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. mb


    April 21, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  2. Michigan Voter

    This is scary! This country is already in debt up to its ears. We surely do not need a President that will continue on that path. Citizens of PA, please make your vote count (unlike ours in Michigan) and vote for CHANGE. Vote Obama on April 22nd.

    April 21, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  3. bea

    Goes to show there are more of us with a little bit of money pulling together for change our voices are now being heard. Not the big money Corp CEO's, lobbist, and Wall street who cry if my horse does not win I'll just switch teams and put my money somewhere else if i can keep things the same.
    FUNNY how just before Hybrid and Fuel Cell technology has become more advanced that Our Energy and fuel suppliers have reported the largest PROFIT MARGINS in the past 5 years. Think people when you tell someone support me for OFFICE and they ask what is in it for me? WE THE AMERICAN PEOLPE PAY FOR THIER PROMISES!!! and WATCH OUR JOBS LEAVE OUR COUNTRY!!!!
    WE as largest group (those that work for someone else) Need to use the Power we have VOTE everytime on everything. We do control Washington we just need to use our Authority or their Power! Power without the authority to use it is POWERLESS!

    April 21, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  4. Enough

    Obama has 2 fat billionaires behind him using every loophole in the book to send him money, Obama and Romney seem to have the same pattern, they outspend their opponents 3 to one and still loose.

    Hey Dan – check your "facts" – Obama has raised money from 1.3 million individual contributors – the average contribution is $96. What planet have you been livin' on?

    April 21, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  5. Ann Tennis

    Where're you gonna be drinking?
    I'll come join you!

    April 21, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  6. Crispus

    JCL you missed the point, BHO has over 50 mil. to use in this election and credit debt of 650k. The Obama campaign can pay his debts and HRC's too. If she did not have to pay M. Penn while he was working in Colombia for CAFTA, she could have saved 12 mil.

    April 21, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  7. theroadrunner

    ....and she wants to be given rein over our national economy?

    If gas prices aren't hight enough yet for you, and if the economy isn't shaky enough for you; if you're not paying enough for food and groceries yet, and your investments haven't quite dipped low enough to satisfy you; if your retirement investments haven't quite evaporated yet, and you want to see the social security fund tank before you retire, then Hilliary Clinton is your candidate. She can do for everyone what she has just done to her campaign economically. Let alone her ability to polarize us like even George W. Bush couldn't do. She's the "perfect storm" that you've been waiting for IF you haven't quite had enough yet.

    April 21, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  8. david goldmen


    April 21, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  9. Tamika

    I would just like to say that like most American Democrats.. we do not like to see the two of them go at it such... but in the GENERAL?...no holds barred!!!!!!!!!!!!!Fight Fight Fight! Barak can and will smash McCain..the very reason he seems weak to you all now is because he against his own PARTY!!! duh!.. people are commenting on all him not being able to withstand Hillay's kitchen sink/boiler/hot-water tank tactics.. but thats because he HAS to limit what he throws back... they need each other and this party needs them united later.. She should be ashamed of her self for giving talking points to McCain.. they sound like dueting parrots!!!

    April 21, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  10. Take my money!

    So I cater, most days it's great, other days it sucks. Most times I bid out my work well but last month, not so much. I wanted to do this one particular gig, because I thought the event was meaningful, the theme was in line with something that would stretch me creatively and I had a menu that would be right in line with what they were looking to do, (that and I truly thought I was the best person for the job
    ). Well I did it and it was awesome! But I lost money. Alot. But the financial hit was worth it to me. Does that make me any less capable? Heck no. I bust my tail and am profitable year in and year out and work referral business only. So will I applaud a candidate who believes enough in this country that says "you know what? it's just that important to fight for" heck yeah. Who is campaigning against an opponent that is outspending 2-1 (and he still can't close the deal?) heck yeah.
    So for everyone pitching a fit and complaining about managing money, how are your finances looking? I feel pretty darn good about mine and the donation that I sent to the Clinton campaign this weekend. In fact just to make sure we don't forget why we're in this race, I feel pretty darn good about paying into a Universal Healtcare System so my neighbors don't have to worry about paying the light bill or taking their kids to the doctor.

    April 21, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  11. I am broke!

    From: Clinton
    To: My donors.

    Campaign broke, bankrupt and in debt.

