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. Holly, Kansas City, MO

    Of course. What else is she gonna say?

    February 11, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  2. JoAnne

    The numbers that are reported in the caucuses by the media are delegate numbers given to each town not the actual number of people who voted. Those are not the same delegates as the number of delegates given by the state to the candidates. It's a very confusing system that I agree is outdated. But many more than 4000 people voted in ME yesterday.

    February 11, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  3. stan pitts pa

    what about the white votes in idaho, kansas, missouri, alaska, maine what happened there? the truth is white and black voters are going 80 – 85% for obama!

    February 11, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  4. S Williams

    @ Christopher said:

    Experience counts, but so do qualities like intelligence, poise, decency and the ability to articulate a vision. . . “I don’t oppose all wars. What I am opposed to is a dumb war. What I am opposed to is a rash war. . . Who has been proven right — the establishment . . . or the upstart from Chicago?

    But pundits who believe presidential candidates must be marinated in years and years of high-profile elected offices are wrong. . .

    This was so nice, it needed to be said twice.

    The only thing I would add is that Hillary's 'experience' mantra has mainly gone unchallenged so far. She only says that she 'fought ' for things.

    To fight for something is one thing, to accomplish it is another.

    February 11, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  5. KAS

    I guess one thing they said about Obama's voters is true: More educated. I would NEVER vote for Hillary after all of this and I am a staunch Democrat. If she becomes the nominee...I won't vote at all.

    February 11, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  6. Obi

    When a woman with grace and warmth is a candidate, then i could see myself voting for her.

    February 11, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  7. andy

    Boy, the Obama supporters are some touchy, truth hurts I guess.

    February 11, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  8. DJ

    I’m very offended that she called the voters in these other states activists. She is so low down it’s not funny. She tries to label Obama the black candidate again. She is so disrespectful. I honestly hate her.

    February 11, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  9. Eric Romas

    Would she be saying the same thing if she had won those caucuses ???

    This is the type of arrogance from her that has Obama's campaign flourishing

    and how dare she compare her candidacy to her husband's ???

    We all know Bill's savvy and smoothness when he campaigned back in the 90's.

    Maybe she should've been taking notes.

    February 11, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  10. ???

    I'm confused-

    Caucuses consist of everyday registered Democrats getting together and debating over which canidates are better. Superdelegates are individuals that can choose a canidate regardless of input from the general public.

    How in the world can you conclude that people who participate in caucuses "don't represent the electorate" while relying on the support of superdelegates to compete for a nomination?

    It seems to me that activism is exactly what this country needs right now. So many people have become disinterested in the political process because they feel like they can't make a difference.

    Obama is changing that. There is something wrong when the voices of a few are celebrated over the voices of the many.

    I don't like to see democracy minimized.

    February 11, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  11. macblaze

    Obama please stop saying "I totally agree with Hillary" and then putting your spin on it.. Listen to the last debate. The man does not have specifics just giving people what they want to hear. He does not want to debate.. and Chicago is not the U.S. what have u done outside of Chicago and if you did why other people are not really coming out telling us what you exactly did there.. Oh yeah you did say 150,000 people due to your efforts have Health Care in Illinois..Wow...however compare that to the thousands there that do not. You do not have a real universal health care plan..My man u can talk but if people get off of the Hype and think we all know Hillary is the right choice!! Go Hillary!!!

    February 11, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  12. William, Atlanta

    Uh, Senator Clinton, you need a reality check and you need it fast. Senator Obama didn't just beat you in all Democratic primaries and caucuses this weekend. No, Senator, he literally kicked your butt and ate your lunch. In fact, in terms of the popular vote, he's won so many contests that it is clear the Democratic rank and file are rejecting your candidacy. Obama is just a few steps away from being the train you aren't going to be able to stop. While you fire your campaign manager and try to pick up the pieces of a failing campaign, he's on fire.

    February 11, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  13. Bukky

    I think its funny that people take shots at Obama because HIGHLY EDUCATED people vote for him. Is that to say that only idiots vote for Hillary?

    February 11, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  14. Richard

    I just don't understand why my fellow more educated Collegues are favoring Obama. In the face of an economic downturn, what we need is a proven leadeship that can steer this country out of a recession and bring back the good old times of the 90s. We just can't afford another inexperienced leader to run this country as if we're conducting an experiment. Folks, WAKE UP! We need Clintons back in office!

    February 11, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  15. nate

    Leaders lead. Great leaders inspire. O/08

    February 11, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  16. Arun

    Hillary essentially wants to ignore at least half of America! Not only will she unify the Republican party, but she will essentially give away half of America. Not exactly Presidential ... SORE LOSER!

    If she were truly a unifier, she would not even be ABLE to utter the words she said. However, she is clearly smarting from her losses and is unable to prevent her emotions from saying what she truly believes ... that half of America is unimportant. The only people that are important are the people that give her money and volunteer on her behalf. She reeks of selfishness ...

    Can you imagine what she wants to do to ALL the people that haven't supported her!?! Do we want to have such a person in the White House!?! We need her and similar-minded Senators and Representatives out of the Legislative Branch, let alone the Executive Branch!

    February 11, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  17. JBN

    "And we've got to be competitive in places like Texas, Missouri and Oklahoma." Oklahoma? Obama's victories don't count because we won't win those states in the general anyway, but we have to be competetive in Oklahoma which hasn't gone Democratic since 1964. It seems to me that making half-baked arguments/statements like this have been the Achilles heel of her campaign.

    February 11, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  18. Margie

    Go OBAMA go!!! Hillary can go home. I can't understand why anyone would vote for her.

    February 11, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  19. wait a minute

    You can't be crying and hiding your head in the sand as a leader.

    February 11, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  20. Brad

    I am a white male for Obama and I HATE stirring the racial pot, but does this sound racist to anyone else?

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

    That means, they are voting for Obama because they are black and he is black.

    February 11, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  21. faboo

    Katie, stop lying. Michelle Obama said she'd have to think about campaigning for Clinton in the general if Clinton got the nomination.

    February 11, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  22. Will, NYC

    Hillary argues that Obama only won red states that will not go Dem, then touts how well she hopes to do in TEXAS? Is this woman divorced from reality?

    February 11, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  23. Kedrick

    As a supporter of Barack Obama, I wish that everyone could see this election as I do. I see the campaign of Barack Obama as more then just a race for the White House. It's about a change in the mindset of the people in this country.

    Obama critics will argue inexperience and say he is selling false hope, but they fail to see the fact that he has people excited about going to the polls. People actually want to participate in the democratic process and change the "business as usuall" policies of Washington.

    We should be celebrating this process instead of looking for negatives to point out. Mrs. Clinton included!

    February 11, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  24. Tania

    If, according to Hillary, every African-American vote is going to go to Obama simply because he is black, then where are all the female votes for Clinton? I mean, if you're going to play the race card, then by all means lets toss the gender card in there too.

    The fact is, Obama is mobilizing his supporters. Caucuses may not be ideal, but I'm sure we wouldn't hear any complaints if Hillary 08 was the cry on everyone's lips.

    And that bit about not winning republican states: Ms. Clinton, you need to win your own states first. No one became president by being unpopular...

    Oh wait. Nevermind.

    February 11, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  25. dmw

    Amen to Dennis in Missouri. I am from Kansas and voted for Hillary. There is no way Obama will win any of the Red states and I know that the Democratic party is not left-wing liberal. Obama will lose in November if he is nominee. The majority of us are moderates or Regan-Democrats. I will vote for McCain if Obama is the nominee.

    February 11, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
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