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. Robert

    Why is CNN so biased against Hillary??

    My god, John Glenn endorsed HRC today and CNN shows nothing about that.

    And ABC News is reporting that John Edwards may endorse Senator Clinton as well, but nothing from CNN.

    The Colbert Report ridicules Senator Clintons clapping and pointing, which is so petty, and yet does not ridicule Obama.

    Also it has been reported there actually is no momentum for Obama, because even with his wins his lead in DELEGATES is very small.

    This process is not about winning states, it is about winning Delegates.

    February 13, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  2. California Lady

    Blake in Brooklyn – Before you go spewing off your rhetoric about Senator Obama's family and in particular his paternal grandmother in Kenya – did it ever occur to you that she may be happy and content exactly where she is. Did you take the time to watch the story about her on TV and if so, didn't you see and hear her say how proud she is of her grandson.
    Stop trying to bach Obama. Look at the facts before you speak.
    I would much rather have the Obama family in the WH than the Clinton's ever. Too many Interns running around and Bill will just get into too much trouble. Is that the family you want in the WH?

    February 13, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  3. lula

    Not a thing she can dew now.The train has left the station

    February 13, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  4. Scott Stevenson

    Why does nobody speak of Mike Huckabee's hypocrisy in continuing to accept money from Americans who sorely need it (and who he appeals to as their devout advocate it)? I respect his prerogative to stay in the race, but for him to tout how much money he is collecting for a Campaign to Nowhere is absolute hypocrisy, and one that I am completely flabergasted by: how can he reach out to blue-collar Republicans and what is morally (and by God's word) "right" while he continues to collect money in what is obviously a selfish endeavor by a man without a job (read: FORMER Gov. Huckabee) and nothing to do but brag about collecting money for a campaign that simply cannot (that word is essential: cannot mathematiccaly occur) succeed. Why has CNN, so often a bastion of critique and free-speech, continued to condone such behavior that is taking millions from hard-working, mostly Southern Americans. Shame on you, Mike.

    We here at the Wharton School of Business (where I am a student) certainly DO NO like Mike. His campaign should stop accepting donations–if he did that, then all would be fine, but he is flouting virtue by continuing to take money from a country in need by politicking for his own amusement. He must be one bored former politician.

    February 13, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  5. Chris in Va.

    Hillary Clinton is her own worst enemy. I do not see where CNN is portraying her in a bad light by replaying her speeches or reporting her actual voting record, and sorry folks, but a 60% to 35% win IS a landslide.Like it or not it is what it is, and she is what she is.

    February 13, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  6. don't mess with Texas

    Hillary is rocking in Texas....

    Hillary is going to pull back and lead to White House in Jan 09. This is just a calm before the storm. CNN is not fair to Hillary.. and so are the other MSM. This the time to be fair and impartial for the media folks.

    Go Hillary 08.

    Texas is waiting to give you the boost your campaign needs...

    February 13, 2008 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  7. Latina 4 Obama

    Texas Latinos don't allow yourselves to be used by the Clintons. They used the blacks in the 90s to get their votes and early on in this election. Now they are trying to use the Latinos. See how quickly they turned on the blacks in this campaign. Choose the best candidate for you, but don't allow yourselves to get used.

    February 13, 2008 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  8. Hope, OH.

    Hillary is the worst lier ever, I would rather vote for McCain than her. You Cliton supporters are so afraid of Obama, just embrace it. And when the economy is finally good after it has been destroyed by the worst president in history I will nuge you will my shoulder and say with a smile, ... i told you so.

    Ohio for Obama
    We are ready for Change!

    February 13, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  9. whitey

    Why is it only women who like Billary? They made a mockery out of the Whitehouse. And then stole stuff from it. I, like millions of others, don't want them back. Thank goodness the poor and uneducated are a minority:)


    February 13, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  10. Tyrone Brown, Seattle, WA

    I am for the "Yes We Can" candidate – not the "Yes I Can."

    February 13, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  11. douglas

    Did someone mention " backed by HULK HOGAN " ?
    Now there's an intelligent voice of the people !!!
    WOW, I guess I should start listening to trash TV more often so that I may be well informed as to what's been really going on here...

    February 13, 2008 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  12. Maria

    Bringing people together is Obama's motto. While he can't get along with his own collegiate in the senate. This guy is fake. I don't like Hillary but I REALLY don't like this fake guy

    February 13, 2008 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |



    “Could we possibly have a nominee who hasn't won any of the significant states - outside of Illinois?” Chief Strategist Mark Penn said. “That raises some serious questions about Sen. Obama.”


    I'm for OBAMA, he cares.

    February 13, 2008 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  14. Wayne

    The truth is Hillary is LOSING. This is not a dead heat. You lose 8 straight all over the country by wide margins. The disappointing truth is Bill and Hillary want so desperately for America to return to it's racist past..just for a few months.

    February 13, 2008 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  15. sean

    Hillary really should do what Romney did for his party.For the good of the party she should drop out .

    February 13, 2008 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  16. don't mess with Texas

    To John in Columbus – you are referring to YES, WE CAN!! from Obama's speeches. What can Obama do by winning the White House? Just to show the media and his supporters.. Yaa we win White House.. What after that.. How are you folks going to deal with when nothing or a little gets done at DC.


    February 13, 2008 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  17. Sharon

    We are talking about multiple Clinton's because Bill commands. or at least used to command just as much air time as Hillary. There was a time when that was considered a plus for Hillary. Cause Obama was needing to defend himself against 2 attacking Clintons.

