March 1st, 2008
12:55 PM ET
6 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. Andrew

    Okay this is getting a old from the Clinton campaign. It seems like there already beginning to spin the story if they lose. I mean when she was up in the polls in Texas she was not talking about the rules then.

    March 1, 2008 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  2. hopeful

    Obama: "We don't whine." vs. Clinton: "We didn't know we had to COMPETE in every state to win - So So Unfair! - but I'll be ready to be the President on DAY ONE!"

    March 1, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  3. Reinaldo Hereford

    Sorry Grandma Big, Clinton is right...She will be ready one day and I don't mean to lead the country, maybe to head to the loony bin. This lady is a clown and she doesn't need a suit. She attacks Obama in ways that have nothing to do with him or wether he is capable of being President, but with attempts of creating fear in those who she believe will bite. The longer her campaign goes the more she appears to be unfit to run this country and the decision becomes clearer. Currently, she has no clear message and no understandable stance, but to state that everyone is against her. This is not the Hillary that appeared so strong at the start of the year before Iowa. This is the Hillary facing a challenge from Barack Obama. Who is proving that he will be ready to lead the country on DAY 1. Say what you want about the media, which plays its part which ever way the wind blows. But no one gave this guy a chance – the media, Hillary or Republicans. Thru tremendous resolve and confidence in the American people, this guy has run an extraordinary race. He has even managed thru all of Hillary's attempts for the most part, to stay positive and focus on his message and his view for the future of this great nation. Hillary's campaign staff are as lost as our young troops overseas, following the lack of leadership from the current administration. Looking at the mess in this country and the mess Hillary has created, can any Hillary supporter out there tell me that Hillary is what this country needs and in a logical manner other than she is (experienced, ready on day 1, a woman, Barack is muslim, she can fight the RNC, etc).

    I will be waiting,

    Thanks,

    Ray

    March 1, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  4. Kimberly in Texas

    Here we go again...Hillary , life is so unfair.

    Obama 2008!

    March 1, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  5. Laura Johnson

    What a bunch of WHINERS! Keep in mind that these are THE SAME caucuses that Bill Clinton swept in 92'. THESE RULES HAVE BEEN ON THE BOOKS FOR DECADES!

    They've known about these rules forever.

    March 1, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  6. AK

    Hillary is the biggest hypocrites.

    You people are keep saying that he doesn't have experience and can't make decisions… yet you say he is the chairmen of the European committee. How come an inexperienced senator be a chairman? The reason why he is a chairman is because his experience and can make a sound judgment. Remember IRAQ.

    Is Hillary a chairman of anything?

    March 1, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  7. james

    It's not that Clinton is a woman, it's that she is very stiff and just isn't likeable in the way Obama is. If Clinton had Oprahs likeability she would be doing much better. But sometimes she comes across as a total hag. Don't judge Obamas supporters as sexist because McCain's supporters (which are by majority men) would totally destroy her image on gender alone.

    March 1, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  8. Leslie

    Time for Democrats to unite behind Obama. I, too, have noticed that CNN seems to be hesitant to publish anti-Hillary news lately. More is being posted on Huffington and MSNBC. What gives CNN?

    March 1, 2008 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  9. Jim

    Shouldn't the whining start AFTER the loss and not in anticipation of it?

    And if you anticipate losing, indeed are planning for it, why are you still in the game?

    March 1, 2008 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  10. Donald, Butte, MT

    It is apparent from this year's state elections that the wide range of caucuses, primary/caucus combination, etc. are archane, outdated and do not reflect the will of the people

    Both parties need to get with the states and establish uniform voting procedures in all states that reflect the voter's will - not a hodge-podge combination of them.

    The only true way to reflect the voter's will is a straight-up vote for the the candidates. No BS caucuses or combinations of the two requiring two separate votes. Additionally, the splitting up of delegates by who won a congressional district's popular votes is ridiculous.

    It should be plain and simple - whoever wins the popular vote in a state either gets all the delegates or a pro-rata share of them.

    The next step should be to eliminate all the early primary states of NH and Iowa and Super-Tuesday votes. All states vote on the same day and eliminate all this BS pandering to NH and Iowa. Each vote should carry the same weight and not like it is now where state's with later primaries basically have no choice.

    Next, eliminate these Super-Delegates!!!

    National and Democratic leaders get your act together!!!

