May 11th, 2008
02:05 PM ET
6 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. Robert Nyarko, Apam, Ghana

    Senator Clinton has by all standards fought a good fight but must think of retiring her campaign as she hasn't got even a mathematical chance of being the nominee. She is a political veteran but flawed her own campaign with her divisive strategies which Americans didn't buy. She was always and on the offensive throwing arsenals at Obama and instigating Americans against Obama telling them he's black. Americans really have shown their maturity and have signalled the world that they can no me be segregated on racial lines.

    Obama '08

    May 11, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  2. Daniel, PA

    Michelle Obama has made no secret of her disdain for Hillary Clinton. In an interview months ago, when asked, she said she would have to "think long and hard" before she could vote for Hillary if she became the nominee. She has continued to denigrate Hillary. Anyway, I don't see Hillary being vice-president under any circumstances. She has too much to offer and is an absolute "doer". I don't think being a vice-president would offer her much opportunity to use her incredible talents. She'd be a great president or secretary of state, though.

    May 11, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  3. Holly-Iowa

    I sincerely hope Obama is smart enough NOT to put her on the ticket. I could see her making some major political "gaffe" which turns people off so they lose the election. Then she'll make the argument she should have been the nominee and she'll plan to run in 2012 after McCain has run the country into a full out depression.

    If she is on the ticket and they win, Obama should employ a taste tester and put a leash on both the Clintons. No doubt they'll think they are at the top of the ticket whether they are or not.

    May 11, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  4. Steve

    One of David Axelrod's strategies for the general election campaign should be to keep Michelle Obama out of the picture. She seems to have a chip on her shoulder and projects a great deal of anger. Her husband seems to be very likeable but Michelle appears to have an axe to grind.

    May 11, 2008 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  5. Whiite Male for Obama

    If Wolfson is still saying Clinton will be the nominee, it makes it clearer why she has struggled throughout the campaign. I think it's called RDD – Reality Detachment Disorder.

    May 11, 2008 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  6. Cameron Johnson

    There is nothing dreamy about both of them running together. How could he pick her as a running mate when she's spent the past six months attacking his character, patriotism and ability to lead? There is no love lost between these two, and she should happily return to the senate when this process is complete.

    It's one thing to have to fight with an angry scorpion in the public square, but it would be foolish to invite it to come back to the house with you.

    May 11, 2008 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  7. Bob

    Why on earth would Mrs. Clinton want to be VP under a child? That is called babysitting, not legacy building.

    May 11, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  8. paul oregon

    glad to hear that billary is not looking for adeal i find that hard to believe. one thing that would hurt obama campain with me is that if i
    felt the the moneythat i have donated to his war chest was in any way going to pay toward her campain debit. and if he put hillary on his ticket so much for his speech on hope honesty and change.
    and he would spend more time trying to right the things that hillary an bill were doing to him thats all he wouldget done

    May 11, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  9. a little sad

    Tony, Miami May 11th, 2008 3:06 pm ET

    "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."

    Why when Obama has such a big war chest and is out-spending the Clinton campaign by 2-4 times per race, has Obama not been able to bring it home?

    Guy's an empty suit, he's not a closer.

    May 11, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  10. Michael

    Denial is not a rive in Egypt...

    Denial
    Anger
    Grief

    this is not just about death – these are the stages of emotional loss of anything...

    So – will the HRC mob petition the Supreme Court to allow the illegal votes of MI and Fl to now be counted – so that they can prolong the inevitable?

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

    HEY CNN WHY DON'T YOU POST UPDATED DELEGATE NUMBERS FOR THE CANDIDATES????????

    SINCE YESTERDAY OBAMA HAS HAD 1870 TOTAL DELEGATES AND CLINTON HAD 1699.5. WHY ARE YOU NOT POSTING HIS LEAD IN SUPERDELEGATES??????? ALL THE OTHER NEWS STATIONS ARE!!!!!! TRYING TO AID CLINTON BY SHOWING THAT ITS NOT OVER???????? ONCE AGAIN, LOOKS LIKE THE CLINTON NEWS NETWORK IS DOING ITS OWN THING!!!

