May 11th, 2008
02:05 PM ET
15 years ago

Obama camp: Clinton not looking for a deal

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Barack Obama’s campaign denied the suggestion that Hillary Clinton is looking for a deal. "]

(CNN) - Sen. Barack Obama's presidential campaign rejected suggestions Sunday that Sen. Hillary Clinton is staying in the race in hopes of brokering some kind of agreement with the likely nominee.

"I don't believe that Senator Clinton is looking for a deal," Obama's chief campaign strategist David Axelrod told "Fox News Sunday," when asked about suggestions she may want the Obama campaign's help retiring her campaign debt.

"I don't think that's what this is about," he said.

Axelrod said he believes Clinton "will have the capacity to retire her debt."

He also denied rumors that the Clinton camp may be in some kind of discussions with the Obama camp to make her his running mate. "There's been no discussion about vice presidential nominees and this whole scenario," said Axelrod.

Clinton's top strategist Howard Wolfson told the same program, "We think Senator Clinton is going to be the nominee," and that he has "seen no evidence of her interest" in the number two slot.

"This isn't about debt retirement or about the veep," he said.

"This is about winning campaigns in key upcoming states, making the case to superdelegates that based on Senator Clinton's track record, winning the big states - Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan and Florida - running ahead of John McCain now nationally in polls and in those key states, that we would be the best nominee."

Both Democratic campaigns cite different polls to show the candidates' potential nationwide standing against Sen. McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee.

Wolfson added that if voters in West Virginia "want to end this on Tuesday, they're perfectly capable of it." Both campaigns expect Clinton to win in the state, and polls show her ahead by a wide margin.

But mathematically, Clinton's chances of collecting enough delegates to clinch the nomination have shrunk to the point that many consider her presidential aspirations for 2008 virtually over.

Wolfson said the Clinton camp has a total of about $20 million in debt.

Both campaigns have broken fundraising records. But Obama has outpaced Clinton since January, outspending her in advertising by a wide margin in many states. The Clinton camp has large sums of money in donations usable only for a general election, if she were to make it that far.

Axelrod said Clinton has "competed hard" and is "playing it out as she sees fit. I don't think she's waiting for a cue or a signal from us or an offer of financial assistance. And I think that would demean her to suggest otherwise."

He added, "I don't think even under any scenario... that we were going to transfer money from the Obama campaign to the Clinton campaign. We obviously need the resources we have. We have a great task ahead of us." He said he believes "there was a misunderstanding out there about that."

Axelrod also denied reports that Obama's wife Michelle wants nothing to do with the Clintons, presenting a potential obstacle to what some have called a "dream ticket."

"That's false," he said, emphasizing that there have not been "any overtures" about a possible Clinton-Obama ticket.

Wolfson and Axelrod appeared separately on "Fox News Sunday," avoiding the head-to-head matchups they have often engaged in previously. They also limited attacks on each other to a minimum, in a noticeable change from the back-and-forth throughout much of the campaign season.

soundoff (460 Responses)
  1. colene mitchell

    if someone can tell me of any president who came in with presidential experience because this is trial and error and they all had advisors and it is up to the president to take their advice or just do as he please as george bush jr. i do not think any other president future of past will make as many mistakes again. george bush runs this country for himself and his base the rich people. you think gas prices are so high just because, no way those two oilmen are retiring and they are making the money because they won't ever have to work again. bush and cheney are set for life.

    May 11, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  2. Ardnuas

    Her goal is to DIVIDE and DESTROY the Democratic Party so they CAN'T win in November.... I have seen the REAL Clinton's in action, and it is very frustrating.

    May 11, 2008 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  3. Ron R

    Let her pay her own debt, she could have saved alot of $ along time ago by bowing out instead her ego got in the way..

    May 11, 2008 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  4. moo moo

    Go home hillary

    it is soooo over for ya

    you are behind in everything wv will not help you

    good bye !!

    May 11, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  5. M.S. Indiana

    Maybe she dont know it is over and we are now trying to find a president..

    May 11, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  6. Lizzy in TX

    I am SO totally sick of all the mean nasty ignorant comments posted by some of the Obama supporters. Grow up people– act like an adult instead of a smart-alec dweeb. It is supporters like you that have caused me to decide I cannot support him come November.

    May 11, 2008 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  7. John

    I really like Hillary Clinton as a human being and that said, she needs to get a clue. It's time to unite the party she is now officially tied with Obama for superdelegates and she needs to give it up and put her support behind him. She is putting her future money in droves into her campaign and it is just too little too late for her to get back in this. Over the last week at least 30 more superdelegates have either walked away from her or come out of the woodwork and put their support behind Obama it is time for Clinton to say enough is enough and help Obama not fight against him. It is time to focus on McSame.

    May 11, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  8. Kathleen

    Obama will not have the required number of delegates when the primaries are over either, so stop making him the candidate already. Superdelegates should keep their mouths shut. They don't even count until the convention. Their "endorsements" now are meaningless.

    May 11, 2008 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  9. Greg Hiller

    Mr. Obama himself, being a much more learned, intelligent and thoughtful person than Mrs. Clinton; less trigger-happy, and in my opinion a man of truth, decency and honesty, wanting and promising real change, could never even consider a candidate for VP with the 20 year long baggage of Little Rock, Washington, and 8 years of the Bill Clinton White House, that Hillary has.
    Add to this the almost total lack of decency and integrity Clinton has shown throughout this campaign from the moment Obama began to win, not to mention the downright lies she has put out from time to time, and anyone who's not living on another planet can only conclude that Hillary Clinton would be the most unsuitable person imaginable to include in an Obama administration, in any function; and hopefully his very, very, last choice!

    May 11, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  10. lori

    Hey, this is one person we know thoroughly (and love dearly).

    Is she a beggar? NO.
    A whiner? NO.
    Looking for a handout? Never.

    STOP the negative attacks on her, will you?

    She is not a beggar, she has 100 million dollars and has yet to pay her vendors from Iowa. That makes her a dearly beloved cheat?

    She is not a whiner, she is a manipulator. She only whines when it serves her or cries or drops her g's or drinks shots or takes sniper fire.

    But as for not looking for a hand out – get a grip! Her web page begins with a request for a handout. Ask her donor base in La and DC about begging for hand outs.

    The truth is not a negative attack.

    Ask her why she has not paid her long over due debts out of her own pocket?

    As for 'caring' about all voters what part of la la land do you live in?

    Does she care about latte drinking Volvo driving voters or educated whites?

    I am a voter. She MOCKED my vote. I am unworthy of being counted unlike Mi or Fl voters where broken rules get you instant respect and increased importance. I didn't break any rules, I just went out and caucused for 8 hours on a Saturday, because I believed in my candidate so strongly.

    I am the blue collar white worker she claims as her base – white, female, 55 and I earn under 55K. One little problem (besides being from a state with a vote only worthy of derision) I"m not uneducated. I don't need a Hillary to think for me and of course...

    I am not taking sniper fire.

    May 11, 2008 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19