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. B

    So, It was all peachy keen when it worked for YOU, but when it's not overwhelmingly tilting in your wife's favor...then it's a flawed system. Who's whining now? Mr.Clinton...stop.

    April 21, 2008 11:48 pm at 11:48 pm |

    And yet .... another metric !

    Pathetic! If you don't like the rules, don't play.

    April 21, 2008 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |
  3. Terry In Pain In PA

    Will this ever end?????????????????????? Let's face it we are doomed as a nation.

    Anyone but Clinton or McCain

    April 21, 2008 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |
  4. wil from CAnADA

    i had respect for mr. clinton up until his wifes campain that is. These "SUPER" delegates need to end this mess unless they want to keep all the huge tax breaks that mcain will continue, maybe those rich "SUPER" delegates want the tax breaks to continue

    April 21, 2008 11:51 pm at 11:51 pm |
  5. nani (TX)

    just to let the guy who made a comment about the caucus in Texas that he did not go to but his .. i qoute "friend" went to where all the obama supporters made his friend leave because they were yelling and rude and he goes on to say thats the only reason we won.....are you seriously making that comment... our caucus ran smooth despite the few out bursts from clinton supportes...when they realized they were loosing.....furthermore the caucus exisit so people who are truly involved with politics get a chance to be seen and heard!!!!

    April 21, 2008 11:52 pm at 11:52 pm |
  6. John, Las Vegas, NV

    Well, heck, how would she be doing if she were running under the rules of the Green Party, or any other party. Confirms all my suspicions that Bill Clinton is secretly a blithering idiot.

    April 21, 2008 11:52 pm at 11:52 pm |
  7. deana

    Most Votes
    Most States
    Most Delegates
    Most Money
    Get It silly Billiary!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Obama o8

    April 21, 2008 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  8. What's wrong with Obama supporters

    I used to be Obama supporter, after I heard his comments about bitterness, his pastor, the way he handled these issues. First lieing that he never heard of those statements later agreed that he did. How can he lie, if he lies now how can we trust his presidency. His judgement in all these cases is very poor. We don't really know him, as time goes we are getting to know who really is. He can say rhetoric all he wants, all tis rhetoric sppech is alo borrowed, how can he manage our country & fix our issues.

    April 21, 2008 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  9. Peter in Oregon

    Didn't she start out as a Republican?

    April 21, 2008 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  10. CE Atlanta

    Hilliary had the money, the demo estab and the exp of participating in her husband national campaign. Hillary's money is gone, the demo estab is leaving her and her husband participation is killing her campaign. Accept the fact that Hillary has ran a bad bankrupt campaign.

    April 21, 2008 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  11. Zeka-jones - Canada

    I used to respect the Linton's very much, but after what i have seen and heard since this elections started, it's very amazing how they think that they're entitled to the presidency. it's very vital now that it's either them or the republicans, and that's a very self-centered attitude. the rules are good only when they work in your favour? what a joke from Hillbillschesels. It's a shame and a disgrace for the american people.

    April 21, 2008 11:55 pm at 11:55 pm |
  12. deana

    Most Votes
    Most States
    Most Delegates
    Most Money
    Get It silly Billiary!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Obama o8

    Post my comment Pleeezzzzzzzz

    April 21, 2008 11:55 pm at 11:55 pm |
  13. Eric

    How about the popular vote? Obama is winning BIG in that category. The electoral college is a flawed system. It's the reason we have Bu**sh** as president. Obama has earned his spot as the front-runner and soon-to-be winner of this race. Now, Bill, if you would please just shut up.

    Obama '08

    April 21, 2008 11:55 pm at 11:55 pm |
  14. AnnAlohaFairMediaPA

    Obama and his arrogant persona will turn away all the Independents and the college students with the youth vote are seeing this arrogance and are turning from him also.
    Talking down to people seem to be the character that superceeds his intentions and maybe that in itself will be his downfall.
    Jim said it best for me:
    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.

    My friends that were for Obama are calling me daily to say how disappointed they are in Senator Obama...especially since he's gone more negative on Senator Clinton.

    April 21, 2008 11:55 pm at 11:55 pm |
  15. Amy OFlaherty Reno, NV

    I can't believe it's come to this. Spin, spin, spin. Bottom line: Obama's ahead and we're not Republicans. Gee, Bill, what if the table were turned? Would you be so insightful then? Please, please, please, Pennsylvanians, vote for Obama so we can end this thing.

