February 20th, 2008
03:15 PM ET
6 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. zer0

    Does anyone know the URL of the website? There is no mention of it in the article or on her website? I wanted to look at it.

    February 20, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  2. Robert

    The Clinton campaign needs to see that their argument to count MI and FL makes them look like snakes. Nobody ran in these campaigns, how could they be counted? Why not let there be opinion polls from the Republicans count for some delegates too??? This is rediculous. Here is the big statement that everyone (party officials, campaign admins, ect) should hear: the only way to count MI and FL is to have a new primary in each state with all candidates that were on the ballot at the time of their original primaries on the ballot. That's the only acceptable answer to a fair addition of these states. Otherwise, THEY ARE OUT. Period.
    Robert from CT

    February 20, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  3. Avis C, Richton Park,IL

    THANK YOU MEGAN!!!! WELL SAID!!!!

    Michelle Obama shouldn't have to explain anything! This country is always up in arms the minute you say anything they say is "unpatriotic". What happen to the 1st amendment? As a black woman, for her having a black man and a woman run for president is a huge deal for her lifetime, noting she and other americans didn't think this would happen in their lifetime. As a 37 year old woman myself I understand what she meant. However we make a mole hill out of a mountain about everything in this country. People are called unpatriotic for being against the war, because they say you don't support the troops if you're against the war. This is the dumbest thing I have ever herd of, or at least one of the dumbest things. You can support the troops while being against the war. Bush was for the war, but sent the troops there under false pretenses and with no armor. Before Republicans start to criticize Michelle Obama, they better prepare to take some themselves. Lord knows there's plenty to go around!

    YES WE CAN!!!!!! OBAMA 08!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YES WE WILL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 20, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  4. Stephen

    These are all tell-tale signs of a desperate candidate, a collapsiing campaign. What a sore loser she is turning out to be – and her husband is to be partially blamed.

    "Why can't you just get it through your head, it's over, it's over." – Boz Scaggs

    February 20, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  5. tony jackson

    Barack names Hillary and Bill the Co-Presidents of Florida. Hillary must work the night shift.

    February 20, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  6. carol

    What a bozo that Obama is. He don't even recall that he was not in the Senate when they voted on the Iraq war, but he sure has voted to fund this war. You people who say he didn't vote on the war, I suppose he didn't, why not ask him why has he voted so many times to fund it. He would probably say I pushed the wrong button and didn't mean to. Give me a break. You all should go back and research his racist church he goes to. It is racism against whites. Wake up America. Democrat that will be voting for McCain if Obama is on the ticket.
    HaVE YOU ALL NOTICED THE MEDIA IS STARTING TO GET WITH IT AND ASKING ABOUT HIS RECORD. HOPE THEY DO THE SAME TO HIM AS THEY DID HILLARY. SEE HOW YOU ALL LIKE THE SHOE ON THE OTHER FOOT. CAN't WAIT.
    HILLARYorMcCAIN

    February 20, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  7. Sacha

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

    What is she going to do if she becomes president? Modify every rule that doesn't suit her advantage ?

    February 20, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  8. MS KITTI

    WE,THE PEOPLE! WE,THE PEOPLE!
    LET'S DO THIS RIGHT....
    MICHELLE SAID, FOR THE FIRST TIME "IN MY ADULT LIFE", I AM PROUD OF MY COUNTRY.

    YOU SAID, FOR THE FIRST TIME "IN MY ADULT LIFE", I AM PROUD OF MY SON REPORT CARD.......DON'T GET IT TWISTED!!!!
    THE REPUBLICAN HAS TO BIGGER FISH TO FRY...REMEMBER, THEY NEED A NOMINEE FOR AUGUST 25-28TH...THEY DO NO WANT HILLARY, MCCAIN OR HUCKABEE.....THEY WILL VOTE FOR MR. PRESIDENT, 2009 (BARACK OBAMA). YOU SEE, WE,THE PEOPLE WILL NOT PLAY WITH THIS ELECTION...IT WILL NOT BE STOLEN BY THIEVES...AND WE WILL NOT GIVE IT AWAY!!!

    BARACK OBAMA CAN BE AN INDEPENDENT PRESIDENT, ASK RON PAUL....AIN'T NO STOPPING US NOW!!

