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. Pa voter

    No, Bill, that's not the reason at all. You have to play by the rules given, and by the rules, Obama is way ahead so that she cannot catch up. Because of this, we need Hillary to drop out so we can start unifying the party and start fighting McCain. Winning big states in a primary does not mean anything in general election!!! Hillary is so full off "it."

    April 22, 2008 12:25 am at 12:25 am |
  2. jimmy vekmen


    April 22, 2008 12:25 am at 12:25 am |
  3. Jeff

    Hillary should win the nomination regardless of what party!

    April 22, 2008 12:26 am at 12:26 am |
  4. Ray

    This is why the Democrats keep losing and Republicans keep winning the White House. The Democratic party are idiots and they set up some idiotic system to pick a nominee. Why not pick the nominee in an easy winner take all like we conduct our Presidential nominees???? No...they have to use unfair methods that excluse certain groups of people. Then they disenfranchise two whole states. They they focus on the weakest candidate. Clinton SHOULD be the nominee by all accounts. THE DEMOCRATS DESERVE WHAT THEY GET IF THEY NOMINATE OBAMA BCEAUSE THEY ARE IDIOTS.

    April 22, 2008 12:29 am at 12:29 am |
  5. Lee

    Is there any wonder why most americans are cynical of the older generation of politicians. Clintons, Bushs and McCains should all retire into the sunset and do us all a favour. Best wishes to Barack Obama and the next generation of political leaders.

    April 22, 2008 12:29 am at 12:29 am |
  6. jimmy vekmen


    April 22, 2008 12:29 am at 12:29 am |
  7. Dori in AZ

    What the ____?!? Every time that man opens his mouth, something other than his tongue falls out! And, they PAY this man big bucks to speak?

    I'm confused. Didn't Bill Clinton run and win as a Democrat? Isn't Hillary running as a Democrat? Did they not understand and agree to play by the DNP rules? Are we supposed to change the DNP rules mid-stream to suit Bill and Hillary? Do we have time to start the campaign over, and bring back every Democratic candidate so that we can have a quick "do over" that will count, of course, only if Hillary comes out ahead?

    Clintons = moronic and shameful disgrace to our country.

    Hillary would better serve her country if she'd leave the Democratic Party (since it isn't being ABUSER – whoops! I meant USER – friendly to her). The sooner she leaves the party, the better for everyone involved.

    Except the poor Republicans. I'm sure they can hardly wait....!

    April 22, 2008 12:29 am at 12:29 am |
  8. Getty1206

    I am so tired of the hateful and angry and whining Obama supporters. PLEASE JUST SHUT UP!

    April 22, 2008 12:30 am at 12:30 am |
  9. Portland, Oregon

    Keep it up you Obama idiots. November is not that far out. And we will have the last laugh.

    April 22, 2008 12:31 am at 12:31 am |
  10. Ewsc

    typical white male from MI:
    Way, Way to many Democrats do not want Obama in the White House and will Vote for McCain just so Obama loses.

    if that is true I am moving to Canada. If our country decides the outcome of the next four years out of spite, and votes for another warmonger over peace and prosperity, we deserve the hell we will become.

    April 22, 2008 12:32 am at 12:32 am |
  11. Roger

    Hmmm, aren't these the same rules that got Bill the democratic nomination? He didn't seem to have a problem with the rules when he was winning. The Clinton's smell like a Hypocrites yet again.

    April 22, 2008 12:32 am at 12:32 am |
  12. Young Voter

    I can't believe I used to like Bill Clinton! Now I just think he is as sneeky as his wife. I would think a former president would carry himself better. And the whole deal with their daughter campaigning but not answering the tough questions! Could you imagine this family living in your neighborhood let alone running the country! They are doing way too much damage to our democratic party by staying in. They would rather fight to the end and ensure that a republican wins rather than respectfully stand down to ensure a democrat takes office. Selfish!

    April 22, 2008 12:33 am at 12:33 am |
  13. Jean

    Bill himself won the "DEMOCRATIC NOMINATION in 1992 " under these same rules.Now he thinks these rules should be change because they don't fit her wife.It seems all is about the Clinton

    April 22, 2008 12:33 am at 12:33 am |
  14. fred up north

    I named my new dog Hillary, but as soon as I called her name ,she bit me !

    April 22, 2008 12:34 am at 12:34 am |
  15. Brad in CA

    After tomorrow and after Clinton's win we will hear more whining and complaining from the Obama people. I am so tired of listening to them. No matter how close she gets and no matter how weak Obama is in the general election, the Dems would rather put up a weaker candidate. And we wonder why the Dems always lose the Whitehouse?

    April 22, 2008 12:34 am at 12:34 am |
  16. Bill, PA

    Hillary knows that she can't win and that she might be too old to run after Obama's two terms. An Obama loss to McCain would provide an opportunity for her to run in 2012. Look at everthing she's done since she realized that mathematically she couldn't win.

