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p0605 BC-Clinton-Leahy 1stLd-Writethru 03-28 0246

Leahy: Clinton should abandon her presidential campaign

Eds: CHANGES dateline, ADDS byline, UPDATES with fresh Leahy comment; WILL be led from 12:15 p.m. EDT Leahy appearance.

By WILSON RING

Associated Press Writer

BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) — Sen. Patrick Leahy is suggesting that Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton abandon her White House run.

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The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and six-term Vermont lawmaker said there is no way that Clinton is going to win enough pledged delegates to get the nomination. Leahy told Vermont Public Radio, in a show that aired Thursday, that Clinton ought to withdraw and should be backing Sen. Barack Obama. But Leahy said that’s obviously a decision only Clinton can make.

In a statement issued Friday, Leahy — who has endorsed Obama for the Democratic presidential nomination — said Obama’s lead appears to be insurmountable and that Obama’s endorsement by U.S. Sen. Bob Casey is the latest sign of how the race is going.

"Senator Clinton has every right, but not a very good reason, to remain a candidate for as long as she wants to. As far as the delegate count and the interests of a Democratic victory in November go, there is not a very good reason for drawing this out. But as I have said before, that is a decision that only she can make," Leahy said in the statement.

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