February 29th, 2008
11:00 AM ET
10 years ago

Clinton campaign: Obama needs to sweep March 4

 The Clinton campaign says Obama needs to win big on March 4, or else he has a problem.

The Clinton campaign says Obama needs to win big on March 4, or else he has a problem.

(CNN) - Seeking to raise the expectations for its rival, Sen. Hillary Clinton's campaign said Friday that Sen. Barack Obama needs to sweep the March 4 primaries.

The Illinois senator should win all four states - Ohio, Texas, Rhode Island and Vermont - decisively, given the amount of money and resources he has devoted to them, the Clinton campaign said in a memo circulated to reporters.

"If he fails to garner big wins, there's a problem," the memo states.

"The Obama campaign and its allies are outspending us two to one in paid media and have sent more staff into the March 4 states. In fact, when all is totaled, Senator Obama and his allies have outspent Senator Clinton by a margin of $18.4 million to $9.2 million on advertising in the four states that are voting next Tuesday."

"Senator Obama has campaigned hard in these states," the memo continues. "He has spent time meeting editorial boards, courting endorsers, holding rallies, and – of course – making speeches."

The memo came out moments after Obama campaign manager David Plouffe finished a conference call with reporters, during which he said the New York senator needs big victories in Texas and Ohio Tuesday if she hopes to chip away at Obama's now 153 pledged delegate lead - according to CNN's latest estimate.

"The Clinton campaign needs to begin wining big states by big margins to have any hope of eliminating this delegate lead they are facing," he said.

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

soundoff (329 Responses)
  1. rick

    you seem to enjoy the politics of destruction a wee bit too much! show a little grace after march 4 and go gently into the night!

    February 29, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  2. AB

    The clinton campaign should worry less about the margin by which Obama has to win but rather the fact that they need to win big margins in Ohio and Texas. After all, they are hillary campaign staffers and not Obama staffers. Why should they raise the bar for Obama's campaign and lower for their own? Are they putting forward an excuse in advance should they fail to win big in ohio and texas? The hillary campaign people are just ridiculous!!

    February 29, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  3. Nod

    What's with CNN ? Why are you censuring critical questions posed here about Sen. Obama?

    February 29, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  4. Lee AZ

    Again very similiar to the Bush tactics of lowering expectations and not reconizing the reality of the situation. The more we see of Hillary the more she looks like another Bush. A significant change is absolutely necessary.

    February 29, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  5. PKC

    The Clintons are running scared. Barak Obama's campaign well know how and what Barak needs to do. Chill, Bill...

    February 29, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  6. Jeff

    Let me see if I got this straight:

    Barack Obama will likely win Vermont, Texas, and maybe even Ohio – but if he does not take Rhode Island – Hillary can claim a resurgence?

    Oh Pa leeeeeeze... Really, we are not that stupid, and I cannot support someone who would insult our intelligence to the n'th degree.

    Obama '08!!!!

    February 29, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  7. Maria

    Does Clinton actually believe this stuff she throws out to the media or does she really think that people are this dumb?

    February 29, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  8. ajks

    She and her campaign are a joke! When does she gain some common sense? Talk about the land of make believe!!!!!

    February 29, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  9. Philly for Obama

    It's hilarious that the Clinton Camp is trying to flip the script. Hillary is the one who is suppose to sweep these states. She's the one that was the presumptous nominee, and a heavy favorite going in. She's the one that led all polls by double digits. Obama is the "true" comeback kid.

    The matter is plain and simple, Clinton needs to win by big margins to stay alive. That's the truth. Just ask Bill.

    February 29, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  10. Andrew

    Another attempt by the Clinton campaign to move the goal posts. Just because you say it doesn't make it true.

    When you are on the losing end of a race, it is on you to win the contests. Not just win, but win by a large margin.

    February 29, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  11. Mark

    This is the most ridiculous bits of spin I have seen yet. Clearly the work of Mr. Ickes trying to build justification their campaign soldiering on past March 4th even if they do not win as their coffers are now filling up with the requisite cash. Only in America could a campaign say "Yeah, you might be us but since it wasn't by as large a margin as you've beaten us before, something must be wrong." That "something" is actually the Clinton campaign finally doing their job – campaigning. Ridiculous.

    February 29, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  12. Gregory T, NYC

    Hillary, just give it up. You are going to have to work with Obama soon while he is in the White House and you are still in the Senate. You have to realize that this is HIS time. After March 4th take a good hard look at yourself and your campaign. It is really time to bow out. Obama has done something in this country not seen since the early 60's. Young people are inspired. The weary have hope again. Do you really want to destroy all of that and yourself along with it?
    Resign now, for the good of the party and country.