    April 22, 2008 12:34 am at 12:34 am |
  17. chuck

    Remember total count of ELECTED delegates (those elected by the people in PRIMARY elections not caucuses) is Clinton 1073 Obama 1089. If Clinton wins 20 Delegates (89-69) tomorrow she will have the lead of delegates ELECTED by the voters, not picked by caucus attendees.

    Obama's lead comes almost entirely from those able to go to precinct caucuses and sit there for 4 hours and if the delegates were given out in winner take all it would be all over she would be endorsed.

    April 22, 2008 12:36 am at 12:36 am |
  18. The Real Hillary Clinton

    By Dick Morris And Eileen McGann

    Published in the New York Post on April 21, 2008.

    In last week’s Philadelphia debate, Hillary Clinton said she would commit the United States to a retaliatory attack against Iran, presumably with nuclear weapons, if it dropped the bomb on Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates or Kuwait.

    Asked if “it should be US policy now to treat an Iranian attack on Israel as if it were an attack against the United States,” Clinton astonishingly responded that she’d use American nukes not just to defend Israel, our traditional strategic ally, but also other neighboring states such as the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait from an Iranian nuclear attack.

    Full Story

    April 22, 2008 12:37 am at 12:37 am |
  19. TimW

    Unfortunately for Obama and his bandwagon supporters, Montanta, North Dakota, Idaho and similar states that he toutes that he won, will NOT win him the presidency. They will more than likely not even vote Democrat!

    New York, California, tomorrow, PA....and simliar sized states WILL win you the election and they ALL voted for Hillary.

    The superdelegates need to realize that fact and put a candidate on the ticket that has a good opportunity to win ni November.

    April 22, 2008 12:37 am at 12:37 am |
  20. tigerakabj

    So now if the entire system was different, she would be winning? Note, add to list: caucuses, small states, latte sippers, activists, Richardson, Craig, AA, young people, old people, now the entire democratic primary system doesn't count. Funny that she was a Goldwater Republican back in the day. I'm waiting when Hillary herself says Bill doesn't coun't. Sigh.

    Pennsylvania, lets end this.

    April 22, 2008 12:37 am at 12:37 am |
  21. Chad

    Dan from Illinois and the other misinformed:
    Hillary is tapped out in money because most of her donors are wealthy contributors who already donated the maximum amount. Obama has more supporters (and votes to match) who do not give the maximum amount in one lump sum that their candidate wastes on pizza and Dunk'n Donuts. Hillary's experience as first lady has not taught her how to run her campaign. Obama, as a former community organizer, knows how to bring people together for common goals and can balance his own finances – a hint at how he'll work as President.
    Also, MI and FL disenfranchised themselves. Can we all put this to rest? They chose not to follow the rules they agreed on. The alternative is anarchy and a defunct political process. Think about this logically.

    April 22, 2008 12:37 am at 12:37 am |
  22. Stefanie

    STOP!! Dems, be smart about this election- don't you want a dem in the White House no matter what? You would actually cross party lines and vote for McCain just because YOUR democratic candidate of choice does not win? You must not be voting on the issues as you claim. Don't cut your nose off to spite your face.

    April 22, 2008 12:37 am at 12:37 am |
  23. Obama Express

    Well that settles it! It's time for Billary to just quit the Democratic party and join the Republicans where she belongs! I'm sure should would fit in really well there!!!

    April 22, 2008 12:38 am at 12:38 am |
  24. Michael

    Isn't this about winning back the White House??? Shouldn't that be the main issue? Why nominate Obama (winning through idiotic Democratic process) if he cannot win...just because he is a few delegates ahead? Clinton is by far the superior candidate. Let's go with the stronger candidate. Even the polls are showing she can beat McCain better than Obama

    GO HILLARY!!!!!!!

    April 22, 2008 12:39 am at 12:39 am |
  25. Anonymous

    _____Jim April 21st, 2008 11:08 pm ET

    Bill is right. In fact Obama is ahead because of all his wins in those states that will undoubtedly vote Republican in the general election. In state by state match ups in the key swing states Hillary beats McCain whearas Obama doesn't. It will come back to bite the Dems in the general election if they nominate Obama. As a Democrat, I for one will not be voting for him._____

    Jim, you're you're saying is totally stupid, you're saying that because your candidate is losing, if she were winning you're wouldn't be saying that. The reality is that Barack is strong, he's been fighting against the 3 Clinton: Hillary, Bill and Chelsea Clinton and he's winning, period !!!

    Why Bill's complainning ? When he ran for prez it was the same rules, these are the rules that enabled him to become prez and now is complaining about the same rules because his wife is losing, if she were winning he wouldn't be saying that, so you guys make me sick, you're pittyful, it's not the rules, it's your campaign tha has been the nastier, the more stupid, the most liar campaign ever in the history of the Democratic Party, period !!! don't blame the rules, Jimmy Carter became Prez under the same rules, Bill became Prez under the same rules, who's Hillary to be over the rules ???

    April 22, 2008 12:39 am at 12:39 am |
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