    March 1, 2008 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  11. Mary - Independent

    Between the media and the Presidential candidates, if either Party doesn't take Texas, Ohio, Rhode Island and Vermont, the the election will be decided as to who is the head runner. If I recall, the final election for these candidates will be in November of this year, so why is the election being finalized now? This is ridiculous, with all candidates pulling these stupid ad stunts, lining up unusual entertainment and continuing to do their mud-slinging! This is not productive and either is plugging in superdelagates or caucuses! If these candidates cannot achieve their goals wiith winning this election, by way of the PEOPLE'S VOTES, then they are not worth considering to run this Country!

    March 1, 2008 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  12. Charles

    When she was way ahead in Texas a FEW WEEKS AGO the rules were fine. Now that it looks like Obama may win the delegates because of the rules there's a problem. I like Hillary but I think if she wants to stay in the race the first thing she needs to do is fire all of her consultants. In a conference call with reporters the Texas Democratic Party felt threatened that camp Hillary was going to sue to overturn the results. Can you imagine what would happen if they did this. Who is advising her? Everytime they try this tactic it blows up in there face.

    March 1, 2008 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  13. Free Man

    If Clinton is serious about her complaints re: caucuses, she had the experience of two previous presidential elections. He was the other half of a popular democratic leader/husband who could have influenced any needed reform.

    Whenever Senator Clinton pauses this kind of question, the easier it is to undertand what Senator Obama is insisting on. The country deserves a leader who has great judgment. There are enough leaders who will carry on the detail of politics but the country deserves a president who will not put us in the wrong direction.

    How can Senator Clinto and even President Clinton not appreciate the extraordinary response of ordinary Americans. Isn't this the level of engagement that we want Americans if we are talking about a democracy?

    March 1, 2008 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  14. Christiane

    to John,
    you are right, dont vote for Hillary, only about she is female.
    I am form Germany, i didnt vote for Angela Merkel, she is a bad Choice, the Economy is worst and Tax higher than ever before.
    And i think HRC would do everything to be the first female President of the USA.

    March 1, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  15. Peace

    What were Bill thinking when he said his wife Hillary must win Texas or its over. Didnt he think first about the rules which apply there in order his wife to emerge as a winner!

    Their campaign is totally disorganised, a lot of complaints, a lot of twists and turns, a lot of unnecessary attacks etc. etc.

    March 1, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  16. christine moore

    All of you losers who think this is fair are the same people who think the superdelegates shouldn't count. how some consistency.

    March 1, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  17. Lindsay Graham

    Why is the Clinton camp now complaining about rules that have been set in stone for DECADES?

    Just look at the polls: Clinton was leading Texas and Ohio by double digits.

    Now the latest numbers have the two candidates basically tied in both states. All of Hillary's lies and whining and dirty politics and trying to sue to prevent the democratic process from playing itself out are finally coming back to bite her in the butt.

    March 1, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  18. Don Whipple

    This is getting old. The rules are not working for the "inevitable candidate" and once again their campaign is complaining, spinning and turning off voters. There was a time when I was undecided about whom to vote for, then I witnessed the following:

    Hillary Clinton agreed, as per DNC rules, not to campaign in FL and MI, agreed not to count those results, then pandered all week long prior to the FL election how the votes should count. She held a rally in FL the night of the election. She and her campaign continue to insist the delegates, favoring her, should be seated.

    Hillary Clinton and her campaign boasted that after Feb. 5th we would have a clear candidate. After a delegate total that ended nearly in a tie on Feb 5th, the Clinton Campaign insisted that they had a firewall in Texas and Ohio that would give her the nomination in Mar. 4th. They now are moving the bar, saying that if Mr. Obama does not sweep the MAr 4th primaries, Hillary has won and that Pennsylvania will give Hillary the nomination.

    Hillary and her campaign, now behind in the polls in Texas, both external and internal, want to complain about the Texas rules and how unfair they are and have even threatened lawsuits contesting the results.

    Hillary and her campaign have consistently complained about media coverage, to the extent of abrasiveness during the debate.

    Hillary continues to refuse release of her federal tax returns, aomething all other candidates in this race did long ago.

    Hillary has loaned her campaign $5 million to keep afloat, fired management and had internal strife throughout. Mr. Obama has run a well managed campaign that has no drama, plays by and does not complain about the rules.

    You tell me: Who shows their ability to be President in the above mentioned actions?

