'You Know I'll Never Give Up,' Clinton Tells Supporters
(CNSNews.com) - Sen. Hillary Clinton thanked West Virginians Tuesday night for their "overwhelming vote of confidence." As expected, the New York Democrat won the Democratic primary in that state by a huge margin, 67-26 percent -- with around 239,000 votes to Sen. Barack Obama's almost 92,000.
"I am more determined than ever to carry on this campaign until everyone has had a chance to make their voices heard," Clinton told a crowd of supporters in Charleston.
She also asked for campaign contributions that will help her continue her "journey."
"We are in the homestretch. There are only three weeks left in the final contests, and your support can make the difference between winning and losing," said Clinton -- who's already lost the nomination, according to the general buzz.
Addressing the argument that the delegate math is against her, Clinton complained that many people want to declare a nominee before all the ballots are counted or even cast.
"Some said our campaign was over after Iowa, but then we won New Hampshire. Then we had big victories on Super Tuesday and in Ohio and Texas and Pennsylvania, and of course, we came from behind to win in Indiana. So, this race isn't over yet," Clinton insisted.
"Neither of us has the total delegates it takes to win and both Senator Obama and I believe that the delegates from Florida and Michigan should be seated. I believe we should honor the votes cast by 2.3 million people in those states and seat all of their delegates. Under the rules of our party, when you include all 50 states, the number of delegates needed to win is 2,209, and neither of us has reached that threshold yet. This win in West Virginia will help me move even closer."
Clinton said she "deeply admires" Sen. Barack Obama, but she insists that she is the strongest and most electable candidate. "I can win this nomination if you decide I should, and I can lead this party to victory in the general election if you lead me to victory now," she said Tuesday night.
"The bottom line is this -- the White House is won in the swing states and I am winning the swing states." She mentioned Pennsylvania, Ohio, Arkansas, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Nevada, Michigan, Florida (whose primary didn't count), and West Virginia.
"With your help, I am ready to go head-to-head with John McCain to put our vision for America up against the one he shares with President Bush. Now, I believe our party is strong enough for this challenge. I am strong enough for it. You know I never give up. I'll keep coming back, and I'll stand with you as long as you stand with me.
She asked Democrats to choose the Democrat who will make the strongest candidate in the general election.
She repeated her contention that the close Democratic race has been good for the country. "People are discussing and debating issues. They are turning out in record numbers to register and to vote. There is an excitement about politics that is the lifeblood of our democracy," Clinton said.
"And our nominee -- our nominee will be stronger for having campaigned long and hard, building enthusiasm and excitement, hearing your stories and answering your questions. And I will work my heart out for the nominee of the Democratic Party to make sure we have a Democratic president."
Clinton now moves on to the next contests -- in Kentucky (which she is expected to win) and Oregon next week; Puerto Rico on June 1; and Montana and South Dakota on June 3.
Clinton trails Obama in both the popular vote and the delegate count.
Obama's campaign is taking a five-state tour over the next two weeks that includes stops in South Dakota and Oregon as well as Florida, Michigan and other swing states where Obama would need to win the presidential election.
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