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)

    PS –

    Nearly 20 years of the same 2 families in Power does not = CHANGE.
    If she's elected (GOD HELP US) who's running next.... JEB BUSH?

    If she were to support change, she'd back OBAMA...but she's a stubborn meglomaniacal woman.

    PS Release your tax information Hillary.

    OBAMA '08

    February 11, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  2. Joe T

    When Obama wins the Nomination, then you could call Hillary a loser
    Until then tune in and watch her become our next president.

    February 11, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  3. Carol

    Look people the question is do you want another 4 yrs of this GOP crap?! I think not so we must decide which candidate is more well suited to go up against Mccain in November. The point is Hillary does not win up against him in a general election. While Obama does. So at the risk of having another republican in the White house, AM VOTING FOR OBAMA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 11, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  4. Faith

    Just wondering what experience did President Bill Clinton have that made him "ready' to be president, being the leader of the McGovern campaign; being a law professor; being Attorney General of Arkansas or being Governor of Arkansas. The only thing that Barack Obama has accomplished has been, being a Community Organizer, being a University of Chicago Lecturer on Constitutional Law, being a Civil Rights Attorney, being a Illinois State Legislator or being a United States Senator (I am being sarcastic)
    I am actually undecilded, I like Hillary Clinton, however she's a little to conservative. I like Barack Obama, however, I know that this country is not "ready" to elect a, African American president. I even like John McCain, however, I don't think that he can empathize with a large percentage of the population. What is one to do!

    February 11, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  5. linda

    I usually don't read the comments of these articles but today I thought I would find out what others are thinking and my goodness I am stunned!
    Some of these posts are so totally ignorant. It is hard to take any of HRC's supporters seriously because I can just feel the anger. It oozes from most every one of her supports posts.
    Gosh, why all the hate. It borders on being quite frightening. It is difficult to even pay attention to their point of view because most are so vicious and have such negative leanings.
    I think you guys are hurting more than you are helping. It is an immediate turn off to find that you are so narrow minded that you would vote for McCain and leave our young men and women to die in a sensless war than to get behind the other democratic candidate. Wow, that speaks volumes. It makes me feel sad and dirty to have even read this stuff. I feel so sorry for the families who will pay dearly for your closed minded views.

    February 11, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  6. rabblerouser

    How short everyone's memories are. Just in January when the Sainted Obama lost in NH, he whined and cried not fair and the media, who backs him entirely started spinning Bill and Hillary's words into something they were not, while Obama tittered quietly on the sidelines, letting Al Sharpton and the Media play the race card for him.

    Now when Hillary puts on a brave front, everyone as usual criticizes her far more than they ever dare to criticize the Sainted and Sly Obama, who by the way, is much more establishment than anyone cares to notice. No one seems to object to that sense of entitlement he projects that with virtually no experience, but with merely a vision, we should all come out and make him president. In exchange, he will help us be the best we can be.

    Give me a break...

    February 11, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  7. John G

    So did she just say that black votes don't matter?

    It sounds like she just said black votes don't matter.

    She was dismissing a "... system that favors...an energized African-American community."

    February 11, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  8. Jeanine G

    The facts are the facts. An AP Poll says, If the election was held today, that Barack would win against McCain. If the election was held today, Clinton & McCain would split the vote.


    Because if the Democratic Party unites behind Obama, more Clinton supporters will follow the party, and Obama has a better chance of attracting Republicans and Independants, then if Hillary is on the ticket.

    Hillary is too polarizing, she will rally Republicans against her and turn off many Democrats that would normally vote.

    February 11, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  9. G KLINE

    WAIT A MINUTE! Hillary says Obama's wins were in states that go red so they don't matter? Yet Hillary is pinning her big hopes on TEXAS! It don't get redder than Texas folks. She kills me. Caucus states are all activists? Iowa is full of activists? The other wins are because Obama is black? I think I might be offended on more levels than I can count. Not as many as on George Bush, but yikes!

