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. Joe, Boston, MA

    You know what's sad? Is that before Obama became famous I'm sure 90% of his supporters liked the Clintons and the time President Clinton was in office. And now just because they are simply endorsing Obama, they think they have to behave as haters of the Clintons. It's ridiculous. Just because you support Senator Obama, does not mean you have to hate Senator Clinton. How immature. People grow up. Your candidate is talking about unity but yet all of you, his supporters, are being so devisive and evil in some ways.

    February 11, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  2. mike in va

    Well LJ, i'm not sure where you get your numbers. But here's are the numbers Tim Russert gave on Meet the Press this past Sunday:

    Obama: 8,228,785 48.4% 18 states won

    Clinton: 8,028, 607 47.3% 10 states won

    and as hillary would somehow say, all 18 states that Obama has won are 'peculiar' or do not really represent the electorate. She's losing people. That's why she says this.

    February 11, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  3. Kyle

    I never understood caucus and now that I do, I'm so glad that California is primary. I want to vote and I want my vote to count! All states should be Primary. Caucus does not represent the individual American voter.

    February 11, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  4. Terry

    I work for the IRS, we are also are interested in her tax returns.

    February 11, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  5. Cheers

    I think that the entire county has spoken : no more Clintons! Republicans do not like them, and most democrates who have voted do not either. Clinton's legacy is short lived, largely due to their own demon.

    February 11, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  6. Tim Jones

    How can you say that the votes of people that didn't vote for don't matter.

    February 11, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  7. To Hillary and her supporters

    Please stop injecting race into this campaign. Obama has broad appeal, from black cities to lily-white farms. Do you notice that you, along with the media, are the only parties who play the race card after a defeat? Give it up. The country doesn't need the garbage you're spewing.

    February 11, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  8. Ellie

    What a sad and pathetic excuse – has is not occured to her to wonder why people are so enthusiastic about Obama that they do go to caucus?

    February 11, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  9. Kay

    I wonder why Hillary and Bill spent TIME and MONEY in those caucus States when they KNOW that they were not going to win in those States? Was NEVADA a caucus State? The activists there must be of a different breed. Desperation can make you say and do all sort of things.

    February 11, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  10. AJ, IL

    What a sore loser! If I were a Hillary supporter in a state she loss, I would feel betrayed by Hillary. Instead of being gracious like Obama to acknowledge the hard work of his campaign and supporters, Hillary just tosses them to the side of the "political" road, like roadkill.

    Obama in 08!

    February 11, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  11. chama

    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 question is, what happens if she loses one of the so called my husband states? Ohio or Texas?

    Does that mean Bill's wins and loses are inclusive of 35 year experience?

    Its really impressive to see Obama running against Hillary+Ex-president.

    "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."

    I thought whites were voting for Obama too.

    February 11, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  12. SDJ

    There are many of us out there who are still not necessarily sold on Obama, or, for that matter McCain, but believe the country would be much better off without a Clinton or Bush in the White House.

    Some believe 28 years of two families controlling a Country is very similar to the regimes of other countries in which the wills of one family or leader sets policies that begin to best suit their inner circle, and not the general population. Over time these leaders lose touch with the common citizen. There is hence a reason this great country only allows a President to preside over a maximum of two terms.

    February 11, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  13. bob Evens

    HIllary should stop talking about African-American. Obama won in may states with less than 5 percent blacks (Iowa, Washington, Nebraska, Maine, north dakota, etc...) She should be ashamed and respect Obama as a popular candidate. Let's wait and see what will happen to her tomorrow evening. Is she going to argue that Virginia, Dc and Maryland are not that important because they rejected her? Very arrogant!!! . what will happen is OHIO and Pennsylvania, even Texas don't go to her? does he know that Lations are changing there minds?

