discourage people from voting here. Because it is important not just that she win, but that she win with a large number of the registered voters going to the polls. So the most important thing you can do, is to do that."

Clinton said he was proud of her narrow win in Indiana but also had praise for her loss in North Carolina.

"She started out about 22 or 23 points behind in North Carolina, she started out 8 or 10 points behind in Indiana. It was the first state that borders Illinois and the first state that she has come from behind to win, and she did it being outspent 4 to 1. I think that is pretty good don’t you?" Clinton asked.

The former President explained much of Senator Clinton’s large loss in North Carolina as a result of early voting.

"All the parts of North Carolina that look like West Virginia she won like a house on fire. And she did pretty well in other places. What happened is, a fourth of the people voted in advance and she lost that vote 2 to 1 ’cause we weren’t there and she didn’t have the money. But when she got there, the actual election day vote, from the best I can calculate it, was about seven percent which, given the Democratic break-up, make-up of North Carolina, is a huge, huge showing," asserted Clinton.

Clinton, nicknamed the "Comeback Kid" in his successful 1992 primary and general election campaign has never been known for giving up — or liking to lose.

Making five stops in West Virginia Thursday — more events than Sens. Clinton, D-N.Y., Barack Obama, D-Ill., and presumptive Republican nominee Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. combined — it is clear he views this campaign as being far from over.

The Clinton plan seems to be anchored on an overwhelming win in West Virginia, which could help convince superdelegates that Sen. Clinton is still the best choice for a Democratic nominee.

"It is all riding on you. Don’t you be discouraged. You gotta have a big, big, big vote in West Virginia," Clinton said. "Don’t let anybody tell you it doesn’t matter, I’m not gonna go vote. It does matter. Aren’t you glad that this thing got all the way to the end and you matter? You have been given a massive opportunity."

"She won’t quit on you," Clinton implored on behalf of his wife, "So don’t you quit on her."

At Clinton’s second event in Sutton, he not only trumpeted Hillary’s win in Indiana, but pointed out that Obama had earlier deemed the state to be a tie-breaker.

"In Indiana she came roaring from behind, in the first state that borders Illinois, was out-spent 4 to1, 4 to 1, and won anyways, because of people like you and places like this," Clinton told a crowd that had gathered in a local barn to hear him speak.

Clinton has become Hillary’s champion of rural American during the course of this campaign, and today he is making that point abundantly clear. Stressing numerous times that it is "people like you and place like this" that have kept his wife in the race, Clinton told the crowd in Sutton of the need to unify rural and urban America.

"You know there has been a lot of talk in this election about the need to unify America across the lines of race and age and gender. And I agree with all of that. But we need to unify America in another way. We need to unify town and country – suburbs and rural areas. Cities and the rest of America. We can’t have all the prosperity going to just a few," said Clinton, as the crowd loudly applauded.

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