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. RETTA CRAWFORD ST.LOUIS

    WELL THIS ONLY MEANS THE EYES OF TEXAS ARE UPON HILLLARY AND MAY OHIO PLAY" TEXAS HOLD HIM" ALSO SEEMS OBAMA AVOIDING MCCAIN'S EARLY ATTACKS REGARDING IRAQ AND SO FAR NO ATTACKS BACK FROM THE OBAMA CAMP TO DEFEND HIS WAR CRY..

    COME ON TEXAS AND OHIO..HILLARY NEEDS YOU AT THE POLLS AND BRING THE CAR OR TRUCK FULL AT THE POLLS. I AM A FORMER LONE STARER ,YSELF AND KNOW ABOUT EVERYTHING BIGGER AND BETTER IN TEXAS SO SHOW ME HILLARY08.

    February 13, 2008 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  2. Peter

    I will still vote for Hillary!
    When Peter left the boat into water, he was scared of wind and sank into water. Jeuss saved him. In the political process, it also has wind.
    We saw many politicians jumping boat to Obama already. They have very little faith. They like the weed on the top of the wall, follow the wind whichever way the wind blow.

    I will tell those people, if you have your believe, stay with it. Hillary is the only hope for this country to back to prosperity in next four years.

    February 13, 2008 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  3. Bryan

    Read the 02/12/08 Wall Street Journal artical about the Clintons. (page A17) real interesting stuff. I'll let all of you draw your own conclutions.

    February 13, 2008 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  4. Laura

    If Obama cared to unite anything, he'd support Hillary on the ticket because he is too inexperienced (although he can tell it like poetry). It isn't his time yet. Let the Lady step in and clean up the mess then that'll pave the way for him. Hillary '08.

    For Hillary all the way!!!

    February 13, 2008 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  5. j. Page

    Since this IS CNN I cannot see my post getting on there...there IS TOO much truth in it... and they are on a roll with spinning the Obama Love affair...But guess what if this ZERO gets nominated and by small hughe travesty gets IN the White HOUSE all of YOUR viewers will know when he has US in a much worse place than we could EVER have dreamed of.......CNN PUT HIM THERE. And for that hopefully I could endure 4 years and OUT which he would be (not belieiving that he will ever get there) the prize is that NO ONE will EVER listen to another slanted word out of any of your mouths again. It may be worth it.

    February 13, 2008 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  6. larratta from TX 4 clinton

    Why isn't anyone asking Obama about his drug use? We currently have a president that was an alcoholic and cocaine user… results, questionable decision making. Don't we deserve a straight answer from Obama on this issue.

    He can't say "he was a young man" because when I was younger I choose not to do drugs. I think it tells the voters a little about his character. He's a little too "slick" and should explain his character flaws as a young man. Usually the flaws remain, but we learn how to hide them a little better as we get older. Maybe his wife set him on the right road. What happens when times get more difficult and he has to make real decisions and not just what to say in a speech. Have you heard him lately? The more confident he gets the more his speeches sound like sermons.

    This is how Communist steal China. That is how communist steal Vietnam,that is how communist steal Korea.

    But people never believe, they enjoy the moment of "hope" "change",

    there are only one 1 and 1 debate since. Is it the time we need hear some answers instead of same speeches?

    Obama said he work only 5 hour for Tony Rezko legal service, can he explain he buy a house under $300,000 market price while Rezko buy in full price next to it at the same day, why lie about their 17 year deep relations, and Obama help Rezko get state fund?

    Is this the American's " Hope" and "Change?"

    In the Texas debate, I think it deserve an answer

    February 13, 2008 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  7. Darin

    How come every four years the press hunts down this troll for his meaningless drivel.

    "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."

    Probably's are not facts.

    And all of you Hillary jockers get off your high horses. You candidate is collapsing before our eyes and not even Slick Willy can slow the tide. Just as this world cannot stomach another Bush term, neither can this nation take four more years of Bill skirt chasing in the Oval Office.

    I doubt I would vote for Obama, McCain at least can think for himself and be his own man against the far right machine and Huckleberry just doesn't have enough national experience, so my vote goes for...

    ~ Anyone But Hillary '08

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

    Typical Clinton (Monarchical) supporters viewpoint.

    Sometimes I think only members (including superdelegates) should pick the party candidate.

    February 13, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  9. tim

    rock on Mrs. Clinton. Obama is a windbag. Now it is time to push
    him on issues and in particular his punking out to Nuclear waste in
    his own backyard in exchange for the dough. If he is not exposed
    as a weakling now our foes around the world will do it within weeks
    of his arrival in the White House.

    February 13, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  10. Cee Dubya

    The best way to call the faithful to the fold? Tell them there is a chance that all they hold dear will fall. James Carville may sound like a "Bubba," but, he's a darn smart guy. He took a unknown governor from Arkansas to the White House. This man knows how to play and spin.

    All this aside, no matter which Democrat wins the nomination, can they win against McCain? Are you all foretting there are congressional seats up for grabs in November also? No matter who becomes president, they'll still have to work with the Congress.

    "Time for Change." Sounds pretty, but, it has the the rallying cry of every party trying to win the White House back.

    February 13, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  11. Jeffrey

    I think the Democrats will unite. It will be an historic win for Dems whoever wins.

