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Hillary Clinton declines to call on Bernie Sanders to exit race

By
Eric DuVall
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks at a victory rally in New York City on Tuesday. She returned to New York on Thursday to appear on ABC's Good Morning America, where she was asked whether her opponent, Sen. Bernie Sanders, should quit the race due to her large lead in the delegate count. Photo by Dennis Van Tine/UPI
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks at a victory rally in New York City on Tuesday. She returned to New York on Thursday to appear on ABC's "Good Morning America," where she was asked whether her opponent, Sen. Bernie Sanders, should quit the race due to her large lead in the delegate count. Photo by Dennis Van Tine/UPI | License Photo

NEW YORK, April 21 (UPI) -- Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton appeared on ABC's Good Morning America on Thursday, where she again declined to call on her opponent, Sen. Bernie Sanders, to quit the race.

Clinton continued to walk a fine line in addressing Sanders, who she leads in the delegate count, but who has proven a durable opponent with unwavering support from white liberals who make up much of the party's base.

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Clinton and her surrogates have pointed out over the last several weeks it would be nearly impossible for Sanders to overtake Clinton in the race for pledged delegates with relatively few states left to vote. The Sanders campaign has countered that argument, saying the likelihood is neither candidate will clinch the race with pledged delegates alone prior to the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia in July. Instead, it is possible either candidate would have to rely on several hundred superdelegates -- party leaders who are convention delegates free to vote for the candidate of their choosing -- to put them over the top for the nomination.

Clinton leads handily among superdelegates, but Sanders has argued that since they cannot truly be counted until they cast votes at the convention, he still has the time to lobby them to his side. Sanders has continuously cited some polls that show him faring better against Republican front-runner Donald Trump in a hypothetical general election matchup.

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Asked whether Sanders should quit the race due to his long odds, Clinton responded by saying she would "never tell anybody what to do" with their own campaign.

Clinton leads Sanders by more in the pledged delegate race than then-Sen. Barack Obama did over her in the 2008 race. Clinton dropped out after the voting finished but before the convention that year, and went on to help campaign for Obama in the general election.

She told GMA she hoped Sanders would do the same for her if she wins the nomination.

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Clinton was also asked about a simmering controversy over hot sauce. The question stems from a radio interview she did earlier in the week. Clinton told a New York hip-hop radio station she carries "hot sauce in my bag" -- a reference to a Beyonce lyric "hot sauce in my bag, swag" that's become popular street vernacular.

Clinton has said multiple times through the years she began carrying hot sauce with her during her husband's first campaign in 1992, when she read a news report saying hot sauce helps boost the immune system. The radio host asked Clinton if she was just pandering to young black voters by trying to sound cool.

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She demurred at the time, but the criticism was repeated by Trump after the interview. He said she was lying about the hot sauce, calling the comment "so phony, so pandering and so terrible."

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On Thursday, Clinton declined to answer back, saying she was not "going to be responding to all the crazy stuff he says."

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