March 6th, 2008
08:00 PM ET
10 years ago

Clinton repeats calls to seat Florida and Michigan


Watch Clinton's comments Thursday.

(CNN) - Hillary Clinton repeated Thursday that delegates from Florida and Michigan be seated at the Democratic Party’s national convention this summer, and appeared to suggest she is open to the possibility of holding do-over contests in both states.

"I'm going to let the leadership of both states see what they think is the best approach," Clinton told reporters in Washington. "I think that it would be a grave disservice to the voters of Florida and Michigan to adopt any process that would disenfranchise anyone and I'm still committed to seating their delegations and I know that they're working with the Democratic party to determine how best to proceed."

Clinton's latest calls for the delegations to be seated come amid an increasingly heated back-and-forth between officials from both states and the national parties. Both the Republicans and Democrats sanctioned both states earlier this year for holding their primaries ahead of February 5 - the Democrats said Michigan and Florida's entire delegations would not be seated at the convention while the Republicans said only half of each state's delegates could be seated.

The Democrats’ decision on how to proceed with both states' delegates could have critical impact on the presidential nominating race - both Barack Obama and Clinton are locked in close contest for pledged delegates, and neither will be able to attain the needed 2,024 to clinch the nomination.

Obama's campaign has criticized Clinton for seeking to "change the rules" after Florida and Michigan voted, and said it will follow the party's leadership on the issue. Clinton came out on top of both states' meaningless contests in January. Neither candidate campaigned in the states, and Obama was not on the ballot in Michigan.

Clinton's comments come the same day Florida Sen. Bill Nelson, a supporter of the New York senator, formally wrote a letter to Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean, calling on him to pay for a re-vote in his state. (Read Nelson's Letter [PDF])

“With two outstanding candidates battling so closely for their party’s nomination, there’s no way you can tell nearly two million Florida voters they don’t count," he said.

Dean has said the party will not pay for do-over contests.

"[The DNC's] job now is to elect the President of the United States and we're not going to have the resources to run a primary in Michigan or Florida," Dean said on CNN's American Morning Thursday. "So we hope they can comply with the rules, but they're going to have to figure out how to pay for it."

Related: Florida Gov Charlie Crist discusses the potential of a second primary

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

soundoff (329 Responses)
  1. Karie

    Surprise. The rules do not apply to the Clinton's.

    March 6, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  2. Darth Vadik, CA

    Re-vote YES

    Seat NO

    March 6, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  3. LatinoNation

    Well Maybe Sen Obama would rather the Floridians vote for McCain if we dont allow the voices to be heard ?

    March 6, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  4. Jon

    Do you want more cheese with that whine, Hillary?

    Hm, funny. You weren't complaining back when you agreed that no delegates would be seated from Michigan and Florida. Is that because back then you were winning?

    March 6, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  5. Brian

    Obama needs to advocate for this too, because it's inevitable, and if he doesn't then he will lose both states.

    March 6, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  6. PDC

    There’s nothing like being an honest competitor, eh Hillary?

    Democrats, if you want 8 more years of lies, and scandal, and missing emails, and general nonsence, then by all means vote Hillary.

    March 6, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  7. Margie Miller

    The problem with letting Michigan and Florida redo their primary is that it would set a bad precedent. I can just see other states pull the same stunt and try to go it on their own if they get away with it.

    March 6, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  8. Ed K.

    These states must have their vote counted. We need these people come the general election.

    March 6, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  9. Michelle

    Good call DNC. Florida and Michigan broke the rules. If they want another primary caucas, they should pay for it themselves. We are in an election for the president of the United States, and they should put their money behind the candidate who gets the nomination.

    March 6, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  10. Sara

    Business as usual for Clinton. By hook or by crook, She feels she is owed the White House. Please go away.

    March 6, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  11. paustinx

    Another example of going back on words when all candidates agreed not to campaign in Michigan and Florida. Shows scant regard for agreed upon rules. How can she even claim these states as victories when everyone knows that the results are meaningless.

    March 6, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  12. Charlotte

    This whole issue is a major distraction. I cannot see these states having the last say in this election. That would reward them both for changing their primaries. Any re-do should have to occur before the last one in June.

    March 6, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  13. A WOMAN

    You go girl!

