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. Linda

    I don't understand the "experience" argument. Hillary has been a U.S. Senator for four years longer than Obama. Four years isn't a great difference. How can you count her time as first lady? My husband has been a school principal for 21 years and even though I've been his partner in his career that doesn't mean I can go out and apply for a job in education administration.

    I'm not from one of the states that voted for Obama this weekend. If I was, I would be very upset with the Clinton remarks. I'm from Missouri. And if Obama could meet with the farmers of Illinois and convince them he was on their side, he can do the same thing in Missouri. I have lived in both St. Louis (my hometown) and Kansas City, and I've traveled over much of the state. Once he wins the nomination and is able to spend more time in Missouri, Obama will be very popular across the state.

    Dennis from Missouri also alleged that Obama doesn't have policies on health care, the Iraq war, and the economy. He most certainly does. And his policies are much more balanced. Take the time to read them.

    February 11, 2008 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  2. Thom

    So if an "energized African-American community" turned out and voted for Obama in the Louisiana primary, what are the rest of the AA community that voted for her? Let me tell you........no, maybe I shouldn't as she has said it loud and clear. Wake up folks and look at her comments, listen to her. Is she really this stupid? If she happens to win the nomination, can she really look at this "energized AA community" and say to them please come over to my campaign and join the stupid, less energetic group of people who voted for me back in the primary.

    February 11, 2008 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  3. Ash

    What a sore loser! If she wins a state, every vote counts, everything works, and the voters matter. If she loses, the voters don't matter, or they are too activitist, or the political mechanism for getting their voice heard is inherently flawed, or they are supporting Obama because of race. She didn't dismiss her own Nevada win because it was a caucas state, did she?

    For the first time this election, the red states actually are up for grabs – because we have a Republican front runner without strong conservative base support (who can't seem to win any red states!), and we might have a Democratic nominee who appeals to red states and has generated record voter turnout. Go Obama!

    February 11, 2008 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  4. Judy Azar LeBlanc

    It woud be just like Hillary to "minimize" someone else's successes other than her own. That is what makes her so dislikeable.

    February 11, 2008 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  5. Karen

    The media (CNN, Fox News, CBS and the likes) are all playing up Obama and they say everything negative about Hilliary. When watching 60 minutes last night Katie Couric was asking her (Hillary) questions like does she like Obama and what Obama said about her. It seem like the media wants them to hate each other. The media is no help at this point in getting the correct information to us about what the candidates stand for. They are busy talking gossip and rumors along with fueling most of it.

    February 11, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  6. Anonymous

    Oh Hillary, please stop with your racist profiling. Maybe if you didn't spend so much time on nonsense like that, you could figure out how those billing records mysteriously wound up in your room all those years ago. 35 years of experience? Doing what? Working for a law firm, being married to a president, and being a senator with an 80% absentee record on voting? Yeah that's great experience...

    February 11, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  7. Juan Gonzalez

    Here in Texas, Hillary is in for a BIG surprise if she think we go vote for her. We watch news too. We know that Obama is the the one who represent us the best. He is a man that walks with the people, not someonw who talks down to them and tell them they do not matter if they don't vote for them. I think it is very bad for hilliary to say people in those caucus states do not matter. how is she going to represent the country if she says people who don't vote for her do not matter???

    Viva Obama!

    February 11, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  8. Jonathon

    I am sorry to say, I began this campaign as a Clinton supporter. However, the more I read, watch the debates and listen to Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama, I have come to realize, I was a Bill Clinton spporter. Not a Hillary Rodham Clinton supporter. She truly is divisive, polarizing, calculating and very political. I am sure they all are, but maybe hers is too a fault. She is also very smart and if people continually tell her, they have trust issues with her, which she has not masked, then maybe that is how she really is. Maybe she stayed in her relationship, with our last great democratic president, for political reasons? Maybe she does not congatulate Mr.Obama in THEIR hard fought contests, because she is a sore loser? Maybe she cried in New Hampshire, to gain sympathy from women voters? Maybe she changed her campaign manager for these "african american" states to a african american intentionally? Maybe she kept her latino campaign manager for those "latino states"? Or, it could all be coincidence. I don't know. I do know in Michigan, she was one of the 1st candidates to be against my state moving our primaries up against the will of the Democratic Party. Now, she is all for seating the delegates from our sham of a primary. Maybe it is a "coincident" that she won that sham and now wants to seat the delegates. I am a Democrat, but not a "activist". I just want a good, honest President. That's all. Hillary Clinton could probably do a good job. However, Barack Obama is so much more decent and respectful. Very articulate and just seems to want to "do the right thing". For all of us. What a refresing concept... Besides, if you take Bill out of her equation, who is she?

    February 11, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  9. jack

    stop obam"s empty empty slogansssssssssssssssssssss
    wake up people obama gives empty speaches,,,,,,,,,,,

    February 11, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  10. california voter

    even cnn predicted, on super tuesday, that the "rest of february would go to obama" and hillary said that back then too–she is not "discounting" or "lowering expectations" but simply reciting the facts.

