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. OMG

    Perhaps it is time for the Superdelegates and other Democratic powers to make some difficult decisions and announce their preferences for the strongest candidate.

    Please,please save us the agony of wasting millions of $$ and lots of valuable air time watching the Clinton Camp trying to find more inane ways of discrediting Obama.....I really, really worry about what they will do to win Pennsylvania. I have no absolutely faith in the integrity of the Clinton campaign. I believe they will resort to ANYTHING to win.

    Ladies and Gentlemen who are leaders of the Democratic Party...GET YOUR HOUSE IN ORDER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    March 28, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  2. Ron Las Vegas

    By the Clinton comments, then all of the Democratic candidates who were originally running should still be running. I am sure they would be telling Obama to get out if the roles were reversed.

    March 28, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  3. Bosnian Sniper

    I know HRC supporters will be infuriated by this article. However, Leahy's comment that "Senator Clinton has every right, but not a very good reason, to remain a candidate..." is really very true.

    Similarly on the Pelosi/Clinton-donor argument, Speaker Pelosi never said that superdelegates are not allowed or do not have the right to go against the pledged delegates. She simply said it would be bad for the party. In other words, they have the right but not a very good reason to do so.

    HRC supporters out there: your candidate is an extraordinarily impressive political leader and I would vote for her if she were nominated. She has the right to carry her campaign on for many mroe months. But at this stage, the only way for her to get that nomination is to either win every remaining state by more than 60-40 margins, or to get superdelegates to counteract the pledged delegates and popular vote. The former is simply not going to happen and the latter would be destructive for the party.

    March 28, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  4. LR

    Once again, an Obama supporter doesn't want everyone to be heard. Why did the Democratic Party set up the primaries to go into June, if they wanted it finished in February? Why say the winner has to reach 2025 and create super delegates if you just want to go by total delegates? The Obama supporters need to quit changing the rules and moving the goal post. The double standard being applied to these candidates is really stomach turning.

    March 28, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  5. NObama '08

    Give it up Leahy. The only reason you want Obama in the White House is so that you and your old Dem fogies can run over can't do that with Hillary. Go take a nap, it's past your time.

    March 28, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  6. DP

    True.. Well said Senator.

    March 28, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  7. Tim

    And the avalanche of super delegates wanting Clinton out continues....

    Go Obama!

    March 28, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  8. Sunny

    But he dare not say : Candidate with more votes must be the nominee.

    Because that is anti-rule.

    So, what he said is just nothing, although he is "The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and six-term Vermont lawmaker ".

    March 28, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  9. Dave, Laguna Niguel, California

    Does anybody really care at all what Patrick Leahy has to say?

    March 28, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  10. vp

    I think its a huge call.

    March 28, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  11. Ig

    Really? I would think she got that figured out by now.....oh wait! The fuzzy math thing.

    March 28, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  12. Jim

    There are numerous Super Delegates endorsing Obama, where their constituencies have not. Do the math, they both have an equal shot. Folks like Leahy just don't want to get caught on the losing side. It's all self serving.

    March 28, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  13. sue

    so says another of the good ol' boys. GO HILLARY!

    March 28, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  14. Indiana Voter

    Shock–another Obama supporter wanting Clinton out. As someone who is finally, for the first time in my decades of voting, going to get to vote in a primary that is not yet done and over, I wish these people would just let it alone. Let the process play out.

    March 28, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  15. April in Texas

    Well per what the Clinton campaign said before Texas and Ohio and that she had to carry both states convincingly or she would need to drop out has become tucked under the rug. Obama won more delegates in Texas and therefore she didnt win it convincingly. I do have to say that this seems like the same old change the rules as we go and I honestly cant see me voting someone to be president with that kind of trend as she has shown throughout this campaign.

    Obama 08
    Austin Texas

    March 28, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  16. Jonny

    The people or the superdelagtes? For the party's sake, please make up your mind.

    March 28, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |

    no, stop, let the people decide...

    March 28, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  18. Karma S.

    First off. Look at Mc Cain..EVERYONE technically didn't get to vote. This is how it goes. I live Indiana and we have to face the music. Our primary vote never counts. So big deal..We will see you in 4 years Billary!

    March 28, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  19. Kris in Michigan

    Great idea! Too bad Hillary can't count!!!

    March 28, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  20. Counting Down

    Ha. CNN, you guys are terrific and predictable. Thanks for the laugh. Pure journalism slug that you could pick a creepy picture like this for the story. Go back to journalism school.

    March 28, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  21. Hoosier

    Wow these Obama supporters are really getting nervous because they are going to continue to issue pleas for surrender. I wonder why they do not have more confidence in their candidate. Could it be that the race is actually closer than they would like us to believe.???? I think Hillary should answer it the same way they did when the Germans had the Americans surrounded in WWII. .........NUTS!

    March 28, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  22. LeftCoast Tim

    Looks like the censor is at it again.

    Do they really want McCain to win that badly?

    March 28, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  23. Ken Frederiksen

    Hillary is determined to either win or spoil Barak's chance of winning in 2008 so she can run against McCain in 2012. It's so transparent that even I can see it! Why can't the talking heads see it?

    March 28, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  24. MB

    It seems to me that Clinton staying in at this point is ego driven more than anything. Mathematically, it would be extremely difficult for her to win. The only definate win she can count on at this point is Pennsylvania. A week later, a state with nearly as many delegates, South Carolina, is a likely Obama State. There are a few in the air, but Obama is likely to win most considering they are mostly in regions than have favored him. This isn't as bad as Huckabee staying in the race too long in that she is a lot closer, but she is mostly only hurting the party and her image at this point.

    March 28, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  25. Dawn

    I hope Hillary does not drop out of the race. Obama will never win the general election. America was initially deceived by this man. It is time to now wake up. Wright should have no access at all to the White House. He is a racist.

    March 28, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
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