(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.
Thank You a Hillary supporter with sense........................
Thank You North Carolina
Thank You Indiana....................We really made a difference.................
Thank you for telling it how it is, Mr. McGovern. Clinton's out of money, with no big states left. As the day moves on, people will realize this and superdelegates will start endorsing Obama in the droves. And then the race will be over. It was hard-fought.
I agree, I think it is time to go, I voted for Clinton in OH, but I think she is hurting the party more than helping now.
H. Clinton, please drop out.
It's about time she drops out gracefully!
WoW Mcgovern speaks. Contest over. Seems to me if Obama wins all the remaining states 100% he still wont have enough delegates to be declared the candidate. So this is fair how? If the Democratic party wants to just nominate who they want do away with costly elections in states. Just appoint your candidate. Of course that is not democratic now is it.
I concur with McGovern!!! It's time to get out once and for all!!! Accept defeat!!!
The voice of reason! He speaks from his own experience. I know most of us we not alive for his presidential run.
and it starts.........nobody believes the clinton anymore
He is right, she must step aside for the sake of the party. we must come together behind Obama so we can beat McCain,
You gave a good fight Hillary..but the people have spoken and they have voted for Change
It doesn't rally matter who gets nominated now or elected in November. None of the candidates had the courage to support same-sex marriage. It is time to overthrow the government get the nazivangelicals out of control.
Hillary...please bow out gracefully. Its Over, Cest Finit, Se Acabo, Hasta la vista Lady..
"It's 3am and the phone is ringing...
Do you know where your $11.4 million dollars is?"
OVERCONFIDENCE CARRIES A HEFTY PRICETAG.
Still, there's always Secretary of State or Governor of New York.
Time for us to move on. Hillary is wrecking the democrat ship out of spite because she knows she is not going to win.
Sad to say but it's time for her to bow out gracefully and let the party heal.
The time is now !!! "Change"
Welcome President John McCain!!!!!!!!!!
Looks like our best chance to beat McCain is slipping away. Media,money and the elite have done their job to slap Hillary through this whole campaign.
If Obama wants us to unite behind him it's not up to Hillary to do it for him. Let's see if he can unite this party by working for it himself.
Hillary supporter...New Independent.
Congrats McGovern the more you turncoats defect to the other side the more the Clinton supportes will back McCain. LOL
GOD BLESS SENATOR MCGOVERN FOR HIS WISDOM
WE HAVE SPOKEN AND SHE IS PLAYING DEAF
THAT'S LIKE ASKING THE PLAGUE TO LEAVE IT'S
VICTIMS ALONE. SHE ISN'T GOING ANYWHERE.
SHE IS HOLDING THE DNC HOSTAGE FOR SOMETHING.
WARHILLIE & SLICK WILLIE NEED TO CONTINUE
THEIR WHITE HOUSE DIRT DIARIES.
Cue the shrills of 'Judas' as another person dares to speak what is plainly obvious to most.
Will she listen to any other voice than hers?
Thank you Mr. McGovern! Please, Mrs. Clinton, now is the time to drop out and put your support behind Mr. Obama so that we can have a democratic president. You say that you are will to fight for "us". Well, this is the best way that you can do so!
It's over now, Hillary. Just quit dear
Good! somebody needs to tell her and I believe the wait last night was not about those votes in Indiana. I believe they were telling her to bow out and she refused, because she is just that mean and hateful.
NOT STRONG!! HATEFUL and ANGRY!!!!!
If she was strong as she claims to be she would know how to accept defeat graciously.