April 21st, 2008
01:21 PM ET
7 years ago

Clinton's primary campaign begins April in debt

Hillary Clinton began the month with $10 million in debt.
Hillary Clinton began the month with $10 million in debt.

(CNN) – Hillary Clinton began one of the most crucial stretches of her presidential campaign in debt, newly disclosed financial reports show.

According to campaign reports filed with the Federal Election Commission over the weekend, the New York senator began the month of April with close to $32 million cash-on hand. But only $9 million of that total are funds that are able to be spent in the primary races. The report also showed Clinton owes more than $10 million, meaning the Democratic presidential candidate was in the red even before she heavily stepped up television advertising in Pennsylvania.

"The numbers are what they are," Clinton adviser Howard Wolfson said on a conference call with reporters. "The money continues to come in strongly. We had a very good month last month of fundraising…we are continuing to have a good month this month."

We will of course be honoring the debt in the coming weeks and months," he also said.

The newly released reports offer the clearest picture to date of just how much of an advantage Barack Obama holds over Clinton heading into the final stretch of the prolonged Democratic race for the White House.

According to the reports, he began the month with over $42 million to spend during the presidential primaries and only carried around $650,000 in debt. Obama has $52 million cash on hand overall.

As has already been disclosed by both campaigns, Obama more than doubled what Clinton raised in the month of March: $41 million to her $20 million. The Illinois senator's stunning haul brings his presidential fundraising total to date to $235 million - $60 million more than what Clinton has raised in the same time period.

John McCain lagged both Democrats in March fundraising - pulling in $15 million in that time period. He began the month with $11.6 million cash-on-hand and, a debt of just over $700,000. He's raised a total of about $75 million.

The report also shows he gave back nearly $3 million from donors for his general election campaign. This move could indicate he is setting the stage to receive public financing for his campaign - an option that will infuse the Arizona senator with $84 million.

(12:45 p.m.: Updates with Wolfson comments)

soundoff (773 Responses)
  1. RB

    PA, do you really think the republicans won't use this against her in Nov? Is this the candidate we want to put forward with our economy in the dumps? She versus McCain on the economy equals a loss. If you can't manage a couple million dollars of debt, how on earth can you manage a couple trillion??? I guess we'll start spending the money of our great-great-great-great-great grand children with Hillary in the driver's seat. (GWB has already spent the money of our great-great-great grand kids.) OBTW, I wonder when's the last time HRC cooked and sat down to a "blue collar meal"?? She ain't one of us, folks! But, she will tell you what you want to hear to get our votes. Even her smile is fake....

    END IT PA!!! Vote Obama, please?

    April 21, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  2. Jamaal Kansas

    That is what the Clinton's get she should have paid off that debt with the millions that Bill raises from other countries like China and Columnia for speaking on there behalf

    April 21, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  3. Roger Burrows, Canada

    It's pretty sad that money can still buy a nomination even with the country deep in debt. It's time to return to the old days of town hall meetings and hustings where people could grill the candidates directly instead of having to listen to secondhand spin.

    April 21, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  4. FreshFlavor

    Please, please dont make this go on any longer PA. Hillary fought a good fight, but she will inevitably not take a seat as presidential candidate. It is important that we wrap this up to start focusing on obtaining the White House. Keeping HIllary in this race is only going to lead to more angst and slash/burn politics. You need to take a chance and BELIEVE IN CHANGE. America took a chance with the young charming Catholic JFK. Lets take a chance with the young charismatic Obama. He can lead this nation to the next stage in history. Restore this great nation to its rightful place in this world. This is campaign that Hillary can no longer hope to win. Lets end it now and focus on the big picture!

    Obama 08

    April 21, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  5. Sally

    HILLARY CAN BEAT MCCAIN. OBAMA CANNOT.

    PA FOR HILLARY!

    April 21, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  6. Lynn

    I'm going to donate again today (my 5th donation).

    CNN, please post this.

    April 21, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  7. AJ, IL

    The Hillary campaign has avoided telling the truth about campaign finances up until April 21st. There was already speculation and accusations about Hillary running low on liquidity and not paying small vendors.

    Now I understand why Elkton John did a concert fundraiser for Hillary! Hillary didn't want to have to lend her campaign any more of her own money to pay off debts (remember her and Bill earned over $100 million in 8 years), so she is running a campaign to get Hillary-supporters to pay off her debt prior to dropping out in May.

    Obama in 08!

    April 21, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  8. pablo rachi

    This clearly demonstrates two facts

    1) The campaign is having difficulty both raising and managing cash.

    2) The Clintons, flush with their White House induced $100MM wealth, have very likely loaned more money to the campaign in order to keep the lights on in PA.

