FACT CHECK: Hillary Clinton Says She ‘Did Not Put Down Conditions’ to Support Obama in 2008

There was one major condition for Clinton to get out of race in 2008—money

Hillary Clinton
AP

Hillary Clinton said that Bernie Sanders should follow the example she set in 2008 when she threw her support behind then-Sen. Barack Obama without putting down "conditions," but a look back to 2008 shows that Clinton refused to step aside until Obama promised to help her with her campaign debt.

In her Monday interview with MSNBC's Rachel Maddow, Clinton said her decision to drop out of the race and tell her supporters to get behind Obama was not the result of negotiation.

"Let’s look at what happened in 2008, because that’s the closest example," Clinton said. "We got to the end in June and I did not put down conditions. I didn’t say, ‘You know what, if Senator Obama does X, Y, and Z, maybe I’ll support him.’ I said, ‘I am supporting Senator Obama, because no matter what our differences might be, they pale in comparison to the differences between us and the Republicans.’"

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"That is what I think one does," Clinton concluded. "That is certainly what I did and I hope that we will see the same this year."

Here's video of the full remark:

Although Clinton said she threw her support behind Obama without preconditions, a stroll down memory lane indicates she strayed from the truth.

Reports from early June 2008 show that the Obama campaign's willingness to assist Clinton with the massive campaign debt she had amassed was a major sticking point when it came to her political surrender.

Top Clinton adviser Harold Ickes told major campaign donors that Clinton "was unlikely to pull out of the race until the issue of her massive debts was resolved," according to a June 3, 2008, report from the Daily Telegraph, which also indicated that negotiations were in progress.

"It’s not about the vice-presidency or any other position she might get," a source close to a donor said. "It’s about the money—in particular the Clinton family money."

"The Obama campaign might have to reach deeply into its well-stocked coffers in order to secure the full support of Mrs. Clinton and her husband Bill in the November general election," wrote the Telegraph's Toby Harnden.

The Clinton campaign was more than $22 million in debt at the time, and $12 million of that was money Clinton had loaned to the campaign herself.

Clinton dropped out of the race less than a week after the report, asking supporters to put their energy into getting Obama elected.

CNN reported weeks later that Obama reached out to his campaign donors asking them to help Clinton with her campaign debt. Obama said the same day that he, Hillary Clinton, and Bill Clinton would be "working closely together over the next couple of weeks to put together a plan" for them both to be involved in the campaign.

On the same day, Bill Clinton said in an official statement that he was "committed to doing whatever he can" for Obama.

The Clinton campaign did not return a request for comment.