— -- Hillary Clinton on Tuesday night pledged to unify the Democratic party and create a country where "love trumps hate," as she celebrated her projected wins in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Connecticut and Delaware -- a sign she's essentially preparing to be her party’s presidential nominee.
The Democratic front-runner’s vow to unify the party seemed designed to send a message to her opponent, Bernie Sanders, and his supporters.
"Now, with your help we're going to come back to Philadelphia for the Democratic National Convention with the most votes and the most pledged delegates," she said at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in downtown Philadelphia, a venue where some convention events are expected to be held. "We will unify our party to win this election and build an America where we can all rise together, an America where we lift each other up instead of tearing each other down."
Later, Clinton mentioned Sanders, who ABC News projected will win the Rhode Island primary, saying that "together" they can pass policies he is pushing.
"I applaud Senator Sanders and his millions of supporters for challenging us to get unaccountable money out of our politics and giving greater emphasis to closing the gap of inequality and I know together we will get that done," she said. "Whether you support senator Sanders or you support me, there's much more that unites us than divides us."
Clinton also called for creating a world where "love trumps hate."
"That is the future I want," she said, as the crowd burst into cheers of "love trumps hate!”
Clinton also called out Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump, who was projected to win all five states that held primaries on Tuesday, for saying she was playing the “woman card.”
"The other day Mr. Trump accused me of playing the, quote, woman card,” she said to the sound of "boos" from the audience. "Well, if fighting for women's health care and paid family leave and equal pay is playing the woman's card, then deal me in.”
Following her remarks, Clinton spokeswoman Jen Palmieri seemed to all but call the primary over tonight —- telling reporters that the campaign is preparing for the general election and that they see the primary winding down in the coming weeks.
“It is certainly prudent at this point and necessary to prepare for a general election,” Palmieri said. “And we have been making preparations and will continue to do so as the next several weeks wind down and going into Philadelphia.”
“We feel very well that this primary has been hard fought but proven to be a benefit for our candidate and for the party," she added. "We still have many weeks left to go and we will compete in the primary, that is the forefront of our mind, but we will continue to prepare for a general election as well."