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. Jack

    Its nice to see Obama's ego is as big as his popularity. This contest is still close and no reason for anyone to quit. I think Obama is now worried that people may actually start looking at him. The media needs to get off their butts and start asking some tough questions. Is it not enough that his own supporters can not name his accomplishments.

    February 23, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  2. Mish

    thank you CNN for correcting that error
    thats a big difference as to what was stated earlier
    people should realize the contest is close and its bound to get heated at times
    they are fighting for the highest political office in the country
    lets give them some space to put their arguments out there and give each of them a break
    Either one is better than McCain who has such lose comments with his tongue like bomb bomb Iran and wishing someone dead
    who needs a leader with that attitude!!

    February 23, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  3. Mike, Georgia


    Your reporting is starting to get one-sided like all the Fox Networks!!! Seems as though you are doing most of your stories on Clinton and trying to build her back up...Make sure the headline is correct before you put a story out there...I know this will not get posted, but I hope you guys do read it!

    Seems as though you guys are trying to help Hillary come back by putting false headlines out, then trying to retract them with small disclaimers.

    February 23, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  4. carl

    All you HUGE Clinton fans calm down.

    He said that if he had lost 11 straight contests he would drop out. SO WHAT.

    It’s obvious to any casual observer that this is true.

    If he had lost 11 in a row he would have a 0% chance of winning the nomination.

    He did not say that SHE should drop out, he said HE would have dropped out, and its clear that he would have had no other choice.

    The title of the post does sound a little arrogant but read the story and put it into context before you post because you all sound like IDIOTS.

    Oh and stop calling CNN biased towards Obama. Would an organization that is biased TOWARDS Obama take his word "yes" and turn it into "I'd quit if I lost like Clinton" NO!!!!

    February 23, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  5. MR


    February 23, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  6. Raj

    And that's an honest to god truth 🙂 Nothing to spin or unspin here.

    February 23, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  7. Utterly Ridiculous

    Hmm...if the updated version is accurate, then the picture caption should be changed to reflect that.

    February 23, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  8. carl

    Thanks for the update

    February 23, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  9. Thomas For Hillary

    Nooooo, CNN, don't try to change it now. You know what he said the first time was correct. He is arrogant, pompous, and is on an ego trip. All that will lead to his eventual downfall.

    February 23, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  10. Willie

    CNN is sooooo biased. They changed the title of thus article because it showed how biased the reporters are. Obama would be treated differently if CNN wasn't helping them like they are. Plus, Clinton is the juggernaut in this election, she can't quit. Clinton is the fighter of the American people.

    February 23, 2008 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  11. david

    shame on you CNN. your reporting on the same topic was different one hour ago. now you made correction.

    February 23, 2008 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  12. stanjz

    CNN is once again mis-characterizing Senator Obama's statements. Please read the whole story people.

    Please show me where Senator Obama said he would quit if he lost as much as Senator Clinton? You're making it sound like he took a cheap shot at her.

    February 23, 2008 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  13. Judy

    This is amazing! How many of you read the original article? I hope You Tube had the interview on tape so I can find out the truth! What happened CNN did the Obama Mafia make you change the story because this is the mistake that we have ALL been waiting for! I think this definitely needs investigating!!!!

    February 23, 2008 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  14. Gary

    Wow – was it my imagination or did the title of the story change when I refreshed the page? In any event I wish that the Obama campaign would try harder to stear clear of "cocky" remarks. Like the earlier "it's almost wrapped up story" floated by some of his staff. This kind of thing can blow up in their faces.

    February 23, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  15. Carla

    This headline is totally misleading! He had a one word answer, "Yes."

    Unresponsible reporting.

    February 23, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  16. Scott Struble

    If the remaining days of her candidacy will be filled with attacks, it's going to be a long two weeks until the Texas primary. It might be time for the Clinton campaign to concede there are few differences on the issues with Obama.

    One thing remains true for young voters; anyone under the age of 42 has only seen a Clinton or a Bush on the ballot for President in each general election since they were old enough to vote. Perhaps the country is ready for a real change of leadership.

    February 23, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  17. mike

    wow arrogance really took the better part of him. i find what he said rude (even with the CNN rather quick correction to the earlier version) and very disrepectful. words are important, you are right Mr. Obama. but the words you just used against your opponent just cost you my vote.

    February 23, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  18. Carla

    Irresponsible, sorry.

    February 23, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  19. kevin

    very unresponsible journalism, cnn.

    At least you fixed it.

    February 23, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  20. David Jones

    Come march 4th; we are going to give Billary the KNOCK OUT PUNCH!!!

    February 23, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  21. Ghuman

    Its Ironic that Hillary wants to take credit and promote herself as a champion for all good accomplished during Clinton era, but no blame for any wrongs. This is blatant "Hypocrisy".

    My 12 year old nephew said something that resonated with me immensely and am sure will do so with other Americans. He said "are we living in a democratic America or a Monarchy where 2 families have ruled USA for 20 years". America today looks like old Europe to me.

    JFK didnot have a boatloads of experince, but even till today we consider him as one of the best. Furthermore, the mere fact that both Hillary and McCain vehemently supported Iraq war, NAFTA tells me that experience does not automatically make one better qualified.

    If experience was the only criteria, then there would have been no Google, no Microsoft, no Yahoo, no Facebook. All these companies started and flourished under people with little experience but big dreams and big HOPE.

    To be a good president, you need to have the ability to inspire and connect with people. There will be hundreds of advisors who will be there to advise on economy, national security, foreign policy.

    Is Obama perfect? No he is not. But I do believe that he is the best for America at this time. We want someone who may not embody change, per se, but is our best hope to be a catalyst for change.

    February 23, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  22. Obama

    Just like we suppose: Obama will lose to Maccain but Hilary will win. Who knows.

    February 23, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  23. Il Teacher

    Barack needs to respect that Hillary is a fighter and still has a real shot at the nomination. Our political process needs to be allowed to play out until a candidate has been selected. We are American and this process is what makes us great. For the media or Obama to suggest that Hillary drop out when the race is so close is to undermine our democratic process.

    Let the race continue...may the best woman or man win!

    February 23, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  24. Desiree

    The media loves Obama, he can't do anything wrong. I think his ego is getting the best of him and he's beginning to believe what the media says. What goes up will come down and one day people begin to see him as he really is, I hope it will not be too late.

    February 23, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  25. Arlene NY

    CNN...Which story is the TRUE story. You may have switched the title of the article yet the Photo caption of Obama stills reads "Obama said Saturday he would drop out if he had lost as many times as Clinton."
    So, what really was the Reporters question and Obama's answer?
    And also, how about an apology to the Bloggers who had posted their

    February 23, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
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