February 11th, 2008
03:14 PM ET
9 years ago

Clinton dismisses weekend losses

 Clinton downplayed her weekend losses Monday.

Clinton downplayed her weekend losses Monday.

WHITE MARSH, Maryland (CNN) - Hillary Clinton on Monday explained away Barack Obama's clean sweep of the weekend's caucuses and primaries as a product of a caucus system that favors "activists" and, in the case of the Louisiana primary, an energized African-American community.

She told reporters who had gathered to watch her tour a General Motors plant here that "everybody knew, you all knew, what the likely outcome of these recent contests were."

"These are caucus states by and large, or in the case of Louisiana, you know, a very strong and very proud African-American electorate, which I totally respect and understand."

Clinton has publicly dismissed the caucus voting system since before Super Tuesday, seeking to lower expectations heading into a series of contests that played to Obama's advantage. His campaign features what many consider to be a stronger and more dedicated grassroots organization than Clinton's.

Noting that "my husband never did well in caucus states either," Clinton argued that caucuses are "primarily dominated by activists" and that "they don't represent the electorate, we know that."

The New York senator went out of her way to say she was "absolutely" looking forward to the Ohio and Texas primaries in March, where she believes voters are more receptive to her bread-and-butter message.

She also downplayed many of Obama's Super Tuesday victories, describing them as states that Democrats should not expect to win in November.

"It is highly unlikely we will win Alaska or North Dakota or Idaho or Nebraska," she said, naming several of Obama's red state wins. "But we have to win Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, California, Arizona, New Mexico, Florida, Michigan ... And we've got to be competitive in places like Texas, Missouri and Oklahoma."

Watch Hillary Clinton assess her weekend losses

- CNN Political Producer Peter Hamby

soundoff (705 Responses)
  1. Jeff, Huntington Beach, CA

    shut up with your "spin" Hillary...

    February 11, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  2. Bob

    We wait patiently in PA to vote for H. Clinton on April 22 primary to put her over the top for the nomination and then again in Nov. for the next President of the U.S.

    February 11, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  3. Diddy

    Her statements here have clearly shown her divisive strategy and it's time to turn the page on that type of political message. WE're not the United red States or Blue states we are the UNITED STATES of America and we need leaders looking to unite us not further divide us. What does that say to her supporters in states she didn't win...it says she doesn't care about your vote we weren't going to win there anyway. Every vote should count and she should apologize for saying that.

    Winning is not the only thing that defines your character, losing does as well and she and Bill are terrible losers. everytime she loses she turns me off more and more.

    February 11, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  4. orange

    Hmm... mock and belittle the electorate–great way to win them to your campaign!

    February 11, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  5. Angela

    Everybody in DC–get out and vote tomorrow for OBAMA!!! Another clean sweep tomorrow. YAY!!!

    February 11, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  6. Joann

    Hey Kevin from Jonsboro, GA – don't you get it – If Obama was losing he'd minimize her wins too -in fact I think he did in the beginning – go back and listen to his speeches. In fact Kevin, even now instead of coming on stage and making his speeches about what "he can do" he starts cutting right in on Hillary and what he proposes better than her. She doesn't do that to him. Her speeches are about her and what she can do for us. Don't say unintelligent things like that. Obummer does the same thing – watch when she wins the next big states.

    February 11, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  7. Joe

    Look, Dems, the game now is who can best beat McCain. The issue/substance thing is really a non-starter, because both Clinton and Obama have their problems with specifics; can any Clintonites recount her exact position on any of her "substantive" issues? My guess is that they cannot, and instead spout the campaign slogan of the Clinton campaign without undertaking any independent analysis. The fact of the matter is that with either Democrat, we'll be getting a better health care system, a shift in Iraq policy, and a better economic policy than we currently have. So, the question really boils down to who can best beat McCain.

    I will admit that this question is simply one of political calculus, about which reasonable people can disagree. However, all the polls and electoral results I've seen indicate at least two things that suggest that Obama is the more likely to defeat Hillary. First, Hillary's wins have come with strong party backing, but no independents (where they can vote in the primarys). This concerns me, because McCain has strong support from independent voters. If we have HIllary, the party will get behind her (I don't hold with all this "my guy or nothing" rhetoric), but we stand a good chance of losing to independents.

    Second, we will motivate a disheartened GOP base. Whether we like it or not, we have to understand that people simply, if irrationally, hate the Clintons, and HIllary most of all. A lot of GOPers dislike McCain, and will stay home UNLESS Hillary is the candidate. In that situation, they go out and vote against her. That fact, coupled with the loss of independents, spells trouble for Hillary.

    Politics is about winning, and a bet on Hillary seems to me to be a bet against our interests. Look at the national polls – she beats McCain only by a statistically insignificant number, while Obama beats McCain by a margin greater than statistical insignificance. We want to win, and to do that we need the independents to vote for us and the GOP to stay home. Obama is therefore our best bet, regardless of the campaign slogans.

    February 11, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  8. harry K

    mike keep on getting you facts from msnbc... which is trush as is CNN!

    February 11, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  9. Jim

    I find this somewhat funny... her campaign said she thaought she could win in Maine, but she lost by nearly 20%. Also, this is the democratic primary, how can you discount the voice of "activist" and African Americans?

    February 11, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  10. manix

    When she was first lady health care was her little project . What happen no health still people need to wakeup !

