February 11th, 2008
03:14 PM ET
8 years ago

Clinton dismisses weekend losses

 Clinton downplayed her weekend losses Monday.

Clinton downplayed her weekend losses Monday.

WHITE MARSH, Maryland (CNN) - Hillary Clinton on Monday explained away Barack Obama's clean sweep of the weekend's caucuses and primaries as a product of a caucus system that favors "activists" and, in the case of the Louisiana primary, an energized African-American community.

She told reporters who had gathered to watch her tour a General Motors plant here that "everybody knew, you all knew, what the likely outcome of these recent contests were."

"These are caucus states by and large, or in the case of Louisiana, you know, a very strong and very proud African-American electorate, which I totally respect and understand."

Clinton has publicly dismissed the caucus voting system since before Super Tuesday, seeking to lower expectations heading into a series of contests that played to Obama's advantage. His campaign features what many consider to be a stronger and more dedicated grassroots organization than Clinton's.

Noting that "my husband never did well in caucus states either," Clinton argued that caucuses are "primarily dominated by activists" and that "they don't represent the electorate, we know that."

The New York senator went out of her way to say she was "absolutely" looking forward to the Ohio and Texas primaries in March, where she believes voters are more receptive to her bread-and-butter message.

She also downplayed many of Obama's Super Tuesday victories, describing them as states that Democrats should not expect to win in November.

"It is highly unlikely we will win Alaska or North Dakota or Idaho or Nebraska," she said, naming several of Obama's red state wins. "But we have to win Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, California, Arizona, New Mexico, Florida, Michigan ... And we've got to be competitive in places like Texas, Missouri and Oklahoma."

Watch Hillary Clinton assess her weekend losses

- CNN Political Producer Peter Hamby

soundoff (705 Responses)
  1. Ken

    Activisit and African Americans in Maine!!! Who's trying to bluff who?

    February 11, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  2. DUH

    I will complain about this site being pro-Obama, but I will keep coming back. Wow, some hill supporter are really bright.

    February 11, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  3. Nicci

    Hillary is just looking for excuses ... African-American electorate, red states, and caucus states excuses!!

    Obama sweeped Washington state with 68% of the vote this weekend. Washington is a traditionally "blue" state with a relatively small African-American population. She forgot about that one! Also, Hillary won Tennessee and Oklahoma (red states) and Nevada (caucus state) and she wasn't so quick to dismiss them as meaningless!!

    If Hillary is the nominee, the Democrats will be surrendering the White House to McCain. Hillary is polarizing, divisive, and unable to win support from anyone but staunch Democrats. Go Obama!

    February 11, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  4. Cynthia St. Louis

    Keep it up, Hilary- your words and actions continue to verify everything negative that is said about you....

    It must be really, really difficult to have a "pre-ordained" nomination challenged by actual voters!

    February 11, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  5. ibelieveinchange08

    I am so sick of the negativity on these message boards. Obama has been pushing for a more positive message, and I for one believe. I believe that we can win states that haven't "typically" been Democratic in the past because for once we have a candidate who does bridge the gap between those of us who have never voted Democratic in the past and those that have been Democrats for a long time. I believe we can change No Child Left Behind to actually make sure that no child actually gets left behind. I believe that we can take the realistic steps towards universal health care, starting with the children first, and I believe that we can build a stronger image in the world – working towards erasing the image of ignorant, selfish Bush Americans that currently exists. I believe that Obama is the man (yes, a man of color Mr. David...America is ready to move beyond race, gender, religion...) to move us into a new era.

    February 11, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  6. What next

    Last I counted....he has won 20 states she has won 11....I am so confused. What is she talking about. What?????? ....I am not from this country and I am so confused to what she is saying. Can she explain, even I can see that she is not making sense.

    February 11, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  7. LJ

    Dismissing half the population? No, she's pointing out caucus don't represent the electorate, meaning they aren't an actual snapshot of the voting public since they leave so many people out. There are 370,000 registered Nebraska Democrats and only 36,000 made it to the caucus. So when she says they don't represent the electorate: She's telling the truth. And she's respectfully saying that the African American community came out in Large Numbers for Obama in Louisiana, which is truth. That's it.

    You guys seem to think that saying truthful things is somehow offending.

    God, I hate this age of being PC.

    February 11, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  8. I Just Have to Know

    Posted February 11, 2008 2:06 pm ET

    Clinton still the best to lead the country. Without the black vote Obama would not be where he is at this point in time. I feel that the majority of the people dont want a black man in the white house ………….

    David,

    I'm so glad that someone finally said it, but I just have to know - WHY don't people want a black man in the white house?

    February 11, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  9. Joelle

    As a Washington caucus go-er I am insulted by this dismissive attitude, and I suspect the Clinton supporters who were at the caucus would be as well. They were vocal in their support of her – and deserve her recognition.

    Why should we write off states like Nebraska & Idaho? You can bet the Republicans will not be writing off New York and California. Obama has shown an abilty to appeal to more than just tried & true Democrats in the same old "Blue States" who will vote a straight party ticket no matter who the candidate is – WE NEED THAT APPEAL!
    I will vote for HRC in November if I HAVE to, but it would sicken me to do that.
    We NEED new blood. I don't want my children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren serving in Iraq because we nominate HRC and end up with McCain as a result.
    Any undecideds listening? Obama 08!

    February 11, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  10. D.R.

    Wow....Goes to show how much she cares about the American people. All of us, white, black, Latino, activist, conservatives. Who really wants someone that they know doesn't really represent or care about them. Why can't we as people look past boundaries? I can't believe her comments. "Energized African Americans" as opposed to what? Lazy African Americans? Maybe she should realize that she doesn't inspire America.

