Sanders adviser Tad Devine told reporters that his candidate's large delegate deficit to Clinton was the result of the campaign's deliberate strategy to forgo certain states that they were certain to lose.
Devine asserted that the Sanders campaign did not invest serious cash or time in Texas, Alabama, Virginia, Louisiana, Tennessee, Missouri, Georgia, and Arkansas, and may have been able to compete if it had.
"I think what people are saying where that competition takes place, Hillary Clinton is emerging as a much weaker candidate," Devine said.
She has gained advantage in a bunch of places where we didn't effectively compete because we chose a different tactical approach to the nomination. But as we go through the rest of these states, from California to the District of Columbia, we will compete and compete fully.
"Those eight states where we didn't compete principally on 'Super Tuesday' resulted in almost all of her pledged delegate advantage right now," Devine said.
"Essentially, 97% of her delegate lead today comes from those eight states where we did not compete," he added.
Several Clinton campaign officials quickly took to Twitter to dispute Devine's claims:
Getting dizzy from bad Sanders spin. Is it meant to convince sentient beings or did they accidentally read scripts for their Twitter bots?
In the last two weeks, Sanders has won a slew of smaller caucus contests, reenergizing supporters after Clinton's wins earlier in the month. On Sunday, Sanders notched big wins in caucuses in Alaska, Hawaii, and Washington.
During the call, Devine and pollster Ben Tulchin labeled Clinton a "weak frontrunner." They touted Sanders' strong performance in theoretical head-to-head matchups against Republican candidates and how Clinton's unfavorable numbers reached a "historic high."
Sanders on the campaign trail:
Bernie Sanders on the campaign trail
Bernie Sanders' team just made some eyebrow-raising claims while arguing that he can defeat Hillary Clinton
PHOENIX, AZ - MARCH 15: Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) speaks to a crowd gathered at the Phoenix Convention Center during a campaign rally on March 15, 2016 in Phoenix, Arizona. Hillary Clinton won the Democratic primary elections in Florida, North Carolina and Ohio, while Missouri and Illinois remain tight races. (Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images)
DES MOINES, IA - JANUARY 26: Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) speaks to the media after holding a campaign event with United Steelworkers Local 310L, on January 26, 2016 in Des Moines, Iowa. Sanders continues his quest to become the Democratic presidential nominee.. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
TOPSHOT - US Senator and Democratic Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders speaks during a campaign event at the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls, Iowa, January 24, 2016, ahead of the Iowa Caucus. / AFP / JIM WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
Senator Bernie Sanders, an independent from Vermont and 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, participates in the Democratic presidential candidate debate in Charleston, South Carolina, U.S., on Sunday, Jan. 17, 2016. Hours before Sunday's Democratic debate, the two top Democratic contenders held a warm-up bout of sorts in multiple separate appearances on political talk shows, at a time when the polling gap between the pair has narrowed in early-voting states. Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 05: Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) shakes hands with supporters after outlining his plan to reform the U.S. financial sector on January 5, 2016 in New York City. Sanders is demanding greater financial oversight and greater government action for banks and individuals that break financial laws. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
LEBANON, NH - NOVEMBER 11: Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders (I-VT) marches in the Veterans Day Parade November 11, 2015 in Lebanon, New Hampshire. Sanders goes into the Democrats second debate this weekend still running strong in the polls.(Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images)
Senator Bernie Sanders, an independent from Vermont and 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, speaks at the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute conference in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2015. While next Tuesday's first Democratic presidential debate will probably lack the name-calling and sharp jabs of the Republican face-offs, there's still potential for strong disagreements between the party's leading contenders. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Democratic Presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders speaks about the Workplace Democracy Act on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on October 6, 2015. AFP PHOTO/JIM WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
US Senator from Vermont and Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders addresses striking low-wage contract workers from the US Capitol and religious leaders at the Lutheran Church of the Reformation in Washington, DC, on September 22, 2015 for an interfaith service ahead of the arrival of Pope Francis for a six-day visit to the US. AFP PHOTO/NICHOLAS KAMM (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, NH - SEPTEMBER 19: Democratic Presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) talks on stage during the New Hampshire Democratic Party State Convention on September 19, 2015 in Manchester, New Hampshire. Five Democratic presidential candidates are all expected to address the crowd inside the Verizon Wireless Arena. (Photo by Scott Eisen/Getty Images)
Discover More Like This
BACK TO SLIDE
Tulchin cast Clinton and Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump as mutually untrustworthy, saying that there was a "trust gap" between the senator, Clinton, and Trump.
"Bernie is seen as uniquely honest and trustworthy among all the presidential candidates, particularly compared to Trump and Clinton," he said. "If you look at all three candidates — Bernie, Trump, and Hillary Clinton — Bernie is seen as very much honest and trustworthy by voters, while Trump and Clinton are not seen as trustworthy."
Though Clinton and Sanders have sharpened their attacks on each other, Devine said that the party will be able to be stitched back together no matter who clinches the nomination.
"It's not going to get so nasty we can't put the party back together," Devine said.