April 21st, 2008
07:50 PM ET
6 years ago

Bill Clinton: Hillary would be winning with GOP rules

PITTSBURGH, Pennsylvania (CNN) – Joining wife Hillary Clinton at a campaign rally on the eve of the Pennsylvania primary, former President Bill Clinton argued that if Democratic candidates were awarded delegates the same way as Republicans, his wife would be beating Barack Obama in the race for the 2,025 delegates needed to secure the Democratic nomination.

“If we were under the Republican system, which is more like the Electoral College, she'd have a 300 delegate lead here,” Clinton told the Washington Post. “I mean, Senator McCain is already the nominee because they chose a system to produce that result, and we don't have a nominee here, because the Democrats chose a system that prevents that result.”

Overall, Obama leads Hillary Clinton by 144 delegates - 1,648 to 1,504 - according to CNN's delegate count. However, Clinton still has 24 more superdelegates than Obama, leading 254 to 230.

Many states in the Republican primary race award delegates on a winner-take-all basis, whereas every state on the Democratic side uses a proportional system.

The former president has been shuttling back and forth between eastern and western Pennsylvania over the past few days, shoring up votes for his wife in this crucial primary contest.

He takes Obama to task for several of his recent television ads in Pennsylvania, calling a recent one – in which he says Sen. Clinton’s health care plan would force people to pay for health care plans they can't afford – “truly hilarious” and "bull.”

Hillary Clinton has maintained a consistent lead over Obama in Pennsylvania polls and needs to win Tuesday night to silence calls for her to drop out of the race.

At the end of each speech, the former president addresses those calls, introducing supporters to “Clinton’s rules of politics:" "If somebody tells you you ought to quit, it’s because they’re afraid you won’t, and there’s no quit in her ... and I’ll tell you something else, if somebody tells you you can’t win, it’s because you know you can.”


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soundoff (301 Responses)
  1. kentucky

    Yes Bill, if the Democrats had the same way of selecting a nominee, as the Gop, you would have never been elected to office. we never would have heard of Monica, impeachment, NAFTA, and no one would even know who Hillary is. What am I saying, I guess it would be a good thing.

    April 21, 2008 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  2. Shelley in NC

    The Democats have a system in which every vote counts. It's more...what is the word? DEMOCRATIC. If you like the whole winner take all, who cares about the popular vote stance, Bill, then take your wife and move to the GOP. You won't be missed.

    April 21, 2008 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  3. Strange Days

    And, as the old Saturday Night Live sketch had it, if Superman had landed in Germany instead of Smallville, USA he would be Übermann and the Nazis would have won the war.

    April 21, 2008 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  4. Michael from Seattle

    Really?

    So now you're going to argue the rules by which your own party awards delegates?

    Is this really going to be your argument going forward?

    You have got to be kidding me.

    April 21, 2008 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  5. Indiana Bob

    President Clinton is correct. Hillary has won the big blue states (except for Obama's home state of IL). The black vote has secured the southern red states for Obama. So who do you want for the Democratic nominee in the general? The general is winner take all. We better win the blue states. Obama will do well, but lose, in the red states. But he cannot carry the core Democratic voters. Too many blue states will be a toss-up. Say hello to President John McCain. Hillary has consistently carried the core voters of the Democratic Party. So do you want President Hillary Clinton or President John McCain? President Barack Obama will not happen.

    April 21, 2008 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  6. haiticuba

    see i knew the clintons where reps on the under, it's funny how when thing arent going their way, they wish it was in the other direction. hey billary since you think mcsame is more electable than obama, and since the republican primary system is better than the dems. why dont you become john mcsames running mate cause your doing a better job at being replubican than he is right now

    April 21, 2008 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  7. mike

    What kind of statement is this from Bill? Didn't he and Hillary understand the way the democratic primaries worked?
    Or , did they just become complacent and overconfident?
    Sounds like Bill can't handle the heat. Hey Hillary, don't put on the uniform if you don't want to play by the rules!

    April 21, 2008 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  8. Jeff

    Whatever rules favor the Clinton is the best rule!!!

    April 21, 2008 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  9. Stevo

    This should make Hillary feel good then .... Hillary you can't win and you should quit. As soon as possible, because you're running out of time :)

    Check out the beefs .....
    http://whatsmybeef.wordpress.com/

    April 21, 2008 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  10. mjc

    bills right... SHE CAN WIN. obama? nope.

    GO HILLARY. PA IS YOURS TOMORROW!

    April 21, 2008 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  11. Ted: Canada

    Can someone tell you is running for Prseident Bill or Hillary Clinton?
    I can see women wanting a woman president. I most certainly understood! But is this case clearily we are not sure who is running the ship. When the phone rings at 3 am morining it will like be Bill wispering in her ear. Oh! Not Hillary another lady!

    Would it not be more appropriate to look for a women who is not tied to her husband's political apron strings?

