WASHINGTON — Rep. Patricia Schroeder (D-Colo.), a day after telling supporters she would not run for President, said Tuesday that her husband, James, unsuccessfully urged her until the last minute to get into the race.
"He really thought I should stay in and go for it," Schroeder said when asked about her family's feelings. "He was writing memos right down to the last minute trying to tell me to stay in."
One reason she did not run, she said during a news conference, is that she had vowed when she began testing the White House waters four months ago not to borrow money to keep the effort alive. She said she did not want to go back on her word but that her husband thought she should borrow money, in excess of the more than $1 million she had raised, to keep the campaign going.
Schroeder defended as a human reaction her tears when she announced in Denver that she would not seek the office.
Schroeder, 47, said her announcement was greeted by a loud collective groan from her supporters in the hometown crowd of 1,500 and that their spontaneous reaction caught her off guard.
"I did not anticipate the huge groan from the crowd," she said.
When asked if voters might interpret her tears as a sign of weakness, rather than an indication of the strength or leadership that people seek in presidents, Schroeder said: "I don't think it's a sign of weakness. I think it's a sign of compassion. . . . I mean, that's me."
Earlier, when asked about her tears during a taping for the CBS News "Nightwatch" program, Schroeder said: "I would prefer that I had not done that. But, on the other hand, it really showed how wrenching the decision was.
"I am what I am, and I'm a human being and heaven help us if we can't have a human being in the White House," she said.
She said she felt "awful" about letting her supporters down by not running but that the real question was whether to let them down now or later, after entering the race and being forced to drop out at some point this winter.
Schroeder said she would not rule out the possibility of running for President in the future.
The 15-year House veteran said she decided she had started too late, had too little money and not a good enough chance to win the party nomination.