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. Mr Bre

    Hey gentel men/ladies.

    The past was good, but the future is great. I hate to see Mrs clinton go, but at the same time i cannot trade my future to my past. The bible said that everything shall come to past. I feel that the clintons time is already a thing of the past and we should gracefully move forward and embrace our bright future with OBAMA.Thank you the clintons for the good past, but please join us to a great future


    February 13, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  2. Richard

    Clintons will be calling in their markers soon with the SDs.
    You complain about CNN reporting on her negatives. Did you ever think there aren't any positives.? Polls show her negatives are higher than her positives.
    And Obama is the most liberal person in the Senate. You all think the country needs Socialism.?
    She's going to whack him in debates but its risky. She'll come off looking worse than she does now if thats possible.
    Ha. Its funny. Dems have 2 rotten candidates and they can't decide which one to vote against.
    Hope they have a lot of cops on hand in Denver. But who knows, it might be settled by then.
    Thats why the dems invented the super delegates. They couldn't trust their electorate. I mean Mondale and McGovern. Jeez.
    So, Obama is getting the educated. What does that tell you about Clintons voters. HMMM? And still running against the Bushes. What, is she stuck in a time warp.?

    February 13, 2008 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  3. barbara lang

    If Obama really participated in a debate with Clinton, that included knowledge of ALL the issues, he would fail miserably. Think about it.

    February 13, 2008 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  4. Mikey

    Speaking of guts to post . . . What does it take for CNN to post a comment? I have tried several times over the past week to post in the "Political Ticker" and not one of my comments has been posted. OHHHH!!! I know why! I am a Hillary supporter!

    If they post this I will be pissed. When I actually say something, it doesn't get posted, but this rhetoric certainly will!!!

    February 13, 2008 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  5. Bill Jay

    Lee....sounds like you have an issue with Hillary.....you must be an obama mama. Well there is always room for experience.
    So if you feel Hillary is some kind of carpetbag. Look at what
    oprah has done for obama, like she 's not in the carpet business.

    February 13, 2008 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  6. kwame

    Gee, it is true theGOP will rather run against Obama than Clinton. The will drop his #s when the facts and his record is bared for all to read

    February 13, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  7. Nina / Florida

    This to to NO MAS: Can you tell me who would there be to fight if we needed protection here in the U.S. My son is currently serving in Iraq. He's on his 5th tour. That right his 5th tour. He is stationed at Ft. Brag N.C. Just about the entire base is in Iraq. They have had to close one of the banks on base and scale back a lot of other services on the base because there are not enough solders left on the base. You need to wake up! Or, perhaps you agree that we need to stay in Iraq for oh lets say 100 yrs. Or did you forget those words coming from John Mccain?

    February 13, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  8. Christopher, Madison, WI

    I think the press is wrong about one thing. I strongly believe the Republican would rather run against Obama then Hillary.

    Well then you have not been paying attention. FauxNoise has been foaming at the mouth to get their hands on her. They fear Obama because the would be forced to use the racist card. Hillary has too much baggage and we would have to relive the entire Bill Administration. BTW I love Bill and Hillary but their time has past.

    February 13, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  9. mediabias

    how does the media get away with saying she doesnt have a chance becuase he is a mere 30 delegates ahead of her? How come last week when she was a 100 delegates ahead of him there werent any negative stories about him and his chances? the media needs to get over themselves and report the facts. this race is too close for anyone to have a clear lead. its a bit presumptive for anyone at this point to be resting on their laurels. this will be a long battle, and cnn needs to get out of the prediction business and just report the news, their crystal ball didnt fair so well in NH, NV or CA

    February 13, 2008 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  10. Jose Card - Independent

    "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."

    Hillary cannot use Bill's campaign as her guideline for success as Bill is on her ticket even according to Carville – "... count the Clintons out".

    This means that the voters are voting against the Clintons, not just Hillary.

    February 13, 2008 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  11. paul

    wow the comments against James Carville Speaking the pragmatic truth.
    If Obama wins Ohio and is within 10 points of Hillary in Texas and Penn State it is over. She has not had overwhelming majorities outside her home states of Arkansas and New York While Obama is racking them up like fire wood to throw at her firewalls .

    I love the Democrats because of the super delegates could rip the party apart and Allow John McCain a victory in November.

    Super delegates the Democrat Party's version of the 2001 supreme court that handed the victory to W while Greenhouse Boy had the popular vote . Gee if Obama is robbed like Gore the democrats could be over as a party for decades because of Racial strife on the eve of defeating the unpopular Republicans. This Election last year would be in the bag for the Democrats with Bush leading the republicans.

    I am certainly on the opposite side of a James Carville but I respect his realistic view of the race. Pragmatic Democrats are seeing that same thing . The Clinton Franchise Name was badly Damaged with the injection of Bill Clintons size 12 in his mouth about Jesse Jackson . Nothing like biting the hand that feed election victories in the 1990's while your wife is running for president in the 2000's . The funny thing is Hillary Democratic Party Establishment Hacks dont get that Change is what brought Bill Clinton into power in 1992 adn Hillary is not the Change Candidate in 2008 Obama is.

    February 13, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  12. Steve

    John Glenn endorsed Hillary? Wow, that is impressive. He's sure to pull in the youth vote. What about Alben W Barkley? Has she got him on board yet?

    February 13, 2008 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  13. terry

    Don't you all realize that No one "close" to the Clintons like them, or support them?

    How about Kerry? Gore? Ted Kennedy? so many others

    It's funny how the way the closest people to you really reflect the reality of who you are.

    The Clintons can't be trusted. It's that simple!

