February 23rd, 2008
06:44 PM ET
10 years ago

Obama: I'd get different treatment if I lost as much as Clinton

Obama said Saturday there would be more pressure on him to drop out if he had lost as many contests as Clinton.

Obama said Saturday there would be more pressure on him to drop out if he had lost as many contests as Clinton.

(CNN) - Hillary Clinton's campaign says it remains upbeat about the New York senator's White House chances, but rival Barack Obama said Saturday he would likely be treated differently if his campaign had suffered a similar string of losses as her's.

Asked in Ohio by a reporter if he would be treated differently had he lost as many contests as Clinton, Obama said, "Yes."

But Obama said he understands why the treatment is different, saying it would require a knockout blow for Clinton to quit because she's "part of the Democratic network in Washington."

"Look, I'm the challenger, I'm the upstart," he said. "I'm the insurgent - she's, she's the champ. She's part of the Democratic network in Washington and, you know, if you're the title holder then you don't lose it on points. You got to be knocked out."

After essentially tying Obama in the string of states that voted February 5, Clinton has suffered 11 straight losses to the Illinois senator, most recently in the Democrats abroad contest earlier this week.

In a conference call with reporters earlier Saturday, Clinton spokesman Howard Wolfson denied reports some Clinton backers feel Obama has all but locked up the nomination, and said voters in the March 4 primary contests won't base their vote on his string of victories.

"The mood is upbeat, Sen. Clinton is working hard everyday," he said. "Momentum is a media storyline, but that is not an issue on which voters vote."

UPDATE: An earlier version of this report incorrectly stated Obama said he would quit if he had lost as many contests as Clinton.

- CNN's Alexander Mooney

soundoff (330 Responses)
  1. Diane in Dallas

    I have read scores and scores of posts for Obama and defending this pile of trash but very few in defense of Hillary. I used to think that Fox was biased... CNN is all over it. At the end of the day, Obama is nothing more than job security... the media loves trash, otherwise they have nothing to report... 24 hours a day of ... well... things are going great in Washington today... our newly elected President Clinton/McCain has balanced the budget and have finally forced Iraq to take control of their government and people so that the withdrawal of our troops was a success... no, that is not news. Of course, CNN is for Obama!

    February 23, 2008 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  2. Bull

    This US-Primary is the most interesting so far,I have ever seen,especially the democratic campeign.I also find the republican
    primary interesting but wonder why the republicans rejected a hardliner,Romney for a moderate,Mc Cain-are they tired of hardliners?

    Now that the democrats abroad voted by a big margin for Obama,it means the foreign affairs experience of Hillary has been rejected. Senator Hillary has won 13 contests so far and even if she wins all the coming contests she wouldnot reach the 23 contests that Senator Obama hast won and so, there will be doubts even she finally comes out as the nominee.

    I think this campeign ist more of personality as experience.

    I go with CNN and watch how the campaign makes history.

    February 23, 2008 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  3. Mary- KS

    Today seals the deal for me..... even if he is nominated I will not vote for him. I've been a Hillary fan but would have voted for him if he had won. Now I will simply write Hillary's name in.... perhaps a wasted vote in some peoples view.... in mine, it's just the right thing to do.

    February 23, 2008 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  4. Ida

    I think Clinton will do anything to win to be the first lady president in USA, she is been in office for so long why didn't she deliver back then the programs she is talking about? We are six and tired of promises we want actions, Obama is the man, I am going for the change.

    February 23, 2008 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  5. NO_MO_CLINTONS in Tokyo

    TKO for hillbilly come march4.We going to rally all the moves to knock her out of this race cos the champ is here,she can't see OBAMA.

    OBAMA ALL THE WAY 08!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 23, 2008 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  6. B.

    CNN. What you have just done in changing the comment from: I'd quit if I lost like Clinton, Obama says. To this????
    You should ALL be ashamed.
    This is the WORST journalism we have seen in years. We all know that Mr, Obama is the media darling (along with Brittney Spears) but this is flat out wrong!!!
    This man will not ready to be the leader of the free world. He has done nothing for his state, nothing for our country and never even owned a business!
    Read people!!! Great speaker, but the same speech for a year?

    February 23, 2008 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  7. David Jones

    I personally would quit if I had lost as much contest as Clinton!

    Billary needs to quit...game over!


    February 23, 2008 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  8. Mark from Arlington

    It should be clear to all real Democrats that this vetting of views and opinions is mere batting practice. Both sides are sharpening their game and in the end it will help, not hurt, the party. It would seem that CNN get's loads of benefits as well. Why does everyone in the Obama camp seem to want to declare victory mid-game? Are they afraid of a competition? They certainly aren't afraid of spending loads of money on television advertisements, which seems interesting for a campaign that prides itself in supposedly being different from politics as usual. If you think this a dog-fight, then you are going to be in serious trouble when the Republicans really get into the swing of things.

    February 23, 2008 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  9. Gaby

    I am glad to know that most people are smart enough to understand Obama's scheduling for this election. He can only do the greater good if he is interrupted in his campaigning, Furthermore, he has already been to Louisiana getting to know the people and spending time with them. Hillary is just now coming into this state, never thanking the people for their vote or support as she has repeatedly done for each state that she lost in. Hillary attending this Black Union, was just playing to Tavis Smiley's so called platform, himself. But thank you C-Span.

