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. Sarah

    Business as usual for Clinton. Is anyone surprised?

    March 1, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  2. Sara, Wisconsin

    Here we go again – change the rules in mid-game.
    Now it is just "party rules" – but doesn't this imply that there is a good chance she and Bill will try to circumvent, subvert and change the Constitution whenever it suits them? Isn't that thought a little more than scary???

    March 1, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  3. Think - FL

    Yea... CNN forgot to include the rest of the headline "Clinton supporter rips Texas caucus system because it no longer favors her".

    It goes right along with "Clinton supporter rips DNC for refusal to seat Michigan and Florida delegates because Hillary now needs them".

    and

    "I'm truly honored to be sitting here with Barack"... 2 hours later... "Shame on you Barack!" when she knew about the stupid flyers days before. Sorry, but her supporters are largely a bunch of either ignorant fools, foreigners, feminists or just flat-out idiots.

    Makes me really question the populace.

    March 1, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  4. david

    BTW., Obama hasn't won anything yet people calm down....and go put your thinking caps on for God's sake.

    March 1, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  5. Sydney

    OH WOW!!!! Hillary is sounding like a 2nd grader whinning because she is not getting her way. The Obama Campaign is much more mature than that. He lost in N.H. and he didn't whine cry or complain. He kept going and is doing great. The HRC Campaign needs to stop whinning. The American People are tired of it. Stop whinning Hillary, just because you arent winning and getting your way.

    Obama '08

    March 1, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  6. Texas4Obama

    Rules are the rules... both parties must abide by them.
    Hillary please get on your broom, wave your wand, stop whining and go home!

    Obama '08 – the candidate with integrity.

    March 1, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  7. VA

    I UNDERSTAND THE DILEMA HERE...HOWEVER THE CLINTON CAMPAIGN HAS KNOWN THIS ...HMMM..INTERESTING THAT A FEW DAYS BEFORE MARCH 4TH..THEY BRING IT UP???????I CANNOT IMAGINE WHY..OLOOLOLOLOLOLOLOL

    March 1, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  8. GaryH

    With all the experience the Clinton camp has, how come they didn't try to make sure a better system was in place when the rules were being decided upon?

    March 1, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  9. Jake, California

    Since Bill Clinton started acting like Michael Jackson, I have been expecting something disastrous out of this Clinton campaign. Now it's already Hillary herself acting like Britney Spears...

    She wants the Democrats to change the rules so she can get the Michigan and Florida votes that nobody contested with her for

    She wants Texas to change its rules so she can win...Hasn't she realized after 11 straight losses that it doesn't matter whether the election is a primary or caucus?

    I wonder whether there would have been problems with the Texas system if Hillary was the front runner or leading in the polls?

    March 1, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  10. Wall

    Yes We Can

    But I hope YOU Don't

    Clinton 08

    March 1, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  11. liephobe

    Hillary supporters, don't you see your candidate's playing loser? Now she is complaining about Texas' caucus system, a day earlier she said if Obama does not win all for states on March 4th he is not the likely nominee, if he loses only one state that means the people send a signal saying they want this thing to go on in order to lose the election in november. What keeps you stick to that lady? Don't you see she does not really care for people that don't have jobs or healthcare or losing their homes? She only cares to quench her thirst with power power power!!!! You'd better believe me: you'll be completely deceived if you are unlucky enough to get this lady as your first woman president. We do need a woman president because we love women, they are our mothers, our wives, our sweethearts; we cannot be against them but we also do need better than what we've been seeing in this election period. We do need a woman that can make both men a women proud of their mother!!!

    Please vote transparency, trusworthiness and good judgement because experience without those moral values is no more than corruption!!!

    People please note:

    Up to now there is only one candidate that wants to admit his mistakes..Only one candidate has said: "None of our hands are clean", None of our hands are clean, none of our hands are clean!!!

    Please show respect to someone that freely chooses not lie to you!! For some people lying is fun, have you noticed???

    America please loudly cry with me: NO MORE CORRUPTION, NO MORE CORRUPTION, NO MORE CORRUPTION YES WE CAN HAVE A BETTER WORLD IF WE MAKE THE RIGHT DECISON ON MARCH 4TH!!!

    THANK YOU ALL.

    March 1, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  12. david

    You are correct Mr. Cisneros, "tragic" is the correct word. If Obama gets in due to caucuses like he has done so far throughout the country instead of by actual votes in booths, it will indeed be tragic for this country. Why? Because John McCain will be our next president.

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

    The letter also noted that many of Clinton's senior campaign advisers in Texas had helped to develop the rules governing the state's caucus system. A Texas party official also noted that former President Clinton won the state's caucuses in 1992 and 1996 following the same rules.

    March 1, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  14. Julie, Lawrence

    March 1st, 2008 1:25 pm ET

    The primary/caucus is odd. I understand Democratic voters are tired of all of this, but it is their Democratic party that allows this.

    The states may vote on which system they want, but the DNC has ultimate control as it could effect rules which would forbid candidates to campaign in states that do not hold primaries.

    If you don't like the system, fight for the CHANGE in your state. If you don't like the system, fight for the CHANGE in your party. I'm guessing your willingness to participate in the process only goes as far as electing your own candidate.

