May 11th, 2008
02:05 PM ET
6 years ago

Obama camp: Clinton not looking for a deal

Barack Obama’s campaign denied the suggestion that Hillary Clinton is looking for a deal.
Barack Obama’s campaign denied the suggestion that Hillary Clinton is looking for a deal.

(CNN) – Sen. Barack Obama's presidential campaign rejected suggestions Sunday that Sen. Hillary Clinton is staying in the race in hopes of brokering some kind of agreement with the likely nominee.

"I don't believe that Senator Clinton is looking for a deal," Obama's chief campaign strategist David Axelrod told "Fox News Sunday," when asked about suggestions she may want the Obama campaign's help retiring her campaign debt.

"I don't think that's what this is about," he said.

Axelrod said he believes Clinton "will have the capacity to retire her debt."

He also denied rumors that the Clinton camp may be in some kind of discussions with the Obama camp to make her his running mate. "There's been no discussion about vice presidential nominees and this whole scenario," said Axelrod.

Clinton's top strategist Howard Wolfson told the same program, "We think Senator Clinton is going to be the nominee," and that he has "seen no evidence of her interest" in the number two slot.

"This isn't about debt retirement or about the veep," he said.

"This is about winning campaigns in key upcoming states, making the case to superdelegates that based on Senator Clinton's track record, winning the big states - Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan and Florida - running ahead of John McCain now nationally in polls and in those key states, that we would be the best nominee."

Both Democratic campaigns cite different polls to show the candidates' potential nationwide standing against Sen. McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee.

Wolfson added that if voters in West Virginia "want to end this on Tuesday, they're perfectly capable of it." Both campaigns expect Clinton to win in the state, and polls show her ahead by a wide margin.

But mathematically, Clinton's chances of collecting enough delegates to clinch the nomination have shrunk to the point that many consider her presidential aspirations for 2008 virtually over.

Wolfson said the Clinton camp has a total of about $20 million in debt.

Both campaigns have broken fundraising records. But Obama has outpaced Clinton since January, outspending her in advertising by a wide margin in many states. The Clinton camp has large sums of money in donations usable only for a general election, if she were to make it that far.

Axelrod said Clinton has "competed hard" and is "playing it out as she sees fit. I don't think she's waiting for a cue or a signal from us or an offer of financial assistance. And I think that would demean her to suggest otherwise."

He added, "I don't think even under any scenario... that we were going to transfer money from the Obama campaign to the Clinton campaign. We obviously need the resources we have. We have a great task ahead of us." He said he believes "there was a misunderstanding out there about that."

Axelrod also denied reports that Obama's wife Michelle wants nothing to do with the Clintons, presenting a potential obstacle to what some have called a "dream ticket."

"That's false," he said, emphasizing that there have not been "any overtures" about a possible Clinton-Obama ticket.

Wolfson and Axelrod appeared separately on "Fox News Sunday," avoiding the head-to-head matchups they have often engaged in previously. They also limited attacks on each other to a minimum, in a noticeable change from the back-and-forth throughout much of the campaign season.

soundoff (460 Responses)
  1. bigben

    Ok people goto Obama's web page and go to Hillary Clinton's web page. People on Hillary web page are nice and really no bad mouthing of BO.
    Now go to Obamas , people there are nasty and the things said about Hillary was just plain mean. I have seen like the Philly that got put to sleep , them saying the same should be done to Hillary.
    I will not join with them . They are full of to much hate.

    May 11, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  2. kari

    Good on the Obama campaign. Paying off a formal rivals debt is tantamount to bribery, especially when the majority of the funding for the winner´s campaign comes from individual donations. Obama should not stoop to the level of McCain paying off Giuliani´s debt. That´s for the morally bankrupt Repugnicans to do.

    Democrat ´08!

    May 11, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  3. Michael

    GOOD.

    Obama doesn't need her and America will be better off without her.

    Obama 2008

    May 11, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  4. John Smith

    I am so pleased that some are calling for Hillary to run as an Independent candidate. This will be the BEST for the democrats. Given the history of the Clintons, it would be great for them to stay as far away from the democratic ticket as possible. Why?

    1. The Republicans are hungry to lay gloves on Hillary; they want their revenge.

    2. No 'fair-minded" American would want an "impeached family" to return to the White House. This is particularly the case in that the impeachment involved lying and sexual scandals!! So, let Hillary run as an Independent; she could also go back to being a Republican. This is not about women; it about the history of the Clintons, they destroy just about anything they touch!

    May 11, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  5. bernardo

    I wouldn't let her to take my trash outside, she is a cancer cell and a snake that can cause major damage to Obama and cause him a second term in the white house

    May 11, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  6. angel

    if obama have clinton as a vp then the message of his campaign is nulll its about change not same old politics. she already made it clear on wed what she about. and obama just need to just focus on mccain and hopefully everybody will get a democract in the house.

    how many times i have to post to get something said on cnn?

    May 11, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  7. George

    Hillary is in a solution business. she has the soulution to campaign debt. dont worry guys. She is in the race because she wants to raise some money but it is too late for her. she 's got lots of money but she wants to save that and raise money to clear debt.

