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. Jerry

    What I want to know is how Senator Clinton can look at herself in the mirror. Here she is running for President of the United States of America. But she only campaigns in the big states. and certainly only seems to win the 'big' states. do none of the other states count? The other states aren't 'significant'?

    And why does she insist on counting the votes from the 2 states that she promised not to campaign in when the decision to not seat their delegates was made? Sure, it seems fair to not disenfranchise those voters; but those states moved up their own primaries for which the DNC penalized them. HRC knew this, promised not to campaign there as all the candidates did. She as a Clinton of course, isn't subject to rules or promises she campaigned there anyway. What if Obama had won in Florida despite keeping his promise? I bet she wouldn't be so hot about seating those delegates.

    Say she does manage to steal the nomination away from Obama by somehow gaining the support of enough super-delegates? That will just keep a republican in the White-house. John McCain is the perfect nominee for the Republicans as he appeals to alot of Democrats and Independents. HRC will galvanize the Republicans in November. and her shenanigans during this campaign will infuriate so many Democrats to vote for McCain

    February 13, 2008 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  2. Come on...

    Hilly thrives on ignorance... and apparently there is quite a bit of it flinging around here.

    Having read through the comments... probably 10% of what Hillary supporters say is accurate... 80% of it is what she says is 'true' that they just murmur back and the other 10% is formulated by uninformed minds.

    Barack has plenty of idiot, sheep supporters too, but no where near as many as her. All of the exit polls support it. Sorry. Independant, well-informed, clear-thinking minds overwhelmingly vote for Barack.

    Get a clue people. You'd be better off not watching the stupid debates or reading the news and just looking up the facts on both candidates online.

    February 13, 2008 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  3. Sandra

    Obama is for bringing everyone together, but yet I'm amazed at the venom thrown by his followers at those who do not agree with him and are supporting Hilary.

    February 13, 2008 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  4. Michael

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

    Dude, haven't you been listening? "Hope is never false." Bumper sticker political slogans don't lie.

    February 13, 2008 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  5. Evan Esteves

    Tonia and Mike...you are exactly what is wrong with our great Democratic party! Go join the Republicans sinking ship...True democrats don't need bandwagoners like you!

    Democrats 08! (Barack or Hillary!)

    February 13, 2008 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  6. Mike

    Texas and Ohio have intelligent voters and Hillary will win BOTH states by 10% or more!

    February 13, 2008 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  7. joy

    This race just proves that Gender Bias is far greater than Racial Bias. Hillary will be a much better president than either McCain or Obama but America will never admit this. Plus, there is just so much media bias against the Clintons for years. Having said that, it's not over til it's over. So I do hope Hillary gets the nomination.

    February 13, 2008 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  8. Henriette

    As a native texan of latino and african american descent, Hillary better be ready for a war because Obama has a lot of support here and this state is not going to down very easily.

    February 13, 2008 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  9. VforVendetta

    How about this way...

    If Democratic Party did the delegate count in the way Republicans did for the big states then Hillary has a commanding lead over Obama....In fact including Florida + Michigan;
    Hillary would have a total of 1368 pledged delegates vs 738 for Obama and even without Florida & Michigan, Hillary will still be leading with 1102 vs 738 for Obama......

    If Republicans did the delegate count the way Democrats have been doing for each state then McCain, Romney & Huckabee will be essentially tied with around 500 pledged delegates.

    I wonder why both parties do not have the same standard of counting delegates when essentially they are running for same goal: to be the President of USA....

    V for Vendetta

    February 13, 2008 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  10. Barack = Paris - No Wonder the Media Love Him

    Oh, but fraidy cat Obama is, um, like, um, so, um afraid to, um, debate unless of, um, course, his talented, um, speechwriter, um, puts the words into his mouth

    With the help of the speechwriter and the media, he loses all the "ums" and becomes as great an orator as Martin Luther KIng, Jr. himself! (Notice how he copies all the cadences of that great man's speech)

    Silly Obamabots, Obama is NO Martin Luther King, Jr.

    If he actually DOES win the primaries, he will have to, um, face the, um, Republican candidate in, um, debate, no matter HOW many of his Obamabots say it isn't necessary, as all of this info is available on his Website, and we should all just look it up

    If he, um, doesn't, the Republicans will chew him up and spit him out before breakfast – have no doubt about that

    Besides, what will he say to foreign leaders? Look it up on my Website?????????? "I don't, um, like, um, like need to, um, debate or actually talk one-on-one, since, like, my speechwriter is, um, like the BEST, and if you haven't bought my message, of, like, change and hope and unity and YES WE CAN, just, um, like rewind the tape, and see how brilliantly I speak when words are put into my mouth. I sound just like MLK, Jr., don't you think – haven't you been paying attention to the cadence? And if you don't, why, I'll just pull the race card again. It has worked before, and if that doesn't work, I'll get the celebrity-crazed dizzy media talking heads to fool all you foreign folk just like they've managed to fool supposedly educated people right here in the good old USA – that's worked before also."

    He sounds more and more like Paris Hilton to me evey minute.

    He's just, um, like, SO HOT – don't you think?

    This will never get posted – it will be kept in Obamabot Moderator Purgatory forever (I think all the Moderators at CNN are Obamabots, just like their bosses.) No matter. I know how to copy and paste, and I will send it in an email to like-minded folk.

    Oh, PS – Can you IMAGINE JFK REFUSING to debate Nixon???????

    February 13, 2008 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  11. Dave

    I especially like the comment, "the Clintons". Note the plural. Isn' t this a race for one single president? Hard to believe she would be able to distance herself from Bill if elected...

