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. Chris

    Guys, the ticker still reads: "I'd quit..." Get it together.

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


    February 23, 2008 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  3. M. Miller

    Obama should announce to the country on CNN, NBC, MSNBC about his new found memory jag. Whoops..Obama remembered he and Rezko toured his new home together and Obama sought his advice on real estate...hello...doesn't this bother anyone but me? Obama told the country on national tv durung the debate he didn't know Rezko and his firm did 5 billable hours of work for a church and that was the extent of their relationship...Does the country not remember this?
    Mr Obama gets a lot of 'different' treatment. Every newsman and pundit seems to be afraid to tell this story except ABC News on the internet.
    What is wrong with this picture he told all of us..the country a WHOPPER and the news media lets it go by???
    I wish I could get that same treatment anywhere. I am so disappointed with CNN especially because I thought for once they were trying to be fair.

    February 23, 2008 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  4. gp leigh

    Nice of you to correct the information although the damage has been done if you read the frothing going on in the previous permutation. Just how does this sort of incorrect reporting happen in the first place?

    February 23, 2008 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  5. Rebecca Sherfey

    If CNN incorrectly quoted Barack Obama stating "I'd quit if I lost as many as Senator Clinton"–then take it OFF your leader subheading on the CNN Home Webpage–Obama did not state that, as your article indicates, so promptly remove it from the Webpage!

    February 23, 2008 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  6. Todd Simpson

    I think Obama is right here too. And not because of media misinterpretation but because Hillary Clinton is a nationally know and respected candidate. Before Iowa, Obama had nowhere near the support of superdelegates or fundraisers and still doesn't have as many big name democratic fundraisers or advisers that Clinton had and has.

    If the new guy, with less money and less superdelegates loses 11 in a row, he'd the be the Democratic Mike Huckabee. But justifiably Clinton still has a chance because of her name recognition, her relationship with both party officials and public support via her her 8 years as first lady and 7 years in the senate (as opposed to Obama's 3 years in the senate and 8 years in the State Senate).

    Barack Obama is right. But his answer isn't arrogant either, it doesn't say she should quit or that she still can't win. You could try to read that into it if he were saying this on his own (which would be a stretch), but in response to a reporter's question it's merely a discussion on dynamics between two different types of candidates.

    February 23, 2008 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  7. Michigan500

    It is true...the Clintons ran as though Hillary was the annointed one.

    The truth is that the Clintons didn't think they would get any substantive competition within the Democratic party, but, they are.....and they are fighting back like caged animals.

    February 23, 2008 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  8. Barney, Long Island

    Yeah Obama would be treated differently alright. The media him because he is the new guy on the block and Hillary is old news. One thing for sure, if I was a voter in Florida or Michigan I would be screaming that my vote will not count. I expect that in Russia, not America. But we might as well get use to it if this slick talking Obama gets in!! I am not a Hillary supporter either, but what is fair is fair. Why go vote if it isn't going to count. Figures, Democrats!

    February 23, 2008 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  9. anu

    Obama is a man without a agenda except the vague "Change" canting. Let us oust him out and bring in some semblance of dignity by supporting Hillary. she is experienced, and has a real :Agenda". do not give in to Obama he is not good for our country. he does not salute to the american flag his wife does not respect this great nation. what more proof do we need to see Obama as the wrong candidate for this great nation.

    February 23, 2008 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  10. J. P. Acosta

    Good that you make the correction. Obama never said what you first reported, period.
    Try to be more accurate next time.

    February 23, 2008 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  11. Manuel TX


    You've had the media behind you the entire campaign.

    Soon they will turn against you.

    February 23, 2008 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  12. Stevo

    Why the hell are the comments closed on everything I read?? I know you're going to deny posting this, but it's really making me angry.

    CNN please post this.

    "Hillary's healthcare plan forces you to buy insurance even if you can't afford it"

    You know I read the title of the article and thought maybe Obama had done something wrong, but then i see the flier and realize it's just the harsh truth. AND the one thing I don't like about her healthcare plan.

