Exit Strategy? Is Hillary Clinton About to Bow Out? We Ask Senior Clinton Campaign Adviser Maria Cardona

This is a rush transcript from "America's Election HQ," June 2, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

BILL HEMMER, CO-HOST: Now to the latest on the campaign trail today. Is this the end of Hillary Clinton's bid for the White House?

There are rumors everywhere but very little fact on this. The Clinton campaign is denying the senator will concede tomorrow in New York City. That's by the way, that is where she will spend election night, rather than either of the two final voting states of Montana or South Dakota. Adding fuel to the fire of speculation is this comment from the former President Bill Clinton today in South Dakota.

Listen here:


BILL CLINTON, FORMER UNITED STATES PRESIDENT: I want to say, also, that this may be the last day I am ever involved in a campaign of this kind. I thought I was out of politics until Hillary decided to run. But it has been one of the greatest honors of my life to be able to go around and campaign for her for president.


HEMMER: Well, the reading between the lines in political circles on that comment.

Maria Cardona, senior campaign advisor to Hillary Clinton, our guest tonight.

Watch Bill's interview with Maria Cardona


HEMMER: What was Bill Clinton talking about there, do you think?

CARDONA: Well, you know, I think to know for sure, you're going to have to ask President Clinton, but to me, it seemed like, you know, this is the end of the primary process. Tomorrow, you have the last primaries that take place in Montana and in South Dakota.

You know, he has been helping her very passionately and working very arduously for her during this primary process. I think he was just talking about the fact that tomorrow are the last primaries and that's it. I don't think anybody should read anything else to that.

HEMMER: OK. Do you get a sense or a feeling that things are winding down in this campaign when you hear words like that?

CARDONA: No, I don't think so, or, at least, I don't think you should read into that. I think that the only thing that he was talking about and indicating — which is a fact — is that tomorrow is actually the end of the primary process.

And in fact, you know, as far as Senator Clinton is concerned, she, at the very end of this process, she will be ahead in the popular vote and she will continue to make the very strong argument to the superdelegates who are still uncommitted that she is, in fact, the strongest general election candidate to go up against John McCain in the fall. And that's what our party needs right now.

HEMMER: Let me pursue superdelegates in a moment. On the screen, this is Tom Vilsack. He is the former governor of Iowa. He's the national co-chairman of the Hillary Clinton campaign, too. "It does appear to be pretty clear that Senator Obama is going to be the nominee. After Tuesday's contest, she needs to acknowledge that he's going to be the nominee and quickly get behind him."


CARDONA: Well, I think what I'll say to that is that it is still not over. He is not the nominee yet. He does not have the required number of delegates yet to say that he is the nominee. So, until that happens, we're going to continue to work hard.

HEMMER: Why is the national co-chair talking like that?

CARDONA: Well, you know, again, you should ask him. But I think, you know, the most important thing here is that Senator Clinton is going to continue to work very hard to make her argument, which is a very, very strong one, to the superdelegates. You know, their job is to actually look at this process, look at the results of everything, not just the pledged delegates.

If this was just up to the pledged delegates, then Senator Obama should have been able to gain the number of pledged delegates that he needed by now. He hasn't been able to do that. There is a reason why this now is up to the superdelegates — and their job is to choose whoever is the best candidate.

HEMMER: We're getting close. Maria, I got to run. Good of you to come on tonight. Maria Cardona of Hillary Clinton campaign, we'll see what goes down tomorrow night.

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