    April 21, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  9. Andy

    I think this speaks strongly to the superdelegates and the 'down ballot' democrats who are seeking election in November. Barack Obama is just able to command a much greater fundraising potential than Hillary Clinton.

    With that fundraising power it gives the democrats a huge advantage over the republicans for the first time in a long time.

    April 21, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  10. bob

    guys come on now, our three choices are all horrible. seriously, out of 300 million people these are the only idiots we gan get? They will all screw everything up even worse...

    April 21, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  11. Johnny Boy

    This is what I see, Obama's is supported by the little people and it shows in his bottom line fiugre. The queen's money is from special intrest groups and they are stating to dry up. So the writing is on the wall PA, and I HOPE you do the right thing, and FINISH HER!!!!

    April 21, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  12. steveda - Poconos Pennsylvania

    WOW... with this kinda debt looming she will be ready on day one alright. Ready to let her hubby sell her presidency to the highest corporate bidders – even the overseas ones – to pay this off. If she isn't already in the hands of the lobbyists, she sure will be after this is done.

    Think about it America... she's gonna have to pay this off somehow, or rather WE will if she is elected!!!!

    April 21, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  13. Bertha-Houston, Texas

    Hillary, you can fool some of the people sometimes, but you can't fool the people all the time. The numbers don't lie. Your lack of managing your campaign funds speaks volume. Give it up, go enjoy the good life with your 100 millions.

    April 21, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  14. Ryan from New Mexico

    lol it just shows that Obama's money comes from big business, as he says it doesn't....oh wait i mean from their empolyees

    Obama you liar

    April 21, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  15. Peter

    This must be the work of a vast right wing conspiracy.

    April 21, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  16. Darryl

    Hey Fred,

    You must be part of the in-bred generation. I've donated to Barack, and it did not come from Orpha ( or are you TRYING to spell Oprah?)see what in-breeding does to you....

    April 21, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  17. Santiago

    So my question to the Hillary supporters, why don't you guys put your money where your mouth is? if you guys support Hillary so much, why haven't you guys been donating to her campaign? its obviously because you know that Obama will win this nomination and become the next president of the United States. And your donating to the Obama campaign, because at least he's not in debt. I rest my case

    Obama 08

    April 21, 2008 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  18. Erik B

    how can you run a country when you can't even run your own campaign? Mis-managing money/budget etc.

    April 21, 2008 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  19. Norra

    One more day and CLINTONS will be history!!! PA, if you want to make a history, support the next president of our country – Barack Obama!! Let's stop the HC's and our AGONY, please... It's all up to you now... Let's crash her and focus on McCain... Take your responsibilities there siriously, dear friends...

    Nora, NYC

    April 21, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  20. Tyler in Raleigh, NC

    She is ready to be President on "day one" but she STILL can not figure out how to be ready for a campaign.

    I thought Hillary was going to tell us all how to pay our insurance, save our homes and keep our jobs.... yet she can not pay her own bills.

    Maybe she was working on her budget and strategy at 11 PM when Bill says she is tired and mis-speaks. Maybe she shout set it aside, take a nap and get back to it at 3 AM when she is ready for that red phone on snipers in Bosnia or economic issues.

    April 21, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  21. Chuck

    Questions should be, "Where is all this money coming from that is in Obama's coffers?"

    Corporations? Lobbyist? Welfare Checks? Student loans?

    Think before you vote.

    April 21, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  22. For the love of this independent

    If the economy is your #1 issue then this is very important. At the debate when the issue was social security, Obama said he would consider raising the payroll tax. Hillary attacked him on this and said she would not consider this. Obama said he is a firm believer in pay as you go and layed out his plan for generating funds. Hillary was going to implement her plan and figure out a way to pay for it later with a commission.

    People manage in the same way regardless of size of the organization. Today the campaign tomorrow the nation. Obama $675000 in debt Hillary $10m.

    If you rule well in a few things... Think about it.

    April 21, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  23. typical white guy

    Obama butts... Hillary should LOSE BIG with all the supposed supporters and all the money he has. Idiots, her campaign is in debt because she has to stay competitive with Obama's advertising. DUH! Obama should WIN REAL BIG with all the money he has so I concede – he's going to win PA I guess.

    But, what if he doesn't? He should. If Hillary is as bad as you say, then he should win and she should lose. Let's bet – if Hillary loses she is out. If Obamas loses (should win REAL BIG though) then he's out. Hillary will have a much better chance to beat McCain than Obama. Hillary's supporters are more responsible and don't throw their every penny for a campaign.

    April 21, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  24. wel

    Just because she cannot run her campaign doesn't mean she cannot run the country. As president all she would need to do is raise taxes..and raise them..and raise them again.

    April 21, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  25. Jed in Texas

    Folks are tired of throwing money away for her.

    April 21, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
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