February 13th, 2008
09:30 PM ET
12 years ago

Carville: Do or die for Clinton in Texas and Ohio

James Carville is supporting Hillary Clinton's White House bid.

James Carville is supporting Hillary Clinton's White House bid.

(CNN) - He hinted at a similar sentiment earlier this week on CNN, but James Carville – a supporter of Hillary Clinton’s White House run - was decidedly more blunt Wednesday on the impact a loss in Texas or Ohio would have on her presidential bid.

"Make no mistake," Bill Clinton's former chief strategist told the Orlando Sentinel. "If she loses either Texas or Ohio, this thing is done."

The Clinton campaign has increasingly placed importance on those two March 4 primaries following eight straight losses for the New York Democrat since Super Tuesday. On Tuesday night, she was swept in the so called Potomac primary, losing to Obama in Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia.

In a conference call with reporters earlier Wednesday, Clinton campaign aides noted 60 percent of the remaining delegates are in Texas, Ohio, and Pennsylvania - all states where polls show the New York senator is leading Obama. But delegates in those states will not be awarded on a winner-take-all basis, and Clinton staffers said Wednesday that their expectation was that the two candidates would be within 25 delegates of each other following the March 4 contests.

Obama campaign aides said Wednesday they believe it is nearly impossible for Clinton to catch up to Obama in the delegate count under the current guidelines, even if she wins all three contests.

Speaking on CNN's The Situation Room earlier this week, Carville struck a similar note.

"The truth is that Sen. Clinton has to win Texas, Ohio and Pennsylvania," he said. "If she wins those three, she's probably the nominee. If she loses one of those three, then Sen. Obama is probably going to be the nominee. That's a fact."

"We have a lot of debates left to go," Carville continued. "This has been a very close contest. Democrats want to hear from both of them. I've seen the Clintons counted out before. I would be very reluctant to count the Clintons out."

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

soundoff (516 Responses)
  1. A. Harrison


    That's why she's showing " their differences" in her recent Wisconsin AD. LOL

    HILLARY 2008!

    February 13, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  2. Karen from Minnesota

    It's good to hear from a seasoned campaigner. In reading other blogs the Obama folks are so angry. Don't they understand that as good Democrats we should support Democratic candidates? They express a great deal of venom re Hillary and I suspect they aren't even sure why. Their inexperience shows in the comments, the unfounded venom and the personal attacks. Most of the people I worked with on the Kerry campaign were Dean supporters and they were working hard because they believed in the Democratic Party. I wonder how many Obama supporters are members of the state and national parties? Not many I suspect.

    Sometimes I think only members (including superdelegates) should pick the party candidate.

    February 13, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  3. Phyllis Truitt

    You all made me sick to my stomach the way you reported the Potomac Primaries. It is obvious that you are all rooting for Barak Obama. Leave ot the adjectives. That is not factual reporting, but editorializing. "Hillary got "ONLY" 35 %. You did not need to use the "only" It seemd to me that all of you were actually gloating. The media is trying to destroy Hillary.

    February 13, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  4. Mike

    John Glenn Endorses Hillary Clinton.

    No mention of this in CNN of course.

    Of course, they mention that Hulk Hogan endorses Barack Obama in big letters.

    CNN = Best Political team for Barack Obama.

    February 13, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  5. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    James Carville is undoubtedly one of my favorite people and most of the time I agree with him because he knows his politics. However, his prediction that Hillary can be the nominee if she wins Texas, Ohio and Penn. is puzzling. I wonder if he forgot to add, if Obama is not on the ballot then Hillary can make a clean sweep win.

    February 13, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  6. Adam

    Go Hillary! Don't let the big media keep you down! We know you have support!

    Former Ohio Senator and astronaut John Glenn announced his endorsement of Hillary Clinton today.

    "With all of the challenges facing Ohio and America, we need a leader who can deliver real solutions on her first day in office," Senator Glenn said.

    February 13, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  7. stan pitts pa

    she will lose ohio and texas, those folks turn on their t.v sets too, and you bet they can see all thats been going on! they are not fooled, also they see how she has treated every state after she lost em, also i bet the folks in those states wanna know where her tax receipts are, why wont she release em now, why is she choosing to not release her tax receipts until the end of the election? she cant be trusted!

    February 13, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  8. Roja

    I was glad to hear James Carville say "....I've seen the Clintons counted out before. I would be very reluctant to count the Clintons out."

    Now even Clinton campaign insiders admit that it is NOT Hillary that is running for President, but "The Clintons". In other words, Bill seeking a third term then a fourth. What's next? Chelsea running so daddy can have a fith and sixth term?

    Now I know why Hillary claims to have 35 Years Experience but fails to add that only 7 of those years are her serving by herself in an elective capacity. Before that, all she has been is Bills lap-dog.

    February 13, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  9. Faiz

    Carville knows what he's talking about.

    February 13, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  10. Sean in MO

    whats up with the choice of picture for Carville? Seems they could have found a better one, unless they were using it to make a point. Regardless, I would have to agree with him.

