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. TJ WILLIAMS, Los Angeles, CA

    Please explain to me why it racist and marginalized when African Americans vote for Barack Obama?
    For the last 200 years white people have voted for white people.
    Hillary Clinton has white men and women voting for her but their votes are not called into question and She is not being accused of being the "white candidate".
    Are people so very afraid of having a man with a black face President of the United States. Just what do you think will happen? I know several black people who voted for Mr. Obama and none have received invitations to dinner, job offers, money or any other favor. They can't even get ahead of the line for a book signing. All this talk about him being more for the black Americans...is ..just..plain...stupid!

    February 11, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  2. Elore

    America seems to want change with Obama. Be careful what you wish for and get ready for a rolllercoaster ride to the unknown... good luck..

    February 11, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  3. Independent

    She just dismissed the black vote, so I guess Bill can stop going to the black churches. If Hillary thinks the black vote counts for nothing and activist who fought to get her to where she is today do not represent voters, she do not deserve the vote of any minority groups..

    February 11, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  4. Kevin - IN

    If at first you do not succeed, trivialize failure.

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

    IF you buy into Mrs. Clinton's arguement why the recent primaries and caucauses went the way they did, then the question that I would say needs to be addressed is why can't her leadership qualities motivate people to throw off their years of apathy toward politics and become engaged.

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

    If you read the polls and listen to the Republicans, they would much prefer to have McCain go up against Hilary rather then Obama. Obama is an unknown to the GOP and they have no real strategy to employ against a potential Obama canidadcy. Hilary, on the other hand, will mobilize republicans against her and the GOP is salivating at the thought of all the mud they can throw at her.

    It is sad to think that is is standard fair for the GOP to play such dirty politics, and I think Hilary has a good message, but right now, Obama would be a much stronger candidate against McCain then Hilary would be.

    Obama 08!

    February 11, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  7. Ken, Austin TX

    If that isn't the most camoflauged RACIST comment that I've ever heard, then I don't know what is!!!

    Well, how does she explain Barack winning Iowa with only a 5% minority population? And Washington? And Maine? Hmmm?

    February 11, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  8. Jared

    You see this is what exact we don't need. Saying that the democrats are going to win only in blue state. What about just trying to win all the states rather than to divide them. After her lost she is trying to down play by saying it was all caucus and LA was all African American, what about him wining in place were almost no African American are not even 5% of the population. He is wining in places were no thought an African American will win. I think she believes that she is entitled to get the white house because of how long she is been in politics. Obama has inspired people that usually don't really care and not only inspire them but they are going out and voting. The idea that you are trying to play him as the one who can only win the African American vote is not going to work, because he is wining everywhere and everyone. Just talk about what is the difference between you and him and let the voters decide whom they think is best rather than to give reasons why you are losing and Obama is winning.

    February 11, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  9. Ronnie Ruff DC

    What a way to think
    We will lose RED states anyway so why fight for them!
    Does she think with her close margins BLUE states will not vote for Obama as easy as they would for Hillary?

    A sign of a losing candidate.

    February 11, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  10. Joshua

    Barack Obama is not yet over the humps.

    This issue is one of those humps:

    Almost everyone is aware he is against the Iraq War in 2002. And a lot of people were impressed with his judgement. But I think people were missing his basis for that decision because, media didn't scrutinized it.

    If we look at it closely he said "... But I also KNOW that Saddam poses no imminent and direct threat to the United States..." This is contrary to what the US intelligence community findings at that time.

    So I am wondering, how did he know that? I mean where did he got that information that Sadam poses no imminent threat to US? From Rezko or Auchi????

    February 11, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  11. Anna-Lena

    What is she talking about?! Hillary won the CAUCUS in Nevada. So maybe that was insignificant too? This is just ridiculous. One can have opinions about the caucus system as such, but no matter what, the votes and the delegates count. Whether it is a primary or caucus, it is always about getting your voters out to cast their ballots. Either Hillary's campaign didn't do a good job of mobilizing the people that would vote for her, OR – maybe it is the actual truth that out of the politically involved population, more people just preferred Obama...smells sour loser.

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

    Hillary will win when all is said and done. Obama will be back in 2012 and we'll have to go through this all over again. I dread the thought of listening to that inexperienced Obama trying to sound like he's "been there, done that."

    February 11, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  13. Anonymous

    @David, without the black vote Obama wouldnt be where he is now?
    What about Obama winning the white vote in California? Without the latino vote Hillary would have been already defeated.
    Or do you seriously think states like Alaska,North Dakota,Iowa,Connecticut and Maine are predominantly black?
    Hillary is likely to win Texas and Ohio narrowly, PA is questionable and all other states will go to BARACK OBAMA. She has only won big in Arkansas(Bills state) and in NY(her state as Senator) Obama has defeated her big all over the place.

    from 52 states/territories Obama will win 39 and Clinton 13 (no matter who the super delegates prefer to support they cant deny the voice of the majority of Americans)

    YES WE CAN!!!!!

    February 11, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  14. z,new york, ny

    In elections, all states should matter. The primary/caucus format hasn't changed for many years. Now that she's not winning any of the latest ones and losing by 2:1 margins, she wants to complain they are not fair.

    What's not fair is that she may try to use superdelegates or a fake MI/FL victory to claim the nomination. How sickening. Even the Republicans aren't acting this way.

