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. Vera Shabazz

    Didn't Hillary also sign a statement which read that she would honor the DNC's wishes to ignore the delegates and votes of Mich and Florida? Oh, yeah we can trust her at her word!!! I just won the lottery and I don't even play it!

    February 19, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  2. Chris

    Clinton sponsored 20 bills in 6 years.
    Obama sponsored and co-sponsored 820 bills in 8 years.

    Who has more experience?

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

    Very noble and fair by the Clinton camp. Unlike Obama surrogates, such as Jesse Jackson Jr. using race baiting on black super delegates to try and turn them towards Obama.
    When will the media stop protecting Obama and report in detail about the other inconsistencies in the Obama campaign. Still waiting.

    Typical behavior for a Snake oil salesman. Just say Nobama.

    Hillary for President. Solutions and experience.

    February 19, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  4. TR

    Gary, Bill Clinton is a superdelegate.

    February 19, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  5. Brett

    I should have said $205,500 for HRC. My mistake.

    February 19, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  6. Bayou Joe

    Come on People you are picking on Hillary because she is a woman with cojones. She has the most votes, has done more for Hispanics and she should win the nomination If you deny her at the convention I am voting for McCain.

    Watch the Vote in Texas. They know a good candidate when they see one.

    February 19, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  7. Barack Oprah

    Did Obama use his own word this time?
    Or took from his pal?

    February 19, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  8. bob sabot

    why can't you media folks just let the people vote and stop deciding the election after each primary. You know....this will end soon enough and then you'll have months to discuss who everyone's Veep is going to be. Of course, the media won't be happy unless that's done by Easter!

    February 19, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  9. June

    Anyone but Bill & Hill! Their dishonesty is bad for the election and bad for the country. I hope if she wins as the nominee that Obama doesn't compromise himself by agreeing to the V.P. slot. He'll be hidden in an office down the hall, just like Gore was. What a waste.

    Go Obama or McCain!

    February 19, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  10. ralph davis

    A part of the new change is to get rid of super delegates. If we are going to have a nation represented by the people, and for the people, no super anything should be in place.

    February 19, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  11. Haighter

    Imagine this... Obama goes into the Convention having won more states, more normal delegates, and with a larger share of the popular vote in his pocket (a very real possibility), THEN the super-delegates give the nomination to Clinton. Would it not smell, just a bit, like the 2000 Presidential Election where Gore was the choice of the people, but Bush ended up as our Predident? I, for one, would feel cheated all over again.

    February 19, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  12. Joseph Cooper

    I have never voted before, because its so hard to determine who is sincere and truthful. Ijust trusted in Almighty be the author of the future, but this campaign has got me really interested as you can see.

    And I am considering voting this year in Ohio, but after sitting back watching I think the Democrats should be very careful because right now it looks like they could rise or fall meaning that if Obama and Hillary don't come together in the end the new voters that have come out might dissappear especially if Hillary wins and doesn't choose Obama as VP, because I am only following this campaign because I like what Obama is saying and it seems like he is sincere. and if not its back to business as usual.

    February 19, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  13. Belle

    I guess guilting the black superdelegates doesn't count.

    February 19, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  14. HP Boston

    So much pot stirring over delegates. Relax people it is just the media keeping the thing going for attention. We will not even know if this is going to happen for some time. Chill!
    Clinton and Obama are pawn in the hands of the ever biased media hacks. So who is the victim of the day?

    February 19, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  15. JFoster


    Why don't you credit the origin of this story?

    For all those interested the story first appeared (In so far as I know) on Politico.com in an articule by Roger Simon who credits an unnamed source in the Clinton Campaign as saying... “I swear it is not happening now, but as we get closer to the convention, if it is a stalemate, everybody will be going after everybody’s delegates,”

    February 19, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  16. Jules

    One last plea- please stop the negative cheap shots. Senator Clinton and Senator Obama are both good people with solid plans and admirable achievements. They are rivals, not adversaries and certainly not enemies. It seems that they have forgotten this, but we, their supporters, can make it our responsibility to remind them. When all is said and done, the second place candidate will still be on the presidential candidate's team- both for the November election and for helping be part of the working majority to push through the crucial legislation they both put forth and we all want and need. Before this split breaks us, pull it together people! We're on the same team in the end.

    February 19, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  17. Becky

    Could someone please tell me Obama and Clintons position on the draft? I haven't heard that question asked of answered.
    Thank You

    February 19, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  18. Red Raven

    Hello? Has anyone every heard of Shirley Chisholm?

    On January 23, 1972, she became the first major party African American candidate for President of the United States. She won 162 delegates.

    I may have not been able to vote, but I do remember.

    February 19, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  19. Tim

    As the article explains, this is concerning pledged delegates. Superdelegates are unpledged delegates free to vote however they choose. I know it gets a little consfusing since so many "unpledged" delegates (superdelegates) have pledged their support to a candidate, but they are not pledged delegates.

    February 19, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  20. Darryl from Arlington TX

    Leather – Hillary Clinton likely have already done this. Bill Clinton is one tricky fox. If there away around the rules Bill Clinton will find it. He is running this campaign for Hillary. Don't be fooled, Obama your running against a well oil machine. Good luck.....

    February 19, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  21. Doc Jerome

    If the citizenship of this country continues to allow itself to be distracted, Dems will lose in upset fashion. The only camp that would try such a thing is the Clinton camp. It is apparent, that there is nothing too low for them to do or try.

    February 19, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  22. Bob

    Get a grip people - the primaries are NOT about democacy, but - in this case - about Democrats. In other words, the Constitution says nothing about how political parties choose their candidates, and frankly the Dems or Republicans could pick a name out of a hat if they wanted to. That's why every state has its own rules for primaries, caucuses, etc., and the party is free to ignore the delegates from Florida and Michigan because they defied the party leadership in changing their primary dates. This is all about choosing the candidate who is most electable in November, not what is "fair" to primary voters. We forget because it has been a while since a primary race was so close, but in the past these things were routinely decided in smoke-filled rooms, not the ballot box.

    February 19, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  23. Rob

    Alot of Republicans voting for Obama knowing that Obama cannot beat McCain...

    February 19, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  24. Bradley

    Superdelegates are no different than the average voter they have the right to change their mind. I myself am still waiting to hear what Obama stands for. He is good as repeating every thing that Clinton is saying. And he is also good at repeating what was years ago. Mainly the speech about WORDS by the Wisc. gov. in 2006. He is not the new Kennedy he is no different than McCarthy was in 72. People need to know a little more about history not rhetoric.

    February 19, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  25. J Huntington, WV

    Obama would try to steal pledge delegates, but someone would first have to right him the speech in order for him to be able to "borrow" it! Perhaps Michelle should start "borrowing" from previously given speeches–ones that let us believe she is truly proud to be an American! Folks, the mistake would be putting these Obama's in the White House.

    February 19, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
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