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

Clinton campaign launches new offensive on delegate counting

ALT TEXT

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. Ben (Boston, MA)

    Doesn't this bother anyone that the nomination of the Democratic Party candidate is no longer "democratic"? Shouldn't the choice of the candidate be left to the voters? Wasn't that this Party's exact position in 2000?

    So, come on, prove to us that "Democratic" is not just a word in the party's name. Make this about the people, for the people. Eliminate the superdelegates system and pick the candidate solely based on the popular vote.

    February 20, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  2. Phil

    Say anything, do anything to get elected. Pathetic. Hillary.. go back to being a senator until your next term when New Yorkers will elect someon else.

    February 20, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  3. Alice

    What ever it takes, is that it Hillary? The Clintons will destroy the Democrat Party in their efforts to get into the WH. Afterall, it's ALL ABOUT THEM!!!

    February 20, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  4. S

    RULES ARE RULES!!!!
    Our next comander in chief should be able to acknowledge that !

    So what is she going to do when she becomes president ? modify every rule that doesn't suit her advantage ?

    February 20, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  5. Emy

    Clintons..go ahead.. rewrite the laws...Do everything that you can to crawl on to Power...

    You are underestimating the thrist for change among the people. How could you ignore losing with wide margins in 10 States- consecutively !!!

    The more 'tactics' you use to win the faster your defeat will be... People are coming to the realization that anyone is better than the Clintons..Wisconsin proves that!

    February 20, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  6. JMerten

    Anyone actually have the web address for this website Clinton just put up?

    February 20, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  7. Alecki

    I want Universal Health Care!!!!!!!!!

    Stop with Obama.

    I want Universal Health Care!!!!!!!!!
    I guess Obama supporters would rather not have any?

    Stop with the Pep Rally

    Start with voting issues.

    CNN only covers comments...He said ..she said......
    It's rediculous

    That's why Bush is in office now

    February 20, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  8. jim - chicago, illinois

    Superdelegates should not look to the primary season vote? In other words, ignore the will of the people? An act of severe desperation, if you ask me!
    ~~~
    Hillary Clinton's attempt to spin "superdelegate" into "automatic delegate" is just a page from the old Clinton playbook. Remember the statement "that depends on what your definition of is is."? A Clinton by any other name would smell as rotten.

    February 20, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  9. Gwen

    The man who is dominated by his wife wants to be out new Commander-in-Chief and be the leader of the free world?

    February 20, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  10. Vern

    What a desperate woman! LOSER!!

    Just concede Hillary – try and hold onto that last bit of dignity!

    February 20, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  11. rudy turtle

    A Man like JFK or Martin Luther jr comes only once in awhile and Barack Obama is that kind of man. I have been listening to him carefully even though I am Canadian.

    Americans would be foolish not to vote for him, for this man has a gift, a calling, someone special. A great man

    February 20, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  12. E J Eicher

    The idea that Mrs. Clinton would like to change the rules half way through the candidate selection process is absurd and a prime example of why she will lose my vote to Barack Obama in the Kentucky Primary. Perhaps the next rule she will want to change is eliminating the election laws, and she can just appoint her self Queen Clinton.

    February 20, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  13. Becky G

    With all due respect Senator Obama, he does not have the experience to be the president of this country. Hillary Clinton does. What will he do if another 9/11 occurs? I'm scared that voters are not thinking this through and reacting to the hype of his speeches. Maybe if elected, he will prove me wrong. I hope he does. I see jealousy on the half of Michelle Obama and her husband. More displayed in earlier interviews than now that he is getting somewhere. It was like she resented the attention he was gerting. She had to keep him in his place! Anyone else pick up on that in her earlier interviiews?

    February 20, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  14. Michael D. Hafer

    "Automatic Delegates"???

    Hillary's campaign is seriously derailing. They not only are trying to make up rules, they are now making up terminology. The national press needs to stop following her off a cliff like lemmings. Do NOT use her "automatic delegates" term (what the hell does it even mean or what's it supposed to convey??). The term is "superdelegates." Her campaign and despicable Howard Wolfson are attempting to control the media once again.

    "He who controls the language of the debate controls the debate."

    Enough of Karl Rove politics.

    February 20, 2008 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  15. Tom

    It should be up to the Nat. Democratic Party to decide......after all it's their party. IF they want to run it like a dictatorship, well then so be it.
    Unfortunately, the Clinton's think it's their party and they are the dictators. But really, IF Barrack really has the cahunnas, then he should definately consider droping out of the race If the Clinton's got their way and run as an independent.........wouldn't that be interesting?

    February 20, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  16. Derek from WA State

    It is time for the likes of Edwards, Dean, Pelosi and Gore to put their foot down on the Clinton campaign. The Clintons have been predictable from the very beginning from their narrow focus on delegate rich states to their arrogance that they were the only viable candidate.
    If she persists and somehow hijacks this nomination she won't be getting my vote and she most definitely won't win the general election.

    February 20, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  17. Gary

    This smells all the way to Canada. I'm really embarrased for Clinton right now and I think she really needs to be thinking beyond the primary to the way she is going to be remembered as the first strong female candidate for President.

    Does she want to be remembered as the candidate who argued that primary results should be counted when only her name was on the ballot? – think about it Hillary.

    February 20, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  18. Zack From Murfreesboro, tn

    I don't get why hilary wants those delegates to be seated. They were not going to be seated in the first place and she went and campaigned there. It was an agreement that no one was going to go there and she did. She is sneaky and had this plan from the beginning. That is why obama just won his 10th state in a row!

    OBAMA 08

    February 20, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  19. Gmoney

    Yes, anyone who asks what Obama has accomplished is either flapping their gums to keep warm, or has never searched the Library of Congress to see bills sponsored by Obama.

    thomas (dot) loc (dot) gov. The form is right there on the front page, it takes 2 minutes.

    Maybe then you'll stop squawking "What has he done? What has he done? What has he done?" like a darn parrot.

    February 20, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  20. Ron, TX

    It really all just depends on what your definition of "delegate" is...

    Typical Clintons, Typical politics...

    Florida and Michigan suit her now, so she's going against her word and signed pledge for them not to count. She didn't seem to care back in March when she thought she was going to sail to victory...

    February 20, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  21. Truth

    don't let GOPs steal the GE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    B.H.O. go home!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 20, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  22. LadyVoter

    The real problem is the way the democrats elect people to run. The caucus system is totally unfair. Look at the unbinding primary vote on 2-19-08. It is a dead heat between Clinton and Obama but the caucus held in Washington on earlier this month gave Obama a landslide. If it were all primaries and no caucuses then Clinton would be winning. The party leadership is already controlling who wins by the caucus process, never mind the superdelagates.

    February 20, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  23. People of California

    Oh Hillary! Can't win the delegates you need, steal them! This doesn't surprise me. When will the last few hundred of her supporters realize what a horrible choice she is.

    February 20, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  24. NickNasc

    Can one of you McCain or Hillary people PLEASE explain to me how Obama Can't beat McCain???? Just Last night more people voted for him in the freezing cold than voted for ALL of the Republican Candidates COMBINED by a Couple of HUNDRED THOUSAND Votes??? It has been like that almost everywhere.

    PLEASE Share your " Logic " with us! Am I missing somthing??

    If you can't, Stop the BS and do the Math!

    February 20, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  25. Denise

    "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."

    Which essentially means the will of the people doesn't matter...

    February 20, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
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