February 13th, 2008
09:30 PM ET
6 years ago

Carville: Do or die for Clinton in Texas and Ohio

James Carville is supporting Hillary Clinton's White House bid.
James Carville is supporting Hillary Clinton's White House bid.

(CNN) - He hinted at a similar sentiment earlier this week on CNN, but James Carville – a supporter of Hillary Clinton’s White House run - was decidedly more blunt Wednesday on the impact a loss in Texas or Ohio would have on her presidential bid.

"Make no mistake," Bill Clinton's former chief strategist told the Orlando Sentinel. "If she loses either Texas or Ohio, this thing is done."

The Clinton campaign has increasingly placed importance on those two March 4 primaries following eight straight losses for the New York Democrat since Super Tuesday. On Tuesday night, she was swept in the so called Potomac primary, losing to Obama in Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia.

In a conference call with reporters earlier Wednesday, Clinton campaign aides noted 60 percent of the remaining delegates are in Texas, Ohio, and Pennsylvania - all states where polls show the New York senator is leading Obama. But delegates in those states will not be awarded on a winner-take-all basis, and Clinton staffers said Wednesday that their expectation was that the two candidates would be within 25 delegates of each other following the March 4 contests.

Obama campaign aides said Wednesday they believe it is nearly impossible for Clinton to catch up to Obama in the delegate count under the current guidelines, even if she wins all three contests.

Speaking on CNN's The Situation Room earlier this week, Carville struck a similar note.

"The truth is that Sen. Clinton has to win Texas, Ohio and Pennsylvania," he said. "If she wins those three, she's probably the nominee. If she loses one of those three, then Sen. Obama is probably going to be the nominee. That's a fact."

"We have a lot of debates left to go," Carville continued. "This has been a very close contest. Democrats want to hear from both of them. I've seen the Clintons counted out before. I would be very reluctant to count the Clintons out."

– CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

soundoff (516 Responses)
  1. Joshua Englander

    Obama, clearly to be seen is gonna be hard to beat in Ohio. However, I am not so sure about Texas. Pennslyvania is (in my opinion) probally going to Hilary, but then again I could be wrong. I think to a lot of people, John Mccain is gonna have an uphill challenge, due to the failures of George W. Bush, although its not impossible. Texas seems to be excited about Hilary for now, but I think once Obama gets down there, things are gonna change a lot.

    Anyway, OBAMA 08

    Joshua Englander, MA

    February 13, 2008 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  2. andy, ca

    Was W. said he's too an outsider, a uniter not a divider, going to fix Washington, blah, blah, bhah...? Nice speeches don't bring changes – Hard work does! However, smooth-talk often wins out in the end.
    Too bad, it's another ground-hog day here in America!

    February 13, 2008 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  3. LARRY THORNTON

    WHY CNN WOU;D YOU NOT PRINT WHAT I WROTE ABOUT AN HOUR AGO? TO MANY FACTS AGAINST OBAMA? AGAINST YOUR GRAIN? LIKE MEATHEAD HARDBALL CRIS MATHEWS? I THOUGHT cnn WAS MORE FAIR THAN THAT

    February 13, 2008 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  4. Evan Esteves, Boca Raton FL

    Hey Carlos from Tampa....

    Speak for yourself about the 50% of my fellow Latinos voting for McCain if Obama is the nominee...I am a Puerto Rican and am a PROUD supporter of Senator Obama!

    (PS My whole family with the exception of one who is a Republican, will be voting for Obama as well!) Guess that puts your 50% Latino vote going for McCain theory in jeopardy now doesn't it Carlos?

    February 13, 2008 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  5. Doug

    To the blogger above:

    Three Kentucky superdelegates recently spoke in support of Hillary prior to the KY vote:

    JoEtta Wickliffe, Terry McBrayer and Moretta Bosley all are voting for Hillary. I think this is controversial because the citizens of KY have not spoken yet.

    February 13, 2008 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  6. bob

    Anybody but her....please!

    February 13, 2008 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  7. Brian

    Barack Obama is running for the President of the United States ALL 50 States.

    Hillary Clinton is running for President of the United States ALL the states she thinks are important. Imagine not campaigning in New Orleans, LA after the events after Katrina. Is this what she means when she says she's ready and has experience? Sounds more like Bush and Bush League then what we need in a President.

