Hillary Clinton Suggests Race May Go to 'Overtime'

This is a rush transcript from "America's Election HQ," May 14, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.


SEN. HILLARY CLINTON, D-N.Y., PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This is a numbers calculation. Nobody has the numbers yet. So, are we in the last two minutes of a game that you don't think one or the other can win? You go to the buzzer, maybe it goes into overtime. We don't know, Major.

And until it's over, it's not over.


MEGYN KELLY, CO-HOST: First up tonight: Hillary Clinton says, "This is not over." She is now urging superdelegates to rethink their votes after her West Virginia sweep, meeting with some of them today in Washington.

Barack Obama knew he was not going to win West Virginia, but should he have come out to congratulate Clinton and thank the voters who did vote for him? Some pundits today are branding him a sore loser.

Here with us now, Massachusetts congressman and Clinton surrogate, Jim McGovern. Good evening, congressman.


KELLY: Thanks for being here with us.

Video: Watch Megyn's interview with Jim McGovern

A lot of people think it was bad form for him not to come out last night and congratulate Hillary Clinton. What's your take on it?

MCGOVERN: Look, Barack Obama is a good man. I'm just excited that Hillary Clinton won this incredible victory last night in West Virginia. It was huge. And I think it has given her some momentum and I think it's giving a lot of people pause.

KELLY: Congressman, she said this campaign is going, perhaps, into overtime. That was just a couple of hours ago to our own Major Garrett. What does that mean?

MCGOVERN: Well, it means it's not over until it's over. Look, Hillary Clinton is not just any ordinary candidate. She is like Wonder Woman. She is going to keep this going until the very end, and I wouldn't bet against her. I mean, I think at the end of the day, she could very well be the nominee of this party and the next president of the United States.

KELLY: Congressman, what is that mean it's not over until it's over, she's going to keep going until this over? I mean, what does — she says, "We're in a two-minute warning and it could go into overtime." Help us understand that.

MCGOVERN: Well, Megyn, nobody right now has enough votes to win the nomination. And neither Barack Obama nor Hillary Clinton can win the nomination without the votes of superdelegates. So, until all those votes are cast, until someone gets to the magic number, then it's not over.

And so, you know, this race should go on. And I think it's been good for the Democratic Party. Millions of people have energized, millions of people have entered into this process. People are excited and I'm looking forward to the next primaries.

KELLY: If he gets 2,026 — Barack Obama — is it over?

MCGOVERN: Well, I mean, whatever the final number is, you know, whoever has the number of delegates, it is over. But I won't bet against Hillary Clinton.

Look, those of us who are standing with her, are standing with her because we think she would make the best president. And I think there are a lot of people across the country, in fact, millions of people across this country who feel the same. And we're going to keep fighting and hopefully, she will be the next president of the United States.

KELLY: How big of a blow was it to Hillary Clinton's campaign today that NARAL Pro-Choice America, an abortion rights group came out and endorsed Barack Obama saying and I quote "Today, we are proud to put our organization's grassroots and political support behind the pro-choice candidate whom we believe will secure the Democratic nomination and advance to the general election. That candidate is Obama."

MCGOVERN: Hillary Clinton's credentials on the issue of choice are impeccable and nobody can question them. But given the choice between that endorsement or the endorsement — the overwhelming endorsement of the people of West Virginia last night, I would take the people of West Virginia. And I'm looking forward to...

KELLY: But the point, congressman, is that if a major liberal group is now saying he's going to be the nominee that she can't secure this.

MCGOVERN: But look, Hillary Clinton has appeal — a broad appeal. She appeals to "Reagan Democrats" and she appeals to liberal Democrats like myself. She appeals to those who's concern is the issue of defense and she appeals to people like me who want this war in Iraq to end as quickly as possible.

So, her appeal is across the spectrum. It's not just liberals or, you know, conservatives, it is a broad appeal. And I think that's why, you know, a lot of us think that she's the most electable.

KELLY: They certainly saw that in West Virginia last night.

Let me ask you about one of the groups she has appealed to thus far, has been Catholics. She's done better than Barack Obama in many states with Catholics.

And then today, we see Barack Obama appearing to reach out to Catholics with this ad that shows him in front of this cross, and I'm not sure if we've got it. There it is and you can't really see it from afar — but it appears to be a direct approach to people of faith, perhaps to the evangelicals that he very much needs. Do you think that he can win with that group, congressman? Is that going to be — or is that going to be a problem for him?

MCGOVERN: Look, I think either Democrat will beat John McCain in the fall. And I think that if there's value in this continued debate, one of the values is that I think both candidates, you know, know that they have to reach out to other groups and other sectors of this country. So, you know, Barack Obama is trying to talk more directly to working families. That's a good thing if he's the nominee.

But look, at the end of the day, I think Hillary Clinton is the best candidate. I think she'll make the best president and I'm sticking by it.

KELLY: Before I let you go, the Clinton campaign called to our attention an exchange between Obama and a reporter in which he called the reporter "sweetie." The reporter didn't seem thrilled about it. Why is that being called to the media's attention?

MCGOVERN: Well, I don't know. I don't know anything about it. But to me, it's not about that. This campaign is about issues. It's about who's right in the issues.

I believe in Hillary Clinton's universal healthcare plan. I think she has a good plan to get this economy going again. And I think she will get us out of this war in Iraq. So that's why I feel passionately committed to her candidacy and those are the issues that most people care about.

KELLY: Congressman, thank you.

MCGOVERN: Thank you, Megyn.

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