April 21st, 2008
07:50 PM ET
14 years ago

Bill Clinton: Hillary would be winning with GOP rules

PITTSBURGH, Pennsylvania (CNN) – Joining wife Hillary Clinton at a campaign rally on the eve of the Pennsylvania primary, former President Bill Clinton argued that if Democratic candidates were awarded delegates the same way as Republicans, his wife would be beating Barack Obama in the race for the 2,025 delegates needed to secure the Democratic nomination.

“If we were under the Republican system, which is more like the Electoral College, she'd have a 300 delegate lead here,” Clinton told the Washington Post. “I mean, Senator McCain is already the nominee because they chose a system to produce that result, and we don't have a nominee here, because the Democrats chose a system that prevents that result.”

Overall, Obama leads Hillary Clinton by 144 delegates - 1,648 to 1,504 - according to CNN's delegate count. However, Clinton still has 24 more superdelegates than Obama, leading 254 to 230.

Many states in the Republican primary race award delegates on a winner-take-all basis, whereas every state on the Democratic side uses a proportional system.

The former president has been shuttling back and forth between eastern and western Pennsylvania over the past few days, shoring up votes for his wife in this crucial primary contest.

He takes Obama to task for several of his recent television ads in Pennsylvania, calling a recent one – in which he says Sen. Clinton’s health care plan would force people to pay for health care plans they can't afford – “truly hilarious” and "bull.”

Hillary Clinton has maintained a consistent lead over Obama in Pennsylvania polls and needs to win Tuesday night to silence calls for her to drop out of the race.

At the end of each speech, the former president addresses those calls, introducing supporters to “Clinton’s rules of politics:" "If somebody tells you you ought to quit, it’s because they’re afraid you won’t, and there’s no quit in her ... and I’ll tell you something else, if somebody tells you you can’t win, it’s because you know you can.”

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soundoff (301 Responses)
  1. carlo

    Well Bill, you didn't seem to have a problem with those "Democratic" rules in 1992 and 1996. Now who's whining?

    April 21, 2008 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  2. Mk

    Dear Bill:
    When I was a child and started wishing for outlandish things I remember her saying this
    "If if's and but's were candy and nuts we'd all have a Merry Christmas" (for all of you Clinton expersts out there, I realize my quote might be slight off but y'all get my meaning)
    Are you suggesting that we change the rules that the DNC put in place because your wife is behind? THAT REALLY DOES MAKE YOU ALL LOOK DESPERATE

    April 21, 2008 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  3. Adam FL

    this is such a good point. Hope you win Hillary!!!!!!

    April 21, 2008 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
  4. Former Clinton Supporter

    Bill did you talk about the $800,000 you got in 2005 from Columbia???
    Oh NOOOOOO you wont talk about that and the thousands of American jobs that you and Hillary gonna ship overseas!
    Please I've had enough of you trickry ahd LIES!

    Obama! Rock on!

    April 21, 2008 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  5. Manuel TX

    True, true.

    And since the nomination process does not reflect the actual presidential election process the Obama camp gamed the system and the caucus system to secure their lead.

    The Obama camp's strategy won't translate to the presidential election. He will lose big time.

    Hillary 2012! 🙂

    April 21, 2008 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  6. Ron R

    OMG......"if this" "if that"....are you kidding me? What about the results of the process that is in place???? THAT COUNTS FOR NOTHING?? The Clinton's are just soooooo old and out of touch with what Americans want these days.....PATHETIC.

    April 21, 2008 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  7. Jeff

    But they're not playing by Republican rules and Hillary's losing. This is a stupid point to bring up.

    April 21, 2008 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  8. TiredOfSameOleClinton

    Well Bill and Hillary if you don't like the Democrats system then become an Independent or change over to the Republicans. You are the biggest whiners of them all.

    Don't go away mad just go away and the sooner the better..

    April 21, 2008 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  9. Bill

    Who is Bill Clinton to suggest Barack Obama take off his uniform? Mr macho sports analogies from a guy who refused to wear a uniform for his country. Now Hillary is horn tooting, and flag waving. What a sleazy campaign they run.

    April 21, 2008 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  10. Cowboy Jack

    What President Clinton said is true...... you can't knock that.....

    Sen. Obama does have a delegate lead b/c he's won many red Republican states, which won't go Democratic in November....

