March 3rd, 2008
03:30 PM ET
10 years ago

Blitzer: Could Florida's Republican governor help Clinton?

 Will Florida vote again?

Will Florida vote again?

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Florida’s Republican governor, Charlie Crist, tells me he’s ready to let the Democrats hold another primary in his state if necessary to allow Florida delegates have a say at the Democratic Convention in Denver at the end of the summer. Right now, the Democratic National Committee has prohibited Florida from seating those delegates because the state moved up its primary against party rules. (The same is true for the Democrats in Michigan.)

But now, Crist says he would be ready to let the state organize another round of voting for the Democrats if that’s what they want and need. That is significant because state primaries are paid for by the taxpayers; state caucuses, which had been suggested by some Democrats as a compromise solution that would allow the state’s delegates to be seated, are paid for by the parties.

The whole question of seating the Florida and Michigan delegates, of course, would become moot if Hillary Clinton were to drop out of the race. But if she does well Tuesday in Rhode Island, Vermont, Ohio and Texas, the race will continue to Pennsylvania on April 22 and maybe even longer – perhaps all the way to the convention in Denver.

Under that scenario, both the pledged and superdelegates from Florida and Michigan could be critical.

When it comes to an election re-do, Hillary Clinton’s campaign would strongly prefer primaries as opposed to caucuses. That’s because Barack Obama has had a clear advantage when it comes to caucus results.

So in effect, Crist would be doing her campaign a huge favor by authorizing another primary in Florida. The same, by the way, would be true if Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm did the same thing in her state.

Democratic Party Chairman Howard Dean would love his party’s nominating process to wrap up long before the convention. He and other party leaders fear a prolonged and bitter Democratic fight would hurt the eventual party nominee, especially because the likely Republican nominee, John McCain, would be able to spend that time rallying the Republican base.

All fascinating political scenarios - but first, let’s see what happens Tuesday.

- CNN Anchor Wolf Blitzer

Filed under: Wolf Blitzer
soundoff (335 Responses)
  1. E.K.

    Counting Florida delegates seems fair since Obama is the only one that broke the agreement not to campaign there prior to the primary.

    A redo caucus is not acceptable. Over a million people already voted. I wonder how representative caucuses are of the state’s population. Younger voters are more likely to attend a caucus. Most parents of young children, later shift workers, and elderly are less like to attend. In this particular election season, where the young voters are leaning toward one candidate, it may not accurately depict the state’s voters.

    March 3, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  2. Carol

    I hope Hillary takes it all the way to the convention if she needs to. I don't want her to quit until every last vote is counted and that means Florida & Michigan. She is the only one I will vote for. She is the real choice of the Democratic party. All of B.O.'s Obamicans and Indys will fall off the truck once McCain gets done with him even if he is the nominee.
    I would feel much safer with McCain in the White House than the Jr. Senator from Illinois anyway.
    Go for broke Hillary!!!
    Hillary or McCain 08!!!!

    March 3, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |




    March 3, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  4. Texie Tisor

    Why is is always Florida that has a problem with voting? First hanging chads and now this problem. I do not know what part of "NO" they don't understand. Michigan and Florida gave up their delegate rights when they moved their primarys. Case closed! P.S. Even though Hillary did not actually campaign in Florida she did give a short speech there before going to West Virginia. Also, Bill Clinton accept money from Tony Resko for his presidential campaign. I am sure it was spent and NOT donated to charity.

    March 3, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  5. Ben Monaghan

    I believe that this is a tactic by the Republican party to keep the democratic primary going for as long as possible. By the GOP Governor of Florida stating that he would pay for a "redo" but at a unforeseen date will make both candidates in the party stay in the contest longer even if Hillary wins by a landslide on tuesday, because than Obama can than say we are going to Florida and Michigan. I believe this is a Republican tactic to keep the Democrats divided as long as possible, and the taxpayers should not have to pay for what was an obvious breaking of the rules. If Clinton and Obama want to go to those states, I believe it should be funded by their campaigns. Nobody had a problem with the disenfranchisment of those voters before super tuesday when Clinton had a "lock" on the nomination. But now there is a big todo. It makes everyone seem selfish that they get what they want, not whether if it is fair and equal or not.

