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. Paula

    It the voting had been in Clinton's favor, she would be singing a different song.
    Let's go Obama.

    February 11, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  2. Duane

    She does raise a good point about the caucuses. These are old and antiquated systems of voting that should be done away with. When you are not voting in secret, you skew the voting process. Sure, many people vote their true beliefs, but many others will not want to be seen as backing who isn't as popular. Plus, they only last two or three hours. The solution is simple, all states hold day-long primaries, preferably on one day, and from there launch the national campaign.

    February 11, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  3. Jack Marcus

    Excuses..Excuses Excuses.... Is this our Future President.... God Save America !!!!

    February 11, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  4. Erik in Seattle

    This year marked the third presidential caucus/primary cycle of my voting lifetime, however it marked the first time that I cared enough about any of the candidates to go and caucus for them. I resent the fact that Hillary is so quick to discount my voice and decision to participate in this process.

    Whatever there is that's great about these United States of America is there because its people possess these same qualities of greatness, and choose to express them in their daily lives through the choices they make. A president cannot bring a country to shame without encouraging shameful conduct by their constituents. Similarly, a president can only make a country great by inspiring their constituents and advisers to bring out the best in themselves. Having the ability to make their team (which for the president is all of us) believe that they themselves can each play an important role in progress is the characteristic of a true leader...a leader that this country needs.

    Let us not forget that the energy which is bringing people to caucuses and Obama rallies is likely to be the same type of energy that will be used for volunteering for Obama's proposed public service programs and otherwise sacrifice for the good of the nation. This is not about believing in Obama, its about believing in ourselves and our country again. And it is precisely that belief, coupled with good old American ingenuity and dedication, which has the best chance of overcoming the monstrous challenges that we now face.

    Day One is today.

    February 11, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  5. Kat

    Good point David! She wouldn't balance a budget because she isn't Bill. People want the 90's back but she isn't the way to get it!!!! Don't let the Bush/Clinton dynasty continue!!!!

    OBAMA 08

    February 11, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  6. Greg, Phoenix, AZ


    This woman has absolutely lost her mind.

    Yeah, I am sure Team Clinton was planning on gettting creamed 17-9 in primaries/caucuses since Super Tuesday since they began putting their plans together back at the beginning of the campaign (when her people were saying the nomination was "inevitable").

    Also, sure they planned on firing their campaign manager right in the middle of a heated battle for the nomination. That is EXACTLY what you want to do right in the middle of an intense campaign.

    And I am more than certain that they were always planning on trying to change the rules on Florida and Michigan even after noone besides her campaigned in those states.

    Bottom line, Team Clinton is panicking and she is not one to go down gracefully. I am betting she blows a gasket by the time Texas and Ohio come around.

    February 11, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  7. Alice

    I would like to see disclosure of Obama's campaign contributions.

    February 11, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  8. Ngon

    CNN stop being biased against Clinton

    February 11, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  9. Jason

    I boarded a plane yesterday going from Washington (state) to Northern California and overhead a woman who said she was a Clinton campaign worker telling other people in the line that "there were rumors that Obama dealt drugs at Columbia". The woman she was talking to looked at her and asked, "Do you have any basis for that or are you just spreading a rumor and walking away?" The Clinton campaign worker smiled and laughed uncomfortably and said, "Well, it's a rumor, we don't have any real information..."

    This is a true story and I found it sickening. We cannot elect this woman to our highest office. She will do anything to win and is not honest.

    I'm an independent. I'll vote for anybody but Hillary. I just don't trust her...

    McCain, Obama, doesn't matter. Anybody but Hillary.

    Beware Dems. I think there are a lot of people out there like me.

    February 11, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  10. Sarah L, Fayetteville, AR

    I wish Clinton supporters would stop calling my vote for Obama stupid. I am a young, white, southern attorney and I am not a moron because I believe in Senator Obama's ability to be the next president of the United States. If you want the party united come November, you must stop treating us like idiots when we don't vote your way.

    February 11, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  11. Brad, Stockton, CA

    OK, Obama leads in delegates based on voters choices, and Hillary is ahead in superdelegates... if so-called "superdelegates" have enough weight (and a lot of them are quite old and fat) and margin to push an outcome that does not agree with what the voters have determined, then why bother having primaries and caucauses? The democratic party, already teetering on the edge of worthlessness, should eliminate the use of superdelegates because the party is on its way to becoming just as meaningless at the republican party already is. Hillary, Bill and Chelsea... please shut the f&$% up and go home. America is tired of the Clintons.

    February 11, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  12. tony

    To the Obama supporters, lets not attack Clinton any longer.. it does no good. Continue to push and donate and not waste time criticizing what she does. If you ignore her she will surely fade away.

