He said that more than 70 percent of the expenditures had been for direct mail, printing and postage.
“No one ever expected the campaign to be this big and in this many states,” he said, adding, “The consulting fees to the company are capped at $240,000 for the year for a team of people, and we did less polling by far than Barack Obama, and those polling expenses involve hundreds of people. Every single expenditure is reviewed and approved by the campaign, by Harold Ickes and his team, one by one. I have absolutely no budget authority or any administrative control. I am not at any meetings involving the budget.
Mr. Penn argued that the race was far from over, and said that he liked the campaign’s chances to turn things around in Ohio and Texas.
And as he prepared to fly to Ohio on Feb. 26 to help Mrs. Clinton in debate prep with other staff, he said, some of his colleagues were already trying to undermine him.
“I always tell people—win and we all win. Lose and we all lose,” he said. “I believe she can win, and she would by far be the best candidate in the general election for the Democrats. So I appreciate people are trying to write their story lines in advance—mostly out of their own self-interest. If we lose, I will take my share of the responsibility. I have won about 70 major elections around the world, including many presidents, and I devised the simple message for Tony Blair in his last successful campaign: ‘Forward, Not Back.’
“In the last 30 years there have been only three successful Democratic presidential campaigns, and I am pleased to have done one of them. Anyone who knows me knows I will keep fighting for what I believe in.”