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

Carville: Do or die for Clinton in Texas and Ohio

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/images/02/13/art.carville1.gi.jpg
caption="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. Bob

    Hillary should not give up fighting. First HRC should demand the delegates from Michigan and Florida. Then she should ask for her share of the superdelegates. It is not over until it is really over.

    February 13, 2008 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  2. Robert

    More debates???? Once a week?????????
    Enough is enough!
    Obama does not need to acquiese to her wishes because he is ahead. Ha ha.

    February 13, 2008 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  3. bo diamond

    there is no way hillary can catch after this point

    February 13, 2008 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  4. Republican in Ohio

    I have been a steadfast Republican all my life, but I am putting all my political energy into Obama for President. It doesn't matter to me if he is a Democrat, Independent, or Republican, he is the only candidate that will be able to unite ALL the parties and actually change this country starting on Jan 20, 2009.

    Hillary winning would be more of the same status quo we have had for 2 decades. If her name is on the ballot in November, I will vote on party lines – just so she is NOT in the White House. She has too much baggage from all of her years in Washington to be an effective catalyst of change.

    Obama is sweeping across this country because everyone is seeing that he WILL make changes since he doesn't have the same baggage as all the other candidates.

    I am so excited that after 20 some years of voting, I will actually be truly behind the candidate I am casting avote for.

    Obama '08!!!

    February 13, 2008 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  5. Allison Zimmermann

    I'm looking at CNN Election Center, and the statement was just made that there is not a significant difference between Hillary and Obama. There is this difference: Clinton will not promise to save SS by taxing incomes over $90,000. Obama said he will. Clinton will not make any promises with regard to SS, saying she will form a committe. This one difference could lose the election for Hillary.

    February 13, 2008 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  6. Rob - Indiana Democrat - Former Republican

    One more thing.... What about Hawaii, Washington and Wisconsin??? It was very interesting how Hillary was in El Paso during the drubbing that took place in the Potomac Region... Has she forgotten about the 'States' that vote on the 19th???? Barack was in Wisconsin.... I guess he must care more about spreading his word to the American people, and Hillary cares more about getting a victory....

    February 13, 2008 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  7. bp

    We are ready for a woman president–just not THIS woman. Go away Hillary and take Bill with you.

    February 13, 2008 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  8. tonia

    I am a democrat, but I cannot watch CNN, MSNBC and other channels.
    Obamamania everywhere.
    I think he has some kind of gypnosis effect on public.
    I just started listening to him and found that you really feed like unber gipnosys.
    People wake up.
    Don't you thinkg that you really have some kine of messiah coming down to earth?
    When I listen to his 'We'll change Washington, we'll change America, we'll change the world' – isn't this sound scaring and rather stupid!
    I think that bathing in all this euphoria and adorement he really started believing that he is superpower and can accomplish those tasks.
    People, there are so many realy issues in this country which require not inspiring speeches but daily routine hard work with real plans.
    Please think who will be accomplishing this before you vote.

    Personally me and my friends democrats are pretty scared of those psychosis of crowds and either stay home or vote for McCain if Obama is nominated

    February 13, 2008 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  9. SuJay

    PLEASE, do not overdo the debates!

    February 13, 2008 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  10. Rob - Indiana Democrat - Former Republican

    One more thing.... Where in the world did Hillary get 5 million of her own dollars to inject into her campaign? I bet she is really concerned about a few extra cents when she pulls up to the pump to fill up....

    February 13, 2008 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  11. nancy

    Now that Hillary is running low on funds I have a great idea for creating extra cash............someone could manufacture a "Hillary Bobble Head Doll" The next time she's on TV watch her reaction to the crowd or to the speaker and you'll readily see that she's a "natural" for the latest "bobble head".

    February 13, 2008 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  12. VB in NC

    Carville is just stating the obvious, Clinton has fallen so far behind she has to win all those states, and win by a wide margin.

    She had every institutional advantage in this campaign, the name recognition, the support of the party insiders and power-brokers, a lock on the womans vote.

    Yet despite that she's behind in the race. The reason realy is quite simple. Obama is a better candidate. His message resonates with the American people and he ran a better campaign. Not bad for a guy with little political experience. It just goes to show that experience means nothing compared to competence.

    February 13, 2008 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  13. Steve Lurie

    It all comes down to whether the Democrats want to reach across party lines to win. Obama is bringing new people and independents, and some Republicans. Watching John McCain last nite, he would likely truimph over Hillary. With Obama it will be a battle for the uncommitted voters who are neither Democrat or Republican.

