February 19th, 2008
02:45 PM ET
10 years ago

Clinton, Obama camps: No plans to poach pledged delegates

(CNN) - The campaigns of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are both denying they might look to woo “pledged delegates” earned by their opponent in primary and caucus contests.

"We have not, are not, and will not pursue the pledged delegates of Barack Obama," Clinton communications director Howard Wolfson told reporters in a conference call. The Obama campaign also denied they would consider the tactic.

Over the past few weeks, the battle between the two sides over “superdelegates” – Democratic elected officials and party leaders who are free to support any candidate they wish at the party’s presidential nominating convention – has captured the headlines.

So far, “pledged delegates,” which are awarded proportionately based on election results, have not been considered in play.

Pledged delegates are typically strong supporters of the candidate they represent at the convention - although they are technically not bound to cast their vote for that candidate.

–CNN Associate Political Editor Rebecca Sinderbrand

soundoff (107 Responses)
  1. Grif

    Yes! Yes! Yes. It's up to the Delegate's to settle this one. They should have started, the way they meant to carry on. Or they are going to; "Reap the Wirlwind" for all the mistakes the "Sowed".

    Stability in Camp, comes first.... Stability for the USA, is also a Priority.

    Live and learn... Or go back a Century

    February 19, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  2. Sam

    If you believe this you will believe anything!

    February 19, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  3. Conan

    Ok, does anyone really believe that either side is not trying to woo the others delegates? I bet the money is just flowing......

    February 19, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  4. Rod

    I doubt it gets to superdelegates.

    February 19, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  5. brenda-k

    Poaching pledged delegate, wooing superdelegates, close to a million dollars paid to superdelegates...I am beginning to lose all faith in the Democratic party's democracy. I think that after my state votes in the primary, I will become an Independent. I'd do it before then, but then I couldn't use my vote against Clinton.

    February 19, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  6. RealityKing

    It's a no win situtation.

    Obama can't win without them and Hillary can't win with them..

    February 19, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |

    Hillary will say this and then still work to get their votes – can you say Michigan?

    February 19, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  8. lc

    I do, however, think it is the responsibility of all SUPERDELEGATES

    who PREMATURELY gave HILLARY their support based upon BILL'S

    experience to RE-EVALUATE their decision.

    February 19, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  9. geminiani

    N either Obama nor Clinton should poach " pledge delegates " but the " super delegates "should vote who is best for the country and who is best for the party ., not necessarily who is ahead in pledge delegates otherwise they are just rubber stamps . Most important the Democratic Party should not disinfrancchised the millions voters in Michigan and Florida . Disenfranchising is a worst judgement compared to moving the primary dates ahead .

    February 19, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  10. Joyce, Indiana

    Does anyone really know what of the Obamas think about this country or anything? What country would they like the United States to be more like??

    February 19, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  11. Nic

    Well Hillary we'll see how honest you are, you have seemed to back pedal to get votes this whole campaign.

    San Francisco

    February 19, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  12. Patty Don't

    The only reason she is saying this now is because 1 of her staffers was stupid enough to tell a reporter that they were planning to poach.

    In the very same article 1 of Sen. Obama's top aides already said that this was a tactic that they would never think of using.

    An infamous Vulcan proverb comes to mind whenever Sen. Obama speaks: The needs of the many out weigh the needs of the few, or the one.

    Clinton = I, I, I
    Obama = We, We, We

    February 19, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  13. kathleen, illinois

    Obama will not have to beg for delegates once he wins
    the most pledged delegates by the people. It would be
    a travesty if Obama wins the most pledged (by the People)
    delegates for the DNC to override that. I believe that Obama
    would not sink to begging and prodding the Super Delegates
    to win. The must have a conscience about this. It Must be
    fair. It is not fair for Hillary to seat the delegates in Fla. and
    Michigan. The DNC made the rules and Obama abided by
    the rules. The voters are now seeing what kind of scruples
    that Hillary and Bill have. I do not want Hillary and Bill running
    our country. People will see thru the tricks that the Clinton's
    play. if they haven's seen already. Hillary should go back
    to running for Senator of New York. She may be ruining
    that for herself. VOTE OBAMA TODAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 19, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  14. david

    You got that right Sam. They will both sell out and do what they have to do...neither is more innocent than the other. Don't be fooled.

    Hillary 08

    February 19, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  15. Lucas, Nashville TN


    This will last till a brokered convention, at which if I am a delegate, you can bet I will attempt to woo my Hillary counterparts!

    February 19, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  16. Pat Va

    If this piece of information is just reaching the newswires, you can best believe the Clinton Machinery has already put this "wooing away" of Senator Obama's super delegates into play. Watch...and beware!

    February 19, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  17. Pia,NJ

    I believe Obama, but not Hillary!

    February 19, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  18. stuart in l.a.

    I trust that both candidates will do what's best for their chance at getting nominated, because after all this is a fight. What's wrong with pointing out the negative things about the candidates? Shouldn't it all get out in the open before the candidate gets the nomination and then has to face the Repubs? Or are we afraid that one of the candidates is too weak to stand up to the pressure? Beware- Obama's Kool-Aid has a lot of sugar in it and not much nutrition. It will do nothing to build the muscle we Dems need to first fight the Repubs to get the White House, and then to clean up the colossal mess that has been left by Bush. Hillary '08 Barack '16

    February 19, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  19. Dennis

    I'm glad to hear that. Pledged delegates should be forced to vote for the candidate that won them. We may have to live with superdelegates and their ability to vote as they please, but I think the pledged delegates should reflect the democratic part of the process.

    February 19, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  20. Gary

    I started as a Clinton supporter and have witnessed the erosion of my respect for her as a legitimate Democratic candidate. Her position on seating Florida and Michigan after agreeing to the penalties, her ' buying' of superdelegates, her negative campaigning as opposed to pushing her platform, her terrible campaign performance....has left me extremely concerned. She is obviously not beyond ' raiding' PLEDGED delegates. She best not have ANY contact with ANY pledged delegate or she should be sanctioned. Based on my changing tone..I have clearly changed. I get Obama's message of hope now.I am NOT prepared for the same old style of politics which divisive Hitlery/Billery is demonstrating. Their respective policy postions are similar, so it becomes who can be more electable. All polls and signs say Obama. The Republicans want polarizing Clinton so they can get some juice and elect John McBush.

    February 19, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  21. Alan

    There is nothing off the table for the Clintons. They will do anything to seize power.

    February 19, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  22. Kentuckian for Obama

    Even attempting to "poach" will lead to some moving to other camps. Hillary will lose more than she gains if she attempts this and these efforts are documents.

    February 19, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  23. Alicia

    ..but I bet if obama said, you would believe it. I said get rid out of the delegates and let the people decide who their next president will be.

    February 19, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  24. Ca Native

    Riiiight... that's why there are already stories being reported of Obama delegates being called by the Clinton Campaign. Wolfson denies denies denies – with a wink and nod to outside advocasy groups pressuring committed Obama delegates.

    February 19, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  25. Obama Voter

    Superdelegates are not the CITIZENS voting!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Citizens of the United States of America are the UNITED PEOPLE OF AMERICA DELEGATING THE NEXT PRESIDENT!!!!!

    Superdelegates need to be held accountable for EHTICS TRUTH HONESTY INTEGRITY CHARCTER this right should be earned!!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 19, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
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