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Clinton Campaign Backpedals on Richardson Comments

From CBS News' Fernando Suarez:

BURBANK, CALIF. - In an exchange with reporters at a press conference earlier today, Hillary Clinton was asked about reports that while, she was seeking his endorsement, she told Gov. Bill Richardson, D-N.M., that Barack Obama could not win the general election if he were the nominee. Clinton responded, "You know we have been going back and forth in this campaign about who said what to whom and let me say this about that. I don't talk about private conversations. But I have consistently made the case that I can win because I believe I can win. You know, sometimes people draw the conclusions that I'm saying somebody else can't win. I can win, I know I can win. That's why I do this everyday. I'm in it to win it."

The reporter pressed Clinton saying, "Is that a no?" To which Clinton responded, "That's a no."

But later, a senior Clinton spokesman told reporters that Clinton did not mean to imply that she was not referring to what she allegedly said to Richardson about Obama. Instead, the campaign explains that Clinton took the follow up question to mean that she "does not talk about private conversations."

Reporters pressed the aide about Clinton's answer to which the aide maintained that Clinton's "that's a no" answer was aimed at the fact that Clinton does not discuss private conversations.

The campaign's move leaves open the possibility that Clinton may have been worried that Richardson, who eventually endorsed Obama, would have come out and challenged Clinton's denial.

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