    There are many strong women who can run on their own merit and don't have to rely on their husband like Hillary has.

    April 21, 2008 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  12. MD

    REALLY? WHY DON'T YOU AND HILLARY JUST JOIN THE REPUBLICAN PARTY?? EVEN IF YOU BOTH DO, I WON'T BE SURPRISED.

    THESE ARE THE DEMOCRATIC RULES - IF YOU CAN'T TAKE THE HEAT IN THE KITCHEN, YOU HAVE TO GET OUT.

    April 21, 2008 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  13. Clinton attacks democartes base

    haha Bill, i guess you got away from Hillary's choke chain on you?

    Also Bill said in 2004 "Vote for HOPE before Fear"

    If Hillary wasn't Bills wife he would be destroying her Bin Laden commericals.

    remember one thing CLINTON WOULD GO TO NUCLEAR WAR IF IRAN attacked Syria!!!!!!! At 3am....we know clintons repsonse....NUKE!!!!! even McCain wouldnt go that far.

    Clinton vote=nuke vote

    April 21, 2008 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  14. DemocracyNow2008

    So what Clinton is complaining about is that we do not have a voting system like the Republicans.

    I see so he wants the Democratic Party to change our voting system and be more Republican so Hillary can win.

    I suggest Bill and Hillary go join the Republican Party and run Hillary against Obama 4 years from now and she will still lose.

    After all was not Hillary once a Republican years ago.

    She and Bill sure act Republican .

    Pennsylvania Yes You can Tuesday and I hope you will Obama all the way to the Whitehouse

    Obama 08

    April 21, 2008 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  15. Derek

    Funny, the Clintons had no objections to the rules when they presumed she was "pre-ordained" to be the nominee. Now that it appears she may lose, they whine about those same rules? Give me a break!

    April 21, 2008 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  16. Elizabeth, NC

    Billiary, why do you like changing the rules of the game right in the middle of the game especially when you are losing. You have been in support of the delegate and superdelegate count since its insurgency. You started calling around on these delegates way back in July of last year.(Bear in mind many of those who agreed to support you are having doubts right now: the bold and beautiful ones have dumped you) If you didn't think it was a good idea why do you go after it then. Oh I remember, you were in the lead. You are now becoming more than an irritant just take your Ed Randel and Nutter or Nutty and go hide somewhere.
    I supported you once but never again.

    April 21, 2008 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  17. Rich

    She acts like a Republican and now you want her to play by their system. Why not just run as a Republican? They are going out and voting for her anyway.

    April 21, 2008 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  18. Alexmail.

    She talks like Republican
    She attacks like Republican
    She uses all Rove's tricks
    One time she was a Republican and she is a Republican
    What is she doing with Democrats?

    April 21, 2008 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  19. Right wing conspiracy

    Considering her ruthless, Rovian tactics she should be running for the GOP.

    April 21, 2008 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  20. andrea, Illinois

    Enough already with these two idiots! What's the matter with them? They now are at a point where they are just so annoying, I can't take it any more!! How does he dare stating such "bull". The DNC really needs to tell them that it's enough and simply shut up!!

    Both of them just make me gag....

    Liars, words twisters, fear mongers.......

    April 21, 2008 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  21. Justin

    Hillary prob would have won the GOP nomination, should have switched parties.

    April 21, 2008 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  22. Ted: Canada

    Can someone tell us who is running for President, Bill or Hillary Clinton?
    I can see women wanting a woman president. I most certainly understand! But is this case clearly we are not sure who is running the ship. When the phone rings at 3 am morning it will likely be Bill whispering in her ear. Oh! Not Hillary another lady!
    Would it not be more appropriate to look for a woman who is not tied to her husband's political apron strings?
    There are many strong women who can run on their own merit and don't have to rely on their husband like Hillary has.

    April 21, 2008 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  23. 58 old white ladies for OBAMA

    AND IF SHE WAS SMARTER, NOT A LIER & HAD SOME INTEGRITY

    AND IF PIGS COULD FLY, WE WOULD CALL THEM EAGLES.

    IF BILL DOESN'T LIKE DNC RULES, HILLARY SHOULD HAVE RUN

    AS A REPUBLICAN. SHE VOTES AS ONE. BOTH CAN TAKE THEIR

    MISERABLE SELVES HOME & OUT OUR SIGHT.

    April 21, 2008 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  24. Lawrence

    Well you are playing by the DNC rules which I guess do not apply to you as you want the DNC to seat two states that violated the rules that your wifeypoo supported.

    April 21, 2008 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  25. honesty

    Bill is actually right. But there is more, she will be winning big time or/and the opponents would be different or nonexistant, if .....if the Wright, the Ayers, the Rezko, the million dollar march and who knows what else, had been known and not swept under the carpet.

    Once again, we Americans put ourselves in this horrible situation, i.e having a leading contender for the Presidency based on charisma and personality vs. substance.

    April 21, 2008 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
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