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. Jokester

    Ha ha, Leslie @ 11:36. That was funny!

    So. This is the er, EXPERIENCE .... that comes down from the Hills?

    Good grief.

    April 21, 2008 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  2. Christina


    Obama has so much cash his way by PRIVATE DONORS. Yea, he's for the people alright. Those same people who he called bitter gun, bible-toting, anti pathetic Americans.

    But guess what folks – MONEY CAN'T BUY THE BALLOT BOXES!!!!

    April 21, 2008 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  3. James

    He's "not buying this thing." We're (over a million small donors) are buying this thing–

    because we don't want more of the same!

    April 21, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  4. Angello

    Well, her camp has been in debt for a while. She's having trouble managing her presidential campaign. How in hell does she think she can run the country? we will just be in more debt. Obama supporters are behind him 100% that’s why he keeps rolling in the dough. Hillary Clinton would be wise to take notes from her so called less experience running mate. Also, how does first lady count as experience? Its like being a water boy on a sports team, doesn't mean the water boy can be the head coach just because she was in the room when a play was being drawn up.

    April 21, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  5. Nikole

    Becky in IN- Were you talking about Clinton buying the race when she started this race WAY ahead of Obama in money? What about when she outspent him early on, thinking it would be a short race? No, you probably just got concerned about who has too much money when YOUR candidate ran out.

    April 21, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  6. Dirty South

    Hillary wrote a fat check her ??? can't cash. Hillary you should be ashame of yourself, always telling everyone Obama is bad, NO H-to-the-No. I don't want you runing this country. You can't even manage your money, campaign and even Bill. That is why is he running around looking like he is lost, lost for words and needs money. Hillary I can't believe a women running for President is not paying her bills, that is what we call sore loser without a pocketbook.

    April 21, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  7. Johnny Boy

    Any other person and they WOULD be out. Just goes to show you who she is really in this for, HER, not you nor me. She is a joke to me. Her experience is a joke, her lies are a joke, and on and on I could go! But there are people who refuse to see her for who she really is, a washington insider who will do NOTING for America. Expect destroy what's left after bush.

    April 21, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  8. Mama for Obama

    I think it's telling that the Clinton campaign began the month of April already in debt. Just what we need – another deficit-spender to further run up the national debt. If a person can't manage their own affairs, how can they be trusted to run this country? Everything about the way the Obama campaign has conducted itself is superior to the supposedly experienced Clintons.

    Unfortunately, we have a lot of racists in the state of Pennsylvania who would rather send their kids to die in Iraq and pay $5 bucks a gallon for gas than elect an African-American president. So I'm bracing myself for an Obama loss tomorrow but counting on the people of Indiana and North Carolina to do the right thing. With the exception of Philadelphia and some of the surrounding suburbs, we have a lot of backwards-thinking folks who are not only bitter but stupid as well and insist on dragging everyone else down to wallow with them, rather than taking bold steps to effect the kind of change that will lift everyone up, not just some people.

    One good thing – Sen Obama has forced Clinton to spend money she doesn't have to keep up with his advertising. If for no other reason, perhaps this race will finally end and allow the Democratics to have a chance against McCain because Clinton will not be able to afford to drag out her futile efforts any longer. How can anyone with such destructive personal ambition possibly claim to love their country and their party?

    April 21, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  9. Big Tex

    Lets see, she is behind in # of states won, # of pledged delegates, # of popular votes but wait people she is ahead for the first time – IN DEBT!!!
    While we are on the subject of who is more qualified and experienced to lead the nation, why didn't Biden win the nomination? I guess her excuse for staying in this race, is, for the lack of a better word, LAME. She is toast.

    SI SE PUEDE!!!!
    OBAMA '08 '12

    April 21, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  10. Charles Douglas Lemay

    I can't tell you how sick I am of that stupid CLAP-CLAP-POINT-POINT-

    And that pathological head-bobbing! It NEVER stops!

    The fingernails-on-the-blackboard cackle...
    That grating, monotone speaking voice...
    That phony, pasted-on rictus grin..

