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. TunnelVision

    Here come 10 mil from the sky and everything is going to be alright...lol
    It's better to have an inexperienced well-wisher than an 'experienced' ill-wisher to mismanage our nations finances.

    April 21, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  2. JCL, Kentucky

    So let me get this straight, Hillary is starting April $1,000,000 in debt ($10 million in bills minus the $9 million she has on hand) while Barack Obama is in debt for $650,000.

    He has raised $60 million dollars more than her, but their debt is only separated by $350,000 dollars.

    Forgive me for stating the obvious, but isn't that proof that Obama is the one who can't handle money? He has taken a $60,000,000 advantage in starting funds and reduced it to a $350,000 advantage in debt level compared to Hillary.

    For our next president, we need someone who knows how to handle money when budgets are tight.

    April 21, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  3. Rena

    But you guys want her for President. I mean Hillary supporters why aren't you funding her if you back her so hard. At least Obama supporters are showing up at the polls, registering to vote, and financially backing him. See you guys are just like your candidate you guys are all talk and no action. That's why Obama should be President he talk the talk and walk the walk. Hillary make promises just like Bill and don't keep them. PA where are your jobs are they there yet? Remember Bill promised you this too. Try something different you just might get blessed.

    Wow a Novice running such a great compaign just think what he can do in the white house. Obviously he has great managment skills and wisdom to run a campaign the way he has. And I must say he has tried to run a clean campaing but Hillary doesn't like clean she likes dirt. Now I see why Bill acted the way he did in the white house; they are truly compatible. AMERICA PUT THIS MAN IN OFFICE SO WE CAN BECOME A STABLE COUNTRY AGAIN. GET BEYOND YOUR FEARS AND PREJUDICE FEELINGS. IT'S TIME AMERICA GROW UP AND BECOME MORE CIVILIZED ADULTS. HOW CAN WE TEACH OUR CHILDREN IF WE ARE ACTING LIKE CHIDREN.

    April 21, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  4. Leslie

    Gee, what is she capable of doing, other than attacks? Duck Hunting? Its not budgeting.

    April 21, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  5. Reid

    Why is Hillary bothering? Can she win? Will the Super delegates overrule the voters? Can Hillary supporters do simple math? Can Hiilary manage her own finances? Lets see, NO, NO, NO, and NO! Wake up Democrats before her ego and sense of entitlement drag the entire party down and we get a 7-2 Consevative Supreme Court for the next generation.

    April 21, 2008 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  6. tutu

    time to contribute.

    April 21, 2008 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  7. Ovidiu Carstea, Florida

    Balance in read? Unpaid bills? 2 million deficit?
    This is the sign of a very low CREDIT SCORE for Hillary.
    Pennsylvania people, please do not give a LOAN (the nomination) to a such person.

    She can not win in 2008. She is destroing Obama, cleaning the road for McCain. Is the only way for her to be able to candidate in 2012 again.

    Obama 2008!

    April 21, 2008 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  8. CB

    Now we know why she took that big gulp of whiskey!!!!!!!!!

    April 21, 2008 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  9. peter in PA

    I just can't imagine why people still support this woman. She has no management skills. If Barack was a white man (i.e. John Edwards), Clinton supporters would've left her long time ago. The only way people can support Hillary is by subconsciously discriminating against Obama for his African American identity. This shows the true color of the democratic party. Even if Jesus himself appear in front of Hillary supports and say she has no chance of winning the nomination, they will still vote for her out of racial discrimination.

    April 21, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  10. Ready for Change

    Thanks for the update, I just contributed again!!!

    Hillary 08 for real change!!!!

    April 21, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  11. James West

    Give to Hillary as much as you can today, once we get her in the investment will pay off many times over, HillaryClinton.com

    WE LOVE YOU HILLARY 2008 !!!

    April 21, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  12. Illinois

    The one thing that the media always forgets to mention about Obama is that his fundraising is mostly funded by MoveOn.org, which is bankrolled by a billionare who is well known to be a Socialist. That, of course, is the reason why Obama has access to so much money as opposed to those reports that he is getting so much money from small donors on the internet. Yea, right.

    April 21, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  13. Shelby08

    I wonder how much of Obama's campaign donations come from
    Republicans who have no intention of voting for him but would rather set him up as the Democratic candidate? How much of his campaign donations are coming from Mid-east interests? Just wondering-big money tends to come from big money.

    April 21, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  14. Laurence, N.N.,VA

    Fred, Fred, Hillary's campaign is dead. Yet like in any typical horror movie the ghost either don't know they're dead or they're mad as hell about it!

    April 21, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  15. Venus

    Oh! By the way – this is the 2nd time she has come up short or in the red! Her donors have given the max by law. So now – they want to use the 527 – to continue to give Hillary life support! Go Obama! Considering Hillary says it's tough to be in the white house every day-
    she was in there for 8-years – did she not get lessons from Bill?

    April 21, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  16. wrong

    so when do you need to pay people to win an election. She is the better candidate by far.... Her and McCain would be the best match up with her on top in Novemeber......biased.....

    April 21, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  17. Don

    The posters pretending that Obama is funded by "two billionaires" are simply living in some other reality.

    Over 1.3 million people donating to Obama at an average of around $100 tells the whole story.

    April 21, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  18. Big Tex

    Stick a pitchfork in Bill-ary, Hell-ary, Lie-ary, – DONE!!!

    April 21, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  19. pd4hillary

    Nothing like winning the nomination by fat cat support/bundlers. Yeah, Obama sure does represent a new kind of Democrat, the Republican kind. Hillary supporters we've got to contribute more to get her through this primary.

    April 21, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  20. K

    It will all end in pennsylvania for hillary period. Not only is she not fit to lead, she can't manage money either, but what woman can. This too is a man thing....play your position stay in your lane.

    April 21, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  21. Lou

    It is a shame that the PA voters have not been informed early enough to realize that they are voting for an insolvent campaign that has been woefully mismanaged. This is just as much about honesty as it is about management skills.

    April 21, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  22. DeniseGa

    Shouldn't have wasted that money on the "bitter ad", apparently she needed it!

    April 21, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  23. MovingOn

    Don't you fear mongering bigots get it? You can post a thousand times using Obama's middle name, it doesn't affect educated rational voters. A name is a name, nothing more. Grow up!

    April 21, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  24. Lynn

    JCL can't get the facts straight. Obama has 52 million in the bank with 42 million for the primary. Clinton is the only one in the red. She just will have to spend some of her hundred million I guess. I sure am not going to give any to her. She has plenty of her own money. She doesn't need mine.

    April 21, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  25. Peter

    Whine on Hillary supporters. She is not capable to handle the heat in the kitchen. The lady can't manage the little change in her campaign, why would you trust her with the billions of U.S. dollars. Get real, if you support her now, you are either racist, a feminist or plan out Illiterate. Read,research and accept the facts as it is. America take down the blinders .

    April 21, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
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