February 20th, 2008
03:15 PM ET
12 years ago

Clinton campaign launches new offensive on delegate counting


Delegates cheer at the 2004 Democratic convention. This year their official role is under heavy scrutiny. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Hillary Clinton's campaign launched a new Web site Wednesday designed to convey its argument about how delegates should be counted - the campaign’s latest offensive against Barack Obama's contention that the candidate with the most pledged delegates should win the party's nomination.

The new Web site lists five of the Clinton team’s disputed views on delegates, including the ideas that Florida and Michigan's delegates should be seated at the convention despite party sanctions and that there is a "clear path" for Clinton to finish the race with more delegates than Obama.

The Web site also argues that superdelegates - or what the Clinton campaign is now calling “automatic delegates” - should not look to the primary season vote when deciding which candidate to support, stating, "The fact is: no automatic delegate is required to cast a vote on the basis of anything other than his or her best judgment about who is the most qualified to be president."

According to CNN's latest estimate, Obama has earned 143 more pledged delegates than Clinton. But Clinton currently has the support of 73 more superdelegates – which translates into an overall deficit of 70 delegates.

Speaking with reporters Wednesday morning, Obama campaign manager David Plouffe repeated the campaign's contention that the candidate with the most pledged delegates should win the nomination, and said it is nearly impossible for Clinton to catch up in that count.

“This is a wide, wide lead right now,” he said. “I am amused when the Clinton campaign continues to say, 'Well, it’s essentially a tie.' I mean, that’s just lunacy. We have opened up a big and meaningful pledged delegate lead. They are going to have to win landslides from here on out to erase it.”

Plouffe also said the Clinton campaign keeps "offering alternative theories for why they can win the nomination that have nothing to do with the votes that are happening in these contests.”

Related video: Watch CNN's Abbi Tatton take a look at Clinton's new Web site

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

soundoff (231 Responses)
  1. belle

    Votes from caucuses for Obama. I'd sure love to know why the results from WA states primary aren't posted. Whether it counts or not, it doesn't reflect the caucus results for Obama where only 7% of voters attended here. It was a close race in last nights primary and I hope the WA superdelegates take note of that.

    I really hope the DNC allows Fl and Mi to have representatives at the convention. Penalize them if they must, but at least let a percentage of the delegates count. Don't go through the expense of another primary or caucus.

    February 20, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  2. L. Parker

    Both campaigns should put the best interest of the party first. The voters and public have given some strong indicators of who we prefer. Both candidates are great, but one is better for us now. Fight as you must, but humility, grace, and loyalty to the party is of the essence.

    February 20, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  3. penny

    How long is it going to take for Miss Hillary to get it that mich. and florida were punished for going against the dem. party and have their primary sooner. The delegates should not count as the dem party already stated. Now we know that she thinks this is the is the only way to win the nomination.

    February 20, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  4. Think - FL

    And for her next trick... she will unveil the Constitution as it should have been written!

    You will never hear anyone other than the Clintons or Putin arguing that these 800 individuals should anxiously overturn the will of the majority. If this situation was flipped... I can guarantee you that Barack would not be making this argument.

    Yes Hillary. We can read the rules regarding what superdelegates are able to do, but to do so would be wholly undemocratic and to expect them shows yet another facet of your dark, egotistical, self-titled personality.

    Go back to NY and quit scaring all of your residents down to FL... they're inflating housing prices.

    February 20, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  5. S. Davis

    Obama is getting a little arrogant isn't he.

    February 20, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  6. Ida Miller

    I think Obama is a good talker but not experienced enough to be a doer. I'm also not sure what his belifes are and that really scares me.

    On the other Hand, Clinton certainly has more knowledge and the experience as to what our Country needs as a leader.

    February 20, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  7. S.

    RULES ARE RULES! The next comander in chief should be the first to defend that point of view!

    February 20, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  8. Lee Boyles

    I am very worried about the strategy of the Clinton campaign. It seems like they are willing to take us all down with them. I have always been a Clinton supporter/defender (both Bill & Hillary) but I am turned off by the dirty politics and, well, "THERE YOU GO AGAIN"
    (oops, is that plagerism?). Can't Hillary be satisfied with being the Senior Senator from New York? Can't she be on Obama's team and provide all of her experience and superior brain power to our new and best hope, Barack Obama. Can't she and BIll put their ego aside and see that this is the desire of Democrats and get away from the hostility of the past many years and move on. They could be such a big help. Are they willing to burn it all down and hand it over to Republicans? Please Hillary, please, don't do this.
    I pray for a coming to terms with the truth here and be at peace and get on the team because YES WE CAN! Don't be left behind in a pool tears from all of us with such love and high hopes for you always.
    Lee in San Pedro, California

    February 20, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  9. Mike

    Hillary is just playing desperate now. To try and make the Michigan and Florida delgates count, after the candidates decided not to campaign in either state, is not only flip-flopping but it is desperate, dirty and undemocratic. Hillary should be chastised for even bringing it up.