    February 11, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  11. Mike

    Doesn't surprise me one bit.

    February 11, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  12. Lynne

    To "The Ghosts of Vince Foster and Ron Brown",
    your blog name is foul and horribly insensitive. My neice just wrote a book report on "The Life and Times of Ron Brown" and I recently read the biography too. He was awesome! He could easily have been our first black president. It's clear you were raised by cavemen (or without a decent, human bone in your body) or you'd know not to speak ill of the dead, particularly those who lived championing AMerica and died serving our country, like Ron Brown.

    February 11, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  13. Deann

    Some said Sen. Hillary cannot be trust, if for such clean record cannot be trust; the drug user of Sen. Obama’s drug can be trust? Give me break! please tell me is this the Moral example for American?

    February 11, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  14. Jules

    Obama won't have to use this against her. Looks like the Clinton curse is rearing its ugly head. Many of her ideas are solid, but she is not right for the job- the Clintons self-destruct every time. They need no help. They'll do it on their own. Just let them do their thing and stay focused on getting people informed about the substantive issues. They seem to have convinced themselves that Obama is all hot air. Let's focus on getting out the specifics of his policies to the mainstream since they clearly won't go looking themselves and can't believe a candidate might have both vision and substance. The cynics need to get this information .

    February 11, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  15. Elizabeth

    Divisive. . . . only certain states count to her. . . The rest of us just don't matter.

    So now the democratic system of caucuses is bad. . . she is always a victim. . .

    February 11, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  16. Stephanie in Alabama

    Why thank you Hillary and your supporters... Apparently I'm a man – no. I voted in a cacus – no Primary. My husband makes the decisions for me – NO. I make over $150,000 a year, no live on disability. Am unaware of the issues – No very aware of them.

    I do find the argument that people couldn't vote funny... on SATURDAY? on SUNDAY? Retail, police, fire, and medical couldn't vote... but what stopped business men?

    February 11, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  17. Casey from VA

    Speaking as a republican that has been watching both races closely I will say this, if Oboma gets the nomination I just might vote for him over Mccain (i am not a party voter) but if HRC wins the nomination I will tell you right now I will vote for McCain with out a doubt. Just wanted you all to have a none democrates opinion on the two. If I wasnt so busy I would elaborate on my reasons but that is the gyst.

    February 11, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  18. Brandie

    I also read a comment about the race card. That is exactly what the democratic nominee race is about....the race/gender card. Do you think Obama has any problem taking those votes... the answer is no he doesnt. Elections are all about winning. Good for both Obama and Hillary to actually be running for president.....it is making history.

    February 11, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  19. mark

    i'm really not interested in paying for obama's on the job training program as president, either through my tax dollars or through pain and suffering from his trial and error efforts. neither do i want someone who can't "press the right button" when conducting senate votes including when he voted to strip millions of dollars from a child welfare office in chicago. sorry barack, "oops" does not give me hope.

    February 11, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  20. Linda

    At the beginning of the campaigns Obama really didn't know what to say but now that he's been listening to Clinton and the others speak now he knows what to say.What is he going do when he's elected President is going to ask Kennedy what to say. Think about it .I can see it now Obama wins the Election and he says I've won ,what am going to do now that promised all those people the things I'm going to do.Please help me.

    February 11, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  21. vl

    As a human being, I can not believe all these messages of HATE I am reading! I'm sorry to say, most of it coming from the Obama camp. To all those who think Florida and Michigan shouldn't count, you are wrong. I live in Michigan and would drive across our great state to vote. We'd like our voices heard too! I orignially voted "uncomitted" in our primary, but with all the hate, name calling, empty rhetoric, promises of "change/hope" and repetative "yes we can" I have re-evaluate my position on WHO should be our candidate... and it AIN'T Obama! This is for the leader of our great country..... not for some pop star!!!!!

    February 11, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  22. MG

    How is she going to explain away tomorrow's losses. They are all primaries!!

    February 11, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  23. Peter

    She states that the caucus states are activist states and that's who shows up....... I'm not an activist and my neighbors are not activists. Most, including my wife and I, had never been to a caucus. Not only did I show up, I volunteered to be the precinct captain. We had four times as many people show up than they did for the 2004 election. I guess I'm an activist now..... and so were the other 70% of people in my precinct who are with Obama.

    Times get tough and her verbage gets ugly and angry. No one promised you the presidency Hillary.... it's our decision, not yours.

    February 11, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  24. Asher,Calgary,Canada

    Hillary will pay for saying that,you never dismiss voters just beacuse they did not vote for you,So white,black,latino men and women who are voting for Obama do not count?Is she serious?

    February 11, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  25. JA Cook

    See Hillary run.

    Run Hillary Run.

    See Hillary Spin.

    Spin Hillary Spin

    February 11, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
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