    February 13, 2008 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  8. oneway4

    From this side of the ocean, the USA needs the Obama's of this world, from a purely open view Hilary's views are so similar to the former President Clinton's View.
    Mr Obama's fresh vitality and the arguments he puts for change are great and a good cause for the American people to rally around.

    At long last there seems to be a great wind of change coming from the caucuses!

    February 13, 2008 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  9. lindacisme

    Guess what Hillary haters .... Obama could win all the remaining states by a 60% – 40% margin and STILL NOT HAVE ENOUGH DELEGATES, so it goes both ways.

    He is preaching "us us us", but dies take a stand on anything except a health plan that leaves out millions of people, and bringing troops home (which Hillary want to do too).

    Where's the meat? Sure he doesn't want to debate – he's not so good at it, and he might get asked a question about policy that he still hasn't figured out the answer.

    Wake up people – there is only 1 candidate that is ready.....
    HRC.

    February 13, 2008 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  10. speech, speech

    go , hilary, go experience, our word if flat now, it can not act by usa along, we need more experience person in write house, not just speech , primise everything, the word is more dangerous now, it have more challenge ahead of us, we need more experience, experience person.

    February 13, 2008 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  11. Sharon Osmond

    Yes I am from Canada,watching this election. I am really upset with the Clintons.
    Michigan and Florida were told that their votes would not count because they forfeited this right. The Democratic party set the rules and they should abide by them. The candidates signed an agreement ,not to campaign here because of this fact. When Mrs Clinton lost big time in South Carolina ,she announced to the crowd that she was looking forward to the Florida vote. I even saw photos of her in Florida shaking hands with fans contrary to party directions not to campaign there. She" won "and now she wants these delegates to count and in Michigan as well.
    Is this fair politics or dirty politics? Is this truely democratic ? I suspect,there will be much more of the same in the weeks to come. They are not gracious about losing
    I also think that Obama should not get involved with debates. I would not give in to her wants and desires He needs to keep talking to people and meeting them. When people see and hear him, they see his values and qualities and respect him greatly . I hope he sweeps the rest of the states. Sharon-an interested Canadian. He is the talk of the country.

    February 13, 2008 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  12. Maksym

    Barack Obama 08

    There is no doubt in my mind that he is a better candidate for being U.S. president than Clinton.

    She now tries to cover Barack Obama with dirt, and that's quite sad, a sad move from a failing campaign.

    Clinton is a puppet led by wealthy puppet masters, and the only thing that she is going to change is the way people see presidential candidates if they are elected – more of liars than before as none of her promises will come true once she gets pressured by her husband and military advisors.

    We need a leader who grew up in poverty, who knows value of a dollar, not another Paris Hilton playing with money like they are just paper.

    Obama 08

    February 13, 2008 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  13. ken

    Let's stop and think for just a moment. First we had Bush Sr for 4 yrs, then Big Billy for 8 yrs, then Bush Jr for 8 yrs and now we are suppose to be in favor for another 4 or 8 years of Mrs Big Billy? I do not honestly believe the 'Founding Fathers' had the thought of 2 families controlling the White House for two decades or better.

    If we are going to change, then let's change. Mrs C is so removed from everyday people, she can't remember what it's like to pay $3 gas, balance a budget, worry about foreclosure, your job, no health insurance, etc. She has had '35 years of experience' (she says) to change things. Well, from where I sit, things haven't changed a whole lot. Let's move on

    February 13, 2008 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  14. Tony

    My question is This: Is America ready for a woman president????? My answer is: YES WE ARE!!!!!! YES WE ARE!!!!! AND WE WILL BE OUR SISTERS KEEPER!!!!!!!! AND WAY TO THE WHITE HOUSE..........

    February 13, 2008 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  15. voting game

    NO FLORIDA OR MICHIGAN VOTE, NO VALID ELECTION. ALL 50 STATES ARE IN THE UNITED STATES. END OF STORY

    February 13, 2008 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  16. Christopher, Madison, WI

    Independent NW February 13th, 2008 7:20 pm ET

    I don't know where this is going but it has to be good news for the Republicans.

    Are you an "Independent" like Joe Lieberman? With 28 repukes not running in the next election compared to the 5 democrats and a failed administration and McCain/Bush on the way how is this good news for the repukes?

    February 13, 2008 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  17. Truly Blue

    So here we have a HRC supporter from day 1 telling her to concede if she does not win Texas, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. We have it right here folks! Woo hoo!

