Jimmy Carter Urges Hillary Clinton to Abandon Campaign

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This is a rush transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," May 26, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

ALAN COLMES, CO-HOST: We now turn to the presidential race. And both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama campaigned in Puerto Rico this weekend with just days left before the final primaries. The Clinton campaign still shows no signs of letting up, despite a stream of superdelegates headed in the direction of Senator Obama.

In an interview with our own Sky News in Britain, former president Jimmy Carter, himself a superdelegate, says that Senator Clinton will be unlikely to continue past the final two primaries on June 3rd.


JIMMY CARTER, FORMER PRESIDENT: I'm a superdelegate, having been president before. And I think a lot of the superdelegates will make a decision quite — announced quite rapidly after the final primary on June the 3rd. And I have yet — I have not yet announced publicly. But I think at that point it will be time for her to give it up.


COLMES: I think we know where he stands.

Joining us now Townhall.com columnist Amanda Carpenter, the managing editor of RedState.com, Erick Erickson, and author of "Party Crashing," political analyst Keli Goff.

Welcome, Keli. Should she get out?

KELI GOFF, POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, look, I think at this point, that's a moot question, because we know that she's probably going to be dragged kicking and screaming for these the primaries.

COLMES: Yes, but I mean doesn't she owe it to the voters still to vote, the people who have not yet cast their — and her supporters to see this at least until June 3rd and get — let everybody have their say.

GOFF: Honestly, Alan, I think that's sort of a ridiculous argument at this point.


GOFF: Because I think that the amount of time and energy this is costing Democrats for the primary when they should be focusing their energy if they want to win on John McCain. I think it's a little silly to buy this whole — it's somehow helping the party to allow everyone to vote.

COLMES: Not that it's helping the party.

GOFF: ...to spend the time and money.

COLMES: But I'm.

GOFF: ...when that could be directed towards their opposition in November. It's going to be a moot point.

COLMES: It's going to be only a couple of weeks away. Why not let the process play itself out?

GOFF: Right. A couple of weeks when John McCain will be raising money and drinking Martinis and doing whatever he is that he's going to be, you know, he's doing. COLMES: Well, actually — well, let him drink the Martinis. Let him have his barbecue.

GOFF: Enjoying his (INAUDIBLE) barbecue.

COLMES: In terms of money, Obama has raised $31.3 million in April, Clinton $22, McCain $18.5. So I'm not.

GOFF: It's not including the numbers from the RNC, though.

COLMES: Well, OK, but generally.

GOFF: Let's not forget that the Republican National Committee's doing very well.

COLMES: Amanda, Barack Obama is raising a lot more money than Hillary or McCain. And so as a conservative, you're probably going to say let her stay in. But I say that as a liberal Democrat and a Clinton supporter. But let the people — and someone who will support Obama when he's the nominee but let her — let the people have their say, right?

AMANDA CARPENTER, TOWNHALL.COM COLUMNIST: Yes. And the process is going to play out. I think Jimmy Carter is right. He's not saying anything particularly controversial in saying this will probably be decided on June 3rd. But I do think if Jimmy Carter really did want to inject himself in the process, he should just go ahead and make the Barack Obama endorsement rather than knocking Hillary Clinton out.

But I expect he doesn't. People — a lot of people have been making the comparison between Barack Obama's foreign policy and Jimmy Carter's.

COLMES: Well, some have done that. Erick, we're going to get, by the way, to her statement over the weekend about RFK and the assassination in a couple of minutes. But what say you about Hillary Clinton and staying in until at least June 3rd, giving the people of Puerto Rico and some of the states to come a chance to weigh in?

ERICK ERICKSON, REDSTATE.COM: Well, you know, it's nice to see Jimmy Carter stabbing the Clintons in the back instead of the country like he usually does.

COLMES: Oh come on. That's a cheap shot. Cheap shot.

ERICKSON: As far as Hillary Clinton goes, I mean, since February people have — just haven't been paying attention to the popular vote. She's been winning it. Barack's been losing it.

And in fact, if you discount North Carolina and Oregon.

GOFF: That's debatable.

ERICKSON: ..she's really picking up.


ERICKSON: I mean include Florida and Michigan. But apparently counting every vote ended in 2,000 and now we just can ignore Florida and Michigan.

GOFF: Or started in 2,000.

COLMES: Much as I hate to agree with Erick given his speech about Jimmy Carter, Keli, look, she has a great point about how well Hillary Clinton has done. How well she has done in swing states. Look at the electoral vote which is really what elects a president, unfortunately, and she does very well electorally if you look at it on a state-by-state race.