    She has said there is a mandate, and she has said she would go as far as garnishing wages if people can't afford it.

    If I remember correctly she agrees to those statements in debate.

    The debates she so desperately wanted to have.

    February 23, 2008 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  13. Vic

    So now Obama is jumping on the media coverage during this campaign that has annointed him and unfairly attacked Hillary time and again. Even members of the press acknowledge this.

    Like other predictions he has made about one thing or another - I'm beginning to seriously mistrust this men who so many are so blindly following.

    Today, Hillary spoke in New Orleans to the Black American Group's annual meeting. Barack Obama was invited, but didn't show up. She was eloquent, and no matter how Barack tries to smear her now, the voters of this country had better heed about flocking to this man who has abandoned his earlier message and turned it into attacks that have Karl Rove's name written all over them.

    February 23, 2008 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  14. Rob

    He's correct. He would be treated differently.

    February 23, 2008 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  15. marge

    Obama is absolutely right. Had he lost 11 contest in a row,the media would quickly dismiss him as a viable candidate.
    But the Hillary supporters whine about Hillary being treated unfairly by the media.
    Maybe after the 4 March contest,,,it will all be over!

    February 23, 2008 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  16. B. - NYC

    Unreal CNN...

    The caption of this story just 10 minutes ago was: "Ticker: I'd quit if I lost like Clinton, Obama says" (and yes, we saved it)... The blog was back to back anger at the fact that Mr. Obama has become so arrogant (yes, we have the blog on file as well).
    Why are you at CNN protecting this guy?
    he is not ready for this job and you all know it! He has done NOTHING for his state, NOTHING for our country and NEVER owned a business. Two years of public service and he should have the most important job on Earth?
    Biggest mistake we could make people...

    February 23, 2008 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  17. Darryl Touchet

    Here we go again, when someone makes an arguement against him, they are part of "the Democratic Network in Washington". Well the last time i checked, so was he. I'm sorry, but I am tired of that excuse. I can't believe he said that, is he a democrat? I am seriously having my doubts.

    February 23, 2008 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  18. Arnod

    Obama whinning?... Again? With all the special treatment he has gotten from most of the media, what is he complaining about?

    February 23, 2008 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  19. Clay

    I'm glad you corrected the earlier piece CNN had on this.

    February 23, 2008 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  20. Jude Nkama

    Senator Obama's poise, calm and level headed attitude is amazing. He does not throw his ego about. He is focused on the mission. This movement is real!! It can be delayed but not denied.


    February 23, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  21. CJ

    I'm sick of OBAMA..... he places hisself above everyone else when he is worst then everyone else. BUT HE HIDES IT! and the media should be ashamed of all the glory they have given this loser when they do not know anything about him......... but soon the truth will come out........ if he becomes president he will divide this great nation..... look around he has already started!!!!!!!

    February 23, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  22. Robert New York City & Miami, Florida

    Barack, I have never voted republican, but I will vote for Mummy McCain, before I vote for you!

    February 23, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  23. Independent Not Wanting Washington Insiders

    Washington insiders and business as usual doesn't mean that we voters can't change that. We must change that.

    Too many years of politics/business as usual. A vote for Clinton or McCain is just more politics/business as usual.

    February 23, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  24. Julie, Binghamton, NY

    No he wouldn't. Kennedy backed him when he was behind. Besides, Hillary has worked for the Democratic party and the people of the US for a really long time. We're not just going to push aside one of the best chances we've got to get universal health care in this country just because some new guy rolls into town promising the everything with no basis to know if he want deliever.

    February 23, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  25. John Z.

    Has anybody besides me noticed the latest Ramussen tracking poll (Feb. 23) which puts McCain ahead of Obama in a general election by 46 to 43%? For the past few weeks Obama has had a healthy lead in that poll, but now the tide has turned. This is just the beginning folks, as voters are starting to see beyond the charisma and are beginning to focus on substantive matters such as Obama's lack of experience. I predict that if Obama is the Democrat's nominee that McCain will make chopped liver out of him.

    February 23, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
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