(CNN) – Former Sen. George McGovern urged Hillary Clinton Wednesday to drop out of the Democratic presidential race.
McGovern, who had endorsed Clinton, told CNN he was switching his support to endorse Barack Obama.
“It certainly was not out of any less respect for Senator Clinton,” McGovern told CNN in a telephone interview early Wednesday afternoon about his decision to switch his support to Barack Obama. “I think she has waged a really courageous and valiant campaign. She will have my affection and admiration for all of my days.
“But I think mathematically the race is all but won by Barack Obama and the time has come for all of us to unite and get ready for the general election in the fall.”
McGovern also told CNN he had just spoken to former President Bill Clinton about his decision to back Obama – a conversation he described as “very good.”
“I have had many conversations with him over the years, none better than today," McGovern said. "He did me the honor of talking to me about this. There will be no hard feelings with him or Senator Clinton.”
McGovern said he has not spoken to Sen. Clinton today, because he thought she would be too exhausted after Tuesday’s primary but plans to talk to her in the future.”
McGovern is not a Democratic superdelegate, though he is the first major Clinton supporter to publicly suggest the New York senator should abandon her presidential bid following Tuesday night's results.
Responding to the news, Clinton spokesman Mo Elleithee said "Senator Clinton appreciates Senator McGovern's friendship, but believes the voters in the upcoming states should have their voices heard in this process."
McGovern formally endorsed Clinton last October, saying then, "I think that if we can elect her president, she'll be a greater president even than her brilliant husband."
McGovern is a longtime friend of both Clintons and his decision is a personal blow to the New York senator and her husband. The couple's long political career has its roots in McGovern's 1972 presidential campaign, during which both Clintons were dispatched to Texas to run the candidate's operation there.
McGovern also remains a popular figure in the Democratic Party and especially in the State of South Dakota, which holds its primary June 3.
Another loser to the obama train. Nov lose is going be sweet
Go home Hill.
I am out of energy.
The hating on you needs to stop.
Do the right thing for this country.
Staying in the race now is only a sign of selfishness. She knows she cannot win as she is far behind in delegates and will soon lose the lead in super-delegates. And who in the world would have $11m to lend her campaign? Surely an elitist. It's a pity half her racist supporters cannot look beyond Obama's color to take a stance for the Democratic Party's values. It is truly a sad day for America. :'(
By the way, after Indiana and North Carolina Obama is ahead in POPULAR VOTE even when you include Florida and Michigan!
Obama leads in pledged delegates, number of states won, and the popular vote. In super delegates he is only 14 behind Clinton.
So much for Clinton's argument that she should get the remaining super delegates because of her lead in popular vote.
Thank you Mr. McGovern for seeing the light!!!
Obama Richardson 2008
Thanks Hillary. You fought well. Let us now get behing Obama and help dems win.
Know what I've learned from this primary?
When I play a game with my friends, if it's a small game and I lose, "Well, it was a small game, so it doesn't matter."
If I play a big game with them that they normally win at and I lose, "Well, you normally win, so it was expected and doesn't matter."
If I play a big game that I normally win and lose, "Well, if we were playing by different rules, I would have won. So, it doesn't matter."
Thanks Hillary for being my new role model!
HHAHAHAHHHAHHAHAHAHA IM LAUGHIN ALL THE WAY TO THE WHITE HOUSE!
TO ALL U NOBAMAS I SAY GOOOOOBAMA GOOOBARACK
Until now I have said stay in, but it is time to go.
At least do it with dignity so you can run for NY State Governor.
YES HILLARY CAN!!! Hillary will make a 100% effort to carry on and if at the end she is not successful, she will prove to America that they have made a grave error AGAIN!!
And then people like me will be lost to the Republican Party and will vote John McCain. We are the Moderate to Conservative segment of the Democratic Party that will and can never support Obama, not because of his RACE but because of lack of TRUST IN HIM, his lack of EXPERIENCE and his lack of GOOD JUDGMENT.
If Colin Powell was the nominee of either party then I would vote for him because I and many of us see him as a President and Commander in Chief. I cannot vote for a person who has not demonstrated any real accomplishment in his professional life, period
Thats one more super
They're jumping ship. Welcome to the Obama camp. We've got a lot of work to do before November!
Democrats, it is time to put aside differences and unite. We don't want another Bush in office.
PLEASE EVERY ONE COME OUT...
YES! It is TIME for her to go!
welcome aboard sir
god bless,hillary and our troops.
have a good day
When will Carville come out with nasty comments about McGovern?
...and the tide turns, watch the supers jump ship to Obama.
and so it begins...
Sen. George McGovern is from South Dakota, not North Dakota. Check your facts before you print
What a gent. Hillary would have been my 2nd choice, but its time to unify and move forward.
Obama has been telling the truth since day one. And I feel confident standing behind his leadership. Because he is really representing all of us.
Hillary thank you, but it is time to bow out for the sake of this nation.
Thank Senator McGovern.
The America people have spoken very clearly yesterday and OBAMA is the Nominee of the Democratic Party.
We really need to stop this and unite around OBAMA to win the General Elections in November 2008
It is also a good time for Hillary to step out with dignity.
GOD Bless you and GOD Bless America
YES!!!! The table is turning! Even her supporters realized that she will not be able to defeat Obama!!!!!!! I am so super excited! Obama for President 2008!