March 1st, 2008
12:55 PM ET
7 years ago

Clinton supporter rips Texas caucus system

Cisneros made calls on Clinton's behalf from her campaign office in Laredo, Texas last month.
Cisneros made calls on Clinton's behalf from her campaign office in Laredo, Texas last month.

SAN ANTONIO, Texas (CNN) – Former HUD secretary and Hillary Clinton supporter Henry Cisneros excoriated Texas’ arcane electoral process as “a great burden on voters” and said that losing the delegate count on Tuesday because of the state caucuses would be “exceedingly unfair.”

Cisneros was speaking to a group of Clinton volunteers who had gathered on Saturday morning at Fox Tech High School to train for Tuesday evening’s state caucuses, which follow a day of primary voting. One-third of the state’s pledged delegates are allocated through the caucuses, while the rest are determined by the day's primary vote.

Clinton herself rallied the troops after Cisneros, formerly a mayor of San Antonio, spoke.

“This is not the ideal way,” he told an audience made up of Clinton volunteers from 20 or so area counties. “Ideally it would just be a straight out vote, and that would determine who gets the delegates, but they created this intricate system in Texas, which frankly is a great burden on voters.”

Cisneros said a scenario in which Clinton wins the primary vote, but loses the evening caucuses, would be “exceedingly unfair” and warned against being “outpowered” by Barack Obama precinct teams, who have overwhelmed their Clinton counterparts in earlier caucus-based contests, outcomes he described as “tragic.”

As volunteers leafed through instructions on recruiting 25-member precinct teams, Cisneros told them, “we cannot throw away our hard work and our win by not being there at the caucuses.”

– CNN Political Producer Peter Hamby


Filed under: Hillary Clinton • Texas
soundoff (427 Responses)
  1. Bev

    She knew the rules going in. This is nothing new nor is her reaction anything new. Threaten law suits then if that don;t work try and get the people worked up and have them blame everyone but her for the perceived unfairness to her and her campaign. Excuses and place blame else where. For all Hillarie's Experience and Years of working on political campaigns (Remember that she was working on a political campaing when she met BILL and then she worked and supported her husbands in his bids for the Whitehouse) she sure has not run a good campaign. Is this what EXPERIENCE does? Will she run the Whitehouse and the nation like she has her campaigns? Poorly? So much for EXPERIENCE.

    March 1, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  2. Steve

    So if she can't get elected, she'll just change the rules? The ends justify the means for this corrupted politician. Dispicable.

    March 1, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  3. Anonymous

    LOL Ellie,.,., take it easy girl :D

    March 1, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  4. Ann

    I am writing from London. I am eager to hear that when Sen. Clinton loses in TX and OH she will ask the congress to change the system of government from Presidential to Parlamentarian (just tlike the government system in Britsh) so that she will become Queen of America and Obama becomes Prime Minister of America.

    March 1, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  5. marilyn grant

    I AM A TEXAN I HAVE BEEN LISTENING TO CNN TODAY
    OBAMA NEEDS TO STOP USEING SPEACHS THAT HILLARY USED
    BACK IN THE NINETIES. ABOUT TEACHERS AND CHILDRENS
    THANK YOU MARILYN

    March 1, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  6. Fred

    They're laying the groundwork for the lawsuit they'll file next Wednesday.The Clintons and their sense of entitlement and victimhood has blinded them to the fact that the electorate has decided to leave them behind.They view defeats as robberies,those who don't vote for them as enemies,and any contest it appears they will lose as unfair.

    They are beginning to harm the Party.They need to be made to realize they must sit down,shut uop and accept the fact that history has left them behind.

    March 1, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  7. Mad in Texas

    Voting twice is cheating, isn't it. But, you got to look at it this way. It's a way of life for some people. Why caucus'es anyway. This is not a true representation of the voters in a state. You gather a few people in a room and then count hands. You argue awhile and see if anyone changes their vote. Ho Hum, sound like something Jeb Bush would dream up. If the people's majority of votes of a state go for the candidate of their choice then that candidate should get all the Delegates. And where does the Kennedy organization of Democrats come off trying to keep the votes of Florida and Michigan from counting. There needs to be a revolution over this if that happens. Every vote should count. I am getting fed up with the Biased MEDIA, & Communist Politicians. Someone needs to tell them they're not running the show anymore. It's time for people to take back control of their State and vote these LAZY CRAPPERS out. HILLARY 08

    March 1, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  8. Eric S

    Texas election rule is a joke. They should have simplified it long time ago.

    March 1, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  9. Anonymous

    O'kay.

    Bob: You talk about the Rezco scandal, but did you forget to mention Clintons' Norman Hsu, Christopher Korge, Emir of Dubai and the lawsuit filed against her by Peter Paul.

    Matt, Ana: Try getting information from more than one source, you will know why so many posters are talking about the lawsuit the Clinton campaign is threatening against the Texas Democratic Party (just like Nevada).

