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. art

    Everybody knew that Obama was going to in those states just like he's going to do really well in the Potomac states too. But he can claim momentum from it and this is why the timing of each individual primary is so important. One States earlier primary, however small, DOES influence the next later state one. Rudy Giuliani learnt this the hard way. Maybe this will give Obama an edge but I'm sure had every primary and caucus been held on one and the same day, Hillary would certainly win.

    February 11, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  2. Wayne

    hahaha... so the argument will be:

    Iowa didn't matter because it was a caucus state, and it's undemocratic. Same goes for every other caucus state including Maine. The only caucus state that mattered was Nevada.

    Idaho, Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, Alaska, and Utah don't matter because they're small Red states that Democrats won't carry in November.

    Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, and Louisiana don't matter because they have black people. Expect the same spin out of DC this Tuesday. Black people don't apparently count.

    Washington and Minnesota don't matter because they have educated white people.

    In any case, Washington, Nebraska, and Louisiana didn't matter on Saturday because everyone expected Obama to win them anyway.


    That's very low, even by the Clinton's standard!

    February 11, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  3. t-bone

    Why is she already writing off states in the general election?

    Obama can attract independents and soft republicans. She is hoping to get the same crowd that Kerry got and that wasn't enough.

    Michigan and Florida don't count except to to candidates who want to weasel there way into the nomination.

    February 11, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  4. Harold


    February 11, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  5. Jon Revere

    C'mon CNN!! Hillary just said all the people in caucus states DON"T MATTER!!!

    Holy cow!

    Why don't you make this a big HEADLINE?

    Geez, I'm a republican and I can't believe she said that!! Unreal!

    February 11, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  6. Susan S., Wyoming

    Looks like the Clintons are sticking with the saying-it-without-saying-it racism and condescension. Very depressing and disgusting. Nobody would vote for Obama if he wasn't a viable candidate. Remember, early on Clinton had a strong lead with black voters.

    She's also insulting all the new Democratic voters. I seriously doubt most of the Democrats showing up in droves for caucuses for the first time consider themselves "activists." I wish there were that many party activists!

    Unlike Clinton, Obama is inspiring the people who usually sit out elections to get off the couch and participate. Unlike Clinton, Obama is paying attention to those of us in the middle of the country who are tired of seeing the Democrats on the coasts blow it again and again.

    Unlike Clinton, Obama has done the math and figured out that Democrats can win in November if we pay attention to the middle of the country too, not just the eastern seaboard and the west coast.

    February 11, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |

    Just admit that Obama embarrased you this weekend.
    Please release your tax records. Why aren't you releasing them?

    and for you Billary supporters, I hope you're getting a

    OBAMA '08 '12

    February 11, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  8. Brad

    Her response is: "Oh we will never win those red states anyway." By that same logic couldnt you say they will never lose those blue states which she is touting as her big victories?

    I dont think she really wants to bring up who has a better chance of winning swing states, considering Barack is by far the more popular of the two with independents.

    There is no way she can make the case that she is more competitive against john mccain.

    February 11, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  9. jake

    the clintons know the game and at the end of the day we will see .hillary knows so does yaaahoooooo................ the chairman of the dem/party DEAN. she has this nomination in the bag. he's already talking backroom deals and party splits and convention waring. ITS GOING TO BE GOOD THEAT...................ER.

    February 11, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  10. CST

    She did not say the African American vote did not represent the electorate. She said caucus states do not represent the electorate. READ CAREFULLY before making broad and ignorant statements.

    February 11, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  11. Independent

    Yeah, grape is sour when it is unreachable. Is this a personality trait you'd like to see in your commander in chief?

    February 11, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  12. JCK

    So, if you win a state, it's important. If you don't win a state, it's not important.
    What about supporters in states you don't win? Just forget about them?

