CHILLICOTHE, Ohio — Hours after Hillary Clinton’s surprising loss to Bernie Sanders in Michigan, Bill Clinton chalked up the results to what he claimed he expected, saying that the outcome could be forgotten in several days if Hillary Clinton wins here.
“If we win Ohio, nobody will remember it,” he told NBC News Wednesday while browsing through a local store in Chillicothe. “So I’m going to work hard. And you know we had a good night — her biggest victory of the campaign season occurred last night in Mississippi. So they split the delegates in Michigan and she got about a 20-point net gain of delegates.”
“It’s a long slog,” he continued. “He’s a formidable opponent. We are fighting through it.”
Sanders defeated Clinton in Michigan on Tuesday with 49.8 percent of the vote to Clinton’s 48.3 percent, a startling result after Clinton led Sanders by wide margins in all of the recent polls in the state.
“It was about a 2-point race and it was tough,” Bill Clinton said. “I think he did a really good job of organizing there. And she spent a lot of her time frankly working on the problems in Flint and they fought it to a draw. It’s about what I thought would happen.”
Ohio’s primary is on March 15, and the former president spent the day touring around the state - first doing a walking tour on the Long Street Bridge in Columbus with former Mayor Michael Coleman, visiting the historic Lincoln Theater, charging up supporters in Columbus at one of the Clinton campaign’s offices, and then making multiple stops in the town of Chillicothe. He spoke at a fundraiser in Dayton on Wednesday evening.
This article first appeared on NBCNews.com.