Clinton Campaign Reacts to Edwards Endorsement


From CBS News' Ryan Corsaro:

WASHINGTON -- Less than an hour after news broke that John Edwards would endorse Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton's campaign chairman Terry McAuliffe walked out of Senator Clinton's Washington home and stood before the rash of press spread out on her cul de sac. Inside her house, Clinton was holding a fundraiser with supporters that caterers had been setting up all day.

Asked if she had reacted to the announcement Edwards was endorsing for Obama, McAuliffe replied, "nobody mentioned it."

He told reporters that Tuesday's win in West Virginia over Obama by nearly 40 points was proof that despite conjecture by many political pundits, the race was not over, and that his candidate still had a chance. "People see her as a fighter. She's not giving up. She is resilient. And when people say to her she ought to get out – you know, this race, we are ahead in the popular vote – I cannot stress this enough," McAuliffe said. "She is ahead in the popular vote. We are close in the delegates. This is up to the voters."

Clinton only leads in the popular vote if Michigan and Florida's primary votes count, which they currently do not, because of Democratic Party rules.

Asked what he thought about the timing of Edwards' endorsement, McAuliffe said it was not an endorsement or a media figure that could tell Americans who should be their next commander-in-chief. "We have six million eligible Democrats left to vote," McAuliffe said. "They're going to determine who the nominee of the Democratic Party is. And it's not someone on television telling them what to do. People like it that Hillary Clinton is fighting for them."

"These folks are not quitting on Hillary Clinton, and she is not quitting on them. We are in this thing 'til the end. We are in it. We are taking it to Denver, and we're taking it to the White House. Hillary Clinton will be the next President of the United States of America."

Clinton meets with members of her National Finance Board this evening and uncommitted superdelegates at a closed event here. Tomorrow she flies to South Dakota to continue her campaign.