    February 11, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  13. Listen:

    I hear the MUTTER “Sour looser”

    February 11, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  14. Molee

    She is absolutely right. Caucuses are undemocratic, Markos Moulitsas of the dailykos has made that point emphatically over the years. Why should we ever have limited time to vote and be in a room with lots of people using peer-pressure to influence other votes. Secret ballot is the only way to go.

    February 11, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  15. stan pitts pa

    if she got the money 5 million to loan her campaign from a legitimate source, why not release her tax receipts now, instead of after the election when its safe? she cannot be trusted, period, she is calculating, manipulative and poll driven!

    February 11, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  16. Cuacus = Peer pressure fest!

    It's amazing that a man who say's absoulutely nothing of value for our country is actually has the momentum lead in the election. He say's nothing yet you all vote for him and bet the future of your children and those you love on empty rehetoric. Please people base it on who is most qualified and put your biases aside.

    February 11, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  17. Kevin (Jonesboro, GA)

    I continue to become more and more disgusted with Hillary as I hear her speak. Instead of being a gracious loser, she minimizes the people of the states that she loses. She writes off her loss in Louisiana due to the African-American electorate but fails to mention that she had the support of the majority of African-Americans, myself included, when the campaign first began. She lost that supportthrough her own actions and comments in addition to others learning more about Barack. If I were still a Hillary supporter, I would feel extrmely slight ed by her everytime she tries to get the heck out of Dodge as soon as possible when she realizes that she is going to lose a given state. These people took the time out to vote for you Hillary. I don't agree with their decision to support you but at least respect them for taking a stand. I would encourgae you to do the same thing.

    February 11, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  18. Annie

    Obama – Poor Winner

    February 11, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  19. Undecided

    I'm still undecided, but I wonder how Sen. Clinton will "explain away" the primary voting on Tuesday in Virginia, Maryland and DC if she does not win. No caucus activists here.

    And considering the fake victory celebrations she had in Florida and Michigan where no delegates were at stake and no other candidate participated, I think it is fair to let Obama claim victory in the caucuses.

    February 11, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  20. Georgia OR

    Hillary is just saying the same things the rest of us have been saying. She is telling it like it is. Caucuses absolutely favor activists and where a large population of voters are African-American, most will vote for Obama. It's the simple truth and nothing wrong with Hillary pointing it out.

    As far as Superdelegates "disenfranchising" millions, she's just playing by the rules. (Unlike Obama who wants to change the rules as he goes along to give him the edge wherever and whenever possible.) And who knows? Maybe the superdelegates will be coerced into choosing Obama. And, by the way, talk about disenfranchising voters, how about those caucuses? Anyone who had to work or who couldn't attend the caucus at the appointed time, was simply out-of-luck. No right to vote for them!

    February 11, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  21. Diann

    And why are those "activists" so active? Come on, Hillary, you're not living in the real world. Obama has INSPIRED those people to become activists and active. I met people at my caucus, including myself, who had never been to one before, but were moved to this time because of the words spoken by this positive and uplifting leader. I met kids at the caucus, who couldn't even vote, that had been inspired to come. If a politician can do THAT and unite this fragmented country, he deserves to be President!

    February 11, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  22. Bill

    Hillary will say and do anything to win the election. She can lie to anyone with both her eyes wide open.

    February 11, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  23. manubi

    This candidate is having her head in the sand. I understand that truth and defeat are difficult to swallow sometimes. If you don't acknowledge them and try to learn from your loss, how are you ever going to improve your chance to fac even greater obstacles? In my view, a competent president who leads this great nation should at least have the quality to face the defeat (NOT to run away from it)!

    Independent for Obama 08

    February 11, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  24. Valerie

    Hillary really need to watch her tone. The African American vote is going to help you in November if you make it that far. It would be shame not to have any AFrican American votes behind you in the November Election. You and Bill are too much.

    February 11, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  25. Ray Melnik

    I have no doubt that should Obama win, and it's starting to look that way, that he will go down in history as one of the greatest presidents.

    February 11, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
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