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. Valerie Zeigler

    It would not be a wise decision for Senator Obama to offer the VP position to Senator Clinton. There has been too much negativity on the part of Senator Clinton. Senator Clinton said that Senator McCain would be a better candidate than Senator Obama; therefore, I don't see how Senator Obama could offer the VP position to Senator Clinton after such a destructive statement.

    Senator Clinton keeps referencing the white vote, as if Senator Obama is not getting the 'white vote.' Senator Obama would not have made it this far if it were not for the white vote. Also, "Senator Clinton is implying that the black vote is not crucial to nominating the President." Moreover, the educated whites who are voting for Senator Obama is just as crucial. Senator Obama has not played the race card, and I admire him even more for not doing so. I have never heard Senator Obama made a statement(s) about Senator Clinton not getting the black vote or the educated white vote. Senator Clinton making such statements, will ultimately cause a division, and we don't need this...

    May 11, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  2. fred

    Go as an Independent!!!

    DNC is screwing the democratic party!!

    If not Hillary...then McCain!!

    May 11, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  3. PCL

    It's always interesting to see the Clinton campaign try to use the "Jedi Mind Trick". Except they aren't Jedi.

    America will see that there is no act too low for the Clintons in their quest to try to upset the inevitible. America will also see, I hope not too late, that anyone who will misrepresent things or scorch the earth for political gain is not who we want in the White House.

    Case in Point: Everyone knows what the "hard working Americans, white Americans" meant. What should America think of someone who would use race to divide us. Weren't the 50's and 60's enough? We have made remarkable strides in becoming one nation. The thought that anyone would try to set us back for political gain is abominable.

    May 11, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  4. James Canada

    It is not over until it is over....Never say die, never say quits...we've been patient for 16months and counting... I think we can afford three more weeks...

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

    For all of the Hill supporters who want her to run as an independent. Do you not realize she will have to get that nomination as well due to Ralph?

    To Mrs. Clinton after you have stated you can only get the uneducated, I believe in this sense you may be on to something?

    May 11, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  6. Dj,WV

    If Hillary can stay positive then she should keep campaigning this is good for the Democrats. The Democrats need the Clinton's. But if she goes nuclear it's a disaster.

    May 11, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  7. Kevin Perry

    20 Million in debt? The CLinton campaign is that much in debt?

    And she's supposed to help the economy? How is she supposed to run the country if she can't keep her own campaign out of debt?

    May 11, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  8. Theogracias

    Hillary is looking for the holy grail or a unicorn or bigfoot or the loch ness monster getting the picture yet?

    She's the joke of 2008. Liar + loser and wife to a serial sleasebag.

    May 11, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  9. Thierry

    If obama's wife wants nothing to do with the clintons I'd agree with her. Having Hillary Clinton on Obama ticket will be going against everything Obama bilieves in. The Clintons belong in the past and we need to open a new chapter. Hillary can start packing her bags. OBAMA 08!!!

    May 11, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  10. mario

    if obama was thrue democrat and he wanted to have strong america and dem party he would be vicepresident to hillary now and become president by a landslide victory in 2016 but his egoistic 57 state strategy is killing chances to dems and making america to vote mccain there are few scenarions , first if obama is nominee mccain will be president and in 2012 hillary , but if hillary is nominee now and obama vp then democtars will have power for 16 years . clinton is winning wtah dem must have in november but obama is one elitist which cares only for himself, i hope superdelegates will se that and nominee clinton for that , i think 68% of them will make that only positive decision 🙂 and kentucky west virginia will show that hillary is only ehich can make bill clinton map from 1992 and 1996 in 2008 🙂 obama can not

    May 11, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  11. Moderate Democrat

    Now the stage is set for the Democratic Party Bigwig Hacks to find out in November why "Obama can't Fly".
    Without the support of the majority of moderate democrats in November his chances are slim indeed.
    Every four years the democratic leadership undergoes collective amnesia.......
    Then comes the reality check and they lose again.
    Crack pot scenarios fly like there's no tomorrow.


