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. Tupac

    Obama supporters are disappointed at how negative HC was during the primaries and how Bill still thinks Obama is not ready to be President.

    So why should money from Obama's supporters go to pay of HC's dept?

    I rather lose on Obama's message then win with HC as the VP.

    August 22, 2008 07:09 am at 7:09 am |
  2. Onlooker from outside

    Why has her debt got anything to do with Obama?

    Why is the Ticker making it sound like Obama's just not giving her a cut of his money to help her out, when you already know he can't just hand over money to her, he's under the same regulations every one else is.

    And if he's running for president, shouldn't he be looking for all the available money himself for his campaign?

    Incidentally, why oh why does CNN always give McCain the last word on everything? Quite literally, anything that comes up, finishes with McCain.

    Bring back Jeffrey Toobin – the only truly unbiased sounding member of the CNN

    August 22, 2008 07:12 am at 7:12 am |
  3. Freaky

    Ungracious?? You have a hard fought campaign in which you choose to spend more than you can raise and then you lose. As the dust settles, you expect the winner to pay your debts. May I ask who is ungracious, Ms. Forrester? Pathetic. This is the person who wanted to lead us out of our financial and international woes? I certainly hope Obama does not consider Clinton for VP for even a NY second. To my mind that would raise the biggest concerns I could have over his judgment. Goodbye Ms. Clinton. Go away and take your reckless ambition with you.

    August 22, 2008 07:12 am at 7:12 am |
  4. Ann, Bethesda MD

    Is Obama somehow supposed to twist the arms of his contributors to force them to contribute to Hillary? Everyone is aware that Hillary is in debt. He can't make people clear her debt.

    Why doesn't Hillary ask her "supporters" to send their money to her rather than paying for protests in Denver? What is she doing to eliminate her own debt?

    August 22, 2008 07:13 am at 7:13 am |
  5. Johnny the Boy

    She's worth at least $90 million; what's the problem?

    Oh, that's right. She wants us to pay for it.

    I wonder if she would pay my debt?

    August 22, 2008 07:14 am at 7:14 am |
  6. C from NYC

    To be honest this is not the time for Dems on Obamas side (myself included) to be saying "I told you so" to HRC supporters. We are in this race against McCain together and as wonderful as it would be for Obama to give HRC $15million to retire her debt Team Obama can not afford to at this point. I do hope she finds a way to pay it off but right now I am busy supporting and donating to the presumtive nom. to be able to give anything to her cause. Ironicly this is one of the parts of being an American..dealing with debt.

    August 22, 2008 07:16 am at 7:16 am |
  7. Mike Dallas

    If she had done the math, she would have known the last two months of her campaign were useless expenditures. So, the bulk of this debt is due to her unrealistic continuation of her campaign, presumably at the urging of supporters, so, now she should urge them to pay it off!

    August 22, 2008 07:17 am at 7:17 am |
  8. Enlightened Voter

    She mismanaged her debt and Barack is supposed to bail her out??? Only in America. He better not give her a dime of the money I have donated to him. Wish they would go away forever and what has she done for him besides demand prime time at the convention and use their supposed campaigning together to beg for more money? Aren't we sick of her, God knows I am.

    August 22, 2008 07:17 am at 7:17 am |
  9. gapeach

    I don't know why all these weathly Clinton donors are blaming Obama. Obama can not make his top donors give money to Hillary, he can only ask them. They need to put their money where their mouths are. Beside Hillary has no one to blame but herself, she should have conceded when there was no chance to get the nomination but instead she continued to rack up more debt in a hopeless cause. What happened to all her women voters, P.U.M.A. fanatics and her hard working americans, WHITE americans. They can't donate a $1.50 a piece to their idol to get her debt paid off.

    August 22, 2008 07:17 am at 7:17 am |
  10. obamanite08

    She should have thought about that when she was not so nice to Obama. Where are her 18 million supporters? If each one gave her $2.00 she could pay off her debt. Don't put Obama on a guilt trip.

    August 22, 2008 07:18 am at 7:18 am |
  11. Ruth G. Harmon

    Why should anyone donate to a campaign that spent money like drunken sailors. That's one of many reasons I'm supporting Obama. If she couldn't control her own spending, why should we help cover her debt. I'm extremely disappointed in Clinton and how she managed her campaign.

    August 22, 2008 07:18 am at 7:18 am |
  12. Anonymous

    Boo hoo!

