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. Farren Ballanst

    Crist is only hoping to keep the waters muddied in the Democratic race. I like Hillary, but the Republicans would rather run against her than Obama. Crist thinks Florida will go for Hillary, giving her a better chance of getting the nomination.

    *Jazmin-AZ* What are you talking about?

    March 3, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  2. A. Harrison

    This has turned into an OBAMA Free for ALL!



    March 3, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  3. Lisa

    Its about time!
    Its the only way to fairly ascertain who the majority of this country wants as their candidate. Florida is a big and populous state. It should not be discounted.

    Obama, I think you need a little more time and experience.

    Hillary, I deeply believe you are the one.

    March 3, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  4. Gary Mitchell - Vancouver WA

    No. Holding another primary will only help Obama and she knows it. He can afford to go to Florida and campaign. She can't. After tomarrow it will be obvious to everyone that she can't win. Hillary!!! The train is leaving the station. Get on board or you will get left behind. You are running for re-election to the Senate in 2010 and I'm certain we can find a legislator from up state New York who is for Obama and willing to run for the Senate. That person might have to ability to out spend you too and with the backing of the newly elected President!!! Well enuf said sister.

    March 3, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  5. case

    Why is it always Florida.... Shouldnt this tell you something...Republican Governor is willing to spend millions redo a democratic primary... Whats the motivation in that? Who stands to benefit and who would this Republican Governor rather see in the General Election???

    March 3, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  6. Stephannie

    It is clear that this is a way drummed up by the Republicans to splinter the Democratic Party.

    March 3, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  7. Julia

    I blame most of this on Howard Dean and the DNC. If they hadn't barred Florida and Michigan from allowing their delegates to be seated, none of this would be happening now. I'm not saying that Obama and Clinton wouldn't still be fighting for the nomination, but the seesawing of the polls would be much less pronounced.

    March 3, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  8. Vince Los Angeles, CA

    Gretchen March 3rd, 2008 4:25 pm ET

    More over, Obama is the political candidate named in the indictment. Do you not know this stuff, or do you intentionally ignore it when conducting partisan interviews?

    LOL....uh...Gretchen you REALLY need to get your facts straight...Obama is NOT the "political candidate named in the indictment" against Rezko...the politician named in the indictment is Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich of Illinois, a Democrat.

    Take your Clinton blinders'll see better.

    March 3, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  9. ClintonNever

    Charlotte – haha. Are you worried that the independents and republicans will vote for Obama in Florida/Michigan?

    I can never understand people that says Obama is all-words/no-action. You know what, if you people are saying that, it means that you are blindly ignoring him. More than not liking Obama, I can never ever understand how you people blindly support Hillary. DID YOU PEOPLE EVER DO ANY RESEARCH ON HER TO START WITH. Being some Clinton/Bush does NOT, repeat after me, does NOT give you the experience to get to the white house. And, being a FIRST LADY definitely does not give you an added experience. She is all about corruption and herself

    Clinton News Network – I will be happy if at least 1 of my comment makes it through for the week. Thanks!

    March 3, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  10. simple thought ?

    she who laughs lasr may have the last laugh?

    March 3, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  11. mw

    Cnn, and John King please stop calling Democrats " Lunch Buckets" It is a put down and it needs to stop thank you

    March 3, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  12. Gmoney

    LOL. If you think Obama's a closet Muslim. There is nothing anyone can say to you, because you lack basic comprehension of reality. Or you're just fear-mongering.

    March 3, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |

    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.

    March 3, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  14. Darth Vadik, CA

    For you people that think that because I'm for Obama and disgusted by Hillary, I would not vote for Hillary...


    I WOULD VOTE FOR HILLARY OVER INSANE McCAIN ANY DAY, and so would most Democrats supporting Obama, and vice versa.

    Nader fooled us once, and you can't fool the Democrats twice, like you can the Republicans.

    March 3, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  15. The Truth

    At this point, Hillary needs to withdraw. There is no way to catch up to Barack in delegates so she tries to bend the rules to her benefit. If the American public feels cheated during this process, she'll definitely lose the general election. Hillary's endorsement by Jack was a mashup of a bunch of clips which had nothing to do with the elections. Most of the comments listed on the page supporting Hillary also argue no logical point. Being once a Hillary supporter, I think knowledge is power, it opens your eyes to Hillary's true nature.

