April 21st, 2008
01:21 PM ET
13 years ago

Clinton's primary campaign begins April in debt

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/04/21/art.clintondebt.ap.jpg caption="Hillary Clinton began the month with $10 million in debt."](CNN) - Hillary Clinton began one of the most crucial stretches of her presidential campaign in debt, newly disclosed financial reports show.

According to campaign reports filed with the Federal Election Commission over the weekend, the New York senator began the month of April with close to $32 million cash-on hand. But only $9 million of that total are funds that are able to be spent in the primary races. The report also showed Clinton owes more than $10 million, meaning the Democratic presidential candidate was in the red even before she heavily stepped up television advertising in Pennsylvania.

"The numbers are what they are," Clinton adviser Howard Wolfson said on a conference call with reporters. "The money continues to come in strongly. We had a very good month last month of fundraising…we are continuing to have a good month this month."

We will of course be honoring the debt in the coming weeks and months," he also said.

The newly released reports offer the clearest picture to date of just how much of an advantage Barack Obama holds over Clinton heading into the final stretch of the prolonged Democratic race for the White House.

According to the reports, he began the month with over $42 million to spend during the presidential primaries and only carried around $650,000 in debt. Obama has $52 million cash on hand overall.

As has already been disclosed by both campaigns, Obama more than doubled what Clinton raised in the month of March: $41 million to her $20 million. The Illinois senator's stunning haul brings his presidential fundraising total to date to $235 million - $60 million more than what Clinton has raised in the same time period.

John McCain lagged both Democrats in March fundraising - pulling in $15 million in that time period. He began the month with $11.6 million cash-on-hand and, a debt of just over $700,000. He's raised a total of about $75 million.

The report also shows he gave back nearly $3 million from donors for his general election campaign. This move could indicate he is setting the stage to receive public financing for his campaign - an option that will infuse the Arizona senator with $84 million.

(12:45 p.m.: Updates with Wolfson comments)

soundoff (773 Responses)
  1. Shrimp Barnicles

    Stocks to avoid:

    [1] Bear sterns

    [2] UPS

    [3] Hillary Clinton's campaign

    April 21, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  2. Ed, Santa Fe NM

    Fiscally NOT responsible, Hillary? I bet your old health care plan would be a REAL winner too....


    OBAMA '08

    April 21, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  3. Lee

    What a shame we can't have a FAIR election, which includes the voters of Michigan and Florida ... and where by the winner is not based upon outspending your oponenent by 3 or 4 to one.
    Hillary '08

    April 21, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  4. Jay

    All that money and still going to fail in PA.

    April 21, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  5. tom mac

    How can Hillary preach about a balanced budget when she cant even manage her own campaign?

    It seems to be a move of desperation with somewhat selfish motivation to go that much debt before the real battle even starts?

    At what point will she realize that she is hurting the democratic party by not fighting this battle so hard?

    April 21, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  6. Key West Sun

    Funny how the tone of the Obama people have changed, he uses to be perfect, now we hear all campaigns are the same? Just hope when this is over that he isn't able to buy the nomination. Good news is that I think the Obamaians are finally starting to open their eyes. Google more Obama people, come to the light.

    April 21, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  7. Phillip-Little Rock

    If she can't manage her own campaign finances, how the hell is she gonna balance the budget as President? Go crying (literally) to the Federal Reserve? She's toast.

    Bleed her money dry, Barack!! Then, as she said, 'the sky will come down, celestial choirs will be singing, and we'll all know it's ok', because she'll be dropping OUT of the race!!

    OBAMA '08!!!!!

    April 21, 2008 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  8. Texas

    Mismanage – she is still in the race. She figures out how to make a $1 out of 50 cents. Doesn't this tell you something.

    I'm unemployed with debt up to my butt – But I MANAGE to provide for my family, food, clothes, gas, medical. YOU FIND WAYS TO SURVIVE that is what this lady is about!!!!

    April 21, 2008 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  9. Cindy

    PA and american people– do you really want Hillary to take responsibility of this country's purse??? HELL NO!!!

    April 21, 2008 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  10. kevin

    she cant even manage her own money let alone the country. She needs to just give up.

