May 11th, 2008
02:05 PM ET
10 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. Nganenu

    What is Clinton but a Juda, a back staber. She thinks she can hurt de DP, she is lying to herself. Let her carry her torture stick to her golgother. Nobody will help her pay the debt, the money she used to slander the Nomminee

    May 11, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  2. Marc in DeKalb, IL

    Oh, and by the way (CNN and Wolfson) ... the SUPERDELEGATE count is now 275 (Obama) to 271 (Clinton) ...

    She doesn't even lead *THAT* anymore...

    So long!

    May 11, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  3. KLEM

    Here France, this fight between Obama and Clinton is not funny anymore. He or She?, He is in a good position to win; she will never give up. In my point of view those two fellows are not certainly gonna be friends after the democrat convention.

    Dream ticket? deal? I would give my right arm this ain't gonna happen!

    May 11, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  4. Seth Awram

    This is starting to get a bit ridiculous if you ask me. It seems that Senator Clinton just wants to rewrite the rule to benefit her. I find it odd that the number of delegates needed to secure the nomination is now 2,209 according to the Clinton campaign. What a Carl Rove, Republican effort to cheat the democratic process. Hillary you should be ashamed of yourself.

    May 11, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  5. Barb

    Obama still has too get past the Rev. Wright, I don't think it's over, and how can he say he wants american's too get past racism when he exposed his 2 young daughter's too the Rev. Wright. I think Obama separated himself from the Rev. because it could hurt his campaign, but I think he stil believes in the Rev. Wright.
    Obama's wife should is a poor excuse for a first lady, the first lady should be proud , not all snotty and thinking she is better than everyone.

    May 11, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  6. Raphael

    Senator Clinton has every right to continue although she has only harmed the Democratic Party. I personally think she is bitter, but don't quote me on it. By the way, I am not a sexist. If the roles were reversed, I would not vote for Obama if he had Clinton's platform. I don't vote according to gender or race.

    May 11, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  7. Elu

    I am from Calif, I am a registered Democrat and voted for Hillary, David Axelrod is now making me angry , I am going to turn Republican and come Nov I will vote for every Republican name I see in the ballot and vote McCain come GE!!!

    May 11, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  8. Richard

    Of course, Hillary is NOT looking for a DEAL; she is looking for a STEAL.

    May 11, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  9. Ken

    I believe that Hillary Clinton will be able to pull off and beat Obama for the "Nominee" and go on to beat McCain in November.

    Michelle thinks of herself as better than others. Also is not that "Proud" of America! Hillary is so much more of a "First Lady" than Michelle will ever be!

    May 11, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  10. Obama Richardson

    Is that a misprint or are they really as delusional as I've thought for some time? America, I hope you remember the Clinton's this time around. You seem to have forgotten about Bill and his escapades with women. Let's get smart about the corrupt couple.

    May 11, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  11. Deb

    Just read Bernstein's article about the possibility of HRC becoming the VP. Interesting that Michelle Obama would "vigorously oppose it".
    And here I thought you Obama supporters were sick of intrusive spouses in the White House.

    May 11, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  12. Jay, Georgia

    Yes, Hillary!
    Obama shoud stay with Rev. WRIGHT in their Church to enjoy anti american preaches!

    May 11, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  13. Mary Ann

    "playing it out as she sees fit??" Like she still has control over this race? Nice try.

    May 11, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  14. Michael

    What is she looking for? A CLUE!!

    May 11, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  15. Sheila WA

    An Obama / Clinton ticket would be disasterous. I think Obama would rather lose in Nov than have to accept her as his VP after all she has done to destroy him with her hard working white american comments and " I don't think he is a muslim ' and who can forget this one " Sen McCain is ready on day one, I'm ready on day one, and Sen Obama has a speech he gave in 2002 " She has lost the respect of a lot of Dem voters who supported her and Bill during his two terms in office. I wish they would just leave quietly while they still have some support so that Chelsea can possibly have a successful run in next 20 yrs.

    May 11, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  16. Kris

    We all know who the winner is. People have already said whom they want. Clintons came into the race as if nomination and presidency was their birth right. Who is Obama? He came from no where. He battled against the mighty Clintons, won across all sections of people....there is a movement now for change ... nice for the country....

    May 11, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  17. Ben

    Hillary is the clear choice for President of Denial.

    May 11, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  18. Yvonne

    Who cares why Hillary is staying in this race? it's over and even she knows it. And to all HRC supporters who claim you will leave the party if Obama's the nominee, what are you waiting for? HE IS THE NOMINEE SO SCRAM!!

    Obama won fair and square buit go ahead–Vote for McCain and sleep well when 2000 more Americans die in Iraq over the next four years and Roe v. Wade is overturned and we don't get healthcare and he refuses to sign the GI bill. You'll have to live with yourself like all of those 2000 Nader voters who wept when they saw what Bush did to this country.

    Do it. I dare you you spoiled, whiny self-deluded brats!

    May 11, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  19. Perry, NC

    If she can't hire people capable of managing her campaign finances, I can only imagine the idiots she'd back to "fix" the economy. Howard Wolfson is delusional. The only way Clinton could win is if she stole the election. FL and MI knew the repercussions for holding an early primary; still they decided to break party rules. If you can't play by the rules, you don't deserve to play at all. Clinton, drop out already. It's time to unite the party.

    May 11, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  20. Emma

    I don't think Hillary would accept the Vice Presidential ticket if it were offered, at least I hope she wouldn't.I hope she will run on an Independent ticket , if she doesn't , as bad as I hate to I will have to vote Republican.

    May 11, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  21. freddy

    How on earth would people see Hillary seeking a tag ticket for this election after doing so much damage to the Obama's campaigns.Does she actually tryin to play on American's intelligent? I just want this to be an end to the Clinton's era.Enough is enough!!

    May 11, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  22. Ken

    Hello Hilliary,

    Sounds to me like you';ve decided to simply play it out to the end. No problem there, voters should have a say, and its the least you can do for the way Americans have been screwed over by you and Billy, however when you can no longer get the financial support of your supposed supporters you only have your die hard supported who are not going to be on the inside in a new Democratic Organziaiton. I dont blame them for fighting with you so they can play a future role in Washington. Sadly it is you who have funded $11million of the $20 million you now owe, so you are not appealing to your base any longer and they know your not going to win. You can only win with a miracle......however I will not send a prayer your way. If you can't run a campaign and balance your books without a capital injection I wouldn't trust you at the helm. Senator Obama has demonstrated his leadership skills, despite your retoric that he doesn't ahve nay expereince. Well the facts speak for themselves. He's winning and you are of luck in the years ahead....
    Obama '08

    May 11, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  23. Mali from Drexel Hill

    Hillary can be in denial about her losing the race and she may have to be committed to a white room for being insane. She is destoying her own legacy which shall be remembered as the woman who didn't know when to stop fighting a loss cause. She needs to recognize that the fight now is with John McCain and not with Barack Obama. The Democratic Party needs to unite and win back the White House. What she thinks at this point doesn't matter; she had ample opportunity to win the nominee and the voters have made their selection. See ya Billary, go call your momma.

    May 11, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  24. Jane

    Obama should not consider Hillary for VP. Her negative stance will disrupt his message and she will try to pull him down to her Rovian style. I am grateful Sen.Ted Kennedy spoke out.
    No to the NIGHTMARE ticket....go Obama

    May 11, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  25. len

    It is good to hear that no money from the Obama campaign funds is likely to be used in helping Clinton erase her debts. As a campaign donor I wouldn't want a single cent to be used towards reinforcing her perseverative, obsessive behavior.

    May 11, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
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