    February 20, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  10. Sharon of Illinois

    I don't have a problem with her analysis of superdelegates. I just ask that they both play by the rules. The superdelegates are not to decide the election – what are the people to vote for. On the other hand, if Obama has the most pledged delegates she should bow out not depend on party insiders to put her over the top because in her opinion not enough Dems were smart enough to vote for her.

    February 20, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  11. Adam, Los Angeles

    Sounds very reminiscent of a recent election when one candidate won the popular vote but the other was put in Office. Hillary, this doesn't seen very democratic to me at all.

    For the sake of the party and the sake of the nation, please unite us.

    February 20, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  12. Democrat

    The voices of 600,000 Michigan primary voters and 1.75 million Florida primary voters should be heard. The People of FL and MI should not be ignored. It is very important in this race

    February 20, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  13. DrFill

    This level of desperation isn't surprising.......

    February 20, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  14. Chris from NC

    In the last paragraph, don't you mean the "clinton campaign" and "the clinton" in the previous paragraph?

    February 20, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  15. av3

    I would respect Hillary's argument regarding the delegates in Florida and Michigan if she had been making it months earlier at the convention where they were stripped.

    Arguing for them now is just a desperate attempt to change the rules in her favor to keep her sinking ship afloat. What sounds like "their voices should be heard" from the Clinton camp is actually "I'm losing and need all the delegates I can get even the ones who were stripped by my party with my support."

    February 20, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  16. Jacqueline Samms

    Here she goes again....When is she going to stop? It is pathetic....The more she goes negative, the more votes Obama gets. And she wants to be our Commander in Chief? I DON'T THINK SO.

    February 20, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  17. Linda Feldman

    There's all kinds of winning as we found out in 2000. We're going to need some show of stateswomanship to understand when the price of winning is at the cost of the country. Clinton should be given every opportunity to gracefully come to that conclusion. The same is true for Obama. Our goal is to end the Bush reign and restore the spirit of America and its prestige in the world. Let's not get in our own way.

    February 20, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  18. Kelley

    Change the rules, go against what your party chose to do if the states moved up their primary what more does anyone need to say

    February 20, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  19. pam,s.c.

    obama leads in most states won , popular vote and pledged delegates . what is the problem for sen. clinton? she maybe playing with fire if she thinks that she can out manuever the voters. this is a democracy and if she thinks that the voters do not count she may as well pack up and move to venezuala.

    February 20, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  20. Tara

    Here we go... again we see that she will do anyting to when.. just throwing pasta against the wall to see what sticks. She doesn't give a hoot about the American public just her career and winning.

    February 20, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  21. CANDY

    Hillary get a life. If you were ahead of Obama and he made these types of demands, what would you say to him. Obama stay kool and don't let Hillary play with the big dogs. She is still missing the point. The people as spoken and she can't go against that. Sorry Hillary.

    February 20, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  22. Mr. M

    Yeah, I do believe they should account Michigan and Florida Delegates because if the tables were turned...OOOoooh Child would the Obama campaign be crying up there!....
    And yes I wrote like that on purpose!

    February 20, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  23. JerryZ

    She went negative and it killed her campaign. She has Morons running her campaign.

    I wanted to check on Wolf Blitzer. Hope he is OK after Hillary's loss.
    Looked like it hit him hard. You can use the Hillary '09 T-shirt you wear under your suit to wipe the tears,

    February 20, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  24. onenibble

    Hillary should get the deligates from Florida & Michigan because the people voted for her. It doesn't matter that Obama didn't campaign there, the people are perfectely able to make a choice without the candidates. Obama chose to have his name removed from the ballot. Every vote should count.

    February 20, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  25. Anna, SW Missouri

    "The fact is: no automatic delegate is required to cast a vote on the basis of anything other than his or her best judgment about who is the most qualified to be president."

    As a matter of fact, they aren't even required to do that. Defining what "most qualified" is, is kind of like defining what "is" is.

    This is just another desperate move by a desperate campaign that is losing. A win is a win, and by any other name is still a win.

    February 20, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
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