    May 11, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  8. angel

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    if obama have clinton as a vp then the message of his campaign is nulll its about change not same old politics. she already made it clear on wed what she about. and obama just need to just focus on mccain and hopefully everybody will get a democract in the house.

    how many times i have to post to get something said on cnn?

    May 11, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  9. andrea

    HILLARY HILLARY HILLARY!!!!!!!!!

    May 11, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  10. Independent

    Hillary doesn't get that the day of the "back room" days of politics is past. People want honesty, which is something that she is not capable of being. As a woman, I have never been so dissapointed in this womans denigrating the process. No back rrom deals, no VP slot – just go back to the Senate.

    May 11, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  11. Independent99999

    How can this woman be campaigning on Mother's Day when it is time to DROP OFF!.

    Why is she so power HUNGRY. She is campaigning as if she wants to sell the US to somebody!

    May be she wants a WHITE HOUSE Wedding for Chelsea? Can that be arranged when Obama occupies the WHITE HOUSE?

    May 11, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  12. FrankSmith

    I am so pleased that some are calling for Hillary to run as an Independent candidate. This will be the BEST for the democrats. Given the history of the Clintons, it would be great for them to stay as far away from the democratic ticket as possible. Why?

    1. The Republicans are hungry to lay gloves on Hillary; they want their revenge.

    2. No 'fair-minded" American would want an "impeached family" to return to the White House. This is particularly the case in that the impeachment involved lying and sexual scandals!! So, let Hillary run as an Independent; she could also go back to being a Republican. This is not about women; it is about the history of the Clintons, they destroy just about anything they touch!

    May 11, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  13. atlantavoter

    Thankfully, this will all be over very soon, Barack will be the nominee, Hillary will owe her campaign (and, I'm sure, others who cannot afford to have her owing them money), things will be as they should be...Bye-Bye Hillary, you are NOT going to be the nominee, hahahahaha......adios

    May 11, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  14. Sharon - NC

    I certainly hope there wil be no Obama-Clinton ticket! If we are to get away from politics as usual and the old guard, and enter a new day, a new way of thinking, have hope for and progress toward the future, hopefully, Obama will choose either Bill Richardson or John Edwards. We've had enough of the Clintons in any way, shape or form.

    May 11, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  15. s.positive

    Why is everyone surprised. HRC was in it for herself, not the so called blue collar workers and the feminist who are so deluded to believe she is in it for them...THIS IS WHY SHE IS NOT WINNING AND CANNOT WIN. PREIOD.

    May 11, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  16. Jazmyn From CA To AZ

    To All Hillary Supporters: This woman,and her staff cannot mange 200 million dollars. Do you seriously trust Clinton to manage a TRILLION dollar debt???

    May 11, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  17. walter

    At this point everyone should just take what Senator Clinton does at face value and let her finish her campaign in the manner she sees fit. She has, I think, earned that courtesy.

    May 11, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  18. Ed, Santa Fe, NM

    GO AWAY, HILLARY.... NO VP FOR HILLARY.... ANYONE BUT HILLARY!

    WE WANT CHANGE!!!!

    NO MORE CLINTONS; NO MORE BUSHES

    May 11, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  19. HAWK,TEXAS

    By him being on fox news ought to tell the voters about what obama is about. i don't trust any democrat that has ties to fox,

    May 11, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  20. Keith

    I agree. Hillary wants Total Power, not the VP. Her devious plan is to trash Obama. Help McBush win. And then run again in 2012.

    May 11, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  21. John Smith

    I repeat, please read-
    I like those who are pushing Hillary to run as an Independent candidate:

    If Hillary, with all the large democratic base, Clinton name etc.. cannot
    –raise enough money to run the current campaign
    –maintain the large superdelegate number that she started out with
    –even win most of the "minority" votes
    –keep her campaign leaders together,
    –win over this "unknown" junior senatro– Obama, then let her run as an Independent candidate.

    I wait for the Republicans to lay hands on Hillary; they are quite ready for her. She needs to be away from the democratic party by the time Republicans get to Hillary. The Clintons destroy just about anything that they touch. Good luck Hillary, run as an Independent candidate!!!

    May 11, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  22. Jan from Boca Raton Fl

    Hillary dosen't need anyone to pay her debts nor would she ask or
    accept from the Obama people. She is too proud.

    And why would she want to be the VP, to someone that is beneath
    her.

    Hillary Clinton is not the type of person to take a hand out from
    anyone, or take a back seat. If she does not get the nomination
    she will walk out with dignaty and her hed held high. If Obama dosen't
    get the nomination he will go out whining like a baby.

    Hillary if your not the nominee, we will all write your name on the
    ticket.

    May 11, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  23. Franky

    Clinton will be fine, who cares.............

    May 11, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  24. tupac

    I think Clinton will go on campaigning for the presidential nomination all the way into the spring of next year. Cannot read the writing on the wall, but then what is surprising about this!!1

    May 11, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  25. Lorenzo

    I am glad that like asking George Bush to correct his speeches and
    stop making mistakes, it not going to happen.

    May 11, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
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