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. Dolores

    After the incessant drama brought on by the Bush administration some folks are really down on the Clintons.

    Hillary is Hillary and Bill is Bill. All I know is when he left office there was a surplus, and while he was in it the economy was good. And, I know at the last Democratic convention after only four years of Bush, nostalgia over the Clinton administration was rampant when we all had it better.

    Now a lot of folks are down on him. He was a great President. Experts say when history is said and done he will be in the top ten.

    So, I am thinking that if Hillary is more than Hillary, and is Billary instead, that is a pretty good thing in my book.

    Anyhow, I too was against the war and it still went ahead but I was not presented with the same facts that they had been , or had behind closed doors meetings with intelligence like the Congress did. Neither did Sen. Obama, I doubt very much he would have voted against it. Given those facts that he never saw. His whole I was against the war schpiel is fine and dandy now since he wasn't even a U.S. Senator then!

    February 13, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  2. jack

    I agree with a big part of the silent majority that when we voted and got the results a week later ,that was when people voted for the person they though was best for the job.Today they listen to the TV people and they vote for Wolfe Blizer,Lou Dobbs,Anderson Cooper,Jack Cafferty and other TV people.

    February 13, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  3. harry

    you will be disappointed when your hope on Texas or ohio will be dashed

    February 13, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  4. dawn

    America is ready to be inspired again, plain and simple. America and the rest of the world are looking for a hero, someone who can remind us that we are all in it together, for the greater good. Only Barack Obama can do that.

    February 13, 2008 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  5. Christopher, Madison, WI

    Wow so much hate from the Hillary side. What you folks don't understand is the repuke side is hoping it's Hillary. I love Hillary but she cannot overcome the Rove Machine that is now on the FauxNoise payroll. Obama carries no Clinton baggage and aside from using racist remarks the right cannot defeat him. Bill is a super delegate and should step aside in all fairness to the process. Hillary and McCain have too much history. They debate the same way. Obama is very different hence change is good. Hillary would make a great VP and should swallow her pride. The Obama/Clinton ticket is unstoppable. Come on people stop ripping our party apart and come together on some common compromises to suit the situation.

    February 13, 2008 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  6. Anna Sacramento, Ca

    It's amazing that all these people are putting such high hopes on Senator Obama. I will vote the Democratic ticket whomever is the canidate but if anyone thinks that Barack is going to be able to change much they are very naive. The damage done by the current administration is overwhelming and I'll be a LOT of the Obama supporters voted for Bush because they were terror scared. I am sure that the Obama supporters are expecting way too much and this is more of a backlash from what we have all lived for the past eight years. When the republican smear machine starts with Obama possibly people will feel they made an error in judgement?

    February 13, 2008 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  7. Ima Demcrat

    I supported Bill 'til Nafta
    Since then HilBill have given us the SHAFTA
    I'm voting for Obama, not cuz I want to
    but because I Hafta!

    No more Clinton dirty tricks
    After the best one America picks
    Hillary, go cry to Mamma
    The nomination goes to OBAMA!

    February 13, 2008 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  8. docrussia

    I think CNN should stop stepping for Obama I do not hear enything about Hillary and for that I prefer to go To FOX at least they claiming to be Fair and Balanced. Give me a break. Hillary will be next Pres.

    Go Hillary we will be voting for you here in TX

    February 13, 2008 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  9. Nick W.

    Because the Republican race is decided and my preferred candidate, Ron Paul, has no chance, I have heard tons of conservatives from callers on Rush Limbaugh (who I dislike but like to hear squeal) to my own parents saying that they are going to vote for Obama in the open Democratic primary in Texas. As an independent libertarian, I plan to as well.

    I think the inevitability of the GOP race is a big and underestimated factor in why Obama may actually win Texas – because if McCain is inevitable, lots of GOP voters and independents might as well decide to get a word in on the Democratic side.

    Obama has proven to be more open to dialogue with the Right and less socialistic on education and healthcare than Hillary. His sense of reason and history, while leftist, has a conservative gravitas. My parents like him because he brought religion back into the Democratic party in an authentic way.

    The latest polls had shown Hillary actually beating McCain – the first I'd seen. I don't think this would actually happen, but just in case, conservatives may not want to risk it. I encourage all Republicans and independents to vote Obama in the Texas primary just to stop Hillary. No conservative should want four years of her.

    February 13, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  10. Micke

    The reason you see Barrack so much on CNN and every other media outlet is because he's been SPANKING Hillary in the last 8 EIGHT, yes 8, straight elections. When your an underdog and you accomplish something like this against the "CLINTON MACHINE" your bound to be on the cover of all media.

    There's no shame in 2nd place Hillary, great job!


    February 13, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  11. MO

    10 win to zero, even if she win texas and ohio, it's not gonna be by that big of a margin. her true back up plan is michigan and florida, and it's not gonna work because that would not be fair to the american people. 99% of america has been exposed to the clintons for more than 15 years, obama did not have the chance to make his case in those states and letting them count would be the party's way of choosing the nominee and robing the American people of their choice

    February 13, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  12. Richard Sme

    One thing for sure: CNN is NOT objective and prefers BO
    I am neutral for the moment but this is very clear!
    Shame on you CNN!