    March 3, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  6. Disinfranchised in Florida

    Thank you Gov Crist [Republican] for not summarily dismissing over 1.7 Florida voters [Democrats] who cast the ballot for Hillary Clinton and were disinfranchised through no fault of their own. The American way – one person, one vote. The votes should stand as counted, but if nothing else works, then a new primary would be great.
    Disinfranchised in Florida

    March 3, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  7. Ronald, American living abroad

    Clinton has no money to run a campaign. She is not ready on day 60 of this campaign season to continue. She should stop going on SNL and go on Rush Limbaugh's program to thank him and other conservatives for all their support.

    March 3, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  8. tryme

    After further Review – I Finally agree: It's only fair the DNC should allow the Florida and Michigan delegates to be seated; – at home!

    The rest of the delegates can head to Denver.

    March 3, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  9. Mischelle from Illinois

    Americans do not believe in "do-over's". This would really make the Republicans laugh at the Democrats. The votes should count the way they stand!!! Mr. Obama should be sanctioned for campaigning in Florida since HE signed an agreement not to but ran TV adds anyway. Mr. Obama CHOSE to pull his name off the MI ballots (he could have left them there his choice) – in order to get some FREE press (actually he played follow the leader doing what John Edwards did for the same reason, free press.) Then his supporters made robo calls telling people to vote uncommitted so that the delegates could be relased to OBAMA at the convention, SLIPPERY!!!
    Hillary Clinton, played by ALL of the rules in these two states. She should not be penalized by the people that don't like how it turned out or are afraid that the way the vote turned out will NOW change how it looks for OBAMA.
    And this is the "flake" that so many are willing to follow – over the edge of a Cliff.

    March 3, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  10. Armando

    it would be ridiculous should the taxpayers have to pay for another primary just bc the Clnton campaign continues to whine about something they agreed to from the beginning. If she had lost the state she would be saying the same things as Obama, that the rules are the rules and they both agreed to them. As a Republican I wouldn't be able to vote but taxpayer money from the whole state would go to this "re-do". I voted for Charlie Crist and my hope is that he has a little more sense than to spend our taxpayer dollars for a cry baby.

    March 3, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  11. AnnAloha FairMedia,PA

    The tables are turning on the media glorified Obama Campaign and it's the media that is doing it...hehehe
    Now all you Obamanites are choking and some are seizing after this weekends screw-ups by the Obama Campaign and he himself.
    Maybe Oprah can help with the funding of the re-do primaries...afterall, she does promote that 'Everyone Has The Right To Vote" eh?

    March 3, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  12. Tom De Luca

    What Mr. Blitzer didn't mention is that, whatever the merits of having a second vote on grounds of democracy, it could help allow the Democratic nominating process to go on much longer, which likely would benefit Governor Crist"s Republicans. That's the spirit in which Rush Limbaugh has called on Texans to vote for Hillary Clinton in that state's primary.

    March 3, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  13. Darla

    As a Florida resident, it would be great to have another shot at the primary, but lets be realistic, who will foot the bill? I think the results should stay as is, and be counted. We were all encouraged to go and vote, even though it was considered a beauty contest. Every person that I know, who was concerned about the issues did just that. They could have stayed home on that day, but they didn't. The fact there were no ads on TV or nominees campaigning actually leveled the playing field. Please let our votes count and our voices be heard!

    March 3, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  14. dajack

    Freida NYC,

    Karen was referring to the eight years Obama spent serving in the Illinois state senate – in addition to having served in the U.S. Senate since 2004.

    Please do your math again and notice that Obama has more legislative experience than Hillary.

    March 3, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  15. Martin Brown

    I bet CNN will not post this also. Wolf I used to have some respect for CNN, but now it seems you have shown your true colours. I looked at the site all weekend and you had the best picture possible of Clinton on the site the whole weekend. Free advertising. Now your editorial is entirely biased towards Clinton.

    This is all so crazy for the Democrats. Hillary is simply sacrificing the party at any cost. I am not being sexist, but remember the phrase

    'Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned'.

    Hillary may make it unlikely that another woman would be in this position again in a long time. Perhaps some of her voters need to think about this.

    March 3, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |


    March 3, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  17. Rhonda from Ohio

    Wouldn't the Obama camp be up in arms if Florida held another primary. I'd be glad to donate money to Michigan and Florida. Somehow if it was Clinton with all the "so called" momentum right now, I would whole-heartedly say that Obama's camp would be whining about Florida and Michigan and most of the media would be too. I'm certain that Chris Matthews would then be able to donate to allow Florida to revote in a primary. I'm certain that most of the media would be all about that.