    Former Obama Supporter ( I doubt it's true, but I'll take your word for it.): If perceived scandals sent you running from Obama to Clinton, you better invest in lots of running shoes, because Clintons scandals will have you running in circles. Also, this "missing in action" spin is ridiculous, none of the candidates have been working their day jobs during the Presidential campaign. Each as showed up for critical votes only , including Clinton. Oh that's right, she was missing for the all important FISO vote. Another thing, Obama chairs the sub-commitee of European Affairs. Clinton knows, like all Congressmen, that a critical hearing regarding Afghanistan would be held in the Foriegn Relations COmmittee, not a sub-committee. Unfortunately, she's counting on folks who listen to soundbites only to not do their own research.

    March 1, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  10. Clyde, TX

    Don't you guys find it striking the number of excuses that the Clinton campaign have been issuing throughout this election.

    When the largest union in Nevada endorsed Obama, the Clinton campaign said it wouldn't matter because there were polling stations in casinos. Now that she won Nevada, it suddenly matters.

    When he won Iowa, Nebraska, and Washington, the Clinton Campaign downplayed the stakes because the caucus systems aren't truly representative.

    When he won Virginia, South Carolina, Maryland, and D.C, the Clinton Campaign downplayed the stakes because of their large percentage of African Americans.

    When he won Idaho, North Dakota, and Kansas, the Clinton Campaign downplayed the stakes because they are deep-red states. (and yet you would expect them to vote for you in the general election)

    Not a surprise for all, the Clinton Campaign already found an excuse for losing Texas !!!

    March 1, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  11. Irizarry

    What's wrong with America? Some guy (that I like) comes promising the moon and nobody asks him from credentials? What a country!! if americans were a litle smarter than they are they would think twice about electing Obama!! I do not see any accomplishements coming from him here on Illinois where I live, his name was not even heard about till now, I am reading and learning anything that would make me trust the guy! nothing is coming up here on Illinois his home state.
    He is a likable guy? Okay so I am! I can promise a bunch of things, but would I be able to deliver? No Neither is Obama.
    at least we know Clinton could get this country back on shape economically speaking. Obama? Change? what kind of change? if that guy comes out been the winner I refuse to vote so are a bunch of people with me

    March 1, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  12. MICHAEL BURNETT L.I.N.Y.

    IT IS SAD THAT THIS WOMAN WILL GO THROUGH GREAT LENGHTS TO WIN THE NOMINATION. IT'S TO BAD THAT SHE DID NOT DO THIS FOR THE STATE OF N.Y.! TRUST ME I KNOW, I AM FROM N.Y. SHE PROMISED NEW YORKERS THAT SHE WOULD PRODUCE 200,000 NEW JOBS, ONLY TO SAY THAT THE REASON THAT SHE COULD NOT STAY TRUE TO WORD. WAS THE FACT THAT AL GORE DID NOT WIN THE PRESIDENTIAL SEAT!

    SO WHAT SHE IS ACTAULLY SAYING IS THAT SHE PROMISED 2000,000 NEW JOBS ON AL GORE'S HEAD AND NOT HER OWN! SO IN FACT SHE LIED TO NEW YORKERS, NOT JUST THAT BUT' THE FACT THAT SHE WAS DEPENDING ON SOME ONE OTHER THAN HER SELF TO PRODUCE THESE JOBS THAT SHE HERSELF PROMISED. IT'S LIKE I SAID HILLARY WILL DO AND SAY ANYTHING TO WIN, EVEN LIE. NOW THATS A FACT!! SHE ALREADY DID THIS ONCE AND SHE IS NOW DOING IT AGAIN, DO NOT FALL FOR THAT OLD SHHOOL WAY OF DOING THINGS, VOTE OBAMA !!!!!!!!!

    March 1, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  13. kathleen

    "TOTALLY UNFAIR" IF HILLARY LOSES TEXANS!!!!!!!!!
    Now, that is the craziest statement from the Hillary clan
    yet. If Hillary loses Texans vote, then they made a decision
    to vote for someone else. Then, Hillary can get on a plane
    and hytail out of there before she thanks her voters. If
    Hillary LOSES Texans, it is because they see that she
    does not play fair. Hillary blames everybody but herself
    and Bill when she loses. Every arguement that she had
    with Obama was initiated by her. All Obama ever did was
    rightly defend himself. Thanks but no thanks to another
    8 years of Clintons.

    Bush Sr. 8 years
    Bill Clinton 8 years
    Bush crooked, 8 years
    Hillary 8 years NO NO NO PLEASE NO!!!!!

    That is 32 years of The Bush and the Clintons!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Please, that would be what they call a MONARCHY

    March 1, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  14. MESSAGE TO CHARLOTTE

    BLACK SUPERDELEGATES ARE NOT BEING PRESSURED TO VOTE OBAMA BECAUSE HE IS BLACK. IT IS BECAUSE HE WON THOSE DISCTRICTS AND THEY FEEL THEIR WILL SHOULD BE RESPECTED. OPEN YOU NARROW MIND.

    MAYBE SUPER DELEGATES WILL KEEP THEIR MOUTHS SHUT FROM NOW ON IN FUTURE ELECTIONS. EVERYONE THOUGHT CLINTON WAS A FOREGONE CONCLUSION. FACE IT...FOR WHAT EVER REASON OBAMA SUPRISED EVERYONE.

