August 22nd, 2008
06:18 AM ET
13 years ago

Disclosure reports show Clinton still deeply in debt


[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Clinton is still carrying a sizeable campaign debt."](CNN) - Well over two months have passed since Hillary Clinton formally abandoned her White House bid, but newly-released Federal Election Commission reports show the New York senator has made little headway in paying off her sizeable campaign debt.

According to an FEC report filed Wednesday, Clinton's debt as of the end of July stood at just under $24 million - a decrease of only $1.2 million since the end of June. More than $13 million of that total is owed to the New York senator herself, while close to $11 million is owed to individual vendors. Clinton has suggested she is not seeking to pay back the money she owes herself.

The report also shows Clinton was only able to raise $2 million in the month of July - down from close to $3 million in June. By comparison, Barack Obama raised over $50 million for his White House bid in the same time period.

The report comes as some high-profile Clinton backers have expressed disappointment Obama has not made more of an effort to help his onetime rival retire her campaign debt.

“He has provided her with a pittance compared to what the Clintons have given Obama,” prominent Clinton backer Lynn Forrester told the Times of London. “Her debt could have been cleared within 10 days. It’s ungracious.”

Obama and Clinton have appeared at a handful of joint fundraising events, and the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee has publicly urged his supporters to donate to his former primary season rival - though at a joint appearance with Clinton at a July fundraiser, the Illinois senator forgot to call on his backers to contribute to her. (He later went back on stage to correct himself.)

According to Clinton's disclosure forms filed Thursday, she owes the most ($5.2 million) to her former top advisor Mark Penn's polling/political consulting firm, Penn, Schoen and Berland Associates.

soundoff (568 Responses)
  1. Frank

    And why should we care?

    August 22, 2008 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  2. damocles

    “He has provided her with a pittance compared to what the Clintons have given Obama”

    What have the Clintons given Obama? Nothing, but trouble and division. Mark Penn devised the racist attack on Obama during the primary. Why should Obama pay him $5,000,000? That would be rediculous. Why don't Hillary's supporters pay her bills?

    Hillary is a Lieberman Democrat. Maybe McCain should pay off her debt since 17% of her supporters intend to vote for McCain and 27% are undecided.

    August 22, 2008 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  3. Ron L

    What I find VERY interesting about this is:
    1) Hillary says she had 18 million supporters and she can't wipe out the $11,000,000 she owes vendors. If they supporteed her so you would think she could a least get an average of $0.75 per supporter.
    2) Hillary has a HUGE UNREALISTIC EGO..She actually believed that her supporters and Obama's would help wipe out a debt that she ran up after it was ALMOST mathematically impossible for her to win!!
    3) Hillary though they should could actually insult Obamas character in ways that would be expected from the Republicans and then THINK Obama's supporters would help reduce her debt..WHAT a EGO???
    She will not reduce this debt more than another 20 to 30% because the most Democrats KNOW for the most part it was ALL about her EGO and wanting to leverage her way into the nomination. This was an insult to many of us because she was trying to change the very rules SHE agreed to.

    August 22, 2008 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  4. bill from pa

    She continued to dance when arithmetically she was eliminated. Time to pay the piper. Thank god she lost. We've already had 8 years of a bafoon who can't handle finances. We don't need another 4.

    August 22, 2008 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  5. rlp-politcal

    good – she should stay in debt. she is not behide Obama. Obama knows it that is why he is not going out to get her any money.

    August 22, 2008 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  6. Abby

    Come on, PUMA. Help a sister out . What money do you think she will campaign with if you manage to steal away the nomination from Obama? Be practical and pay her debt. One $1.50 each people. just buck fifty.

    August 22, 2008 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  7. Greg FL.

    I wish her well, but the huge debt was her own fault. She and everyone else knew she couldn't win after North Carolina and she kept on going and spending inspite of the facts.

    I do have to ask. Where are all her supporters? They are so angry she lost they are willing to tank this election for the Democrats and yet they won't send her money to retire her debt.

    August 22, 2008 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  8. Jean, Indiana

    If Clinton's 18 million voters would step up to the plate with $1.33 each, the debt would be paid. Seventy-five cents would cover the portion not owed to herself.

    What a bargain for those who still think Obama and the rest of the world owes her something.

    August 22, 2008 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  9. John Hussein Karsten

    Typical Clinton supporters......they want Obama to retire her debt and then turn around and say McWar 08 Hill 12.....whatever people. All 18 million could just send in a buck or two......but hear we are again talking about Clinton. She is the bad penny that you can not get rid of.

    August 22, 2008 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  10. mccainisNOTpresidential

    As an Obama supporter I had to hold my nose and send Hillary some money to try and help retire her debt ,and I must say I am NOT pleased with my investment. I thought she was going to do everything she could to get Senator Obama elected. ONE event, that is everything she can do? Come on Hillary let's put this race away. WE NEED YOU AND BILL TO HELP US elect Senator Obama. There, is that enough respect?

