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. dino

    for all you who say... " i am a democrat but i i wont vote for (hillary/obama) if they get the nomination.... WAKE UP. is it really worth sour grapes to have john "my friends" mccain because you are acting like a bratty little child? if you DO abandon your party and vote mccain, i hope you are the first to get wiped out by a medical emergency... i really do. STUPIDS!!!

    April 21, 2008 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm |
  2. Bubba

    Does anyone realy pay attention to a disbarred former attorney??? snickering

    April 21, 2008 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm |
  3. Reid

    What actually WOULD have happened, IF the rules were different, is you still would have been out smarted, out fund raised, and out voted by Obama because the American people, at least the educated ones, are tired of the Bush and Cinton polarization of the country. Your two dynastys are coming to an end and the Rovian political model will have to have its torch carried by that old Geezer McCain, who can't seem to remember what he is saying from sentence to sentence.(see latest gaffe) How come Bill is always campaigning hundreds or thousands of miles away from Hillary? Nice "marriage" of convenience. If these two can lie to each other they have no problem lying to the American people.

    April 21, 2008 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  4. Cooper

    I smell HYPOCRISY at play here. Bill Clinton won with the present system in '92 and '96 and at that time it was good for us. Now his wife is not leading and the system somehow is not fair. What has happen to people sense of fairness? I guess in the Clinton's world the rules should be changed in the middle of the game to benefit the family. What a sad commentary? Florida and Michigan comes to mind. Everyone including Hillary agreed that those votes from FL and MI will be not honored beacuse they broke party rules. But since she is losing to Obama, she wants the results of those elections honored. What is wrong with these people? Is anybody listening? Democrats need to stand up to these people and tell them like it is. You higer ups need to forget about Clinton being a former president and educate these people that there are decent people in the party who respect the rule of law. The WH belongs to all and it is not an etitlement. Long live the Democratic Party.

    April 21, 2008 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  5. Walt, Belton,TX

    I guess I don't understand Bill's dilemma. He's so used to making up the rules and then changing them when they don't suit him, I guess he's wishing he could do that here. Winning is all that there is for his kind, no matter whether it is fair, square or crooked as it comes–doesn't matter to white trash.

    April 21, 2008 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  6. Joe

    Wow, too bad she didn't run for the GOP nomination. The fact is, the Clinton campaign AGREED to the rules put forth by the Democratic National Committee. They didn't suggest changing the rules until it became clear that she couldn't win. Enough whining already. It is time for the both President and Senator Clinton to do what's best for the Democratic party and get out of the race and support the party's nominee.

    April 21, 2008 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  7. Ratgurl

    Change the rules! Change the rules! Hillary can't win fairly, so change the rules to give HER the nomination!

    April 21, 2008 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  8. 58 old white ladies for OBAMA

    WE ARE NOT TELLING THE CLINTONS TO QUIT.

    WE ARE TELLING THEM TO CONDUCT THEMSELVES

    WITH SOME SEMBLANCE OF DIGNITY & HONOR.

    UNFORTUNATELY, ITS NOT SOMETHING THE CLINTONS

    CAN DO. WE FOR CERTAIN, WILL NOT HAVE THEM IN OUR

    WHITE HOUSE FOR THE NEXT 4 YEARS.

    April 21, 2008 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  9. Sherri

    She is acting like a Republican, why doesn't she leave the Democratic Party and make herself at home with the Republican Party...and take Bill with her? She is helping the GOP with her negativity. She helping them with her war mongering. She is helping them with her anti- Democratic party tactics. Hillary and Bill, you should both be ashamed of yourselves. I, for one, am ashamed of both of you.

    April 21, 2008 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  10. Greg

    Bill and Hillary remind me of Pinky and the Brain. Hillary is always plotting a new way to conquer the election. Unfortunately it all falls flat, and the next day another scheme is hatched. Meanwhile Bill is always getting in the way and otherwise acting generally clueless. "Are you thinking what I'm thinking Billy... ?"

    April 21, 2008 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  11. Mary

    HRC/WJC and her/his campaign agreed to the rules regarding the Democratic Party primaries and how the delegates would be selected–now the HRC campaign is complaining about those very same rules–if HRC was in the same position that Obama is in today, I do not think there would be any whining about how unfair the system is–the Clintons are getting desperate and it is not a pretty picture.

    April 21, 2008 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  12. LB

    NOW THE CLINTONS WANT TO CHANGE THE DEMOCATIC PROCESS TO BENIFIT THEM. SEN. CLINTON TOOK THIS ELECTION FOR GRANTED BECAUSE SHE WAS LEADING IN ALL THE POLLS BEFORE THE PRIMARY SEASON STARTED, SHE THOUGHT IT WAS GOING TO BE AN EASY VICTORY FOR HER. HILLARYS HEALTHPLAN IS NOT FAIR TO PEOPLE WHO DONT WANT IT BUT SHE IS GOING TO TAKE FROM OUR PAYCHECK. I ALSO THINK THAT OBAMAS HEALTHPLAN ISNT GOOD. WHY DONT THEY IMPROVE THE PUBLIC HEALTHCARE SYSTEMS FOR LOW INCOME FAMILIES AND SINGLES NATION WIDE AND ITS TERRITORIES.
    OBAMA 08

    April 21, 2008 11:31 pm at 11:31 pm |
  13. Mark, Vancouver WA

    Incredible – they will try anything to win... the Democrats were complaining about the Electoral College in 2000 when Gore won the popular vote, but lost the electoral vote, and now Bill wants to try to use a similar system to decide the primary – anything to win, I guess. How much longer are we going to have to listen to these two??? I am tired of this "win at any cost" strategy!

