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. Peter Obama08!

    Hillary was outraged this afternoon just for nothing. |She said " since when does Democrats attack each other on health care plans? She started the attacks on Obama health care plan, " Obama health care will leave out 15 million people witout health care."
    She said that in last debate on Thursday Feb 21 2008.
    She now know how it feels when someone attacked you.
    NICE TRY HILLARY, you think people are not following this campaign closely?
    I think next time OBAMA CAMP Post it that Hillary said in Texas that she is waiting on OBAMA to come meet her in Texas with Boxing Clove, she will cry out again, but all these acticle about Hillary are true.
    Obama will never comeup with something that is not factaully accurate.

    February 23, 2008 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  2. Jean

    this is for Ghuman I think you really take the cake do you really expect people to believe that a 12 year old said that do you think that we are that stupid. This tells your age you weren't even around when JFK was in office [oh by the way I was] times were different then. If you would stop and really take a few minutes to listen he doesn't say anything about most of his plans . People like you have no idea what it takes to be in the white house. Obama is not ready for it. Once again OBAMA IS NOT READY FOR THE WHITE HOUSE>

    February 23, 2008 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  3. me

    Will never vote for Obama, never.

    February 23, 2008 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  4. Alvin

    Is this the media's contest or the candidates. God, guys, lets get it right. You pay these journalists a lot of money to not misquote these candidates who are both running the race of their lives to continue a life of public service. Let's get it right. America needs you to get it right.

    February 23, 2008 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  5. Diana

    Is obama running CNN now?
    People, get out of your trance.
    Wake up! Can you not see what is happening?
    This is called the voice of the media, not the voic of the people.
    Do not allow the meida to controll your mind.

    February 23, 2008 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  6. Aj

    Looks like a back-end deal between Obama-CNN-Health Insurance Companies, Afterall Its a multi-billion dollar fraud industry!

    February 23, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  7. Mitch

    What's the matter Jackie afraid of Black people...I don't think Obama wants your or your families vote. It seems that it will come with lots of baggage and guilt. Just remember one thing, life is really short, and what goes around comes right back around, so you and your family members will be hated just as much as you hate Barrack Obama. Your kids will be hated just as much as you hate Barrack Obama. I'd be very careful in a thunder storm if I was you.

    February 23, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  8. prakash chand for HILLARY

    Hey CNN merge with FOX, Oreilly will kick your bu...

    Obama quits!!!!

    Hillary will be the next president.

    If Carl Rove is the adviser for OOOBAMA ,,,tHAN... OHHHHHHH...
    MY GOD.
    Obama will be the third term for George w. Bush.

    February 23, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  9. Mary- KS

    Once again, the focus is off of "Obama" for stealing her Economic Plan, for flip-flopping on his views of the war (he said he wasn't sure how he would have voted if he had had to vote) now he's Mr. Anti-War candidate. We are focusing on this fluff but missing the real point.

    Obama-ethics plan….. he only opened up 2007 records (odd, don't you think)
    Obama- signed a pledge with McCain on campaign financing…. is now backing out (odd, don't you think)
    Obama- said he would meet with world leaders without milestones but then said that preparation and expectations would be necessary (flip-flop)
    Obama- has presented himself as the candidate of change and of rhetoric, but isn't the creator of either…. it's one thing to have great speech writers… it is far different to present yourself as the creator of material
    Obama- has not represented his district in Chicago; just check it out for yourself and ask ordinary people in his district
    Obama- says that he wants to get rid of Old Washington, but has Ted Kennedy, John Kerry etc etc….. how much older can you get?
    Obama- says his health care is Universal…. definitely not so
    Obama- says that he has a record to be proud of…. yes, if your sole purpose of every vote is to gain constituency for your next run at a political office

    Obama- has VERY shady ties to Rezko and mislead the American people by acting as if they were not friends for 17+ years in the debate with Clinton. There is a big difference between doing 5-7 hours of law work and having Rezko Slime as a major campaign fundraiser and connection with the underground of politics in Chicago…. he basically lied to us about that relationship

    Whenever Hillary tries to point to these facts so that the American people can make an educated decision, she is booed and insulted. Since when do we want to baby the Commander and Chief of the free world? Obama needs to answer for his decisions… not be coddled by the media. It isn't Obama- bashing, it is facts searching.

    February 23, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  10. Alex

    Some Hillary supporters are funny, they fill these spaces with comments saying that Obama supporters are so crazy about Obama that they will divide the party, and than they say that if he wins the nomination they will vote for McCain or write Hillary's name in the ballot

    February 23, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  11. Ed/TX

    Like I said before the the article was changed.

    The way this campaign is progressing, I'm surprised that Barak doesn't realize that the democratic party is split and that if HRC doesn't win the democratic nomination, then we won't be supporting him no matter how much Hillary campaigns with him. In fact, many of us have decided to support John McCain if he wins.

    February 23, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |

    droppppppppppppppppppppppppppppp OUTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT




    February 23, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  13. Shocked

    I'm kind of shocked that so many people are blaming this on Obama. This is CNN's fault for erroneously reporting what happened. It was CNN that misquoted Obama. They have since corrected their error.

    I am shocked at the people who are upset that it might just have been Obama's camp that told CNN of their error and asked that it be corrected. If ANY of you were in his position and one of the worlds MAJOR news reporting agencies misquoted you in a way that cast you in a very negative light you to would ask that it be corrected. How many of you have done this already when a friend says something about you that isn't correct? How much more right does Obama have to correct the media what they misquote him then?

