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. Jon

    How can Hillary Win with all the Republicans voting for Obama in the Democratic Primary – I don't believe any of these categories coming out of the exit polls – Hillary has fought a good fight for the people – If it should end – she is still my Hero -

    February 13, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  2. Christopher, Madison, WI

    Anna,
    The sky is blue here on planet Earth...where are you?

    February 13, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  3. Tim in Illinois

    I'm a bit on the dull side politically...will some one please tell me in simple language what Hispanics see in Hillary Clinton? Thanks.

    February 13, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  4. Scott

    LOL you people are fools calling CNN such a propaganda machine, all they are doing is reporting that Obama has demolished Clinton in the month of February. It is cold hard facts its not propaganda it would be if they tried to convey Clinton as being so close because if it wasnt for super delegates she would be behind by 200 delegates. LOL

    February 13, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  5. Yes we can!

    Charlotte......."FACT CHECKER" get your facts straight.....Michelle Obama said that "she doesn't really know if she would vote for Hillary" especially with the type of dirty political tricks that she and Bill have played and her divisiness to divide the Democratic party...

    She didn't say that she 'WOULD NOT VOTE FOR HILLARY".

    February 13, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  6. joyce

    This one is really good – from LisaMpls

    "Enough twisting of the facts, Sen. Obama.

    Hillary has said numerous times that she would call for an end to the tax code incentives given to businesses that ship jobs overseas.
    How does Barack plan to enforce his mandate that all children have healthcare? Go after wages? He hasn't even said. Why not??

    In Wisconsin today, Barack proposed n plan to improve infrastructure and create green collar jobs, something Hillary has already done. I believe she even introduced a bill and has Senators co-sponsoring it, but I'm not positive. Anyways, to pay for this plan, Barack said the funds would come from ending the war in Iraq.

    Is it possible to fund something by ending the war in Iraq? The budget that Bush proposes to Congress every year does not include funding for the war. Ending the war means that we won't go farther into debt. Ending the war does not, however, mean that there will be extra cash on hand to pay for these programs. In other words, if Barack were President, he would have to include these new programs in his proposed budget. There would be no reduction in spending in the budget to account for these new programs. Am I missing something?"

    No you're not Lisa, it's Barack who does not yet understand what his advisers drew up for him to read.

    February 13, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  7. Joe Ossai, Bedford, NH

    OK folks, if the reverse was true and Hillary won 8 straight contest after super Tuesday, what do you think democrats will be saying to Obama. ?

    There will be such a loud call for Obama to drop out. Why aren't people calling for Hillary to drop out and save the democratic party ?.

    February 13, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  8. pcs/ North Carolina

    Daniel
    Hillary has "superior experience" !! As what ? As the "first lady" !!
    SHE CAN NOT EVEN RUN A PRIMARY, HOW IS SHE GOING TO RUN THE COUNTRY !!

    February 13, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  9. MMM

    Do you actually trust these crossover voters to vote for Oboma in the Presidential election? Especially since they're wealthy white people. I'm sorry but racism and sexism alive and well and I don't trust them for a minute. The republicans are so scared of a smart woman being President that they will do anything to block it.. Be smart people. Vote Hillary in and our whole country will be forever grateful.

    Hillary Clinton 2008

    Hopefully you'll have the guts to post this CNN

    February 13, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  10. sarah k.

    Carville is a smart man. I wonder what took them so long. The Democratic Party (ie superdelegates) would be foolish to let this opportunity slip. A whole new generation of voters is delivered to their doorstep, all wrapped up in a message that perfectly fits the times. They could be in power for the next 10-20 years. All they have to do is throw Hillary under the bus, which they will gladly do, since there is no love lost for the Clintons. As for press, the Clintons have been treating reporters like scum since the '90s – no love lost there either.

    Democrats missed the pulse in 2000, 2004; who could get excited about Gore and Kerry. But if the Democrats miss this opportunity to define themselves for the 21st century, then, i'm sorry, but the Republicans actually are the better party and deserve their wins.

    February 13, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  11. Phil, San Jose, CA

    let me get this straight...cnn is devoting more coverage to obama???...if the blogs are any sort of representation then why does hillary have 100 more articles about her than obama???...you people need to wake up...and for those of you complaining about obama not having specifics...what kind of specifics has hillary talked about...all she keeps saying is that she has the ONLY health care plan that guarantees coverage for everyone...but doesn't show how obama's plan fails to accomplish this...wake up and join the 21st century...if i want specifics...i'll get on their websites...

    February 13, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  12. K Fergus

    Everyone accuses Hillary Clinton and her husband of being divisive. Well, isn't that exactly what Michelle Obama is when she says she will not vote for anyone BUT her husband! What arrogance and hubris!!

    Everyone criticizes Hillary because they feel Bill will influence how she will run the country. Well at least he has experience – and things were better while he was in power than they have been at anytime during the last 7!! If Obama wins, it appears clear that Michelle will want to have her say as to how the White House will be run. Well, two people with no experience do not equal one with experience.

    America is so desparate for a saviour that they have created one in Obama – like he is the second coming of Christ ready to save the world!! He is a man – just a man- a politician no less, who is making so many promises he is sure to fail. Wake up people.

