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. LisaMpls

    Paul (2:10 p.m.), I agree that it is dishonest and silly to say that Obama has done nothing while in the Senate since 2005. However, do you think it is a good move on his part to have done not one single thing as head of the European Foreign Affairs Subcommittee chairperson? No policy hearings convened. (Maybe he has done other things as chairperson of that subcommittee, but I can't find any.) Sen. Biden used this same position to become an expert on numerous fronts during the Cold War. Not to mention this subcommittee is extremely important and has produced nothing for the Senate since prior to 2007. This chairperson position seems like it is just the thing to educate a future president. Instead of running this year, he could have learned so much and ran down the road. Just a thought.

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

    Wow talk about sour grapes, sheesh! I just wonder what her excuse will be when she loses the three primaries tomorrow. Essentially if she loses a state it is either a caucus or African America state? Please!!! Anyone who saw their two speeches on Saturday in Richmond can clearly see why she keeps losing . She is about as charismatic as Stephen Wright, and has as many faces as the Hope Diamond. Which is about as close to hope as her flagging campaign seems to have left!

    She led early because of her name recognition, but as the people get to know both candidates, and hear them speak, Obama's winning percentages grow. If she gets swept in the 3 Beltway primaries tomorrow, you'll be able to put a fork in her, because she will be done!

    February 11, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  3. Kevin


    February 11, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  4. Andre S

    Does she really think she is helping the democratic party as a whole? She is causing more divisiveness and is becoming more and more polarizing everyday. The reality is Hilary is scared and she should be. People want change and Obama is running a very positive campaign. To suggest that African-Americans are only voting for him because he's black is reverting to some of her husband's tactics and is racists. To discount the votes of those states is a disgrace to American voters. She should be trying to unite not divide. She'll do anything to get elected and that scares me.

    February 11, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  5. Jay, NJ

    Well said Ron, TX! But should we expect the establishment favorite Clintons to understand or support Dean's 50 State Strategy?

    Oh, and David: Without Bill Hillary wouldn't even be a sparkle in the media's eye. She owes every mention of her name to Bill.

    February 11, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  6. JC

    That has got to be the SORRIEST attitude I have EVER heard.
    She basically just told Alaska, North Dakota, Idaho, & Nebraska that they don't really matter to her. That's a great way to win their votes.

    And for downplaying the African-American Votes??? She's just pathetic.
    She's falling behind and is scrambling.

    Again- criticizing the process and its voters, is probably NOT the best way to gather more support.

    February 11, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  7. Cynthia, Laguna Niguel, CA

    She got the 5 million dollars from the sale of her book so stop complaining.

    Go Clinton Go!!!!! Clinton-08

    February 11, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  8. Nicole

    Her comments seem to downplay the importance of activists who are politically engaged. We'd be better off if activists did respresent the electorate.

    February 11, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  9. Michelle in KS

    "Clinton argued that caucuses are "primarily dominated by activists" and that "they don't represent the electorate, we know that.""

    Tell that to the 2000 people crowded into my caucus site (a site that had 30 participants 4 years ago). We voted 3-1 for Obama and you better believe that it was a true representation of the electorate here.

    February 11, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  10. Never little o

    most of the venom I see is coming from supporters of Mr. Obama, who want their hero or nobody. I’m not the first to point out that the Obama campaign seems dangerously close to becoming a cult of personality.

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

    "I am not aware of anything thing he has done since he became a Jr. Senator 3 years ago."

    Then perhaps you should go out and get informed. Obama has done quite a bit while being in office. And I don't think experience is limited to only his time in the US Senate. All the years of his life previous to him showing up in DC count for something.

    Personally, I would rather vote for someone that is willing to be open and honest with the American people and has shown to have good judgement.

    February 11, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  12. mike

    So if she's elected will she be president of all 50 states, or just president of the states she thinks she'll need to get re-elected? If the states Obama won aren't important, why did she spend money campaigning in them? Her logic is elusive, but I think it's supposed to be.

    February 11, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  13. Jen, NYC, NY

    She's pulling a Guiliani stunt. By the time OH and TX come into play, it'll be too late.

