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. Lynn in Iowa

    To All Who Promise to Vote for McCain if their candidate of choice does not win: What does that really say about you?? Hillary and Barack are virtually the same on the issues. So what are you voting on? Do you want our sons and daughters in Iraq for years and years to come? Do you want everything to stay status quo? What will you be gaining by doing that? I think you know the answer..."nothing!" It will be 4 more years of the same Republican oppression.

    April 21, 2008 11:59 pm at 11:59 pm |
  2. fran from canada

    It surpises me that people would vote for Clinton. After all of Bush's lies and how some many countries have lost respect for the States because of them, why would you want another liar in as president. She has been caught in so many lies its unbelieveable. Good Luck to Obama

    April 21, 2008 11:59 pm at 11:59 pm |
  3. Take a Hike Bill...

    I once had the greatest admiration for the clintons but with all their lies and dishonesty to the American people, I have lost all respect for them. At a time when America need honesty and real leadership, the Clintons are recklessly underming and exploiting the good of America for their own selfish political ambition.
    Obama 08.

    April 22, 2008 12:00 am at 12:00 am |
  4. debbie

    That's a pretty big "if"...

    April 22, 2008 12:00 am at 12:00 am |
  5. Mike

    If the Democratic system was used to select the president, then Al Gore would be president. Gore won the popular vote. Think about that Bill

    April 22, 2008 12:01 am at 12:01 am |
  6. Paul, A former Hillary supporter

    Would she do us all a favor and please switch to the GOP. She already has done enough for them for the next 20 years. Just think Bill you guys could make History once again. The Clinton's get impeached from both parties.

    Please PA I beg of you to make us proud and don't be a miror image of the States on either side of you. The press is saying you can't think for yourself and can only follow not lead. This is your chance to make a difference.....unless Hillary has intimidated you to!!!

    April 22, 2008 12:01 am at 12:01 am |

    it is sick to see comments on the other article about Hillary launching ad with laden's images in it. Barak supporters are making vile comments because they think its a negative tactic! HAVE THEY ALL FORGOTTEN THAT THERE ARE TWO WARS ON AND THE PERPETRATOR OF 9/11- YES, LADEN- IS STILL OUT??? Since when did tracking and going after our enemies became bad politics? I tell you, the fluff has taken over and removed barak's supporters from reality and dumped them in the make-belief world of fluffy words! I hope CNN publish these comments- normally, it throws in a couple of pro-Hillary comments and closes the article for comments. It is the whole Bush-story again- that time it was the right media was blinded; this time its the looney left!

    April 22, 2008 12:01 am at 12:01 am |
  8. Michael

    Democrats need to start acting like Republicans, unified and for the common good our the party. Democrats act like spoiled children, everybody wants their own way. Hillary should have had her turn and then Obama, but noooo, we had to pit one against the other and now we have this mess. Look how "Democrats" have turned against the Clintons, judging by reading these blogs, as good as they were for this country. Republicans would never villify Reagan or any other Republcan's legacy this way. You wonder why we can't win elections.

    April 22, 2008 12:01 am at 12:01 am |
  9. Bigsky007

    I noted with some dismay that all the experts gave hints today as to why people might not vote for Obama and what dirty tricks the GOP might use against him. Yet, it was Mrs. Clinton, who voted to race into Iraq and in effect, bring in al Qaeda, turn Iraq over to Iran on a silver platter, create a trillion dollar bill for the tax payers and create a black hole in Iraq from which America cannot escape. None of these things are being cited by any of you to remind the voters her huge mistakes. Her mistakes have caused people’s lives and livelihoods. She helped to create the bitter people, whose bitterness she now hopes to cash in on.
    Additionally, she will never be able to overcome the specter, which the GOP will surely gender up run ceaselessly, of Bill Clinton chasing interns around the White House as well as surreptitiously answering that Red Phone, when it rings. With Mrs. Clinton, I fear, we will see a landslide of George McGovern’s experience. But, just maybe that ‘s the agenda.

    April 22, 2008 12:02 am at 12:02 am |
  10. Linda

    Wake up–all of you people of hate. Can't you understand what he's saying? It may not be the GOP now, but in the General Election you will play with the NEW RULES. There will be a different way to select a winner. If this had been the General Election, she would have already won. Obama can't win in the General Election!!!!! It is far from a Caucus. Also, I refuse to bite the hand of the President who created so many jobs in the 90's, gave us the Family Leave Plan, turned the deficit into a surplus, supported equal pay for women, and finally, was the first to do something about deadbeat DADS. That's why every new employee has to be reported to the Dept of Human Services now. Maybe, this pertains to a lot of you angry men of hate. Bill Clinton was one of the best Presidents I have seen in my lifetime. I had a very hard time, as a single mother, until he became President. My daughter feels the same way. Most of you are probably African American or first time voters, but, I say "Walk a mile in my shoes or the shoes of most single mothers, and you will want results that will benefit your child or children. The color or age of the canditate won't matter. I believe that Obama is too arrogant and out of touch with older people in general, but especially older women. He hasn't shown that he even cares about their vote. He has mostly gone for the school age first-time voters that really haven't had a taste of life and how hard it is.

