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. TiredOfNegativity

    I'm tired of all these negative remarks between the candidates. Hilary most of all, she claims to have all this experience of which she has no more experience than being the 1st lady.

    Now she is in debt, should be interesting. She is going to make it worse on the democrats by staying in the race and continuing these types of negative attacks. She is doing such a good job that the republicans don't even attack her because she is winning the campaign for them.

    She needs to go and now.

    I have been undecided up until now on who to vote for... I always vote for who I think is the best person for the job and usually don't decide until late, but this is getting ugly. Out of the three I have no choice but to support Obama he is the only one who gives us a chance of making the changes that need to be done. McCain will continue the Bush policies and Clinton she just wants the fame, I don't trust the clintons they are shady.

    April 21, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  2. democrat

    If she can't manage her campaign budget why should we allow her to manage the nations budget? She started the primary process with more money and an enviable fund raising structure in place. Why has she mismanaged the advantages she had at the onset? This nomination process was hers to hold on to and she has squandered her advantage!

    Obama all the way!!

    April 21, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  3. K

    you people are idiots.

    April 21, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  4. Mk

    UC Davis in California is about to send the Clinton Campaign to collection for unpaid bills from Super Tuesday.
    Hmmmm...so when DOES she plan on paying these bills?
    Doesn't look like she is going to have the money to do so.
    Wonder why she hasn't paid those debts if she is continuing to take in good amounts of money. It really may be time for her to read the writing on the wall. Her quote, instead of "If you can't stand the heat get out of the kitchen", OUGHT TO BE, "If you can't afford it, don't buy it".

    April 21, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  5. Alfredo

    Obama is double faced. He keeps attacking Hillary jsut to win Pennsylvannians. Obama is bitter and desperate.

    April 21, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  6. truth now

    Sen. Obama's money comes from small donors like me. I started donating in January with $100.00 and will donate $25.00 or more every month from now on. That's how he's raising the money, ordinary people giving small amounts. There are millions of us.

    Yes We Can!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 21, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  7. Tom Swift, Shopton USA

    The reason she has run out of money, and her campaign always seem to be in a state of confusion, is because she never had a plan beyond "Super Tuesday". When her campaign was planned last summer, she was expected to blow the Democrat field away. No plans were made beyond "Super Tuesday". Strategy OR money. That is why here campsign has been operating on a wing-and-a-prayer since.

    April 21, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  8. Sean, Detroit MI

    Is this on in addition to being morally bankrupt?

    April 21, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  9. Steve, New York, New York

    Why should the republicans have to spend any money at all, to defeat the democrats in November?
    Clinton is doing the job for them – first she divided democrats, from republicans and independents. Now, this "power-crazed" person is doing a wonderful job of dividing the democrats themselves.

    Maybe she could swipe some of the HALF-BILLION dollars, bound for her husband's library.

    April 21, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  10. Lisa

    Did anyone find this a surprise? I wish she would sit her childish behind down. This party is so divided I don't know how we will come together after this mess she has created.

    April 21, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  11. Erik, IA

    If you can't manage the finances of your own campaign, how are you supposed to manage the budget for the US?

    April 21, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  12. stogiecarmikal

    Are you serious? This is just a campaign and she's in the red??? What makes this ever worse is that the Clinton campaign probably tried to use small businesses to provide many services in order to create the "we are for small business....." atmosphere. However, now the Clinton campaign is probably putting some small business out of business by not paying their bills.

    April 21, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  13. akaDoug

    JCL- You might want to re-read the article, it says that to start April Obama had $650,000 in bills to pay with $52,000,000 cash on hand overall. He's far from being in debt and he's clearly run the better campaign!

    I'd glad trust his judgement with my tax dollars, I can't say the same thing for Clinton!

    April 21, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  14. Bob

    margie, you are right... all have a deficit on April 1st, that is normal. Those are outstanding accounts, usually advertising accounts, waiting for a bill to be delivered. But look at the money each has on-hand. Hillary is the only one in the red because she is not paying the bills. You've heard of "Pay it Forward? She is "Spending if Forward". Like floating a check hoping it doesn't hit before payday. Problem is there is no payday. Campaigns are run on contributions. So, given the money sshe has overspent in the month of April, if she quits right now, she would owe vendors, advertising firms, etc an estimated 20=25 million dollars. Since she would be out of the race, who would pay those bills? Answer, nobody. A campaign is like a company. If there is no money to be had, then sueing the campaign would be fruitless. I haven't decided who to support yet. But I do think she has shown that she thinks she is an Elitist with this situation and above the law. The average american would be arrested for fraud for intentionally placing orders and not paying for them. We're not talking about the electric or gas bill here. She will walk away untouched as she has in past financial brushes with the law.

    April 21, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  15. Tyrone Brown, Seattle, WA

    This does not surprise me. America has made it loud and clear, through our time, energy and money, that we want Barack Obama to be the Democratic candidate for President. It is just taking the Clinton campaign a little extra time to tune in and hear.

    A Great Candidate, a Great Campaign and a Great President of the United States...Obama 08'

    Tyrone Brown
    Seattle, WA

    April 21, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  16. Anonymous

    Hillary for four years? How can she be an effective president when she can't find people to manage her finances or campaign? We will never know how much debt this country is really in if she and Bill have the opportunity to spin, spin, spin their lies for four years. Give me HOPE any day. OBAMA 08'

    PH, Maryland

    April 21, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  17. jim in pennsylvania

    Hilary used maxed out credit card to have campaign event
    where the hell is the news on this

    April 21, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  18. Mariann Pepitone

    Rena: I think you don't know what your talking about. You say whatever comes into your head and it doesn't make sense. Obama talks to hear himself talk. He sells himself to the public because he use to be a salesman. The public is like you. No sense nonsense. This generation of fools are eating up the garbage he shoots and they don't even understand what he's talking about themselves. Isn't this generation on drugs and booze just like he was? Is that why they can't think right. Obama is a good speaker with RFK's speeches from a book someone gave him to study. He is as dumb and they come that's why he needs copywork.

    April 21, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  19. rw md

    To Ricardo Phillips in Washington, is this going to help DC
    become a state, NO
    They don't deserve is and never will deserve it,
    savor this because your Obama if he get's in will totally
    take you DC and my STATE of Marylnd right down the

    April 21, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  20. Gurds

    in hillary clinton debates there has always been a form of exagarations what ever topic she has discussed. She talks about values but hey bill clinton wasnt really thinking about values when he was knocking of monica. GO OBAMA

    April 21, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  21. The Dude

    Maybe she shouldn't have left her tab open at that bar a couple weeks ago. Her campaign staff has expensive taste in liquor.


    April 21, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  22. Jane

    Why donate to Obama- when he has been taking care of by ( O ).

    April 21, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  23. anon.

    if she's in debt or supposedly and is spending more than she has, how can she RUN A COUNTRY with that kind of attitude, running us into more DEBT?

    i'd think twice, i wouldn't even think about voting for her if that's how she handles her money, what about the country's money?!?!!

    April 21, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  24. Adios!!! Hillbillery

    Ewwww sounds like she needs to give it up!! The handwriting is on the wall... Bye Bye Are we over the Hill yet??????

    April 21, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  25. Peachy Keen

    Did she already give herself the five million that she loaned the campaign and if so, did she pay herself interest on it from supporters donations?

    April 21, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
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