Hillary Clinton Fights On

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CBNNews.com - She still draws wild crowds everywhere --  Hillary Clinton lovers galore.

Click on the video player to see what the former first lady had to say to CBN News about her campaign, Obama and her faith.

This past weekend in Rhode Island, it was 5,000 strong.

But in an election year when she would make history as the first woman president, she's been overshadowed by Obama mania.

Hillary Strikes Back

She sees the glowing headlines and the passionate support, but wonders - to coin a famous phrase - "Where's the beef?"

"I think that there is a certain phenomenon associated with this candidacy, and I am really struck by that because it is very much about him and his personality and his presentation," Clinton told CBN News.

She even mocked him at the Rhode Island rally.

"Let's get unified, the sky will open, the light will come down, celestial choirs will be singing and everybody will know that we should do the right thing and the world will be perfect," Clinton said to her supporters.

Clinton is banking voters won't take a chance on a 46-year-old with limited experience, especially when it comes to the war on terror.

"This is not just a phrase for me. This is very real," Clinton said at the rally. "This kind of goes to the core of what I think the next President has to do, which is to protect and defend our country in a smart way."

And so Clinton has continued to hammer home the theme that she's ready from day one to be commander in chief, implying, without saying, that Obama is not.

"I think it's up to the voters to determine how they judge this, but I think it's important that voters think hard," Clinton said. "We have no margin for error."

Tough Road ahead

The Clinton campaign has no margin for error either.

The delegate math is not kind. Political experts say she needs to win the upcoming Ohio and Texas primaries by pretty decent margins to catch up.

Headlines haven't been kind either, suggesting low staff and morale and bad management.

Clinton admits she's in a tough battle, but poised for a comeback.

"We came back in New Hampshire, Nevada, we came back on Super Tuesday, and so it's been a real tight rope walk for us," Clinton said.

In a way, Hillary is battling not only Obama, but the bitter feuds of the 1990s too.

Obama also points that out in campaign speeches.

"The last thing we need is to have the same old folks doing the same old things, playing the same old games," Obama said.

Unfair Blows?

Clinton knows all too well about her enemies out there.

"There is an agenda at work for a lot of people, you know," Clinton said. "Some people do it for ideological reason or partisan political advantage, and some do it for commercial - you know - just to kind of use me as a kind of target to stir up emotions and passions."

She believes she's getting an unfair rap.

Brody: Are you misunderstood? And if you are, why?

Clinton: You know, I have to believe I am because time and time again, people - who have been criticizing me in very harsh and personal terms - once they have gotten to know me, have apologized to me and have even asked for my forgiveness.

Hillary on Faith

Speaking of forgiveness, she's had to grant that a few times in her life, especially during times of marital difficulty.

It was her faith, she says, that got her through.

"Forgiveness is just a word, unless you're really confronted with the necessity of having to exercise it," Clinton said. "And then it is the hardest work you are ever called upon to do."

She contends her faith weighed in greater than public opinion.

"I was well aware of everyone else's opinion and everyone else's second guessing, but my faith protected me and gave me the space and the time to really come to an understanding of what was right for me and my family," Clinton said.

She may not wear it on her sleeve, but friends know her to be a deeply committed Methodist.

From her early years as a Sunday School teacher, to taking part in Bible studies, to praying daily on the campaign trail with Bible verses in had, she says her faith shapes her policy.

"My faith has sustained me, it has informed me, it has saved me, it had chided me, it has challenged me," Clinton told CBN News.

In It to the End

The biggest challenge through, lies ahead - overcoming Obama - and she's not going down without a fight.

"Shame on you Barack Obama," Clinton said. "It is time you ran a campaign consistent with your messages in public."

Just this past weekend, she went after her opponent over what she believes are misleading mailers about her stance on NAFTA and healthcare.

"When you send out these mailers, which are kind of below the radar screen, and they're filled with misleading and false and discredited information, it seems like the politics of hope is hoping no one will notice," Clinton said.

Obama downplays Hillary's fiery rhetoric and stands behind the Ohio mailers in question.

"These are accurate," he contended.

The topic will be a heated one at tonight's debate in Ohio.

"Meet me in Ohio, and let's have a debate," Clinton said.

It's the last debate before the crucial March 4 primaries.

It is when we will find out if Clinton becomes a casualty of Obama mania or the ultimate comeback kid.

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CBN News
David Brody

David Brody

CBN News Senior National Correspondent

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