    If she's elected, I'm staying drunk for the next four years!

    April 21, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  11. Joseph, NY, NY

    Being able to raise more money doesn't make you a better manager.
    Obama is a liar, hypocrite and a little wussy crying foul because he was being attack negatively when he was the first to go negative calling Hillary dishonest, divisive, polarizing etc., hopefully the people of Pennsylvania will set things right and make Hillary our front runner again.

    April 21, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  12. Joyce

    Hillary is recklessly spending her campaign money just like Bush spent on this war.(Remember she was a Republican first)

    Wake up people, we cannot take another train wreck waiting to happen. Food prices, gas prices and home foreclosures. When you have liquid resources it is easy to over spend. Where is her checks and balances. You cannot continue to spend when you are in red. We are expected to spend responsibly or suffer the consequents. Yet she can continues to spend with no money and expect her loyal supporters to cover it.

    We will do what we think is the right thing to do and you will pay for it.!
    This is the same old Washington politics waiting to happen.

    OBAMA 08

    April 21, 2008 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  13. Raul from kentucky

    I am amazed of how little Clinton's supporters know about the facts in the democratic race. I have heard people saying that Obama's campaign is based on millionaire donors, that he is an elitist, that his campaign is based only on the black vote, even though he has won in 96-98% white states. Most incredibly is the fact that the people that say these inaccurate, distorted facts are usually white women. In fact if you look at Hillary’s rallies, white women is almost all you’ll see. I know that white women are proud about having a woman candidate, and for some of them this is enough to be their choice for president; however, stop coming up with false excuses and just say the truth. This is America and you are free to do so. Stop coming up with silly statements, it makes all of you look ignorant and manipulative.

    April 21, 2008 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  14. ALECO1


    April 21, 2008 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  15. munkii

    according to other news sources, she's also starting to lose the support of some prime donors, in addition to other known democratic fund raising organizations. Yep, she can definitely win in November

    April 21, 2008 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  16. truth_hurts

    she can't even manage her campaign or her man and she wants to be president. give me a break, if barack loses and she wins i't will show the world what an idiot nation we are. and whatever we have coming to us with her we deserve.

    April 21, 2008 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  17. LT

    Pleeeze, end this misery in PA. Vote Obama '08

    And let's get on with the business of ridding the White House of Bush/McSame.

    April 21, 2008 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  18. mzgemini, carnegie

    JCL, your math is a little fuzzy... similar to your obvious choice of candidate. Are you one of her spin masters?

    April 21, 2008 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  19. OS

    So, it is gauranteed if we elect Hillary as president the deficit is going to increase further.

    This again confirms, Hillary cannnot ride on the success of Bill Clinton where we had a budget surplus.

    April 21, 2008 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  20. Ecks........Get Smart America!

    JCL...not sure Obama supporters can understand the basics of Econ101......you are sure right there – they love the hype though! Glad CNN posted your comments. They are 'spot on' just like Senator Clinton is!

    For the 'well educated' as the media puts it – Obama supporters are just void of common sense!

    April 21, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  21. Michael

    You guys are sucj idiots. 5 million of the 10 is what she owes herself.

    April 21, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  22. Independent

    News for dems.
    Many GOPers are registering as dems to vote for Hillary. They want her in Novemeber. Do not be surprised if she wins by 10%.

    April 21, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |

    Gee, I thought it was only me who was also so sick of those
    things. I wonder how many more are?

    April 21, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  24. JRay

    I guess her 35 years of experience didn't inlcude running a campaign. How can I expect someone who can't keep a campiagn in the green to keep the American budget which will be in the trillions of dollars in the red, green. You know the American deficit will be one of those "stacks of papers" waiting for the next President and I can tell you that I don't care what time of day it is I don't want a fiscally irresponsible insomniac anywhere near that problem.

    April 21, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  25. dan-al

    I thought its tax time, why can't hillary bail her own campaign,109 big ones, its enough for the final stretch,or its had to part with your own money, if she want to win, raise the stakes and put her money to her rhetoric, Obama has managed his money well, sounds familiar,good management, good president.

    April 21, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
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