    February 13, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  13. Kenyotta

    Is it the "Clintons" running or "Hillary"?

    February 13, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  14. Joyce



    February 13, 2008 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  15. Carlos / Tampa Fl.

    On the possible event that Senador B. Obama win the nomination for the Democratic party ; for first time in presidential election history, a Republican candidate (Sen. John McCain) will get over 50% of Latino vote on the November election. Is it possible that the Democratic party get back the control of The White House whitout the support of Latino majority ?. President Bush on 2004 elections got 40% of that support and he is at The White House rigth now. We will see.

    February 13, 2008 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  16. Doug, GA

    Excuse me Phyllis, your comment said that the media is trying to destroy Hilary. Sorry lady but WE THE PEOPLE are the ones voting and destroying Hilary!

    February 13, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  17. Mike from Illinois

    Is James Carville still relevant? This is the guy who excused Bill Clinton's inappropriate behavior toward women, by blaming the victims. So much for defending women's rights.

    The Clintons are two of the most corrupt politicians this nation has ever seen. Why is Bill so anxious to get back to the White House? Is there someone that he forgot to pardon? Oh, Clinton supporters, what did you think of the Marc Rich pardon? I am curious to get your opinion on that. I thought it was swell of Bill to pardon such a model citizen. I'm sure it is just a coincidence that Rich's wife was a major donator to Senator Clinton's campaign. That had nothing to do with the pardon, right?

    Oh, and if Hillary does win, do you suppose she and her husband will return to the White House, all of the valuable artwork that they stole on their way out? That would be nice, since that artwork is owned by the taxpayers.

    When will Hillary be making her tax returns public? Interesting that she wants to wait until after the nomination is official. Move along. Nothing to see here.

    Clinton supporters might want to Google Peter Paul. No, I am not referring to two thirds of Peter, Paul, and Mary. Interesting reading there.

    Barack Obama is a breath of fresh air compared to the slimy Clintons. I would be proud to see him as the Democratic nominee. If Hillary gets it, I would be ashamed.

    February 13, 2008 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  18. Jon

    How can Hillary Win with all the Republics voting for Obama in the Democratic Primary – I don't believe any of these categories coming out of the exit polls – Hillary has fought a good fight for the people – If it should end – she is still my Hero –

    February 13, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  19. vj

    James Carville has spoken??..ohhhooo we are scared now!! What a joke. who let him out?

    February 13, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  20. scarlett jamaica

    Wasn't it just a short time ago that people were calling CNN the Clinton News Network? How things change?

    February 13, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  21. Thomas Le Brun

    Barack Obama inspires. Presidents take action. Hillary will take action. She is doing nothing wrong but not being fierce enough against the competition.

    February 13, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  22. David from Sonoma County

    It has been suggested that if the super-delegates go against the pledged count, it would be political suicide.

    I am concerned that if the super-delegates go against the populace, the US would see rioting and marches and protests beyond anything we have seen before (i.e. 60's, LA riots, etc.)

    I often wonder whether we are heading toward another civil war. The right vs. the left, the "haves" vs. the "have-nots" or maybe the government vs. the people. The elements are in place to move this nation forward in a wonderful and positive direction, but those components needed for internal strife are also in place. I don't believe we (as a nation) will tolerate another questionable presidency. If things look sour (even if everything is above board) I wonder about the reprecussions, both immediately and in the long-term.

    The DNC will need to step in if Hillary wins all three Texas, Ohio and Pennslvania. On the other hand, if she loses one of those.. Hillary is done.

    Imagine... a government that actually DOES something... it's almost too much. What would a functional goverment look like?

    Obama 08' 12'

    February 13, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  23. pam Eugene OR

    I have posted on 5 boards in the past 2 days and in moderation on all then deleted. Come on CNN!
    I am asking we all remember we are democrats first! It is so close now and I don't want to see it go negative again. Barack has said he will debate Hillary at least 2 more times, so please get off that train. Let's watch, listen and learn. I am sure we can pick a candidate without ripping our party to pieces. There is another election after this one...remember. I support Barack but could vote for Hillary if I have NO other choice but a republican.

    February 13, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  24. Aj

    I am very surprized by the animosity in these blogs among the supporters. This is a great country that we live in and that gives us the right to disagree but we could do it in a civil manner.

    The easy way 'Obama' can win is consistently state a clear fact – that both Hillary and Mcain...the most experienced candidates (does being adjacent to a president count) in the field have made monumental mistakes on national security 'Iraq'. Did all their years of experience lead them to that unmistakebly incorrect conclusion on the biggest policy decision in their lives. What gives that they will not make such monumentally naive mistakes again.

    I like all 3 of them..but this is a clear difference that does not bode well for Hillary and Mcain

    God bless America

    February 13, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  25. Matthew from Rutland Vermont

    The Bush-Clinton dynasty is getting old. In with the new...Obama 08.

    February 13, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
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