    February 11, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  10. sally

    What bothers me most is the nastiness of the Obama supporters. Read the comments–some people sound very immature. . Even Michelle Obama has become a shrill, Stating she will not support Hilary Clinton if she gets the nomination. I thought Obama was about bringing people together. Perhaps he should talk to his wife. I thought Obama represented change from the nastiness of politics. Anyone is better than Bush. Hilary is correct– Many of the states she has won are larger with more electoral votes, which she will carry in fall. Obama has won the Democratic caucus in red states with small turnouts for the caucus. Although the Democrats supported him, those states will be Repubican in the fall.

    February 11, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  11. John

    As has been stated so many times on these boards by people living in those states, Texas and Pennsylvania (my home) are clearly on Hillary's side, and will allow her to carry a pledged delegate lead into the convention. Face it, huge Hispanic population in Texas will never vote for Obama, and a huge elderly population (of which I am not at the moment) in PA will not vote for the emptiness of Obama's rhetoric. I even am friends with a number of African American males that just can't believe anyone would fall for Obama's empty words.

    Hillary will carry the big states and the day at the convention.

    February 11, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  12. AJ, IL

    Oh that Hillary...loses on the weekend and pulls a Bill Clinton at the South Carolina primary. Hillary blaming her losses on "race", let rewind that again, Hillary Clinton playing the race card?

    The following is Hillary's thought processes....
    "Hmmm...Let's see.

    Scape-goated and Fired my Hispanic woman chief of staff – CHECK
    Hired a black woman chief of staff prior to DC, Maryland primaries – CHECK
    Dismissed Obama supporters in Maine, Louisiana, Nebraska, and Washington (as well my own Maine, Louisiana, Nebraska, and Washington support) – CHECK
    Got Chelsea Clinton on campaign trail claiming to have poor health issurance while working at a hedge fund making 6-figure salary – CHECK "

    February 11, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  13. Anonymous

    She' obviously scared. She's only wining because of superdelegates, and Obama's catching up to those. She's fired her campaign manager, she's borrowing money...

    What Hilary forgets is that no matter who wins the nomination, states like New York, California, etc. will vote for the democratic candidate. However, its the states that voted red in the last election that we want to vote blue in this one, and Obama has clear support in those, and he;s has the strongest chance of winning the electoral vote in November and the election.

    Obama's doing better in caucuses because those primarily focus on talking to voters about why they should vote for their candidate, and it's much easier to convince someone to vote for Obama simply because he's a better and stronger candidate with a more integrity and a more agreeable record.

    February 11, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  14. Barrington of Cambridge

    Hillary, are you suggesting that Obama's supporters are "activists" because they gave you an old fashion, down home, butt whopping last weekend?

    So all those who suport YOU are called what? Name calling and labling REALLY should be left to the Republicans. We know better than that, don't we Hillary & Co. ... or is it only Obama and his activist supporters who know better? Maybe that's why he's leading the Democratic campaign.

    Hey Hillary, Ann Coulter would have voted for you last weekend. At least it would have been something ... someone.

    February 11, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  15. Ingrid

    I wish people would stop being LAZY! Go to the websites of Clinton, Huckabee, McCain, OBAMA..etc. and read their policies. Read their plans as President.

    Is it too hard to read? And stop belittling the people who support these candidates. I am sure they did their research just as I have done. I researched republicans and democrats to see where everyone stood. From that I made my decision.

    I would like a mix of Mike Huckabee, Ron Paul, and John Edwards. My perfect candidate. However, I had to pick one who these people together came close to and that was OBAMA. Did I make this decision from listening to their speeches alone NO! What type of idiot would do that..I looked at their website and to be honest WIKIPEDIA. Wikipedia is an amazing resource. Use it!

    Read..read..read..just don't get caught up by what you see on TV.

    Obama 08!

    February 11, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  16. Maria

    Hillary – these kinds of negative and very derogative comments will be costly to you! How more insulting can you be to African Americans? These are te same poeple who supported your husband when he was running! Give me a break! NO wonder you are loosing the voters' confidence!

