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. stan pitts pa

    you and your husband have insulted the good judgement, largesse and sensibilities of the American people pls QUITNOW! so the dems can rally around obama to take down mccain in november! Pls release your tax receipts so we can see where you got the 5 million to loan your campaign! not later after the election , now, the American people deserve the truth and deserve to know why you fired your latino campaign manager and hired an african-american one, to try to get more black votes,well there goes her hispanic/latino support, i bet they are feeling used by now, no more lies, deception and manipulation from you!

    February 11, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  2. David Jones



    GO OBAMA!!!

    February 11, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  3. Independent, White M

    Hillay is absolutely right - we will NOT win "Alaska or North Dakota or Idaho or Nebraska" - IF SHE IS NOMINATED!!

    Now she is insulting the Caucus voters in the states where Obama won? She is acting the say way she answered the "Iraq War" question during the LA debate. Why don't you accept that you lost and move on.

    Oh, she thinks that Obama won because of black voters. Who voted in Washington, Maine and Nebraska? OR how didn you win California - Latinos and Asian American votes.

    She is very manipulative and acts as if she cares for us. MSNBC reporter recently made a comment on Chelsea and he apologized twice on air and he is suspended. She sent recently a letter to MSNBC that "the suspension is NOT ENOUGH". Why doesn't she forgive him and move on. THIS SHOWS THE TRUE NATURE OF HILLARY – SHE WANTS MSNBC TO FIRE HIM AND MAKE HIS FAMILY SUFFER!"

    February 11, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  4. Amy

    It makes sense. Many are outraged about this archaic caucus method that lower the importance of individual votes.


    February 11, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  5. John

    Hillary has every right to downplay the caucus sites -you don't find it strange that she can't win when there's no machine counting the votes? If Obama had lost all of these small states you can bet he'd be downplaying them too. Tit for Tat.

    February 11, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  6. Souza

    Obama Nationh" as stolen his speaches fron JFK and Dr. Martin Luther King. I am not aware of anything thing he has done since he became a Jr. Senator 3 years ago. He has no international experience but says he can stop the War.
    Would you make a CEO of General Motors with only 3 years experience. Please!!
    I know George Bush has run this country into the ground but is no reason for the American people to act desparate.
    He is all talk no specfics on how he will accomplish his promises.
    I wish Hillary got half of the Media coverage Obama gets.
    Check out CNN and the rest of them it is all about Obama. No wonder he has a movement. The media has created it.
    Go Hillary!!!!

    February 11, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  7. kw

    Why would someone go out of there way to say that Hillary is the best thing that could happen to the Republicans if she wins the nomination. Have Republicans all of a sudden become honest I think not. but if they can get the Democrats to knock her off then they can have an easier time winning the White House. The polls you see how Obama beats McCain are national polls. Remeber it is winner takes all so even if he is close in all the read states gues what he still loses every single electoral vote. You have to actually look at each state and see what his chances are. I think you will see Hillary has a better chance when you look at it like that.

    February 11, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  8. Adam

    People are reading way too much into this. It is a proven fact election after election that caucus states do not typically represent the general electorate during general elections. As we all know, caucuses require individuals to show up publically to vote. Historically, people who are motivated to devote the time to sit in the hearings and go through the long enduced process are considered highly political activists which represents a MARGINAL amount of the general electorate. As such, caucus states results are ultimately skewed based on who the top activists in the state are endorsing.

    Unfortnately, as history has shown, strong caucus winners who win the nomination for their party, ultimately lose the general election. Nominees must perform well in high delegate primary states and states that are typically a toss up between parties from election to election (i.e. Florida, Michigan, and Missouri).

    It is very apparent that Hillary is the ideal candidate for the democratic party. People are naive to think Obama could carry the critical swing states since he dismissed most of those states during their respective primaries because no delegates would be awarded. I think this is a costly mistake on his part.

    February 11, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  9. J

    Wow! She IS a sore loser! How nasty of her to disrespect the electorate all those states with caucus voting. I don't hear Senator Clinton complaining about Nevada (which is a caucus state). Why? Because she won there! But, after losing EVERY single contest this weekend – she is trying to explain herself. Well, I don't appreciate her making up excuses. She didn't even have the courtesy to congratulate Senator OBAMA. Now, after going to Michigan (where Obama was NOT even on the ballot to Celebrate) she has the nerve to act high and might. GIMME a Break! AMERICA IS – AND WILL CONTINUE TO BE for BARACK OBAMA 2008!

    February 11, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  10. Brian

    Activists? At my caucus, I was surrounded by neighbors, citizens, and voters. I myself might qualify as an "activist", since I stayed around long enough to volunteer as a Precinct Committee Person. The other 99% of the people were energized, enthusiastic, and thoughtfully engaged, but they were NOT activists. Since I'm willing to count myself as a newly motivated Democrat activist, I wonder how HRC thinks such dismissive talk will affect others like me, PCP's whose duty it is to get out the vote in November, should she be the nominee.

