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. Nate

    Inconsiderate. Inappropriate.

    February 11, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  2. Chris, Middletown, CT

    Hillary supporters.....she hasn't answered a single question with a clear answer during this campaign...and before....I cornered the only person I know who was supporting Hillary and asked "why" – (it should be easy to convince someone why you are supporting a candidate) – her answer...."we need a woman in the White House".....baffling)

    February 11, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  3. Mireille, Charlotte

    I would think it important enough to win over the whole country. This dismissal of certain states is peculiar. As if the people don't count and if that is the case, then why don't they count. Is the circuit rigged. All I know is if I was someone from one of these states the Clintons are so fond of dismissing as unimportant, or rather a genuine person from one of their more favorable state of people, i would certainly consider the message the clintons send, and that is some people of some parts of America ,whether by design or inherency, are better than others. they need to watch this tone.

    February 11, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  4. Ellen

    It's sad but it sounds like the words of a sore loser.

    February 11, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  5. Greg Fensterman

    I didn't see her playing down her Nevada caucus win. Instead she made a big deal out of it. Nothing wrong with celebrating a win. But she can't then turn around and say, oh caucus states don't represent the elecorate. So then the Nevada results don't mean anything Hillary?

    I realize that she has no choice but to try and put a good spin on it , anyone else would do the same.

    But it's sort of hard to pretend that a four state sweep with margins of 20% and greater doesn't mean anything.

    If it doesn't matter then why did you fire your campaign director?

    She has to be running scared at this point. Her lead in Maine evaporated and now she has to be worried about how secure her edge really is in places like Ohio and Texas.

    tick tock – tick tock

    February 11, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  6. Ado

    Why do Hillary's supporters always claim that Obama gets more attention, or better attention? Hillary just said that activists don't matter! Are you serious? Activists are made up of normal people and definitely matter. She also said that the caucuses don't matter. But she only says that after she has been found to be weaker in caucuses – where people actually get together and debate who the better candidate is. She also implied that Barack is only winning because of the black vote. Well, he is winning more and more of other groups as well (granted, not women and hispanics). The point is, Obama doesn't try to change rules mid game, he doesn't claim that she is winning her primaries only because of women and he doesn't try to spin everything that goes against him. She has done this the whole campaign and frankly it is disgusting. I understand whent the racists out there say things like we would never vote for a black person, but I don't understand why normal, good Americans would vote for a leader that continuously changes the rules, lies and manipulates. I just don't get it.

    February 11, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  7. Boomer 4 Obama in FL

    To Catherine at 3:02
    Florida voters see through the attempt by The Clintons to reseat the Florida (and Michigan) delegates in the name of voters’ rights! Baloney! They knew the rules up front but now want to change the rules late in the fourth quarter because their team is behind.

    Mrs. C flew into town on the Sunday night before the Tuesday primary to "fund raise" on South Beach. It was all over the local news. She then returned on that Tuesday night, moments after the polls closed to "thank her supporters". Baloney again! It looked like a victory party to me, watching on CSpan. She vowed to fight so that all the Florida votes count!

    If the DNC caves in, what does this say about leadership and responsibility? It’s like a group of parents who warn their kids: Don’t stay out past curfew! If you do, you’ll be punished by not going to the concert! So they kids stay out late and the next morning the parents say: sorry, no concert – you were warned. After weeks of whining and complaining, the parents give in and, not only do they take the kids to the concert, they sit them in front row seats!

    The State won't pay for a do-over election so the idea of running a Dem caucus in FL has been floating around but oh – no – Mrs. C's campaign doesn't want one of those!

    February 11, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  8. James

    This woman must live on another planet. She is so far out of touch with the American people , it turns ones stomach.

    February 11, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  9. TheGhostsofVincentFosterandRonBrown

    "A state only matters if I, Hitlery Rotten-Clintoon, Queen of America, win it."

    February 11, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  10. janie

    Obama steals the lyrics from JFK, the speech pattern of Martin Luther and now he thinks the rest of the democrates that did not vote for him will come heather and yonder if he succeeds and becomes the nominee?? Give me a break.. I don't vote for Jr... just as I did not vote for this Bush. No Experience... no need to apply!! We have to much at stake to allow a jr dem. senator with no international background become pres

    February 11, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  11. Tim, DC

    CNN needs to get its facts straight, Obama leads in delegates.

    February 11, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  12. WomantoWoman

    Hillary just lost me for good!!!

    February 11, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  13. Louisiana Loves Hillary!!

    Qiut screaming the race vote!!!! Everything cannot be about race!!!!

    February 11, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  14. stirlingmclaughlin

    She is right, she can't be expected to win those red states in November. But Barack can.