    February 11, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  13. Curtis


    As an interesting note: Why do you want to perpetuate the disenfranchisement of young people? I'm not saying they should have broken the law. I'm saying, why don't young people deserve to vote? Why do you deserve to, and they don't? I started working and paying taxes when I was 14. I thought it was paying taxes that qualified you. Maybe not. I scored higher than 3/4ths of graduating seniors on a test when I was in 8th grade. I thought it was decision making and knowledge that qualified you. Maybe not. The day I turned 18, I was suddenly able to vote. I thought there would be a big difference between that day and the one before it. Guess there wasn't. That's not democracy.

    February 11, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  14. David, NJ

    For all of you who speak of Hillary's experience dont realize that Barak has more 'elected' experience than Hillary. He has served in the Illinois senate for 7 years NOT 3. Hillary has only been an 'elected' official for 4 years when she ran and won New York City. This is easy math, 7 is greater than 3.

    Hillay did serve as the wife of a President and the wife of a governor but those are not 'elected' years. One can argue and debate that those years should count as 'experience' as she has. This argument is perfectly debatable and the voters should decide if elected experience outweigh experience by osmosis or vice versa.

    In my opinion, 'elected' experience should be what the decision is based on. If not, all house wives can claim to have experience in their husband's businesses. I can live with either candidate but prefer Obama because leadership is important. The decision to walk on the moon or face death for equal rights all started with a vision. Experience is over-rated because you already carrying the habits of others who influenced you along the way.

    Decide for yourself people. "Elected" experience or "Wife" experience?

    February 11, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  15. pam,s.c.

    how are those supporters of clinton able to donate ?

    February 11, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  16. jeff

    First of all, the states of NY, CA, NJ, and MA will vote democratic no matter who the candidate is. So, having said that, it's more important to be able to win the states that are called "swing states" or have heavy Republican bases. Imagine that Obama could win a few of these during the general in addition to the ones we already have wrapped up.

    He has the ability to avoid what happened in 2000 (remember Florida?). Do you really think Clinton would even come close to winning any Republican states?

    Her argument is so backwards, is it any wonder that she is losing ground? She might win Texas and Ohio, but think of it, if she couldn't win the Democratic party by a landslide by Super Tuesday, how would she ever win the general election?

    February 11, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  17. Stan

    Hillary got the $5 millions for her book in which she made about $8-10 millions. Stop the speculation!!!! Kidding me?

    She made $7 Mil from her book, paid almost 40% in taxes, and she still has $5 Mill left? what is this? Voodoooo economics ... oh, sorry, Clinton Economic. HRC, release your return!

    February 11, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  18. Jon

    African Americans vote on racial lines. Everyone knows it. They see a black man running, and convince themselves that he's the best choice.

    He's brainwashed us all. He will be a terrible president.

    February 11, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  19. Mike

    Both of the Clintoons live in the Matrix...

    February 11, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  20. Spiderling

    That would be called "making an excuse for failure". No way Hillary wins the nomination this way.

    February 11, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  21. sd

    So, by this reasoning, we are left with the following: caucus states = black people = "they don't represent the electorate"

    February 11, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  22. kris

    "they don't represent the electorate, we know that."

    is she cares about the states who voted for her ?. this will haunt in general election if she is nominee.

    February 11, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  23. Teresa in MN

    How can Hillary keep claiming that she is the candidate that can beat McCain? Every poll I have seen gives the advantage to Obama over McCain. In polls that showed that she could beat McCain, Obama had a much bigger margin. I have yet to see a poll that shows the she is a stronger candidate against McCain.

    She does read these polls, doesn't she?

    And hasn't she been listening to the Republicans? They keep saying that nothing would unite them more than going against her.

    February 11, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  24. Connie

    Hey, for all those asking for Clinton to release her tax returns, she says that she will only do so AFTER she secures the nomination!!! CNN, POST THAT STORY!! She wants to do negotiations now??? Well, this is one negotiation that will never "close". She must take the American people for a joke. Obama released his without any conditions and this woman wants to make deals as if what we will get out of the deal is seeing her finances. When I say the Clintons operate on manipulative tactics, her supporters want to dispute it. Well, HRC supporters, I suggest you stop standing for her because this woman is digging her own grave and taking you in with her. I hate condescending, manipulative, and opportunistic people, but if this is what you want for your country, believe me, you will get it, but you will live to regret it!!

    OBAMA '08

    February 12, 2008 02:14 am at 2:14 am |
  25. Pat

    What I find amusing is that the expeience Hillary claims to have is to be married to the guy who ignored the al-Qaida threat. Not the kind of experience I am looking for.

    February 12, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
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