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. Kate

    Wow. I don't represent the electorate and I'm an activist. Who knew.

    February 11, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  2. samyr

    Actually Hillary Clinton doesn't know anything about electoral votes. The total electoral votes from LA, WA, NE and Maine are 29. So how can she say that they don't count in electoral vote. During general election these electoral counts are the most important ones.

    Someone should teach her the American Politics and constitutional rights.

    February 11, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  3. JC, Hot Springs, Arkansas

    Maybe Obama should get nominated. Then we can see what the Republican SMEAR machine will do to him. Just like it turned 2 decent people, the Clintons, into the quasi-demons that half of America (the stupid half) thinks they are. They'll have 51% of this country thinking that Barack Obama sprung directly from the gates of Hell. Hide and watch!!

    February 11, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  4. Bryan, Pennsylvania

    Hillary supporter paraphrase:

    "CNN covers positive stories on Obama, and negative stories on Clinton."

    This phrase could be taken as hurtful to Clinton. Let's look at it in another way, could it be Obama simply creates more positive stories while Clinton seems to create negative stories? Just a thought. Maybe Hillary supporters are correct, but maybe it's the candidates fault, not the messenger.

    February 11, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  5. Shannon

    Will all of the Canadian socialist please leave the discussion .

    February 11, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  6. Mia

    She lost in Minnesota, and will likely lose in Wisconsin. Neither state has a high percentage of African Americans, and both states were battlegrounds in 2004. I'd like to see her explain these away.

    Democrats tried the "big state" strategy in 2004 and lost to Bush with all the states in between. Maybe she should quit "blaming the refs" for her losses and rethink her strategy. I swear, if she convinces the Democratic Party to seat the Florida and Michigan delegates even though they "cheated" - to beat Obama (because this is the only way I see her winning) I'll vote for McCain.

    February 11, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  7. Anthony

    I don't agree with the way Hillary dismissed the states that Obama won. Our President should embrace all of America, not just the states that agree with her.

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

    WHERE IS HER CONFIDENCE??? She should expect to win them all, eventually. Obama does! Are you ready for change people??????

    VOTE OBAMA!

    February 11, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  8. Shelley

    As a very well educated African American, I resent Senator Clinton's comments about an energized African American electorate being responsible for Obama's commanding win in Louisiana. I am an Obama supporter and have been since the day he opened his exploratory committee...but I certainly do not support him solely because he is black. It is offensive to minimize his victories (and my vote) by attributing them to energized African American voters. This is a man who is accomplished and quite brilliant. He has somehow managed to make major contributions at Harvard, in the Illinois legislature and the US Congress. People are energized to vote for his ideas, his record and the potential he creates for this country. I am a thinking and politically aware person and my vote is based on careful analysis and good judgement.

    February 11, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  9. Anonymous

    Hi ,

    I am from Ireland and a visitor in Idaho. The democratic party needs to look at history – when they went against the wishes of the electorate who had voted for Eugene Mccarthy – riots in the streets and a lost election to Nixon .

    Obama is not a cult – he is a representation of the real need that people have, the need to be connected and involved with the political process rather than be anonymously dictated to. In Idaho – a "red" state , there has never been such crowds at a democratic caucus. Do you know what brought people out? Obama visited here, showing that they matter. He gave people the idea that the America is more than the big states on the coasts. The label of "activist" is insulting, I have met people of all backgrounds and to me that is what is so refreshing.

    Ideas can be powerful. I f the American electorate do not vote for Obama then I think you are losing a rare opportunity.

    February 11, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  10. All dems

    facts
    caucuses do not reprent the majority, otherwise all need to vote to determine majority- just a fact stated by Hillary.

    Obama get 82% of the black vote, fact, what the problem.

    Media spins the race card, not campaigns folks. fact.

    Obama won caucuses and none of the large democrat states, except 2 ILL and GA. Hillary won CA, NY, NJ, MA, FL, MI, AZ, split MO and NM soon Ohio, PA , Texas and NC. FACT.

    Whats is the problem with her stating the obvious fact. Just because it is not the Preachers spin. Oh did you notice he does not ask question directly during his PEP rallies, there is a reason.

    JUST the facts.

    February 11, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  11. dave

    It could have sounded much better if she simply congratulated Obama again, to show that she DOES respect her opponent and, more importantly, the VOTERS! Now, she sounds like a sore looser, divisive within the party, trying to to torn down other dems, playing infight, racist. It sounds really really bad. Her political advisor should yell at her loudly.

    STOP THIS Hillary, please, for the sake of your own candidacy.

    Hillary, if you continue doing this, I will not vote for you even if you got the nomination.

    February 11, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  12. park more

    If You Watch One Thing Today: Tonight from 7-7:30 p.m. EST, Hillary will appear live on TV on ABC7 and News Channel 8 in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. Voters nationwide can see Hillary live on Politico.com. The appearance was initially intended to be a debate sponsored by The Politico and ABC7, but Sen. Obama refused to debate Hillary. What does mean? Obama is afraid that people will know that he is the NO HOPE for the US.

