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. Motov8n

    Correction--– We are NOT in the loan Business!!!!!!!!!

    May 11, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  2. mary

    AS Obama has people who are voting for him,this people do not vote for Clinton,the same thing applies to Clinton.This is the same party for goodness sake.Clinton husband performed well and the so called white collar working people enjoyed him,they wknow Clinton name but do not know Obama name,when Obama become president,there is no daubt he will be the best president this country will ever had and then they will start to praise him.The youths,independents and desatisfied republicans voting for Obama are the general election decider.No worker will like to vote for bad economy,no job,no gas and so on any longer.

    May 11, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  3. Chuck

    I'm an African American Democrat and I was a Clinton fan for the longest time since Bill was in office.In the beginning of this race,I was thinking about going for Clinton simply because of the name alone.And then I decided to give Barack a chance and boy was I inspired and moved by what he had to say.Since then,I've been keeping track of his progress and finally voted for him in the Oregon primaries.This brotha here will unite the party and unite us as Americans in a way that even Hilary,with her experience,won't be able to.To all the Hillary supporters,if you were TRUE Democrats,you would vote for Obama even when Hillary isn't the official nominee.The whole point of this race is to get MC CAIN/BUSH away from the Oval Office,not a fellow Democrat.Everybody knows that Mr McCain is a virtual clone of Bush and yet out of spite towards Barack you're going to vote for him??Are you serious??? We should ALL set aside our personal feelings and bitterness towards each other and vote for Barack,plain and simple.Hillary wants to bow out on her own terms and there's absolutely noting wrong with that,as a matter of fact,I admire her even more for that.But let's face it people,the race for the Democratic nominee is over and we should ALL unite as Democrats and most of all Americans.

    May 11, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  4. Insight

    Clinton's campaign knows well that it is still possible for her to win the nomination. Here are the facts. Fact # 1: The rule of the game is that the candidate who has the greater of the total pledged plus super delegates (not just pledged delegates) wins the nomination. Fact # 2: As of today (05/11/08), the number of uncommitted super delegates is still greater than the number of total delegates by which Obama leads Clinton, so that if, after the last primary is held in June, most of the uncommitted delegates were to commit to Clinton, she would overtake Obama in the total delegate count. Also, even those super delegates who committed to either candidate can change their minds and support the other. Fact # 3: The responsibility of the super delegates is not only to the electorate but also to the Democratic Party. If it is perceived by enough super delegates that nominating Obama would significantly jeopardize a Democratic win in the general election, it would be their responsibility to the party to back Clinton, even if Obama maintained his slight lead in the popular vote. I believe that, indeed, an Obama nomination would seriously jeopardize a Democratic win in the general election. Why? Sadly, my opinion is, upon conversations with many Clinton supporters and would-be Republican defectors to the Democratic side, that Obama will not get their support in the general election due to his race. The "sore loser" explanation for the recent poll of Clinton supporters (about 45% of them) who say that they will either vote for McCain or not vote at all, where the Democratic party expects that these supporters will "just get over it" by the time of the general election, does not apply with regard to a good portion of that 45% of Clinton voters. Racial prejudice is deep seated, and this segment of voters will not "get over" that! Unless Clinton does very well in the remaining primaries and, especially, catches up in the popular vote (Florida and Michigan must be counted for the sake of the electorate, not the candidates) where such might persuade enough super delegates to give her their support, Obama will win the nomination and McCain will be our next president. Obama will have won the battle but will have lost the war.

    May 11, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  5. Solomon, Indiana

    I think senator Clinton is the winner in this primary election but should realize that without black votes she can not win in the general. Also note that senator Obama can not win the primary election without the white vote! So be careful of divisive campain.

    May 11, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  6. Mia and Mike

    Hey CNN, the "Political Ticker" heading link is missing at the top. It's been so for a couple of days. It took some work to find out where you guys were on your website. Just a heads up...

    May 11, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  7. simeon martin

    it's my view that hillary clinton has reached a brick wall, and instead of backing off , she is so full of obsession mixed with disillusion she has prefererd to kill herself. The race to the white house for her is over a long time ago. She was too stupid not to compete with obama in many of those small states where she could have picked up some of those delegates that she so badly in need of now. She is depending on the florida and michigan delegates to be seated, but would be a dishonest thing to do. All three of them obamo clinton and edwards, were told by the dnc long before theose polls that they ere not going to get those delegates. Thet all knew the reason why, and they did not questioned it. Clinton is not entiled to the delegates more than obama or edwards. Therefore i would suggest to the dnc, if ever at all they are going to award the delegates they should award them equally to all three of them.Edwards was still in the race when those polls were cast, therefore he is entiled to his portion. Let him now decide who he wants to give them to. Clinton cannot allowed to dictate to the dnc what they must do from what they must not do. SHE NEED TO FOLLOW AND STICK BY THE RULES OF THE DNC.The white was not promise to her, therefore if the people of america decided to let an african american be president in this time of our century all she has to do is to accept graciously and give her full support to obama and move on.

