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. Mariann Pepitone

    Jay: You are right. Obama uses all that money because he is desperate to win in PA. His campaign manager distinctly advised him that he has to win a battleground state to show the DNC he can win the general election but its not going to happen. He is not going to win PA. Battleground states do not like him and never voted for him. And I don't have to tell you why. Those New Yorker's and voter's in NJ are smarter than the voter's in WI and MN or SC. They know what would happen if Obama was president. I believe she will also win Puerto Rico. Not NC or IN maybe KY. However, Michigan is selecting their delegates and they are going to seat them. Hillary has the most in MI.

    April 21, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  2. Michelle, PA

    How can she balance the national budget, if she can't control her campaign budget spending....this is ridiculous???!!!

    April 21, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  3. Des, Toronto

    Hillary, Good night and good luck.

    Obama 08

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

    To all of you who are complaining about Obama buying the Democratic nomination.....get a clue!
    His supporters are funding his campaign ten dollars at a time and it's in unprecedented numbers from all over the country.
    It should tell you a lot about who is supporting him....the people....like you and me. Not only did Hillary have to loan her own campaign with personal money, she has the largest amounts from lobbyists.

    April 21, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  5. Barbra-PA

    I urge all PA folks like me to come out in full force and put an end to this tragedy. Democrats can not afford to continue this battle and think its going to be ok. We need to ask ourselves do we wnat to continue having Geroge Bush in office or do we want a new democratic derection. I urge all Democrats in PA to come out and vote for Barack Obama thus putting this race to an end. Lets be realistic here the republicans want to continue this race so that they have a better chance in November. All polls are showing Baracck is the only one that can beat McCain in November. Thats reality folks dont let Republicans tell you no diffrent. The more we drag this on the more the republicans have a chance!!! This must end on Tuesday or we will be doomed. Look as a Hillary supporter I know that she has no chance in getting the nomination unless she drags this fight into the convention that is what we must stop!!! This will harm our party.
    So I will vote for Barack to end this circus. I will vote for Barack just because I belive that this nation will continue to suffer financially if we continue this non sense war. We just dont have the money to continue to fight two wars, one being the Iraq war and second the economic war here in American. Hillary is broke and she has become too negative in the last two weeks. I hope all PA folks come out in droves to put this race to an end Tuesday. Im a gun owner and yes Im a beer drinker and I will vote for Barack Obama.

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

    And she thinks she can run a country – can't even manage her own campaign. GIVE IT UP ALREADY!!

    April 21, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  7. tiger

    This is pretty indicative of how she would run the country, I mean she can't even run her own campaign; how in the hell is she going to run the country? I guess the health care initiative she is pushing is one sign, she is going to place a MANDATE on ALL Americans to purchase her plan or face penalties, no one wants a MANDATE to purchase insurance I have good insurance and I do not pay one dime, my company pays for everything. So, this would be a new BILL for me. Look at her dirty tricks and her say anything do anything attitude, i don't trust the woman and I will not vote for her if she gets the nod to be the Democratic nominee, I'm tired of all of the dirty politics, all the lies and she voted for the IRAQ war! I wish she would bow out and allow Obama to focus on Grandpa!

    April 21, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  8. From Someone Who Is Starting To Warm Up Towards Obama

    Hillary once said " America needs a president who can run the country in Day 1". America is in debt. Hillary has a 10 million debt. I hope she didn't mean she is the most qualified person to run America....... IN DEBT.

    April 21, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  9. Jay

    Lol, Lol,
    WHat a joke....
    Cant even manage a budget .....

    April 21, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  10. CP-Texas

    Obama's money comes in in small amounts – less than $100 at a time. This means he has a much braoder base of support....so more voters that support him with what they can afford with no strings attached. Hillary needs big donors that reach there limits quickly and are now tapped out. The people want Obama.

    Obama 08'

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

    Wow...I guess the credit crunch is a myth since all of you talking about Hillary's debt have none of your own.

    Obama is empty messages and whining that the republicans will eat up and spit out. No way I will vote for him. He is like the sneaky kid in school that listens to the answers of the smart child and says he agrees. What a loser.

    April 21, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  12. Marie in California

    I see that Obama is trying to "buy" a win in PA by spending three times as much on TV and radio commercials in that state. If he succeeds, he will be the "best candidate that money can buy."

    It just ain't right! I'd like to see ALL candidates limited to equal amounts of spending, just so they can campaign on equal ground and on WHO they are and where they stand on issues....and not on how much advertising they can buy.

    Hillary or McCain – 2008

    April 21, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  13. Pennsylvania for Obama

    Attached to Hillary is debt, scandal, division and confusion. Attached to Barack is prosperity, honesty, unity and order. If Hillary cannot manage her campaign, how can she manage the country? The only reason the 90's were prosperous was because of Bill Gates and the technology boom. The Clintons cannot take the credit. Hillary had 8 years to bring health care reform and she could not do. She makes promises and does not keep them, because she�s comfortable telling a lie.

    April 21, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  14. Canada for Clinton

    We love the Clintons in Canada!

    Go Hillary...we lok forward to another 4 years of entertaining evening news!

    April 21, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  15. Eva, VA


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

    I just made a 200 donation to Clinton and will likely make more in the coming weeks. God bless you Hillary.

    April 21, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  17. PA Joe

    Take notice fellow democrats! Clinton's campaign is finished. Let's rally around Obama so he can win this nomination and focus on the general election!!!

    April 21, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  18. Em Martin

    Wow, well, first of all, I'm absolutely an Obama supporter.

    Having said that though, I find it disgusting how much money all three of them have been spending on this race.. Kids are dying on the streets, war vets are treated like crap on their joke of social security and people are losing their homes left right and centre, and these three candidates feel the need to spend this much money on campaigning!


    April 21, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  19. CNN stupid

    Open your eyes!!!

    April 21, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  20. Andrea

    She calls Obama an eliteist while she and her campain wasted a fortune at the Bellagio in Vegas.

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

    Hillary can't seem to manage her campaign dollars. How is she going to manage the United States.

    April 21, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  22. Debbie in Texas

    Her money problems is another reason why the superdelegates should leave her alone. Her campaign has mismanaged money since the beginning. He has no right to think or make anyone believe she can be president, when she has problems managing a campaign. The way Senator Obama has managed his campaign is a direct coralation as to how he will manage the United States.

    April 21, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  23. hello

    all Obama supporter should watch Saturday night live.
    Obama as a president calling Hillary at 3 am. with no clue what to-do with crisis in oval office.
    Funny but true Obama has no experience compare to Hillary in world affair, and cannot stand against Putin, Jintao Hu,chavez and ahemedinijad.

    April 21, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  24. Frank Lee

    How will she run he country if this is the way she runs a campaign?

    April 21, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  25. Amazed

    Ok, you guys know if Obama was this much in debt he would have been ran off the campaign trail a long time ago. Why is she still in the race.....broke as a joke?

    April 21, 2008 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
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