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. VERY Concerned

    Go Hillary!!!
    Obama and his backers will ruin this country!!!!

    February 11, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  2. Dalton

    Hillary Clinton's excuse making is disgusting. I didn't hear Clinton complaining about the caucus format in Nevada where she won.

    I didn't her Obama trying to explain away her win in California OR New Jersey as the result of a fired up Hispanic population

    Hillary Clinton expected the primary process to be a coronation of her nomination, she never expected to have to compete because she felt the presidency was her birthright. Now that Clinton is facing the very real prospect of losing she is coming up with one lame excuse after another as to why the votes haven't picked her.


    February 11, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  3. Jonelle

    Hillary is really showing her horns!!! I started this Presidential race as a Hillary supporter, however I disagree with how she sees the American people. We are not just "red states" or "blue states"! WE ARE ONE NATION! I am looking for a candidate that doesn't separate me from everyone else or one that thinks my vote doesn't matter because I'm an "activist".

    Thank you, Mrs. Clinton, for giving me one more reason NOT to vote for you!

    YES WE CAN!!! OBAMA '08

    February 11, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  4. Dave

    Hillary still leads in delagates (yes, including super)

    Yes, he did win all weekend, and still she leads...

    Keep up the good work on hillary bashing....its usually what smart, itelligent people do....

    and just remember, "HE WHO LAUGHS LAST, LAUGHS BEST"


    Go Hillary!!!

    February 11, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  5. Richard, CA

    "Ron, TX February 11, 2008 2:06 pm ET

    Her caucus excuse stinks like a skunk. Her racial scapegoating is sickening. Obama won Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, and Missouri, all of which are primaries, and the last four of which don't have disproportional represenation of minorities. So, I don't know, is she being honest? I don't think so…"

    Ron, just want to point out the fact that Hillary lost only by a few percentage point in Connecticut, Delaware, and Missouri. She got almost the same number of delegates there. For Illinois, it is a different story because it is Obama's home state.

    February 11, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  6. Mike

    Get informed

    Polls show

    Obama beats McCain

    McCain beats Clinton

    Maybe thats why Obama gets the educated vote and Hilary gets the

    A vote for Hilary is a testament to your poor education

    February 11, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  7. Sam

    "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."

    Why do people keep insisting that all African-Americans will vote for Barack? Yes, I understand that Barack has had leads among African Americans in several states but to dismiss his victories as a result of "proud African-Americans" is playing on the racist stereotype that African-Americans will vote with their hearts instead of their heads. I would love to see an Obama victory this year but I would also love to see Hillary stop playing the race and gender cards over and over.

    Go Obama!

    February 11, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  8. Annasia




    Obama was down 30 pts, then 20 now last week only 10.

    : )

    February 11, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  9. Oh no!

    "my husband never did well in caucus states either"

    Is she likening herself to Bill? If so, we're in big trouble, folks!

    February 11, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  10. Ayo

    By their fruit we shall know them. Hillary's statement is insulting and ridiculous. The more she dismiss Obama's impressive win the more pathetic she becomes.

    February 11, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  11. MNDem

    This is such a lie. The MN Caucuses WERE PRIVATE. You wrote your preference for President on a piece of paper WITHOUT YOUR NAME and then put it in a box to be counted after everybody voted.

    In this type of race, Obama still beat Clinton 67%-32%.

    Because of Iowa, everybody across the country thinks that caucuses are these events where you just go to some area of the room where your preferred candidate is and be counted. THIS IS NOT TRUE!

    February 11, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  12. Anna, IL

    Hillary is always confirming my belief that she is the divider, never a uniter. So, let me get this straight. Caucus voters are "activists," African-American Primary voters don't count, but establishment voters such as Super Delegates do? Is that it?

    Wow. I never trusted Hillary, but I never thought that she would stoop as low as her husband has in the recent past. I gave her the benefit of the doubt, but I'm convinced that the two Clintons are exactly the same. Buy one, get one free? No thanks.

    February 11, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  13. harry K

    Hillary Clinton has received 8,938,660 votes throughout the United States (up to February 9th) while Barack Obama has received 8,406,728 I will call that a lead!
    She also has more delegates... That is why OBAMA is paying people to trash her.
    All will end soon with HILLARY CLINTON Victory.. and you know why? because she has a plan not empty OBAMA words.. So have your 15 minutes of fame ..It all will end soon!

    February 11, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  14. Daryl, Des Moines Iowa

    I'm glad she's already writing off a bunch of states. Clearly she's already accepted being beaten by John McCain in the generla election.

    Is she the candidate anyone really wants to try and support? Why?

    Obama is at least willing to contest some supposedly "red" states, instead of just rolling over and surrendering like the Clinton wing of the democratic party is so good at doing.

