From NBC/NJ's Athena Jones
WHITE MARSH, MD -- One day before three contests her campaign has already said it expects her to lose, Hillary Clinton today declined to admit any concern over the momentum her rival could pick up if he sweeps February's primaries and caucuses.
The senator said that she was ahead in delegates, that she didn't have "any idea" when this race would be decided, and that Obama's big wins over the past few days to the caucus process and to black voters. "We had a great night on Super Tuesday. I'm still ahead in the popular vote and in delegates. We're each picking up delegates," she said. "I believe if you look at the states that are upcoming I am very confident. I am absolutely looking to Ohio and Texas, because we know that those are states where they represent the broad electorate in this country. They represent the kind of voters that are going to have to be convinced and won over in the general election." (Question: Sure Ohio is a swing state, but does Clinton really see Texas going from red to blue in 2008?)
The senator also reiterated her belief that superdelegates should use their independent judgment in choosing whom to back.
On whether Obama's momentum could impact Ohio and Texas: "I don't think it does. I think those are independent electorates and everybody knew, you all knew what the likely outcome of these recent contests were and, you know, my husband didn't win any of these caucus states. You know, he didn't win Maine. He didn't win Colorado. He didn't win Washington. This is about making a strong case. You know, before Super Tuesday, you all were reporting the same thing about all of the momentum. It didn't turn out to be true. Let's have the election. You know, instead of talking about them and pontificating about or punditing about them. Let's let people actually vote, and I think in Texas and Ohio, I will do very, very well, and I intend to run very competitive winning campaigns there."
Clinton said it had been Patti Solis Doyle's decision to step down as campaign manager and cited the toll long campaigns take on families. She also said she looked forward to competing in Wisconsin and urged Obama to debate her there.
"I'm gonna compete in Wisconsin. I'm looking forward to competing in Wisconsin. It's kind of like one day at a time, where we're going what we're doing. But, you know, I have a very strong campaign already on the ground in Ohio, in Texas, we're getting, you know, prepared for Wisconsin. We're going to compete everywhere that's the advantage of being able to, you know, have the resources and have the ability to compete everywhere."
Clinton said she had not been surprised by the large margin of her recent losses to Obama, citing the fact that they were caucus states and in the case of Louisiania the "very strong and very proud African-American electorate, which I totally respect and understand."
In response to a question about Obama saying that during the Clinton Administration, Democratic lost their majorities in Congress, as well as governorships, Clinton said Americans had positive memories of the Clinton Administration. And they took on a lot of problems, and that you win some, you lose some.
Clinton also commented again of Defense Secretary Gates' statement that a pause in US troop withdrawals from Iraq could be necessary and restated her belief in the need to end the war.