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. Amy

    CNN, thank you for changing the headline.

    Barack was not arrogant at all today, and he is accurate that he would be getting pressure to drop out from all over if he had lost 11 in a row.

    February 23, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  2. nyindependent

    Oh please....give me a break!
    Treated differently is right. However, the media would spin this in some way to make Hillary the "bad guy" if Obama would was in her position. They've been treating him like a rock star ever since he stepped onto the campaign trail.

    I long for real journalism!!!!!!

    February 23, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  3. Eli

    Poor OBAMA thinking he would be treated different if he was going to be treated different he would have never made it this far. Why should she quit when they are two big states coming up. Has anyone said that Huckabee should quit and look how far he is from McCain. Hillary is in a position that she could come back.

    February 23, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  4. JS

    Hillary now says that her support of NAFTA is a lie....in her memoir and recently she has said that NAFTA was the greatest accomplishment of Pres. Clinton....in another quote when asked directly, she finally admitted that "NAFTA was a mistake to the extent that it did not deliver on what we had hoped it would"...

    What is the real answer???

    Why can Hillary either get away with never answering any question or flip-flopping on issues half a dozen times??

    Isn't this how Kerry lost??? Do Democrats really want to lose this badly????

    There is nothing in any ad criticizing hillary which is false, it is just upsetting to her that someone would point out the truth in her many, many falsehoods and that she should not be treated as special due to her Washington establishment creds.....you should not dish it out, if you can't take it, hill....do you think the rest of the world will just take it easy on you or take pity on you, or just ask you to talk about some time in the past when you felt proud or special????

    February 23, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  5. tania tong

    I will NOT be jumping on the Obama bandwagon. It is comical and frightening to see ill-informed voters supporting someone they know nothing about, has not really done anything substantial for our country, and says he is "not Washington" yet is in the Senate. I am leery of Mr. Obama, his flash and mirror speeches, and the potion he appears to be selling.

    February 23, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  6. Simone P. DuBois

    OH, baby - you wouldn't be this far or have those wins if the media didn't treat you differently. You're this far because you're black and I am not afraid to say it. Joe Biden has more experience, Dodds, Richardson and HIllary has a ton more.

    You've been given a cake walk. You accused Hillary and Bill of being racists – which is NOT true. There is something called racsim against whites and when 8 sometimes 9 out of 10 black people vote for you – that's racists my friend. So lets talk about the elephant in the room. What are you going to do to fix that racial problem?

    Stop crying - the media has been generous - go listen to the right wing radio.

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

    Clinton, as her outburst today demonstrates, acts like she should be anointed the Democratic nominee.

    February 23, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  8. anon

    The two versions of this story, published in this same space, are so different, and the first one so much off the truth, that one has to wonder why. Please EXPLAIN what happened.

    February 23, 2008 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  9. Mike

    Obama, you are acting like the all politicians. Practice what you preach!

    February 23, 2008 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  10. Mike in Connecticut

    Obama is exactly right on this one. If he'd lost 11 in a row, the press would be openly asking him why he's still in the race against the mighty Hillary Clinton. Since she's who she is, everyone is willing to give her some space - and the benefit of the doubt - despite her series of c rushing defeats. She's basically in the same position as Mike Huckabee.

    February 23, 2008 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  11. Jen, Gainesville

    It is time for Hillary to bow out for the sake of the democratic party.

    February 23, 2008 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  12. Vls3936

    You are getting different treatment. You get treated differently already because you are an African-American and because you are a man. Your suits are doing the same as the Clinton's suits. Unfortunately, what you are doing is not good for the sake of the democratic party or for the United States. You also realize that the states of Michigan and Florida actually place Clinton 350 delegates ahead of you and that is why your "suits" are pushing all of this talk about the super-delegates. It is all just a big game to you. When is the Alien head going to pop out of the mask?

    February 23, 2008 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  13. mary

    what happened to the commenta on here

    February 23, 2008 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  14. elizabeth

    "Her's" is grammatically incorrect. You want "hers," analogous to "theirs." You might want to correct this above.

    February 23, 2008 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  15. OBAMA 08

    The better we get to know her, the less we like her.

    February 23, 2008 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  16. D.Kimbro OHIO

    I don't think this will end until the convention. If Obama had a string of losses, he probably would have been asked to quit. I believe this is do in part to the fact that Hillary was expected to have had this race locked up before 2/5/08. This would be sound judgement on the part of the party.

    February 23, 2008 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  17. SHAME ON CNN!!!

    SORRY, I FAIL TO SEE IN THIS ARTICLE WHERE HE SAYS WHAT THE TITLE STATES "I'd get different treatment if I lost as much as Clinton".



    February 23, 2008 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  18. Jeremy Harbison

    Hillary isn't quitting because alot of people do not like Barak Obama. It is the people who are begging her not to let him destroy our nation that she is doing this for. Barak has no foriegn experience unless you coun't the fact that Kenyan's have named their beer Obama. His wife Michelle just recently admitted she was ashamed of America until just recently of course. Guess you have to pay her to be proud. Barak Obama is a failure as a Senator because he refused to cast his vote on important legislation. Instead of representing his constituents he was just a Tax burden on them. He was just collecting a FREE CHECK. Here is a quote his wife needs to think about, "Ask not what your country can do for you ask what you can do for your country." They apparently don't care or understand what those words they use all the time actually mean. Barak has trashed Hillary 100 times more than she has him. Her supporters are expecting her to attack back. If he wants to throw crap he's gonna get some back. I don't like the fact he thinks people who want to do drugs instead of work deserve wellfare either. Trust me I'm going to become a Republican if Barak becomes the Dem nominee.

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

    How can he say Hillary needs to be knocked out? So now it's ok for a male candidate to say the female candidate needs to be knocked out? This is so wrong- I'm so sick of male politicians! They think that because they're prochoice they support women's rights. Well let me tell you something men, there is more to supporting women's rights than just fighting to avoid taking paternal responsibility. Lots of women around the world get raped and get jailed for it, they're not allowed to go to school, not allowed to work or drive, live in poverty with their kids- you don't hear any of these male politicians fighting to end this do you? NO, but Hillary stands up for women.

    I will NEVER vote for a man who won't stand up for abused women around the world. I will NEVER stand up for a man who says a female candidate needs to be knocked out.

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

    Delegate counts difference between two candidates is only about 5%, and both of them are still far away from 2025. I don't understand why he would make these kind of blunt statements.

    February 23, 2008 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  21. Grif

    Yes Obama, they don't speak Chinese in Kenya. They speak the language your Dad used to speak in Kenya.

    Pity or more people would understand Swahili, and they would know your m'baya sana ku'wa C.I.C in the USA..

    February 23, 2008 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  22. End Game dems

    Hey Junior Senator of ILL, are you now running as an independent within the Demcratic party when you state " She part of the Democratic washington network"? There are many experienced Democrates that respect the Clintons, and to imply you are a different Democrate and not a team player worries me as a 35 year voting democrat.
    You lose if you go at it alone without Hillary Clinton, too sad.

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

    thats true brother but that should not bother u coz it didnt happen to you instead u won everything n they r forced to look for you keep them on toes.

    February 23, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  24. Bear

    America loves to support the underdog when they feel an upset. Senator Obama's early upset in Iowa fueled this notion, and now is a propellant for his momentum. Senator Clinton, not seen as "true" underdog, will have a difficult time catching fire. She is a good choice, however, Bush's presidential regime has allowed Senator Obama's "theme" to resonate the loudest.

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

    I was really disappointed in the earlier version of this story...completely misrepresented what Obama said.

    February 23, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
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