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. Florida loves HILL

    YES, since the state originally voted in a primary then a primary do-over should occur. That would be the fair thing to do. GO HILLARY!!!!

    March 3, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  2. douglas

    HEY, EVERYBODY........Scroll back to the top of this page and look again at Wolfy Blitzed...Doesn't he look like Jiminy Cricket in that picture? ha ha ha !!!!

    March 3, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  3. A. Harrison

    THis is the 2000 Elections all over again. FLORIDIANS ALREADY January!

    COUNT those votes please. HIllary won fair and square. all names were on the BALLOT!

    March 3, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  4. The Truth

    The dirty money that the Clintons have accumulated over the last decade from lobbyists and special interests is shocking. Hillary doesn't want change; she's part of what we need to fix in politics. Not to mention she is part of the reason nearly 4000 Americans are dead as a result of her ill advised vote to authorize the Iraq war. Then she has the nerve to claim she didn't quite understand what she was voting for...just the nerve!!!!!!!!!!! I'm voting Obama; he's clearly the better candidate.

    March 3, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  5. Floridian

    Wake up people!!!

    Charlie is on the SHORT LIST for Vice President!!! Ask yourself WHY does he want to run against Hillary????

    March 3, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  6. Cat

    I do not think Florida should hold another election. Why? because all three names were on the ballot. I think those delegates should be seated. If not I would boycot the November election.

    By the way, As a Hillary supporter, if she loses unfairly, I will not vote for anyone in November. As a phone bank worker for the Hillary campaign, I came across a number of voters who told me they were not going to vote if Obama got the nomination.

    If I were a floridian and had voted, I would urge my fellow floridians to boycott the Nov election if the delegates are not seated.

    Again, all THREE names were on the ballot.

    Also, I do not believe anything OBAMA says. I think he is a closet muslim.

    He is street smart and a lot of people refuse to see it. He is pulling the wool over a lot of peoples faces.

    Also, He couldn't take a couple of hours and be on the Tavis Smiley State of Black America, but he took time to be on the Ellen Degrenees show. What does that say for all the black people who are voting for him.

    If he wins, black people who are voting for him in groves will expect favors from him and he will not deliver.

    Kennedy and Kerry will tell him what to do and when he is tired of it, they will fall out.

    Also if superdelegates are to support the nominee who won their state, I expect Kerry and Kennedy to support Hillary.

    March 3, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  7. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Crist is a republican in support of John McCain. This is a result of Hillary having embolden the republican party with her attacks on Obama and now it's favor time. Of course republicans want her to win, they will use all her attacks against her and she won't have a leg to stand on because she's destroying her own party. The DNC must step in to unite our party.

    March 3, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |

    Canadian Governement Intervention in US Primaries: Fire Prime Minister's Chief of Staff, Says New Democratic Party
    OTTAWA, CANADA–(Marketwire – March 3, 2008) – The Leader of Canada's New Democratic Party will call today for the resignation of the Canadian Prime Minister's Chief of Staff over improper intervention in the US Democratic Primary race.

    At issue is a leak from Prime Minister Harper's office, which exaggerated conversations between the Obama campaign senior advisor Austan Goolsbee and Canadian diplomatic officials. The alleged source of the leak to Canadian news media has been reported as the Prime Minister's most senior advisor, his chief of staff Ian Brodie. The leaked information has now become a point of debate in the US Democratic Primary race.

    Hon. Jack Layton will demand the resignation during the daily fireworks of Question Period at 2:00 pm EST, Layton's question is expected by 2:25 pm EST. The Prime Minister will be in attendance and would be expected to respond.

    A live feed of the Canadian House of Commons can be viewed here:

    March 3, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  9. Nate in Mpls

    So when Hils and Obama split the votes tomorrow and there is no significant change in the delegate lead [Obama with over a 100 point lead] will we really have to hear about reopening elections in FL and MI? I really did think the Clinton campaign would go to any length to win the nomination and I just hoped I was wrong.

    Why can't the Clinton camp admit that it is a bad idea to pit her against McCain in the general election? The Democrats should be unified and driving a Republican candidate into the ground EASILY in the general election. The longer Hils drags this out, the harder it is going to be for the Dems. And that is just sad.

    We can't have McCain in the White House. We don't know who his Vice pick is and honestly, McCain is just too old. I don't know how we can with good conscience vote for someone who statistically shouldn't be alive inside two presidential terms. I can't believe I just wrote that. What an ageist. But really, we're talking about a president here, not a pope.

    As for Obama's supposed lack of foreign policy experience [compared to Hilary?] has anyone paid any attention to the foreign support he is receiving? The world is hoping we make the right decision and vote for the only guy that is talking about bringing people together to make a positive change.

