April 21st, 2008
01:21 PM ET
14 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. ObamaSPPRTER

    Senator Obama is just unstoppable!!! Keep up the good work, Senator!

    April 21, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  2. kenan

    she needs to get out of the race, she cant win anymore
    OBAMA 08

    April 21, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  3. thomas l

    How much does Bill charge Hillary for speaking at her events? With the money that she owes, I think Bill probably pockets 400k a pop, at least give your wife a discount Bill. Sheesh!

    April 21, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  4. Brian from Fort Mill, S.C.

    Hillary, maybe you should start using cheaper cuts of meat, and reusing the aluminum foil. You could also carpool to work, or ride a bicycle built for three – you, Bill and Chelsea.

    Maybe Bill should use an electric razor instead of those wasteful disposable razors.

    Also, don't forget to keep your tires inflated to 32 psi. That will save as much as 5 mpg. You can save on health care by using the generic Neosporin. It's on sale at Walgreen's.

    Also, don't be too quick to throw out that old 19 inch color TV. You can get a converter box, and the Government will give you a $40.00 coupon.

    Maybe you should start baking cookies, and have a bake sale for the campaign. Obama pays top dollar for his cookies, so you'd have an advantage!

    April 21, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  5. margie

    Bottomline CNN, all 3 are in debt regardless of how much.
    Even Obama despite all the big millionaire donors. The media is a joke when it comes to fair and balanced reporting. What happened with the superdelegates that endorsed Hillary. 3 in one day???.
    I know you will not post this. I don't even know why I bother.

    April 21, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  6. Wally

    The democratic party is being split apart by this nonsense!!
    Hillary Clinton has her own agenda, and that is to win no matter what the cost, to the party. She should begin the healing now, and start supporting the people's choice>>Obama, and help him to win the election in November. The time is now, if the shoe was on the other foot, I'm sure Obama would concede.

    April 21, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  7. A, T.

    I do really understand that she stays in the race to how she can race some cash and pay off the debts. But it seems like she is getting it wrong! I mean loosing the nomination and fall deeply in debts. May be this is time for her to stop bleeding.

    April 21, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  8. aliou FL

    Clintons mismanagement of money and people is legendary. So what's new?
    Her ties to LTTE. just read.

    Hillary Clinton's involvement with terrorists and terrorist organizations isn't limited to her involvement with her husband Bill, however, as reported by LankaNewspapers.com, a Sri Lankan news outlet.

    According to a fundraising web site for the Senator, Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) activists are involved in raising funds from 100 Dollars to 2300 Dollars to help elect Senator Clinton as the next United States President.

    New Jersey residents have expressed the fear, that LTTE or the Tamil Tigers could flush supporters with millions of dollars, to buy influence over the next possible President of the United States of America by infiltrating into democratic fund raising machine.

    An email distributed by a female activist, Pat Pathmakumar for the group under the name `Tamils for Clinton` has appealed to contribute for the Clinton fund by sending checks to her or a man named Ram Ranjan, a man who organized the LTTE Heroes day meeting in New Jersey last year. Ranjan has publicly admitted he raised funds for LTTE front, the Tamil Rehabilitation Organization (TRO).

    Further information regarding the Tamil Tigers Organization can be found here:Council for Foreign Relations Explanation of Tamil and the LTTE

    April 21, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  9. Zach

    How is this not a HUGE story? She's broke! She ran the worst, most overly self-indulgent campaign ever. Instead of spending to spread her message, she payed tens of millions to people like MARK PENN. Mark Penn! It's disgusting that the only executive job she's EVER had, she botched. Call my values different, but I find this much more important than what 60s radical Obama did charity with. Disgusting what some people care about in terms of electing presidents.

    OBAMA 08

    April 21, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  10. Chris

    Well I guess the proof is in the pudding. God don't like ugly.

    April 21, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  11. Deb from PA

    Superdelegates: pay attention!

    April 21, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  12. kp

    Follow the money and it will take you straight to an Obama victory!!!

    Obama for America! and America for Obama!

    April 21, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  13. Tom in Alaska

    Too little money, too few votes.

    When will she get a clue?

    April 21, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  14. DRS

    If she can't manage her campaign finances, what makes you think she can manage U.S. budget. I hope she realizes after tomorrow that it is time to go home.

    April 21, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  15. Ed Garfield

    The even stranger fact is that Obama will have spent close to $15 in Pennsylvannia, three to four times as much as Clinton, and still probably lose. Most of his money is coming from Moveon.org and progressive PACs.

    April 21, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  16. Bobby

    I do hope that the new Penn voters who have registered in the thousands vote for Barack Obama instead of Hil-lie-ary Clinton tommorow!

    G.O.M.A.B. for Barack Obama 2008

    April 21, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  17. Marie

    If she can't manage her own money why would I want her managing the money of our country.....

    April 21, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  18. ken

    Thanks Jay for pointing out that with all the money Obama is pouring into PA and still loses tomorrow. What does that mean? She is a fighter. He is just fine when he the advantage, but cannot stand the heat. If he gets the nomination, it will a hot November for him from the Republicans.

    April 21, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  19. Nowhere Man

    Those PA vendors she's using better get cash up front!

    Terrible campaign. Terrible management. Terrible candidate.

    Obama '08!

    April 21, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  20. Dave

    The way a candidate manages their campaign is an indicator as to how they'd manage their job of president. Hillary's been underperforming all the way across the board, running a campaign full of scandals, internal strife, and now deficit spending.

    She may be "ready on day one" all right... ready to make a mess of our country.

    Meanwhile, Obama's been raking in record amounts of funds and managing them well. When scandals pop up he addresses them and gets back to focusing on the issues. His campaign is displaying much greater competence than Hillary's.

    April 21, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  21. Chris - PA

    Well, this race shouldn't be about money anyway. Let's get real. So is this supposed to mean she is going to lose because of debt? Oh yeah.. we are in America.

    April 21, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  22. Heather L

    Hillary....you need to drop out of the race so Obama can focus on November.

    April 21, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  23. Al, Sacramento Ca

    Im impressed with the amount of money being raised, Hillary has not done too bad, it's just Obama is breaking records. Hopefully the investments pay off for the Democrats

    It looks like McCain has no chance.

    April 21, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  24. jim in pennsylvania

    hey bloggers she is a fighter
    just watch her throw the whole dam house at barack obama on larry king live tonight.
    of course she will prolly make a lot of last minute proposals also.
    her money is dried up now so she is using the local news media in pennsylvania to get out her lying messages... thats a cheap way to advertise since her vendors want cash up front.

    April 21, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  25. Susan

    This really is ridiculous!!! Obama is buying the Democratic nomination!! Where is the leadership of the DNC? Is this what you want America to think – that nominations can be bought? Just think what all that money could do for the poor people and the people who live from paycheck to paycheck in America!!

    April 21, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
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