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. jogn goerge

    American (white, latino,asian) is not ready yet for Obama. No one can tell the true reason why...IF O.J is white and Nicole is black..New York and many cities in America will gone...may be we don"t ask, don"t tell

    February 11, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  2. colorblind

    wake up.... if your not in a big state she doesn't care about you.... it's all about the delagates...... and if she was doing well she wouldn't be changing captains in the middle of the game....

    February 11, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  3. ron

    I cannot believe that a candidate would disinfranchise the voter's in the samll states that have a caucus instead a more exspensive primary.

    This idea of entitlement is out of control.

    The presidint is for all the people not just the states that support you more than others. The US is not just New York, Californai and Florida.

    If she does not change her tune, and if she gets the nomination, she will in no doubt lose!!!!

    Nathan and others I agree 100% she needs to think about what she just said!

    I live in California and I am appalled. Im my opinion this is just as bad as Bill Clinton's comments regards race!

    Come on Clinton!

    I was planning on supportign her if she got the nominatino fair and square, now I wondering if that would be appropriate. This lady is disinfranchising more than 1/2 of the country

    February 11, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  4. Michael

    Absolutely correct, Hillary. Not to discount the wins in these states, but a caucus can be influenced by activists and their surrogates. I think most voters can see a trend here, with Obama winning caucus states and Hillary winning primary states. The important difference is winning caucuses in Red states – Republican states, does not mean these states will vote Democratic in the general election. In fact, they will probably vote Republican. Obama can attribute his wins in the red states to the dislike Republicans and Independents have for Clinton in these states.

    A Democrat must hold all Blue states and take at least 1-2 red states in order to win the election. I believe Hillary Clinton can do this with Latino and Asian support. Obama would not receive Latino or Asian support in the general election – McCain would, and that would put him over the top. Keep this in mind, if you want another 4 years of Bush.

    Clinton/Obama ticket would win, and only that ticket.

    February 11, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  5. Dileep

    You can not ignore polling and people voting in fla or mich.They are people preference in democracy.So stop the mockery and delacre the winners.You talking millions of people.Is this some backward dictatorship or USA?

    February 11, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  6. Paula Merlotte

    More spin, however for the good spin check out Slick Willy subtly playing the race card once again. Obama's appeal is about being American first and replacing the dignity of who we are and what we represent to both ourselves and to the world beyond our borders. The "past" of the Billary show is no place I want to go. And lord knows there are plenty of up and coming female national candidates for Obama to pick as a VP candidate, to truly position her for 8 years in our future.

    February 11, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  7. msa

    I am trying to understand why Senator Clinton can down play the African American vote, because the majority are not voting for her. And play up the Latino vote that is apparently voting in her favor. I don't hear Senator Obama using excuses for LOSING!!!

    Her rhetoric will divide the country, where I see Senator Obama's rhetoric bringing the country together.

    If you were getting the African American vote, Senator Clinton, would it then be worth something to you?

    February 11, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  8. Andrewq Robinson

    Hillary, join us in the land of reality – this is not just a dream, you have lost the majority of states, votes and now delegates. Oh and by the way you have lost this to "a young black male" as you so eloquently label Senator Obama. Niether Hillary Clinton or her supporters can see the forest from the trees. The bottom line is that Hillary will never become President of the United "States" of America!

    February 11, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  9. P Diddy

    Ain't no thang, girlfriend... we'll catch up to Omama on Tuesday...

    Oh, by the way, I've replaced you as my campaign coordinator... you'll have a respectable-sounding title, an office, and a secretary to keep up appearances, but you'll really be making coffee and picking up my dry cleaning... or you can delegate that to your secretary.

    There's Hillary saying one thing and doing another again!

    Actions speak louder than words, and it looks like Billary's wagon is headed for the ditch! Make sure someone gets it on video!

    February 11, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  10. Karen

    Senator Clinton has run her campaign into the ground. She can't even pay her employees. She won't release her taxes. And now, two days before an important primary in Texas (1 out of 4 voters hispanic) she whacks her (hispanic) campaign manager. Not smart. Just think what she would do to our Country? She is the "status quo" and needs to throw in towel.

    OBAMA 08

    February 11, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  11. john

    Hillary's campaign never gets the attention or positive spin Obama's activities enjoy on all the major media. CNN, CNBC, the networks and most others always talk about "Obama's inspirational message" AND editorialize by characterizing Hillary's efforts as "desperate", "faltering", "troubled", etc.....
    More often than not, Clintons remarks are picked apart, while we listen to newscasters parrot Obama's message of "Hope" and "Change" as they speak of how he "energizes" the electorate.
    How about a sense of fairness. Bring on a balanced "panel of experts" when providing news analysis and make an effort to refrain from showing bias favoring Obama in your reporting. Many of us are sick of it. Stop calling our candidate "calculating" and her opponent "inspirational" with every report of an activity or event. How about asking your news anchors to stop glowing as they speak of Obama as though he were a rock star and they starstruck teenagers. While your at it, how about ending the steady stream of attacks on Bill Clinton, one of the best and brightest Presidents who occupied the White House since John Kennedy. We were, without doubt, better off during the Clinton years than the Bush years. Bill Clinton has not said anything wrong, during this campaign. Yet, his wifes opponent, and the media spin a characterization of his comments as "racial" or "inappropriate." I guess this story will be brought up, with unjust characterization, for political advantage throughout the rest of the campaign. It sort of reminds me of the the shameful Kenneth Starr fiasco. How about focusing on the best way to get out of the mess created by our current administration. In that regard, there is no doubt, Hillary Clinton is our best "Hope."

