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. Rom,NY

    Dear DAN & Jay,

    it's not "loose", it's "lose" you meant. That proves that exit polls are right when they show that uneducated folks vote overwhelmingly for Hillary.

    April 21, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  2. I see

    A bunch of elitist snobs in here ridiculing everyone but Obama. He's a politician, just like Clinton and McCain.... which means not trustworthy...

    April 21, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  3. Pennsylvanian for Obama

    How will she fix our economy when she can't even properly budget for her campaign?

    Oh, and to all of those saying "why can't she use her own money?" you're not allowed to use personal finances when you run for president. You're only allowed to use fundraising money and donations. Don't you think she would have dipped into that 109 million by now if she was allowed to?

    April 21, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  4. jack

    Get a grip you kids. Obama may have more money that doesnt mean he know how to run a country. He couldnt even run his own church. hahahahahahaha Never in my life have i ever heard such a skeemer ,liar, and a total bull-sh#$er in my life.

    April 21, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  5. Michelle, Indiana

    It makes me wonder how she can claim to have a great economic plan, but can't even keep her presidential campaign out of the red. Even John McCain, who professed to not knowing much about economic matters, is in better shape financially than her campaign is. If her campaign is any indication of what kind of president she'll make, we're in trouble IF she gets the nomination.

    Please Pennsylvania, put a stop to the bickering and division of the Democratic Party tomorrow. It's in your hands.

    April 21, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  6. Judith from ohio

    Dont worry Hillary ...Please call your foreign friends like Elton John to raise money for you. Sorry no more donations from me.

    You just manage your finances ..so please do NOT even try to manage the US economy.

    April 21, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  7. Rom

    Dear DAN & Jay,

    it's not "loose", it's "lose" you meant. That proves that exit polls are right when they show that uneducated folks vote overwhelmingly for Hillary

    April 21, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  8. Alex H

    The debt isn't really important when viewing the success of the campaign in going forward through the primary season, only the $9 million she has left to spend. She'll be able to draw it out until June, that's not going to be a problem, but going into the general election she's going to have to spend well over $10 million (more than that actually… she'll be collecting more debt to reduce spending now… I wouldn't be surprised if it's $30 before August) of her public financing allowed during the general election on debts from the primary election leaving her quite horribly crippled to begin the G.E. against McCain.

    (Sorry my comment isn't as inflammatory as the others CNN, but post it anyways, please... Number to times deleted so far: 1)

    April 21, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  9. Marc

    Maybe she hasn't brainwashed her supporters into bankruptcy like her opponent has.

    April 21, 2008 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  10. Len

    Becky in IN.....Barak knows how to run a campaign from his youger days as a community organizer in Chicago.You are foolish to believe that he is trying to by the campaign.You are just angry because your candidate(Hillary) is not winning.

    April 21, 2008 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  11. Amber

    Are you kidding me? Hillary needs to stepdown, she's in debt how can she run a country and can't even handle her campaign financial woes?
    She needs to bow out gracefully and maybe if she's lucky Obama will consider putting her on his ticket as VP.

    April 21, 2008 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  12. Paula from Canada PLEASE POST!

    Is this why Larry King is giving her prime time the night before the Primary.. so she can cry a little, get some more dough??? I have always been a huge Larry King fan but giving her a whole hour of prime time coverage the night before an election well that is NOT fair. NOT FAIR! She has so badly managed her dough that she gets a freebie on King.. makes me ill really...
    Let her use her 100 million if she is so in debt.. what a farce really and poor planning King.

    April 21, 2008 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  13. Tamika

    i could have sworn that the Arizona Senator dogged Obama for the public financing..is he flip-flopping as well? If he accepts public financing in the General will he be going back on what he says?(maybe i am missing something here.. i dont usually pay much attention to anything he says)

    April 21, 2008 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  14. NY Girl

    Wow. She's broke. Isn't that clear evidence no one believe she can win? Hopefully, once Barack wins tomm., she will drop out.

    Obama '08

    April 21, 2008 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  15. Christine, Tampa

    First of all, to the person who said Obama has fat billionaires. The majority of Obama's money has come from individual donors. That's a fact you can't twist.

    Secondly, Hillary had a huge lead going in and she blew it. She has run a poor campaign not just financially, but overall. Another fact you cannot dispute.

    April 21, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  16. Will

    The race for Hill has been over since Texas. she would need to win a combined total of 60% of the delegates and super delegates left over to lock the nomination. Obama only 44%. As for money it's the same issue, the American people are also voting with their money. But the media will not let her campaign die. I supported Hill in my State primary in early February.

    April 21, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  17. Hugh, IN

    The primary race comes down to this;

    Vote Hillary, if you want a Democrat in the White House in 2009.

    Vote Obama, if you want a Republican in the White House in 2009.

    Obama may, and I hope and pray not, win the nomination but HE WILL NOT BE PRESIDENT!!!

    Hillary will bring back the peace and prosperity we enjoyed in the 1990's.

    April 21, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  18. Alex

    I don't think it is wise to put someone in the highest Ofiice in the land, if they are unable to successfully handle financial matters in their campaign.

    Our country, especially now, need good financial administration.

    April 21, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  19. Deb from Minnesota

    No matter what ...I still can't bring myself to vote for Obama.

    April 21, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  20. Saad from NJ

    recession worries.... WHAT?
    economic troubled times.... WHAT?
    people having a hard time with raising gas prices... WHAT?
    low consumer confidence equal low consumer spending.... WHAT?
    this is not funny.... WHAT?

    April 21, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  21. Kat

    Let's see...who would you rather have a beer with–probably Obama. Who would you rather go to a ballgame with...probably Obama. Who would you rather BBQ with-probably Obama......sound like a pattern here??? (Think W)

    Been down that road before. No thanks!!!

    Go Hillary!!!!

    April 21, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  22. Connie

    Not very fiscally responsible, eh, Hillary? Just another for you to not be in the White House.

    April 21, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  23. Greg, NY

    Jay April 21st, 2008 10:23 am ET

    nice to know Obama is wasting all that money and still is going to loose PA!

    It's called strategy. Outspend your opponent and make them go into debt. Looks like Obama accomplished this goal.

    P.S. Learn how to spell 'lose.'

    April 21, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  24. mitch from ark.

    ooops.i donated $25 to obama.i suppose i'll be called an 'elitist',now.

    April 21, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  25. aj in sf

    I think it's very irresponsible of her to the people in PA and elsewhere that she now owes money to. What are the campaign finance rules? Will these people get paid? That's a lot of people who are owed a lot of money, and not paying them is a pattern she started early on in this campaign. To me, this is a lack of respect and a sign of a selfish mentality.

    April 21, 2008 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
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