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. Rudy NYC

    Here's the part that I cannot understand.

    Many of her so called supporters are angry with the Obama Camp of perceived transgressions. Mostly they accuse Obama of playing the gender card, or blame them for falsely accusing Camp Clinton of playing the race card. When did any of this happen?

    Both Hill and Bill made racially insensitive comments in Jan.. Geraldine made racially charged remarks in Feb.. The media made much ado about the "card" playing. What came from Camp Obama? Mid-spring, Hillary claimed to have the "white vote".

    So if her "supporters" want to see her as the nominee, doesn't she need funds to run a fall campaign? Why are they blaming instead of fund raising? They are not supporters. They are Obama detractors.

    August 22, 2008 08:28 am at 8:28 am |
  2. LET IT GO


    August 22, 2008 08:28 am at 8:28 am |
  3. She's racist

    She never supported the black community so why should they support her now? Keep sending your money to Barack Obama, Hillary can just have her Former President Loser speak a few times and use that to pay down the debt.

    These people kill me. They're out of touch just like Obama said. Too much money and too much success to care about the people!

    August 22, 2008 08:28 am at 8:28 am |
  4. O PUMA

    this is HUMA – Hillary Unity My A.......

    August 22, 2008 08:28 am at 8:28 am |
  5. Mikey

    Aaaaaaaaaww, poor Hilary. And I use the term "poor", loosely.

    August 22, 2008 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  6. just as I thought

    What a jerk!!!!

    August 22, 2008 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  7. Wcme

    So PUMA's – Where are you? Are you so busy ignoring your lady entitle d's request to back the Democratic presumptive nominee and getting ready to be arrested by stringing bodily fluids in the streets at the convention (What is this, ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK?!?) that you cant give to Hillary the same amount as we are giving to OBAMA? Maybe a few less web sites and a few more Dollars and she might break even enough to have a few dimes to run a full campaign in the Fall too!

    August 22, 2008 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  8. Carmen Archambault

    No Obama donor will want to pay off the debt to Mark Penn or the $11 million Hillary loaned herself. Write that $16 million off and give us some details of who it is thats owed the remaining $8 million. If we had an idea of the legitimate figure – people who are not rich enough to write off their bad judgement extending credit to a political campaign – and then get the actual cost (i.e., deduct their profit from the amount Clinton owes them), its probably not a very big figure and she should easily be able to pay it off.

    Clearly, Obama would have won Pennsylvania, Ohio, Texas, Indiana and other states if Clinton hadn't been using a giant credit card.

    August 22, 2008 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  9. The Observer

    = = = the solution is easy! Have all her 18 million supporters donate $2.00. That is about the price for a cup of coffee. Fair?

    August 22, 2008 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  10. GregLandingham

    As an Obama supporter, I would not mind helping Clinton with her campaign debt-provided she gets out and REALLY works for Obama's election. Her die-hard supporters, who, oddly, seem more interested in complaining that she was not nominated than sending in checks, are STILL not committed to doing all they can to ensure a Democratic victory in November. They are more interested in making some kind of symbolic gesture at the Convention than bringing the party back together to defeat McCain. So if Clinton wants my money, she's going to have to let go of her personal ambitions for the duration and be blunt with her supporters that the Democratic Party, and Obama in particular, need their unqualified support.

    August 22, 2008 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  11. Fatima

    This is why I don't like politics. Why should it be Obama's problem to retire her ENTIRE debt. He has so much work to do increase his appeal with many americans and his polling numbers but he also has to spend most of his time and effort on the mismanagement of Clinton's campaign. Honestly, it doesnt make any sense. Maybe if he was leading McCain by 20 points he could increase his efforts but he already has so much work to do on his own presidential bid?? I think his actions thus far have been more than appropriate- I can't stand how the Clinton supporters are treating this situation....

    August 22, 2008 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  12. Linda

    I purpose that Hillary Clinton and some of her supporters stop winning about her self-imposed campaign debt. It was her personal decision to run for public office and she should not look to other candidates to bail her out!

    I don't hear any of the other former candidates (Richardson, Giuliani, Edwards, Romney, Huckabee, etc.,) crying, or the press reporting about their campaign debt?

    Again, it’s time for the press to report on issues that Americans are truly concerned with! Not political fodder or high school backbiting to generate "negative" campaign angst.

    My proposal, flood the papers with real issues such as the sagging economy, the high cost of education, road infrastructure funding issues, world hunger, crime, gun control, border control and report on people that are presenting real solutions to these problems.