    April 22, 2008 12:03 am at 12:03 am |
  11. Mary - PA

    Oh come on! Okay Bill, I know this is hard for you to understand but the GOP rules are not the rules Hillary is running under! I know that you feel that rules don't really apply to you but the democratic party luckily doesn't agree with you. Too bad you can't influence your way out of the rules.

    April 22, 2008 12:04 am at 12:04 am |
  12. Yves larochelle

    She should run as a republican in 2012!

    April 22, 2008 12:04 am at 12:04 am |
  13. cubs fan

    Nice spin Bill!! After IA Hills campaign has come up with more spin, more negativism and more and more Karl Rove playback tactics. Boy the rich people are going to be unhappy when Obama gets the nomination and they see their TAXES going up. (Like it will really hurt them)..... I'm 61 and for Obama but this whole campaign is getting sickening. Drop out Clinton and lets get down to the real nitty – gritty.

    April 22, 2008 12:04 am at 12:04 am |
  14. Bitter Tommy in St. Louis

    So, instead of whining about it, why not just join the Republican Party? The Clintons have already been acting like it, anyway. Then in 2012, Obama can hand Hillary her butt on a platter all over again, this time in the general election when she runs against him as the Republican nominee, and he wins re-election in a landslide.

    April 22, 2008 12:06 am at 12:06 am |
  15. Unshrub

    Mabye Hillary should become a freaking republican.

    April 22, 2008 12:06 am at 12:06 am |
  16. Tony

    IF ifs and buts were candy and nuts, we would all have a merry christmas.

    Face it, if they were running with GOP rules, Obama would have run a different strategic campaign. Obama has played by the rules put in place. Hillary has constantly acted like Karl Rove in trying to constantly change the rules after the fact when she didn't like the results.

    She has continually lied, played the very same GW/Rove politics that we have bashed for 8 years, she has proven she will do anything for power including fantasizing about sniper fire that never happened in speeches, having people in her campaign spam emails that are full of lies trying to play on the fears and racism that we bashed GW for after 9/11 and in 2004, flip flopped like no one since I watched the IHOP cook sunday morning on trade while making $800k on it with Bill, $300k for her chief strategist, and sending a fundraiser to tell Canadians not to listen to her tough talk on trade.

    If all the democrats want is a left wing GW/Rove who is only loyal to friends and special interests, corruption, lying to justify their actions, having no ethics, etc., then what is the point of voting for a major party? Might as well vote 3rd party rather than sell our souls against our own self-interests.

    April 22, 2008 12:07 am at 12:07 am |
  17. Pam

    Then the Clintons should switch to the Republican party. I don't remember Bill whining about how Democratic primaries are counted when he was running.

    April 22, 2008 12:07 am at 12:07 am |
  18. Simple Man Simple Thought

    And if I could design the game after I lost so that my score would put me ahead, I would be the nominee. How low can Bill take the office of Presidency ... I thought it was over when he got blown

    April 22, 2008 12:07 am at 12:07 am |
  19. Anonymous

    "People suffering economically in small towns get bitter and cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment" to explain their frustration."

    Barack Obama, "Unifier"

    “Religious suffering is at the same time an expression of real suffering and a protest against real suffering. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the sentiment of a heartless world, and the soul of a soulless condition. It is the opium of the people.”

    Carl Marx, Father of Socialism

    April 22, 2008 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
  20. Unshrub

    Obama would just change his tactics to win again. What if doesn't count because both sides would change how they do things. How stupid do you think everyone is.

    April 22, 2008 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
  21. Jane

    So go join the Republican Party and good luck!

    April 22, 2008 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
  22. Chris K

    Lol, you listen to more of Bill and Hil's stupidity and wonder again ...Why do so many Democrats bow down to them?

    April 22, 2008 12:10 am at 12:10 am |
  23. sjp

    between the debt of her campaign and bills wishing we played by gop rules, i have had enough. my god i am a democrat, stop this insanity fellow dems. make a stand for sensibility and vote for our beliefs, not clintons rule changing BS.

    April 22, 2008 12:11 am at 12:11 am |
  24. Kyle

    Hillary would be willing if Democratic primaries were like the electoral college...because the electoral college seems to be such a logic powerhouse...

    April 22, 2008 12:11 am at 12:11 am |
  25. Boston for OBAMA

    Yes and if frogs had wings they wouldn't bounce their butts on the ground. LOL

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