February 13th, 2008
09:30 PM ET
7 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. Jeries

    I love CNN but you are unfair when it comes to Hillary. It seems you put her down all the time and hype of Barack. That is unfair.

    Don't count out Hillary!

    HILLARY FOR PRESIDENT!

    February 13, 2008 11:59 pm at 11:59 pm |
  2. Sean, Santa Barbara, CA

    Hillary- How is the thousands upon thousands of dollars that the Israeli lobby paid you helping out?

    February 14, 2008 12:13 am at 12:13 am |
  3. Kab

    I am worried- dead worried for Obama now...coz Hillary is desperate and super negative....

    February 14, 2008 12:14 am at 12:14 am |
  4. maureen

    To: John in Columbus – There are more and more people jumping off the Clinton wagon and joining Obama's movement. These are all very intelligent people who know how the Clintons operate, under the rule of "my way or the highway." Check out Dick Morris site. He worked for the Clintons for years and he has lots to say about them.

    February 14, 2008 12:15 am at 12:15 am |
  5. Independent-Latina-voter, Salt Lake City, UT

    Some of the comments by the Hillary supporters are downright scary. I thought that Democrats were open-minded-thoughtful people BUT guess not. Its getting ugly between the two camps. Better be careful, Dems, you might be helping to elect McCain!

    I am voting for Sen. Obama, I want change. Our nation needs change. And that's what Hillary and her supporters don't get. ITS ABOUT CHANGE!

    Here is why I am NOT supporting Hillary:

    She voted FOR the war, and IS responsible just as Bush IS for the mess, the debt and the lost lives of our soldiers, and others who have died.

    AND, I don't want ..... Bush-Clinton-Bush-Clinton! HOW IS ANOTHER CLINTON PRESIDENCY CHANGE?

    PLEASE Texas, Ohio & Wisconsin voters do your homework! Thank you for joining the rest of the country in voting for CHANGE!

    YES WE CAN...... WITH OBAMA!

    February 14, 2008 12:16 am at 12:16 am |
  6. gerald

    i just saved a bunch of money by switching to Obama

    February 14, 2008 12:32 am at 12:32 am |
  7. Christopher

    I haven't noticed many people mentioning race here. This IS a real issue with the black community. Obama is pulling in 3/4 of the black vote. Are you telling me that they are not voting for him because he is black? Seems that the white voters have come alot further on race issues than the black community who seem to only want to follow race lines at the polls.

    February 14, 2008 12:46 am at 12:46 am |
  8. Hillary to be examined closely

    The Latino/a of Texas, please don't be fooled by Hillary's campaign spin. Her touted "35 years of experience" does not mean a squat ; those are of bad judgments and bad consequences accordingly. You don't have to take my word for it. Just search online using "Clinton Legacy." You'll see tons of facts and realities she so deftly hides from the voters. After getting the Latino votes from CA, she fires Patti Solis Doyle, a Latina. This is a telling of her character. Whenever as we all witnessed she loses a State, she dismisses the loss and belittles the people of the State. In my opinion, she sees a voter to be a robot for her to get the power that she desperately wants. Listen to her with critical thinking, you will come to see that her speeches are all about "I" and "my", and never about the people of this nation.

    February 14, 2008 12:46 am at 12:46 am |
  9. shortcake72

    Go, Obama for Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Texas. You are giving us a breath of fresh air. Out with the old and in with the new. No more Bush/Clinton in the White House.

    February 14, 2008 12:50 am at 12:50 am |
  10. Rhetoric Obama

    Obama cant win in big states Florida, New York, California!!! How do expect him to win in general election????

    Obama blind supporters! do your math.!!!

    February 14, 2008 12:56 am at 12:56 am |
  11. Michael

    Karen: "It's good to hear from a seasoned campaigner. In reading other blogs the Obama folks are so angry. "

    I guess I need to read the blogs more instead of working in the local Democratic Committee Headquarters. After Hillary lost (barely) Missouri, there were tons of angery calls, almost totally from women. One of the few themes of the calls I can repeat was, that they were made at our State Senator for endorsing Obama. Well Obama worked his behind off for Claire and was a major factor in her winning and that won control of the Senate for Us.

    Understand this is not my fight, I was an Edwards state delegate in 2004 and hoped to be one again this year.

    My peeve is that I have never voted my race or gender and this cycle there are a lot of my liberal & labor brothers and sisters that sure seem to be ignoring the positions of the candidates on liberal and labor issues.

    February 14, 2008 01:07 am at 1:07 am |
  12. Scott

    Why do you Billary supports call what she says "promises" and discount what Obama says as "empty rhetoric"? Candidates can make all the promises in the world, but they won't be able to deliver on any of them without bipartisan support - something Hillary is incapable of achieving, but something that, if anybody can accomplish, Obama can. It's not so much about who has the best ideas, because they both have good ideas. It's about who can translate those ideas into reality. I vote for results - Obama '08!

    February 14, 2008 01:07 am at 1:07 am |
  13. Well... Sort of.

    Dun dun dun!

