March 28th, 2008
05:32 PM ET
12 years ago

High-profile Obama backers urge Clinton to quit

Leahy says he thinks Clinton should drop out.

Leahy says he thinks Clinton should drop out.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - A pair of high-profile backers of Sen. Barack Obama
have called on his rival, Sen. Hillary Clinton, to drop out of the race for the Democratic nomination for president.

Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont, issued the most unvarnished statement Friday, saying Clinton "has every right, but not a very good reason, to remain a candidate for as long as she wants to."

Sen. Chris Dodd, who sought the Democratic nomination for president himself but threw his support behind Obama after dropping out of the race in January, expressed a similar sentiment Thursday.

"I mean, if a person wants to stay in the race, stay in the race," he told the National Journal, a Washington magazine. "But if you have enough people rallying behind what appears to be the likely choice, and I believe the choice is Barack Obama, ... then I think you have to step up to the plate and say, enough is enough. We want this to be over with."

Larry J. Sabato, a professor of politics at the University of Virginia, said the Obama campaign was probably behind the remarks.

"Those things don't just happen," he said. "They must have gotten some encouragement from the Obama hierarchy. Senators like Leahy and Dodd can occasionally pop off, but not in a situation like this."

The Obama campaign denied responsibility for the Dodd and Leahy comments. Obama has said it is not for others to say when a candidate should get out of the race.

Full story

Filed under: Chris Dodd • Pat Leahy
soundoff (77 Responses)
  1. Corey, Maryland

    I concur with you Mr. Leahy, I do concur....

    Obama Richardson 08!!!!

    March 28, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  2. Hanging Chad

    Don't drop out Hillary, We're having too much fun!

    March 28, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  3. Adam in Indy

    Thank you Mr. Leahy for suggesting that millions of Americans not be allowed the oppertunity to cast their vote in this process!
    I for one an THRILLED that INDIANA will have a say and that my vote might actually matter.

    Stick with it HILLARY!!!!

    March 28, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  4. Phil in KC

    I think she has every right to stay in until all the votes are counted. You never know what could happen.
    BUT – I think she needs to turn down the rhetoric a couple notches.

    March 28, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  5. L. Tran, TX

    I think that the ranking Democrats endorse candidates for their own sakes. But there is no turning back now. The damage has been done. Both Obama and Clinton will see each other again next year, in the Senate.

    March 28, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  6. biged55

    Thank You Sen. Leahy!!

    Obama/Gore '08

    March 28, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  7. Sly

    Very good point Leahy.. she should drop out.

    Chuck Todd from MSNBC had some good reasons why she shouldnt drop out though. She is making Barack a stronger candidate by staying in, in some respects.

    OBAMA 08!

    March 28, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |


    HILLARY '08

    March 28, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  9. Manuel TX

    Leahy is entitled to his opinion, but it's noting more than his opinion.

    12 million + Hillary voters disagree with him.

    Just like Bill Richardson achieved absolutely no traction with Hispanic voters during his presidential campaign. Richardson's endorsement for Obama will carry no weight...and neither will Leahy's comments.


    March 28, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  10. Terrence W

    I'm glad that more and more officials are finally voicing what majority of the democrats already have stated. Clinton, I really liked you and your hub, but recent months have painted you in a light that is far from appealing. The people around you also paint a negative picture, but I don't base my decision not to vote for a person because of that. It is your what you would call "fighter: spirit, but I call "destructive, divisive" spirit that has turned me cold towards you. Please bow out gracefully for the good of the party and endorse Obama.

    March 28, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  11. Doug, Florida

    Come on Hillary for the good of the party, be a stateperson and drop of. Please!

    We need to win in November. Stop the fighting. We know you are a fighter. But stop now. Please!

    Let's unite and win in November


    March 28, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  12. lym

    I agree Leahy!

    March 28, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  13. pc

    Hillary should bow out gracefully. It is time for the American people to have a president who is for the people. Hillary is self-serving and sneaky. I don't trust her or Bill.

    March 28, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  14. Alex H

    That picture looks like he's stuck in an elevator lol

    March 28, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  15. LIZ KEESEE/oklahoma

    Why? She's more than capable of being President. Again, why should she step aside ? As a registered Democrat, I will vote Repubican if she does

    March 28, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  16. James

    Fact: It's over for Clinton.

    Now, do the honorable thing and start the healing process...or...let your die hard fans hand the election to McBush.

    It's a character thing.

    March 28, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  17. Johnson

    Clinton has a very good reason to remain in the race. Its either HER or no democrat under her belief. If she can't be the president, she wont' let the democrats win. Its as simple as that. She would rather see the democratic party crash and burn than unite the party to face John McCain.

    March 28, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  18. Rick in Florida



    March 28, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  19. La Raza

    Hello! I wish Hillary and her supporters are listening. I am ready to rally around Obama so we can focus on the real issue....McCain.

    March 28, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  20. MD

    The Democratic Party needs leaders such as Sen. Leahy owe it to the Party and the American people to bring pressure on Clinton to abandon her hopeless quest for the White House.

    Sen. Leahy is absolutely right about the "math" of the situation. If Clinton and her cronies cannot understand this simple math, how can the American people let them anywhere near the federal budget?

    March 28, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  21. Marcia, Marcia, Marcia in CA

    Obama can not win now.

    March 28, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  22. Joan in Pa.

    "Not a very good reason to remain a candidate..." How about that MANY AMERICANS have not had their chance to vote yet or their votes heard and counted (Florida and Michigan) Wake up Democratic party and STOP trying to shove a candidate down our throats...Last time I checked the PEOPLE choose the nominee!

    March 28, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  23. StopwatchingMSNBC, Rochester, NY

    Only a white male would tell a women to get out of the boys club without all the states voting. I think it's too important to Minorities and Women for either Obama or Hillary to get out of the race before it's over. This is the first time a viable woman or minority, is running for President. This race is too close and it's important for young women and young minorities to see both of these candidates campaign until all the votes have been cast. Stop listening to the media and just let the people vote.

    March 28, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  24. Veronica

    Maybe Patrick Leahy should let the 8 remaining states, Guam, and Pueto Rico vote before he runs his mouth. There is more to the country than his left-wing lunatic state of Vermont.

    March 28, 2008 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  25. Nando, Florida


    March 28, 2008 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
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