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. Brian from Fort Mill, S.C.


    Maybe you could apply for food stamps.

    April 21, 2008 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  2. Independent

    The reason Obama has more money is because of the American people who donate because we believe in his message. Clinton only has big donors and special interest groups. Go Obama

    April 21, 2008 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  3. Bosnian Sniper

    JCL from Kentucky (11:36 am):

    Please re-read the article. She owes $10 million and she started April with only $9 million that is usable for primaries. That means she was $1 million in the red on April 1.

    By comparison, Obama owed $650,000, but had $42 million with which to cover that debt. Which means he is not at all in the red.

    Still want to argue she is handling funds better?

    April 21, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  4. Bob Martin

    If Mrs Clinton cannot run her own campaign in a fiscally responsible manner, how can we expect her to run the United States in a fiscally responsible manner.

    April 21, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  5. Donavon

    JCL your wrong and your reading the numbers wrong.

    Debt in this case means, which you havent paid for.

    like i can have 10millions but 650,000 in debt because i just didnt pay my debt yet, but nevertheless i have the money too still.

    Obama has the money to pay his debt. Clinton does not

    April 21, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  6. Bitter Woman in Pennsylvania

    See America, is this the kind of experience we want?

    April 21, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  7. RB

    HRC is playing blue collar folks for suckers and fools. Do you really think she cares about anything other than your vote? You know better. You know, you know better. Seems to me, if all (or more) blue collar folks supported HRC, she'd be the one receiving millions of $25 to $100 donations from...blue collar workers! You know, the folks who struggle to pay for gas to get to work ...to pay for gas to get to work. Vicious cycle. Looks like the kids are going to get fruit for Christmas this year. =: ) (been there; got the T-shirt) I wonder what Chelsea's going to get? (That's right HRC.

    Us blue collar folks are planning for Christmas spending now.) Someone said insanity is doing the same thing over and over, and expecting a different outcome. Vote for change folks. Break the cycle of insanity and being taken for fools. Vote Obama and give your grand kids a chance to save a few dollars to retire while they're young enough to enjoy it. It ain't the American Dream to work until you drop dead. That's what HRC and McCain are offering. I'm willing to take the chance on Obama to give my kids/grand kids a chance at a better life. If he screws it up, we'll kick him out in four years!

    April 21, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  8. Ellie

    HOW can you possibly be expected to be our Commander-In-Chief when YOU can't seem to manage your marriage, your campaign staff, PAY your bills, NAFTA SUPPORT, BOSNIA LIES, CAFTA $800, 000 pocket deal AND tell something so simple in principal as telling the 'TRUTH" on anything?


    Americans better wake UP and start taking ownership for their own stupidity when they voted Bush/Cheney into office. I mean Jesus have we NOT learned anything YET????

    AND when is it ENOUGH when it comes to the Clinton era and soap opera dramas?

    HOW long are we going to continue to live in the PAST and keep rehashing the 1990s...

    Wow...can we PLEASE move on...many people DON'T CARE about the 90s. Those years are OVER and GONE, let's move on to more important issue and start dealing with the FUTURE rather than keep holding on to the PAST.

    April 21, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  9. jenny from Idaho


    April 21, 2008 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  10. Video Guy

    Does anyone think her dept still includes the 5 million she load herself.
    If I were the vendors (TV,Radio, printers, etc) I would require the money up front.

    April 21, 2008 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  11. LisaSF

    If yu can't raise money, you can't beat John McCain. Get out of the way, Hillary . . . NOW!

    April 21, 2008 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  12. Emmanuel

    And this is who wants to run our economy? You Hillary supporters gotta to be kidding me right? The economy boom had nothing to do with Bill in the 1990s thanks to the internet boom before the burst, and you guys haven't figured it out yet.

    Get a life people and vote in Obama.

    April 21, 2008 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  13. kudos to JCL

    For posting FACTS about how each candidate's debt, instead of the usual verbal attacks for no reason other than pure ignorance from most bloggers here.

    I'll admit that I've done that as well, but these facts are important and should be read by everyone, regardless of "which candidate you back."

    April 21, 2008 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  14. Peter

    finally, a female Bush, dear God, where did we go wrong?

    April 21, 2008 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  15. The Real Patriot

    Spend more money. It keeps the economy afloat. Plus as an added bonus, the more money the Democrats spend now, the less they will have in the Fall to try to influence the election with their propaganda.

    We don't want a Socialist in the Whitehouse. Simple as that.

    McCain is the Man. A Patriot that puts country above self.

    Hell No we will not surrender to the Radical Extremists at home or abroad.

    April 21, 2008 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  16. Marv...

    Keep her away from the American Budget!!! This is horrific. How can we trust her to run this country? Honestly. Could this somehow be Obama fault too??? Maybe it's John McCain's fault??? Or it could be Bill's fault??? Who can Hillary blame for this type of debt? Will she gamble with our tax dollars the same way she gambled her donor’s money? Hillary’s supports should be very upset, but not at Obama or anyone else. She did this.

    April 21, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  17. virginia nielsen

    That's funny ! Why she doesn't use a little bit of her fortune (109,000,000)to fund her ambition ? People are now realizing who she really is: a "Queen" that doesn't want to lose her crown !!! We are the strongest DEMOCRACY on this planet and we'll prove that fact !!!
    OBAMA 2008-2012 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 21, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  18. Just Tired

    JCL Kentucky

    Do you really think she is going to pay her bills?? LOL!! She is going to spend that 9 million on hand for more negative ads against Barack...therefore PROVING she does NOT have the judgement of a president that is ready on DAY ONE!

    We will SHOCK the world tomorrow...and put Hillary in the Gone Fishin Boat with the ousted NBA Teams! LOL!!

    April 21, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  19. Nikole

    Becky in IN-Were you talking about her buying the race when she started with WAY

    April 21, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  20. Right on Day1

    JCL, Kentucky she has to pay those bills still. LMAO. Talk about voodoo economics. bills=debt, what don't you get?

    He has 10s of million more than her for IN & NC. And many of her donor can't give any more by law.

    April 21, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  21. vic nashville,Tn

    Nothing to panic she know how to came back
    We will be there for her
    Hillary 08

    April 21, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  22. Petunia

    TO: Midge from Ohio April 21st, 2008 10:49 am ET

    "If she wins Pa. as big as I think she, is the money will roll in. Hang in there! 18-24 yr olds who are voting for Obama still have Mom and Dad to pay their bills. What do they really know about politics? They know rock stars."

    You are doing a grave disservice to the young voters! They have at least done their research and know who will be the better candidate!

    You sound "bitter" about the surge of young adults who have been energized by Barack Obama. Those same young adults are the future of our country–this election is about their future that you would try to deny to them.

    They have just as much right to vote as you!

    April 21, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  23. Paul

    Remember the "Pay as you Go" rhetoric that both Obama and Clinton have preached over and over. Clinton is borrowing more money than she has, just like Washington, which has put both in a deficit. Obama on the other hand is following the "pay as you go" pledge. Don't spend what you don't have. Obama has raised more money than Clinton and Clinton is trying to keep up. Clinton cannot keep up, though, because her supporters obviously don't put their money where there mouths are. Where are all of Clinton's supporters? They need to dig her out of the hole if they are true to their word.

    April 21, 2008 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  24. Bob Stephens

    Well folks, if Clinton made it to the White House, this would be a good indication of how she would run the country's economy.

    April 21, 2008 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  25. Deborah

    Hillary Rotten Clinton is done. Pennsylvania Voters please please put an end to this mess.

    Send Hitlary Rotten Clinton HOME!

    April 21, 2008 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
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