    February 11, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  15. Paula

    I think she'll regret this later. People in those states are listening!

    February 11, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  16. BkMSW

    Sam Jr., if you did your research, you would know that numbers indicate that Obama has a better statistical chance of beating McCain, than Hilary. Nuff said.

    February 11, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  17. Tom

    HILLARY, AMERICA BELIEVES IN YOU, YOU CAN DO IT. If Barack wins your supporters most likely will go to Macain. It appears the Democratic party is failing you, manipulating your probabilities to succeed.

    Edwards should definitely endorse you, HIS AND YOURS HEALTH PLAN WAS THE MOST SIMILAR an miles away from Obama's. Let see if Edwards shows his integrity and faith in his believes. ITS A NO BRAINER!

    February 11, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  18. catherine

    The states Obama won and will win this week (Virginia, Maryland, DC) are his demographics: African American and in Washington State the latte drinking, sanctimonious secure-in-ther-jobs, completely clueless about how the rest of Americans struggle crowd.

    Hillary still has the popular vote. If Florida had not had its delegates unconstitutionally denied Clinton would be significantly ahead.

    I fully trust that Florida will get its delegates. It is unconstitutional to deny close to a million US citizens their vote.

    GO HILLARY '08!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 11, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  19. Gaynelle Derr

    Again, I feel compelled to speak. The hate speech from both sides is a sad and non-productive thing. I do support one candidate over the other and I clearly would like to see my favored candidate win. None-the-less, the hate speech is unnecessary and only breeds division. Frankly, if you check their websites and listen to their stump speeches side by side, whch I did last week as a Washington state voter, they are virtually the same.

    I went to my caucus and it was run poorly. I have spoken to many people and learnd that all of their caucuses were a mess. I believe that those who participated were real voters, but the act of going to a caucus is an active act. My husband as an uncommitted voter held an entire delegate in his hands. That was amazing to see, and for the first time I realized how dangerous that could be. Under the porportional rules he held the key to an entire precinct delegate.

    No matter who wins, I long for all of us to stop calling others out as being stupid, ingnorant, uneducated, etc. I have a graduate degree and I am a professional person, but if I were not I fully recognize the right of ALL my fellow citizens to their vote.

    My hope is for one thing...a democrat in the White House come Jan. 2009.

    February 11, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  20. Shawn

    Spin Spin Spin ... when will you stop underestimating the intelligence of the American people Hillary? Seriously, this is just insulting.

    February 11, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  21. Cindy

    There was noting disparaging in her remarks. They were valid observations. Let this primary play out and let each state have it's say. There are no demons here. Obama is a good candidate, Clinton is a good candidate which is why they are running neck and neck. We have two strong candidates which all of us should respect. Gimme either one of them of what the Republicans have to offer.

    February 11, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  22. Andrewq Robinson

    Yea, yea, yea Hillary, whatever! North Dakota, South Dakota, South Carolina, Iowa, Illionois, Conneticut, Colorado, Missouri, Minnesota, Washington, Nebraska, Louisianna, Georgia, Alabama, Alaska, U.S. Virgin Islands, Idaho, the list continues to grow and tommorrow – MD, DC and VA, you lost them all Hillary, ALL, so go head blame black voters and caucus states, whatever!

    February 11, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  23. Sarah L, Fayetteville, AR

    Why do voters only count when they're for her? The role of Superdelegates is fair, but Michigan and Florida delegates should be seated. It's okay for Superdelegates to disenfranchise millions, but it's not fair for the DNC to strip MI and FL delegates? How hypocritical. She only cares about votes for her. Plain and simple.

    February 11, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  24. Former Clinton '96 Elector

    If caucus states are "irrelevant" and just filled with "activists", then why did she spent two days here in Seattle just before the "irrelevant activists" went to caucus? Record turnouts, great enthusiasm and overwhelming support for Obama followed her campaigning here. No question, she is just engaged in pathetic efforts to explain away that which is abundantly clear...she is not the prefered candidate of 2008 America.

    If Obama wins more votes and more elected delegates by the convention, the Democrats would be insane to nominate her. It would make Florida 2000 look reasonable by contrast. Superdelegates who's states/districts voted clearly in one way or another should think twice before trying to undo the will of the electorate.

    February 11, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  25. Derek

    Ever see a train wreck in slow motion? If not, you'll have the chance to see your first thoughout the month of February as Hillary slowly, but surely comes unglued from the tracks.This will not be pretty.

    Funny how the only states that matter are the ones she has won; like Michigan for example where SHE WAS THE ONLY CANDIDATE ON THE BALLOT!!!!!!!

    February 11, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
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