    March 3, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  16. NYC Native

    I wonder how much of this crap, both pro/anti Hillary and pro/anti Obama, is actually posted by Republicans.

    March 3, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  17. Keith Hunter

    I think this idea is absolutely wrongheaded in so many ways. First of all, Hillary, Dean and the Florida Governor were perfectly content with the exclusion arrangement prior to the present situation when Hillary is not the front runner. Where were the pleas for "all votes counting" when the "inevitable candidate" was the prevailing thought.

    It is clear that that this mantra is only because Hillary has not been coronated. If this dual primary status is awarded to Florida and/or Michigan, and if Hillary were to win those primaries, there is no way her candidacy would have the legitimacy to continue. Why wasn't this same rationale used for a second primary when Edwards dropped out of the race? Would it have been used if Obama was behind as Clinton is?

    I think this smacks of the purest hypocrisy of the Democratic Party who claimed that George Bush did not win the Presidency in a fair manner (need I mention Florida?)

    March 3, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  18. Mike

    CHICAGO – Jury selection began Monday in the federal fraud trial of businessman Antoin "Tony" Rezko, a former fundraiser for Sen. Barack Obama who is charged with buying power and influence by bombarding Illinois political leaders with campaign money.

    The case is the biggest political corruption trial in Illinois since former Gov. George Ryan was convicted of racketeering in 2006 and sent to prison.

    Politicians around the country are watching the trial because Rezko, a 52-year-old Chicago real estate developer, poured cash into Obama's campaigns when Obama was getting his political start.

    Here is a story in the Chicago Tribune... All of you need to start looking at Obama and his past relationships before it is too late!!! This man has given some money to charity but has not given all of the money that he has received from other companies that Rezko is involved in??? Honesty??? Character???

    you need to hold him accountable for his actions!!! Let Michigan and Florida have a primary... this race is about to get interesting!!!

    March 3, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  19. Texas

    Okay folks, let's not continue to beat up on these candidates. None of us has any idea what it feels like to run for President.
    It is never too late for any candidate.
    Does a runner quit running if he is losing?
    Does a team walk off the field when they are losing?
    Come on, folks, wake up! Those stupid polls are always off & used as Propaganda to discourage voters. That is where all the mess begins. The media has already pampered Mr Obama and protected him.
    Truthfully, none of us can predict what can happen, not even the media.

    Miracles do happen.

    March 3, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  20. JP

    I also think CNN is partial to Obama

    March 3, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  21. Dee From Florida

    The DNC changed the rules from 50% delegate loss to 100% delegate loss AFTER Florida announced the primary date of 1/29/08. And Florida Gov. Charlie Crist today said that the taxpayers would not pay the cost of another primary or caucus since they already paid for the first primary. All of the Democratic candidates were listed on the ballot and none of them campaigned in Florida - that is an even playing field. This is a closed primary so only Democrats can vote for a Democrat. If Howard Dean wants another primary, he needs to find somebody else to pay for it. The taxpayers of Florida will not pay for another primary when the first primary held had record voter turnout. With the Obama-Rezko-Auchi relationship under some federal scrutiny and the NAFTA conversation coming out of both sides of his mouth and now confirmed by reputable and irrefutable sources, Obama might actually fair worse in Florida this time round. Florida Democrats still remark that he said that their votes were meaningless the first time round. The DNC would be better off backtracking to the original penalty of 50% rather than trying to launch another election here.

    March 3, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  22. jeff minnesota

    To hillary supporters,she can not beat mccain period!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    March 3, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  23. Esther

    For 266 Florida delegates of course all floridians will vote again!!!!!!
    Florida it is a Hillary State like Michigan. Sometimes when I read people pretend put away the Hillary Campaing I really laugh because without two biggest states the primaries can't be finish and will be a lots pressure for the Democrat Party make a nomination.

    Hillary won Florida and Michigan with more than 53% of the votes not only with Obama, it was Edwards and others.

    370 delegates are waiting to be count in favor of Hillary Clinton, so, the las word it isn't on March 4, will be the NOMINATION DAY!

    Go Hillary, the next President of USA!!!!

    March 3, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  24. PDXER

    The DNC should be first and foremost about listening to people and not standing firm on silly rules pertaining to predetermined voting dates. As a Democrat, given the opportunity, I would donate $100 to the State of Florida and Michigan for their next primary. The day Democrats punish or prevent votes from being counted fairly is the day I become and VOTE Republican.

    March 3, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  25. Julie


    March 3, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
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