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. MG

    Obama, please release all your Illionois campaign funding paperwork, when REzko was on your finance committee, and oh yes, Michelle's tax returns too from when she was on the board at a chicago "non profit' hospital, whihc made more than 140 million in profit, she made 300K in salary for part time work, while millions of Illinois residents went without health insurance. Go ahead obama, what do you have to hide? Also, please agree to debate with HIllary, your hiding behind your speeches is getting pretty obvious.

    February 11, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  2. ken

    This is a sign of a poor leader. Wrong choices in the beginning of the most important career opportunity Hillary has had. Not very presidential.

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

    Race card again

    Not bill but Hillary

    February 11, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  4. Jake, California

    It is sad to see that this woman will insult anything that's not for her.

    The states that Obama wins are too small and significant

    Obama only wins republican states not Democratic states...

    Obama only wins African American States?

    Obama only wins states with Caucuses where there are many activists..
    Obama only this Obama only that....what's wrong with her?

    All of these are false and ridiculous...

    I think she's stressed out about the many losses but she better brace up because we are taking DC, Virginia and Maryland tomorrow and then we'll heavily campaign in Texas and Ohio so she gets the least votes possible in those states...

    I wonder what she's going to say after losing Texas and Ohio?
    The only time she had the advantage was Super Tuesday because Obama didn't have the chance to do much campaigning in many of those states..

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

    Over 8 million people voted for Obama during this primary. He's basically tied with Hillary, though the actual numbers are disputed.

    But this is why he is doing so well, because she feels she's 'entitled' to the nomination. What kind of candidate disparages the supporters of their opponent? She would need those supporters in the GE if she won.

    Obamas message is positive. Hillarys message here..is so negative.

    8 million voters don't represent the electorate?? She doesn't deserve to win.

    February 11, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  6. Bruce, Houston

    Several people last week labeled Obama as a "Pastor". I think "Activist" seems right.

    February 11, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  7. Jean - MI

    Hillary keeps talking about her 35 years of "experience". In What! Is she counting being the wife of the president? OK. What else. I just don't see any solid experience. I think if left to her own devises she will "talk" herself out of the nomination. Someone in her campaign needs to keep track of what she says when under stress. All states count regardless of how they made their choices. Michigan and Florida knew the penalties when they made the choice to move up their primary.

    February 11, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  8. Think - FL

    I can already see the statements to be released on Wednesday:

    The DC, VA and MD primaries don't matter... they're not representative of the rest of the country's opinion, we know that! We're just waiting for TX and OH.

    Hillary self-destruct in... 3...2...1...

    February 11, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  9. Seam, Philly PA

    What about Nevada, Hillary? She is the most pathetic political figure I know. I can't stand her. I dislike her very much. She would never get my vote, EVER. I don't care about supporting the party if she wins the nomination. She can take her 35 years of experience and shove it.

    She downplays everything, and makes up a bunch of excuses for her losses. Why would anyone vote for this woman if her attitude is not positive enough to think so-called red states can be won by a Democrat? How promising is that? She's very cynical and negative.

    Vote Obama 08.

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

    If Hillary has so much more experience and better judgement, why is she shuffling her campaign staff while Barack continues to win more and more states? Shouldn't she have been better prepared for this challenge?

    In addition, everyone said Hillary was going to win the nomination in June 2007 with little doubt as she had no real competition and was far ahead in all polls. Now suddenly, Hillary says that we all expected Barack to win the states that he has won because the states held caucuses rather than primaries. I believe that Barack would have won even more states if not for absentee ballots that were cast long before his surge in momentum.

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

    America for Obama.

    Enough Said.

    February 11, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  12. Becky in Indiana

    She can't fool me!


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

    Hillary doesn't seem to understand what a caucus is and how it works. It's not THAT different from a primary.

    There are some important things to glean from the Iowa caucus I attended: When a candidate doesn't get enough people to garner a delegate (to the Iowa convention) he or she can caucus for their second choice. For Dodd, Biden, Richardson, Kucinich supporters, their second choices were Obama and Edwards. None to Hillary (just one caucus site of course).

    Early voting might have masked the possibility that she isn't as often someones second choice candidate. What I observed at our Iowa caucus might have been used to predict this.

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

    BTW: Hilary how do you explain that in Nebraska, Obama won the state 68 to 32; he won Nebraska's second congressional district 77 to 23 – it's 80% white, with a mean household income of about $50,000.

    I guess these people dont count either....???

    I think I hear you warming up your spin machine.

    February 11, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  15. texas

    one of the biggest problems I have
    with Obama. I'm an art teacher and I sometimes have my students read Plato's Republic. The reason Plato didn't want artists in his perfect society, was that artists can enthrall through the senses and cause people to abandon their good judgment and be easily led astray. Hitler, for instance, used art and spectacle to stir people up emotionally with this very result.
    Obama too can stir people up and making them emotionally excited. How does he do this? He uses phrases which don't require much reflection but seem desirable. Everyone is for "unity". Everyone is for "we can DO it!" But what IS it? He doesn't really go into that. When he IS specific, he talks about making nice with the Republicans. Now, it seems to me, that most of the people on the Left Blogs are upset with people who want to find a middle ground with the Republicans. So if that is true, why would they want to vote for Barack Obama, since this is the only thing he's really specific about? Because they can't see it. He"s making us fall in love with him with his pretty words and the sense of "hope" he creates with them, which is grounded, I fear, in aesthetics, nothing else.

    February 11, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  16. banjo

    please release your Tax records for the sake of God.

    I want to belive in you, But if you dont, you leave me no choice than to vote for Obama.. I cant be fooled twice, I refused to be fooled.

    February 11, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |


    VERY VERY SCARY!!!!!!!!!


    GO HILLARY!!!!!!

    February 11, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  18. Dear Hillary

    Please release all information regarding Rezko's contributions to your campaign! Obama sent all known contributions to charities. You kept yours because you were broke!

    We need a President with Ethics...
    OBAMA '08!!!

    February 11, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  19. Mark

    This is ridiculous. A win is a win, and I wish the media would stop feeding into the spin the Clinton campaign loves to spew out. I'm sure we'll be hearing this again tomorrow, after Obama sweeps MD, DC and VA. "Oh well he was suppossed to win there."

    Obama has won 20 out of the 31 states so far. She can spin it all she wants, but people aren't dumb, she's still losing.

    February 11, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  20. murray

    Maine doesn't count because it's a caucus. Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina don't count because those states have black people. Washington and Minnesota don't count because they have educated white people. Nebraska and Kansas don't count because they are red states with lots of white people. Illinois doesn't count because it's Obama's home state. Virginia and Maryland won't count because they're full of black people and educated white people. Missouri doesn't count because Clinton had already declared herself the winner before all of the votes were counted.


    February 11, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  21. Mac Ibrahim

    Hillary's comment reflects the truth. If you don't like it, that is not going to help you.

    February 11, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  22. common sense

    Hillary rationalizes each and every of her failure!!! what a shame.
    be smart America, Vote Obama!

    February 11, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  23. Jay

    Saying that caucus states don't represent the electorate is a slap in the face of every American that waited in line to get into a building and make their voices heard. This is an awful comment and will come back to bite.

    February 11, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  24. franko

    this should be front page! she messed up for real

    February 11, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  25. Mike Davison

    What a shock. Hillary's on a pretty bad losing streak, losing funds, replacing her campaign manager...and she comes out with stuff like this? Sure Hillary...only the few states you've won matter. Going to only get worse after she drops Va and Maryland tomorrow. Wonder what her shrinking excuses will be then?

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