    April 21, 2008 11:31 pm at 11:31 pm |
  14. bos123

    Have you check the Hufftington Post today? is very interesting to see Ed Randell at church with Farrahkan.

    April 21, 2008 11:31 pm at 11:31 pm |
  15. Corey, Maryland

    Well considering most of the country hates the electoral college, I am glad to be apart of a system that actually represents the views of the people, and not just the majority. The electoral college must be disbanded, if we are to have a true democracy. Its because of the electoral college that we got Bush in the first place. Our country might not be in the state that it is in if Gore was our president.

    Obama Richardson 08!!

    April 21, 2008 11:33 pm at 11:33 pm |
  16. Phil G. , New York

    HAHA

    If your afraid of the rules that come with the contact sport, keep your uniform off Mr. President.....OOPS! I guess you kinda did that already

    Note to self: dont reference bill clinton and sports!!!

    April 21, 2008 11:33 pm at 11:33 pm |
  17. Jeff

    Right. Under Republican rules, we'd be hearing daily about Monica, Whitewater, Vince Foster, cattle futures, the vast right wing conspiracy, disbarment, eleventh hour pardons, theft of the White House silver, etc. ad nauseum. Because Obama is a gentleman and a party loyalist, we've heard nothing of the sort. The ONLY reason this nomination has taken so long is that Hillary is throwing every nasty she can conjure up at Obama, while he remains as gentle as possible in return. If Obama fought under the same Republican rules as Hillary, she would have been humiliated toast by Super Tuesday.

    April 21, 2008 11:33 pm at 11:33 pm |
  18. Dee

    My suggestion- why does not she choose republican party in 2012..and run against Obama again???

    April 21, 2008 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |
  19. Key West Sun

    If Obama people didn't know that, then that shows how out of touch they are. Obama would not even be in the running in the general election. The young Obamaians need to study how this systems works in the fall election. McCain vs. Obama will be a landslide for McCain. Hillary should win in the fall if she can carry Ohio and Florida. Remember people popular vote counts for nothing in the fall, only electoral votes. Obamaians think that he should be the winner, they need to look at the states that Hillary won, and add the electoral vote up, also the states that Hillary has won are the larger states and have more super delegates that the smaller one. Spilt the super’s up like they should be and Hillary is the winner, cry foul Obamaians but he just hasn’t done enough to win. If Hillary wins in Pa. Obama needs to just quit and go home.

    April 21, 2008 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |
  20. billy boy

    But if we were going by GOP standards, she won't even be in the race.

    but I see your point bill. the problem is those are the rules so let's make sure you reform this with hillary the next time around because it's going to be mccain for the next 4 years.

    April 21, 2008 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |
  21. Fazio

    I used to have respect for Bill Clinton. Now, hearing him talk, he makes my stomach churn.

    This man will spin, twist, manipulate, and distort reality to serves his means.

    You're right, Mr. Clinton, if the DNC were operating by GOP rules, perhaps Hillary may have the nomination. But, and now here's the kick... the DNC is NOT operating by GOP rules – and so Hillary will have to work within the system that she agreed to at the onset of the primary race...

    Or would ya'll like to try to change the rules mid way, eh, Mr. Clinton?

    Stick to the issues, and stop your spin. The American people are getting repulsed by your actions, Bill.

    Or better yet, Hillary, stop your scorched-Earth campaign and bow out with dignity.

    Oh, that's right, you have no dignity...

    April 21, 2008 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm |
  22. commonsense

    Here it goes...what you are saying is if we were more like the GOP...okay stop there...do we really want to be like the GOP....and next so what you are saying is forget about what the people want...notice he did not mention the popular vote...lets let those that have run the country into the ground decide who should be president....I can not believe this statement even came out of his mouth....I am so sick of their whinning about everything....Please PA end the agony and put this women to bed....

    April 21, 2008 11:36 pm at 11:36 pm |
  23. Reggie Boykins

    Citizen Voter to Bill:

    Hillary would be winning if you all had not discounted so many of the earlier races; states SHE has said, "dont' matter."

    April 21, 2008 11:38 pm at 11:38 pm |
  24. Mike

    Will somebody make the Clintons go away? I'm so sick of them I could puke.

    April 21, 2008 11:38 pm at 11:38 pm |
  25. ito

    That's Bill's way of saying "we're outta here."

    If the GOP's way is better why did he become a president with a Democratic party's stlye?
    Now that it finally dawned on them that they can't win – no matter the Clintons loyalty factor, well, it's time to pack the bags and head home.

    Good thinking Bill. You already have the Oval Office on your resume. Your wife can say she has somebody who has the Oval Office on his resume. At least one in the family got it.

    Hit home.

    April 21, 2008 11:39 pm at 11:39 pm |
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