    OBAMA – 08!!!!

    February 29, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  13. Bob, Springfield, MA

    Hillary is like the knight is Monty Python's Holy Grail movie. After several limbs are hacked off he say, "It's just a flesh wound". No grasp of reality. We've had seven years of Bubble-Boy. I think that's enough.

    February 29, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  14. Claire from Texas

    Wow, the Clintons are really desperate, huh?

    Clinton has to win a significant amount of delegates to STAY IN the race.

    Here she goes again telling another lie...
    I'm so sick and tired of her.

    February 29, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  15. Latina 4 Obama

    Why would you say that Obama "should" when all 4 states due to the money he has spent. Americans cannot always be bought, believe it or not all of us aren't stupid. We will vote for the best candidate, no matter many negative ads the candidates spend their money on. Get real Hillary and please bow out gracefully.

    February 29, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  16. Catrina R., CA.

    Is the Clinton camp living in the same world? Are they talking about the same campaign where Obama has won 11 in a row? Apparently not! It's more like the Clinton camp NEEDS to sweep March 4th and win by wide margins just to catch up to Obama. The Clinton campaign is constantly trying to mislead and deflect; never good qualities in a President. We've had 8 years of that, no more.

    February 29, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  17. Julia

    I am just so tired of all of this back-and-forth. I wonder what die-hard Clinton supporters think of her Jekyll & Hyde approach lately? How could they not be tired of it all, too, particularly given the mathematical hurdle she faces? I know she wants to win, but it's becoming absurd. I hope Obama ends it, decisively, on Tuesday - but not because if he doesn't, "there's a problem," but because we are all now painfully aware that her primary goal is to divide the Democratic vote - no matter what that costs the country in November.

    February 29, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  18. PJ

    Really? Wow...just when I thought I'd heard everything...now this. Not only must Obama win everything, but he must "garner big wins" or there is a problem. Hmmmm.... up by 153 pledged delegates and he is the one with the problem. Must be some weird logic and math going on in the Clinton camp. Which is perhaps why we have not seen that tax return yet.

    February 29, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  19. K-DIDDY

    The Clinton campaign just cracks me up. They will say anything and do anything to try to confuse the voters and the American public. If Obama wins both Texas and Ohio, she should get out immediately. If Obama wins 3 out of 4 contest on March 4th that will make it 14 out of the last 15, if that is not enough sign that the Dems dont want Hillary. If that is he case she will need to EXIT!!

    February 29, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  20. JM

    I think there is a typo in the article...

    "If he fails to garner big wins, there's a problem," memo states.

    I think it should read if SHE fails...Obama was behind in each of these states by considerable margins. If he ties, he has made an incredible comeback.

    I think they are lowering expectations of their own campaign. Sensing defeat, they want us to believe that if he doesn't blow her away he has lost momentum...

    Is this the new math???

    February 29, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  21. Cherish

    I feel like I'm a Tilt-A-Whirl after all that spin.

    Obama was a virtually unknown Senator from Illinois when this race began. The Clintons are an American institution. To insinuate that he needs to win convincingly in these states where he was down double digits weeks ago to prove he can be a formidable opponent in the GE is absolutely absurd.
    Absurd... kind of like Hillary's campaign staff and choice of accessories.

    February 29, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  22. Cali Male 4 Hillary

    I feel that if the race is going to continue to be as it is, a tight race, and goes to the convention, this is technically anyone's nomination. Hillary won the big states which carry more weight in the general, and Obama wins the smaller states.

    Anyone can be the nominee

    February 29, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  23. Janel, St. Paul, MN

    Senator Obama has more money to spend because more "small contributors" have funded his campaign.

    Clinton relied more on "big givers" and had to resort to having another nonprofit created in California where there are no restrictions as to size of the gift. What a sad comparison.

    In sum, Obama has more supporters. It is that simple.

    February 29, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  24. JR

    If either Democrat wants to when in November, they will need to allow the delegates from FL and MI. Without them being seated as is Obama risks the chance of alienating them. If they are at Denver then right now Hillary holds a commanding lead in the delegate count. Either upset people know and put Clinton ahead or risk losing the White House by shunning almost 3 million voters in the two states. It's on the DNC's head either way.

    February 29, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |

    That's far from the truth, and she knows it. We know and she knows her statement is a lie.What does that say about her and her character. But lets say that he is. It would still be an improvement over her ignorant, prejudicial, dishonest,dirty screen. She can't say something factually negative, because she has and got called on it. She can't say something positive about her self, it would be factually incorrect. She has and got called on it. She insults her self with her gutter politics and more importantly she insults us.

    February 29, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
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