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. Alex in TX

    With all due respect to Hillary, "you got to know when to fold em."

    If she is staying in thinking that she still will be the nominee, then she is delusional. If she is staying in so that she can get exposure and run as an indepedant, then she is handing the Republicans the white house in November. Either way, this lady has lost her sense of purpose which is not a trait we need in a President. Put the country above self and step aside to let the healing begin.

    May 11, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  2. Sarah

    Dream on. She will not be nominee, thank God. Obama 08'

    May 11, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  3. Doug, WV


    OBAMA 08

    May 11, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  4. Independent

    I might consider voting for Obama...but if a Clinton is anywhere near
    I'll go with McCain. How could Obama talk "change" and then take on
    one of the filthiest pieces of old politics style gharbage there is? Hillary is an old has been with baggage that stretches from New York
    to California to Arkansas. Besides, if Obama selected her he would need a lot more secret service protection to keep him safe from her
    and Bill!!!!!!

    May 11, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  5. Loletha

    hard-working Americans, white Americans, is weakening again." What happened to playing nice?

    NO NO NO NO NO NO. After all the rheotic from her campaign and to hear Hillary say only WHITE PEOPLE are hard working. African Americans supported HILLARY AND BILL THROUGHOUT BILL'S deception, then to turn on ALL THE HARD WORKING AMERICANS HURTS AND I FIND IT TO BE VERY OFFENSIVE. WHY HILLARY????????????????????????????????????????????

    May 11, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  6. Tanya Kujath

    Clinton supporter who will vote for Obama if he is the nominee. I happen to think that a shared ticket will help us get a Democrat in the white house, however I'm a true Democrat all the way. I do not understand how any other Democrat could vote for McCain and more failed Bush policy. DEMOCRATS UNITE FOR OUR COUNTRY!!!!!!!!

    May 11, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  7. Hillary

    We will figure out a way to donate to Hillary and pay off those debts. Money is not the reason presidents should be presidents.

    We need public financing.

    Looks like Obama wants to buy the presidency.

    May 11, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  8. Adil Atiser

    Looking at the issue from Europe, I think Obama (who will win) shall ask Clinton to go on the ticket. A female vise President option will attract even some traditionally rep. woman, besides, americans accepting obama with clinton is more likely than with any other candidate. (race is still an issue in states)

    That will allow them both to bring about the change (which is just blabla if you ask me) they have been talking about.

    Those who are not from US wants a better stronger US with people who can see more than oil when they look at the rest of the world. Bush was the worst president of US ever...

    May 11, 2008 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  9. never

    I hope that Clinton never has to feel indebted to the great Obama.

    Steer clear of his offers if they involve money.

    Dirty dirty money.

    Don't taint your campaign with the stench of Obama now.

    May 11, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  10. Bob from Pensylvannia


    Is Hillary Clinton not tailor-made to win this nomination at least by SUPER TUESDAY?

    I HAVE A QUESTION FOR HER. If she can't answer this question satisfactorily, then she is not ready to be president and therefore should immediately drop out of this Primary.

    Why is you, Hillary Clinton, having been anointed and tailor-maid by the virtue of your position in the DEM PARTY to capture this Nomination almost unopposed, suddenly found yourself reeling from the possibility of a brutal defeat that has the potential of agonizingly bringing to an end your political career?

    Last time I checked, I haven't received an answer yet.

    May 11, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  11. KATHY

    I agree.... Clinton will be the democratic nominee. After the remaing
    primaries it shoud become obvious to the superdelgates that she is in a strong position to beat McCain in Nov. She has the experience, especially in international affairs ( McCains strong suit), and experience in fixing this troubled economy. With al die respect, Obama, while a good cadidate, simple does not have enough experience to beat the republicans in a general election. Yes, he does bring alot of excitement and new interests to the party, this is just not his time. He would make a good VP candidate, which would then alow him the time to gain the experience he needs. The Republicans are going to hammer him on his lack of experience, and most voters will end up agreeing that in these times, experience is what matters-especilly internationally

    May 11, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  12. Vig

    Gee, America, how is that 200 years after the first President, we now have to see, again, the faces of 2 men running for the Presidency? This will never change as long as corporations such as CNN who are male-dominated and owned retain the power. They spin it, they influence it, they control it. Did you really think they were going to pad Clinton the way they did Obama – Obama-a relative nobody with no appreciable political accomplishments, a person with questionable patriotism, who plagerizes other people's material, can't even put his hand over his heart during the pledge of alligance, has a wife who has disdain for this country, and wraps his arms around a racist pastor? It doesn't matter. The only thing that matters is that he's male. Clinton's chance were hijacked very early on by all these male media types – remember Chris Matthews' misoginist comments toward Clinton? Jack Cafferty is full of venom for Clinton. This can't all be about Clinton. This is about a powerful female. I said it before and I will say it again, I will not vote for Obama and the Democrats can go screw themselves.

