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. Atoin from CA

    Man I can't stand you Obama supporters. You are so evil and love to see other people suffer. Wait and see what happens when Obama loses the nomination or loses to McCain if he gets it.

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


    April 21, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  3. marylee wagerman atlanta,ga

    TOO MANY DONUTS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    OBAMA 08

    April 21, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  4. Disgruntled voter

    Just like a Democrat. Spend, spend, spend, other peoples money until you simply run out.
    Bush must have taken pointers from them the last 7 years.
    It's time for fiscal responsibility in this country. It's time to end earmarks, cut back on entitlements to those who didn't earn them, give breaks to the people who will spend and invest the money. It's time for the people of this country to be once again be proud to say that we are Americans.
    I'm confused this election because I don't think any of the three presumptive next presidents are really going to make this country whole again. This country has lost respect (yes, even pre-dating Bush. Clinton did his share to make this country a laughing stock don't forget that) and the admiration of countries around the world.
    Where is a good honest politician when you need one? Oh I'm sorry was that an oxy moron?

    Disgruntled in America

    April 21, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  5. Brian

    JCL, Kentucky

    Obama had 42 million on hand to spend in the primary and $650,000 in debt leaving Obama $41,350,000 in the black vs Clintons ~$1,000,000 in the red.

    The difference was not $350,000 as you stated, it is $42,350,000.

    April 21, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  6. Andrew

    If she believes in her campaign cause so much, why doesn't she give the money her self. $109,000,000.00 in the bank? Why loan the money? If we the people give it to her why can't she give also. I think it is because she wants to keep her money and take ours.

    April 21, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  7. Lee WV

    Look at the bright side she doesn't have to go much further in debt.

    April 21, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |


    April 21, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  9. Jude

    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.

    JCL, you're way off...do the math...He's only got 650,000 in debt but 42 million in the bank which means he's positive 41 mill.

    April 21, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  10. colo

    Hillary can still pull this off. '

    Go Hillary all the way. There is NO other candidate qualified for this job.

    April 21, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  11. Mariann Pepitone

    Obama Girl: Obama can't use his own funds. Where would he get the money. When Hillary wrote out a check for five million she could afford to do that. Obama couldn't write out a check for one million because he is a pauper's millionaire. He has the least money of all the senators. If you remember, Rezko is not around to give cash money to Obama now. His crooked businessman is under house arrest. I just love reading about those friends of Obama's like Wright, Farrakhan, Ayers and Ayres. He really knew how to pick them right out of the garbage.

    April 21, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  12. Jason Horse



    OBAMA 08


    April 21, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  13. Sean McM


    April 21, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  14. Jim, Illinois

    The numbers are what they are and this is who we want to lead our country. So much for fiscal responsibility.

    April 21, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  15. Chris; ohio

    If the clinton followers dont see this the superdelegets will. This is a prime example of how she will run the country and she is failing big time.

    April 21, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  16. Jason Horse


    April 21, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  17. rw md

    Talk about buying an election, if Obama get's the nonination this
    is a perfect example how he did it, he raise 41 million in MarchHe outspent her 31 to 22 million in Pennsylvainia.
    Dictator's win election by force, here we just sucker the little people
    people into giving you there hard earned money, buy the election
    and then once your in, sorry folk's, I have my own agenda.
    Jimmy Hoffa senior would have been rolling over in his grave
    about his son not backing the better candidate Hillery Clinton, a
    real democrat.

    April 21, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  18. colo

    Instead of slandering Hillary more than you have already done CNN, be fair and report on the major lead she now has in Pensylvannia.

    April 21, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  19. MY

    Well Josh are you jealous?

    April 21, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  20. Doreen

    It should not be the candidate with the most money (Obama) who wins, it should be the one who is the best person to lead this country, which is Hillary. That shows that all Obama has is money, but he is totally deficient in all the other qualities that a person needs to be the best leader of this country.

    April 21, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  21. JDC // Ohio

    Only power-hungry people would spend tens of millions to become President. To think, George Washington didn't even want the job!!!

    April 21, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  22. TEXAN

    Here we go again, the Clintons in debt with a lot of vendors in the United States plus the health care of her employees.. ??? and do you think she can be a good President, I do not think so.

    No More Clintons in the White House

    PA is your Call take this woman out of the race, end with this bunch of negative campaign, Fear Factor and Lies tot he American People.. PLEASE!!!

    Yes You Can! PA

    April 21, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  23. BMR, Pittsburgh PA

    JCL: Your argument that spending your campaign into debt makes you better qualified to handle the national economy is, well, bankrupt.

    Every company has SOME debt. Most companies only pay invoices on the last day before interest starts to accrue on the balance owed. This allows them to maximize the interest they earn on their money before it goes out to pay the bills.

    Obama has had NO complaints of slow-pay or no-pay from creditors. His campaign pays its bills – and has plenty of cash to do so. Of course, he built a superior fund-raising machine that is largely fueled by small donors. Average amount of an Obama donation: $109.

    Clinton's campaign, on the other hand, didn't think it would need such an apparatus. They were out of money by Super Tuesday, and are now out of money again. That's not the kind of financial "wizardry" I want anywhere near our national budget.

    April 21, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  24. Jim

    Stick a fork in her... she's DONE!!!

    April 21, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  25. PJ, New York Independent

    Please keep attacking Hillary, all you Obama supporters, this will seal the deal for a McCain win, if Obama goes up against him. It's going to be hard enough for Obama to beat John McCain... with a HUGE percentage of Hillary Clinton's supporter's crossing over to John McCain (should Obama win the DEM nomination) it will that much easier for McCain. So yes, Obama supporters, keep beating Hillary into the ground.... you bunch of morons. Once again, Democrats shooting themselves in the foot. Pick the empty suit black guy to be politically correct instead of the one who truly knows what she's talking about and can actually accomplish something. What a joke the Obama supporters are. Can't wait to hear you all crying when John McCain wins by a landslide.

    April 21, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
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