    February 11, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  14. Jules

    Of course she has to downplay it and make those caucus states sound insignificant. She's part of the old school of politics and that's just part of the same old game. Those who still can't find the substance behing Obama haven't looked very hard. His ethics work with Feingold is the kind of thing we need in Washington and the campaign finance reform he spearheaded in illinois is laudablie as well. He cosponsored the SCHIP reauthorization Act and the Healthy Kids Act as well as the Stop Fraud Act and the patriot Employer Act. It's all substantive stuff and easy to find if you are sincerely looking and not just parroting the opposing candidates' campaign spin.

    February 11, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  15. Christiaan, Norman, OK

    Now the race card comes out again...deplorable.

    February 11, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  16. Dyan

    We had a party over the weekend that was mostly active duty military.. Obama is not considered a charming guy to most of these folks. He is a twit. They compared his experiece with Bush. Bush was a great cheerleader too. We have all come to the conclusion that come November we will be going with McCain if Hillary doesn't win the nomination. We are already sick of Obama.

    February 11, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  17. MB

    Are you serious? What kind of attitude is that? Do we really want someone who can't lead or be optimistic about what states to win in November? I think we want someone running who will go toe to toe with McCain in any state, and reach out to moderates and conservatives.

    It's ashame she doesn't plan on doing that.

    OBAMA 08!!!!

    February 11, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  18. Jason - Visalia, CA

    Bill and Hillary need to release their tax returns.

    February 11, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  19. Ed, Santa Fe, NM

    YO HILLARY.... where are you tax returns?

    February 11, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  20. pupnannie

    Hillary Clinton is the only qualified candidate. Obama gets all of the media attention and it is obvious that CNN is supporting him. This has been the most biased media I have ever seen in any election. When Bill O'Reilly says the media has been terrible to Senator Clinton you better believe it because he doesn't even like the Clintons. CNN you should be ashamed as the media is not suppose to show bias anymore then a referee in a ball game. Please try to hide your obvious love for obama for the rest of this campaign and give Senator Clinton an equal chance.

    February 11, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  21. tosha

    Hillary should not downplay any state because we all are apart of the United States and if she puts all her eggs into Texas and Missouri then.... well ask Guilliani oops he is out! Hillary's agenda is Bill's agenda, she can not stand alone. Also for those of you who want to back track please remember that we will never get those times back, inflation is just to high. So move forward and give the Whitehouse a fresh start, with fresh ideas. It is not looking good for Hillary so she should do what is best for the party and what the majority of the ALL the states want and drop out of the race.

    February 11, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  22. Michelle

    Obama, release your tax returns and your contributions by Syrian born Rezko please.

    February 11, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  23. Bill Clinton

    If the caucus are not representative then lets not go to the convention, the winner should be declared with pledged delegates or better still lets not have primaries, let the super delegates decide for us. Hillary is taking the democratic party on a distrutive path and they should read for her the riot act immediately. The democratic party is the first party to have a madam speaker so there nothing feminist if Hillary is not nominated. We need Obama like yesterday, Obama is getting votes from Conservative Democrats, Evangelical Democrats and yes even Economic Conservative Democrats.

    February 11, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  24. California Voter

    Let's get real here. Even before she came out with this statement it was very clear to many of us that Obama wins caucus states. Caucus states go to Obama because he has focused his efforts on those states and therefore has a superior organization set up in those states. A few things to remember regarding those states - a number of which are red states that will not go Democratic in the general election no matter who is running on the Democratic ticket. Even in those blue states that had caucuses, the voters only represent about 10 percent of the registered voters and in some instances, Republicans and Independents can vote for a Democrat. If I were a Republican and wanted to influence the Democrats voting I could vote for Obama.

    So if the Democrats want to win the general election, we need a candidate that does not depend on states that vote Republican (for example, Obama winning Utah is not helpful) We need a candidate that can win in the big states and be competitive with McCain.

    That candidate is Hillary Clinton. Go Hillary!

    February 11, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  25. Robert Soulliere

    I've been a Republican every since I've been able to vote. I voted for both Bushes, and a little Bob Dole inbetween.

    That having been said, I would vote for Obama over every candidate Republican or otherwise. Hillary? I'd choose Pauly Shore or a carbon rod before her. If Dems really want to take the White House in '08, they need to choose Obama.

    February 11, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
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