Clinton Lends Her Campaign $6.4 Million
By Matthew Mosk
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton loaned her campaign $6.4 million in the past few weeks in an attempt to keep pace with the prolific fundraising by Sen. Barack Obama, and her aides said she would continue to dip into her personal account if necessary, campaign officials said this morning.
The campaign said Clinton made three separate loans leading into the Indiana and North Carolina primaries, of $1 million, $5 million and $425,000. Earlier this year she loaned the campaign $5 million -- a move that triggered a wave of contributions from small donors over the Internet.
"The campaign is continuing to raise an awful lot of money, but Senator Obama, to his credit, is also raising an awful lot of money," said Howard Wolfson, a Clinton campaign spokesman, during a conference call this morning. Wolfson said Clinton made the loans out of a "commitment to being competitive with Senator Obama on TV" and she is "willing to do so going forward in order to insure that our message is getting out."
The loans came as Clinton struggled to match the fundraising strength of Obama online, and keep pace with Obama's prolific spending on television and field operations. After her win in Pennsylvania, Clinton aides said she raised $10 million in Internet contributions. Last night, as she spoke in Indiana, Clinton's victory speech began with an appeal for more money. During this morning's conference call, Wolfson was asked if a similar rush of contributions had followed. He said he had not checked on those figures yet this morning.
Wolfson was also asked whether the loans were drawing on her personal income, or on the joint income of both the senator and former president Bill Clinton.
"There is no distinction between her share of their joint assets and her money," Wolfson said in response. "Legally she is entitled to use up to 50 percent of their jointly held assets, if she chooses. She's actually made about $11 million from her book and her Senate salary."
Wolfson said he was hopeful that, like the last time Clinton loaned the campaign money, supporters would see the loans as a sign of Clinton's personal commitment to the contest, and perhaps follow suit with their own donations.
"I think our supporters are impressed with her willingness to continue this contest in the face of so many voices telling her to get out," he said.
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