(CNN) - Days after she was the only major presidential candidate to appear on Michigan’s Democratic primary ballot, and four days before Florida’s voters head to the polls, Hillary Clinton has released a statement calling on her party to seat both states’ delegates at the national convention this summer.
Both Florida and Michigan had lost that privilege because of penalties arising from their decision to schedule their primaries in January, in violation of national party instructions.
“I hear all the time from people in Florida and Michigan that they want their voices heard in selecting the Democratic nominee,” Clinton said in a statement released by her campaign.
“I believe our nominee will need the enthusiastic support of Democrats in these states to win the general election, and so I will ask my Democratic convention delegates to support seating the delegations from Florida and Michigan,” she added.
“I know not all of my delegates will do so and I fully respect that decision. But I hope to be President of all 50 states and U.S. territories, and that we have all 50 states represented and counted at the Democratic convention.”
The major candidates, including Clinton and rivals Barack Obama and John Edwards, had promised not to campaign in either state following the Democratic National Committee’s decision, and Obama and Edwards did not appear on Michigan’s primary ballot. Despite calls from her opponents to remove her name from the ballot, Clinton did not follow suit, and she won the state’s primary January 15, with 55 percent of the vote.
On Monday, Clinton’s campaign condemned Barack Obama for running an ad on national cable news networks, including CNN, saying that the spot would air in Florida and violate the no-campaign pact agreed to by most of the Democratic field.
In Friday’s statement, Clinton called on her fellow nominees to join her – but said she would continue to abide by that pledge, and expected the rest of the presidential field to, as well.
The Obama campaign released a statement from campaign manager David Plouffe criticizing the move.
“When Sen. Clinton was campaigning in Iowa and New Hampshire, she made it clear that states like Michigan and Florida that wouldn’t produce any delegates, ‘don’t count for anything,'" he said.
He said Clinton was trying to "assign meaning to a contest that awards zero delegates and where no campaigning has occurred. Sen. Clinton’s own campaign has repeatedly said that this is a ‘contest for delegates,’ and Florida is a contest that offers zero."
- CNN Associate Political Editor Rebecca Sinderbrand