MCALLEN, Texas (CNN) - Hillary Clinton on Wednesday denied her campaign is in trouble after three more bruising losses, telling reporters that this phase of the campaign is "exciting" and that "everyone knew" Barack Obama was favored in the Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C. primaries.
"My husband lost Maryland when he was running in the primaries," she said. "So we go on." Bill Clinton did win Virginia and the District of Columbia during the 1992 primary season.
A Clinton campaign memo sent to reporters Wednesday included lists of the states lost by three past Democratic presidential nominees - Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter and Walter Mondale – as evidence a string of losses often proves meaningless in deciding the party’s nomination.
"This is a long and winding road," Clinton said, "and we're all picking up delegates as we go. The key is to end up with 2,025 delegates. 2,025. That's our objective and I feel good about what we're going to be doing in the states."
The New York senator pointed to the March 4 contests here in Texas and in Ohio - as well as upcoming votes in Wisconsin, Rhode Island and Pennsylvania - as places where she would be competitive against Obama.
For several weeks, her campaign has been trying to focus attention on the states that vote that day, largely dismissing the results of February’s contests.
"I want to congratulate senator Obama on his recent victories and tell him to meet me in Texas. We're ready," said Clinton.
On an afternoon conference call, Clinton staffer Guy Cecil also highlighted March 4, telling reporters that the campaign would be within 25 delegates of Obama after that date.
The current CNN count has Obama leading Clinton 1,253 to 1,211, a difference of 42 delegates.
Cecil said the campaign would now be hiring staffers and opening field offices in several states with upcoming contests they had not devoted resources to before, including Montana and Wyoming – and admitted that they regretted the fact that they largely left the field to Obama in similar contests to date.
In the wake of several top-level staff departures, Hillary Clinton rejected reports of internal bickering among campaign staffers.
"That's not what's going on," she said Wednesday, pointing to recent success in Internet fundraising. "We have a tremendous amount of energy and focus."
- CNN's Peter Hamby and Rebecca Sinderbrand