April 21st, 2008
07:50 PM ET
7 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. Matt

    Hey Bill,

    She would win under republican rules, you are using republican attack tactics and saying that it is ok because that is what republicans do. Why don't you just have your wife join the republican party?

    April 21, 2008 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  2. Cindy

    Do you know why the country has been so apathetic about our elections? Because of the "do anything" / "say anthing" to win tactics that the Clintons and the Republicans have been playing.

    I wish... America would fight back. The undermining of a new movement, by someone within it's own party... how terribly, terribly sad. I always knew Bill had no shame. I didn't know it extended to his wife, too.

    April 21, 2008 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  3. Jim

    Bill is right. In fact Obama is ahead because of all his wins in those states that will undoubtedly vote Republican in the general election. In state by state match ups in the key swing states Hillary beats McCain whearas Obama doesn't. It will come back to bite the Dems in the general election if they nominate Obama. As a Democrat, I for one will not be voting for him.

    April 21, 2008 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  4. A GEORGIA MAMA THAT LOVES OBAMA!!!!

    Bill:

    Hillary would be winning, if, Hillary would be winning, that! Get a clue! This is not the doggone GOP, so stop whining!

    I don't care whether PA gets hoodwinked by all of your wife's lies and barking like a dog in heat! I don't want her for my President or you again for President!

    Bill, your days of sexual intercourse with interns in our tax paid for White House are over!

    Something new, something fresh! Obama for President!!! '08

    April 21, 2008 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  5. Gregory

    Yeah Bill, let's change the rules mid-game since you're losing. That may as well be the campaign slogan.

    April 21, 2008 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  6. Tiller in Texas

    Hillary is going to win anway!

    Go Clintons! Go Experience!

    April 21, 2008 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  7. TYPICAL WHITE MALE from Michigan

    That is correct - Hillary would be winning BIG. This is what the Super Delegates really have to look at - the states that Hillary has won - not those small states with caucasus where the Obamamiotes all screamed their heads off to the point of Hillary people just leaving. I know this is what happened as a friend of mine in Texas went to the Caucasus to vote for Hillary and he said the Obama people were RUDE and EXTREMELY VILE - that many of the older people just left and were completely offended. We in Michigan are for Hillary and our vote has not been counted yet also. The Super delegates had better take a real good look at Obama because he will not win in the General. Way, Way to many Democrats do not want Obama in the White House and will Vote for McCain just so Obama loses. Good Luck Super Delegates and the Big Boys in the Democratic Party.........

    April 21, 2008 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  8. DSP w/Real_Democrat

    Well then, go run as a GOP candidate Hillary! This is truly silly season when this is brought up by the losing candidate.

    April 21, 2008 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  9. JosBam

    Oh my god...Now Mr Lewinsky prefer the gop rules...because that would be suitable for "" his wife ""...Really ridiculous..

    If we were under hte republican system,would you be president one day ?Hein Mr Lewinsky...? And your wife's name would be just Hillary Rodham...She would not be a Clinton because she would have left you since the Monica Lewinsky scandal...Please Bill ...shut up !..

    April 21, 2008 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  10. Jason

    This race is about electability. The democratic party leaders will choose the candidate with the best chance to win the white house and that means winning in the electoral college system. Hillary obviously has a better chance at suceeding in our system than Obama.

    April 21, 2008 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  11. David

    So do Bill and Hillary want every vote to count or not? I also think the attempt to link the Democratic primary method to the Electoral College method for Presidential elections is bunk. Whether a given Democratic nominee contender wins the larger portion of the primary doesn't necessarily translate into winning the same state in the actual presidential election – too many variable to consider.

    April 21, 2008 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  12. Dan from Illinois

    Hillary would be winning if the DNC was fair to Floridia and Michigan. She'd also be winning if the media were fair and she matched him financially. It's amazing that she's in the race despite some major obstacles.

    April 21, 2008 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  13. David

    So do Bill and Hillary want every vote to count or not? I also think the attempt to link the Democratic primary method to the Electoral College method for Presidential elections is bunk. Whether a given Democratic nominee contender wins the larger portion of the primary doesn't necessarily translate into winning the same state in the actual presidential election – too many variables to consider.

    April 21, 2008 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  14. liar, liar, pants on fire

    Back to reality Clinton's, back to reality.......

    April 21, 2008 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  15. DSP, Santa Rosa, CA

    Well then, go run as a GOP candidate Hillary. This is truly silly season when this is brought up by the losing candidate.

    April 21, 2008 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  16. Kevin - Jonesboro, GA

    Bill – you have truly disgraced yourself as a former president and leader in the Democratic party

    April 21, 2008 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  17. tom

    Unbelievable, if your team cannot win and score on the field that you need to play, just move the goal posts so that you can say you would have, could have, and should have won. These rules have been in place for several decades and were in place when he ran for office. I find it hard to believe that this clown was our president for 8 long years. His lies, deceptions, and self serving truths don't work anymore. Bill, please redefine what is meant by "is".

    April 21, 2008 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  18. John M (PA)

    And yet Hillary would still be losing the popular vote even if you count Florida and Michigan. What happened to not disenfranchising voters?

    April 21, 2008 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  19. henriettap

    Thats wishful thinking on Bills part,people are ready change in hte White House that means no more of the same tactics to get what is needed.So even though it is not the republicans way of getting tthe nomination we are tired of both Bushes and Clintons

    April 21, 2008 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  20. Jim

    Sounds like Hillary Clinton should switch to the GOP party. She would have an easier time beating McCain than Obama. Another option for her is to run as an Independent or start her own party like Ross Perot did back in the 90's.

    April 21, 2008 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  21. Kevin

    Thanks for the lesson, Biil. Idiot.

    April 21, 2008 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  22. arun

    Maybe President Clinton should urge his wife to join the republican party. She sure could fit in there.

    April 21, 2008 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  23. Joker

    Why is it news when Bill Clinton whines but when I whine everyone just tells me to stop whining?

    April 21, 2008 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  24. Alice

    If they were playing under the Republican rules, Obama would have employed a different strategy. He'd still be winning - just by different means.

    IF ... IF ... IF ...

    If we didn't have an electoral college, Al Gore would be President, we would never have invaded Iraq, and Joe Lieberman would be this year's Democratic nominee.

    April 21, 2008 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  25. Sheila WA

    They sound more and more like Republicans every day..They ought to change parties. And to think that this Party supported them during the tough 90's when Richard Scaife, Fox News, Rush ( now proud endorsers ) ect.. were ripping them a new one for 8yrs non-stop. Well, what comes around, goes around as she will find out. The very party she is continually pandering to (her bitter remarks, like salt of the earth people can't think through what Obama's words meant without her or McCain having to explain it to them in plain salt of the earth terms) and the very process which helped Bill Clinton win in 92 and 96 all the sudden is broken. Always wanting to move the goal posts so to speak when the numbers are against them. And they call Obama the elitist? HA

    April 21, 2008 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
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