    April 21, 2008 11:57 pm at 11:57 pm |
  16. Tom(Philadelphia)

    Yes Mr. Clinton, you are right. It seems rather interesting that all of a sudden you find the Republicans so intriguing. First it would be better to use their system, then airing a t.v. add playing to people's fears, just like Republicans do. Oh by the way Mr. Clinton, he would still be ahead in the popular vote. This all makes sense to me now. The Clinton's will do anything to win the election. 1) They said Obama couldn't beat McCain, then said he would be a good vice president, 2) Complained about the rules in regards to Michigan and Florida. 3) Lied to the American public(rings a bell dosen't it?) 4.) Laughs and jeers their fellow Democratic opponent. 5) Played the race card and now just recently the gender card to Ann Curry 6) Need I say more? Do the math all you disillusioned Clinton supporters. If she won every remaining state 60-40 and won over half the remaining super delegates she would just squeak by with a win and that is leaving out the fact that he would still have the popular vote. Enough of this, lets show her the door and come together to accomplish more than fear and division, which seems to be alright with Clintons as long as it means winning. He has my vote now and in November. To quote an old president (Bill Clinton), play to peoples hopes rather than their fears and you will win their vote. Well Mr. Obama you have my vote tomorrow in Philadelphia.

    April 21, 2008 11:57 pm at 11:57 pm |
  17. Tired of all this flap

    Ok Bill! Since Hillary would be winning if it was under Republican rules and since she seems to want to be a conservative why don't you both switch parties and maybe she can run on the Republican ticket in 2012. You hobnobbed with Republicans George W. and George H. Bush for awhile so since you both are in the elitist group now join them.

    April 21, 2008 11:58 pm at 11:58 pm |
  18. Pennsylvania Loves Obama!!

    Then why the hell doesn't she be a Republican once and for all?! Make it official! We'll be more than happy with that switch. Thank you Billary!

    OBAMA '08

    April 21, 2008 11:58 pm at 11:58 pm |
  19. Christine - IA

    For those that state Hillary is winning the states that the Republicans will win.... well, please take a break from that Clinton Kool-aid Pitcher, wipe the purple off your upper lip and actually read intelligent articles (of which there have been many – search engines can be your friend, honest) that have repeatedly debunked that claim.

    As an example, who among you REALLY believe California will go Republican?

    April 21, 2008 11:58 pm at 11:58 pm |
  20. nina

    Well Bill, if your wife didn't have the Clinton name, and you were not a former President , oh wait, a former Impeached President. then Hillary may not be where she is in this race right now. Pretty much everyone in America knows you and your wife. The Democratic voting system worked for Bill when he ran. For him to say his wife would have already won if they voted like the GOP is a non-issue. They don't vote that way. The issue is Hillary, with the Clinton name, and riding on her hubby's coat-tails has NOT YET, probably cannot, lock in the nomination.
    Then you take Obama, a virtually unknown 15 months ago, who has locked in more states won, more delegates won, and more of the popular vote.
    Just going against the "Clinton" name alone and coming out ahead is a huge win. Now add in all the negativity from one's own party, ALL the Clinton's campaigning, and the spokes people for the Clinton campaign who can't seem to answer any direct questions, you take that all into consideration. and I think Obama is ahead in ways Hillary never will be.

    April 21, 2008 11:59 pm at 11:59 pm |
  21. JAX, Florida

    This is to "Jim" . You are saying that if Obama becomes the Democratic nominee. That Democrats will abandon there party, and not vote for him. That is ludicrous. He has been honorable in the way he has run in this race. He has done nothing to tear down the party unlike his rival.

    April 21, 2008 11:59 pm at 11:59 pm |
  22. Ron L

    This is another STUPID thing said by our Ex-President!!

    HELLO!!!!! Hillary IS NOT in the GOP, the Democrats have thier own rules and the Clintons are constantly trying to change/reinterpert them.

    The fact of the matter is Hillary has had a POORLY ran campaign and in all likelihood going to LOSE...DEAL WITH IT!!!

    April 21, 2008 11:59 pm at 11:59 pm |
  23. SueB

    Wow! According to Bill, Hillary would be winning if:
    this were a republican race.
    this was a primary and not a caucus
    this was not sexist
    this was not racist
    this was counting the two states that didn't follow the rules
    this was not negative
    this was not unfair
    this was not a media plot
    this was decided by electoral votes
    this was not decided by popular vote
    this was not decided by delegates
    this was not decided by traitors like Richardson
    this was not people picking on Hillary

    winning? Bill, it sounds an awful lot like whining to me.

    April 21, 2008 11:59 pm at 11:59 pm |
  24. Paul in Park Ridge Il

    HIllary is so full of hypocracy, she grew up in this rich suburb of Chicago. Went to one of the best High Schools in the State and pretty much grew with a silver spoon in her mouth. She grew up a Republican and she is now showing her true colors. Go and join the GOP that is where you and Bill belong.

    April 21, 2008 11:59 pm at 11:59 pm |
  25. Brenden

    Obama is winning the popular vote with Dems., yet, according to Bill, Hillary would win in the electoral battle. Sounds an awful lot like the 2000 presidential election, and I wasn't too pleased with that result.

    April 21, 2008 11:59 pm at 11:59 pm |
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