Clinton Says She’s ‘Staying in This Race’

By Nitya

May 7, 2008 2:48pm

ABC News’ Eloise Harper Reports: With her sights set on the May 13 West Virginia primary, Senator Clinton made no mention of her loss in North Carolina – and spoke proudly of her Indiana finish describing it as a "come-from-behind-victory".

Speaking in Shepherdstown, West Virginia, when asked if she’ll carry the fight to the floor of the convention, Clinton said she’s not going anywhere until there is a clear winner. "I’m staying in this race until there is a nominee and I obviously am going to work as hard as I can to become that nominee…that is what I have done, that is what I continue to do," Clinton said.

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Clinton once again floated 2210 delegates as the nomination finish line, accounting for the seating of Michigan and Florida’s delegates. Both states were punished by the DNC for holding early primaries and are not included in the needed 2025 delegates to clinch the nomination.

When asked if she would accept Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill, as the party’s nominee if he got to 2210 delegates, Clinton praised the reporter for using the 2210 instead of 2025 calling it "the right figure".

"I’m glad you used the figure 2210 because I think that’s the right figure because that includes the seating of delegates from Florida and Michigan something that I have said consistently as I have said consistently for months now,’ Clinton concluded, not answering the question adding "2209, 2210 is the number and at one point one of us will get there."

With roughly 18 delegates (of the 187 that were at stake Tuesday) left to be allocated, Sen. Obama is 182 delegates shy of reaching the magic number 2,025 to secure the nomination.  Sen. Clinton is 346 delegates away — that is roughly 70% of the total remaining pledged and unpledged (super) delegates left to be allocated.

Clinton did not show frustration when asked how she felt about losing the endorsement of former Sen. George McGovern, "I respect him. He has a right to make whatever decision he makes I was pleased to get Heath Shuler’s endorsement."

Clinton refused to answer when asked if she would loan more money to campaign — this morning ABC News learned the New York senator had loaned her campaign nearly $6.5 million in the last month. Clinton said today that she thought he investment had paid off.

"It’s a sign of my commitment to this campaign. It’s a sign of how much I believe in what were trying to do and my supporters have been incredibly generous. They are putting money into this campaign on an hourly basis."  Clinton continued, "We’ve remained competitive and I have been willing to lend that money to my campaign so that we could be competitive and I think it’s paid off."

Clinton emphasized her strength in the race to the nomination, "I think the base that I have put together in these primaries is a stronger base to stand on, that is certainly my assessment as I stand here today.” Clinton continued to speak about how the length of the race is not unusual saying "In June of 1992 that’s when Bill really wrapped up the nomination – the middle of June after California."

Clinton then made a veiled comparison between Kerry and Obama saying "When Senator Kerry wrapped up the nomination in I guess March, he was ahead of President Bush but he didn’t win so this is a dynamic electoral environment."

Clinton also pointed out that if the other side had the rules the Democratic Party did – their contest would still be raging on. "If we had the rules the Republicans have we’d already have a nominee. If they had our rules they’d still be fighting it out."

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