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. Christine

    Why should Senator Clinton quit when 10 million people have voted for her?

    9 of the states Senator Obama won have voted Republican for the last 4 Presidential elections (1992, 1996, 2000, 2004). Two others have been carried by the Republican in three of the last four Presidential elections. Do we really think this will CHANGE?

    This “success” is the biggest hoax played on the American public in years.

    States carried by the Republican in all four elections
    North Dakota
    South Carolina

    States carried by the Republican in three of the four elections

    February 23, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  2. DocG

    The title of this ticker on your home page is still the same suggesting Obama is calling for clinton to quit!

    February 23, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  3. Steven Furtado, Kunkletown PA

    He's got a point. If Obama hadn't had a single win since Super tuesday, he'd be out of the race.

    February 23, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  4. D Richie

    Well... If BO quits that easily simply because he lost 11 out of 50 states, then I think that is quite telling about who he is as a person. We need a President of the United States who doesnt quit. This country and its problems needs and deserves a fighter, not a quitter. And last I checked, we still have American voters in the other 8 or 10 states who have yet to cast their VOTE.

    Thats why My box gets checked for Clinton, and if BO unfortunately wins the nomination, I will write her in. She never quits. Not in running for office, or for 35 yrs of Kids and Woman's issues, not even on her marriage. I feel pretty good about that as a Clinton voter. I dont quit either, and as an INFORMED voter ( YES –informed beyond the TV pundits and Blogosphere blather)

    His statement informs me even more about who he is and why he is running. This is information one gathers BETWEEN THE LINES beyond his Illinois/Senate record and lack thereof, his political/lobby connections in Chicago, and his self-adulated preaching to the uninformed.

    February 23, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  5. Jay

    2 phonies CNN & Obama...lol

    February 23, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  6. Vince FL.

    HILLARY WILL QUIT AFTER MARCH 4!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    OBAMA 08

    February 23, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  7. Pete

    Thanks to CNN for cleaning up the original posting regarding this story. It was slanted to make Obama seem arrogant and "a quitter" the new posting is much more representative of what he actually said!

    February 23, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  8. Darryl Touchet

    Here he goes again, trying to make the arguement that if you challenge him, you are "part of the Democratic Network in Washington." The last time i checked, so was he? Or is he?

    Just because someone calls you out on something, doesn't mean they are somehow less than you because they happened to have been around longer than you. This goes to prove Hillary's point. Is he a democrat?

    February 23, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  9. Sara M

    If Sen Obama is the "upstart", the "outsider", why is he the most consistent liberal voter in the Senate (this is not necessarily a bad thing, but it does not exactly scream "outsider"...)? Why is he twisting his opponents words in campaign mailers? This, particularly, is as "Washington insider" as you get.

    I don't need to hear about change- I have my own dreams, hopes, and wishes as do all Americans. I want to live in a world that embodies that change. That means real solutions, real plans, and a leader who will fight for what people need and what is right. A leader who implies he would drop out when the going gets tough is not that leader.

    February 23, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  10. Jacques

    Once again Obama shows an ability to handle the press and roll with the punches, Hillary is visibly cracking up getting angry.

    March 4th can't come soon enough.

    February 23, 2008 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  11. prakash chand

    Thats right!

    you only can "talk " you cant work to walk.

    say some words of your own...dont copy MLK or JFK or god knows

    who u are copying.

    Look at the delegate count u idiot! you won 21 states ,she won 11
    the contest is still a draw.

    watch when they bring in FL and MI,GROW UP YOU ARE TOO YOUNG

    February 23, 2008 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  12. Laura Johnson

    The media inaccuracies are coming fast and furious against Barack Obama. It just sickens me. I sure hope people are able to see through all of it.

    February 23, 2008 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  13. Grant, Virginia Beach, Virginia


    February 23, 2008 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  14. BJE

    When's Obama going to stop playing the underdog card?

    February 23, 2008 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  15. Jeannie Vawter

    You should correct your headline for this article on the front page of cnn.com.

    February 23, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  16. Cris in Texas

    CNN you change the title.

    He would quit if he was down by a couple hundred points and half way to the goal. Does that not say something about his character???

    Do we want a quitter running the US that would quit when he has some small setbacks? I for one have more drive and determination than this guy. I would think long and hard before making the decision to vote if you are up soon. Do you want a quiter or a determined individual running the United States of America . Myself.... I want a determined individual.

    February 23, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  17. Forest for the Trees

    OOps... that last comment was...I believe every word of the First article. Must have been a Freudian Slip becasue it was much worst of an image of Obama. Allbeit, truthful, but not very flattering.

    Obama is not the right choice.

    Arrogance + inexperience = Obama

    Arrogance + inexperience = George Bush

    Obama = Bush

    Any questions...

    February 23, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  18. MN Woman

    If your earlier post of "Obama would quit" was in error, it was a pretty darn big one. Do you mind telling us how that happened, seeing as you are the the best political team on television

    Now off into the black hole of CNN's moderation group. Gotta love the way CNN's Comment Policy really takes a firm line regarding being respectful of other comments and posters.

    With that said, this post will surely die a quick death.

    February 23, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  19. Michael in Pittsburgh

    What more do you want? The media has spent more time kissing you than actually scrutinizing you. Just keep taking Karl Roves advice and sending out Harry and Louise ads. At least 50% of the Democratic Paty is intelligent enough to see who you really are.

    February 23, 2008 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  20. Sherry

    When he claims he is not part of the Democratic network in Washington, I can not help but laugh out loud.

    Could someone please tell me just when Hillary Clinton was the President, I must have missed that.

    February 23, 2008 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  21. Lynn

    When is CNN going to finally update the delgate count?? If you are going to post out of date numbers, you should at least date how old they are!!

    February 23, 2008 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  22. joanne pirrone

    can you please tell me how she "esentially tied" on super Tuesday?

    Amazingly, every pundent said, whoever wins California wins the night...she wins California handily and yet...she esentially ties on Super Tuesday. You guys in the media....it's amazing to me to listen to what you say and yet you believe it has no impact on voters.
    And if Ohio, Texas and Pennsylvania came before the little states that he won, she would have had the momentum and would have won them all and then probably went on to win the little states....it's all about timing, yet it's not portrayed that way.

    I'm disgusted with you ....

    February 23, 2008 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  23. susan leff

    Yor're only ahead by a very slim margin, and now you're so worried that you accuse Hillary of being treated differently. It's a different matter when the press is totally biased toward you, though. The problem is, you don't want to be treated differently, you want to be treated BETTER than anyone else!!!

    February 23, 2008 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  24. Abu

    Senator Clinton is just an incompetent human being. And what Senator Obama said is true.

    February 23, 2008 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  25. vl

    Nice job CNN on how you re-wrote the story so your precious Obama wouldn't stink so bad. Shame on you and your Obamabias.

    I know this will be moderated to oblivian!

    February 23, 2008 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
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