    OBAMA 2008!!

    February 13, 2008 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  18. Loren

    Come on fellas tell the truth
    1. The organized Dem Party howard Dean and the Boys, are pushing Obama over Hillary 10-1. He's their Guy the super super Liberals ie Ted Kennedy need I say more to convince you. Look at the caucases.
    2 Fox news and the conservative Cheney crew is backing Obama even with secret donations Why because they cannot beat Hillary but they can eat Obamas lunch
    3 No ones been in Obama's closet. But Hillary has been reemed totally and survived. Obama will be swift boated worse than Kerry. The scripts have already been written. They the Cheny guys can not do that with success against Hillary especially if Bill tours Europe for 6 months.
    So cut the Bull. and Tell the truth about what is happening in the world of back room politics and the ratfu–krs are still here.

    February 13, 2008 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  19. JOHN

    TEXAS, YOU MUST REMEMBER IT WAS BILL WHO LOOKED THE AMERICAN PEOPLE IN THE FACE AND LIED ABOUT MONICA. WE DIDN'T ASK HIM TO GET ON T.V. AND LIE, WE ASK HIM TO BE TRUTHFUL TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE. OH YES, IT'S OUR BUSINESS WHEN HE IS NOT DOING THE WORK OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE, BUT DOING THE DO IN THE OVAL OFFICE, AND NOW HE WANTS US TO BELIEVE WHAT HE SAYS, I DON'T THINK SO.

    February 13, 2008 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  20. THE voting game

    GO HILLARY, Run to August until Florida and Michigan are seated.
    Neither of them may not have enough at the end of the campaign.
    Superdelegates will apply if found out that republicans are voting in Democratic primary, that is the exact reason they are there.

    February 13, 2008 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  21. GG

    I AM A LADY DEMOCRAT, IF OBAMA WINS THE DEMOCRAT PRIMARY, I FOR ONE WILL SWITCH PARTIES AND VOTE REPUBLICAN

    February 13, 2008 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  22. Cal Jim 2

    You folks do know that, Obama, is running for president of the United States of America. Right? Not the president of Kenya, or some third world, musliim country. Right? Just checking, because I for one don't want to be, reduced, to living like them, because Obama, thinks more of taking care of them, than us in the U.S. Maybe he should have taken his campaign over there some where! Mrs. Clinton on the other hand will care for the needy of the world. That's a sure thing. We know her. She does, put the people of the U.S.A. FIRST!!! I Think we need to keep a clear head on our, U.S. needs and the needs of Americans First!!! They, (the candidates), also must be able to explaine how to achieve those needs, (in debates), for us to view and hear in order for, us, to make an educated decision. Choose wisely. All of our lives depend on the choice we make. Even a really, good talker, trips themselve up, when people listen, to him long enough. Think back and think ahead. Wake up! Tthis is not a dream. But a bad choice, spent, on a dream weaver, could very well, turn, into a U. S. and World Wide, NIGHTMARE!!! We the People of This Great Country, are smarter than that. Aren't we? Or, are we not?

    February 13, 2008 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  23. vic nashville,Tn

    Never die
    Clionton 08 and 12

    February 13, 2008 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  24. Evan Esteves, Boca Raton FL

    Alain...

    There is one thing I wonder about...

    Why is it that when you are addressing Clinton and bringing together the Democratic party...you put forth your concerns about Obama backers as them being "immature"

    But when you talk about Obama in the same sense...Clinton supporters "immaturity" isn't brought up?

    Have you looked at these boards lately? The Hillary supporters are the only ones I see talking about NOT voting for a democrat if their nominee doesn't get in. Talk about bitter...

    Stand up and show yourselves to be TRUE democrats and support whoever the VOTERS nominate. I myself have no problem voting for Clinton as an Obama supporter!

    February 13, 2008 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  25. Independent Democrat

    Senator & Future President Barack Obama has an extensive history of public service and community outreach stemming back to his college days. He is highly educated, a peacemaker, has firm plans for education, the economy, and the war. If anyone caught his townhall meeting in Wisconsin today, I do not see why so many HRC supporters would not vote for him if she does not win the nomination. I can only think of 3 reasons: (1) racist, (2) stupid, and/or (3) selfishness and sore losers

    February 13, 2008 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
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