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. Greg, NY

    SANDY February 11, 2008 2:29 pm ET


    Are you sure about that, Sandy? I figure you'd take anyone over Bush including Obama because maybe they'd send you to a better school where you can learn to locate the CAPS lock button on a keyboard. Not to mention learn the difference between "your" and "you're."

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

    Obviously her years of experience didn't allow her to make the right call about the war. Then she refuses to admit that she did mess up. Experience huh! Need I say more?

    February 11, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  3. Haters!!!

    She needs to stop Hating....doesn't do much for her or her Clintomites...makes her look like a sore looser who is depending on superdelegates to bail her out! Where's those tax returns for the Public to take a look at? What does she and Bill have to hide.....If she made up to $10 million on her book, how much did she pay in taxes? Why do we have to wait until after the primary...Obama and Michelle have released their tax returns...This is exactly what is meant by "old political dirty tricks"!! I say out with the old and in with the new!!!

    Obama puts a new face on politics....Clintonians are sore loosers that cry about every little thing...you make us women look weak....

    February 11, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  4. Carolyn CA

    David, you nitwit, Hillary never said caucuses don't matter. If you had any reading comprehension skills, you would realize that. You must be one of those "higher educated, degree-holding" Obama supporters we keep hearing about.

    February 11, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  5. Matt

    Lets get real, Obama will tear this party apart Ifhe wins, all those that wanted Hillary will vote for McCain.

    February 11, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  6. Todd

    Seems like we've got a lot of party activists this year, since we're seeing over twice the turnout we did last cycle. Either that OR the american people are coming out in numbers and OVERWHEMLING the "activists" that looked to lock up Clinton's nomination before.

    Hillary is standing up for contests that everyone agreed won't count (FL) and saying that contests she lost dont count (interest list of 21 states Obama won).

    February 11, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  7. Ngon

    Can anybody answer my question ? Why has CNN been so biased against Clinton. What does CNN want???

    February 11, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  8. 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 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  9. Steve, Chappaqua, N.Y.

    I guess when you are faced with losing 7 states in a row, over the course of a month, you have to say something to justify why your candidacy is still relevant. But to throw 20% of the states in the country, along with the head of your campaign, under the bus is political suicide.
    Doesn't Hillary realize she's going to need these states if she gets by Obama? This is just another crystal clear example of why her message is always more about her than it is about us.
    African Americans, caucus states, people hoping for a change, who will she alienate next?

    February 11, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  10. Abe

    MSNBC is the last place I would look to for any analysis or reporting of the news. They are completely pro Obama and look at what they said about the Clintons daughter. Come on people, you can't believe everything you are being feed by the media.

    We really need to stop judging peoples character. It is simply not fair. Again, the media is making Obama out to be a Saint and Hillary as the Devil in Womens clothing.


    Obama and Hillary are both good choices and each has pluses and minuses. Let all be fair and admit that.

    February 11, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  11. Independent who Voted Republican

    Ok...I've been reading all these comments about red states, purple states and Independents or Republicans that won't support Obama in a general election.

    That is just crazy. If I liked a Republican candidate, I would be blogging and contributing to my candidate of choice in that party. They are having a pretty dirty little campaign of their own right now and could use my help/vote.

    Fact is...I don't see a Republican candidate I like.
    Fact is...I absolutely despise the Clintons.
    Fact is...I want Obama to be our President...not just the democratic nominee.
    Fact is...I won't vote for Hillary in a general election if she makes it that far.

    February 11, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  12. constant

    I am patiently ...

    for OBAMA!!

    February 11, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  13. Allen

    Is it just me, or are other's a bit upset that CNN spends 97% of its coverage on polls, who is going to win where, and what each party is saying about the latest primary, and they spend 3% of their coverage actually reporting on the issues that the candidates stand for? Personally I'd like to see more coverage of issues to help people vote, and less coverage of polls and projections that tell me who I will vote for.

    February 11, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  14. Max

    1. Yes, the only caucus Hillary won is nevada which happens to have an extremely high hispanic population. She's won in the areas that have high hispanic populations: Arizona and California and will probably come away with the NM win. So actually, nevada is the exception to the caucus rule and explicable because of the high lationo popultion.

