Presidential candidate Barack Obama (D., Ill.) reportedly has agreed to ask his supporters to help retire the debt of former rival Hillary Clinton (D., N.Y.).
According to reports from the Associated Press, Obama has asked his largest campaign bundlers to do all they can to help Clinton, who was forced into debt to compete with the donation-rich Illinois senator. Obama has not yet asked for help from small donors, many of whom have donated online.
Obama has pledged to help with at least $10 million of Clinton's debt.
According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Clinton's debt amounts to $22,523,860. Much of that debt was funded from a personal fortune she and husband Bill Clinton amassed from books and speaking arrangements after President Clinton left the White House. Hillary Clinton announced plans to pay off vendors prior to personal loans.Clinton's fundraising team has already begun coordinating efforts with Obama's campaign. Many expect his campaign to raise anywhere between $300 million and $500 million to face Sen. John McCain (R., Ariz.) in the general election, surpassing the record totals from the 2004 election. Obama opted out of public financing last week. Clinton and Obama plan to campaign together Friday in New Hampshire. Bill Clinton publicly endorsed Obama earlier in the week.