    February 13, 2008 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  14. Lamont

    Gee please vote for Hillary. If you want change, then you need someone with experience who can deliver that change. That's Hillary. Obama is empty rhetoric. He is like Bush, but African-American and on the extreme left. He has no experience, plans, policy and has no idea what he is talking about. The media gushes at him because they are sexist and have a difficult time seeing a female commander in chief. The media also gives him a free ride because he is black so they don't want to appear racist by criticizing him or questioning him. In the end the Republicans will eat him alive because they don't care to have an Affirmative Action President. I wanted a black presidnet more than anyone. But don't vote for somone because they are black or because a different name is gonna be on the presidential seal and they talk a good game. Vote for someone with experience that is necessary to deliver real changes to Washington and to combat the problems we have in America after the 8 years of the Bush nightmare. In these times, we need a president who can really lead on day one. Obama can't do that period. I don't care what big headed Ted Kennedy says. Kennedy is only using Obama to manipulate him and push his agenda. So don't believe any of this JFK hoopla.
    Seriously, I wish Colin Powell was running because I would vote for him in a heart beat. The only decent candidates were Clinton, Edwards, Biden and McCain. And since Edwards and Biden are out. Clinton is the number 1 choice. McCain is next. Obama is dead last and slightly only better than Bush.

    February 13, 2008 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |

    Those of us in the D.C. metropolitan area ( D.C., Maryland , Virginia) had enough of the Clintons. The Potomac primary went totally to Obama because we do not want that corrupt family back in this area. Their scandals consumed the news here. The rest of you are either clueless or naive.

    February 13, 2008 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  16. Malin

    Cheryl i know what's up with you.GO OBAMA

    February 13, 2008 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  17. Ann Kuminns

    I always thought Carville one of the most savy analysts around. Now I begin to wonder – is he not seeing what so many of us are? Sure, Hillary is smart and would be a good candidate only if she's running against Homer Simpson. However, with such high negativity even within her own party, how on earth can she win, even if the nominee is Ann Coulter? Or is he pleased to see the unravelling of the democratic party so that his wife would have one over him this time.

    February 13, 2008 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  18. JohnB

    Hillary had her chance to fix health care for eight years.
    She does not deserve to be President, she thinks that we owe her that job. The Clinton campaign, which depends heavily on wealthy contributors who have already reached the $2,300 legal maximum they can give to a candidate. No more money for General Hillary.
    Hillary will say or do anything to win.
    Wake up America! Vote for Obama 08!

    February 13, 2008 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  19. enough already

    im sick of empty promises and "inspiration"..in fact, im sick of the word inspration. – here's what inspires me: protecting my 401k, getting my social security check in a few years and cheaper health care. ...as for change, im sick of hearing about that too and how Obama will be the candidate of "change"..the only constant in lfe is change. I want to know how hes going to handle it...inspiration won't be enough

    February 13, 2008 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  20. JOHN


    February 13, 2008 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  21. David S

    You can't solve a problem with the same thinking that created it – EInstein

    So funny that when Hillary isn't getting stomped it's the Clinton News Network. Now that she's losing support (largely of her own doing), the whole world is against her.

    Turn off the TV, disconnect from the blogs and study the voting records. Hillary Clinton has voted against the American people time and time again. When reform legislation is submitted in an attempt to reduce the influence of lobbyists or the perks of our reps, she votes with the Repubs.
    The war. Sure, she's attempted to justify her vote, but it's difficult to do so when others had the foresight or character to vote against it.
    FL & MI. Agreed not to campaign, to accept the penalties set forth by the national party. Now that it's in her favor, she wants to back out. Is this the type of principle she intends to lead with?
    Finally, the recent strategy of ignoring the last 7 states to focus on the big ones. Indicative in my view of how she represents the people. Never mind the little people, if you've got money and influence, I'll pay attention.
    I've followed Sen. Clinton since 1992 when I heard her give a Wellesley commencement address. I voted for her when I lived in NY. What I've seen this year has left me greatly disappointed. This year I vote Barack!

    February 13, 2008 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  22. George - Texan

    THIS IS A TEST FOR CNN – Have your newscasters picture Hillary as a positive, productive and awe inspiring candidate for the next month. Tell them to picture her as having the best ideas for the future of Americans.Try swapping her place with Obama's, giving her the media edge. Then look at the results.

    Shame on you for your bias.

    February 13, 2008 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  23. No more Clintons

    Hilary's claim of experience is false.

    She tried to push through health care and LOST.
    She and Bill put together "Don't ask, Don't tell". FAILURE
    She and Bill put together NAFTA / CAFTA. FAILURE

    The ONLY thing she can be credited for is actually staying married to a man who can't control his organ. Only because it serves her purpose and over loaded ego.

    There has been a Bush or Clinton in the White House since 1981. ENOUGH! They have almost destroyed this country and can not be allowed to continue!

    Obama 08

    (yes, I'm a republican)

    February 13, 2008 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  24. Christopher, Madison, WI

    Charlotte February 13th, 2008 6:43 pm ET

    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?

    Exit polls my dear. Please try to keep up!

    February 13, 2008 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  25. Grif

    Why is it? That when we have to go back, to our roots. To try to explain the world as it is..... It;s called: Demo-cracy!. The right of evey little Mite! No that's not the right word: in a search for Dialogue! I remmeber, Saddam also wanted.. controle of the; Germanic English! No I got it wrong again..... They call it, being as honest as you can, so the rest of world, can't twist the only: "Connection". You educated your, #1/'s. In your own priorities...

    Just do, what they expect of you! Not the Media!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 13, 2008 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21