Former White House press secretary Jay Carney said Wednesday that he didn't think there was any doubt President Obama wanted Hillary Clinton to win the Democratic nomination.
Carney, the combative spokesman who served Obama from 2011 to 2014, was asked by CNN's Brooke Baldwin about Clinton's theme on the campaign trail of "bear-hugging the president," where she repeatedly says she is the best candidate to carry on Obama's legacy.
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"At what point along all these springtime primaries do you think we will officially see the bear-hug back from the president, that official endorsement? When?" Baldwin asked.
"I think the president has signaled while still remaining neutral that he supports Secretary Clinton's candidacy and would prefer to see her as the nominee," Carney said. "He won't officially embrace her unless and until it's clear that she's going to be the nominee. I think he's maintaining that tradition of not intervening in a party primary, but I don't think there's any doubt that he wants Hillary to win the nomination and believes that she would be the best candidate in the fall and the most effective as president in carrying forward what he's achieved."
Obama, in a Politico interview last month, implied heavily that he thought Clinton, rather than Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.), was his preferred choice to be his successor. The Democratic race was shaken up Tuesday night when Sanders routed Clinton in the New Hampshire primary.
The far-left Sanders has criticized Obama for being a let-down for progressives in some facets of his presidency.