    WAKE UP AND SMELL THE ROSES, OBAMA WON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    May 11, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  12. Illinois Boy

    Good comment Tony. The Clinton camp appears to be infected with some type of virus that affects ones awareness of reality. I believe Hillary is doing everything she can to cause a disconnect between Obama and white voters. It's unbelievable that she takes this stance. Regardless, Obama will get some Republicans to cross over come election time making up for the ignorant blue collar whites that ONLY refuse to vote for Obama because he is a man of color.

    OBAMA 2008

    May 11, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  13. Robert Nyarko, Apam, Ghana

    I have keenly followed the Dems primaries as I am interested in American politics and following is my observation of the entire process:

    Senator Clinton has by all standards fought a good fight but must think of retiring her campaign as she hasn't got even a mathematical chance of being the nominee. She is a political veteran but flawed her own campaign with her divisive strategies which Americans didn't buy. She was always and on the offensive throwing arsenals at Obama and instigating Americans against Obama telling them he's black. Americans really have shown their maturity and have signalled the world that they can no me be segregated on racial lines.

    Obama '08

    May 11, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  14. elizabeth richards

    Sen. Clinton is a fine lady however, she is by no means an organizer.
    Why is her campaign allowing her to dwell in the path of denial? This is so unkind/ It makes mefeel that there is some devious plan to get rid of VINCE oops Obama.

    May 11, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  15. Jay

    Now the American people see why the Clintons, their campaign, and surrogates are called MONSTERS.

    May 11, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  16. QuietStormX

    I'm tired of these Clinton people bringing up this "Dream Ticket" junk or someone connected with the Clinton's on the ticket. Obama does not want or need someone vindictive as we have seen from both Clinton's on the trail. The Clinton's spending money like water with no worries, it's their problem not Obama's.

    May 11, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  17. abyssinian boy

    I think It is true that Americans don't know Maths. What is Hilary doing now. her campaign is saying that "didn't think about Obama to be a VP for Hilary"..kikikiiii

    May 11, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  18. Adam from NY

    Suuuuurrrreee

    May 11, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  19. Rob-BC Canada

    This woman is like an ancient plague.Will it ever end.She is really trying to destroy Obama's elect ability to ensure her option to run in 2012.She knows "when" he gets elected it could quite likely be 2 successive terms.In 2016 she would be almost 70 years old and not likely to be taken seriously.She has to plant the seeds now.

    May 11, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  20. janis parkinson

    This race was over 2 months ago

    May 11, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  21. Bob Texas

    HRC is as usual going to destroy everything in her path for her own glory. She is a single minded woman with her own objectives. The DNC should show her the door and quickly!

    May 11, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  22. Andi

    Howard Wolfson is paid to spin. That's also Terry McAuliffe's job, spin, spin, spin, until facts become blurry. Sorry. It's not working this time. They truly STILL BELIEVE that the superdelegates owe the Clinton's some unpaid political debt, and they will be the ones that come through for her at the end.
    That's called a DREAM, a FANTASY. Clinton just cannot believe that this junior senator, a well-educated black man with a well-organized campaign and plan for America, knocked her off on the way to the White House. She's pathetic and she's desperate, and will stop at nothing to force her way into the Oval Office.
    Why can't SHE close the deal? The Clinton name, the Clinton Machine – why can't she close the deal, why isn't she winning 32+ states, or ahead in delegates, or ahead in superdelegates?? She's evil, she's dishonest and she will soon have to address Sen. Obama as President Obama.

    May 11, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  23. Peachy Keen

    I am a huge Obama supporter, but I guarantee you, if Clinton is on the ticket with him, I won't vote for him. If she is, Obama should never turn his back on her. I wouldn't put anything past that woman to try and get the top spot. Better have a food taster handy.

    Please Hillary, just go away.....far, far away. And take your husband with you....oh wait, you probably don't want him either.

    May 11, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  24. Carol, California

    I hope he doesn't choose her to be the VP. I think that would be a mistake – she would try to overshadow him.

    Hopefully, the reason Edwards has been on the fence all this time is because he will be Obama's choice for VP.

    ANYONE but Hillary. Gawd, I hate that woman!

    May 11, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  25. GAVIN

    clinton get out

    May 11, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
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