    Obama is pro-war and he wants to go to different contries and strikes people there even without the agreement of local goverment? What peace are you looking for Obama?

    We are behind you Hillary and I am sure Edward and Algore will also.......

    February 11, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  13. citizen_c

    Caucus goers are "activists" and "don't represent the electorate"??? I'm from Colorado, you know the place where the DNC will hold it's convention, and she's saying our votes don't count? So I guess the folks in Florida and Michigan, two states who Clinton is pandering to get on her side, do represent the electorate? Which states count Hillary and which states don't? Last I checked, she was running for President of the United States ... and there are 50 of them! Shame on you for suggesting that we are somehow less important than the people of New York or California. You are aware that the flyover states ARE the United States, right?

    February 11, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  14. hinjen

    Blacks still like and will support Hillary if she wins. So just because Obama is getting a high percentage now does not mean we do not like Hillary and will not come out to vote if she wins.. You would not understand my friends.

    February 11, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  15. Linda

    I hope Hillary wins the nomination .She's having it tough right now .It would be nice if they gave the delegates in Florida and Michigan to her it would help her alot . I don't think its fair at all what they did to the demorats punishing them in Florida and Michigan not giving them the delegates she desrves them .
    And by the way what makes you people think she's lying .Tell me why you think this is so.She knows she was beat on those states because she didn't go out those states to campaign which was a mistake on her part. But I will still go out to vote for in Nov. if she makes till then.

    February 11, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  16. Susan

    Hillary...What a degrading comment about this nations caucus system...not representing the voters in large...that we are all activists ??? How minimizing and insulting...If I was a supporter of yours, which I am not...I would be ashamed...How dare you...
    In our MAINE town...Obama supporters were...millworkers, housewives, lawyers, dairy farmers, doctors, carpenters, plumbers and students men and women of ALL ages.. There were among them many many women who support Sen. Obama.......There were Asian and African Americans as well.............You couldnt find a more diverse mix......Your supporters were all older women....and they were very very few....We were certainly NOT activists..What an insulting comment

    February 11, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  17. mike

    Wow, Her statements are breathtaking, sounds like she thinks she can follow in the footsteps of her husband. Now that is leadership.

    February 11, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  18. tw

    A quick fact check shows that Bill Clinton won a lot of caucuses in 1992, so I guess he did do well in caucus states unlike his spuose...

    February 11, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  19. norb

    Why not have a nation wide primary? Held one day and one day only. The one who gets the most votes wins. This caucus, super delegates thing is too weird.

    February 11, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  20. Troy-Boston

    Mike said: "Get informed

    Polls show

    Obama beats McCain

    McCain beats Clinton

    Maybe thats why Obama gets the educated vote and Hilary gets the
    uneducated

    A vote for Hilary is a testament to your poor education"

    Mike, I'm sorry you are so ignorant!!!

    February 11, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  21. Aaron

    Clinton dismisses Obama because these are just "Activists" in the primaries, but why then does Obama draw more independents and republicans (or obamacans such as myself) than Hillary? Clintons problem is that Obama is a uniter. He unites Democratic Activists, Liberal and Moderate Democrats, Independents, and Liberal and Moderate Republicans. No other candidate in the History of the United States can boast that. Obama leads in the number of pledged delegates because he won 19 states compared to 10 for Clinton. (p.s. Hillary, in Michigan Obama's name wasn't even on the ballot, and Florida didn't count). The only reason Hillary is leading in the total amount of delegates is because her husband and her were popular in the 90's. If that is the reason she wins, that will be a black eye on the democratic party. That wouldn't be very democratic at all.

    February 11, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  22. Hillary '08

    To all of you who keep crying for Hillary to release tax returns, go find another tree to bark up. If you all knew the slightest about this woman and her career for the past 30 or so years, you would see where she gets her income from as well as being married to a former President.

    Stop regurgitating what college kids are writing in the college newspapers and find your sources from credible means.

    Obama has not changed the tone of his 'inspiring' speeches. He is a broken record, still refusing to explain exactly how he plans to change our current system with anything other than hopes and dreams that get minorities and college kids all starry-eyed; he does it because he knows that you all get sucked into it!

    Hillary is honest, she's got a proven track record of making change, and is no-nonsense. Maybe it's her honesty that has got you all bent out of shape; after all, Obama will lie as long as necessary to increase his delegate count, won't he?

    Get real.

    February 11, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  23. Terry

    The audacity of Hillary Clinton is unbelievable. I have never seen such arrogance in all my life! To dismiss the states that she has lost miserably in is laughable. I sure hope the American people can see through this nonsense. As an international viewer whom CNN broadcasts to...I hope my comment makes it through the moderation process.

    February 11, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  24. alan

    "and, in the case of the Louisiana primary, an energized African-American community"

    DOES SHE THINK AFRICAN-AMERICANS DON'T HAVE BRAINS TO CHOOSE A CANDIDATE? THAT WE JUST GO WITH ANY NEGROE??

    February 11, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  25. Manny

    Why is Hilary hiding her "Thesis" from Wellesly college ??? The so called "secret thesis". What is she hiding??? I wonder.........

    February 11, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
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