GOFF: Right. But that does not mean that we're having two separate debates here. Either we're debating whether or not Hillary Clinton is the stronger candidate or we're debating whether or not she's actually going to be the nominee, and therefore any relevance in her staying in the race.

I mean those are two separate conversations. The Democrats set up a process, one in which her supporters were very much involved, such as Harold Ickes. And they keep changing the bar in terms of determining what's going to determine the nominee.

Look, I'm someone who is sort of like, you know, allow them to — whatever works at this point. But the reality is, this is a bar that was set that was — agreed to by all the Democrats in this process and now we keep changing the benchmark.

RICH LOWRY, GUEST CO-HOST: Hey guys. Hey, it's Rich Lowry. Welcome, everyone.

Before I say anything else, let me thank all the service members and veterans out there for the incredible things they do and have done to keep this country safe.

Amanda, picking up on Keli's point, isn't it really odd after the huge ruckus Democrats made in 2000 over George Bush stealing the election because he didn't win the popular vote, now the Democrats are going to nominate the candidate who got less popular votes probably in this process?

GOFF: That wasn't the (INAUDIBLE).

CARPENTER: Wait, that's definitely odd. But the oddest thing I think about this process so far is that Puerto Rico's delegates are going to be counted before Michigan and Florida.

LOWRY: Go ahead.

GOFF: But the thing is, again, I think we are having two separate debates here. There was a process established by the Democratic National Committee. I'm not saying it was the best process. I'm not saying it's the process that makes the most sense. It was a process that everyone agreed to until certain candidates started to lose who expected...

LOWRY: I don't know.

GOFF: ...who expected that they would be given the nomination. And I think that that.

LOWRY: The process is the superdelegates decide if no one makes it to the mark.

GOFF: And either had (INAUDIBLE) right now.

LOWRY: And the superdelegates are deciding. But the fact is, Erick, they are deciding against the candidate who has the most — probably will have the most popular votes at the end of this process.

ERICKSON: Yes, absolutely. It's kind of baffling. But I mean the same folks who brought you the most complicated tax code are bringing you the most complicated nomination process.

GOFF: I'm in agreement. I'm in agreement.

ERICKSON: You know, the funny thing is, we're having this conversation and listen to us talking. We're talking about who's going to be the nominee versus who's going to be the strongest candidate. That's the irony here.

Everybody knows all of Hillary Clinton's negatives and she's polling very, very well against John McCain. Barack Obama is an unknown and he's not polling well against McCain.

LOWRY: Yes, I.

ERICKSON: ...and he's going to be the nominee.

LOWRY: Yes, Keli, I have to say there are a lot of Republicans. They know how stiffly the wind is blowing into their faces this year that are so relieved that the Democratic Party — I'm not saying it's going to lose necessarily — but they're nominating the one guy who might lose this year who — if you look at those.

ERICKSON: I'm one of those.

LOWRY: If you look at the map that Erick suggests.

GOFF: He might be the one guy but she might be the one gal. I mean the thing is.

LOWRY: It could be.

GOFF: Look, I'm not saying that the Democrats have unveiled the smartest process or the smartest primary. Look, the reality is there were numbers showing long ago that John Edwards might be the strongest contender against any Republican nominee. And surprise, surprise, watching Hillary bowl and Obama drink beer in Pennsylvania, you know, I think kind of like.

LOWRY: And take her shots. Remember her shots.

GOFF: Right. It was kind of — and talk about how me and my grandpa went hunting it was kind of ironic that everyone decided that the good old boy vote was the most important vote in the primary and yet they kicked the one good old boy candidate to the curb. But it is what it is.

There's a process and neither the candidates.

ERICKSON: Haven't they decided that that vote isn't important anymore?

LOWRY: Well, of course, I mean, it's absolutely key in the heartland of the country.

Let me add real quickly, something that flared up today between McCain and Obama. McCain pointed out that Barack Obama hasn't visited Iraq since 2006. And conditions have radically changed over the last two years.

Do you think Obama knows what he's talking about when it comes to the Iraq war?

CARPENTER: Well, he — he can assume that he's been briefed on it. But we've heard that before about national intelligence estimates. I mean, the fact that Obama has only taken one trip to Iraq and he thinks that he's the one to see out of it, you know, I think he has homework to do. And maybe he should take some time off the campaign trail to visit our guys there.

GOFF: Pathway (INAUDIBLE) the president.

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