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. Ennis, LA

    She's scheduled to lose Wisconsin and Hawaii, which gives

    Obama 23 states to her 12.

    February 13, 2008 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  2. Randy G

    I still am loyal to Hillary to the End. It's just awful the way the media has been giving Obama such good Reviews, literally Kicking the Former First lady in the Teeth! Obama is full of retoric, empy promises and tries to copy the good Ideas Hillary has. I wouldn't count Hillary out. It's hurts me to see so many people, especially african americans that actually think the Clintons are racist. The media Twisted that out of context. Bill was asking about Obama 's voting record. The Clintons really did alot for african americans, as well as , everyone else. Why is the media Helping Obama? Did Oprah Pay msnbc or own alot of stock, there?
    It really sad becuase Hillary is really fighting for everyone in America, not herself.
    I Hillary doesn't get the nomination, I will vote for Mc cain, since my state of Florida was disinfranchised by the Dems. Hillary, can win the General election. She already proved that she can win Florida and that fact hasn't changed down here. Hillary '08 I still Believe. Besides she's still has the edge in super delegates and will get those from florida and michigan, too!

    February 13, 2008 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  3. Lisa



    CNN is the one time called "Clinton News Network".

    Even Hillary knows you can't spin a bad story. And she is the author of a terrible story.

    The one who is losing always blames the media.

    Grow up.

    February 13, 2008 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  4. kay

    OBAMA would be SCARY, the leader we elect should be some one intelligent and experienced, he is neither. Civil rights have already been won in this country, we don't need another issue to deal with.

    February 13, 2008 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  5. Jed

    Wow glad CNN has posted their comment policy.Check it out.You may want to hire a lawyer before you post.So much for the First Amendment.

    February 13, 2008 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |

    God this sounds a awful a lot like Giuliani and Florida...

    February 13, 2008 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  7. John

    The Republicans would rather run against Hillary, that's is just a fact. She has no momentum, and she does not have the ability to draw a huge number of Independent and Republican votes like Obama can. If you don't think this is true, listen to Pat Buchanan sing Hillary's praises...PAT BUCHANAN!

    February 13, 2008 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  8. Diana Beans

    I understand the complaints about the super delegates; however:

    Political deals have been the norm since (at least) the Hamilton presidency; until we change the system, the command of super delegates indicates something about the candidates ability to work within the current system (which one will certainly need to change it!)

    It is not right to change the rules of the game in the fifth inning–play out the game and then make the appropriate changes.

    If we toss out the super delegates, let's also rid ourselves of the electoral college.

    If (big IF) it is appropriate to apportion super delegates based on the popular vote, it should be done by state for those delegates with state affiliations.

    February 13, 2008 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  9. Michael from Pitt-PA

    I wonder if Hillary loses is what we deserve. If we read our own history we are creating a new nobel prize within seven years....this is a great Country!, we repeat our history on and on. After all we did it with Gore and we treated him like we are treating her now (or worse). No offense for Barack Obama followers

    February 13, 2008 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  10. JB

    Firstly, there are no good pictures of Carville. Secondly, Bill Clinton has been raging on the media in a grandly self-righteous, somewhat paranoid fashion for a few years now; they're tired of him, bored with her, and are in love with the newness that is Obama.

    February 13, 2008 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  11. Texas

    Ms Tammy, in all fairness, the personal lives of Mr Obama and/or Senator Clinton are none of our business, and not for us to judge.

    February 13, 2008 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  12. Alain Adunagow

    I wonder...

    If Obama wins the primaries, would he be able to re-unite all democrats and take them with him for the general elections.

    If Clinton wins the primaries, would Obama supporters show mature mindset and embrace the "change" of direction, and champion for a democrat president.

    If one wins, would the other join in and vehemently champions for a united democrat.

    I only wonder if the scars would heal fast enough to take on the general elections as an invincible nucleus of people.

    I just wonder...

    Alain Adunagow
    Irvine, California

    February 13, 2008 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  13. Independent PA

    How does that work?
    An admitted supporter of Hillary defines how she wins the nomination...
    She has to win 3 states in which she is favored to win and she gets the nomination by winning less than 15 states and while her opponent would win the remaining. Does that make sense to anyone not so invested in one candidate or another?

    February 13, 2008 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  14. Sherry

    Gee, You win the gold, you are correct. The Republican party had much rather run against Obama. That is why you are seeing record numbers of so-called Independents and Republicans voting for him across the country now. But, when it gets to the General election they will all abandon him. They are trying to insure that they get to run against the candidate that they feel they will be able to beat. Their claims that they would rather have Hillary win are baloney! In my opinion, they are buying insurance with votes. I just hope the remaining states that still get to vote and our super-delegates are not so naive.

    February 13, 2008 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  15. Blue Star Mom

    I find it a bit ironic that people are bickering over our (texans) votes when most of us will vote republican anyways in a general election. I am not part of that group however, and based on hiliary's campaign of mud slinging I will vote for Obama.

    She reminds me of one of my kids after they don't get what they want, and I deplore the notion that someone like her could do the same thing to presidents of countries she doesn't agree with.

    Ladies, don't give the men something to poke fun at us about, vote for who you believe in and not someone based on their race, ethnicity, or gender. I want to see a women AND a person of African decent (or any race for that matter) but our nations future is far more important than your desire for what you think is "justice" for years of oppression.