    February 11, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  12. Craig, Seattle WA

    On the contrary to what Mrs. Clinton seems to want us to believe, I think that the broad appeal of a candidtate is better measured by individuals who do not routinely support the party than those who do. Winning in California and New York will probably not be a major difficulty for any democrat this year. A candidates appeal in red states is likely a better indication of how well they will fair in those states that hang more in the balance.

    Additionally, it's been said before, but writing off every caucus vote is a poor idea. If they were more like the traditional democratic or republican caucus where you have a handful of individuals selecting the nominee, that is one thing. But this year, it is an entirely different case. Record breaking turnouts can not be attributed to activists alone.

    February 11, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  13. LaDonna Parker

    Hillary would be fired on the spot if she were on any sales team! What an insult and deep disappointment to suggest that we don't stand a chance to win or that our team members don't count. This is a critical point of understanding the difference between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama...Hillary says "we can't" and Barack says "Yes We Can".

    Words are something that you can't take back. However, words can backfire on you. This is not a game. There are many people suffering and fighting for a Democratic win in November. These words are counter productive. I hope that Hillary will have enough grace and humility to correct this awful insuation that we are a team of losers.

    February 11, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  14. Ty-Smyrna, GA

    I am a fervent Obama supporter, however did anyone see 60 minutes last night? Steve Kroft was neutral with Obama, Katie Courice painted Hillary as if losing this race is a forgone conclusion i.e. "what are you going to do if you lose?" questions at the beginning and end of her interview. I actually for the first time felt bad for Hillary....but I didn't shed a tear (it would't be prudent)...Go Obama!

    February 11, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  15. mary

    I cast my vote for Hillary in MICHIGAN but like others in my state and in the state of Florida, we don't count. I wish people would take in to account the wins of Michigan and Florida for Hillary. If people can cast their votes all over the world for these primaries, then we, in Michigan and Florida, should be counted too. I feel cheated out of my American right!

    February 11, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  16. Eye Opener

    Reading all these negative comments about Senator Clinton is SCARY!! No, not for Hillary Clinton, but for the American People.

    Whoever gets elected to be the next president will face enormous challenges as a result of the failed policies of the current administration both domestically and internationally. Issues like the war in Iraq, the looming recession, healthcare, housing crises, and more await the new president.

    The majority of voters want change and all candidates are promising change, REAL CHANGE cannot be achieved with just HOPE, audacious or otherwise. Get real people!
    At the end of the day, the promise of change is just that, a promise. We need to take a close look at the candidates and see who can DELIVER these changes. The traits that some people abhor in the Clintons, along with experience and political savvy, are maybe just what are required to change Washington.

    And, while the idealism of our youth reflected in the rush to participate in the process, is enticed and mesmerized by prose and poetry, we need to demand for content and substance from the candidates if we are to succeed in restoring the country to its rightful place. We do not have the luxury of enduring another experiment in failure.

    February 11, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  17. david alarcon

    I am from Colombia South America and I think that Hillary Clinton will loose against Obama. He may not have Hillaries experience in politics but sometimes thats better because he has a clean background and when he talks he is more honest. I don´t think is bad to talk about Luther King and other great leaders from the past because we learn from them or else why do we study history for? to let it go??? When Kennedy became president he was the youngest US president and he has been the most known and admired president worldwide, so Go for it Obama I think all nations worldwide are with you. it is time for a change.

    February 11, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  18. Hillary

    I agree with Hillary.

    I have to wonder how much of Obama's Independent and Republican supporters will be around in the General. I believe there have been a lot of cross overs in order to make it easier for the Republican nominee. America may pick a black man over a white woman, but they will never pick a black man over a white man.

    February 11, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  19. Think - FL

    Hahahaha, she'll stop at nothing.

    The best part is: Before Iowa, she was relying on her extensive network of supporters and organizers to help her steamroll Barack in all of the caucuses! Now when she's losing all of them, they're unimportant!

    How does anyone support this utterly transparent liar and panderer?!? She's abhorred! Admit no mistake EVER, have NO faults. That's not the person that needs to be president! The role of an autocratic kindergarten teacher is more befitting!

    February 11, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  20. gail

    in the last two elections the US has illustrated to the world that they are pretty dumb when it comes to electing a president .. why not elect Obama to be sure that your 3 for 3!

    February 11, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  21. Matt, KS

    WOW, nice move, HRC!

    Taking a page out of the Guiliani playbook! Telling millions of people their vote doesn't matter is such a great campaign tactic.

    No wonder she's firing her campaign staff.

    Goodbye GOP, you're next.

    February 11, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  22. EricTx

    We Latino's in Texas need to come together and vote obama. I was leaning toward hilary till I see she forced our fellow latino Solis Doyle to step down (fired for all purposes). Is this what we can expect. Hilary giving us Latino voters promises and then when she gets our vote, throwing us to the side because she got what she wanted. We need to come together as Latino's and make a stand. I am voting obama.

    February 11, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  23. Anonymous

    All she's doing is dividing the democratic party. She's trying to make her supporters dislike Obama. We're trying to find the best representative for the democratic party here. Whether she likes it or not, it's a toss-up right now who will actually win that nomination. And if it happens to be him, I'm afraid she has divided the party so much that her supporters won't vote for him. We need to remember that this is all one party and, Obama or Clinton, it will be better than another republican.

    February 11, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  24. fink

    She should build an organization that can caucus and appeal to black voters then. It's like she's admitting the deficiencies in her own campaign.

    If she keeps attacking Democratic voters, she's gonna be in a world of hurt in November.

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

    Hillary is lier and sour loser. She can,t be honest with the American people.

    Obama will win all the way to the white house because he have integrity ,honsty and respect of the people.

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