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. SH

    There are lots of other VP candidates that could help Obama capture the hillbillary vote.

    May 11, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  2. Spartacus Levi

    Very fair from Axelrod's side.

    May 11, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  3. Jazmyn From CA To AZ

    To All Hillary Supporters: Clinton has no experience. If any one in this room can name one positive thing Hilary has Finished!!!!! The people of her district in New York pay some of the highest taxes in the country, and taxes have nothing but gone up in upstate NY..These are blue collar workers..These taxes were raised during her term as NY senator...


    Obama 08....SAY NO to the same Old Politics...i

    May 11, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  4. Maya

    Obama is looking for someone to train him to be president since he doesn't have the experience .

    Sorry, Hillary is not going to do it , like he did in the debates, he will take the credits for it anyway.

    Don't be so confident, McCain is going to win.

    May 11, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  5. ranakarimi

    in behalf of millions of hard working american women i just like to say if Hillary is not on the ticket then we will hand the presidency to republican

    May 11, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  6. Bill

    Cnn, isn't the fact that Clinton is not doing this a "non news" story? What are you trying to accomplish? What's your agenda on this one?

    May 11, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  7. you lose

    To those many Obama supporters who continually blog:

    "I cannot find one reason why a Democrat would not vote for Obama other than racism "

    Statements like the above (from an Obama supporter) are incredible in their arrogance, naivete, and stupidity. As a lifelong democrat I have always voted Democratic until this year.

    I have to tell you that while I find some of what Obama says inspiring, I DO have many reasons- all policy, character, issue based and none due to racism – that WILL keep me from voting for Obama. ( by the way I am in an inter racial marriage with inter racial children)

    An issue that has become more and more obvious to me (and others) is the incredible filthy, vulgar, hateful arrogance of Obama supporters.
    This reflects poorly on any candidate you purport to support.

    Despite the ALL American Idol image embraced by a biased media, Obama IS NOT a savior, nor omnipotent, nor infallible. He's just a pandering, hypocritical, lying candidate.

    I think many of you Democrats have bottled up your angst for so long that you're allowing it to whip you into a dangerous cult-like frenzy.

    Know this: The world is complicated, and your simplistic views of how things will change are most likely NOT going to happen. It's NOT because those who disagree with you are evil nor are Americans the anti-christ.

    It's because the world is complicated and the U.S. is filled with people that think only of themselves (liberals are much more this way than conservatives, by the way).

    Get over yourselves, and realize that pretty much everybody is as smart as you…maybe more so

    May 11, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  8. Sammy

    There are only a couple weeks to go and it would be silly to make 'overtures' about any kind of VP deal... by either candidate. Maybe mid-June depending on how the various votes line up.

    Also, a dream ticket is a good idea on the surface. But if for sake of argument Hillary wanted the VP spot, would she demand the influence of an Al Gore or a Dick Chenney? I dont think she would be happy unless her influence was second only to the president... like Dick.

    Although many think Dick is first pulling the strings and George is second 😉

    May 11, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  9. andrew

    Why should she do that? She still has the lead in superdelegate. After Tuesday that lead will even big BIGGER! SORRY OBO FANS! I'm sure cnn will not post this ,you know it's TRUE!

    May 11, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  10. William

    How Obama wins older white voters.

    In Mr. Obama’s campaign he often touts his upbringing in a poor, single parent household. Yet even with these drawbacks he was able to get an education and make his mother and grandparents proud. This is the real American dream. Most folks know that if they come from a rough start it will be hard for them too. However, in America their kids may have it better off than they did. The argument to older white voters should be that he may seem “elite”, but isn’t that what they want for their kids? Don’t they want their kids to go to a good college and have the ability to plot their own course in their life? Don’t they want their kids to do well in their life and help others? His argument for change is really an argument to make things better for America’s kids. Clean up politics, so our kids can have an honest government. Manage our debt and social security, so our kids can have the economic power to fix the problems of their generation, while not worrying about their retirement security. Rebuild our reputation within the world as a leader of peace and prosperity for everyone so our kids can have a safer world to grow up in.
    I often watch Barack speak and think about how proud his family must be for him. Essentially, he could have been my kid. If my kid ran for president, I would want him to hold himself in the same high regard and not stoop to the easy trappings of politics. When I vote for Obama, I’m saying,” Yes, that is what I want my politician to say, and that’s how I want him to say it.”

    May 11, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  11. lost my vote

    You lost my vote a long time ago

    Should have played fair.

    Should not have mocked and jeered and ridiculed your opponent.

    Should not have played the race card.

    Should have dumped all the hateful, nasty vulgar blogger you hired to contaminate these posts.

