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. Fran

    This country is enough economic trouble & reeks RECESSION... don't need someone as inexperienced as Obama in the White House; we will for sure go into a FULL BLOWN RECESSION. We need experience & that is HILLARY.

    February 11, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  2. Michael Farrah

    Typical loser's comments. What next!???

    Now Bill is going to lose his temper again and say some stupid comments too. What about Chelsea?!!

    You know what? CLINTONS ARE JUST HISTORY!!!

    February 11, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  3. mk

    Not only am I offended by this "acitivist" nonesense, I am so disappointed in Hillary. I live in Idaho, and while I am well aware that democrats are not in abundance here, WE DO MATTER. At least we mattered to Obama. He at least thought were worth enough to make an appearance. I guess Hillary has let us know that she represents only those who can forward her cause. Whatever that may be.

    She has dismissed us as inconsequential, so I suppose it won't matter to her that she has lost my vote.

    February 11, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  4. coyote mixer

    She's totally right. Active people do not represent the electorate.

    February 11, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  5. Jen

    I am insulted that Clinton has dismissed the vote I cast last Saturday. Here in Washington State the people chose by a very wide margin to have Obama as our candidate. As did Nebraska, Louisiana and the Virgin Islands.
    She would do better to show respect for all who take the time to vote.

    February 11, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  6. Wayne, Greenville TX

    Bob February 11, 2008 2:40 pm ET

    We wait patiently in PA to vote for H. Clinton on April 22 primary to put her over the top for the nomination and then again in Nov. for the next President of the U.S.

    But before then, I'll be voting with many of my fellow Democrats here in Texas on March 4th to put Barack Obama over the top before you even get a chance to look at a sample ballot...

    Face it, Bob. More and more Democrats are choosing Barack Obama, and he has a far better chance to win in November. As much as you're for Hillary, the fact is many people will never vote for her – and I'm talking independents, not just rank-and-file Republicans. In order to win in November, we need to attract independents and disenfranchised Republicans, which is something Hillary Clinton just cannot do.

    I used to be for John Edwards – now I'm for Barack Obama.

    February 11, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  7. Geoff in CA

    Last I checked, Obama didn't get to pick where the contests were to be held....he simply played by the rules given. She wanted the caucus states skipped so no one would pay attention to them so that she could run in and campaign then claim victory when no one else ran ie Mich & Fl. Instead of playing by the rules, she believes SHE alone gets to say what and where matters. This is why people can't wait to see her fail.

    On the media coverage, she knows the game. First the crowds then the cameras. Cameras always follows the crowds, she has no problems finding cameras when she needs to cry on queue.

    February 11, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  8. yellowrose of texas

    Go Hillary Go! You put your own foot in your mouth this time about the Black vote and saying you understand why they would vote for him and the Caucus states. I'd be willing to bet you would be singing a different tune if you were the winner in those States.

    N one can dismiss the Clinton machine it is over by a long shot. Keep on track OBAMA, don't let her get you down. Too much going on in her own campaign for her not to be trying to do everything she can to win. You know she has told us many times that she has been working on this for 35 years.

    Texas for OBAMA!!!!

    As for as CNN, we all know it stands for Clinton News Network

    February 11, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  9. Kim J.

    Hey Hillary – African Americans aren't the only ones voting for Obama. You can dismiss his increasing popularity and his progess in the polls all you want. The fact of the matter is that Americans are seeing him as a far better option than putting another Clinton in the White House – black and white alike!

    February 11, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  10. Adam

    Absolutely pathetic.

    "Caucuses don't represent the electorate", huh?

    SO WHAT WILL HER LINE OF REASONING BE WHEN OBAMA SWEEPS the PRIMARIES in D.C., Maryland and Virginia?

    Yeah.

    Sorry, Hillary – with all due respect – face it, it's over.

    February 11, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  11. Maria

    It would be too hard to congratulate her colleague and opponent. Humm, she may be your friend Obama but you are not her friend.

    February 11, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  12. Sarah

    While her comments aren't shocking, it's a missed opportunity. Why not take a cue from Obama and seek to re-energize her supporters? Something along the lines of "This is the time to join together and come out strong going forward. I know my supporters are strong leaders in their communities and we need to harness that energy going into these next primaries" blah blah. Instead she brushes the losses aside with her typical "Hey, look over here, nothing's going on" response. She is clearly terrified but taking a completely wrong tactic by acting like Obama isn't a real threat.

    The bigger problem is that if the superdelegates decide this in her favor, the voters will once again be mystified about the process and become more deeply disenfranchised, which is truly depressing. Not to mention that she isn't going to be able to beat McCain.

