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. Lindsay

    Wow. This may be the only way to get rid of Hillary...she runs out of money.

    April 21, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  2. Ann McCorkle

    Thank you, CNN, for bringing Rick Sanchez back. He is fabulous. Keep up the good work!!! I am keeping CNN on all day and night now.
    I do not want to miss a single segment with him!!!!!

    April 21, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  3. Michigan for Clinton

    Thanks cnn once again for biased news.

    I'll be sending my 5th contribution today.

    Hillary is the best candidate for President- and if NObama wins- I will be voting for Mccain.

    Hillary/Edwards 08'

    Obama- state senate 08- he's really good voting "maybe" thats where he should remain.

    April 21, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  4. Heather, Corvallis, OR


    Your logic is completely flawed. Obama can cover all of his $650,000 with the cash he has on hand and have over $41 million in cash to spend. If Hillary used all her available cash to pay her debt, she still has another $1 million in debt. How does that show that Obama is worse?

    I am continuously amazed how people's biases affect the way they interpret news such as this and how people try to twist it to make anything look good for their candidate. I am convinced that Clinton supporters would be saying the same thing Obama supporters are saying about her if he was in this situation.

    April 21, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  5. Vicky in Texas

    And she has the economic solutions??? I think not – GO OBAMA!

    April 21, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  6. Matt

    Doesn't look like 35 years of experience can help her run her own campaign. Why? Thats because it doesn't take experience, it takes smarts. Hillary has the experience but not the smarts. Barack has less experience but far more smarts. PA 4 BHO.

    April 21, 2008 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  7. Yolie

    Please PA, be smart. Put an end to this. She has millions of dollars and she is not putting any of her personal millions into her own campaign. She will have the country pay for all her deficit and then get more for herself. PA, watch the documentary, "Sicko", take a look at her health care. It was the Clinton Administration that didn't do anything to avoid the 9/11 results.
    PA, the country is counting on you to bring Change Vote OBama 08. Unite the Country. You can do it PA. Enough with Clinton Tyranny.

    April 21, 2008 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  8. raj

    money is the king. It will kick her out not nancy pelosi or Howard dean.

    April 21, 2008 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  9. Allen

    I am personally going to donate $1 to her campaign today – just to help her stay in the race and run her campaign so deep underground that she bankrupt herself and loose all chances of ever running for anything ever again, even senator in NY.

    I am sick and tired of the clintons and if this is what it takes to send them packing then lets help keep the campaign going with a $1. It's worth it and they deserve it.

    OBAMA '08 & '12

    April 21, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  10. Jack, PA

    Hillary beat old fashioined corrupted Illinois politician Obama in PA!!!

    April 21, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  11. SueB

    So Clinton is the one who will turn the economy around? If she were to run the country like she's running her campaign; in a few years, we could all be looking back and saying "remember the good old days under Bush?"

    April 21, 2008 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  12. Mariann Pepitone

    I can't wait until the Swift Boat begins their emails on Obama. This should be good news for Hillary. This organization destroyed Kerry's chances and they are about to begin trying to destroy Obama's. We don't know who they have ties to. They may have ties to the superdelegates and Howard Dean is not aware of it. It will make news when it happens just like news of Obama and Ayers did. Now that news is all over the states. If he wins the nomination goodby general election.

    April 21, 2008 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  13. Tim, Texas

    There's good debt and bad debt. Unfortunately Hillary going into debt to trash Obama for the General Election which is bad. Get out Hillary.

    Obama 08!!

    April 21, 2008 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  14. kaye

    Obama never!

    April 21, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  15. Dres

    What happen to Clinton's 33% lead in PA? BYE BYE Ms Clinton

    April 21, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  16. Jason Horse


    April 21, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  17. wthwah

    WHAT????!!!! She had more money that the lord upstairs, and now she's broke? Is that why she's not paying her bills?

    If she cannot manage the finances of her campaign, how can she manage the finances as President. She has called for all these big spending bills; health care, economic stimulus, etc, and now I totally fear she wouldl mismanage the economy thru her inexperience.

    No way can she become president, no way. I'm not even sure how she made it as Senator!

    Geez... And people still support her? Oh wait, people still support Bush. Go figure...

    April 21, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  18. Kendall

    How does she expect to get this country back on track as far as the economy when she can't even budget her own campaign, she's right this race is like a long job interview, I don't think in my opinion she is going to make the cut, Fiscal responsibility starts at home, and her home ( campaign) is in debt.

    April 21, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  19. James

    HRC has 32 million and BHO has 52 million. BHO has collected 60 million more than HRC. Do the math BHO has spent 40 million more than HRC and it is neck and neck and HRC will win PA although BHO out spent HRC 4 to 1. Seems HRC budgeted better no matter how you slice it. Republicans can not use this against HRC as all you have to do is look at how bad off the McCain camp has been at times during this campaign.
    Can not wait to see the facts over just how and where the money for BHO really came from. Kool-aid drinkers may be dismayed.
    Contribute now to Hillary – she is the ONLY choice for us to get out of this mess.

    April 21, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  20. EagleNation1961

    "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!!
    So if Hillary and all the other spinless Senators had not voted for the war then the trillion dolars a month we are spending could have been used for thepoor people across Amercia. don't try and blame this on Obama if they would have listen to Obama & Colin Powell in the begining then we would nto be in this mess.

    April 21, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  21. dave

    has she released her taxes yet??

    April 21, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  22. danielB

    I'm not saying that Hillary is the better candidate, but I think that this primary is a joke and the Government should reform the system. This is the problem with America!!! I think that this should shine light on the fact that MONEY CAN"T and shouldn't BYE A NOMINATION!!! All OBAMA's supporters are people who have the money to donate to his campaign... What about those people who are not able to give $100 a week much less $5?... Hillary has to compete against someone who's spending 4-5 times the amount of money she is... and that's CHANGing politics?... This has NOTHING to do with running the white house!! It has to do with the people hating a person and putting money into the machine that they favor! This is not democracy!! SORRY!

    April 21, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  23. No McSame

    Obama all the way. I must give it to her, she has more balls than EDWARDS. No guts No glory. Who does he stand with? I guess he will let us know after tomorrow. How sad. A coward is what EDWARDS is to me.

    April 21, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  24. Ed - Pa


    Vote for Hillary. She is the best qualified candidate to lead this nation. .

    April 21, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  25. scott lymann

    It is funny for the Obama people to say what a winner he is yet they call on the competition to quit.

    SAD –

    You just know it is a matter of time before he implodes so you want to end this while you are ahead. Also funny how all these "little people" have money to send to a politician while complaining that the economy is hurting.

    Don't have money for food and gas but enough to send to Obama? Sounds like the people who send money to a televangalist.
    So Obama Supporter = ?

    Things that make you go "hmmmm"

    April 21, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
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