    WE, THE PEOPLE OF THE ""UNITED"" STATES.......

    February 20, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  9. Jonathan in Chicago

    This latest tactic further demonstrates the Clintons' arrogance, profound entitlement, and disrespect for the electorate. They do not care how they secure the nomination, only that they do secure nomination. This reveals the kind of race she run, the ethics she will have as both candidate and (should she somehow win against McCain) as President.

    If she and President Clinton are willing to rewrite the rules previously agreed to, and to encourage 'super delegates' (now spun as 'automatic') to ignore the will of the people, then how will they serve the American people as President? What kind of hubris must one have to pursue so cynical and self-serving a course of action? How can we seriously abide such behavior from a candidate?

    Forget whether you support Clinton or Obama for a moment - this is greed and ambition gone awry, and such lust for power and position in past Presidents has only ended poorly (Nixon comes to mind.) Clinton may have a great deal to offer her country, but if she believes that she knows better than her country, and that her country is unfit to make the choice of nominee for ourselves, she has crossed a line and done harm to a tradition that many have sacrificed much for since the beginnings of our nation.

    Shame on Clinton. Stop this and allow the Vote and Voice of the People to be heard.

    February 20, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  10. linda

    This is not political discourse it's pop culture, and terribly reactionery, based on news "cycles". This is about the next Leader of the Free world,the commander in chief of the most powerful military in the world, I would imagine it should be taken a bit more seriously....

    February 20, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  11. JIMMY

    Hillary is like a tree falling in the woods with no one around. It falls and makes a loud noise, sadly, no one is around to hear it fall

    February 20, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  12. t-bone

    Hillary, do you have any positive ideas of your own for our country or is your only game trying to bring Obama down?

    I'm a registered Democrat but if Hillary uses Superdelegates, Mich & Florida to take the nomination, I WILL VOTE FOR MCCAIN.

    February 20, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  13. Ron

    Everyone,

    Please be sure that the people of Ohio, Texas and Penn, etc. see this.

    All the voters need to see that HRC's campaign is trying to manipulate the process and voter's will. This is win all costs tactics and her campaign shoudl have figured out by now that the voter does not like these tactsics.

    They will do waht ever they can to rewrite the rules.

    If you look in the cictionary under fair you find a antonym "Clinton"

    If her campaign would just concentrate on the positives she might have a chance, this negative stuff has not worked yet and in all likleyhood will not work again.

    She needs to decide whether or not to go down in a blaze or at least with some dignity. Right now its gettign pretty hot and on the verge of exploding!

    February 20, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  14. Not Ready

    Obama's camp is very divisive and arrogant and that concerns me deeply for this country. Obama simply does not have the foreign experience to lead us through these troubled times. Hillary does.

    Winning states like Alasaka (400 people voted), the Virgin Islands and Idaho (and there are several others) doesn't impress me.

    Winning the popular vote in Florida and Michigan (even though BO's camp spent over 1 million dollars campaigning in Florida with tv ads), does impress me.

    Winning a caucus in Washington where 30,000 voted doesn't impress me. Tying the popular vote where almost a million people voted - that's what I want to know about.

    Obama needs to win Ohio and Pennsylvania before he can prove that he can win the general. I think you will find that he won't win either one and will lose by significant margins.

    In the popular vote, they are almost tied. Hillary's camp needs to make the people aware of this.

    February 20, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  15. Gillis

    The Hillary folks had critizised Obama for spreading "false hope." It appears false hope is all the Clintons are relying on now.

    February 20, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  16. Thersites D. Scott

    Does anyone know the Clinton Superdelegate website's url? It's not mentioned in the article, and I can't find it on her campaign site. Thanks!

    February 20, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  17. mbgoldie

    I'm from Florida and was one of the millions of democrates who went out and voted, even though our vote did not count. We should not have been punished in the first place just because we moved the primary up, big deal. What is a big deal is that our votes don't count and they should!!! Hillary won by a landslide so of course it's just common sense to try and get these votes to count. I'm sure if Obama had won in Florida, he'd be doing the same darn thing.

