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. txpoodoo

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

    Wow.....an unbelievable statement by Mrs. Clinton. It seems to me, that if your aren't voting for Mrs. Clinton, you can show yourself to the door for all she cares. This coming from a potential presidential nominee for the "Party of the People"??!!

    February 11, 2008 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  2. common sense

    I'm sorry – but has Obama ever said about his loses that the votes didn't matter?

    Has Obama EVER complained about not winning. Has he ever defamed any of the voting practices in place?

    Since when did votes not count? A vote in ND is as good as a vote in NY.

    You see – this is the very division this country DOESN'T need – and Hillary and her camp are serving us a full course of it.

    Wake up America. Don't let the Clinton Machine brainwash you.

    February 11, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  3. Melanie

    I'm white. I live in Louisiana. I voted for Obama.

    I'm tired of the Bush – Clinton changing of the guard. America has already had to endure 20 years of the Bush and Clinton families.

    February 11, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  4. the informed

    Will she say the same thing after Tuesday's PRIMARIES?...

    February 11, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  5. Mannie

    Senator Clinton's statement shows exactly what is so wrong with our politics. She can't even acknowledge the win of an opponent without trashing or belittle the win and the people of the states. I am very sad. When she won NH, I remembered Senator Obama saying that she won because she worked hard and did a better job. He didn't belittle her win or the people of NH.
    I am sick of this kind of politics where you demonize everything and everyone because you want to win. I can't support Hillary.

    February 11, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  6. Anacostia

    If Obama wins TX (he can lose OH) it's over for the missus. Believe me win I say he has DC, MD & VA.

    obama 08

    February 11, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  7. Mike Jones

    more spin from "sour grapes" Hillary. Put a sock in it. Hillary thought she would have the nomination by now. Sorry!!

    The excuse that it was a caucus and it is a "red" state is laughable. Her comments reek of desperation.

    February 11, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  8. Kevin


    Anytime Obama has lost a state, he gracefully accepts defeat and moves on. The Clinton machine is the reason why people are turned off from politics. It's sickening. OBAMA 08

    February 11, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  9. Joann

    All you people who don't know what you're talking about – saying how Obama "inspires" you – how so? He talk like a preacher that's all – he's giving a sermon and he will never be able to deliver everything he lies about – don't you all get it. You all sound like a Cult – Jonestown or something – that's exactly what you all are forming – now when are you going to get together an drink the poison? Answer: when you vote for Obama.

    February 11, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  10. colorblind

    if someone says he won a freakin black state again i'll scream...... he won 18 out of 28 i know we dont have that many black states..... if blacks were so hard pressed to elect a black Jessie and Al Sharpton would have done better... but we didnt vote for them because..... we're smarter then your giving a credit for.... and frankly i'm glad he's winning in white states too..... goes to show more and more of the world are becoming colorblind..... we shall overcome someday..... and it might be sooner then you think..... i love America... white /black/brown/yellow/ everyone

    February 11, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  11. larry buchas, new britain, ct

    I'm glad she calls Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, Idaho & Maine "activist states?"

    What excuse will she use when she loses this week? The Democratic Party has a new leader and that leader is Barack Obama.

    February 11, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  12. Phil from VA

    What I want to know is why did Hillary replace her campaign manager if everything so far has gone as she expected? If I was her campaign manager I would feel slighted if Hillary truly believed things have gone as expected and there is nothing to worry about. Obviously she does not really believe things are going well, and this is all spin. But spin that requires denial of what you know to be true seems like lying to me. Does this country really need another experienced leader well versed in the ability to lie to the American public while raking in the money from Washington insiders? Isn't that how we got where we are now? It's time for change, I just wish we as the American people realized it is our responsibility to change and not expect politicians to make change for us.

    February 11, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  13. Mike Sk

    The thing with Hillary supporters is there is always an excuse when things go wrong in a campaign. Hillary demotes her campaign manager..its the the medias fault....Hillary dimisses voters in states other than those that she won.. Obama only wins states with black votes and activists.....it the medias fault....just about 3 week ago hillary supporters were calling CNN bias and MSNBC as the better new organzation....what do you think of NBC now....face it Hillary supporters your campaign has been a mess...you were expecting an coranation on Super Tuesday and did not get it...you candiate is donating 5 million to her own campaign as a rouse to get donors....its the medias fault

    Your negatives are too high Hill supporters...your own party does not want you...the Rupugs are waiting for you....the media is doing a good job pointing out the disaster your campaign has been ....does the media has a bias??? maybe but your making it easy for them.

    Another thing if Chelsea Clinton wants to call Superdelegates and speak at rallies she should speak to the media stop hiding behind your parents you are a grown woman.

