On Monday’s broadcast of MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show,” Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton was asked by host Rachel Maddow how she might court the supporters of her opponent, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), if she were her party’s nominee.
Clinton denied she was tracking any sort of horse-race polling but said she would work to win over not only supporters of Bernie Sanders, but of some of the supporters of GOP candidates that might be dissuaded by the ultimate Republican nominee as well.
“Well, first of all, Rachel, I don’t pay attention to the polling when it’s good or bad because I think it’s distracting. I’m just going to keep working as hard as I can to convince as many people to support me as possible. So, I don’t want to put any carts before the horse here. I think it’s important to stay focused on what we have to do in Iowa, in New Hampshire, in Nevada and South Carolina and then right after South Carolina we have March 1, where there’s a large number of states that will be holding contests. But if I am so fortunate as to be the Democratic nominee, I’m going to work as hard as I can to reach out to supporters of my opponents and particularly to help do what I hope will be successful in making the case for their support going into the general election.”
“You know, I remember how hard I had to work back in ’08 to convince a lot of my supporters to support President Obama. and you recall I nominated him at the Democratic convention in Denver, put my whole self on the line to make the case that whatever differences we might have had in our very long primary, they paled in comparison to the differences we had with the Republicans. And I believed with all my heart it would be a terrible result if by some combination of misfortune or indifference the Republicans were to take back the White House. I can’t even imagine everything that would be disrupted and the clock turned back on. So I’m not going to — I’m not going to talk about what hasn’t happened yet. But if it were to happen, I would work very hard to earn the support of anybody who either supported my opponent or wasn’t involved in the primaries — even people who under normal circumstances might have voted for the Republican Party but if they nominate someone who is likely to be a very contentious presence in our country, you know, making sure that everybody understands what’s at stake. And I hope I could be successful in doing that.”
Clinton declined to name a specific candidate and instead said any of several could be that so-called “contentious” presence.
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