Clinton to Sanders: ‘I’m still considerably ahead’

Updated 7:01 PM EDT, Wed April 6, 2016
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Story highlights

Hillary Clinton says she's "feeling very good" about where she stands in the Democratic primary fight

Clinton told Cuomo that neither she or her campaign is asking Sanders to drop out

Watch CNN and NY1’s Democratic debate, moderated by Wolf Blitzer, Thursday, April 14 at 9 p.m. ET.

Washington CNN —  

Hillary Clinton said Wednesday she’s “feeling very good” about where she stands in the Democratic primary fight with Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, despite a tough loss in Wisconsin the night before.

“Sen. Sanders had a good night last night, and I congratulated him, but if you look at the numbers, I’m still considerably ahead in both the popular vote and most importantly, the delegate count,” Clinton told CNN’s Chris Cuomo. “So I’m feeling very good about where we are.”

READ: Clinton plan: Defeat Sanders, then unify Democratic Party

A CNN delegate estimate shows Clinton with 1,780 delegates – 1,297 pledged, 483 super delegates – to Sanders’$2 1,099 – 1,068 pledged, 31 super delegates. A total of 2,383 delegates are needed to win the Democratic nomination.

Clinton declined to echo the calls from some of her campaign surrogates and supporters for Sanders to drop out of the race so she can focus on the general.

“Well, of course, I’m not asking him to. I wouldn’t ask him to and my campaign is not asking him to,” she said.

But Clinton isn’t shying away from stepping up her rhetoric on her opponent as the race turns to the April 19 New York primary. She has jumped on a lengthy interview Sanders gave the New York Daily News where he struggled to answer how he would break up big banks – a signature issue – and defend his position that surviving family members of the Sandy Hook victims shouldn’t be allowed to sue gun manufacturers.

“If you’re concerned about income inequality and holding the banks accountable, you have to know how it works and what you have to do to make it work,” she said.

As for the Sandy Hook comments, Clinton said she was “appalled.”

“When it comes to guns we have a really serious difference and I was appalled that Sen. Sanders said he really didn’t see any reason for the parents children massacred at Sandy Hook in Connecticut to try and be able to sue the gun makers,” she said.

READ: Clinton, Sanders to meet for Brooklyn debate

The Sanders campaign, meanwhile, has said her presidential bid has the potential to split the party.

“Don’t destroy the Democratic Party to satisfy the secretary’s ambitions to become president of the United States,” Jeff Weaver, Sanders’ campaign manager, told CNN Tuesday night.

Clinton laughed when asked about his comments.

“It is just ludicrous on the face of it. You know, I have been campaigning for Democrats, fundraising for Democrats, recruiting for Democrats to run and win for a really long time, I think about 40 years,” Clinton said.

She added: “Bernie Sanders, by his own admission, has never even been a Democrat. So look, I understand they’re getting anxious, I get that. But they need to be thoughtful about what they do say because at the end of the day, we need a Democratic president to succeed President Obama and to protect and further the progress that we’ve made under his eight years in office.”

Sanders unsuccessfully ran for the U.S. Senate in 1971 as a member of Liberty Union party and, in 1981, when he successfully ran for mayor of Burlington, Vermont, he did so as an independent. At times, the senator has identified as a democratic socialist.

Sanders, however, listed the Democratic Party as his party affiliation in his statement of candidacy for his presidential run. He also declared as a Democrat during the New Hampshire primary.