    Had they misquoted Clinton, the same thing would have happened. Her camp would have asked that it be corrected as well. So I'm not sure why so many people are up in arms over this. This isn't some elaborate coverup or a media hoax or anything... it is simply a correction. Retractions and corrections are printed daily in thousands of papers across the world.

    A modicum of relaxation is in order people. Lest we forget, reporters and editors are human too.

    February 23, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  14. Sharon Vrla

    You know, I went into this democratic debate with an open mind. I really wanted to see who Obama was and what his solutions were. However, all I have heard him do is point out what the problems are and that they need to be addressed in a way to eradicate them. All I have heard is him stating the obvious without offering any specifics on how to change these problems in a realistic way. Unfortunately, for him, he is full of rhetoric. I wanted it to be different. The more I hear him talk, the less I want to hear.

    February 23, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  15. Marissa B

    From the start Hilary under estimated Obama. You can tell my watching her mannerisms in the debates. She is being out shined and smarted by Obama. Hilary is constanting trying to start a fight, and Obama has been far more civil and level headed.

    Obama's going all the way in 2008

    February 23, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  16. Kevin

    I think i hear the Wahhhmbulance coming for all the Hillary supporters. Quit your crying and realize hillary is a joke. Funny how things have to get negative from clinton and her supporters when she and Obama are tied in the polls. Not to mention he's beating her in delegates. Obama has not changes his message or tone in this race from day one. Hillary's changes depending on the polls. She feels the pressure now she has to get negative.

    February 23, 2008 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  17. Sal

    Hillary is special! LOL

    Today, she proved it by making statements about Flyer that tells the truth about nafta. What has Hillary done to change nafta in 7 years as senator?

    o nothing

    Change that has not changed
    Obama was against NAFTA.
    Obama 08

    February 23, 2008 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |


    February 23, 2008 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  19. me

    You sure post alot of comments from Marina, does she work for you or something..oh no wait....they are pro Obama..

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

    Judging from Obama's way debating, I would venture to say that he is not really controlling his campaign. The machine behind him is controlling him.

    February 23, 2008 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  21. prakash chand for HILLARY

    Obama cannot win CA,MI,FL,NY,NJ...he will loose all this to McCAIN.

    If OH ...BAMA is the nomanee we will vote fo McCain.

    February 23, 2008 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  22. Pat

    It's disheartening to see Democrats spewing venon at each other like this. You got two great candidates this year. Instead of helping the best man or woman get nominated, you end up dividing up the party with so mcuh bickering.

    It's also very sad to see so much criticism on the media, crying foul whenever an article appears remotely critical of its candidate. I read the articles carefully, followed the speeches, read each candidate's website, and I believe I will make what I think is the best decision when it comes to my vote. I think that is behaving responsibly as a voter. Listen carefully, and make a well-informed choice. The literature, information, each candidate's beliefs, thoughts and proposals – they are all out there, if the voter care to look. It's just wrong to call decent folks doing their jobs every day 'irresponsible' or 'biased' when you haven't done your part.

    I really believe that, as a voter, it is 'irresponsible' to not do your own research and make an informed decision to vote. After all, it is the candidate that the Americans have to live with for the next four years, for better or for worse. It is really not just about today's news, or this month's polls, or next month's primaries. It is about many more years of American lives. Please stop this bickering in the blogs. Listen, talk less, use your vote wisely. And stop slamming the media.

    PS I know this comment won't be posted. I just want CNN to know that you are doing a great job. I don't think you are biased, I think most of your articles are fairly accurate and accurately reflect ground sentiments, and I don't see this as anything remotely 'irresponsible'.

    February 23, 2008 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  23. steve

    The first version of this piece that was reported earlier was done to give BARACK OBAMA a black eye and was done deliberately.
    This is press trying to manipulate the human mind. God will do his grace for him.

    February 23, 2008 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  24. Arnod

    Why do you think send this mailer to the people of Ohio?
    What? He does *not* support NAFTA ? Hardly....

    Obama was the first presidential candidate to officially declare his support for NAFTA expansion moving through Congress. He said :

    "I believe that expanding trade and breaking down barriers
    between countries is good for our economy and for our security, for
    American consumers and American workers."

    So what was his intention with this mailer if not imply to Ohio voters that
    he is against it and that it is Sen. Clinton's fault that people loss their jobs?

    Sen. Clinton outrage is correct: you cannot run a campaign based on "unity" and
    on ending the "old divisions" ( Bush's mantra as well) and all those beautiful
    words of change and hope and sneak behind mailers full of innuendo
    to scare the he- out of people and not vote for Clinton. It is instilling fear and
    then telling people in Ohio to vote for him based on these fears.

    Definitely negative, divisive and the same dirty politics "as usual" being played by Sen. Obama.

    It debunks his mantras, and his whole theory for running.

    So, yes, shame on him.

    February 23, 2008 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  25. pete

    Every one knows Obama got a free media ride, as soon as his "superdelegate" Ophra endorsed him! He plays the same Wahsington games, and if hispanics think an African American will do anything for them. You must be dreaming. He has not done nothing for us in Chicago, he will not even take our calls. He does a lot for his people!

    February 23, 2008 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
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