From NBC/NJ's Mike Memoli
FINDLAY, OH -- Bill Clinton said this morning that, despite the some hard feelings among the candidates' most "severe partisans," he's confident that most Democratic voters are still happy with both candidates, and will support whoever the nominee is.
"We know that an overwhelming majority of the American people believe the country has to change course," Clinton told nearly 1,000 people here at the University of Findlay. "The other thing we know is that most voters who will participate in the Democratic primary like both these candidates. Some of their severe partisans have developed hard feelings about the other -- that always happens. But the truth is, most people like them both."
Clinton, speaking at the first of five scheduled stops in the Buckeye State, told the crowd that if they voted for her in Tuesday's primary, and again in November, she'd be the next president. He also called her "the best change agent I've ever known," though he conceded he's biased.
"I know every time I get up to speak, people say, 'Aw he's gotta do this, they're married," he said. "It is true that I love her. But I love my country, too. And I would not have urged her on in this campaign, would not have encouraged never to quit when times were tough, if I didn't believe she'd be the best president for you."
And he pressed on with the argument he said both candidates made themselves at last week's debate. Without mentioning Barack Obama by name, he said the Illinois senator is making a case that "you should vote for me because I embody change," and that "we need to change Washington, and we don't want anybody who was there before." Hillary, on the other hand, argues that she has the "best record" of making changes in other people's lives and has the best ideas for the future."
"I think that's the better side of the argument."