Tags: carville | clinton | quit

James Carville: Why Hillary Won't Quit

By Rick Pedraza   |   Thursday, 29 May 2008 07:54 PM

Political operative and author James Carville said Wednesday on ABC’s “Good Morning America that Sen. Hillary Clinton won’t quit the race for the presidential nomination and will, most likely, take her fight all the way to the Democratic convention.

Carville, a Clinton backer who worked as lead strategist for former President Bill Clinton’s two successful campaigns, also blasted Sen. Barack Obama’s camp for trying to score political points for her remarks on the assassination of Robert Kennedy.

"Obama tried to pull a clever political trick, and it backfired on him," Carville said. “I think the press made a fool of themselves.”

Although Carville said the Obama camp’s decision to jump on Clinton’s RFK gaffe “set things back,” he believes she “has the absolute superior moral case on Florida and Michigan. She has more votes than he does. She has a strong case” to take her fight to the end.

“It was a very big setback, I thought, when Sen. Obama had his campaign try to hype this idiotic story. I thought that set things back a long way,” he said. “I’m not a journalist; I’m a political operative. I don’t fall for that.”

He later added, “I’m certainly prepared to support Sen. Obama if he is the nominee, but the way they handled this [RFK assassination] thing was not helpful at all. Of course, we’re going to reconcile, but this was not a good thing.”

Carville noted that Clinton continues to stump in the final three Democratic primaries and argues that she would be a stronger candidate against McCain.

“Already we have seen emerging a pattern in the polls that she is the stronger general election candidate,” he said in reference to statistics that indicate Clinton has better poll numbers running against McCain than Obama in key states. “I think a lot of super delegates are going to say, ‘Wait a minute, you mean [she] got more votes than he did?’ Look at the polls. Her case, if she has more popular votes, is going to be stronger.”

Carville also conceded, however, that he believes Obama would also defeat McCain. But, “Any fair reading of the current polls would say Sen. Clinton would win by more," he added.

The Clinton campaign suffered a setback Tuesday when lawyers for the Democrats' Rules Committee released a 38-page report stating it cannot legally install all the Florida and Michigan delegations. The two states were penalized for violating the party's rules by holding early primaries.

Clinton, hoping to bolster her delegate count by having the full delegations seated, won both states, although neither candidate campaigned there.

“[We] offered the Obama camp to split the cost of these primaries,” Carville explained. “He [Obama] refused. Then [we] said we’ll pick up the entire cost of the primaries to revote, since Obama refused to do that.”

The rules committee is scheduled to meet Saturday to resolve the fate of those two delegations.

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