    And you see why of all the candidates still running, she's the only one with with more people viewing her negatively than positively.

    Her race baiting has clearly backfired in the past few weeks. She has disappointed many blks as evident in their 70-80% vote for Obama. If she pulls through, watch a lot of disenchanted blks and younger voters not bother voting for her or even going for McCain.

    Just drop out. America is tired of political machines, both on the Dem and Republican side. No more superdelegates either. No one should have more than one vote.

    February 11, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  15. Louisiana Loves Hillary!!

    Nathan–a few short weeks ago, the Obama camp had the same spin. So get off you high horse, this is a campaign!!

    This country will never be united!!! Those of us who support Clinton, will never support Obama. NEVER!!!! Those who support Obama will never support Clinton. NEVER!!!!

    I am unhappy to say it, but it will be another republican in the white house.

    February 11, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  16. Flem

    Hillary; Your doublespeak lying knows no bounds. GOOD LORD, you can't even admit that you were beaten fair and square. Incidentally, how does it feel to see it all crumbling in around you? Your perfectly-laid plans for power now lie in ruin...beaten by an upstart who, according to you, "doesn't matter" due to the color of his skin. What an arogant, racist, useless human being you are!

    Hillary...Mother Of All Liars: RELEASE YOUR TAX RETURNS!

    February 11, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  17. Ronnie Ruff DC

    "Reading all these negative comments about Senator Clinton is SCARY!! No, not for Hillary Clinton, but for the American People."

    No.. This is Democracy

    February 11, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  18. Dick Pittenger

    Hillary's dismissal of Obama's victories covers up the obvious truth that Obama, the newcomer, has put together an organization that apparently is better than the highly-touted Clinton machine. This is simply evidence that Senator Obama has leadership abilities that seem clear to me.
    I remember Jimmy Carter being critiicized because he wanted to micromanage the entire Federal Government. Whether or not that was true, does that not bring to mind the Hillary approach to the Presidency? Just a thought.

    February 11, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  19. Andrew K

    "they don't represent the electorate, we know that."

    DID she really just say that?! **gasps**

    So you "enfranchise" voters in Michigan and Florida if they'll vote for you, and disenfranchise them with your contempt when they don't... I see. This is not what the democratic party stands for. SHAME ON YOU!

    February 11, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  20. Jeannie, Atlanta Georgia

    GO HILLARY!!!...Never mind what these Obama people are saying...some of which cannot even write proper english on this commentary. AND never mind that CNN is OBVIOUSLY favoring Barack Hussein Obama. Go Girl!!!

    February 11, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  21. Johnson

    I'm tired of Hillary thinking that Obama always has a "media" edge over Hillary on cnn and other new sites. If you a look at the amount of articles that are posted for Hillary vs those that are posted for Obama, you will see that there are more articles for Hillary than Obama. If you look at cnn.com categories you will see Hillary Clinton (815) Barack Obama (701). That seems to FAVOR Clinton than Obama. The media isn't playing favorites, people are.

    February 11, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  22. Benjamin

    Do you people read what she says, or just read what you want?

    She's 100% correct in saying the caucus's are a joke, since every citizen with the right to vote is unable to participate. In some states, they only have 1 caucus location for hundreds of thousands of people, and there is NO WAY everyone can participate. Not to mention the traffic issues of fluxing 100,000+ people into one tiny place that is incapable of handling that type of change in population in a matter of horus, so many people are stuck never getting there in time, and have to turn around. That is, of course, if you can even participate at the given time of the caucus. If you got work, tough, if your kids have something to attend, tough. In real states that hold elections, you can vote anytime the polls are open, giving everyone with a schedule driven life a chance to vote when they can.

    Then, instead of private voting, which should be given to all....voter's are forced into peer pressure decisions, by having a room full of people yelling at them, and pushing their agendas, without a human being being given the dignity they deserve in making a decision by themselves.

    February 11, 2008 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  23. macblaze

    Although Florida was not contested Obama still ran campaign ads there so that tells me he would have not mine having those votes himself. CNN did not tell u that. This Bias against Hillary is sad and people cannot sit and stop to think what her and her husbands efforts did for this country while they were in office. The economy was booming, people had jobs, we paid down the debt, had a 4 trillion dollar surplus, except for Iraq respected by many nations, people bought homes. Look at what we have now, this country is in bad shape and u guys are telling me that Obama who has been in the Senate three years and have not done nothing become the commander and chief of this country just because he can preach and inspire! Wake up America......Hillary 08.

    February 11, 2008 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  24. angie

    Hillary's image is declining, FAST. Please don't try to spin that one, Hillary supporters. People are not trying to be mean when they point out the truth. Be content, say 'we lost', and if you're so confident about ohio & texas, then move on with it. There is no reason to lose OR win ungracefully.

    – Ron Paul '08! (heh. oh well.)

    February 11, 2008 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  25. jumpinugly

    I think Billary and her campaign are starting to see the handwriting on the wall.
    If Mr. Obama can survive her politics of hate and division, he can survive anything.
    I wish Bill would jump back in and say something incredibly stupid, yet, she does a pretty good job of trying to demean Barack. The spirit of Lee Atwater is alive and well within the Clinton campaign.

    February 11, 2008 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
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