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

    chill out and stop misquoting Hillary......
    she said LARGELY not totally

    February 11, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  15. Melroy Hodge

    So, she dismisses his Super Tuesday victories because he won states that "Democrats won't win" in the national election? So any Democrat should only focus on winning states that they are expected to win? Hillary really needs to think before she speaks. When you campaign for the presidency, you campaign in all states since you will be the President of the United States, not just those that you won because they favor your party. So in turn, when she dismisses Obama's victories because those particular states have not favored a Democrat in the previous elections, she just sounds like a selective and ignorant candidate.

    February 11, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  16. Larry, PA




    February 11, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  17. Michael

    A strong percentage of our "proud African electorate" are presently incarcerated. That's a fact. What is bigotry is Hillary's belief that African Americans act in unison–like what?

    February 11, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  18. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    You win some and you lose some, but not lose all in one weekend. Hillary's dimissal of Obama's wins doesn't change Obama's wins. Obama is simply the best and cannot be dismissed.

    February 11, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  19. Ted

    What I don't get is how in the heck McCain can match up even remotely closely with either Obama or Clinton in national polls. The Repukes have screwed this economy up so badly, as well as the middle east and our world reputation that common sense would say that no one in their right mind (pun intended) could even think about voting republican again. Its a sad commentary on the people of the US and our ability to choose the absolute worst course of action for ourselves.

    February 11, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  20. Darth Vadik, CA

    She is acting very Bush like right now, dismising the obvious.

    I know what the game is, Hillary is not stupid, she's trying to minimize Obamas surge, but sh'e going about it the wrong way.

    Here is my advice:

    Look Obama in the eye and go head to head with him, admit your defeat here, look strong in defeat, and move on. Forget the dismisal, Bush/Rove tricks just are not going to work any more, specially not with Democrats. If you want to be precived as strong,

    THAN BE STRONG, dont just act strong.

    February 11, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  21. AZ Grandma

    If I were selecting an old fashioned southern Bible-belt preacher, I would vote for Senator Obama in a second; however, to choose a president of the United States, I need much more specific information. Unless we get some different approaches to town halls, media coverage, and Q & A opportunities, the race may be decided. I don't really understand why Obama is not being pushed harder to reveal some specifics of his plans to solve problems. So far his speeches reveal that he is capable of stirring up emotional appeals especially among the idealistic youth, capable of identifying and naming the problems we face, and capable of giving very inspirational speeches concerning unity. Is everyone afraid of challenging his idealistic vision for fear of being called racist? Are we afraid to touch the dream for fear that no one else could possibly achieve it? Why is he not being challenged to put some details and facts onto his "I have a program" answers? Obama seems to be gaining the upper hand and may well win all the contests between here and March 4; with that advantage, he may take many more votes on March 4 than he otherwise would have. I hope we can have more information about what agenda we are voting for; won't you ask those questions, CNN?

    February 11, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  22. Francis

    Yeah, our caucus in Maine was just overwhelmed with black people. That's why my town consisting of about 96% white people went 65% to Obama. Not to mention that we also had hundreds of new "activists" signing up as Democrats to participate in our caucus.

    Clinton is really out of touch with what's going on here. Her support just isn't there. You can't blame it on activism or the demographics of the voters.

    February 11, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  23. Robyn

    "My husband did not win caucuses..." First, she is NOT her husband. I do not understand how the media or voters are allowing her to claim all the "good things" about her husband's administration, but not the DAMAGE he did (ie., NAFTA which took jobs away from America, having a chance to catch Bin Laden, address the immigration issues and health care reform).


    Also, she is STILL SO DIVISIVE and SHORT SIGHTED!! Both parties need to stop cherry picking states that are "Red/Republican" or "Blue/Dems" - we will remain divided.

    Our country is the UNITED states of America– which Obama understands! He does not believe in alienating states based on a history of bi-partisan politics!!!

    By the way HRC, the dems ALSO need IL, MN, MO, GA, SC and any other state that we can get!!

    America, PLEASE TURN THE PAGE!!!

    OBAMA 2008!!

    February 11, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  24. Cindy

    Hillary is putting up a good fight, despite Obama stealing her thunder. Good for her. I think she needs to be careful of not inciting race politiking as the reason for Obama doing so well. It doesn't play well, it didn't work for Bill, and it won't work for her.

    February 11, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  25. Ed, Santa Fe NM

    "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."

    excuses escuses..... maybe she's only won where she has because of WOMEN voters?

    another example of the whiny Hillary in action. YOU LOST, BABE.... don't try to rationalize the losses away in such insulting language.

    February 11, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
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