    February 13, 2008 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  12. Prakash Kolluri

    The race is not over for Clinton, Obama has a narrow edge so far, Why is the entire press trying to potray a failure for Clinton. The press seems to be building momentum for Obama and not the people.
    Lets clarify one thing, Obama has not so far explained what he will do to Change, He just keeps talking of change, are these just empty words?
    People should weigh all of this carefully before voting.

    February 13, 2008 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  13. Mark

    Can't get Clinton out of the race fast enough. She is EVIL. More business as usual, more of what we don't need.

    February 13, 2008 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  14. D.

    If Hillary gets the nomination, I vote for her. Otherwise, I vote for MaCain.

    February 13, 2008 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  15. shaun

    I am a HUGE Hillary supporter...sadly I think she will lose. Our country is going to be at the hands of a man who simply has no plan for our country. Clueless in any thing related to economics and speaks to motivate people to vote for him. And that's it. GOOD LUCK AMERICA. I WILL VOTE FOR MCCAIN. AT LEAST HE IS WISE.

    February 13, 2008 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  16. dreams

    dreams can be nice, dreams are being dreamed, then we wake up, and reality takes over. To make some dreams to come true is very hard work, long way to go.

    Hillary 2008

    February 13, 2008 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  17. roland

    I have lived in NY for the last 20 years and now live in Md/DC where I was born. I am a big Clinton fan and was as excited to vote for Bill as I am now to vote for Barack.

    The truth is that what disturbed my soul was how the Clintons respond to any and everyone who doesn't do what they want. I'm thinking back to a number of supporters, some who went to jail for them and the several who got a sudden case of death when things were getting hot and heavy on the Clintons.

    Now I'm watching them diss any state they don't win and I'm watching them diss the hundreds of thousands of black voters who've stood behind them for so long because they no longer have complete reign over them. They are also dissing states they think they can't win.

    They are marginalizing so many people and places that they're margin is now razor thin. For those of us who think we know how Ohio, Pa. and Texas are Clintons best bet to win this thing ought to stop and think again. New Hampshire is the only state I can recall that she made a "comeback" in. Everywhere else she either lost after leading in the polls or lost by a landslide where she was trailing in the polls.

    My brothers and sister, listen and watch how the Clinton campaign "fires" people and discounts people who don't give them what they want when they want it. Not good policy for a person representing a diverse nation.

    February 13, 2008 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  18. Marina

    Has anyone considered the word "INTEGRITY'? Look at both sides of this campaign. Obama has the most integity. Persons who are against him just don't get it. We need CHANGE. Look at his voters generation XY are coming to the polls in abundance......... YES WE CAN....... That is what they are all saying, they have the voice that will change this nation for a long time to come.

    February 13, 2008 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  19. enough already

    first of all for all the misinformation being spewed around on here, hillary is a 2 term senator from ny, she sought re-election and won overwhelmingly perhaps mr. Obama should do the same.
    and i find it incredibly disturbing that anyone would say she cant be presidetn because she "cant take care of her husband"..that is incredibly sexist.

    this is the 21st century. enough of the ignorance.

    February 13, 2008 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  20. Dee

    The Clintons thought they had a smooth non-stop trainride right to the White House. What they never expected or planned for was a huge freight train coming up behind them saying "YES WE CAN" "YES WE CAN" -sort of like that lttle engine that could !

    February 13, 2008 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  21. Dan

    Let's just put it on the line. Regardless of who wins the nomination, most people are seeking a change from what we have have now. NO ONE WILL BE READY DAY ONE...Let's look at our choices, people... we are again picking the lesser of the evils.

    McCain = doesn't mind being in Iraq for 100 years... gee.. that's great...
    Hillary = "I'm the only candidate who will be ready day one"... really???? Your husband wasn't, Bush SR wasn't, Reagan wasn't, Carter wasn't, Ford wasn't (and he was VP).
    Obama = Hope, Change, Hope, Change, Hope Change... where's the vision and the plan.
    Huckabee = Let's give the country back to God... well, God helps us all if he wins.

    Let's have the elections in April... that way we don't have to tire ourselves with all this cr*p and figure out how to make sure that our poor are taken care of (remember, karma), our economy is sound, we build better relationships with the rest of the world (remember karma), our young men and women who choose to protect this country return safe, and that we have the financial stability to help them with the mental illnesses they will return with as they continue to fight this war internally.

    February 13, 2008 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  22. moba10

    But it appears the exit polls were correct.

    February 13, 2008 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  23. texas


    I am so glad she is here!!!

    Latinos for Hillary and I have a lot of family and friends that do not buy the hopes and dreams, that never gets food on our table.

    Go HILLARY!!!

    The Media does not support our thinking we are not that stupid CNN!

    February 13, 2008 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  24. Come on...

    Here's a couple funny thoughts...

    If Hillary and Bill weren't a couple... he would overwhelmingly be backing Barack.

    If her name was Hillary Rodham... it would be Barack -vs- Edwards right now. (She'd probably be a corporate lawyer at Exxon)

    February 13, 2008 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  25. Ohio

    I have supported the clinton's in the past,,,,but i got to tell ya,,,,,after the past few weeks,,,i can see what evryone is talking about,,,they really are out for them selfs. i saw the peter paul video on you tube,,,wow,,,i do believe that guy,,,it has just been of late ,,that i realize how fake hillary is,,,,,,they will say anything and do anything to get back to the white house,,,,and then it's gonna be the same old story,,we the american people are gonna pay for her to parade around the world as the first woman president,,,,,,i can't vote for her,,,,,,

    February 13, 2008 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
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