ABC News’ Teddy Davis Reports: House Democratic Caucus Chairman Rahm Emanuel referred to Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., as the Democratic Party’s "presumptive nominee" for president while speaking Friday in New York City at a conference sponsored by The New Yorker magazine.
"At this point, Barack is the presumptive nominee," said Emanuel. "Hillary can’t win but something could happen that Barack could lose the nomination."
Emanuel wouldn’t go so far as to say that Clinton should drop out. "Next question!" he said when asked.
Friday’s comments by Emanuel, who served as a top aide in the Clinton White House, are sure to receive lots of attention.
Appearing on HBO’s "Real Time with Bill Maher" back in April of 2006, Emanuel voiced his support for Clinton’s presidential bid.
"I’m supporting Hillary Clinton," said Emanuel. "I’m public about it."
But once fellow Chicago Democrat Obama, who is close to Emanuel, expressed his interest in running for president, the House Democratic Caucus Chairman struck a neutral pose and has remained neutral since then.
"I’m hiding under the desk," Emanuel famously told the Chicago Sun-Times in November of 2006. "I’m very far under the desk, and I’m bringing my paper and my phone."
Emanuel’s comments first appeared on the HuffingtonPost and were later confirmed with Emanuel’s staff by ABC News.