January 19th, 2008
04:51 PM ET
10 years ago

Clinton camp worried about voter intimidation

(CNN) - As Nevada Democrats gathered for the state’s caucuses Saturday, Hillary Clinton’s campaign told reporters their supporters were worried about voter intimidation – just hours after former President Bill Clinton said he had personally witnessed voter harassment.

CNN has since projected that Hillary Clinton has won Saturday’s Democratic vote in Nevada.

“We have heard from many people on the ground over the past few days who are concerned about voter intimidation,” spokesman Howard Wolfson said in a conference call with reporters.

Spokeswoman Karen Hicks said many casino workers had thought they could only participate in caucuses at the controversial at-large caucus sites if they supported Barack Obama, and that the Clinton campaign had heard reports of confusion and voter intimidation.

Friday night, Bill Clinton told a Nevada crowd that he and his daughter Chelsea had visited a hotel, and seen a union representative trying to strong-arm Clinton supporters.

“Today when my daughter and I were wandering through the hotel, and all these culinary workers were mobbing us telling us they didn’t care what the union told them to do, they were gonna caucus for Hillary,” he said.

“There was a representative of the organization following along behind us going up to everybody who said that, saying 'if you’re not gonna vote for our guy were gonna give you a schedule tomorrow so you can’t be there.' So, is this the new politics? I haven’t seen anything like that in America in 35 years. So I will say it again – they think they're better than you.”

Wolfson did not directly address the former president’s claims Saturday. “I haven’t talked to the president since he made those comments, but it’s one I’m going to have to speak to him before I comment on that.”

And the Vegas papers haven't found any evidence of the kind of straightforward voter suppression Clinton reports. The Obama campaign has suggested the Clinton campaign file formal complaints if it has evidence.

Culinary Workers Political Director Pilar Weiss told Politico the allegations were “ludicrous.” She said the union is "aware that some workers aren't going to vote our way" and doesn't engage in intimidation.

"We have found it shocking that President Clinton has gotten so engaged in promoting these accusations," she said.

–CNN Associate Political Editor Rebecca Sinderbrand

Filed under: Hillary Clinton • Nevada
soundoff (68 Responses)
  1. elizabeth

    Can this Family please stop whining? Geeze.

    Oh, Canada.

    January 19, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  2. chude dublin


    January 19, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  3. Carol

    Yeah, voter intimidation so that we don't focus on Election rigged....

    January 19, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  4. St. Louis, MO


    We realize you're going to milk this race issue for all it's worth. HOWEVER, can you also dedicate as much time to the other emerging gap that's turning out to be just as critical to this election?

    We hear very little about the AGE gap that is becoming a huge story in the Democratic primaries. There is a significant schism developing between those under 45 and those over 45.

    It may not make for a story that's as provacative as talking about race or gender, but it's a story that deserves attention.

    January 19, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  5. Mike

    Bill, how about election rigged. Who programs and compute those machine. Can someone tell me if there is democracy in America? Stop fooling us Bill.

    January 19, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  6. chude dublin

    Obama should just go for the vice presidency.They would make a great combination.

    January 19, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  7. Captain America

    LOL CNN again getting a little biased. "Potentially troubling news in Clinton's Nevada win" ?? What's troubling is CNN's spin. Isn't Clinton winning in Nevada troubling for Obama??? nah. Obama has lost the last two, is that troubling? nah.

    January 19, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  8. Tundit

    Hello? And what happen in NH Primary? The election was systematically rigged in favor of Sen. Clinton.

    January 19, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  9. Bethany, St. Louis MO

    Bill's worried the election was rigged when his wife won in the end?

    Oh the irony....

    Perhaps the Clintons could try telling us why we should vote for Hillary instead of against Obama!

    January 19, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  10. Henry

    They agreed Obama to abandon message of hope and let them be uniform and not to ask about Clinton era papers. This country got hyped with hillary being called "front runner" on the media over five months. They didn't know Obama could win in Iowa and was done clean. Then in newhempshire if anyone followed the digits, it wasn't normal and the way they projected the winner wasn't even a suprise to them with lou dobbs in at midnight.
    They pulled racial card on Obama in south carolina to cover up Newhempshire sin and make him go with their tone. The debate in Nevada was skewed to Hillary. The country have been hyped on this election with other candidates being intimidated with their religions.
    Now can anybody convince me this election is clean?
    We all were here in America in 2000 and 2004.
    Do your dot connection people!

