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. Janet

    Oh my goodness, CNN. Where can I send my check to the "HELP HILLARY GET OUT OF DEBT FUND? Did she already blow through her 109 million dollars? The economy must be worst than I thought.

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

    READ THIS PEOPLE!!! A PERSON WHO IS THINKING!!!! Obama supporters feel stupid now right!!! HA!

    JCL, Kentucky April 21st, 2008 11:36 am ET

    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 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  3. Greg, NY

    Susan April 21st, 2008 11:22 am ET

    This really is ridiculous!!! Obama is buying the Democratic nomination!! Where is the leadership of the DNC? Is this what you want America to think – that nominations can be bought? Just think what all that money could do for the poor people and the people who live from paycheck to paycheck in America!!


    Obama's campaign money is coming from those people that live paycheck to paycheck. He isn't buying the nomination, the people are. Go to his website and you'll see how many people are giving in small amounts. You might be amazed.

    April 21, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  4. EagleNation1961

    WoW this is the Third time she's had money problems her whole campaign is a cluster F???? and you want her to run our country. But I guess she doesn't want to loan the campaign any of her money anymore. Organization people that's waht we need and Obama has that look at the Campaign he is running they have yet to report any vendors being stiffed by the Obama camps. That's because he knows how to run a business and the USA Economy is a Business.

    Come on PA Think about it OBAMA 08

    April 21, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  5. Beverly Williams

    Such a waste of resources!! ALL the political campaign funds could do so much good in this country. Why is so much wasted on stuff most people don't really care about? "None Dare Call It A Conspiracy" but . . .need I say more?

    April 21, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  6. Jake

    If she cannot budget her campaign spending how on earth will she be able to budget the economy? This is something the voters in PA need to look at very closely. If she cannot handle her campaign debt how can she handle the debt of this country? Usually when a person wins any office they will appoint those individuals who worked on their campaign to key positions in their administration. Could you imagine the same buffoons that ran her campaign having a hand in running this country?

    April 21, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  7. Sue Z

    First of all – sad this money is being used for politics. If only we could use it to bolster our economy

    Second – I find it sad that Hillary Clinton is willing to continue to smear Obama's reputation by going into debt. Is the Presidency really that important to her? What's really happening is Clinton is going into debt with vendors, etc., and the end result could be that she has fractured the Democrat party to the point that it can't be repaired.

    Good job Clinton campaign! How sad.

    April 21, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  8. Michele

    Wow her whole campaign has been a catastrophe...they can't budget at all....

    April 21, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  9. Kimberly in Texas

    How can we trust Hillary with the US economy when she can't even manage the economy of her campaign!

    April 21, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  10. Allison, NH

    Its inspiring to me how many people have donated to Obama – normal, ordinary people,. Its amazing that the average contribution to Obama's campain is $100. That is a lot of people, making a lot of "small" donations.

    As much as I respect Hillary for the things she has done for NY, I simply do see her as Commander in Cheif. I'm sure its no surprise that campaigns go into debt from time to time, but it certainly shows that Obama is reaching people in ways that Hillary simply cannot. She funded $5 million into her campaign from her own pockets early this year...and here she is in debt after all the $$ she's been given over the last few months?

    PA voters – you obviously need to vote with your heart....but, do we really want another Clinton in the White House? Do we really want someone who cannot handle their campaign donations and spending? Do we want someone who blantantly stated in our last debate that she would go to war with any middle eastern country if one of our allies decided so?

    April 21, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  11. James

    She has tapped her big donors, and her little donors are drying up. Obama has continued to raise big dollars from regular people because his supporters not only vote for him, they will work and give money to bring about the change this country needs. That is something to think about when we are facing a battle to hold onto the Senate and win the Presidency.

    Obama played a big roll in campaigning for dem senators in the midwest in '06. The guys has $$ and coat-tails. Two important things for November.

    April 21, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  12. sg

    stinkboma 2014!

    April 21, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  13. Mary - PA

    If she can't run the finances of her campaign, she certainly can't run the finances of our country.

    April 21, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  14. luci

    Time for the Clintons to write some more self-aggrandizing and lying books! Send Bubba out on more paying speech tours... say...how about that $109 million income...pay your bills Hillary/Billary and go home....you're done.

    April 21, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  15. PE

    Sen. Clinton had once spent all her money up to Super Tuesday expecting she would have the nomination locked up and probably did not have a strong plan past then for running this long. Very risky gamble.

    April 21, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  16. ann agne

    I believe this has gone on too long and too much money is being spent. I don't need to hear what Sen. Obama will do wrong. I want to know what you will do right to help the country.

    April 21, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  17. bigben

    We , Clinton supporters are trying our hardest to keep up. Why make fun of us. You Obamabots has belittle us Clinton suppoters so much. What me you think we will forget come Nov?

    April 21, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  18. Debby

    Well McCain had no money and he won the nominee. If Clinton wins PA. then contributions will start pouring in again and will new endorsers.

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




    April 21, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  20. 58 old white ladies for OBAMA





    April 21, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  21. jadathehut

    New York Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton's anticipated run for the presidency in 2008 got a major boost yesterday when she received the first major endorsement of the political season: from the Devil. News of the endorsement became known last night when the Devil phoned into the late-night radio program of the Fox News' Alan Colmes to announce his decision.

    April 21, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  22. mama for obama

    My lord, and she wants to run our country????????
    also why is not she lending h erself more money she makes millions
    by GOD
    she is nuts
    liar liar liar

    April 21, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  23. Trish - PA

    What is wrong with you people?? She can't even manage her campaign! how is she going to manage the White House??

    April 21, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  24. Linda

    "The newly released reports offer the clearest picture to date "

    lmao NO, it doesn't. This report is already over 3 weeks old. And she has had numerous fundraisers and had beeing scorring millions in days repeatedly.

    ...and in contrast, Obama has been overspending like anything.

    So, even though you're still trying to push this for Obama, the facts are not represented here at all.

    President Hillary!

    April 21, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  25. becky

    JCL, Kentucky: This is what the article said.. Key word here... only carried around... those mean it was paid.

    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.

    April 21, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
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