    I never count the Clintons out. Bill didn't get the name "Slick Willy" for nuttin...

    February 13, 2008 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  18. Danielle

    Obama same old politics…and quite frankly a bit childish. Obama could have taken the high road instead of acting like a spoiled child. Obama has repeatedly shown that he is not ready to be president he lacks the experience and please stop thinking that Barack can beat a McCain the republicans will rip him apart.. So its time the media stops pushing him down our throats. Sure he can give a good speach but being president is a lot more than giving a speach. Go Hillary Madame President

    February 13, 2008 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  19. harry

    The clintons forgot something in the white house and so they want to go it . Old people that should go on retirement instead they blocking chances for mordern generation.

    we want new leadershipin the world now

    February 13, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  20. David from Santa Cruz

    I am the "flip flopper" who would vote for Obama over McCain then flip and vote for McCain over Clinton.

    There are policies which Obama supports that hurt my sensibilities. As a father I fell in love with my son long before his birth. I would give my life over his. Sorry, just can't help feeling that way.

    But I also know that Barack was 100% right on the Iraq war. As a hunter I know what guns can and can't accomplish. Terrorism is a spiritual (not religious) war. We must win the hearts of the hopeless.

    The rhetoric of evil enemy is misguided. We can’t fight our way to victory. As much as Bush/McCain use Germany and Korea as their guiding examples… they are simply wrong. Terrorism is not a state… it is a state of mind. Persuasion is the only strategy. In this war… words do matter!

    Hillary and McCain don’t get it. I don’t fault them. They are just politicians.

    McCain is an American hero. I deeply respect his service. If the Soviet Union attacks us I hope to God we call on him for guidance (and I am sure he’d be there). But they won’t because there is no “Soviet Union”.

    Hillary and Bill do know how to manage. And they certainly thrive on politics. It is the “fun part” for them.

    However, terrorism is emotional. Words are sacred. You don’t blow yourself up as a technical matter. You don’t memorize the sacred text for fun.

    Obama has shown the capacity for understanding the human spirit. Might sound simple and even ridiculous, but in reality it is the highest level of leadership. He is our greatest hope to alter the internal dialog of the hopeless. And that is where this battle plays out.

    February 13, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  21. Charlotte

    I have one question, how does CNN know what percentage of what group vote what way? The last time I checked my ballot there wasn't a place for age,sex, race or religion. If you ask three hispanics how they voted, two were Obama one for Clinton does that translate into 2/3 of hispanics voted for Obama?

    February 13, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  22. Jean, Indiana

    I'm surprised that CNN in this article did not catch that the Clinton campaign aides were incorrect when they "noted 60 percent of the remaining delegates are in Texas, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, . . . ." With a total of 493 between them (TX 193, OH 141, PA 158), that is quite less than 50% of the remaining delegates.

    February 13, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  23. MF

    Can I please just point out the Hillary is running for President and not Bill? I have heard multiple comments during interviews at primary voting sites about people voting for Hillary because the person likes Bill ("I voted for Hillary, but I like Obama too. But I really like Bill Clinton") and the comment in this posting about not counting the Clinton's out really bothers me. I am a 26 year old female and I am fully aware of how important this election is. I also realize that the democratic party is going to make history with either Obama or Hillary. However, I feel that it is important to separate Hillary now from Hillary the First Lady. It is not acceptable to vote for her, or "not count her out" based on who her husband is. The real question should be "Which candidate is most qualified for the job?".

    February 13, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  24. Ralph

    Obama is the clear choice to beat mccain. This is obvious and even the polls show that he is the better choice.

    Wake up people. Hillary is old news, part of the 90's. Lets leave her there. When the right female comes along I will vote for her but this first lady is not the right person to be the President.

    February 13, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  25. T Sillanpaa California

    It's incomprehensible to consider that Clinton supporters are bashing "the media machine" for crushing their candidate. I recall month's of coverage where every piece of news began by calling her the frontrunner or the presumptive nominee. She did well in the debates and it was so reported. Her stump speeches get just as much air time as any other candidate - more than most of the folks who dropped out early ever received.

    The reason coverage of Clinton's campaign is being questioned stems from the fact that voters, regular folks, have gone to the polls across the country and voted for Barack Obama.

    We heard the absurd charges (being spurred by the Clinton camp) of Obama's drug use - stemming from mention of youthful mistakes he wrote about in his book. We heard quite clearly from President Clinton that Obama's simply a regional or ethnic candidate - like Jesse Jackson was whe he won in South Carolina. We heard that believing in an Ivy League lawyer with roots in community activism and a willingness to unite and make peace is "a fairytale." We heard all that - and, still, a little more than half of us voted for Barack Obama.

    The Clinton campaign has more than enough opportunity to win with big state primaries still ahead. Childish responses blaming the media for leading folks to vote for Obama...or, worse, for blaming folks for voting for Obama...show how desperately those folks who resist change will fight to avoid it.

    The voters have turned slightly to Obama in spite of the efforts of the most powerful political machine the party's seen in decades. The voters will have a chance to turn back to Clinton in the next 90 days.

    Reading the angry, sophomoric rants here only serves to convince me that those of us who turned to Obama did the right thing.

    And, yeah...great idea Karen...let the party insiders pick the party nominee...in a democracy...that's a proper response to not getting your way. Just insult regular folks by sayint we're too darn stupid to vote for the best person. I don't know that the greatest country in the world would benefit from insiders overriding regular Americans to shove McCain-Clinton at us...followed by, oh, Jeb Bush-Clinton in 2012, etc.

    February 13, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
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