    It's nice seeing more and more people waking up to the Clintons' manipulation machine... It devours truth and craps out spin.

    So by the time Mar. 4 rolls around it's going to be, what... 10 blowouts? Heh Heh... allllllllright.

    February 14, 2008 01:08 am at 1:08 am |
  14. Cali

    Poor campaign management, staff infighting, and a budget crisis. And we want her to run the White House?

    Obama '08

    February 14, 2008 01:15 am at 1:15 am |
  15. sg

    Cnn has been campainging for obama. Right now poll shows that obama can win against McCain easily. When is the real general election time obama will not be able to win. American will take a pause and think who has more experience. One terror threat and voters will go on Mccains side, Obama will loose because not having an experience, That time Cnn will be embarrased. Shame on you cnn.
    James is right. do not count clinton out. If clinton does not win nomination then it will be our lost not hers.

    February 14, 2008 01:15 am at 1:15 am |
  16. BLB

    Why do you people want Obama as a president. He has even less experience than Jimmy Carter. Remember Jimmy Carter was not an effective president because he lacked experience.

    We need to work to get Hillary elected President. We never had it so good for the economy as in the 90's when Mr. Clinton was President.
    She has the strength and the experience to do more than Obama.
    We're for you Hillary. Keep on working.

    February 14, 2008 01:16 am at 1:16 am |
  17. Angela, Miami , FL

    I was just seeing this, and not it all explains why Obama speeches show that he may be better , but look at this, he lied and that wont get my Vote in November.
    He's not in an American Idol competition , he's running to be the most powerfull man in the world.
    Carefull, i wouldn't give him the nomination.

    February 14, 2008 01:16 am at 1:16 am |
  18. Bashoi

    Who does George Washington endorse ?

    February 14, 2008 01:20 am at 1:20 am |
  19. California Guy

    I had a mechanic who was very experienced. He knew all the tricks to keep my car running (at least for a while). I always had to go to back to him for more work eventually though. Then one day, I went to this new guy who was younger and less experienced; but had good ideas and methods. My car's been running great since then. Why are people so afraid to change?

    February 14, 2008 01:20 am at 1:20 am |
  20. Kathy

    You are the best Carville. Keep up the talk. It is good to see what you think and know.
    I am positive that Hillary can and will win to the end!

    February 14, 2008 01:22 am at 1:22 am |
  21. mdread

    As Michael Ray Richardson famously said, "the ship be sinking". Sounds like some people in the Clinton campaign are privately coming to this realization. Maybe some other year she would've won the nomination, but this year she just isn't as strong of a candidate as Obama. That's why she's being rejected by the voters.

    February 14, 2008 01:29 am at 1:29 am |
  22. b in pennsylvania

    I really do not understand how so many people can be supporting Obama so blindly...but then again these are probably the same people that voted Bush in for a second term. Let me ask a few questions:
    Have you ever worried night after night how you were going to afford health insurance for your children? (Not to mention yourself?)
    Have you ever worked 50-60 hours a week for a pay check that barely covered all of your bills?
    Have you ever "robbed Peter to pay Paul" to just have heat in the house?
    Have you ever counted change just to put some gas in your car? (Not that you get much at $3 a gallon)
    Have you ever had to decide between grocery shopping or paying bills?
    These are the issues I and people I know worry about. If you answered yes to any of these questions you should be voting for Hilary Clinton.
    Wake up America please!! This is a crucial time for our future and we need someone with the experience to lead us through the mistakes made by this administration.

    February 14, 2008 01:31 am at 1:31 am |
  23. Millie watson

    it's sad you guys have to trash the people who did more for the democrats than anyone in decades, just to project your hyped up, vague utopian candidate onto a golden pedestal. he is in fact, a regular politician, and the fact he is a good speaker only means that he is a verbal calculator.

    February 14, 2008 01:31 am at 1:31 am |
  24. Jerry

    Shame on you CNN

    Obviously CNN loses its independence on the race, we all know that.

    Hillary, WE ALL SUPPORT YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 14, 2008 01:34 am at 1:34 am |
  25. Jason

    It is amazing how hateful the Obama supporters are. I have said this time in time agian. I am a black man supporting Clinton. It is, to say the least, amazing, how people look at me. You can read their eyes...
    But I am standing by Hillary, I think she is the better candidate. I have nothing against Barrack, just that I do not beleive that he is ready.
    Furthermore, I do not believe someone who preaches change all the way, but in the end, is staying alive and actively seeking endorsements form the establishment. How can you bring about change if you increasingly wine and dine with the old guard?
    Sorry,
    I do not see that

    Hope Txas, Ohio and Pennsylavnia come in big for her..

    And by the way,
    everyone, who is just dazed by the media coverage against Hillary.
    Please, it is no use....They do NOT want Hillary and they will do everything they can to avoid another Clinton at the helm....Amazing.
    If Hillary finds one way or another to win this, not only has she won, but she put a very angry media frenzy aside.

    Go Hillary.....

    February 14, 2008 01:35 am at 1:35 am |
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