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Story highlights

Carney said Obama won't make an official endorsement until the race is decided

Clinton has made a point to draw from her closeness with Obama on the campaign trail

(CNN) —  

President Barack Obama’s former White House press secretary says the President has a preference in the Democratic primary to replace him: Hillary Clinton.

Obama has maintained neutrality in the primary and recently met with Clinton’s opponent, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, at the White House. Still, his comments on the race have seemed to favor his former secretary of state, if only slightly.

Jay Carney told CNN’s Brooke Baldwin on Wednesday that’s no accident – and the President does want Clinton to win.

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“I don’t think there is any doubt that he wants Hillary to win the nomination and believes that she would be the best candidate in the fall and the most effective as president in carrying forward what he’s achieved,” said Carney, a CNN contributor.

The White House declined to comment on Carney’s comments Wednesday.

Carney said Obama won’t make an official endorsement until the race is decided, but his intentions are clear.

“I think the President has signaled, while still remaining neutral, that he supports Secretary Clinton’s candidacy and would prefer to see her as the nominee,” Carney said. “He won’t officially embrace her unless and until it’s clear that she’s going to be the nominee. I think he is maintaining that tradition of not intervening in a party primary.”

Clinton has made a point to draw from her closeness with Obama on the campaign trail, attacking Sanders for criticizing the President and seeking a primary challenger to him in 2012.

CNN’s Allie Malloy contributed to this report.