    February 13, 2008 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  16. Evan Esteves, Boca Raton FL

    Hey Joe from Texas....be very careful what you wish for...You saying that you will not vote for Obama if he is the nominee...is surely going to convince at least a slight majority of the Obama backers reading this NOT to vote for Hillary if she gets the nomination...You swing a double edged sword my friend 🙂

    February 13, 2008 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  17. Leigh

    I wonder how this race would be going if the news had not preordained Obama as the next president. The biased reporting is shameful.

    February 13, 2008 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  18. jimdon

    ,,,,,,,,,,,, CNN IS GREAT WITH THE NEWS ,,,,,,,,,,,

    ,,,,,,,,,,, JOHN MCCAIN IS GREAT FOR WAR,,,,,,,,,,

    ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, OBAMA IS GREAT FOR HOPE,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,


    February 13, 2008 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  19. kay

    CNN = "The Running Man" , you can't believe any thing they say!

    February 13, 2008 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  20. Ken

    Clinton is looking like a real loser right now in San Antonio, We have been waiting to see her at her own rally now for 15 min. How does she make a big deal about TX, and show up late to her own party. There is a real discontent about her being here. If it wern't for a college essay she would have no crowd.

    February 13, 2008 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  21. E. C., Houston, Texas

    OH...so Voters have been correct all along.....Carville says "The Clintons"...have been counted out before. Notice the Plurality of the Statement? There are Two Clintons trying for the White House...and not just ONE...as we wondered. One Vote for Hillary, and get TWO CLINTONS. Don't know who wants the nomination MORE.....Hillary or Bill. We all know that Billy is itching to get back into The White House Diggs.....more places to 'play on rainy days!' Voters can be sure of one fact: If Carville has been called out to help the Campaign, then "The Clintons" are facing a heap of troubles ahead.

    February 13, 2008 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  22. maxoutkast

    OMG. Hillary supporters are such whiners and sore losers when CNN is covering OBAMA VICTORIES. He didn't sneak away with victories by a small margin, he won by 20 points or more in almost all of those contests. I have been listening for months to what a hard road Obama has against the front runner, Hillary Clinton. If there is a certain sense of excitement about the OBAMA EIGHT STRAIGHT WINS on CNN, that's because it wasn't supposed to happen. They are reporting on the excitement that is happening around the country. I've been nice up til now, but Hillary supporters better start getting used to defeat. I wasn't complaining when she won NH and NE. I was glad we had a good race, and then so many democrats were coming out to vote. And to the gent who says Carville and Begala are "real" democrats, I agree, but that's the problem. Obama is not your typical democrat. He has the ability to bring people together, not devide them and people are seeing that. That's why she is losing the latino votes, the senior's vote, and yes, even women's votes. If Hillary wins, I pledge to support her. I know that she will bring tremendous change in this country compared to the last 8 years...

    PROBLEM IS: I don't see Hillary beating McCain. I think Obama can.

    February 13, 2008 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  23. NEWS ALERT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Barack Obama is the smartest person to pick as the President. He is trying to make this country better for everyone. Hilary does not make any good decisions. She voted for the war and she will do anything to get in the White House. She is so crooked.I can't stand her!!! I am glad I did not vote for her. I wish she would just quit so the real race can begin.

    February 13, 2008 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  24. MM in TX

    Why do Hispanics like Hillary?

    Glad you asked.

    One of the reasons that Hispanics respect both Clintons is federal appointments and their championing of diversity.

    During his 8 years in office Bill Clinton had 366 federal judicial appointments including 104 women, 23 Hispanics, 5 Asian Americans, 1 Indian American, and 61 African Americans.

    Clinton famously stated in 1992 that his cabinet would look like America, and he followed through with real diversity in his appointments including cabinet positions for the following Hispanics, Frederico Peña, Bill Richardson, Aida Alvarez.

    Overall Bill Clinton appointed more women to his cabinet that any other president in history with 11 total appointments including:
    Madeleine Albright, Laura D'Andrea Tyson, Janet Reno, Donna Shalala, Alexis Herman, etc.

    Bill Clinton had 2,160 total senate confirmed appointments of which 592 were women. Both Hillary and Bill have promoted diversity...real diversity and they have delivered.

    Hillary is not a stranger to the Hispanic community. Her long-term fight for healthcare for children and for universal healthcare resonates with Hispanic communities. She has consistently promoted the interests of Hispanic communities. And she certainly is not a stranger to areas like south Texas.

    Obama has no track record with Hispanics at the federal level and a very limited record in Illinois.

    February 13, 2008 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  25. Obamacan from California

    Yes, I'm an Obamacan. Pretty scary when your own party's nominee is just not up to the task. Sorry, John, you're too little, too late.
    Here is my take:
    Republicans will vote in LARGE numbers for Obama in the General Election. (Yes, he will win the nomination.) By November, we voters will be totally ravaged by all the political rhetoric, and will be looking for someone to unify the whole Country. Barack Obama is seen by us as an inclusive, non-polarizing (and, yes, exciting) candidate. Hillary Clinton has crossed that bridge. Her hatred of us ("the Republican Right") has been building since long before her husband was in office. If she is the Democrat's candidate (admittedly a long shot), Republicans will return to McCain and the Party.

    February 13, 2008 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
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