    February 11, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  11. jeannie moore

    Sounds like a sore loser to me!!!

    February 11, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  12. js

    If we are talking about the environment, Hillary is delusional, as her "alternative" fuels are ethanol, which is destroying our environment, is less efficient than good ole gas, and is leading ot destruction of millions of acres of S. American rainforest used now to grow crops which we used to grow when we were diversified....

    Obama supports Smart Trade, Smart Growth, supporting manufacturing while encouraging green growth through a proposed Federal Renewable Portfolio Standards....

    Why don't you look some of these up and you will see some of these are novel ideas, they are progressive, so it may make some establishment candidate like Hillary nervous....nobody said change was easy!!!!

    Hillary runs her campaign as a Machiavellian...the end justifies the means...and who cares who you destroy in the process...no wonder her campaign manager just quit.....

    Hillary's bloggers ascribe to the self-fulfilling prophecy...that no red states can turn blue...which would be true if hill ends up the nominee.......

    February 11, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  13. andy

    It is nice to hear Hillary calling like it is, activist, and African Americans are a small portion of the electorate, most bread and butter independance and democrats are going for Hillary.

    February 11, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  14. Ivy Cambell

    Mrs. Clinton,

    Please release your Tax returns if you have nothing to hide.
    Transparency is key if you want voters to TRUST you.

    February 11, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  15. nicholas hart

    Forget this divisive politics, Obama is the most liberal and most divisive. I wish CNN would headline his refusal of debates. He is afraid to debate because it will ruin his chances.

    February 11, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  16. Moderate Dem

    Way to play the race card Hillary. Your statement that the "proud" African-American community is allowing Obama to win states is reprehensible. Your attempt to infuse the election with racial tension is the desperate ploy of a desperate woman. Go back to promising D.C. residents that you'll get them the vote. Then go to Ohio and tell everyone you've always been a Bengals fan.

    February 11, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  17. LJ

    OF course MESSNBC will say that. But again, they aren't good at reality.

    Hillary Clinton has received 8,938,660 votes throughout the United States (up to February 9th) while Barack Obama has received 8,406,728. As we can see, there is a 531,932 lead by Clinton over Obama.

    February 11, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  18. lps

    Clinton is finding every excuse in the world as to why she's losing in the states. In the beginning, I thought she would make a good contender against the Republicans. However, the deeper we get into these primaries, the more she loses me. Without a doubt, Obama has truly shown himself to be a much stronger and steadfast candidate. He has captured All Americans, young, old, black , white, independents and republicans. And to dismiss the Louisiana win as "energized African-Americans" is an insult. In this case, how would you explain his win in Maine where the Afrian-American population is less than 1%?

    The last thing we need is another president who makes excuses and refuse to own up to his/her losses....

    February 11, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  19. Dalton

    I have real trouble supporting any candidate that accepts that they can't win in some traditional "red states". When I hear a candidate say they are focusing mainly on traditional democratic states I can't help but wonder if once thy get elected if they will ignore the needs of those states and legislation proposed by their elected officials

    February 11, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  20. Cal

    Wow, how arrogant. I recall that she had only good things to say about Iowa until she came in third. After that she said the state was "peculiar" and not really relevent to the rest of the nation. Well, Senator Clinton, the states that chose Senator Obama over you do not feel "irrelevent".

    I honestly don't see how people can think she will be a uniter. It seems to me she only cares about the states with the delegates that she thinks she can win.

    February 11, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  21. Mike H.

    Hillary is correct in saying that caucuses are dominated by a small group of activists. Look at the number of voters; in virtually every case the caucus turnout is in single digits. In Maine, only 4,000 voters attended the caucuses though there are about one million registered voters in the state. This is a point the media never makes in hyping Obama's "victories."

    February 11, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  22. charlene

    You go girl! You have the substance and experience on your side, unlike Obama
    if full of rhetoric and one would ask "where's the beef"?

    February 11, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  23. Alex F

    Some of you may think that the media is being biased in its coverage of Obama. You are dead wrong! The only reason that Obama is getting the coverage is because he is doing many things that attract the attention of millions of followers and Hillary can't even keep her campaign straight! Not to mention he has won more states across the country than Hillary. Let's get real here. You can play the experience card all you want and that will resonate well with old people and others who don't know any better, but Obama has the leadership and charisma to lead our nation in a new direction. Just because Hillary was an armchair general for eight years in the nineties doesn't make her the best qualified candidate for the job. VOTE SMART!!!!! VOTE OBAMA!!!!!!

    February 11, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  24. Basquale

    Hhuuu this is very dangerouse, demonizing talking what Hillary is doing! "They don't represent the electorate!?" Did that really come out of her mouth? What is she going to say next? That African-American don't represent the American People?

    Hillary you live in a Democracy, already forgotten? Does she intend to be the first Dictator of the United States?

    She better watches her mouth cause that is really shocking news! And still she hasn't congratulated Obama to his victories. That's all so disgusting. Believe me I would love to see a women as a president but she is a big shame!

    And to all the Florida, Michigan arguments...The DNC clearly laid out the rules. The Officials broke that rules because they are sort of the same Washington politics who think they have the power to do anything. Or would you guys have loved to see that in the middle of Super Bowl the rules are going to be changed?

    February 11, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  25. bettey

    I the next president of Unite States is person who have experience rather than saying hope, playing race card and take advantage of what other ones do not have. The person who do not have specific plans and solid policy can not save the nation and benefit american people.

    February 11, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
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