    February 13, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  13. Liam

    A modest Proposal:

    Apportion the Florida and Michigan Delegates between Hillary and Obama on a ratio based on their final popular vote totals at the end of the primary contests.

    That will allow Florida and Michigan to participate, but will not allow them to become King makers at the expense of all the other states that played by the rules.

    February 13, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  14. Brown

    Cafferty is bias in his reporting on the race between Obama and Clinton. He should not be reporting on the election. His opinions aren't news. I don't really care that he is not in favour of Hillary. He should keep his personal campaining for Obama off the air.

    Ontario, Canada

    February 13, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  15. C.Witte

    Hillary Clinto was the presumptive nominee long before this race got underway. Now that she and all of her supporters see that she is not the choice of the people you're getting all salty. I'm just waiting for the democratic party to pull a Florida on the nominating process and take the race away form Obama using the superdelegates. Wow the democratic party seems to be as distrustful of the common man as the founding fathers with the electoral college. I guess if the popular vote is'nt needed in the presidential election why should it be any different in the nominating process. The people's vote truly is powereless if a superdelegate or electoral system can negate it.

    February 13, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  16. Stan

    How can you stop a rendezvous with destiny? Obama, is campaigning twenty years ahead of all of the other candidates, a type of campaigning which they are unfamiliar with. That is one reason why his message resonates so well with the youth. Obama understands that going into Washington conducting business as usual want work, the special interest and partisan politics will drown the wishes/voices the of the American people. Therefore, one must first bury the old generations of divisiveness and special interest. So that "we the people" can run our democracy the way it was intended, from the bottom up!

    February 13, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  17. david

    GO HILLARY! !!

    SHE'S TOUGH AS NAILS AND SMARTER TOO. GOTTA LOVE IT.

    OBAMA IS CLUELESS...WAKE UP DINGALINGS!

    CNN...CAN'T YOU SEE HOW NO ONE RESPECTS YOU? WHATEVER HAPPENED TO REAL JOURNALISM?

    February 13, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  18. DIANE

    I AGREE THAT CNN IS FAVORING OBAMA. I THINK YOUR COMENTATORS SHOULD LEAVE PERSONAL FEELINGS HOME. I DON'T THINK YOU ARE FAIR AND BALANCED AT ALL. I THINK HILLARY IS WONDERFUL. I HAVE TO WONDER WHO YOU ARE QUESTIONING IN THE POLLS YOU DO. NO ONE HAS EVER ASKED ME MY OPINION. I DON'T THINK OBAMA IS EXPERIENCED ENOUGH FOR THE JOB OF PRESIDENT. FUTHERMORE HE DOESN'T SAY ANYTHING WHEN HE SPEAKS. I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT HIS PLANS ARE. HE DOESN'T SAY ANYTHING OF HOW HE IS GOING TO SOLVE THE PROBLEMS OF THIS COUNTRY, HE JUST SAYS THAT WE NEED CHANGE. WE SURE DO, WE NEED HILLARY . I DON'T TRUST OBAMA.

    February 13, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  19. Alex

    The Obama people are very naive to think that this is it. They obviously do not know the Clintons. If we want to win the White House in 08, the Republicans will wipe the floors with Obama and his past. Obama supporters need to realize that its all well and good to be caught up in emotional, feel good voting! But that is NOT going to get us the White House. Trashing HRC the only candidate that can stop the Republican attack machine is not going to help us either. The media is doing that for them. Hillary will be our nominee and she will win in 08!
    P.S. She has raised over 13 million in over 5 days!

    February 13, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  20. Nicole

    OHIO for OBAMA!!

    February 13, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  21. Patty

    TEXAS-OHIO-PENN. = WIN FOR HILLARY-VOTE FOR THE CANDIDATE WITH THE BEST PANTSUIT FOR THE JOB! HILLARY IS A MOTHER LIKE NO OTHER-A VOTE FOR HER IS A VOTE FOR US!

    February 13, 2008 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  22. Sam, Manchester, New Hampshire

    Hillary is polarizing. She is the anti-Bush. She is the Democratic party's answer to G.W. Bush and she will NOT be able to unify the country. Democratic party insiders will try and resurrect her campaign because they love the Clintons, but the people have spoken in the past EIGHT STATES.

    February 13, 2008 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  23. pcs/ North Carolina

    T Sillanpaa California
    "Reading the angry, sophomoric rants here only serves to convince me that those of us who turned to Obama did the right thing."

    I agree with you 100%, if Hillary is elected, these are the kind of folks she is going to be around with.

    As for Karen's comments "let the superdelegates pick the candidate" !! Is that the way we preach democratic principles to the world ?

    February 13, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  24. June for Hillary

    Obama has a lot of hope and dreams for our country, but we need Hillary to make them come true with her well-thought out policies and plans as she is a doer and a workhorse. Hillary for president!!

    February 13, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  25. Annie

    Hillary needs to take advice from the other former govenor of Arkansas and pray for a miracle. I predict that she will not win enough delegates to overtake Obama in Texas and Ohio, and because she "loves" the party so much she will concede the race to Obama to prevent the mayhem that will occur at the national convention. James Carville is just starting to get the message out.

    February 13, 2008 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
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