    February 11, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  11. Anonymous

    Everyone wants every little secret about Hillary out in the open. What about Obama? Has anyone seen any factual documentation in connection to his Kenyan background besides what he wrote in his book? Of information on his relationship to Raila Odinga (a Luo)? If Obama is so proud of his background why doesn't he use his entire name (Barack Hussein Obama)? Hillary uses hers! People never find out background information on "sleepers" until it's too late. Obama's following reminds me of cults!

    February 11, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  12. MD

    I think she is dreaming that she could win Ohio AND Texas. Guiliani dreamed the same way.

    She is NOT going to win both. Even if so, she is not going to win by a big margin. It's time to get rid of the Clintons and turn the page.

    It's a SHAME on us to say proudly that we are the best nation in the world, but depend on 2 families (Clintons and Bushs) to save us and vote for them because of their last names.

    Maybe, Laura Bush should run for President as she has THE experience (2 terms as first lady of Texas and 2 terms as first lady of the country). Very funny.

    February 11, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  13. lee

    Senator Clinton may dismiss this past weekend lost as no big deal, but she will not be able to downplay or put a spin on the result after the voters in Ohio and Texas, primary she's expected to win, are done speaking. The longer this thing last the more desperate she will become.

    February 11, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  14. ed

    Wow, these are really offensive statements by Hillary. She uses the term activist as if it's a bad thing. Wow, I really can't believe how blatantly offensive these words are, as if states that Barack wins doesn't matter. Listen HIllary, the states you've won will be won by democrats in the general election whether it's you or Barack as the nominee.

    February 11, 2008 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  15. Don't Get Fooled Again!

    This is NOT about Obama vs Clinton.

    It's about Democratics vs Republicans

    Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice...uh..DON'T GET FOOLED AGAIN!
    - George W. "Baby" Bush

    February 11, 2008 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  16. Ryan M.

    That's right... Discount every loss... it proves that you can't unify the country...

    By the way, Obama Won Missouri... thanks for making our case!

    February 11, 2008 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  17. scott,manchester NH

    hey....we all know what a respectable gentleman obama is...

    so can one of his fans tell me why he is not a touch more outspoken about MSNBC's problems with david shuster's comment about chelsea. wouldnt obama supporters want their amazing candidate to say something about how terrible a comment like that is.........about women.

    honestly....not much effort from obama on that front...

    not very presidential.....

    February 11, 2008 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  18. Rob

    Sounds a lot like sour grapes to me.

    February 11, 2008 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  19. ak

    Come on, she can't balance her own campaign's budget. You mean to tell me she didn't know how bad things were. Sounds like a winner to me, lets let her run our country maybe she will let us borrow 500B to pay for the war she voted for. Ofcourse it will only be a loan. The time will come for a women president, but she is not the one.

    February 11, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  20. Janel, St. Paul, MN

    Once again, Senator Clinton has pointed out one of my greatest concerns about her candidacy. She consistently comes across as patronizing, talking down to potential voters.

    If she felt all these states were such a lost cause, why did she waste her dollars and those of contributors by campaigning so ardently in these states that she says aren't that important.

    Senator Obama is by far the only candidate that attracts people of all ages and races. He doesn't speak down to his audience. He tells the truth and promises us hope and a change from the blah, blah, blah we hear from the other candidates.

    He is going to win!

    February 11, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  21. addis

    i am sorry hillary that hurts lose 4 state in two days puls he won the grammy
    goooooooooooooooooooooooooooo OBAMA

    February 11, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  22. RO

    Just any hillary fan out there, check what John Mcain is saying on the other ticker entry – "I have a lot of work to do"; now what does Hillary says "they don't represent the electorate, we know that." Gees, just like the Iraq vote, she could just say she made a mistake unlike Edwards! What does this tell you about the person!

    How dismissive of others, and how selfish! Anyone in the right state of mind, should be able to see through this! God forbid if she becomes President!

    February 11, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  23. Curtis

    For politics, she disenfranchises millions of people.
    For politics, she says D.C. should get the vote (which it should).
    For politics, she flip-flops between positions.
    For politics, she tries to take an election away from the people.
    These politics, they are "politics as usual".
    These politics, they have wreaked havoc in our country.
    These politics, they are being denied.
    New politics, it focuses on inclusiveness.
    New politics, it reaches compromise which helps our people are our position.
    New politics, it enables everyone to reach the same goals.
    New Politics, he embodies.

    "Politics as usual" : We don't want you anymore.
    "Politics as usual" : We won't stand for you anymore.
    Politics of the people, We invite you in.
    Politics for the people, we invite you in.

    Barack Obama, we invite you in.

    February 11, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  24. ACT

    Remember “Hillary was 10 points ahead in November in all the states Obama won this past weekend”

    For the Hillary supporter who claims that McCain and Hillary have more experience; let me ask you this:

    How come we are where we are today? What happened to all the experience they had?

    Obama Resume which I can count on:
     Inspirational leader, activist and community organizer for more than 25 years

     Had the wisdom and backbone to stand against Bush and Iraq War from the beginning

     Lawyer: Graduate of Columbia University, Harvard Law School (much smarter than the average Hillary supporters who do not have a collage degree)

     Illinois State Senator for 8 years from the 13th district (Seen enough state politics)

     US Senator from Illinois 2 years (seen enough of Washington to know its problems)

    Obama 08!

    February 11, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  25. Elaine, Atlanta

    Billary, don't u see how many white democrats are standing behind Obama in every states that he has spoken in. It is not just the African Americans WAKE UP!!

    February 11, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
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