    February 13, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  11. Franky

    You know, I know that guy! What's his name???? James Carvill???? Yeah, I remember he said something about my Illini on ESPN2. Yeah, if I recall he said that "no one wants to see Illinois vs USC, right"? And he also said that, "The Big Ten is terrible and needs to make money because they have no choice"! Actually not in that way but I know what he was saying. It's cool James, its your opinion plus, you want to see a good game, right? I understand but let me say you got other important things to worry about it, O.K? Just make sure you do your job and everything will be alright......

    February 13, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  12. Regular Gonzalez

    Why don't Hillary and Barack just sit down, have a civil conversation, and decide which of them would really be the better president?

    Oh, RIGHT, the vaulting ambition.

    February 13, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  13. Arin

    From Take it Back: Our Party, Our Country, Our Future," best-selling book by James Carville and Paul Begala "Some of the Democrats who supported the war in Iraq began to claim their vote was to put pressure on Iraq–that they voted merely to give the president the option to go to war. Bunk. The war resolution was a blank check. The language of the resolution could not be clearer. `The President is authorized to use the Armed Forces of the United States as he determines to be necessary and appropriate' against Iraq." Hey Carville... you are hippocrate. You are bunk.

    February 13, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  14. Christian, Tampa FL

    It's going to be very tough for Hillary. I don't think she can overcome Obama's extoardinary momentum, because it seems to be very powerful. I'm certainly hoping that Barack pulls through, because he can end the Bush/Clinton dynastic cycle.

    February 13, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  15. Pritesh

    To CNN Editors,
    Like Millions of Americans I am also glued to CNN on election primary. But from watching your coverage for last 2 weeks or so it seems CNN is not "FAIR AND BALANCED" news but just showing Obama propaganda. Just show the real truth. Hillary is losing and that shouldnt stop you from showing the full news. But instead I am just watching how Hillary is running negative ads against Obama and how Hllary's campaign is falling apart. On other hand Obama doesnt even spare one moment in his speeches bashing Clintons. So help America uncover real truth not the half-truth.

    Pritesh Patel.

    February 13, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  16. Jason

    Ohio for Obama!!

    February 13, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  17. Michelle

    I am very saddened to see Hillary Clinton slinging mud with silly commercials saying Obama would rather give speeches than debate. She is trying to imply that he is afraid to debate her. What a joke! They have had 18 debates, he's agreed to two more and with all those debates, she has not been able to seal the deal with the democratic voters. This is in spite of the fact that she had HUGE leads over him in nearly every state. He'd be a fool to take time away right now from getting up close and personal with the people in these upcoming primaries to give her free media time. When he campaigns heavily in a state, the voters get to know him and he WINS. Just because Hillary is desperate,doesn't mean Obama should drop everything and debate her. Time is of the essense.

    February 13, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  18. Nick

    I think that Senator Obama truly thinks that he is so good considering his jokes about some "republican support", and doesn't realize that most of his success is due to very negative anti Hilary campaign from so called main stream media.

    His speeches are full of nice but empty words.

    What do you think is going to happen when "republican media machine" is going to take a better look at him?

    February 13, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  19. Kat

    She probably won't lose all of them but if she wins, it will be by a very slim margin.

    February 13, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  20. Jenna

    I agree with your article and your support.

    Hillary will gravitate back in March!

    February 13, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  21. John in Columbus

    NEWS FLASH out of, well, COLUMBUS, OHIO: according to the AP

    "The man who served as national manager of former President Clinton's 1992 campaign endorsed Sen. Barack Obama on Wednesday. David Wilhelm, who (led) the campaign and later became chairman of the DNC, said Obama had the unique ability to encourage cooperation as a 65-percent president after the divisive years of a 51-percent majority."

    You don't get much more inside the workings of the Clintons than this gentleman. Carville is showing signs that the ship he is on is sinking and Wilhelm is already in the life-boat. Now Clintonesque naysayers, are you going to tell us that Wilhelm is drinking Kool-aid and being led like sheep to the slaughter or lemmings to the seashore? You keep telling us it is time to wake up, but my eyes have been wide open since 2004. Yes, you could say I am a dreamer, and I have HOPE we can see CHANGE but like I have said before and will say in all likelihood many times again...

    Open your eyes fellow Democrats!

    Obama '08

    yes WE can!

    February 13, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  22. eddie

    Paul Begala and James Carville are real democrats, not like those traitors that went over to the obama camp who spews his false hope.

    February 13, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  23. Caleb

    There is no doubt in my mind that Hillary will when all three of these states: Texas, Ohio, and Penn. I suspect she'll win big as well! It appears that CNN is Obama's personal cheerleader! What's going on with CNN? They are biased and must have some scandel going on with the Obama campaign. I think many feel the same way as I do! The Clintons love America and they are great leaders and admired throughout the world!

    February 13, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  24. California Independent

    He is understating what she needs to do. Based on demographics of the remaining states, she has to pull OVER 60% of Texas, Ohio AND Pennsylvania. The demographics in Ohio are the least likely to yield this result and I just don't see the other two states giving her 60%.

    February 13, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  25. No Mas

    No more (no mas) debates. We know where you both stand, to the left of McCain. The country is not ready for either one of you. McCain will make mince meat out of either one of these leftist candidates. Americans may not be too thrilled with the war in Iraq, but they would rather fight it over there and not here. Your inexperience will be your downfall in November. Go McCain.

    February 13, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21