    February 11, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  14. constant

    She dismissed all voters in Iowa, SC, and now 4 more states? She, once again, brings up race! As a female white democrat, I"m sooo tired of hearing about RACE and GENDER but...
    Hillary, here are some questions for you.
    There were NO WOMEN in all these states which had primaries this past weekend?
    Every one of these states are "proud African American" states?
    What is the percentage of women votes for you and Obama? Last I heard you were only 6 points ahead in "women" vote.
    If a state does not have a high number of delegates... and you don't win big, You dismiss voters in the whole state?
    How will you win against anyone in a Presidential race, when you alianate whole STATES of democratic voters? How will you win back DEMOCRATS when you dismiss them as insignificant, and/or black, when Obama beats you in a primary vote?
    If S.C., Iowa, Louisiana, Washington, Maine, and the US V.I. , mean nothing to you, why do you care so much about the voters in FLA and MI? If a caucus is eventually held in these states, will you dismiss them also, IF YOU DON"T WIN?
    Her politics are more of the same....
    More of what we have lived with for 20 years!
    I want REAL CHANGE...I don't see change in Hillary and Bill Clinton!

    February 11, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  15. Thomas

    Obama gets the most votes from "affluent and well-educated voters." – CNN..

    I'm sorry this is not supposed to be raciest, but when did African-Americans become affluent and well-educated, because Obama has been saying in all his speeches that he wants to help the poor African-Americans families and help the African-Americans who only 60% finish high school...

    Also he is supposed to be getting all the youth vote... Last time I checked the under 24 population is still in education, its this comment just propaganda to get people who vote Clinton to think they are not affluent and well-educated voters?

    Not like CNN will post this...

    February 11, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  16. Nate

    I guess she won't support making DC a caucus "state" eh?

    Personally, I think caucuses are what it's all about: people-meeting-people and exchanging ideas, concepts, issues and shaping the democratic party. This is much better than casing a ballot, or even worse, mailing a ballot by mail weeks prior to voting day.

    February 11, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  17. Matt

    Hillary is playing the politics of marriage of convenience. Where has loyalty gone? Has she forgotten how Patti Solis delivered her California? Now that California is history she does not need a person of Latino heritage anymore. Now she needs the black votes, she appoints a black person. The sinister side of the Clintons has shown its ugly head once again. Enough of playing the race game – Hillary! I hope that this will have a severe backlash against Billary in Ohio and Texas. The Latino community has been betrayed by Hillary and Bill Clinton.

    February 11, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  18. Karen, Jersey City

    Where's the White House furniture Hillary? WHERE IS IT!?

    February 11, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  19. Pat

    Yeah Obama made a really good point at a rally I was at here in VA yesterday. A woman said she was torn between Hillary and Barack and wanted to know why to vote for him instead of Hillary. One of the reasons he gave was that she is so divisive that 47% of the population doesn't like her. So that is a bad way to start off a general election when you are fighting over the remaining 53%. As the latest polling clearly shows, she has yet to prove that she can beat McCain yet Obama has a fairly sizable lead over him. 20 years of Clinton/Bush family rule and it appears the country has finally had enough. That is why her campaign is flagging, not because there are too many caucus or African American states.

    By the way, as I was leaving the rally, I saw that undecided woman fill out a card volunteering for Barack Obama's campaign, and maybe I need my sight checked but she was not African American, and Virginia is not a caucus state!

    February 11, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  20. Souza

    Paul... I see you have resorted to name calling. If you where intelligent you would be able to get your point across without getting personal.
    Maybe you should brush up on your communication skills.
    I have donated to Hillary's campaign and I look everyday for coverage on her. The Media only talks about her when she is in trouble and Obama like he is some savior. Please I don't need the spiritual motivation I need specifics on how he is going to accomplish his ideas. I read his book but still no answers just HOPE...
    By the way does he have a patient on the word "HOPE"
    Go Hillary!!!!

    February 11, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  21. JoAnne

    Wow...I wonder how all those people in ME feel now after they drove through a snow storm and stood outside in the cold for hours to vote for Hillary Clinton. The people who live in caucus states don't get a choice of voting in a primary or caucus so please don't blame them. It's hard enough to get people in this country to vote no matter who they are, rich, poor, black, white, young, old, primary or caucus. She just should have said that she appreciated the people who took the time to vote for her. It would be so much better to just be gracious than play the blame game.

    February 11, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  22. Bob

    She was quite happy with caucas states when she carried an advantage in Nevada.

    It is also interesting that she complained about supporters not being able to caucas in Washington because of their working hours while a couple of weeks earlier she opposed or complained about work-site caucas arrangements for service employees in Nevada, presumably arrangements that would make caucasing easier for them.

    February 11, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  23. Ron, NJ

    Do you think she would downplay caucuses if she won them? NO
    Do you think she would downplay these wins if they were hers? NO

    If your answer is no too then don't blame the media for their focus on Obama winning all these states all the way up to March. If she won them the media would be focussing on her too.
    These comments are simply her trying to reduce the momentum Obama gains with each win.

    February 11, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  24. Fletch

    Didnt she win the caucus in Nevada? Oops!

    February 11, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  25. JK

    People will learn from past mistakes. I hope these people will come to know after electing Obama. He is just a empty vessel. The best he can do is talk with loud noise so that people here won't think in deep.

    This won't be case with world leaders. They won't encourage his loud talks. He has no plans on how to change the washington politics. The media is not tough with Obama. They are all biased.

    Before he change the washington politics. The washington politics will change him soon. The change mantra is working fine for him now. I hope he will bring Jimmy Carters era again.

    Think diffenerently and Vote for Hillary to make a difference in changing america.

    She has the vision.

    February 11, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
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