WASHINGTON (CNN) - This week, the spirited back-and-forth between the camps of Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama led some in the Democratic Party to suggest that Clinton bow out of the race in order to unify Democrats against Sen. John McCain in the general election. The debate over whether it was time for Clinton to exit the race dominated the Sunday morning political talk show circuit.
CNN’s “Late Edition” featured a showdown between two Democratic strategists, Clinton supporter James Carville and Jamal Simmons, who backs Obama. Carville quickly downplayed any suggestion that Clinton drop out.
“The Clinton campaign has not had one one-second meeting about getting out of the race,” he told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer. “Calling on her to get out of the race is…going to hurt him in terms of getting votes. And it is going to make it more difficult to reconcile the party.”
Simmons responded that it’s the negativity coming from the Clinton campaign that’s tearing the Democratic Party apart. He said that Democrats “feel like Senator Clinton is fighting Barack Obama like he's a Republican and not fighting him like he's a fellow Democrat.”
On CBS’ “Face the Nation”, former presidential candidate-turned Obama supporter Bill Richardson told host Bob Schieffer that while he has no issue with Senator Clinton staying in the race, he feels an Obama nomination is inevitable. “I personally believe that Senator Obama is reaching a stage where his lead is insurmountable,” Richardson said. He later added, “[But] I don't agree with those that say that Senator Clinton needs to drop out.”
Richardson also responded to comments by Carville, who was recently quoted by the New York Times as comparing the New Mexico governor to Judas for supporting Obama. Richardson, who served in the cabinet of former President Bill Clinton, said he would not stoop to Carville's level.
ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos” featured Clinton surrogate and Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell, who chided Obama supporters for attempting to end the nomination process before all states have their say. “It's a disgrace that the Obama forces say, he's won the popular vote so he should be the nominee,” Rendell told Stephanopoulos.
Senator John Kerry, who has endorsed Barack Obama, also spoke with Stephanopoulos. He argued that his own experience as the Democratic presidential nominee taught him an important lesson. “This time right now is critical to us,” said Kerry. “We began four years behind George Bush, and I think every day does give John McCain an ability to organize nationally. So the sooner we resolve it, the better.”
–CNN's Jessica Rummel