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. Mark Lodes

    As with the Watergate scandal in the Nixon years, if you follow the money, you find the answer: The former first lady is broke. There is no money, there is no campaign.

    April 21, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  2. Cindy

    I'm a grunt in the US Army, with 15 years in, and more deployments then I care to remember. I've said it before; most of the Soldiers and Marines I know support Barrack Obama. We highly respect SEN McCain, but he is out of touch with us and our families. I can tell you with a little authority that military people come from a similar background as SEN Obama. Many come from single parent families, blue collar, some college, and a desire to do better things for their community and nation, much like SEN Obama. It is a rarity to meet someone from a privileged, wealthy family such as the Clintons and the McCain’s, unless they are serving to pad their resume. I know that McCain’s sons are in the military, and I applaud them for it, but they went through the Naval Academy, and officers in the military have a much more comfortable life than the enlisted and the NCOs.

    Not all of us come from a military background; some of us have family members that are in the same situations that SEN Obama speak of. Now the elitists on the right and in the Clinton camp attack him for speaking the truth. I have Soldiers that have 3 to 5 deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan that was going to get out after serving so greatly for their nation, only to stay in because the job market and economy are scarier than another tour to Iraq.

    There is no way that I, and many like me, will vote for Clinton. I am not a misogynist, I support and have voted for women in office, but this woman is a liar. She is no more in touch with the American citizen than the insurgent that took my buddies life. Look at her eyes, they are the windows to the soul, you will see a difference in the glow when she talks to supporters and when SEN Obama does. I know this first hand as I have met her twice; once in South Korea in '92 or '93, and then again recently in NC. On top of that this woman has never made the hard-right choice in her life. She didn't leave her husband when he betrayed her, not that she forgave him, but because it would have been too hard to win a Senate seat going through a divorce. She made the wrong choice on the most unnecessary war in the history of this country (and won't apologize for it), because it was the popular reason to do it at the time.

    I wish the candidates and the media would get off this petty crap and give us their differences on the issues.

    If you want to support the men and women serving for you in the military, vote to change all of this, vote Obama.

    April 21, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  3. Jo Ann

    It's only shows that it is time for her go home now. Get the message.

    April 21, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  4. Indiana Voter

    One other thing to consider with these polls, most of the university students have cell phones, not land lines, therefore are not counted in the poll numbers. =-) Wanna guess who's carrying the bulk of the young vote??

    April 21, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  5. Tired of all this flap

    Ms. Clinton, how will you pay your debt by lending yourself $10 million out of the $109 that you possess? Now, one more question who will be running the White House you or Bill Clinton? From all of your speeches that you have done it was as if you were in office and gave this country a surplus, you went into war zones under sniper fire, your experience in diplomatic terms with other countries, and oh how that all is a barrel of laughs. You may win PA but it only because I think there is more racists among them than in the deep south ever dared to be. So Good Luck!

    April 21, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  6. T-Bone in IL

    JCL, Kentucky – You need to go back to school and learn math. You either can't do simple math or you're trying to have the numbers say what you want them to. Obama has $52 Mill on hand and carrying a $650,000 debt. If he pays the whole debt off he will have $51,350,000 left fro his campaign.

    OBAMA 08' – 12'

    April 21, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  7. Tim

    Yeah but she's good with a gun (so she says...all those fond memories).

    Please PA, be smart...

    April 21, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  8. Fendley

    All you Hillary haters are going to get the shock of your lives tomorrow!!!!!!!

    April 21, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  9. Matt, Pittsburg

    What a BIG LOOSER she is. Penn please open your eyes. Lets not send this fat cat who can not even manage her campaign to the white house.

    April 21, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  10. jay

    To: JCL, Kentucky

    No, that does not say Sen. Obama cant manage his Campaign. He has the Money to pay his dept. Sen. Clinton doesn't , which is why she is in the red. He has 52 million, compared to her 9 million, and CNN is going off of the dept to income ratio.

    April 21, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  11. Sean

    JCL: I think you're reading it wrong. She is $10 million in debt, and has $9 million in cash, meaning a $1 million deficit. Obama is $650,000 in debt with $52 million, meaning over $51 in the black. Don't confuse the numbers. Hillary is in trouble.

    April 21, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  12. Tamika

    too many lattes and croissoints

    April 21, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  13. Relle Boston

    He handles money better. That is what they country wants right?

    April 21, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  14. T-Bone in IL

    And it's $10 millinon not 1

    April 21, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  15. RB

    JLC, your facts are a little off the mark. Here's what I think the article says:

    Obama: $52M on hand; $42M to spend; $650K in debt (he can afford to pay this from the money available to spend; i.e not in the red)

    Clinton: $32M on hand; $9M to spend; $10M in debt (she can't afford to pay this from the money available to spend; i.e. in the red)

    April 21, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  16. Anonymous

    This is a serious question form an uncomitted voter ...

    I see a rookie who has manged his campaign well- able to pull new people

    I see an experienced candidate who cannot even manage her own campaign...

    I am confused..

    April 21, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  17. History buff

    She's a FIGHTER, isn't she! That's good to see!

    And, THAT'S exactly what we need in a leader, one who can and WILL stand up to the likes of Bush, and other hard-headed leaders.
    She sets her GOAL, and goes after it.

    April 21, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  18. Trey L.

    No she can't be having problems with money.....not the problem solver! Do us all a favor and quit!
    You can't even handle your campaingn budget why would we trust you with the Nation's budget. (has anyone notice gas price?)

    April 21, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  19. CT Yankee

    Maybe a sniper shot her finance person......Maybe someone on her campaign team embezzled some money. I sure there will be some reasonable explanation...hahahahahaha

    PA take a good look at history of this campaign...Major staff turnover, financial woes, and typical Hillary double talk. Is she really fit to run this country?

    April 21, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  20. shirley.roybal,surprise,az.


    April 21, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  21. DeniseGa

    @JCL, Kentucky

    You mis-read that facts

    Over all Obama has raised 60 million more than Clinton, since last year. Not last month!

    Go back and read the article, and you will see where you mis-read!

    April 21, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  22. Chris

    Thank you, America, for waking up!

    I can believe that Obama and McCain wnat to serve this country......Hillary wants power

    Hillary is a hideous, phony, law-breaking, dilussional liar!

    April 21, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  23. Toni

    Do these figures include that $5 million loan Bill and Hillary gave themselves? Either way, managing her campaign is her only real executive experience, and voters will not turn over their trillion dollar economy to someone who cannot manage the finances of their own campaign budget. This, along with Billary's kitchen sink strategy, the reversal on NAFTA and Columbia trade deals, Bonsia Sniper Fire and campaign promises like the 60-day troop pullout and a blanket of security in the middle east (foriegn military and diplomatic policy that makes George Bush look tame) makes it difficult for me to trust and support Billary

    April 21, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  24. John

    A Democrat that is in debt? Who woulda thunk? Maybe she can increase taxes .....eeerrr fundraising efforts. Maybe its George Bush's fault.

    April 21, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  25. Realist

    Mr. Obama will not win the general election no matter how much he spends. With all of his baggage he will probably wind up losing his Senate seat next time also. There is no way citizens of the United States of America will elect someone with 20 years experience in a racist, USA hating organization as our President. He should have been asked to step down months ago. He is ruining the Democrats chance at having a Democratic President for the next four years. Mr. OBama please step down and go away.....far far away!!!!!

    April 21, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
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