    I for one and I feel there are many other Hillary supporters out there who feel the same way, but if Obama wins, I will not vote in November and I'm too the point I might vote of McCain. I can't see voting for a man with two years of experience and no accomplishments that one of his backers can't even talk about. No foreign policy (as bad as Bush in that dept) That's how fed up I am. I'm so turned off by the media and the negative reports about Clinton. We might as just say the media will get Omaba to be the nominee.

    February 20, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  18. Jim, Carbondale, IL

    It is more and more apparent that the Clintons will say and do anything to win. That's not the type of leadership we need. Does it show she is ready to lead "on day one?" To me it looks more like her team is trying to channel Machiavelli and make every possible attack, thinking that the ends justify the means. They don't. Principles matter.

    February 20, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  19. Larry-Kernersville, NC

    Its amazing the issue of super delegates (SD) deciding the US Presidential election. Lest they forget, super delegates are elected reps of the citizenry. If the people vote the majority for a candidate its seem pretty clear whom the SD support; to support someone contrary to the will of the people is blatant arrogance, and a recipe to be voted out of office. In plain, simple speak, "Hoyle" has to prevail.

    February 20, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  20. judy

    Hillary, just when I think you can't "STOOP ANY LOWER " YOU GO AND PROVE ME WRONG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (SMILE)

    GO OBAMA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 20, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  21. Cali4Hillary

    That would be Karl Rove. After rigging two previous presidential elections, this master of deceit would have us believe that he’s gone off to sit in a corner and write op-eds.
    Not so. According to an article in Time Magazine, Republican party activists have been organized to throw their weight behind Barack Obama, the democratic rival of frontrunner Hillary Clinton. Early in Obama’s campaign, major G.O.P. fundraisers and at least one indicted criminal flushed his coffers with cash – something the deep pockets haven’t done for any candidate in their own party.

    CNN – THE PEOPLE MUST KNOW THE TRUTH!!!

    February 20, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  22. Eddie

    Tim Russert read a statement from hillary Clinton on Meet The Press. In the statement Hillary said that she supported the DNC decision to strip Florida and Michigan of their delegates for holding thier primary early. Now, when it is to her benefit, she suddenly wants to "fight for the disenfranchised voters". This is clearly another unethical tactic from the Clintons. How can Hillary supporters condone this type of conduct?

    February 20, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  23. Neil Edwin Cruz

    The contention that the candidate with the most pledged delegates should win the nomination is just an absolute mockery on the rules of the Democrats. Whether it be Clinton or Obama leading in pledged delegates before the convention is not an issue for as long as no one of them reached the magic number of 2025. When this is the case the superdelegates should be given the chance to nominate which ever they want. Clinton and Obama agreed to this so they don't have the right wine or mock this ruling.

    February 20, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  24. david

    the person wha has the landslide victories in 25 states so far and hopes to continue to win more states and who has the most popular votes and most delegates will not get the nomination. Is this what clinton campaign saying? is this their theory? it is funny then. let them make fun. they are making fun of votes of American people. this is further erode their credibility and help Obama to win more states.

    February 20, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  25. U.S. Army Vet.

    Hillary Clinton has been hanging around the Capitol for years now and she has not accomplished anything of substantive value in her career, outside of voting for and supporting NAFTA, voting to authorize the Iraq War, voting for the Leave No Child Behind Act (Bill called it a train wreck). I do not think I need to go on.

    Being first lady of Arkansas and the U.S. are not official political offices of any kind. She tried and failed with healthcare, fought for power against Al Gore during Bills terms in the Whitehouse, and moved to New York as a carpetbagger.

    The only political position that Hillary Clinton held is her current position of Senator. That's it and nothing more. The majority of her adult life was spent helping Bill win political office. Check the true records.

    In fact, when it comes to experience, Sen. Obama has more years of legislative experience than Hillary Clinton. Sen. Obama was an Illinois State legislator before becoming a U.S. Senator.

    Finally, according to the U.S. Constitution, all U.S. citizens born in the U.S.A are eligible to become president of the U.S. It is your right as a citizen of this great country. One must be 35 yrs of age and be a U.S. citizen by birth.

    There are no other requirements by law. Anything else is extraneous at best. Therefore, please educate yourself before you make ignorant and visionless comments.

    February 20, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
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