    April 21, 2008 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  11. Chris from San Antonio

    re: DAN April 21st, 2008 10:21 am ET

    Just where is Obama "loosing"?

    Delegate count? Nope.
    States won? Nope.
    Popular vote? Nope...

    April 21, 2008 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  12. Cerebral

    When is CNN going to start reporting unbiased news?

    Suffolk University Poll HRC +10%
    Quinnipiac Poll HRC + 7%

    Both real politics Poll Averages and CNN Poll of Poll is Statistical and Mathematical disaster.

    Any one that learned Algebra in elementary school would know that when you cannot add unlike terms (in this case unlike data).

    when you add:

    2 cars + 2 boats + 2 jet ski's you get an average of absolutely nothing not even a zero.

    Thought Bill Snyder, Chief CNN analyst knew better, suppose it is matter of trying to prove one's point of view with absurd statistics.

    There is an old saying that Statistics lie. I have always believed a lier uses Statistics to validate his/her lies.

    April 21, 2008 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  13. debbie

    This is only half the story come on CNN, tell us who this money is owed to. Is it small businesses?

    April 21, 2008 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  14. Jane

    You wouldn't be trying to influence the election on the day before the primary. Would you, CNN?

    April 21, 2008 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  15. Jumpinugly

    And just what will see do for this country? Her campaign may be in debt, but her tax returns say she's doing just fine. She looks more and more like a republican politician everyday.

    April 21, 2008 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  16. Roxanne

    PAY AS YOU GO has been the philosophy of the Obama campaign.

    DON'T PAY & OWE is Hillary's!

    OK, Bill...you need to go give some more speeches so you can pay off these bills, especially the small business owners.

    I hope that all of you business owners, especially in PA, get paid.


    OBAMA/WEBB '08 & '12
    Vote for someone who knows how to manage a multi-millon dollar operation...our future economy needs him!

    April 21, 2008 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  17. kaduke

    To use a poker metaphor, he just put her "all in". Think about it. He makes her spemd all her remaining resources in PA, which she's supposed to win anyway, and what's left to use in IA and NC?, nothing!
    It's smart politics. She's drawing dead, as the saying goes. Muck your hand Hillary. Game over!

    April 21, 2008 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  18. Phillip-Little Rock

    By the way, let's see if she dips into her elitist bank account for another $5 million.

    April 21, 2008 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  19. R. and C. Barnes

    Sorry to hear this Hillary. We gave you $500 several months ago, and I am sad to say that apparently you did a poor job managing all of your earlier contributions. We have decided to become more focused on the Dem nominee best capable of beating McCain in the fall and have recently donated another $200 to the Obama Campaign. We much prefer how he manages his campaign finances too.

    Dems take back the White House!

    April 21, 2008 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  20. Kaseam Ali, Philly, PA

    Jay – April 21st, 2008 10:23 am ET

    Jay stated "nice to know Obama is wasting all that money and still is going to loose PA"!

    Nice to know Obama will cut Hillary's PA lead to single digits, and go on to win the nomination.

    Obama 08.

    April 21, 2008 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  21. Eugene

    This is troubling. I am not an Obama or Clinton supporter but this speaks volumes about her campaign. If Senator Obama had incurred such debts during his campaign many Americans would be calling for him to drop his bid for the White House.
    This may cause a slight drop in Clinton support in remaining primaries however she will most likely still in Pennsylvania.
    Bith Sens. Clinton and Obama have thick obstacles to overcome to unite their party before November.

    April 21, 2008 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  22. spyturtle

    What? No more money from the Colombian government? Are you paying Bill and Chelsea to campaign for you, Hillary? Hillay represents everything that is wrong about government today. Bad choices and bad people around her. How much did Mark Penn and rooms at the four Seasons cost. How many people around Hillary line their pockets?

    April 21, 2008 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  23. Shrimp Barnicles


    [1] Bear sterns

    [2] UPS

    [3] Hillary Clinton's campaign.

    April 21, 2008 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  24. Wow

    This ought to tell ya something PA! Please end this nonesense tomorrow and vote Obama

    April 21, 2008 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  25. the_future_ocm

    Worst of all, she is in debt of the moral authority to be our President.
    The America people don't deserve a lier, a president with no moral ground.

    Go Obaba 08

    April 21, 2008 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
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