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. Hamas Member

    I am very happy that America has decided on Obama. We have enjoyed hosting his foreign affairs minister and are looking forward to having a close or productive relationship with President Obama.

    Praise Allah

    May 11, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  2. Aaron Collinsq

    Go Obama, Your the people's choice!!! 200t w00t

    May 11, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  3. pa voter

    boy I hope she doesn't take the vp spot. I would hate to feel like I had to vote for Obama. I think that would be the only way he can win. As someone who has backed Clinton all the way, I am not sure I would even vote for Obama then. I don't like the guy, I don't like his wife, and I do not trust him.

    May 11, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |


    May 11, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  5. kell

    I wish she would just drop out so we can move forward with our battle with McBush!

    Hillary it is over...pls walk away.

    May 11, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  6. Raponikoff

    It just gets back to the old saying Gore used in "Inconvenient Truth;" when a person's job depends on not "getting" something, then they tend not to "get" it.
    But I'm in an expansive mood after this week, let's move on and mop up McCain!

    May 11, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  7. Sharon

    Obama does not need Clinton as v.p. or anything else for that matter.

    May 11, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  8. raj

    Hillary needs to get out of the race now. She is simply destroying the DNP for her own sake. What a bitter women she is.

    May 11, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  9. Kentucky Voter

    $20 Mil?


    May 11, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  10. paolo brandi

    She forces Obama to campaign against her, instead of Mc Cain. Of course she causes damage: that's Clinton-like.
    Let's see what the actual damage will be...

    May 11, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  11. Henry

    I would like to remind my friends the Hillary supporters that there is no reason to be upset. We're still going to get a Democrat into the White House this fall who's going to bring our troops home and inspire a new generation of leaders. The dawn of a new America is here.

    McCain would be a disaster for this country and we all know it.

    May 11, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  12. Karen

    As of 3:20pm Saturday on Foxnews, Lany Davis is on Hannity to question Obama on Ayres, saysing that "he (Obama) is not going to be our nominee" if he does not answer questions about Ayres.

    Lany Davis, the defense lawer of Bill Clinton. Long live the impeachment.

    May 11, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  13. larry fort wayne. indiana

    the Clintons are still looking for dirt on Obama to try and turn this around. Who said the Clintons are democrats?

    May 11, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  14. jim

    Why can't I get my comments posted??? CNN you are becoming a joke.

    May 11, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |




    May 11, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  16. Bob Stephens

    Clinton is staying in the campaign in hopes of destroying any chance that Obama has in winning in November. This is so she can run in 2012. She doesn't care about the Democratic party, or the country. It is all about 'Hillary" and her quest for power. pathetic!!!!

    May 11, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  17. Josh

    There's no deal to be made, anymore. Some time ago Clinton may have had some bargaining power, but no longer. She's finished. Now she's just hanging around so she can pick up a couple more states and go out on a high note. But it's painful watching her die a slow death while faking optimism in public. Sad.

    May 11, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  18. Mike Guinn

    The "deal" is that this is OVER and she needs to help start the unifying and healing process as soon as the lsat primary is over.

    May 11, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  19. Y

    With such an unrealistic top strategist, no wonder Hillary lost. A bad campaign administration is a reflection of a bad White House administration.

    May 11, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  20. jim

    To think Hillary needs anything from Obama and his rabid supporters is an insult. Hillary is the best candidate for the GE and that will be proven come November.

    Hillary supporters unite for 2012 – –
    McCain '08 – Clinton '12

    May 11, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  21. Dan

    Will Hillary just quit? Articles are coming out EVERY DAY asking her to stop running and let the party unite under Obama, who many consider a successor to Lincoln, FDR, and JFK? She came into this thing thinking the nomination, and, hell, even the gen election were her divine right, and now she's like a petulant child who refuses to admit they lost the game. "Well, that round didn't count," or "well, I wasn't trying that time," or "well, you didn't think about THIS aspect of it"–I can picture all three coming out of the mouths of children who have lost games and Hillary today.

    She is a good candidate and her husband has been the best president since JFK. They are secured in history. But let this party unite, Hillary, and think of the good of America, instead of the good of you.

    May 11, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  22. Patty Haddy

    Some of the comments made about WV on CNN blogs are ridiculous and insulting. I feel sorry for those who want to slam WV because it is "Clinton Country". WV's population has just as much right as any other state to have our votes counted. All superdelegates should wait until the primaries are finished before making their support for a candidate known. Otherwise, why didn't they just vote in their state primary and/or caucus. It is premature for them to decide until after the DNC Rules Commmittee meets. GO HILLARY, YOU ARE THE ONLY CANDIDATE WITH THE RIGHT SOLUTIONS!!!!!

    May 11, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  23. T. Banguel

    No disrespect to Senator Clinton, but she is only hurting herself in the long run. I guess she has 'hope' too.

    May 11, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  24. Alfonso Garrido

    The most intelligent people of West Virginia and the other remaining five states of these democrat primaries will vote for the virtual winner that is Barack Obama. This action will give strong voice of needed change and political power in Washington D. C. to find solutions to solve the economic crisis that had diven to the actual Republican administration of Mr. Bush and Dick Chenney the United States and the rest of the world , in fact, the only thing they have well done is to fill their own pockets and of their friends, with companies like Halliburton , Dyncorp, Blackwater, K.B.& R. among others by making a endless war in Iraq (non- authorized by the Security Council of the United Nations) with a lot of oil and the highest gas prices in history and still climbing,leaving and a trail of blood, devastation and deaths of thousands of U. S. soldiers and hundred of thousand innocent Iraqis civilians among other more palpable domestic consequences we are feeling that had been warned before they happen by Obama.

    Winners vote for winners not for second place contestants.

    May 11, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  25. joe

    then we will vote for MC cain if she is. The democratic party is already divided. There may never be a dem at the white house

    May 11, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19