    February 11, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  15. Hillary's right--caucuses are unfair

    I live in Minnesota, a caucus state. I had to stand in an around-the-block line in 20-degree weather on caucus night to cast my vote (which had to be in between the hours of 6:30pm and 8pm).

    So, fair readers, which voters are in the physical condition to do that and are fortunate enough to have jobs that allow them to have that weeknight free to go this caucus (which is at a central location that usually is not your polling place)?

    That's right, the young and the well-off.

    Guess which candidate does well with the young and the well-off Democrats?

    Now, guess which candidate does well with the 80-year-olds and working moms who cannot make their way to stand in long lines, IN COLD WEATHER, outside in a narrow time window at a place that might not be near their home?

    That's right. Hillary's voters have lives that make caucusing quite inconvenient and impossible.

    Obama's caucus "wins" are illegitimate. If Hillary wins this on the strength of the members of Congress and governors who are superdelegates to the convention, I say, "so be it!", because Obama has had an unfair advantage in all these caucus states. His support isn't as large as he thinks. Some us see through this cult of personality that is surrounding the senator from Illinois.

    And one more thing–Hillary was complaining about the caucus process, folks, not the African-American voters. Learn to read your news story. If African-Americans want to vote for Obama, Hillary was not complaining about any unfairness in that. The problem is with the undemocratic caucuses. Shame on anyone who accuses Hillary of dismissing African-Americans. That is unfair and you know it.

    February 11, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  16. Rob

    You know that if she was doing well in the caucuces she'd be spinning it her way. She's not real. She'll do anything to win.

    Do you think she'll cry today to try to get more votes for the primaries tomorrow? or maybe she'll wait to cry again the day before Texas and Ohio vote??

    February 11, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  17. Marie

    She needs to stop. Not only is she dismissing the importance of activism and the votes of a large chunk of the electorate, but it also should go without saying that she would not have a problem with the caucus system if she were winning them. There are ways to downplay her opponent's recent success without blaming a process she'd be fine and dandy with if it were working to her advantage. It's disingenuous, and a prime example of why she inspires such negative feelings in some of us.

    February 11, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  18. Michael F

    Why did she mention Missouri? Did she forget that Obama won there?

    She bashes caucuses as undemocratic, but vigorously defends superdelegates (without which, she would be badly trailing now).

    And, women, a Hillary win would do NOTHING for women but prove that a woman can ride her husband's name into office as easily as a son can ride his father's. An Obama win would do more to open the door for more women candidates than a Hillary win would.

    Personally, I am hoping that Obama chooses one of the fantastic women governors as his running mate. Not because of their gender, but because they seem to mesh so well.

    February 11, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  19. Jim in the Boonies

    "they (caucuses) don't represent the electorate, we know that."

    Errrr ..... and super delegates do ? Hillary speaketh out of both sides of her non-stop mouth.

    February 11, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  20. DB

    If this weekend meant nothing, then why shakeup her staff??

    February 11, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  21. Lynn in NM

    Of course she dismissed the results. She didn't win. One thing Hillary – these people ARE the electorate. I guess no one counts except the people that vote for her. I'm proud to say that I will not count in this election. I will vote for anyone but Hillary. Her condescending attitude is too much for me!

    February 11, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  22. Annoyed

    You American's don't know anything. For a country that was so easily misled into voting an incompetent backwater farmhand like Bush into presidency, you've lost your credibility.

    February 11, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  23. Kofi

    Obama is the turtle that won the race. Be real Hillary! Obama's messages on change has yo scampering..

    February 11, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  24. tim

    Ban Barack Obama

    February 11, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  25. Manuel, Pearland, TX

    Winning Pennsylvania, Ohio and Texas is not a matter of being "too late".

    If Hillary caries those states she will be up on all counts.

    If it comes to a super delegate vote, I expect the super delegates in Michigan and Florida to vote in alignment with the voters of their respective states. They need to follow the will of the people...as the Obama-bots would say.

    February 11, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
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