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‘Come June, Hillary or Obama must drop out’

Democratic Party chairman Howard Dean says that either Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama must drop out of the Democratic presidential race after the June primaries in order to unify the party.

world Updated: Apr 29, 2008 00:46 IST

Democratic Party chairman Howard Dean said on Monday that either Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama must drop out of the Democratic presidential race after the June primaries in order to unify the party by the convention and win the election in November.

But Dean didn’t say which candidate should drop out, only that it should happen after primary voters have been to the polls.

“We want the voters to have their say. That’s over on June 3,” Dean said in an interview on ABC’s Good Morning America.

Dean also said that while the party rules say Democratic superdelegates can wait until the party’s August 25 convention to make up their minds, that would be too late to unify the party and defeat the presumptive Republican nominee, John McCain.

“We really can’t have a divided convention. If we do it’s going to be very hard to heal the party afterwards,” Dean said. “So we’ll know who the nominee is and that’ll give us an extra two-and-a-half months to get our party together, heal the wounds of having a very closely divided race and take on Senator McCain.”

Dean said he won’t have to tell either Hillary or Obama when it’s time to leave the race.

“Either of these candidates, if it’s time for them to go, they’ll know it and they will go,” Dean said. “They don’t need any pushing from me. You know when to get in and you know when to get out. That’s just part of the deal.”

“This is not about Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama,” Dean added. “This is about our country. It’s about a better course for our country. ... We’ve got to move on and win the presidency.”