    February 11, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  13. bret Jennings

    I can't imagine a candidate stringing together a series of sentences with more potential to come back and bite them as she did when she spoke at GM today. If there is one thing this election has showed us that voters in both parties don't appreciate being taken for granted or dismissed as irrelevant. She claims her trouncing was the work of "activists", insulting the very core principle of democracy – the right to gather and choose representation. And to top it off adds a little coment at the end saying that most blacks are incapable of choosing a candidate based anything other than skin color. She seems to have taken over where her husband let off after South Carolina. Put the Clintons back to the wall and the turn nasty. Fortunately for Obama, they seem to get a little dumb too. If I hadn't already made up to mind to vote against Hillary (which I have), I certainly would have when I read those dissmissive and arrogant comments.

    February 11, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  14. NOBAMA NO WAY

    GO HILLARY!

    BRING HOME HILL FORCE ONE!!

    DEFLATE THE HOT AIR BALLOON OBUMMER!!!

    February 11, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  15. steve

    what a pathetic laundry list of excuses. no doubt she will continue to spew them out until obama has won the nomination. i'm sure see will have one for every set-back to come. lucky for her the writers guild is settling their strike, so now she can get some professional excuses, instead of her most amateur ones.

    February 11, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  16. Kkaye

    What I find disappointing about the Clinton campaign is that she is forever leaning on her husband. Hillary is already showing us what she will do. When it gets tough, she will always rely on Bill. There is no doubt that He will be in the Oval office if she wins. He Will have a office in the West Wing.

    She needs to win this on her OWN. We don't need to see or here from Bill until this thing is over. It reminds me of the littel girl who is standing on her daddy's feet while dancing. Stand on your own two feet. Stop crying for the sympathy vote.

    February 11, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  17. warren

    Unbelievable how tin-eared and unimaginative she is. Please sit down Billary - your time has come and gone.

    February 11, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  18. Nathan

    I'm at a loss of words to HRC's comments. Why is she even running for President of the votes of so many states don't matter to her?

    February 11, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  19. To David

    Tell me how many African-Americans are in Iowa, Utah, Nebraska, Minnesota, Alaska, et al? I'm waiting.

    February 11, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  20. RO

    Constrast her dismissals of states where she lost, with florida and michigan where she now wants to change the rules to have the delegates seated! Democracy only works when it suits her huh?

    February 11, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  21. michael minorgan

    Hillary you sound a little desperate to me! The African Americans in Louisiana dont represent the electorate..........please this statement will certainly come back to bite you..a bit like that "fairytale" comment in SC????!!!!

    February 11, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  22. Andria in OKC

    Clintons – Your time has come and gone. The PEOPLE are speaking.
    WE WANT CHANGE! Your corruption and presumed political dominance are nearing an end.

    OBAMA 08!

    "Come senators, congressmen, please head the call
    Don't stand in the doorway, don't block up the hall
    For he that gets hurt will be her that has stalled
    The battle outside ragging
    Will soon shake your windows and rattle your hall
    For the times, they are a changing

    The line, it is drawn, the curse, it is cast
    The slow one now will later be fast
    And the present now will later be the past
    The order is rapidly fading
    The first one now will later be last
    For the times, they are a changing"

    February 11, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  23. Bukky

    Obama has won 9 Primary States to her 10. I guess those states dont count either/

    February 11, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  24. Every, Cleveland, OH

    I think Msrs Clinton is very deluded in her thinking, or she is trying to put race into the campaign again. The facts are that on a couple states had over 30% african-american poulation. She is in denial that it is the white male, white women and latino votes that are really denying her thes primary victories. This is why I don't trust her with any facts, and definitely not with our country. It just would be one spin after another and truth would be non-existent with exception of her or Bills hand being caught in the cookie jar. We need real change ! We need to hear the truth without spin! We need a unifier not a polarizer! Go Obama!!

    February 11, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  25. Kevin

    RE: "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."

    Hi Mike H – I think you're not understanding the results here. A couple of points:

    1. Senator Clinton never said a "small group of activists" She said that caucuses are "primarily dominated by activists"

    2. Maine apportioned nearly 3500 state delegates who will cast their support to their pledged candidate. These state delegates were chosen by thousands upon thousands of voters. According to the Portland Press Herald "More than 46,000 voters, including 4,000 who cast absentee ballots, participated in the caucuses, easily breaking the record of 17,000 from 2004."

    Please be very careful in post junk information. As an Obama supporter, I'm after the facts, and you should be too.

    February 11, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
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