    However, I am concerned that Obama is unseasoned. Very few stories have come out about Obama...very recently the Resko, his nuclear regulations bill...what other stuff will people find? And will people care? The primary process should include the vetting of candidates, lest we end up with someone in the general election that's been unproven, untested. I want change that I can believe in, but it takes more than words to make me believe. It takes action and results and experience. My support continues to stay with Hillary...this is the Presidency, not American Idol.

    February 13, 2008 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  12. Jen

    funny how he ends with.. "I would be very reluctant to count the Clintons out".

    I'm not counting on Bill to run policy in the next term. Hillary needs to have enough qualities to get the nomination on her own!

    February 13, 2008 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  13. v.ananthan

    If I want to invest , I will be looking for an experienced economist..

    If I want a teacher for my kids I will look for "experienced teacher."…

    If I am very ill I will look for "experienced doctor..".

    If I want a military commander I will prefer experienced COMMANDER …..

    But If I want a commander- in -chief NO NEED OF EXPERIENCE,
    good speeches are ENOUGH…

    February 13, 2008 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  14. XYBORG

    While I wouldn’t expect them to trip over the furniture in the rush to vote for a “Brotherman”, the notion that Hillary Clinton has Texas all wrapped-up and that tobacco-chewing, dungaree-wearing and shotgun-riding “Bubbas” are going to race into her bosoms and grant her a victory on March 4 just doesn’t compute and I am therefore predicting a catastrophic upset in Obama’s favour in the Lone Star State that will rock America to its foundations.

    ~ AFRISTOK-7.BLOGSPOT.COM

    February 13, 2008 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  15. Mary

    I have to admit Obama reminds me of a guy I had to work with. I didn't like or trust him because he kept trying to sell himself while being dismissive of the accomplishments and contributions of others. He needed to be the center of attention and adulation. He was a poor supervisor. He was arrogant. Obama reminds me of him

    February 13, 2008 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  16. Brooker

    Once I heard Roy Spence had signed on for Hillary's campaign, I knew she was finished.

    February 13, 2008 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  17. September

    If Obama wins the Democratic Party nomination, I will be voting for the Republican. It would be better to have 4 more years of a Republican than an individual whos childhood was influenced by the very thing that we are having our troops fight for and that they are losing their lives.

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

    I'm with you Alain: Let's be real Hilary and Obama Haters; they're both GREAT candidates. I'm a Democrat, so I'm voting for Hilary or Obama come November

    February 13, 2008 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  19. Carlos / Tampa Fl.

    Alain , I strongly agree whit you. If the Democratic party do not get consensus soon, getting an unvincible nucleus of people will be very difficult. Un less.......... I just wonder............. at the Democratic Convention.................... Al Gore

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

    If Obma gets the nom. I will not vote for him. It is simple for me.

    February 13, 2008 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  21. Rob - Indiana Democrat - Former Republican

    Hey... Stop crying about the coverage that Barack is getting on CNN... It is no different than watching ESPN... They cover the winning teams and the teams with potential for success... Hillary is so fake – She is a "Chameleon" and becomes whatever she needs to be at any given moment... She keeps changing her strategy, personality, speaking style. Not only her, but her husband.... I have not seen Barack attempt a fraction of the slanderous attacks and personality changes that Hillary has in an attempt to win votes... I am sure that Hillary and Bill probably spent hours on the phone begging for John Glenn's endorsement.... She is grabbing for anything she can at this point.... I watch Barack speak and I get goose bumps on my arms – I watch Hillary speak and I get disgusted because the only thing that she talks about, over and over and over, is her experience... "I'm tested"... "I'm ready".... Come on... Spare me the wasted time.... Hillary is done... Stick a fork in her...

    February 13, 2008 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  22. JustinA

    Why is he saying the Clintons ("Don't count the Clintons out")? Who' is running Hillary or Bill? Hillary alone doesn't justify the argument. Please stop drawing conclusions based on their combined history.

    February 13, 2008 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  23. Sean, USA

    One thing is true, the more people that are exposed to Barack, the more support he gains. Republicans want to continue the "war on terror" which has costs the country trillions of dollars, killed over 600,000 Iragi's. injured over 40,000 troops. and killed over 4,000. I understand the need to fight terrorism, but this war has no end. What is Victory? When we kill everyone? Barack knows we need to clean up how the world sees us and that we need to fight the war on energy. because Republican or Democrat, we will all suffer the consequences of gas prices and horrific weather due to Global Warming. Clinton, and McCain don't seem to have a global value system.

    February 13, 2008 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  24. ruby marshall

    Joe in Texas is absolutely right!!! watch out people...the judgement is coming...If you truly believe in God...if Michelle Obama is uncertain if she's going to vote for Hillary once she become the nominnee, then how coould she deliver herself in a rightful manner to support his husband message of unity? She is not the 1st Lady yet, but now campaigning for the Democratic Party's divisiveness...

    February 13, 2008 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  25. CCG from Tampa

    CNN is not being a "cheerleader" for Sen. Obama. When he is beating Sen. Clinton by 30+ margins, by drawing her base (51% women voters & 65% union households in MD) he needs no cheerleading. Those numbers speak for themselves. It seems that the Clinton campaign was not planning on this kind battle. The election process is not based on seniority, it is based on who the voters want in office. So Sen. Clinton's 7 years in office does not grant her any favors or advantage. We will see how this turns out won't we.

    Yes We Can...........

    February 13, 2008 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
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