    February 11, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  15. Texas

    I would like to find out Hillary's accomplishments in the past 35 years. Could she list them one by one and tell us how they came out. Her health plan failed right off after her arrival at the White House under her Hubby, Bill.

    I don't know how so many people say we will vote for Hillary......Not So.......my part of Texas is Obama.


    February 11, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  16. Joedee

    Everyone talks about Obama's lack of experience. They say president is not an entry level job. Well George W. had lots of experience and he certainly didn't do much for this country.

    Experience does not necessarily equal a good performance. Which brings to mind a saying my dad used to repeat. All the book learning in the world cannot make up for common sense.

    Personally I'd rather give almost any of the running for president a shot than to put up with someone who will be another ineffective George W.

    February 11, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  17. Jay

    I was at a caucus in Washington on Saturday and noticed how no one was ID'd for age requirements. I found it astounding....and I'm an Obama supporter. There were so many young people there and the people in charge did not ask for ID. This was my first caucus and probably my last because it was handled badly and too confusing.

    So, although I think Obama still would have won Washington (although the polls here were tied the day before) I think the caucus, at least the one I was at, was surely favoring Obama. I'm not hating that but I just think the fact that kids were caucusing without showing they were at least 17 and would be 18 by the general election kind of disturbed me a bit. That's not democracy.

    February 11, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  18. Amy-Cincinnati

    Nice spin, Hillary. You got spanked this weekend, and it will happen again tomorrow.

    February 11, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  19. David from NJ

    Hillary raised $100,000,000 in 2007. Now's she broke!?!?!?!?
    Where did the money go?
    How in the world would she balance the budget with that type of fiscally-ridiculousness?

    February 11, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  20. Judy, PA

    Hillary has shown her disrespect by ignoring those states with the least number of delegates, and going after those with the larger numbers. This to me shows that she does not care for all Americans only those who can help her win. Her victory parties in Michigan and Florida what was the purpose.

    Obama has my vote, and I am not african-american, why, because I beleve He is the better candidate. He is a person whom I feel can bring real change to this country for all americans. I cannot trust Hillary, her record and her comments on the nomination process is proof enough.

    Obama is the best candidate for the job.

    February 11, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  21. Cleveland

    I am in Texas and I don't know anyone that is voting for Obama. I am sure he will take the black vote, because qualifications don't seem to mean a thing to most African Americans, going to vote for the black canidate no matter what. Most Texans however are white and hispanic, and I don't any of them that will be voting for Mr. Arrogant. Hillary has my support and every Democrat I know, we just can't afford another arrogant, under qualified president!

    February 11, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  22. Tommy2

    You don't like when someone tells it like it is, but you do like it when someone says we and us, it make you feel empowered. If that makes you feel like you are involved, then I feel sorry for you. When I leave my house to go vote, I will vote for the person I want to vote for. In a caucuse you go vote for one person and at the end of the day you may leave having voted for someone other then the person you left the house to vote for. That is crazy. Where did this BS come from in the first place? One person one vote, not I guess I'll go along with the group. It is a fact that a few BIG states trump alot on littles ones. Sorry.

    February 11, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  23. Carol

    I would love to look an AA, a resident of a caucus state, a lower income citizen, any resident of a state OTHER THAN TX, OH, and PA in the eyes. I want to know how they're feeling at this point--just FINDING OUT that they've been USED. And the SAD is -–HILLARY HAS JUST BEGUN!!!!!

    February 11, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  24. lou vaccaro

    Is there ANYTHING that Sen Clinton does not know???????? Please enlighten me......LCV

    February 11, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  25. Charlie

    There are alot of things in the democratic process that aren't so democratic: caucuses, delegates deciding the candidates instead of the people, and electoral votes (look at the damage of the last two ). Legitimately these are a concern in any election.

    I respect Hillary. I respect Obama. Let's be realistic. Most democrats are going to vote democrat no matter which candidate wins. These are two candidates who are very similar in their stance on the issues. They both have the potential to be good for our country. Both have a chance with disenfranchised Republicans and Independents because of our current leadership and the disillusionment of our nation.

    Frankly, though, I want a candidate who gets people off their tails to vote. Activists, African Americans, young people. I want this country to be excited to participate in even a flawed democratic process. All people's votes matter, and the fact there is a candidate who actually is inspiring hope in a time of great worry makes me excited to be alive during this time period.

    In this election I choose Obama, and I am not afraid to have Hillary count my vote as worthless in a little place like Montana. Her opinion on my vote is meaningless when for the first time I am excited to be a part of this country's future. Call it momentum, call it what you will, but if inexperience makes me believe in the potential of this nation, then I would vote for inexperience 100 times over. Yes, I am part of the Obama "cult".

    Even if he eventually doesn't win, the fact there are enough people in this country who believe in the possibility of a person like Obama makes me proud to be part of this country.

    February 11, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
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