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. Tony

    I was just reading about The University of Chicago confirming that Barack Obama is a professor and I couldn't help but think that Hillary knows, it would not be a bad idea if Hillary took some of his courses.
    Senator Clinton; the voices are getting louder and louder for you to bow out gracefully: it's time.

    March 28, 2008 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  2. gerard morei

    This guy is wrong, million of people want Hillary Clinton to be the President, why she have to drop out, besides no one will have the magic number of delegates to get the nomination. So Mr. get your calculator (if you need one) and shut up. I want my vote to count and every fellow citizen vote to count.

    March 28, 2008 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  3. drop out


    You need to drop out from Senate!! You are so undemocratic!! Can't you see it is a dead heat race?? You might have endorsed Obama but we won't vote for Obama. If he is the nominee McCain will win in Nov.

    By the by is Obama a professor or a Lecturer??? He is such a lier and a racist and we never will vote for him.

    March 28, 2008 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  4. Concerned Democrat

    Hillary needs to quit and stop this spectacle. bow out gracefully and stop tearing the party apart for her selfish reasons. That's an indication of how she would run the country. The Iraq war would never end because she would never let it go eventhough it's pointless.

    March 28, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  5. Sue in PA

    Gee do you think those of us in Penna will even get to vote.

    March 28, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  6. Illinois

    Yes, of course, Hillary should drop out.....right before she's to win several state primaries. God forbid she should get more delegates......

    March 28, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  7. Josh, LA

    AMEN, Sen. Leahy! We need bold men and women in the party to tell Billary the obvious.
    Hillary CANNOT catch up with Barack. The only thing she can do is to "destroy" him for the Repubs and produce more McClintons.

    March 28, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  8. NW Independent

    Yea, let's give it to a man who conviniently likes to say what he "would have done" but never does anything that risks his politacal neck. He WOULD have voted against the war; he WOULD have left the church if Wright had not retired; he WOULD do this or that.

    No record=no leadership.

    March 28, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  9. catmom

    What is the point of holding primaries into June if you don't intend to let all of the states vote? If it is intended that a candidate drop out before all of the states have an opportunity to vote than why not hold all of the primaries on the same date and be done with it. Neither candidate has enough votes to win the nomination. Why should the other candidate drop out? Since we know that some Democrats and the media want to annoint Obama as their candidate, just do that or quit whining. Other wise let the vote continue.

    March 28, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  10. Paulette, Cincinnati, Ohio

    Uh Why? There are a lot of voters who think Obama should drop out. Lies Lies Lies. Is Leahy afraid more truth will come about Obama's shady character? GO HILLARY '08

    March 28, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  11. V from St. Louis

    Tell you the truth... Comments like this aren't fair to the Clinton supporters. This is were all the frustration comes from. We need to keep all the Democrats united and if she were to follow these people suggestion, there goes the Election in November!

    Clinton needs to understand that she can't get the nomination now. It needs to be "her" decision...

    But if she stays in she needs to stop the negative attacks.

    Obama 08

    March 28, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  12. BDT

    This would help start the process to win back the Whate House.

    March 28, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  13. Debby

    So Leahy wants her to drop out before the primaries are done? This old man must be having a senior moment. Its funny how these Obama endorsers want Clinton out now since this Wright controversy broke. Their Golden Boy has muddied the waters a bit.

    March 28, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  14. sunny

    obama is fake. he is thinking smarter than media and other politician. if pastor story out there before super tuesday his carier was over in politics.

    March 28, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  15. MP

    Ms. Clinton’s pastor speaking about Rev Wright this morning:

    “”The Reverend Jeremiah Wright is an outstanding church leader whom I have heard speak a number of times,” Snyder wrote. “He has served for decades as a profound voice for justice and inclusion in our society. To evaluate his dynamic ministry on the basis of two or three sound bites does a grave injustice to Dr. Wright, the members of his congregation, and the African-American church which has been the spiritual refuge of a people that has suffered from discrimination, disadvantage, and violence. Dr. Wright, a member of an integrated denomination, has been an agent of racial reconciliation while proclaiming perceptions and truths uncomfortable for some white people to hear. Those of us who are white Americans would do well to listen carefully to Dr. Wright rather than to use a few of his quotes to polarize.”

    March 28, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  16. Yolanda Diaz

    Why? What about Michigan and Florida – Go Hillary Go

    March 28, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |

    Dear Sir:

    It would be nice if one of the commentator's on CNN would state that Senator Obama got the must total votes in Texas not Clinton. Since Texas has the famous "two step" primary and I know that that Clinton won the first part of the "two step process" but Obama won the second part of the "two step process" that gave Obama more of the delagates. Please have someone state that real clear on the evening CNN's political news, thank you very much. I think the public should know this fact, don't you?


    Bob Brock

    March 28, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  18. Ifeanyi Azubike Houston Texas

    This is restating the obvious, but she is impevious to reason.

    March 28, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  19. vjh

    Wow, this makes what 6+ super delegates this week alone, advising HRC to step down. Obama is being endorsed by additional supers, I wouldn't be at all surprised if a good majority more endorse Obama by the end of April, maybe within 2 weeks. Especially now that McCain is starting Presedential ads, HRC's unfavorable ratings are climbing and the mere fact that Obama does have more delegates and popular votes.

    March 28, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  20. LisaSF

    CNN- Do you have the data to produce a trend line graph of the superdelegates? It seems to me that Senator Clinton had not gained many superdelegates over time. Her number has been stagnant, while Obama has made a steady climb in superdelegates. I think looking at a graph like that might be really telling as to who will have the ultimate advantage with superdelegates. If nothing else, it would be interesting to see.

    March 28, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  21. Scared?

    My if all these people are so sure Obama is the nominee, why do they all sound so desperate and scared to finish a primary? They sound like a bunch of wooses wringing their hands over letting people vote.

    March 28, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  22. Sharon

    I guess he doesn't feel TEN states should have their democratic of him.

    March 28, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  23. Dave

    Hillary is a joke... She doesn't care about the Democratic party, she only cares about herself.

    On a side note, I could understand the Clinton arguement that superdelegates should vote their conscience if the "pledged delegates" vote was close but, they are not. OBAMA is blowing her away. She should have stepped aside a long time ago.

    March 28, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  24. Sarah

    hmm...Another Obama supporter wants Hillary out of the race. Who is suprised?

    Let the people vote and decide who they think the candidate should be. If this goes to June it goes to June. It wasn't untill recent years that the primary season ended so early and a candidate was chosen after a few elite states voted.

    The states that are hurting the most are the ones being ignored. Let Pennsylvania vote, let Michigan vote, let Florida vote. We deserve a voice!

    March 28, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  25. Arnold T Pants

    Hillary needs to man-up and bow out. She has a better chance of getting red wine chunder out of a duck down duvet than winning the nomination at this point.

    March 28, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
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