    This country deserves a solid, professional President. End the drama...Vote Obama.

    March 1, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  19. Vig

    IT won't matter. Latinos will give Texas to Clinton – they not only are loyal, but they can identify with her – at least the women can. Latinos will put Clinton over the top.

    March 1, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  20. Don't it make my Brown Eyes blue

    Charlotte please take off your Hood it is cutting of the circulation to your brain.

    March 1, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  21. Carol C.

    Hillary YOU are not as good as your husband, and now need to get a grip. Take notes and learn to really include everyone in your messages and maybe in eight years, we will vote for you.

    Your message made me vote for Obama.

    March 1, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  22. George from Minneapolis

    Was he whining about the system 6 months ago when Barack Obama was unknown ?? Of course not.

    The Clinton people are ridiculous. Everything is unfair when they are losing, but they never mentioned these things when they were ahead.

    They whine more than a 3 year old.

    Just accept the fact. Hillary Clinton is not going to win the nomination. Next time say something about the rules BEFORE the game starts.

    March 1, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  23. Bee

    Since this message is pro-Hillary, I guess it won't get posted. But I have to say it anyway as I can't believe the anti-Hillary comments here. Surely we need to have a fair and balance reporting.

    Bill and Hillary Clinton have done so much for the country and in all likelihood have better your lives in so many ways. Perhaps you are either too young to remember, or too sexist to care, or simply too ignorant. You do not have to vote for her if you do not believe she is the best candidate but to call someone who have work so hard for good causes of people in America and around the world all kinds of names is not right. But it reflects on you, not on the Clintons. By the way, the Obama camp tried to change the rules on the superdelegates as well just because they are on the losing side in that area. Why don't you guys say, "rules are rules?" Double standard is so clear.

    Frankly, given the comments here, I begin to think that Hillary and Bill should not even bother to do anything for the African Americans, the poor, the needy or the young. They do not appreciate it. These people should ask the question, "What did Barack Obama do for me, has he pay his dues, but more importantly, does he have a comprehensive plan and the experience to do a good job in the White House?" These are the questions they should ask instead of simply saying, "He is for change." What is he changing? How is he going to go about bringing change? Does he have the knowlege to do so? Is he really the person his supporters think he is?

    Why is it ok for the African Americans to be almost entirely voting for Barack Obama on the basis of race? Why is CNN constantly questioning the Latino vote for Hillary Clinton? Why does no one question the reverse discriminatiion on the part of African Americans?

    This election is important not only to Americans, but to people around the world. Stop taking this election as though it is a popularity contest. It is so much more than that.

    March 1, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  24. Free Man

    If Clinton is serious about her complaints re: caucuses, she had the experience of two previous presidential elections. He was the other half of a popular democratic leader/husband who could have influenced any needed reform.

    Whenever Senator Clinton poses this kind of question, the easier it is to undertand what Senator Obama is insisting on. The country deserves a leader who has great judgment. It is easier to understand that are enough leaders with good ieas and who will carry on the detail of politics but the country deserves a president who sets the nation in the right direction not only about foreign policy but also about political engagement of ordinary Americans.

    How can Senator Clinton and even President Clinton not appreciate the extraordinary response of ordinary Americans. Isn't this the level of engagement that we want Americans to have if we are talking about a democracy?

    March 1, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  25. Concerned in Hawaii

    For being a democratic society, we sure have the dumbest rules for picking delegates. Clinton wins in Nevada the popular vote, but Obama wins more delegates. Huh? The whole system needs to be revamped and all states should be voting the same way to get rid of the back room politics and make it a close primary. Rove has won, he said the GOP would get rid of Clinton before the General Election. Do you really think the GOP crossovers are going to vote for OBama in Nov? Duh!! Wake up people and smell the roses. This is what Rove said in July of last year that the GOP was going to do to Clinton. It was vote for anyone but Clinton. Obama is all fluff, sound bites, and a wimp. The GOP is waiting and once Clinton has lost, watch the for the mud-slinging to really get going. It is funny the party has lost it way, a person with no experience is going to open the heavenly-gates and we will have no problems. Obama has not energized anyone except the GOP crossovers who are voting to get rid of Clinton. Amazing how this election process is nothing more than a perfected 2000 Bush/Rove campaign strategy. No plan, plenty of vagueness, and plenty of mudslinging.

    March 1, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
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