    August 22, 2008 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  13. cathy H

    I am so sick of the griping from Hillary Clinton supporters. Just mail her in the measly one dollar bill from each of the 18 million of her so-called supporters. You keep yapping about her becoming president, yet she could not even budget her campaign properly.
    How dare you blame Obama. You wanted her to run, now "support" her. Then there are the continuous threats to vote Republican. Seriously, what kind of people are you?

    August 22, 2008 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  14. Andy

    Why are we responsible to retire her debt? It was her decision to use her own money not mine. She saw the same numbers and coverage that we did. She new she wasn't going to win. I am not a millionaire that could afford to spend 22 million dollars of my own money because I couldn't see past my own nose and didn't know when to throw in the towel. When I contribute further funds it will not be to the Clinton's to retire debt that they can afford. I don't make enough money to give a millionaire more of my money. It actual gives me great comfort to see a wealthy person from Washington feel the pinch for ill advised spending with their own money instead of all of us feeling the pinch spending ours.

    August 22, 2008 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  15. moderator sucks


    August 22, 2008 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  16. barbara from upstate NY

    Who paid off Bill Richardson's debt? What's the history of nominees bailing out the competition? Just what have the Clintons given Obama?

    August 22, 2008 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  17. Matt

    I don't understand why Obama should be considered ungracious. She did this to herself. As a country, aren't we learning RIGHT NOW that fiscal irresponsibility has consequences? What exactly have the Clintons done for Obama that obligates him to give her anything in return? Her campaign ads were insulting, shallow and wrought with the tactics of fear. This debt should not be placed solely upon the shoulders of Obama.

    August 22, 2008 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  18. DS

    Why do the donors care about Hillary's debt? It seems to me that they'd be better served cosying up to the actual nominee than hanging around on a sunken ship.

    Is there any precedent for a successful candidate paying off an 8-figure debt of his former rival?

    August 22, 2008 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  19. francine

    Remind me again..what have the Clintons done for Obama..besides fuel the negative feelings that Clinton supporters to this day still feel?

    August 22, 2008 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  20. abe hardesty

    The tone of this article, which seems to be written by a Clinton supporter, reflects the mentality of the entire Clinton dynasty: That although she and Bill willingly made the decision to go into debt, someone else should pay the bill. The Clintons have enough money to pay this off in cash. Obama, nor the taxpayers, shouldn't pay a penny of it.

    August 22, 2008 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  21. Fair and Balanced

    Let's set a precedent for every also-ran from this day forward to end their campaign deeply in debt and asking for handouts. Let's set a precedent for every deep pocket donor from this day forward to "lend" money over and above legal contribution limits to finance campaign activities knowing that the "debt" can always be "forgiven" after the campaign. Does anyone think this is a good idea? Perhaps the best action is for the FEC to prohibit the use of "debt" to finance election campaigns.

    August 22, 2008 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  22. sue

    And there are those who wanted her to lead the country. Wake up people, she doesn't know the first thing about economics. Had she backed out when she should have, she wouldn't be in this situation. She was like a bull dog, not knowing when to quit. may she have to give up her penthouse and live like the rest of us. she and bill have used public funds all their life and maybe it's time to have to work like 'real' folk.

    August 22, 2008 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  23. Tim

    Other than competition and negative comments during primary season, I'd like to know what Lynn Forrester believes the Clintons have given Obama that is worth $24 million or even the $11 million owed to outside investors. A few personal appearances aren't worth that much.

    August 22, 2008 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  24. Tony

    Now that's rich! Forrester calling Obama ungracious. What is ungracious is the way Clinton demeaned Obama during the campaign. What is ungracious is Clinton stubbornly continuing on, racking up more debt when she knew it was over – supposedly to prove a point and have her supporters 'respected' and 'have their voices'.

    If I'm not mistaken, your vote IS and has been, the method by which Americans have our voices heard.

    What is really galling though, is the idea that Obama must now work to pay off Clinton's debt when he has a campaign to run. She doesn't seem to be doing much of anything now. Surely all it would take is for her to ask her 18M supporters to each send $1. Why haven't they done that yet?

    Perhaps Forrester and others like her (who can't accept the fact that she lost), should focus on those 18M and leave Obama to his campaign.

    August 22, 2008 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  25. renegade

    Wahhh! Poor baby. She'll get the money through questionable sources, just as the Klintons have in the past. They are still multi-millionaire elitist snobs.

    August 22, 2008 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
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