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Clinton: Until There's a Nominee, "I'm Staying in the Race"


From CBS News' Fernando Suarez:

SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.VA. -- Despite being down in the delegate count, loaning her campaign over $11 million, and facing growing pressure from members of her own party to call it quits, Hillary Clinton told reporters she's not ready to sit this contest out. "I'm staying in this race until we have a nominee," she said. "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 am continuing to do."

Clinton balked at the idea that dragging the nomination contest on for so long would actually divide the party, despite recent polls to the contrary. "I just don't believe that," Clinton said. "I think we've had a historic record turnout by both of us bringing people into the Democratic party." When asked if she believed the exit polls that found that nearly 40% of her supporters and Obama's supporters would back John McCain if their candidate was not chosen, again Clinton said, "I just don't buy it."

Part of the campaign strategy moving forward is to deal with the unseated delegates in Michigan and Florida, an issue that could potentially be solved by the end of the month when the Democratic Party's rules and bylaws committee is set to meet and rule on the delegate dispute. When asked if she would accept the decision of the committee, Clinton hedged, pointing out that if someone is unhappy with the result, they can take the dispute to the credentials committee at the national convention. "Under the rules of the Democratic Party, the rules and bylaws committee makes the first determination and if people are not satisfied with that, then people go to the credentials committee, so we'll see what the outcome is."

Clinton maintains the voters in Florida and Michigan are upset about the status of their votes. "It's not me, it's the people of these states, they're the ones who've filed challenges, they're the ones who said they won't accept certain outcomes," Clinton said. "All I've said is we have to find a way to seat the delegates of Florida and Michigan that is a reflection of the votes that were cast because those were legitimate elections and they deserve to have their votes counted."

The press conference came just hours after Clinton narrowly won the contest in Indiana, a win she says she felt "really good" about.