    February 23, 2008 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  10. Tmitch

    Hillary is the pot calling the kettle black...she has been running a negative campaign for a long time. Now that Barack is leading, she's whinning like a child..her 'feelings' are hurt. Her campaign team should not have let her go infront of the camera with that huge and angry chip on her shoulder...not befitting at all.
    She wants to play with words..Obama really didn't say anything wrong, he just didn't say it the way she wanted it said, and why would he put 'her' plan in his flyer!!!? She and her Bill have been for NAFTA for years, she just changed her views when she decided to run for President (how convenient). If you listened to the debate Thursday night, she did say there will be a fine (penalty) for those that did not purchase health care, she even talked about possible garnishing wages...those words came from her mouth. Does she think the people of Ohio don't already know that?

    February 23, 2008 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  11. WHAT

    Are you serious Marie? you read that article on a Republican website and decided it was fact. what pushed over the edge his pastor?

    I was raised Catholic and the priest that was head of my congregation molested 4 boys, does that make me a child abuser, be for real!

    In the real world people would not be held accountable for every action of everyone around them, these people are humans you know.

    February 23, 2008 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  12. Colin

    If Hillary Clinton had won the last eleven contests, with an average of over 60 percent, I think you can be sure she would be the presumptive nominee.

    And "independent," Obama took the overall popular vote lead after the Potomac primary and extended that lead after the blowout Wisconsin primary. He has a lead of about a hundred delegates in most counts, which hardly qualifies as "incredibly close."

    Folks, deal with it. She lost, and hyperbole isn't gonna change that.

    February 23, 2008 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  13. B, USA


    February 23, 2008 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  14. Monika

    CNN, I will reverberate what has been said.
    I am appalled. Independent news media? What, did Obama camp call you and ask for the change?
    When you report, stick to your original articles and keep them that way. Get what you want out first, and stop changing articles just because the comments aren't favorable. Reminds me of politicians who just pay attention to the polls...

    very disappointed. I'll have to switch to another news network to get my primary news from. THANKS.

    February 23, 2008 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  15. Jan E

    Hillary supporter seem to think somehow she is entitled to take the throne and are in complete disbelief and denial about what is happening. For God sake people, this is not a monarchy. She had everything paved for her from name recognition, money, to very prominent supporters in high positions and she still lost. This is America people, live with it.

    February 23, 2008 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  16. Laura-TX

    Obama is the media darling. He can say and do whatever he wants because the ramifications of going against Obama would cost CNN everything. Oprah recently became part of CNN. You can see her spots in the Living area on the site. Oprah has told CNN if they ever put Obama in a bad light, she is gone and her money too.

    CNN she has you by the cajones! Yikes~!

    February 23, 2008 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  17. Tony

    If I could ask the Clinton backers 3 questions to help me with my vote:
    How can she say she is ready to lead the county on day one when she has not been able to run her own campaign. She has burned through $100MM and she was the biggest name in the race and she is losing. She did the same thing Bush did – surrounded herself with cronies – do we need a repeat of the last president.
    How can she say she is vetted when she won't release her tax returns. This is very scary – if Bill is funneling foreign money into her campaign she needs to quit.
    Lastly – how can she claim to have 35 years of experience – based on this logic my wife is a CPA for 12 years – let me do your taxes. IF she is going to take credit for her First Lady days then she needs to take all of it including impeachment, intern abuse and NAFTA.

    February 23, 2008 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  18. Obama08!

    Guy stop talking like a kid. Why will state of Michigan and florida be counted when it was made clear to them not to move the primeries. What you do if you are John Edwards who would have won florida if he had campaign there.
    How are going to share the delegate of Florida and Michigan between
    Edwards, Obama and Hillary?

    Your candidate didn't said all these stuff that you are vomitting from your mouth all the time Hillary supporters.
    You seems to put all your eges in one basket.

    February 23, 2008 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  19. stan

    another vote for mccain here if obama is the nominee...over my dead body...better yet...his...;-)

    February 23, 2008 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  20. Linda

    I would not vote for either of the 2 socialists

    February 23, 2008 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  21. Bob in NJ

    I'd like to think my challenge to the interpretation of Obama's answering "Yes" to the reporter's question being taken out of context for the original headline was picked up by the moderators and subsequently caused the correction, but then that would be arrogant of me. We all need to be careful interpreting what we read and hear. There's a lot at stake – our children's future. Obama may not be perfect, but he certainly doesn't hide – read his books. His positions may seem fuzzy, but I'd rather have someone who's open to the realities of current events than someone who's anchored to the past .

    February 23, 2008 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  22. California Independent

    Well... uhhhh that was just uncomfortable and a lot creepy. His campaign needs to muzzle this guy. He does ok with a script and a teleprompter, but on his own..... it's painful to watch him stick his foot in his mouth yet again. That was just so beyond ego, it can't be explained.

    February 23, 2008 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  23. David

    This man is so arrogant & sickening to me..which is usually a sign of ignorance or fear.

    February 23, 2008 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  24. Charlotte

    February 23rd, 2008 6:01 pm ET
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    What a joke Obama is, he is not qualified for Senator much less President. He can"t even hit the right lever when he votes. I guess that's better then Present or missing 40% of the votes. Just like how he would have voted on Iraq if he'd been there. Easy to say what you would do if you are not there to do it. Where was Obama when the Iran vote was taken? Give me a break, quit pretending to be something you are not. Quit saying what you would do when it is not your decision. You make empty promises. You know you won't have the guts to deliver on any of them. You can always say you tried, kinda like voting present, or hitting the wrong switch. You are nothing more than words, and there not even yours. Similar is not the same as word for word!

    February 23, 2008 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  25. Ana

    Obama telling the truth, what planet are you on. Do some research on him and you will find some flip-flopping.

    February 23, 2008 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
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