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. Anonymous

    GO HILLARY! President Hillary Clinton!

    April 21, 2008 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  2. Kevin

    Clintons become more Republican every minute.

    April 21, 2008 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  3. David, Silver Spring MD

    yeah, and then she'd be the Republican nominee.

    Given the way the Clintons have been campaigning, that seems appropriate to me.

    April 21, 2008 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  4. victor Owusu

    I am suprise that Bill Clinton is crittizing the democratic system of proportional representative at this point. It is the same system which nominated him to become the president of America and he did not criticize it. Now that it is going against his wife, the system is not good. Is this a fair politics?

    Clinton campaign wished they can change the rules in the middle of the game to their advantage. This is unfair.

    April 21, 2008 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  5. Enrique

    Then this is what Hillary should do. Join the Republican Party. If Bill and Hillary don't like the system in the Democractic Party, then get out!

    April 21, 2008 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  6. California Voter

    Clinton would also be in a much closer race if Michigan and Florida voters had not been disenfranchised by the DNC and had not Obama's campaign blocked any revotes in those states. However, Obama has a history of dirty politics. ": From a story about how he first gained public office in the Illinois State Senate: (Chicago Tribune April 4, 2007): The day after New Year's 1996, operatives for Barack Obama filed into a barren hearing room of the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners. There they began the tedious process of challenging hundreds of signatures on the nominating petitions of state Sen. Alice Palmer, the longtime progressive activist from the city's South Side. And they kept challenging petitions until every one of Obama's four Democratic primary rivals was forced off the ballot. His overwhelming legal onslaught signaled his impatience to gain office, even if that meant elbowing aside an elder stateswoman like Palmer. A close examination of Obama's first campaign clouds the image he has cultivated throughout his political career: The man now running for president on a message of giving a voice to the voiceless first entered public office not by leveling the playing field, but by clearing it. One of the candidates he eliminated, long-shot contender Gha-is Askia, now says that Obama's petition challenges belied his image as a champion of the little guy and crusader for voter rights. "He talks about honor and democracy, but what honor is there in getting rid of every other candidate so you can run scot-free? Why not let the people decide?" Had Palmer survived the petition challenge, Obama would have faced the daunting task of taking on an incumbent senator. Palmer's elimination marked the first of several fortuitous political moments in Obama's electoral success: He won the 2004 primary and general elections for U.S. Senate after tough challengers imploded when their messy divorce files were unsealed. Hence, his rapid ascent to power…" Check it out!

    April 21, 2008 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  7. V

    There are of course those who do not want us to speak. I suspect even now, orders are being shouted into telephones, and men with guns will soon be on their way. Why? Because while the truncheon may be used in lieu of conversation, words will always retain their power. Words offer the means to meaning, and for those who will listen, the enunciation of truth. And the truth is, there is something terribly wrong with this country, isn't there? Cruelty and injustice, intolerance and oppression. And where once you had the freedom to object, to think and speak as you saw fit, you now have censors and systems of surveillance coercing your conformity and soliciting your submission. How did this happen? Who's to blame? Well certainly there are those more responsible than others, and they will be held accountable, but again truth be told, if you're looking for the guilty, you need only look into a mirror. I know why you did it. I know you were afraid. Who wouldn't be? War, terror, disease. There were a myriad of problems which conspired to corrupt your reason and rob you of your common sense. Fear got the best of you, and in your panic you turned to...

    April 21, 2008 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  8. Freddy

    Sounds like wineing to me. Cant stand the heat get out of the kitchen. Maybe you should pay your people instead of stiffing them. This is the way she will run this country. Stiffing us like bush did.

    April 21, 2008 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  9. js

    Hmm, that's some rather revealing wishful thinking... Maybe he's suggesting that Hillary switch camps and join her buddy McCain's ticket. Then we can savor this ridiculous mess all the way to the general election. C'mon already, OBAMA BUMBAYE!

    April 21, 2008 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  10. Danny

    Anyway Obama going to lose in general election with John McCain. So, I
    think Democratic should not support Obama no more and let Democratic
    pick the nominee. Other thing Americans not going to let Obama have a
    chance to change America to Islamic. America have to stay as America now. Look at William Ayers and Rev. Wright connection is the problem
    that's he not going to win in general election. Still more to come watch out Obama it not done yet, drop out sooner is the better.

    April 21, 2008 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  11. jason

    I may just be reading too far into this, but is Clinton looking for support from republicans?

    also, if somebody tells you that if somebody tells you you can't win they mean to say that you can, that someone is trying to tell you how to think.

    April 21, 2008 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  12. Jason

    I can't understand people who say they're tired of the Bushes AND the Clintons. If I remember correctly the country was pretty well off when there was a CLINTON in the white house...

    April 21, 2008 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  13. alexis

    Oh yes...insinuate a change of rules at the eleventh hour. What a sideshow of desperation.

    April 21, 2008 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  14. Terry

    Using different rules than the general election to select the nominee is stupid. That's why they always lose. They'd better learn this time. If Obama is nominated and cannot win, DNC will come back and wonder. Republicans want Hillary Clinton as the opponents, do you believe them? DNC should really think about it.

    April 21, 2008 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm |
  15. steven from On

    Funny, I didnt hear BIll Clinton complaining about the democratic system when Hillary was leading Obama in delegates and the national polls.

    April 21, 2008 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
  16. female grad student, NYC

    besides that, she carries all the blue states. the states obama won are always republican in the GE. so basically he's a spoiler to the entire democratic party. thanks, spoiler.

    Hillary 08, 12!

    April 21, 2008 11:22 pm at 11:22 pm |
  17. chad

    Watch that sniper fire bill

    April 21, 2008 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |
  18. bill pike

    change the rules then you XXXXXX just like you do everything else. what i would love to see is a revote in all the states-billary would be working for NAFTA , oops-$800,000 from what billary is against is not bad pay,especially if you don't have a job because of NAFTA. all the scandals and all the lies and you still get print, un bee leaf a BILL.

    April 21, 2008 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  19. kr

    stupid arguement....and Mitt Romney would stil be in GOP race if GOP used Democrats rules.....

    April 21, 2008 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  20. Tim, NC

    Yeah right Bill. If we had wings, we could fly. But you know what, you might be right. If you had not let Osama go, we would not be in the mess we are right now. This Clinton campaign will go down in history as an example of how to lose a primary.

    April 21, 2008 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  21. lou

    You Lying Crook. Nobody cares what you think anymore. Hillary people must have short memories or no intelligence.Are you really that naive or that big a racist? How can you want these disgusting liars back in office. Change the channel. Turn the page please. These 2 have helped get this country where it is today. EVERYTHING they say is a lie. Its no wonder Obama is getting the educated vote. The rest of you are too stupid to think for yourself. I did not have sex with that woman....remember that ??Remember the shame that the oval office was forced to endure.Go home Clintons....

    April 21, 2008 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
  22. Antoinette

    I will vote for HRC when hell freezes over. If she is that good why is it so hard for her to beat Obama? If HC gets the nomination, I will switch party and vote Republican.

    April 21, 2008 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
  23. MP-Pennsylvania

    Bill you were in WH for 8 years and you are a superdelegate, party leader, what you are saying is Dems choose loosers like you????

    Please change your and your family's party

    Annoyed voter

    April 21, 2008 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm |
  24. Travis-NC

    I used to like Bill.

    April 21, 2008 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm |
  25. OliverT

    Stop Whining Bill! You guys will change the rules in a heartbeat. Why didn't Hillary run for the GOP nomination? Bill you have been a disgrace throughout this campaign.

    April 21, 2008 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm |
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