    May 11, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  13. Mark, in MD

    "We think Senator Clinton is going to be the nominee," Wolfson said.


    May 11, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  14. Clinton Campaing People still in state of DENIAL

    He said we think Clinton will be the nominee !!!!

    May 11, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  15. David in Illinois

    So Clinton still thinks she's going to be the nominee? Tell, me this... why should anybody vote for this delusional woman? I think she's "lost her bearings" more than John McCain.
    She CANNOT be the running mate... She's absolute poison to the Democratic Party.
    When will she finally disappear????

    May 11, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  16. Truye

    But she would be happy to offer him the VP slot. Ahahaa. Just kidding people!
    Though I have to say who started all this nonsense about Clinton being VP? I was shocked when Bill Schneider (Schnieder?) suggested it at the end of a political ticker piece. I felt it was speculation and irresponsible journalism. There is no basis for that and would hurt both nominees. There are plenty of politicians that appeal to the same camps that Clinton does that haven't been "putting Barack through the paces". Also, gee, do you think it's wise to say I am going against the politics as usual only to have a politico as usual as your running mate? CNN stop these silly unsubstantiated rumors! Shame on you!

    May 11, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  17. David Kolva, MD

    I would love to hear from anyone who has donated to the Clinton campaign this weekend!

    It would be fascinating to hear what they think will happen in the next week with that money.

    Obama and Axelrod have run a brilliant campaign. I expect this expertise to continue in the Obama White House.

    This is America's chance to finally heal the never-ending racial animosity that has existed since the Civil War. An Obama Presidency will finally signal a new era in American values. He has an honesty and character that is refreshing.

    Hillary simply mirrors the old Bush/Cheney politics of division and exclusion, except in a different Party label and gender.

    There are many excellent female Democratic leaders emerging, such as Governor Sibelius and Senator Klobuchar. They need to follow Obama's formula.

    May 11, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  18. David J

    "Hello, my name is Hillary and I am not the democratic presidential nominee."

    "Hello Hillary."

    "Welcome Hillary."

    "Hi Hillary..."

    May 11, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  19. starfire426, Salem VA

    So,'s about we call Hil's 2008 campaign the "cut off your noise to spite your face!!!" Once again the "dumbing down" of America!

    May 11, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  20. 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…

    May 11, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  21. LT for Obama

    A peaceful ending to a rough campaign season. I love it.

    Hopefully, Sen Clinton will follow suit and stop going after Obama during these last weeks of campaigning.

    Also, I would love to see her supporters do the right thing and support Obama if he wins the nomination. If we are willing to support her if she wins, the same should go for her supporters.

    Let's unite this party and show McCain that we need to take responsible control over this country.

    May 11, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  22. Priscilla for Obama

    Obama does not need Hillary. Please don't put her on the ticket. Obama stands for change, which America desperately needs. The Clintons stand for corruption and dirty politics. If Hillary were VP they could bump off Obama to move into first place. NO HILLARY!!!

    May 11, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  23. amy

    She doesn't want to broker a deal with B.O. she wants to destroy him like everyone else on this planet. Please stop trying to make her into a caring person when we all now know she has no soul.

    May 11, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  24. Media blackout Date May 15th

    Has the Gimmick Candidate announced as of today, all residents of MARS must be counted before the primary season is officially over yet? 😮

    Hillary Clinton, the Gimmick Candidate
    Bill and Hillary, The Gimmick Family
    Do and Say Anything '08 ! 😀

    May 11, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  25. gary jennings

    The race isnt over. Obama's pastor is comming back for revenge. The country will know the real O.B. HRC will keep fighting.If O.B. supporters and Clinton haters keep hating on the Clintons. O.B. will never be elected. Clinton supporters will make sure they vote for McCain.O.B. will never have the votes to win. GO HRC.

    May 11, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19