    May 11, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  12. Tony, Miami

    Let be serious Howard ""We think Senator Clinton is going to be the nominee," . You and I don't even believe that you are going to have your pay check at the end of this month. You are actually kidding yourself.

    May 11, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  13. Eddie

    Clinton is remaining in this race to make sure Obama does not win .

    May 11, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  14. mario

    go hillary 🙂 you must win

    May 11, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  15. LMAO

    Quick! Somebody needs to ask Hill how she manages her hair!

    May 11, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  16. Teri

    It sickens me and cheapens her campaign when Wolfson includes Michigan & Florida in the 'winning the big states' category. They didn't count – and she agreed to them not counting until she needed them. If Obama hadn't taken his name off the ballot and she had – do you think she'd feel like MI should count then? Rewarding cheaters, twisting rules, and backpedaling to what was agreed to beforehand are just some of the reasons why we don't need her and her surrogates back in the White House. Let's wait and see what kind of leader she'll be when it comes time to unite her supporters behind Obama. Because if she can't get her supporters to follow her lead, how would she have ever gotten the Republicans to push through her agenda?

    May 11, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  17. not a superdelegate

    good. I don't want her to be VP.

    May 11, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  18. Mike m

    Hillary is another Huckabee!

    May 11, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  19. Jimmy

    There has to be some reason why Sen. Clinton is still in this race. Don't tell me it's because she believes she can win. I give her more credit than that. She's a smart lady. I believe it's for her own selfish, incredibly narcissistic reasons. She can't accept defeat. Not to a man and especially not to a black man whom she believes "cut in line." I feel her pain. This is one tough pill to swallow.

    May 11, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  20. Darryl from TX

    I can see why Obama supporters are mean and nasty to Hillary supporters. Hillary supporters are big babies like their candidate. They are going to vote McCain if they don't get their way. They must of enjoyed the last 8 years of the Bush administration that they need another 4-8 years of it. Ya that makes really sense. They are in favor of having higher gas prices, going through forclosure on their homes, and having no health insurance. Come on folks lets get real, the polls may say you are uneducated, but I am know you are not stupid. Then again we all can be naive sometimes. The real reason is that "MOST" Hillary supporters are indeed bigots. These are are the same people who would vote for Hitler if he was running against Obama. I would expect that from Republicans, but not my own Party. You are free to vote for anyone you chose, but you have no right to complain if these problems in this country continue to exist because you voted McCain.

    May 11, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  21. Mark

    To make a deal you have to have something to daal with.

    May 11, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  22. Chelsea

    Hillary is in a state of denial. The pundits should give her time to swallow in what's happening. I sympathize with her.

    May 11, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  23. Ivan, Chicago, Illinois

    Who is Obama going to need as his Vice-President?
    JFK had LBJ. Who is going to be Obama's LBJ?
    Who can help Obama and the Democrats win in Michigan, Ohio, and Florida?
    Hillary that's who, without Hillary on the ticket Obama's chances of winning are a longshot at best.
    Obama screwed himself by fighting the re-votes in Michgan and Florida. What was he afraid of? That losing those states would hurt him with the superdelegates?
    That's water under the bridge, now he has to make nice to those states in order to become President.
    Let's face facts Obama needs Hispanic, Women, and the White Male vote to win, Hillary can deliever that vote.

    May 11, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  24. One old white woman for Obama '08

    I am guessing the ludicrous rumors that Clinton might want Obama to help with her campaign debt originated with the media, where a lot of so-called "news" originates.

    As a dedicated Obama supporter who made some personal sacrifices in order to come up with two small donations to the Obama campaign, this rumor is beyond laughable.

    May 11, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  25. Marge Hibbing Mn

    Hillary is doing well not to connect herself to a piece of crap like obama. After all when McCain beats obama's butt and he joins the other loser Kerry who lost an easy run, we can all ask them why they want to always snatch defeat out of the jaws of victory.

    Best thing to do it get rid of the guys and I MEAN GUYS in congress that think that are hot stuff and put WOMEN in their place. Starting with Kerry next year.....

    May 11, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
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