    There is a reason people in the world are wary of Americans. It's related to a politics as usual pattern and our politicians' insisting that all of our invasions were the right decision. Finally our moment has come to show we are willing to make a difference. There are a lot of people excited about this election. But the infighting has to stop because that is what turns so many of us off.

    If Hils manages to sneak in the nomination, it will set the Democratic party back 20 years. And this is supposed to be our time for a comeback.

    March 3, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  10. Paul

    This are good news, because Hillary at the end will win the Nomination and become our President.
    We need FLA and Michigan to win and the voice of thousands cannot be left out by the DNC.
    The fact here is that Hillary will be our next President because America can finally see that Obama is one more politician a talker who promises "change. Did you read about the memo. " That s right, he can be change, 'cause as we can see , obama changes positions on different issues depending on what makes him look good in public. We are the Democratic party, and this is not about speeches, we should be responsible for the future of our nation. Or should we tolerate a person (Obama) who says something but does a different thing? Is that the change we hope for ?, give me a break!


    who wants the best not just for our party, but for our entire nation

    Hillary 08- President of The United States of America

    March 4 will proclaim Hillary for President!

    March 3, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  11. Christiane

    to Dave from NH, good that you posted this. I hope all People read this.
    I hope People in Texas, Ohio, Vermont and Rhode Island vote for Obama tomorrow.

    March 3, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  12. Keith

    Not one American should be deprived the right for their vote to count. That is not freedom. I am confused why this was even allowed to happen in the first place. Couldnt they come to some compromise?

    March 3, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  13. FFD

    Of course the republicans want Clinton to win...even Rush Limbaugh is urging people to vote for her...eveyone knows that McCain can beat Clinton in the general election...

    March 3, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  14. david

    clinton, mccain and bush are the same washington old players.
    we want change. no third term for Bill Clinton.

    March 3, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  15. karen

    Hillary did not win fair and square she went against the democratic party's rule and put her name on the ballot. she is not a true democrat she is a autocrat. Remember Obama has more senate experience he was a state senator and on the national level. Hillary was not in the senate as long as Obama, so the experience she claims is a lie.

    Also Obama will win in Michigan. OBAMA OBAMA OBAMA OBAMA

    March 3, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  16. Michael

    NObama 08! Hillary all the way!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    March 3, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  17. Bill, Albany, NY

    There is only one reason why Gov Crist would help Hillary and its because Hillary is easier to beat. Of course they can run ads that McAmensty will protect us more than Commrade Clinton and Chairman Obama. Republicans need to face facts that their party is broken just like the Democrats are and need a complete overhaul. This rehashing that the right is doing for McAmensty is laughable then again Conservatives are always the last people to realize that there are better ways to do things.

    Vote Libertarian in 08

    March 3, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  18. Mark Halpert Coral Springs, FL

    Governor Crist's offer becomes very relevant and gracious if Hillary wins Texas and Ohio

    Then a real primary vote in Florida is far better than either allowing the first "primary" to stand which would favor Clinton or to have a caucus which would favor Barack Obama

    Great move by Governor Crist

    March 3, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  19. aware

    Good for Crist! We are just getting to know Barack and his sneaky ways – dirty old politics – secret meetings – "political posturing" etc.

    Hillary would win even more delegates the second time around!

    Hillary the HOPE 08! 🙂

    March 3, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  20. Farrell, Houston, Tx


    March 3, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  21. JP


    March 3, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  22. cc, Chicago

    I'm an Obama supporter and am in complete favor of this. Florida voters have a right to weigh in on who the democratic nominee will be. A do over primary is fair to both Obama and Clinton. If Florida can afford to do it over, then I say do it.

    March 3, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  23. Texas Terry

    Let the Michigan and Florida Primaries, round two, begin. I'm all for it. For anyone who has not figured it out yet if the vote continues to be split for the rest of the States in the Democratic campaign battle, the only way either candidate will be pushed over the top is if Florida and Michigan votes can be counted.

    March 3, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  24. Jenny MA

    Wondering if two losers: Kerry and Kennedy will speak up this time for OBAMA again?

    You guys are definitely destroying this party now by attacking Hillary!

    You guys try to use OBAMA to control the party!!! But you have to accept the truth: It is your termination now!

    Go Hillary!!!2008

    March 3, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  25. Scott

    Wolf Blitzer,

    What you are reporting today with the ridiculous slant against Obama is STUNNING for a man who positions himself as the head of "the best political team on television."

    You're reading a memo by a low-level staff person that the Canadian government has COMPLETELY rejected.

    I know Senator Clinton rapped your knuckles for being unfair to her because you've dared to report that she's lost 11 contests in a row, but COME ON. How can you take yourself seriously as a journalist? Was the Saturday Night Live clip that tough on you?

    How about this: be objective and be a professional journalist.

    March 3, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
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