    August 22, 2008 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  11. Andy Dem in DR via CA & NY

    When she went negative and psuedo-race bating in the last three months to try to tear down Obama's momentum, it saddened me. On top of that were the disclosures of her debt accumulation. As soon as she "suspended" (not conceded) her campaign, I started getting Hillary emails, asking me to contribute to HER, when she failed to run her campaign effectively. Personally, I'm sorry for her decision to vote for war and how she ran her campaign – she's done so much for children and deserves her due. Yet, I want the GOP out of the White House and wish I could see her effort to support her Party as more important than resolving her debt – that will come with the next book deal, speaking fees, and consulting, I'm sure... These emails have got to stop until the Dems have won. AND, if we don't, a lion's share of the responsibility falls on her shoulders – and I'll NEVER donate to her again.

    August 22, 2008 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  12. Ind

    Why is this a surprise to anyone ? Obama is a realist and has absolutely no trouble casting even people close to him like Reverend Wright aside. And there's no moral obligation: Clinton went into debt tearing him down – why should he waste resources on her that he needs to fend off Senator McCain ?

    August 22, 2008 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  13. Susan

    Lynn Forrester should quit whining. The wealthy friends of the clintons could have cleared her debt a long time ago. perhaps if the Clinton's had gooten on board with the rest of the DNC in supporting the nominee wholeheartedly, then Obama supporters may have donated to help her. Things ( especially money) are just not handed to people, they need to earn it.

    August 22, 2008 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  14. McCain...whats in your closet?

    Obama supporters are just waiting to see how she and her supporters behave at the convention. if they don't act right then Hill is over, if they do many of the Obama supporters will rally to help her

    August 22, 2008 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  15. clyde

    We're supposed to feel sorry for a woman who couldn't manage her own campaign finances to the point she blew through $250,000,000 in less than a year? Let Bill write her a check from his Saudi connections. Vendors might eventually learn there's a reason newspapers, radio and television stations require politicians to pay IN ADVANCE for media. Otherwise, if they lose, you lose. Tough.

    August 22, 2008 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  16. Travis

    She wasted all that money on a failed campaign? Wow.

    August 22, 2008 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  17. Jano1234

    ... and this is why we Hillary supporters should back Obama? He has done nothing to help her. He needs her; she does NOT need him. McCain 08, Hillary 2012

    August 22, 2008 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  18. Rudy NYC

    Obama "ungracious"?

    I guess that person forgot what Clinton's original "concession" speech sounded like on the night of the final primary. It was belligerent and loaded with disdain. But despite that, Obama was humble and commending of Sen. Clinton. throughout the next week.

    Even her official concession speech has lukewarm. Bill never made public amends, and probably never will. The ball is in the Clinton court, they lost. If they want to play, they must play by Obama's rules. Since they do not wish to play under his rule, then they can remain bench warmers mired in debt.

    It's time for the Clinton's to suck it up, and kiss up. They just simply do not want to do that. Let's see what they do at the convention.

    August 22, 2008 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  19. Sara Shamili

    Why those 18 millions who apparently voted for her, don't help paying her debt. If either of them just donates 2 dollars then almost all her debt would be paid and since it has not happened one could ask whether they were really Democrats or... most likely Rebublicans who voted for her because they knew that if Hillary was nominated, she could have been easily defeated by McCain.

    August 22, 2008 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  20. Spencer

    Ask PUMA for a loan Hillary. if they are so die hard to see you get nominated, they should be digging in their wallets to help you with your debt. And don't come to the convention asking for donations because you won't get a red cent from me.

    August 22, 2008 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  21. BxGrrl

    "Ungracious"?? What does Obama owe her? SHE'S THE QUEEN OF UNGRACIOUSNESS!

    August 22, 2008 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  22. Another Poster - Sacramento, CA

    August 22nd, 2008 8:14 am ET
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    I don't see a mention of the 25,000,000 cash on hand she had as of July 31st.. She could retire her own debt. Why isn't she paying off her own debt? That should be the bigger question here. Obama should be paying something she could pay? Am I totally missing something here?

    As reported by the FEC..
    Latest Cash On Hand: $25,176,553
    Debts Owed By: $23,973,973
    July 31st…

    Can you post my comment please.....?

    August 22, 2008 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  23. Remi N.

    You guys want to blame Hillary's debt on Obama, that is a nonsens! Obama has called people to help retire her debt., but don't forget that Obama still running for President, and he needs a lot of money to face the Republican machine.By the way, where are all the 18 millions who claim they are Hillary voters, if each of them gives just 1$, She would be free of debt. Where are all the PUMA folks, if you love Hillary that much, why don't you help her, instead of pointing your finger on Obama???

    August 22, 2008 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  24. dugie

    Imagine the financial mess she would have the country in if she had won. She could not even run a campaign right.

    August 22, 2008 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  25. Christina

    Response to quote below: It's not Obama or his supporters responsibility to alleviate Clinton's debt. What did she give him? Surely not the nomination because he won that according to policy. She needs to handle her debt!

    “He has provided her with a pittance compared to what the Clintons have given Obama,” prominent Clinton backer Lynn Forrester told the Times of London. “Her debt could have been cleared within 10 days. It’s ungracious.”

    August 22, 2008 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
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