    February 11, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  17. California Voter

    By the way, McCain said practically about caucus voting in a response to a question about Huckabee's wins. Before you criticize Clinton for her comments learn something about voting in a caucus. For example, how many registered Democrats are in Maine - about 400,000. How many Democrats voted - about 40,000. So you have about 10 percent of the voters decide for the state. There is a similar scenario in all the caucus states so a win in a caucus state does not translate into a win for the Democrats in the general election. We want a candidate that can win in November. GO HILLARY!

    February 11, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  18. Gmoney

    When African-Americans overwhelmingly vote for Obama, she sluffs it off. When women carry her in the states she wins, she trumpets it.

    What makes one "better" than the other?"

    February 11, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  19. Andy

    I love this. Hillary lost in several red states to Obama, but she claims she will be more competitive than Obama in them during the General Election? More people voted for Obama than her, but fewer people will vote for McCain than her later on? Sounds like a desperate twisting of fact and logic to me.

    February 11, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  20. Patrick, NYC

    It is obvious to see that CNN is only rendering Hillary's message & nothing more. I don't buy the argument that they're bias. She's the one who's downplaying the importance of a big chunk of the electorate to explain her losses (which could backfire in the general election). Barack on the other hand, spoke about making himself known to the latino community after his losse in California, in order to improve his numbers among states with a big latino votes concentration. He never spoke negatively about whoever didn't vote for him. Which is why he's doing so well. People see him as a great leader with integrity and morals.

    CNN is only reporting facts. They supposed to cover events as they happen. Barack is creating a lot of buzz wherever he goes. So why would they spend time talking about Hillary's campain if there's absolutely nothing to report? This is a no-brainer to me. This is not favoritism but news repoting.

    An indepedent.

    February 11, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  21. Chris in Alexandria

    Do yourselves a favor. Go to Youtube and watch Michelle Obama's Delaware speech. Hillary is just shifting the bar again, as predicted. Michelle's long lost cousin must be Nostradamus. He is somewhat cooler than Dick Cheney. You can't change character, people. This is why Hillary is so predictable.

    February 11, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  22. aware

    Caucuses will not be secure votes for some time yet, and it is easy to understand obamamania overtaking small groups!

    We won't know which way the wind is blowing until we get to the big state primaries and if necessary on to the convention.

    Money/influence bought the Bush reign. Do you really want another one? 😦

    Hillary the Hope of 08

    February 11, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  23. Eric DiMaggio

    Come on Obama! Why won't you debate Hillary within the next 2 weeks? Are you seriously afraid of her?

    This is a true test of your knowledge and to see if you REALLY have what it takes to be President starting on January 21st 2009. President Bush has proved that anybody can just "wing it." We want to see if you can talk the real talk. There's no better way than to see you in debates, spittin your knowledge on the isses!!

    If you really have what it takes, prove it to us voters during this close race. Help us decide. DEBATE! That's the REAL man's method!

    February 11, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  24. Teresa in MN

    As a democrat in a caucus state, I think it's important for people to realize how the presidential nominee vote takes place. You're handed a ballot with the democratic nominees names on it, you put a check mark next to the one you wish to vote for, then your ballot is placed in a box to be counted. Then you can stay and participate in the caucus, or you can go home.

    Here in Minnesota, we had record turnouts – traffic was jammed, lines were long. It wasn't just a bunch of activists going to caucus. People were inspired and energized about voting. I've voted in primaries and now a caucus and I don't see a substantial difference (other than the fact that parties voted at different places).

    Hillary should be ashamed of dismissing caucus states. There are a lot of people that are very excited about having a voice in this election . . . and she just said we don't matter.

    February 11, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  25. Ohio Dem

    Gee, when McCain loses badly, in Kansas, he says he has a lot of work to do. When Hillary loses every contest over the weekend, she blames the party activists, the caucus system, and African Americans. She then says the caucus system does not reflect the will of the voters.

    Hmmmm.... Depends on what the meaning of the word "lose" is.

    February 11, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
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