    August 22, 2008 07:21 am at 7:21 am |
  13. Michigan voter

    How is it ungracious for Obama to have not paid off her debt? Why should he, she made the debt... she needs to pay it herself. She could have stopped this campaign long before she did, and that would have saved her a lot of money. This just proves that Hillary wasn't the right person to run our country. I believe Obama is the gracious one even ask his supporters to help her.

    The Clintons are over...please get off my tv and computer!!

    August 22, 2008 07:21 am at 7:21 am |
  14. Mike

    Please, she's not going to pay any of that back, if she does great, she can earn 24 mil in a heart beat if she wants. Don't make sound like she's in trouble are you kidding me. The last person getting paid is Penn's consultancy and that will be in some settlement after about a decade of his people filing lawsuits. What do you think politics is, the mortgage industry.

    August 22, 2008 07:24 am at 7:24 am |
  15. Debbie Pineau

    Didn't I hear that she made over $100 million within the last few years. Why should Barak pay off her debt? Her and Bill spent the money, took a chance and now they should pay it off themselves.

    August 22, 2008 07:24 am at 7:24 am |
  16. Guy

    She should have gotten out when she had the chance, now she needs to pay up and shut up.

    August 22, 2008 07:25 am at 7:25 am |
  17. Lee, New York City

    She treated her campaign funds just like she would treat the US Budget if she were elected President...spend, spend, spend. Her entitlement programs (universal health care, baby bonds, give-away programs) would cost the taxpayers bilions.

    She raises money from the little people and from reports, she spent extravagantly on her campaign (I guess that's what people do when they think they're entitled to the Presidency as she thought she was).
    She figured "she can't lose."

    She and her husband can afford to pay off the debt by themselves.

    August 22, 2008 07:25 am at 7:25 am |
  18. Sophia, 23, FL

    Where's PUMA? Where's her 18 million supporters that can bail her out of debt? Why don't they all just donate $1 to her campaign to bail her out? Instead they are all wasting to their trying to be Anti-Obama, thinking McCain will do better for them.


    OBAMA '08

    August 22, 2008 07:25 am at 7:25 am |
  19. Ben

    Candidates can and often do pay the campaign debts of their opponents, which is why some expect Obama to pay her debt. But this situation is different. She stayed in the race, drastically increasing her debt, well after it was clear she wasn't going to win. So, he is somewhat ungracious for not paying down her debt, but she too was ungracious by being too stubborn to drop out of the race and increasing the amount she was asking him to pay.

    August 22, 2008 07:25 am at 7:25 am |
  20. real talk

    I guess that's what you get when you continue to campaign knowing that you are not going to win. She dug this hole, so she needs to climb out of it on her own.

    August 22, 2008 07:26 am at 7:26 am |
  21. Sam

    She should get the money from her friends at Walmart, where she's on the Executive Board.

    August 22, 2008 07:27 am at 7:27 am |
  22. zumm

    I have donated to Clinton, even though i'm a staunch supporter of Barack Obama. let the PUMA's and the haters of Barack know that it's time for all of us to get behind our nominee and pursue his White House bid with vigour and not let Mcbush, McSame, McCain rule our lives for another 4 miserable years...........................UNITED WE STAND

    OBAMA '08

    August 22, 2008 07:27 am at 7:27 am |
  23. Phyllis Taylor

    I don't quite understand why people would think Obama should pay off Hilary Clinton's debt. She chose to run, it's unfortunate she created such a huge debt for herself.
    If the shoe was on the other foot given her past cutting comments against him, I doubt if she had gotten the nomination that we would see her running with a checkbook in hand to pay off any of Obama debts.
    It's like asking a stranger to pay off mine.

    August 22, 2008 07:28 am at 7:28 am |
  24. murray

    I don't see that Barack owes her anything in the way of paying off her campaign debts. Her campaign was miserably managed, so, are we, the Barack supporters, supposed to "chip in" to clear the debt? Why? If I wanted to contribute to Hillary's campaign, I would have. Why doesn't Bill going on some money making rounds and help her out?

    To the Hillary supporters who either won't vote in November or will vote for McCain, I have three words.....Supreme Court nominations.

    August 22, 2008 07:28 am at 7:28 am |
  25. Warren Cook

    Hillary should ask her 18 million supporters to each put two US post office stamps in an envelope and mail them to her. That would about cover it. As for her debt to Mark Penn, why would anyone worry about paying him off?

    August 22, 2008 07:28 am at 7:28 am |
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