    February 11, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  11. Susanna

    The difference is that many of the states she won on super Tuesday – including the larger states of California and new York – will likely go Democratic in November, whether the candidate is Clinton or Obama. Many of the states that Obama won, where there were record turnouts, not just "activists," I might add, show signs of leaning Democratic in the general election. This just shows how calculative she is, whereas Obama cares about every voter, whether they add to his delegate total or not.

    It will be interesting to see how she dismisses Obama's win in 3 PRIMARIES tomorrow in DC, VA and MD.

    February 11, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  12. Jameel

    Silly Hillary. The caucus states don't represent the electorate? Well, I don't think that you can expect to win without the people who are willing to go out and caucus not voting in the much less time-consuming secret ballot general election. She may have just put her foot in her mouth. To completely dismiss a segment of Democrats will is a statement that may come back to slap her in the face, and she will deserve it. I'm sure she would have many gloating, positive things to say the tables were turned and it were her wins in those caucus states she was speaking of.

    She should also be conscious of alienating the African-American base. I think most of the damage has already been done, and she will inevitably lose in the general election because Democrats need African-American voters, but her margins may end up being Obama 95%, Clinton 4% in the upcoming primaries as opposed to the less polarized Obama 80%, Clinton 17% we have been seeing in the most recent states. Tsk tsk tsk.

    Obama '08

    February 11, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  13. uk

    To "Obama Nation" supporters – you elect a president based on your priorities which are best for the country. You can also elect a president based on your values. There is a big difference between the two.

    My priorities are a president with best foreign policy experience, best economic agenda like green collar jobs for millions of young Americans, and an universal health care system like Hillary has been talking about.

    I would like to hear what your priorities are from Borack H. Obama's administration.

    February 11, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  14. Indepedant in 08

    You people have got to be KIDDING ME!!!! Did she actually say caucus states are dominated by ACTIVIST!!! So in essence she is stating the people who voted in those states dont matter. So, if she won those states would she hold the same opinion? Now this is a story CNN should cover instead of the nonsense they have been choosing to spin. People need to really understand what she is indicating with that comment this woman is unbelievable.

    Can we get a Independant Party please!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 11, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  15. shel

    A win is a win right? Florida wasn't counted in the primaries but she counted it as a win right?

    February 11, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  16. Liv

    OBAMA said, he is different, he wont play rules.

    He's already playing politician rules, dishing out words politician style. A politician will make you feel good, will lie to you, will say what you want to hear just so you will elect him. He's not different, he just looks different because of his color.

    After that, what? AND EXCUSE ME, the Republicans are still nice to him. WAIT TILL the REPUBLICAN DOGS are let loose to attack him. He would be CIA'd from top to bottom.

    Democrats, dont listen to Oprah who got a big contract after endorsing Obama. The people who are endorsing OBAMA has already been corrupted. Just ask yourself this, if most Obama fans are young, where are they getting the money? Who gives him money? WHo gave Oprah money?

    February 11, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  17. Glenn

    Hillary, can you say bitter.

    February 11, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  18. lula

    Not to mention support for Bush policy!!!!! Does any one remember the 100 year war.OOOO we are in it.Hello is any one home.What really chafes my old hide s that women seem to think she represents us.She represents the "old boy " establishment as exampled by her super deligates,better than they do.Look at where her donors come from comes from.

    February 11, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  19. Liz

    Further evidence this fine woman is qualified to be our nation's CEO. She is unfazed by all the fairy dust.

    As for the Obama supporters posting above, reread this article. Hillary is not saying the African-American is not the electorate. She is saying they are one voting bloc rising up in support of the first black candidate. She respects their right to support their candidate.

    February 11, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  20. Tom2d2

    Interpretation – Hillary Clinton does not respect the consensus result of Democrats in those states which did not choose her; she is simply dismissing their choice!

    February 11, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  21. Joann

    This goes to "Souza" – I agree with you – I too wish Hillary had half the positive publicity that the media keeps giving Obama – who, may I add, that nobody has ever heard of before this election. Really, who is he, what has he accomplished – It will be hard for Hillary to lash out at him because he has no history – although I too would like the name of his ex drug dealer so we can put him behind bars. I don't care I'm going with the candidate that is best for the job today – that's Hillary .

    February 11, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  22. disenfranchisedvoter

    I voted using mail-in ballot. I have to go to work , I can't attend the caucus. I find out later on my vote for Hillary using mail-in ballot doesn't mean anything, all delegates in my state are rewarded to caucus.

    Why should I vote for Obama when my vote doesn't count? I'll vote for McCain in general election against Obama.

    February 11, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  23. AJ, IL

    Hmmm...okay Hillary-supporters what will you say if Hillary is looses D.C., Maryland, and Virginia? I can see why Hillary is so polarizing. After the 60 MINUTES special she seemed more tolerable, but then I woke this morning and she back at it again. The old game of divisive and dismissive politics.

    Obama in 08!

    February 11, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  24. Katie

    Many of you Obama supporters are acting as hateful as Republicans. Obama has made alienating remarks, suggesting (for example) that people not on board with him are "scared." And how about Michelle Obama's remark that she wasn't sure she'd vote for Clinton in a general election? Now there's a unifying team!

    You "Obama followers/Clinton haters" risk turning off other Democrats in the general election.

    February 11, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  25. SANDY


    February 11, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
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