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A top Bernie Sanders adviser on Tuesday walked back comments about Sanders’s interest in serving as Hillary Clinton’s running mate, saying the campaign has its focus solely on the presidency.

“You would have thought that after working in presidential campaigns for 36 years, I wouldn’t be so stupid to answer a question like that about the vice presidency, a what-if question in the middle of a nominating process,” Tad Devine said with a smile during Tuesday’s episode of “Andrea Mitchell Reports” on MSNBC.

{mosads}”I don’t want to put out any mixed signals. No, we are focused on the presidency and winning the nomination. That is going to be our focus to the weeks ahead, and we think we have a path to the nomination.”

Devine, one of Sanders’s highest-ranking aides, raised eyebrows Monday after the release of comments he made on a Politico podcast. When asked about whether Sanders could harness his ability to energize younger voters into helping Clinton, Devine said, “maybe they’re going to put him on the ticket.” 

Sanders trails Clinton by a significant margin in both pledged delegates and with superdelegates, party leaders given the freedom to choose their preferred candidates. When asked about that gap, Devine noted Tuesday that the nominating contests are more spread out this year than they were in 2008 and that superdelegates might swing his way if Sanders is able to overcome Clinton’s pledged delegate lead. 

“We have a lot of big states much later in the process than they were in 2008,” he said, naming California, New York and New Jersey. 

“If we can achieve those victories, we believe the superdelegates and others will take a step back and decide to do the right thing for the party.”

Tags Bernie Sanders Hillary Clinton

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