ABC News' Sarah Amos reports:
Former President Bill Clinton in South Dakota today delivered a harsh critique of how his wife has been treated during her presidential bid, telling the crowd that he has "never seen a candidate treated so disrespectfully just for running," and that, "she will win the general election if you nominate her. They're just trying to make sure you don't."
Clinton spent more than six minutes calmly discussing what he called a "frantic effort to push her out" of this race, saying that no one asked Ted Kennedy, Jesse Jackson or Gary Hart to end their presidential campaigns early.
Clinton also spoke against bullying superdelegates to make up their minds, saying, "I cant believe it. It is just frantic the way they are trying to push and pressure and bully all these superdelegates to come out. 'Oh, this is so terrible: The people they want her. Oh, this is so terrible: She is winning the general election, and he is not. Oh my goodness, we have to cover this up.'"
Speaking to a crowd of about 200 in Fort Thompson, S.D., Clinton seemed slightly subdued during his 30-minute speech, which largely focused on the issues important to the Native American community. As he wrapped up his remarks, a woman in the audience asked him a question about voting for Hillary Clinton.
"If you vote for her and she does well in Montana and she does well in Puerto Rico, when this is over she will be ahead in the popular vote," Clinton said. "And they're trying to get her to cry uncle before the Democratic Party has to decide what to do in Florida and Michigan because they are claiming that it only takes 2029 votes on the first ballot to win, and it takes a lot more than that if you put Florida and Michigan back in. Well, they will have to unless we want to lose the election. I mean, look, so there is that that is going on."
The former president was strong in his assertion that his wife has the best chance to win against Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, arguing that many electoral map predictions have his wife winning more electoral votes than Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., the Democratic frontrunner, in a general election.
"She is winning the general election today and he is not, according to all the evidence," Clinton said. "And I have never seen anything like it. I have never seen a candidate treated so disrespectfully just for running. Her only position was, "Look, if I lose I'll be a good team player. We will all try to win but let's let everybody vote and count every vote.'"
Clinton also strongly criticized the media, saying that ever since Iowa they have been against his wife, making him feel as though he was living in a "fun house." As he concluded his thoughts on how this election has been handled, he again went back to the media's choice of coverage.
"If you notice, there hasn't been a lot of publicity on these polls I just told you about," Clinton said. "It is the first time you've heard it? Why do you think that is? Why do you think? Don't you think if the polls were the reverse and he was winning the electoral college against Sen. McCain and Hillary was losing it, it would be blasted on every television station? You would know it wouldn't you? It wouldn't be a little secret. And there is another Electoral College poll that I saw yesterday had her over 300 electoral votes, yeah. She will win the general election is you nominate her. They're just trying to make sure you don't."