    I think caucus systems where supporters of one candidate can get away with bullying the supporters of another candidate are archaic.
    ________
    You are an idiot...I caucused...noone from either side talked to the others....get real!
    These last kicks of a drowning Clinton campaign are quite amusing!

    March 1, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  15. Todd in Boulder

    She wants us to believe she is capable of running the executive branch of the United States federal government, but her campaign can't organize itself to negotiate the rules of the Texas state democratic party primary? "Day one" of her campaign was how many days ago? She's still not ready or able to deal with it?

    March 1, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  16. kc

    First of all, both parties are complaining. I've been doing calls to Texas for one of the candidates, and I've found that the majority of the people don't realize that if they don't go to the caucus, their vote only counts 2/3. Second, both candidates would like to change rules. Clinton would like to see Michigan and Florida delegates seated. Obama wants the Superdelegates, who have the right to vote for anyone they want, forced to vote for the national popular vote. He doesn't like the idea of the Supers being required to vote the way their state voted because he'd lose.

    Let's face it. The primaries are a beauty contest, and do not really give any indication of how ready a candidate is to take on the oval office. Let's not idolize on candidate over the other and pretend their hands aren't equally dirty, because they are.

    March 1, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  17. Johan Bc Canada

    By using experience as your strongpoint, how will that stack up when you would have to campaign against McCain , the much more experienced candidate.? It is a good strategy for Obama to stay away from that unstrategic argument, A lack of good strategy made the democratic party lose the last election. She does not belong in this race. She harms the Democrats by dragging Obama in this argument.
    .

    March 1, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  18. OBAMA 08

    All her friends need to find a way for her to win, since she certainly can't do it herself. They need to change the rules some how.

    March 1, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  19. David Snider

    apparently Hillary didnt read the playbook before running for president

    March 1, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  20. Anonymous

    Mr. Cisneros is absolutely right!!! Senator Clintons Democratic following is primarily made up of people that work hard, earn a living, perhaps have children and have something to loose if Senator Obama were to be voted into office... Where as the majority of people following Mr. Obama are students or people with little to no income that feel like they have nothing to loose and everything to gain.
    To those people, you actually have everything to loose because his words will not get us out of the mess we are in and he as absolutely no track record at all!!! None. If you would like to have a home, a life, think twice...
    People... YOU MUST ATTEND, Your voice is important and the future of our nation depends on it...

    March 1, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  21. Jamie

    Now that Obama has closed the gap in her lead, the rules are unfair? We've all seen this tactic before from Clinton. Has she no honor at all? Does she think we are all just a bunch of idiots who will believe anything she says? As an Independent, I will never cast my vote for someone this divisive.

    March 1, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  22. Mia

    Bee,

    What? So African Americans owe their lives to the Clintons? I thought the President was supposed to be servants of the people, not the other way around. I really believe that you are chomping at the bit to elect a woman because she is a woman. Unless you are living in a cave away from reality, a woman of 60 will likely have more experience than a man of 47. Sorry–McCain, who is 72 and a POW, will trump Clinton on experience. So she has to come up with something better than experience alone.

    The Clintons were a brief reprieve from years of Republican rule in the White House. Carter was not considered one of our best presidents, and he was a one-termer. The Clintons weren't a gem, they just didn't stink as badly as the rest of the pile of crap running our country. The Democrats lost the House and the Senate during the Clinton presidency. Bill didn't even win the majority of the voters. Ross Perot effectively siphoned away votes from Bush 41, putting Clinton in office.

    Yes, I do believe that Hillary is capable of running this country. But Americans are seeing that there can be life in the party without the Clintons.

    Word of advice in case the Clinton camp is listening: quit whining about media coverage. You were just fine with it until you started losing. Barack is being accused of being a terrorist, a Muslim, unpatriotic, a plagiarist, etc , etc. He is by no means getting a free ride. Sorry, all I see is partisan bickering with Hillary as president.

    March 1, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  23. BL

    Mr. Cisneros is absolutely right!!! Senator Clintons Democratic following is primarily made up of people that work hard, earn a living, perhaps have children and have something to loose if Senator Obama were to be voted into office... Where as the majority of people following Mr. Obama are students or people with little to no income that feel like they have nothing to loose and everything to gain.
    To those people, you actually have everything to loose because his words will not get us out of the mess we are in and he as absolutely no track record at all!!! None. If you would like to have a home, a life, think twice...
    People... YOU MUST ATTEND, Your voice is important and the future of our nation depends on it...

    March 1, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  24. Ron

    LISTEN UP...Isn't this REALLY sickening. What aren't the Hillary people going to complain about. The Texas system was fine until NOW??? Why don't they ever complain weeks or even months before the voting happens. Oh..Thats right she was about 20 points AHEAD back then!! They have no SHAME to their GAME...The rules were laid out years ago, it is no ones fault but their own if they didn't plan the campaign properly. Hillary you are going to lose..If there is one thing a lot of people hate it is a bunch of WHINERS!!!

    March 1, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  25. True Democrat

    Typical Hillary... rip the voting system, rip the state, rip the voters...

    ...the only problem is this time she forgot to wait until AFTER THE PRIMARY WAS OVER.

    Texas... make the right call, vote for hope and change!

    OBAMA '08!!!

    March 1, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
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