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. CC

    Should Obama make an effort to help Clinton out of debt? That's the price you pay when campaigning. If the situation were reversed, would the country insist on helping Obama?? Most likely they would not.

    August 22, 2008 07:56 am at 7:56 am |
  2. Kenneth

    If she has so many supporters, enough to cause trouble at the convention, why aren't they helping her with her debt? I'm sure 18 million supporters can help her. Why does this have to be a slight on Obama? Had she just dropped out in February like everyone said she should, this would not have happened. All she did was weaken the party, weaken the candidate, and give hope to the Republicans. And if Obama loses, who does she think she'll be up against in 2012? Obama, of course, but with four more years of experience, a new familiarity with the public, and someone to blame for his previous loss.

    August 22, 2008 07:56 am at 7:56 am |
  3. T1

    She and Bill have the money-they should be like all other Americans. If you play, you pay. Nobody else should be expected to help bail her out of this.

    August 22, 2008 07:56 am at 7:56 am |
  4. Nadine

    Obama's supporters did not create that debt while at the same time many were willing to support Hillary if she had won the nominee. But you can't expect folks to give monies to her campaign after she deliberately and wilfully demean Obama. You heard of reaping what you sow!

    August 22, 2008 07:57 am at 7:57 am |
  5. Dem for Unity

    PUMAs help the woman out. all 18 million of you so called Hillarepublicans.

    August 22, 2008 07:58 am at 7:58 am |
  6. Ron

    Well PUMAS, you have been gripping, complaining, and threatening to elect John McCain if you don't have Clinton on the ticket. Let's see you put your money and your fundraising skills where your mouth is.

    So, so tired of hearing you bitter people complain and threaten and then turn around and see that in the past two months Clinton has only raised $5M to erase her huge debt. I respect everyone's right to an opinion but I abhor those idiots that want to stand up and be heard yet do nothing, never lifting a finger to do more than open their mouth.

    August 22, 2008 07:59 am at 7:59 am |
  7. Dan Richman

    Poor Hillary! After selling influence for YEARS, she now finds herself in debt after a poorly-run campaign.

    Spare me. Obama owes her nothing. She is corrupt and it's a good thing she lost.

    August 22, 2008 08:00 am at 8:00 am |
  8. Cafferty wife

    It's totally her fault she didn't know when to quit and for all her multi million supporters supposedly won't they help her? idiots

    August 22, 2008 08:00 am at 8:00 am |
  9. mike

    Why is everyone feeling sorry for her, theres people here that have lost their buisnesses and homes, theyre not gettin there money back.dont blame obama cause hilary lost. thats her fault and responcibility.She still a millionaire, she still one of the most powerfull people in the world. Stop acting like shes ganna get thrown out on the streets.

    August 22, 2008 08:00 am at 8:00 am |
  10. JA Cook

    I remember being dismayed that she chose to run up the tab long after it was clear that she wasn't going to win. Meantime, she was continuing to damage the clear winner.

    18 million voices at $1.50 and she's over the top.

    August 22, 2008 08:00 am at 8:00 am |
  11. Deb, Allentown, PA

    This is exactly why Hillary can not come out of the convention as the nominee. Her campaign finance difficulties will be a prime target for the Republicans. No matter how much the PUMAs may want her, it's not realistic to think she could beat McCain with this mismanagement on her resume.

    And PUMAs (real PUMAs, not Republicans pretending to be PUMAs), I have, on this forum, beseeched you to not vote for McCain as he will set women's rights back 100 years. His agreement that we may need a draft should scare you all beyond belief. These are our children's lives you're playing with.


    August 22, 2008 08:00 am at 8:00 am |
  12. Ray

    Huh. Well now that's funny. The PUMAs said they had raised between $6 and $10 million for her. I wonder what happened to all that money. Unless, of course, the PUMAs never really raised it in the first place, despite their claims to the contrary.

    August 22, 2008 08:00 am at 8:00 am |
  13. Warren

    So as I understand this article, 3/4 of Mrs. Clinton's debt is owed to herself and Mark Penn. She's crying "poor mouth" because she happened to just have laying around about $13 Million Dollars she could "lend" herself to get elected. If she wants the office, let her "pony-up" her own money if it is that imprtant to her. If she is dumb enough to hire bad people well then let her learn a lesson she has not learned yet; that is she still has to pay them (ie.: Mark Penn). Keeping consistant with true "Democrat mind-set" the winner should have to pay for the losers. STOP BEING A CRY BABY!!!