    Can't wait to hear more about the Canadians and NAFTA. Sounds to me like the true Obama will be emerging soon enough!

    Hillary is so much more qualifed to lead this country. The great Thomas Edison once said, of his own accomplishments, "genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration" Hillary has devoted nearly 35 years of her life to helping others with grit, determination, hard work and integrity. She too has the perspiration to prove it. What does Obama have but "inspiring" words......... Hmmmm.......

    I come across people who say, "I believe in him", he is so inspiring," Hillary supporters believe in her too - they believe she will GET THE JOB DONE and work hard to improve all the serious problems that America faces. Hillary supporters know more about the her policy and where she stands on the toughest problems facing America.

    She's like the seasoned athlete who has trained and worked hard to get to the olympics. I hope that if she gets the nomination that all the democrats in America will understand the importance of putting her in the White House in November. It is of the UTMOST IMPORTANCE FOR THE FUTURE OF OUR GREAT NATION...

    March 3, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  18. Ayyub, Richmond, Va

    If Florida's governer who is in the GOP gives her those delagets againts the rules this tells you that the GOP thinks it can beat Hillary and not Obama. Please, don't fall in a trap again America.

    March 3, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  19. rr

    Its about time that CNN start being objective in its reporting.

    If Americans are smart, they will vote Hillary....Florida and Michigan should be redone and Hillary will trounce Nobama

    March 3, 2008 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  20. Don from Allen Tx.

    Wolf, Why you keep saying it is a conflict with Obama comment about NAFTA and the canadiens it was reported earlier on MSNBC that it is not true they even show a live shot of their parliment in session denouncing that anybody from the Obama campaign had contacted anyone in Canada. I notice how you always come on later in the day reporting old news and you never report when accusations have been cleared up.

    March 3, 2008 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  21. Ralph

    This threat of FL not participating in Nov is so lame. What is happening now is not an election, it is a nomination process. Americans have a legal right to vote for their chose of president, not to nominate. That said, the residents of FL and MI should be very angry with their state governments for chosing to have their citizens privelage to have delagates unseated rather than folling party rules. Look how long and tiresome this primary has been. Heck, maybe we should start the 2012 primary as soon as this one ends. Yeah, that would be very helpful, don't you think?

    March 3, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  22. Thebat

    I have generally been a fan of CNN's coverage of the election but I think Wolf is beginning to lose his credibility.

    Today, he referred to the Clinton spin on the NAFTA dust-up involving an Obama staffer as a " pretty harsh indictment of Senator Obama."

    Wolf, that is a complete misuse of the word and a mischaracterization of the facts as we know them. The story is based on multiple levels of hearsay and is basically a "he said, she said" dispute between Canadian consulate staffer and the Obama staffer.

    Between that and the non-news about the Rezko trial that you keep harping on, it's clear you're just trying to fan the flames in order to have something to babble about every day.

    Stick to the facts Wolf. If you can't, move to the National Enquirer channel

    March 3, 2008 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  23. brit

    mr.wolf when is hillary cliton going to drop out? and when are you and the cnn camp going to talk about hillary cliton messing with the new york, new jersey votes. shes evil she worst than bush.

    March 3, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  24. D. Campbell

    Clinton can no longer complain about no one getting on Obama after today. I can't believe the news today. Is the media trying to swing the last minute voters to Clinton? Does anyone really believe anything she says? She only went on SNL because Huckabee did it last week and was all over the news. It was NOT to show her softer side. This is the woman who told Iowa everything they wanted to hear until the results were in and then they were all corn pickers. Get real America. Vote Obama and lets move forward.

    March 3, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  25. doug, TAMPA

    well i have mixed feelings about another vote here in florida. im sorry i feel my vote here in florida has been denied by the democratic party, and is against the law for not counting our votes here. i think the biggest problem i have is the democratic party is punishing the citzens of florida when we are not the ones who changed the date. it didnt even go to the voters so we could have a say in changing the date. but you will sure take away our vote for something the state did. i dont think we should have to vote again and our votes should count. STOP PUNISHING THE WRONG PEOPLE. AND AS FAR AS THE PARTY SPLITING I THINK IT HAS ALREADY HAPPENED. I WILL TELL YOU THIS, THAT BEFORE THE GENRAL ELECTION I WILL NOTE VOTE FOR THE DEM.S. YOU LOOSE MY VOTE FOR GOOD.

    March 3, 2008 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
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