    The key states to look at are the blue Democratic states and the purple swing states, and Hillary does have an edge in these contests

    April 21, 2008 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  11. ellianna


    April 21, 2008 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  12. GoHills

    Obama is a joke! His health care plan is the crappy one, not Hillary's. Hillary's plan covers EVERYONE where Obama's leaves out over 15 million American's. We need universal health care to lower prices. Obama's plan means we get to pay for those 15 million with our tax dollars. No thanks! Get lost Obama, we don't want you, your lies, or your racist ways.

    "a typical white person"

    April 21, 2008 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  13. TN


    April 21, 2008 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  14. Bridgette- PA

    Bill and Hillary, please just let it go. Let's go Pennsylvania...tomorrow is our day!

    OBAMA -08!

    April 21, 2008 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  15. Bitter American

    Bill, that's great! Why don't you and your wife join the GOP? May be your wife can win the GOP nomination in 2012 because as far as I know, they have already settled for McCain this year.

    April 21, 2008 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  16. Uh uh bama

    What Slick Willy is saying is true. The dem pty's primary/caucus nomination process has some serious flaws.

    Keep in mind that Uh uh bama has not won blue states nor any of the swing states. Most of the states won by Uh uh bama are red states which will easily be taken by McCain.

    I thought Uhbama was going to stay away from neg campaigning. He is deriding Hillary on a daily basis. HRC's criticism of OB is to the point. Make the right decision PA!

    April 21, 2008 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  17. Bitter Pennsylvanian

    Maybe Hillary should consider switching parties if the GOP suits her needs better.

    Not the needs of the people, the needs of Hillary Clinton.

    I do believe that Bill Clinton won his primaries under the same rules.

    Tisk, tisk.

    April 21, 2008 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  18. bhobo

    this is a product of the front loaded system that the Clintons designed while controlling the democratic party the last several years.
    They had planned on Hillary being the nominee and cleaning up on super Tuesday thus making it impossible for any other candidate to catch them in pledged delegates. Their flunkies like Terry McCaluiff and Harold Ickes were the political architects that marched to the Clinton orders.
    The real fly in the ointment was a person named Barack Obama. He figured it all out and galloped into the lead.
    But, I really want all the people that follow this interesting political year.
    Bill Clinton well knows this but he goes ahead and tell a flat out lie.
    He writes the rules and then when those rules (Michigan and Florida) go against the Clintons he yells it is not fair. Everybody better take a long hard look at what the Clintons are about. You can be for or against whatever candidate you choose but the black and white fact is the Clintons lie about anything and everything and it would be the single worse thing that can happen is to introduce America into the 21st Century with these two toxic people.

    April 21, 2008 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  19. Mike from PA

    "If somebody tells you you ought to quit, it’s because they’re afraid you won’t, and there’s no quit in her … and I’ll tell you something else, if somebody tells you you can’t win, it’s because you know you can.”

    Math: terrified of Hillary.

    April 21, 2008 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  20. matt from albany

    Clinton play book:

    1)say whatever you must in the moment even if it goes against your previously stated opinions.

    2)first blame republicans, next blame your opponent, and finally blame your own party and its system of fairness rather than winner take all.

    3)mis-handle your money, your staff, the media, your spouse... yet claim victory at each step.

    4)have a sense of entitlement throughout the entire process.

    April 21, 2008 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  21. Melissa, New York, NY

    Well she's definitely playing by GOP rules.

    April 21, 2008 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  22. Mark McCullough

    Okay, do I really have to be the one to say it? SOUNDS LIKE YOU ARE IN THE WRONG PARTY. Feel free to leave any time and good riddance. Don't let the door hit you where the good lord split you!

    clintons PLEASE GO AWAY

    April 21, 2008 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  23. Bernice

    You talk about whinning, these Clintons go from one thing to another, everything is unfair or wrong with everything pretaining them being behind Obama. Well Clinton in a perfect world where we all got what we want, when we want both you and your wife would have been gone months ago. that is as far as I'm concerned, but because we don't live in a perfect world there's no need in talking about what would, should have happened. Let's face things as they are now. Hillary IS BEHIND and the way the democratic Party IS she will STAY BEHIND. get over it and go home so we can move on.

    April 21, 2008 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  24. Doug

    So, she would be winning if only the rules were completely different?

    April 21, 2008 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  25. Democrats Are What's Left

    That's funny. Bill Clinton didn't complain about the rules of the Democratic Party when they all were voting for him, and they certainly didn't have a problem with Moveon.org back then either, ESPECIALLY since the organization was created FOR him.

    I have lost ALL respect for him. He is a known liar and has the NERVE to speak to the American public PERIOD. Every time I see his face on tv, I change the channel; same with that lying, evil monster, Hillary Clinton.

    April 21, 2008 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
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