Clinton explained Thursday why she opted to stay on the Michigan ballot .
(CNN) - Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton seemed to hint Thursday she expects to win her party’s nomination, as she defended the decision to remain on the Michigan primary ballot. But just down the road in New Hampshire, another Democratic White House contender, Bill Richardson, accused Clinton of having it “both ways.”
Clinton was asked about the issue on a New Hampshire radio show, days after five Democratic candidates removed their names from the Michigan ballot after the Democratic National Committee ruled the state violated party rules by scheduling its primary before February 5.
“I just personally did not want to set up a situation where the Republicans are going to be campaigning between now and whenever, and then after the nomination, we have to go in and repair the damage to be ready to win Michigan in 2008,” Clinton said in an interview on New Hampshire Public Radio program “The Exchange.”
Clinton said any weakness in Michigan could hurt Democratic chances to win the state in 2008. “I did not believe it was fair to just say, 'Goodbye Michigan' and not take into account the fact we're going to have to win Michigan if we're going to be in the White House in January 2009," she said.
Richardson, one of the Democrats who removed his name from the Michigan ballot, expressed frustration over Clinton’s decision.
“Maybe she's made up her mind that she's the nominee, but you can't have it both ways and say you're not going to be on the ballot in Michigan and say OK, leave my name on the ballot,” Richardson said at a campaign stop in Manchester.
- CNN Political Assignment Editor Marissa Muller