    March 6, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  14. Proud American

    Wow... Hillary wants to change the rules in the middle of the game. It doesnt matter what happens cause cheaters never prosper.
    Obama '08

    March 6, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  15. Perry Flair

    Shame on you, Senator Clinton.

    It is un-American and un-democratic to have an primary election where the candidates are not allowed to campaign.

    Bill Clinton could have never won primaries in 1992 if he wasn't allowed to campaign because he was the obscure governor of a small state and most Americans had never heard of him.

    Michigan and Florida lawmakers who voted to have a January primary should all lose their jobs for creating all this havoc.

    March 6, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  16. anonymous

    Thank you Hillary. You're the best. You are probably the only person who understands that if Florida and Michigan are not seated at the convention, then we will not see white house for years to come because all of the voters would go for McCain. HILLARY '08 ALL THE WAY TO THE WHITE HOUSE!!! HILLARY! HILLARY! HILLARY!

    March 6, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  17. Hans (Atlanta)

    She knew the rules and even may have cheated them by holding "Fund Raisings" in Florida when they were not suppose to campaign in either state. A re-do would be fair if both canidates are given ample time to prepare and campaign properly prior to the voting. Hillary wouldn't be pushing the issue if Obama had won thsoe states.

    March 6, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  18. Erin, NY, NY

    again i will say, those disenfranchised voters in Michigan and Florida should take up their complaints with their own state's democratic parties, and not the National Committee. there were specific rules set out from the start and those rules were broken. one should not be rewarded for unfair play. sorry FL and MI, come out again in four years. bottom line...

    March 6, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  19. James

    Anything to win...typical Clinton. Go away already!

    March 6, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  20. M Allen

    This is HILLARIOUS!

    Would she even care about them if OBAMA had won FL and MI?

    NO MATTER WHAT – OBAMA will be on the DEM Ticket :).

    March 6, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  21. mandie

    Does anyone not see the obvious with Senator Clinton? She obviously beleives by re-doing Michigan and Florida that that will be the deciding factor in "her" nomination. And please does anyone really think that McCain, Obama, or Clinton would make a good President? If you do then obviously you've been caught up in the hype and not looking at their track records. None of them has what I want in the leader in our nation. Thats why I voted for Mitt.

    March 6, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  22. Mike A

    it Fla and Mich delagates counted clinton would be in the lead now but even in a do over she will still win. she has won all the big states so what do that say about obama? he only winning states that are going to go red in Nov. he doesnt have a chance against McCain

    March 6, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  23. Bob Miller

    This is a sad ploy by the Clinton campaign. Obama's name wasn't even on the ballot in Michigan!

    Florida and Michigan broke the rules and are paying the price. Clinton should not be able to gain a benefit from allowing states to break the rules.

    March 6, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  24. JC

    Hey Hillary, guess what? You LOST TEXAS!
    After the caucus comes in, Barack has more delegates that you....still. I also did the math today, and there is know way you can beat him.
    Just thought you should known so you can start packing your bags to when Obama appoints you somewhere in Narnia.

    March 6, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  25. Angela

    Nearly 1.7 million votes were cast in Florida for the democrats. 3 viable candidates were on the ballot and Senator Clinton won with 50% of the vote.
    Why shouldn't that count. No democrat campaigned in Florida – except one could argue Obama due to his crossover ads.

    The turnout in Michigan was less, granted. But you can't really argue that only one name was on the ballot. If Senator Clinton won 98% then fair enough.
    But she won 55% – the remainder were 'uncommitted' which would be the people who didn't want to vote for her, or the ones who were for Obama or Edwards.
    No one forced a voter to vote for her. No one campaigned there.

    Why shouldn't those count?

    A do-over would be tainted and expensive. Not counting the votes is not an option. Why not split them in half (as the Republicans did) and award them porportionately?

    Michagan is tilted in Clinton's favor as her 'name' was the only one on the ballot (I am sure people knew who the other candidates were)
    Florida is tilted in Obama's favor as the had ads running and she did not.

    CNN – I am a little discouraged about how may postings are here with people complaining that their opinions are NOT being posted.

    If you don't want to know what people are thinking then don't ask. But you are asking so give everyone a voice – even if you don't agree with it…

    March 6, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
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