    May 11, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  8. Simon

    Let us see what will happen in this Nov between Sen. Obama and Sen. McCain. The winner is McCain...

    May 11, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |

    Well now at this point after a long bitter fight by the Clintons the time has come for them to end this hopefully on a good note, however I still have little to no trust that this will be the case. I think they will always be lurking in the background for any chance to discredit Obama, dispite what their supporters think the Clintons are known to be vanditive already there is word that some surprise is coming in Oct, but what I would like to ask is this, if it is coming from the Republicans HOW is it that the Clintons are so aware of it if they are not somehow in the mix of it??

    And as far as Obama paying her debts it would almost be worth it just to get rid of her, but even that won't work. she will not be going away, bet ya that, so Obama might as well keep his money and use it for the General to help combat the Republicans and the Clintons, he's gonna need it. These people are horrible!!!

    As far as this surprise goes they can keep whatever info they have because one thing I'm sure of is it can't be any worst than the things they have been guilty of. That is one of the main reasons they are about to be shut down people are sick and tired of the nasty campaigning, she just could not reason that out, but she and the Republicans need to understand this. They are all hoping to destroy Obama's politicial future some kind of way when they themselves should be in prison for the mafia type of crimes they have committed and it is no way in hell that I will cast a vote for anyone that operates like this. So the republicans need to be warned people are not wanting this snicky, dirty campaigning. We will end up with Nader if they destroy Obama!!

    May 11, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  10. Kevin in DC

    Who cares if Michelle wants anything to do with Clinton or not?

    The most important thing is THE PEOPLE want nothing more to do with Clinton. Someone needs to help her pack her bags, because she probably hasn't packed her own in decades.

    May 11, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  11. Dave, CA

    It'd over Hillary. Obama 2008. Either way, Happy Mother's Day!

    May 11, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  12. Dangelo

    She wants all to have free health care but it seems as if she has a gambling problem and its as if she is living in a bubble...the outside is saying go go go

    Obamamania 08

    May 11, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  13. A one-time Clinton Supporter

    Wow ""We think Senator Clinton is going to be the nominee," enough said

    May 11, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  14. Philly H

    Senator Clinton may have the right to continue on and make her case to the super delegates, but if the super delegates were to hand her the nomination- that would undoubtedly alienate the majority of democrats. At this point, I feel Senator Clinton is hurting the party to such a degree that she has revealed her selfish character and effectively destroyed any prospect to run for the presidency in the future. As someone who initially intended to vote for Ms. Clinton, the democratic race was a true eye-opener, and I'm thankful that I learned that she was such an extreme opportunist now rather than later.

    If nothing else, maybe she'll try a somewhat graceful exit to salvage something of her reputation.

    May 11, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  15. Wayne-Fort worth Texas

    Tony, Miami said it best!! Lets get real..

    May 11, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |

    The DNC will realize that Obama may be the golden child, but now is not his time.

    May 11, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  17. Louis

    This is the reason a lot of us believe the the Clinton's think that only must be the ones at the white house come January '09. They never thought they would lose this election. That's why they cannot bring themselves to bowing out honourably.

    They are hoping against hope. Let them give all their money to the campaign, I just hope they remember the word ' bankruptcy '. Get real Clintons and stop deceiving yourselves, your time is up!

    May 11, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  18. Nick

    "Senator Clinton's track record, winning the big states — ... Michigan and Florida"

    Yes, Senator Clinton does very well in states where Obama doesn't run.

    May 11, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  19. Ben

    Gameover for HRC's so called advicers!!

    May 11, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  20. gerald strother

    Clinton camp has a total of about $20 million in debt , AGAIN THEY CANNOT DO MATH

    May 11, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  21. Ralph

    Why would Hillary want the MORON be her VP? She will already have her hands full, without having to do the VP"s job.She will need some one that has intelligence, so that in itself disqualifys the idiot.

    May 11, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  22. Jane, NC

    If Sen. Clinton negotiates, I imagine it would be for her health care plan, which is so superior to the one he's offered. I can't imagine she'd have any interest in being his running mate given the fact that she was so far ahead in the polls early on until the obama-biased media, with the help of the DNC, decided to hand him the nomination. He certainly doesn't deserve to have her as a running mate, any more than he deserves - or is ready - to be President of the United States.

    May 11, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  23. adam Elm

    That lady has to be thrown out from the Forum ASAP. She is a hated full of negative image, even her face when she loughs does not look good very smirk and pretensious face. People can read from truthful person not like Clinton with covered and suttle looking. I hope her image on TV will be soon no more appears. Thanks for God. Save USA!!!

    May 11, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  24. Michigan Born & Educated

    I just hope all the votes are going to be counted accurately.

    May 11, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  25. where the beef?

    If Obama is the nominee HIllary knows that he will lose. Why would she want to be part worst campaign in history!!!

    May 11, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19