    August 22, 2008 08:00 am at 8:00 am |
  14. Vietnam COMBAT Vet, OHIO

    Gee, since Mark Penn is such a "wonderful guy" and a "staunch" supporter of Hillary's, he should call it even!!! Yea right!!! Let the Clintons pay the debt. After all, Bill stole enough of our money, from those stupid enough to hear him speak!!!! They have over 100 million dollars. No one made her stay in the race as long as she did. And where are all her so called supporters? Why aren't they giving half their paychecks ever week to Hillary till her debt is paid off? Put your money where your Clinton loving mouth is!!!!!!!

    August 22, 2008 08:01 am at 8:01 am |
  15. Robert

    I don't understand why Obama should be expected to pay off Hillary's debt with the money he now still needs for his own campaign and to fight off negative Ads by McCain and the Republicans .
    These are campaign expenses due to overspending by HRC and I think it is the Democratic Party itself, who pushed her into these expenses, is really much more responsible for them and should be the one to help her out...Not Obama! Hillary was caught up in the big Democratic push that is behind every on of their candidates so they should be held responsible for their part in the game.

    August 22, 2008 08:01 am at 8:01 am |
  16. dgregory

    i dont understand how the clinton fundraiser tried to blame obama

    obama cant make us donate to hillary, he can urge, but he cant make us.

    if we dont donate to her is his fault?

    thats some shady logic

    August 22, 2008 08:02 am at 8:02 am |
  17. Bob from Richmond VA

    Where are those 18 million voters that she keeps talking about? Seems like if she had all the support that she talks about she would have no problem retiring her debt – or could they be thinking that it's her own fault??

    August 22, 2008 08:03 am at 8:03 am |
  18. dittohead with forty names

    Now ask me if I care?

    August 22, 2008 08:03 am at 8:03 am |
  19. Vietnam COMBAT Vet, OHIO

    Oh, by the way, would somebody pay my debts for me?

    August 22, 2008 08:03 am at 8:03 am |
  20. richard, Coweta Ok

    The Clinton's are wourth 110 million. She owe's 11 million. She wanted the job but didn't have what it took to get it. What;s the problem. Pay your bills yourself. I don't have anyone paying my bills.

    August 22, 2008 08:03 am at 8:03 am |
  21. NewYork10011

    Hillary and her supporters need to get real – they seriously want Obama to help her retire HER debt from her failed bid for the nomination? Perhaps if her supporters REALLY believed in her they would help her with her debt. Why should Obama and his supporters give money to Hillary when almost every cent is going to be needed by Obama to win the white house from McCain?

    This just shows how out of touch Hillary and her narrow-focused supporters are.

    August 22, 2008 08:04 am at 8:04 am |
  22. James, Boston

    How exactly have the Clintons helped Barack? Besides turning so many people against him?

    He has been telling supporters to help her out. If her 18 million supporters would help her out of debt then they wouldn't need all the rest of America to give money to pay off her failed attempt at a dynasty run.

    If Obama gave the money that was donated to him to help his election then he would be slapping his supporters in the face and showing that he can't be trusted to use money given to him for a purpose.

    I am sure all 18 million Clinton supporters have a reason why someone else should bail them out of this trouble.

    August 22, 2008 08:04 am at 8:04 am |
  23. BG--Huntsville, AL

    Hillary knew she could not win but she stayed in the race for her supporters. Why haven't her supporters helped her pay off these debts? Why should Obama be responsible and she did everything in her power to bring him down. Even giving John McCain's camp legs to attack Obama. I just don't feel sorry for her. Get those 18 million votes to give Hillary 2 dollars ea. That should pay off her debts and then some...

    August 22, 2008 08:05 am at 8:05 am |
  24. Deliboo1970

    what happened to all those diehard 18 million voters that she had. Plus what does Obama owe to her since she created this debt due to miss management. To me its just as crazy as a co-worker comming to you to help pay off their car. Yea you might help with a little but the blame and road to fix it must be traveled alone. WHAT DOES HE OWE HER AND IF THE SHOE WERE ON THE OTHER FOOT????

    August 22, 2008 08:06 am at 8:06 am |
  25. Vietnam COMBAT Vet, OHIO

    CNN, Ihave a question! How come you let Wolf Blitzer change his name so often? From Wolf Blitzer to Wolf Clinton and now Wolf McCain. The guy couldn't be unbiased if his life depended on it!!!

    August 22, 2008 08:06 am at 8:06 am |
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