    If Obama is able to fashion a working majority it will be interesting to see if he can actually deliver.
    Steve Lurie, Toronto, Canada

    February 13, 2008 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  14. waterfall


    February 13, 2008 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  15. Maria

    You can bet if the Clintons win they will not win nicely. Obama win means a united Party. He knows how to do it. Do not be fooled, this is not rhetoric, this is what the people of America need and What the White House and Congress need.

    It wasnt rhetoric when the Freedom Rights Movement was fighting for the Good of all instead of a few, Why is it rhetoric now? Hillary, just stop using the diverse Cultures of American and dont think that many Latinos know that you have truly shown your colours. Some of them are educated and Make over 50,000 and some are poor but know. though they may not have your level of education, they have since seen what you have done. Do not use the Poor and uneducated to take you to the white house.

    This is not about colours or gender, its about who will do the best thing for the United States of America.

    February 13, 2008 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  16. The Golden Child

    Hillary claims that she will be ready to run the White House from day one! She is the most electable! She can't even run her own campaign. Misappropriation of campaign funds! $500,000 dollars for parking expenses. who are they trying to kid!

    Same lobbyist action!
    Same White Water!

    February 13, 2008 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  17. Yolanda Diaz

    If Hillary does not make it – I'll vote for MacCain

    February 13, 2008 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  18. Terence

    Whether or not Sen. Obama or Sen. Clinton wins is really not the big issue. The issue is whether or not the people, that is the popular vote actually matters vs. the superdelegates. If the superdelegates decide for us, then why should we bother voting at all. To the superdelegates, I say this, vote in a manner that reflects what the people want and please keep in mind that we voted you into your position and we will remember that when you run for office the next time around. Look for Sen Clinton to start an attack campaign, this will not be beneficial to her as it is the exact opposite of what the people want and that is 'Unity'!

    February 13, 2008 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  19. Toonces

    Wow – I have to agree with most folks expressing disappointment with CNN – you guys have shown your true colors and no better at reporting the "unbiased" news as Fox. Hillary gets ripped and the golden boy stays golden – why is CNN not talking about how the man had no real platform? I mean come on guys – make the guy stand up and tell us how he expects to do that....Obama has plenty of baggage in his closet but you guys don't seem to interested in addressing it – to thumbs down to CNN.

    February 13, 2008 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  20. Yolanda Diaz

    I do not comment that much any more – I am been banned

    February 13, 2008 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  21. Disillusioned

    I have been an ardent supporter of Hillary since the start of the campaign but have noticed several things which have disappointed me and am now disillusioned with her campaign. She was all supportive of NAFTA when Bill Clinton made it happen and now she wants out of it. And she speaks so much about campaign reforms while continuing to accept lobbyist financial support; I wonder what kind of reform she will bring out if she becomes president. She openly distanced herself from Bill Clinton's comments in presidential debates and declined to take responsibility for them; I was expecting better from her. She has resorted to petty ads in Wisconsin that Obama won't debate with her; just seems a lowly thing to do while fighting for something so important.She should have managed the finances of her campaign better to sustain her publicity efforts instead. Now that I think of her 'experience' and 'readiness on day one', I think that she's maybe ready on day one but is she ready to be correct and do the right thing on day one?

    February 13, 2008 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  22. STTP in Ohio

    Larry Elder in on the political discussion panel tonight.

    What, Ward Connerly had a previous engagement?

    February 13, 2008 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  23. colleen

    Would someone explain to me what Obama's foreign policy experience is?? Has he ever even traveled to another country as a US Senator . . . spare me the bit about his grade school experiences abroad . . . . Foreign policy experience needs to matter in this race . . .Why isn't the media bringing this up . . .or are you all star struck?

    February 13, 2008 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  24. ernestine

    i hope that the texas , ohio , pennsylvania are watching how she just dismissed wisconsin , just like she the voters in va,dc,md. whenever she is not ahead ,it seems she takes flight , doesn t say thank you to those who did vote for her . now she is in texas making promises to a new choosen ethnic group . I just disheartening to see how she changes like the wind . no respect. does she forget that those people she overlooked may have to be revisted if she get s the nomination? people are watching her actions and they dont forget

    February 13, 2008 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  25. George the Prognosticator

    James Carville is an idiot who believes himself to be influential.

    Hillary will lose...no one likes her. And on the remote chance that she does win the nomination, I will vote republican. Who needs another Clinton in the Whitehouse? Not me.

    February 13, 2008 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21