    I'M VOTING DEM IN NOVEMBER WHOEVER IT IS!!!

    March 1, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  15. sherbug

    I have never seen such a whiner. Everything is unfair and unjust. She has known about this all along. Why now, is it unfair? Does she expects the rules to change by Tuesday?

    A President that whines all the time about what isn't fair is not the person I want answering the red phone at 3:00 a.m.

    She continues to shoot herself in the foot by scraping and fighting for her presumtive candidacy. She continues to think that she can behave as badly as she pleases and still hold onto her base.

    March 1, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  16. Lynn, SC

    Ditto Michele in Dallas! So tired of the Clinton whining.

    March 1, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  17. Ray

    Canadians why don't we let them (Amaricans) find out thier oun way of voting without us getting into the act. They seem to be butchering each other without help and without using the brains God gave them

    March 1, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  18. liephobe

    Hillary's still not ready to be an adequate candidate how come will she be ready on day one??? ohh I know, yessssss... She'll be ready ONE DAY not on day one!!!!
    That's what she ought to say!!!

    March 1, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  19. ny independent

    All you Hillary bashers are just showing your true lack of intelligence. If you had read the article carefully, you would have understood that he was directing his comments to Hillary volunteers and explaining the importance of getting the caucus groups together.

    I can't wait until Obama gets the nomination. He/you will all then see what the republicans are going to throw at him. I wonder who will be crying foul then!

    Why is it there is such a push to get Republicans to vote in the Democratic Primary in Texas on Tuesday (anyone can vote)? It's because the Republicans WANT Obama to win. He's the one they know they can beat in November.

    March 1, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  20. marilyn grant

    THIS HAS BEEN A RIGED ELECTION FROM THE START. JUST LIKE BUSH ELECTION WAS

    March 1, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  21. Dave. San Diego, CA

    Just like in Nevada. She had the teacher's union sue in order to stop people from caucusing, but once she won, it was a "fair" system. I didn't hear her or her supporters criticizing the NV caucus afterwards.

    She did go on later and say that caucus states don't matter, red states don't matter and that of course "we all knew what was going to happen in Louisiana becaus they have a high African-American population."

    The facts are clear.....only the states that SHE wins matter. None other matter at all.

    Like Obama has stated: "it's not about red states vs blue states, it's about the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA".

    Hillary needs to pack up and go back to New York and take her little dog Toto...er....Bill with her.

    March 1, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  22. Becky Montgomery

    Why don't we just let Clinton make the rules as we go along? That probably wouldn't even stop the whining. If it didn't go as expected we would STILL hear that it needed to be changed.

    How would she ever negotiate with other countries?

    March 1, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  23. Danny in Pittsburgh

    Double digit leads for Clinton have evaporated in every "major" state since Super Tuesday. (The minor states don't count, apparently because Obama crushed Hillary in each one of them)

    Actually she's been crushed in those states, too...Wisconsin (a state that was considered tailor made for her) rebuked their campaign with a 17 point spanking.

    If Barack somehow pulls three out of four on Tuesday...that will represent a 14-1 winning streak and over 60 percent of the states in the country...WITH 14 primaries still left to contest.

    If hillary and co are TRULY interested in a Democratic President, even if it's NOT a Clinton...then they'd better soon start to act like it.

    Because this tiresome resetting of the bar on a daily basis is beginning to divide our party...for no other reason than the personal vanity and vindictiveness of a family not willing to cede it's power no matter how loud the people are screaming for it.

    It's 3AM. The phone is ringing. And it's the American Democratic Party calling for you yet again ....to please step aside and do the right thing for the party come this Wednesday if the Voters have their say against you.

    Because the right thing for the party right now IS the right thing for the country.

    March 1, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  24. A independent, Chicago, IL

    I don't understand why they say the system is unfair. I've heard Clinton-Camp people on news shows talk about how its unfair because Obama has all of these young supporters who are committed to him and turn out in large number to caucus. But I fail to understand how that makes it "unfair". I think they way we determine who wins a caucus or a primary is by how many people support a candidate.
    They say its unfair because Hillary will loose

    And to Free Man.
    Why is it that someone must be racist, sexist or ignorant in order to vote for Obama?
    Bill did alot of god things for our country and the world, he was a good president. But Hillary OVERPLAYS how much she did as first lady.
    She now claims she was instrumental in the Northern Ireland peace process when in reality she had little to do with it.
    It's not that i think Hillary would be a bad president, I just think Barack Obama would be better

    March 1, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  25. Jules135

    Ever since Sen. Clinton lost in S. Carolina she has constantly either complained about the rules or tried to change the rules, (Michigan & Florida). As a white woman, she is reinforcing all the gender stereotypes: whine, whine, whine, when things don't go your way. And you can be sure that if she were winning and Sen. Obama was doing/saying what she has, we'd be hearing from her BIG TIME about his lack of trustworthiness.

    I was a Bill Clinton supporter for 8 years. I was w/Hillary in the beginning of the campaign. But all of her despicable behavior has made me see that Sen. Obama is the best PERSON to be president.

    March 1, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
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