    May 11, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  12. Cannon

    The race isn't over and neither of them should be looking at potential anythings. Although, as a Clinton supporter, I have to hand it to Obama that he has been fairly gracious when it come to the media's persistence in questioning whether or not he will pick her as his vice. Both of them need to focus on the primaries ahead. They shouldn't stop campaigning just because the media has declared a winner in this election. I'm sick of their interference and how there are no real journalists out there anymore. Just people that we hand a mic or give a spot in a paper and allow them to babble their opinions as fact. Let the race run its course. Don't pick my candidate for me. I'm voting on Tuesday in WV and am quite upset over the fact that the media and many Obama supporters have said that WV doesn't really matter. Every vote matters. We're in the land of opportunity. Allow me to have mine.

    May 11, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  13. nobama

    I'm a Democrat but frustrated.The democratic party will loose this election to themselves. This all because the best candidates to win this elestion were out of the game. If jusl Al gore were running obama would not be forcing the democrat party to risk the election. The real situation is Obama is not electable. Hillary still has some problems runningto but she looks with more chance then Obama.
    Sorry by my little mi english.
    That's it

    Mccain' 08
    Clinton' 12

    May 11, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  14. Venus

    It hope this is true Obama!

    Don't give Hillary NOTHING but ---- see ya!

    I just love this! Obama is going to be our next president!

    May 11, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  15. Dawit

    I promised myself that: if Obama pays her or help her low-road campaign in any form, I will NEVER contribute a penny to Obama’s campaign again.

    I am relieved that my contribution to the Obama campaign is not going to pocket of Mark Penn and pay the nasty advertisements against our movement and hope.

    Barack Obama, 08/12

    May 11, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  16. junie, ca

    The DMC should pull the plug on Clinton....this is ridiculous.

    May 11, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  17. Hill Will

    Hill will survive.

    Many voters who recognize a true leader, have not been deterred by all the nastiness and hatred and have not been swayed by the Hillary bashing.

    We will write her in in Nov.

    May 11, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  18. Ilene MI

    I hope that a joint ticket doesn't happen. Hillary are her evil and lying ways will bring him down. I hope he picks Richardson. He can win without Hillary on the ticket and will win without her lying on his honest ticket. We want Obama and we want honest. She is the only one saying he can't win the white vote and CNN is giving her all the press time she wants. For the life of me I can't believe even one person voted for her, but then again she said yesterday that the UN-EDUCATED vote for her. WoW!! And they are so stupid they still support her. She insulted her people and they still want her. That is pretty stupid

    May 11, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  19. Dems2008

    That's all fine with me. Wolfson's game plan is hopeful at best.

    May 11, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  20. Beckie Sue in West Virginia

    You know, it's like the saying goes...

    OBAMA '08 & '12

    May 11, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  21. Susan in Kona Hawaii

    Game over Hillary. The fat lady is singing all the way to the Super Delegates. 11 Million of her own money couldn't win/steal it for the Clintons.
    She needs to back out gravefully and stop trying to damage Barak Obama. The public has spoken. The States won, the delegates won, the super delegates won, the popular vote won. and NOT ONE OF THESE COUNTS was in the Clinton's favor. What is she thinking?
    Michigan and Florida will need to follow the rules just like all of the other States. Michigan didn't even have Barak Obama's name of the Ballot. Florida screws up almost every election we have.
    Hillary Get out now!!! Enough already.

    May 11, 2008 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  22. Trina

    Since people are so sure that Obama is going to be the Dems choice... Why not make it still a three horse race? Its obvious the country is still divided, I'm not talking about the superdelegates as its clear to me with the exclusion of Michigan and Florida votors that the supdels are going to be swayed over by peer pressure to support someone who in my honest opinion is not ready for the White House.

    My gut was right about Bush when he took office for the first term and it has yet to tell me I'm wrong. I just can't trust a man who can not show me credentials worthy of being a president other than the eloquent way he speaks......That I'll give him..but where is the rest of if?
    A lawyer from Chicago becoming a Senator first time out and now thinks the next step should be President....I have to agree with Mitt Romney...Cutting your teeth in the Oval Office is not acceptable to me.

    So with that said...Hillary, go independant..your supporters will still vote for you…..

    May 11, 2008 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  23. jed

    I deeply hope that Hillary does not end up on the Obama ticket. She is radioactive and really belongs in the Republican Party. Her bigotry and sense of entitlement are not consistent with the values of the Democratic Party.

    May 11, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  24. too late to kiss and make up

    Hillary has the best platform- we can't risk losing the best candidate.

    We need to make it happen for our own future.

    Obama can't unify the people- heck he is the one that split and divided a once solidly unified party.

    McCain is just not as good as Hill, either.

    So Hill it is- for America's sake- just write her in.

    May 11, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  25. carolinas

    Good...obama shouldn't take her as Vice president or payoff her falsely stated so-called is a lie about loan to her campaign. Totally, Hillary is not trustworthy and very manipulative. So, obama should be very careful until he is nominated...God bless you OBAMA.
    OBAMA 2008...!!!

    May 11, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
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