    I am glad to announce to you that I am finally broke, in debt and ran my campaign into the ground. How smart am I? Well, remember I told you earlier, 'I may be a lot of things, but I am not dumb'...go figure!

    So, in order not to waste any of your money since I have mine from China and the Middle-East, please send any donations you might like to my opponent, better manager of campaign, people, money and all resources hitherto. Hopefully, he will win the presidency and have some cash left to bail me out! Besides, I am hoping and praying he doesn't tax my 109Million dollars as I am already bankrupt.

    Not so much thanks to you people who supported me as you should have supported Senator Obama. He will crush McCain in the GE and I am endorsing him right away! My bad for not being smart enough to have done this much earlier!

    Little thanks. 😉

    Clinton, the bankrupt and poor manager!

    April 21, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  12. tidho

    Its not just the cash. Her whole campaign is a joke. This is the biggest thing she's ever had management responsibility for and its failing miserably (given the lead she had at the outset). Its amazing so many still want to put her in charge of the Federal Government.

    April 21, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  13. Raihan Islam, PA

    Let's just worry about dealing with McCain now! We've got our candidate, Barack Obama, who has already been able to handle severe attacks from his fellow Democratic opponent– he's ready for whatever the Republican party will try to throw at him. Rush Limbaugh's tactics of having Republicans vote for Hillary isn't going to work. People act like the country is part of some game, but people are getting more and more informed and realize illegitimate strategies like those used by McCain (Hamas supporting Obama as if it means something?), Clinton (Obama is elitist when she thinks she deserves the presidency just because?), and super right-wingers (vote for the better candidate's opponent so John McCain can win?) are nonsense and this country deserves better.

    April 21, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  14. Earl R.

    Not to worry, Senator Clinton. Your supporters, including myself, will provide some financial help very soon.

    April 21, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  15. Kathleen

    It might not be Hillary that is running the campaign but the choice of who she chose to put in that position. This tells a lot about her that her choices are not that wise. Many of the people helping her have either left or been fired by her. She definitely has problems running her campaign and choosing the right people. What will she choose for her cabinet to run he country? Think people!! Choose Obama instead.

    April 21, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  16. Jerry in Florida

    Wake up America! Are we going to give the US presidency to a rookie? All Senator Obama has going for him is his rhetoric. America owes him or his wife, for that matter, absolutely nothing. On the contrary!

    Senator Obama, his supporters as well as the media, must be jumping for joy. However, they are making another stupid mistake if they are counting her out.

    Stay tuned!

    April 21, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  17. Mark Lodes

    Gosh, I wonder how she got so broke? First I think she ran out of ideas, then I know I saw her use the politics of yesterday to slam Obama personally, and now she's tired, old, and broke. Out of ideas, out of money, out of supporters, and out of time. She should stop trying to steal the election away from someone who so obviously identifies with and gains support from the vast majority of the American People.

    April 21, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  18. bb

    I'm just disgusted that this much money is thrown at these candidates and they freaking blow it like it's the money they found in their couch cushions. It's just sick.

    April 21, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  19. Rich

    Pay your bills..... use your 109 Million that you scammed.

    Then drop out you old washed up hag.

    April 21, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  20. Catherine, Seattle, WA

    JCL, Kentucky?!? Wanna check your math again? Clinton is 10 Million in debt and has 9 million on hand...

    Obama has 650,000 in debt but over 52 MILLION cash in hand..

    This means Obama can pay his bills and still have millions left in his pocket while clinton cannot even cover the cost of her bills.

    If you are going to make a point, don't you think you should think before you speak?

    April 21, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  21. Kim, PA


    give what you can, because we can't afford the bad budgeting of Obama is more of what I'm reading....

    I can't wait to vote for Hillary Tomorrow!!!!!!!!

    April 21, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  22. Crispus

    This could happen to JM in the GE so wait for it ... McCain supporter will cry about "matching funds agreement" for the GE.

    April 21, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  23. The O

    I can see it now if Hillary becomes President the debt collectors will come and take away the Washinton Monument and the Lincoln Memorial. And the repo man will take Air Force One then what will she do fly coach on Jet Blue?????

    Come on Pennsylvainia !!!! ALL EYES ARE ON YOU !!!!

    OBAMA 08

    April 21, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  24. Chapman

    You can end this miserable race & help put our Country in focus & on track. YES WE CAN!!!

    April 21, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  25. Marty in Orlando

    Another reason to donate to the OBAMA compaign.


    April 21, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
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