    January 19, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  11. joe

    I think this is not taking Obama anywhere. This election is rigged already. Stop wasting your time people. Since when did the sitting president ever ask the contending presidential candidates what to do with economy? Cann't he figure it out. This is Karl Rove political machine already. Just do your homework people. They want Obama to take Hillary through the process.

    January 19, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  12. Tim

    Election rigged. Stop being fooled people!

    January 19, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  13. jacob

    It is time for me to mind my business. This is no election!!

    January 19, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  14. Richard

    I feel bad for Obama. He is being taken for a ride.
    This is Karl Rove political Machine already!

    January 19, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  15. Steve25

    Republican Party would love to see Sen. Clinton win Democratic Party Primaries so that they will swift-boat ed her to the maximum.

    January 19, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  16. Jeremy

    Here is what I call voter intimidation:

    Filing a lawsuit seeking to disenfranchise the entire Culinaries Union.

    These people make me literally sick.
    I cannot wait to be rid of them.

    January 19, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  17. Christian, Tampa FL

    What nonsense, and coming from a former President.

    January 19, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  18. Doreen Augusta Maine

    Bull, bull, bull. The Clintons have shown that they will lie, steal or do anything else to win this election. The shame of the matter is that, should they win, she will lose the general election because none of us vote for them - we do not support the continuation of the Bush legacy of lies (the Clintons are no better).

    January 19, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  19. Bruce, San Francisco,CA

    the Clintons are not going to stop at anything, they are going to smite Obama in any way possible before every primary or caucus. He will not win, it all ended with Iowa, they are a very powerful couple and they believe it is Hillary's turn to govern. This is just the beginning, they know al the dirty tricks.
    George Bush
    Bill Clinton
    George Bush
    Hillary Clinton
    Jeb Bush
    Chelsea Clinton
    Jenna Bush
    Barbara Bush
    xxxx Clinton

    January 19, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  20. Kelly

    Votes are votes- get off the race thing!! If you are the best you will win!

    January 19, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  21. Robb, New York

    The Clinton rule: It's only a violation if it's not going in their favor.

    January 19, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  22. Carrie

    The Clinton's know that they were going to win. The Clinton Machine spinned it so that they could be "the comebacks." I hope that democrats will wake-up, before another Republican wins in November.

    January 19, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  23. charmaine, greenlawn,ny

    It is a sad day, when the ex-president Bill Clinton has to run the cuacus himself-actually taking voters from one caucus site to another; because he said they are being harrassed. So how many times and in different places, did the Hillary vote get placed.?
    Enough of the Clintons. Please someone do away with this corruption. This is worse than a high school election. Just have a primary vote. Let every name be on the ballot and then you all just vote for the one person you like. Not given a second, or third choice. This is ludicrus. Obama is honest , we need someone who tells the truth and can honestly change our nation.

    January 19, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  24. rmsk- denmark

    stopping giving Obama false hope. he is not the best.

    January 19, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  25. AJ, IL

    This is just so sad. Hillary and her campaign (especially Bill) have accused the Cuminary Union and Obama's campaign of underhanded tactics since Obama got the Cuminary Union's vote. You have got a former President out campaigning on the behalf of his wife, saying half truths and lies, and no one is calling him on this. Hopefully Edwards drops out of the race because he definitely has no chance of winning the Democratic nomination and only dilutes Obama's support. It's next to the SC Primary, if Obama doesn't win there Super Tuesday will definitely give Hillary the win.

    On the Republican side, Romney is looking like the candidate to beat. If Obama loses the race and Bloomberg enters it, then my support goes to Bloomberg. If Bloomberg doesn't enter the race, it is going to a long and dirty campaign season between Romney and Clinton. Romney or Hillary in November 2008 is definitely a "close-my-eyes and hold-my-nose" vote for somebody.

    OBAMA in '08!

    January 19, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
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