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. Sara

    A blatant attempt to steal election. Do you really want someone like this as President?

    March 6, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  2. Lynn

    Did anyone say CHANGE? This is NOT change we believe in. LOL
    She does like change though. She changed her slogans, advertisements, campaign manager, tactics, etc. Give it up HRC you have lost this battle and still are playing dirty. We have had enough of you.

    I do feel bad for FL and MI. They won't get the experiences we have had on the Obama team. Go Obama! YES WE CAN! and WE CAN'T WAIT!

    March 6, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  3. Angela

    This fight needs to end or Democrats will lose a considerable number of votes in the general election because it will seem like no candidate in that party can resolve small issues therefore national issues.

    March 6, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  4. Chuck

    Would Hillary be so adamant about the Floirida / Michigan delegates being seated (because it is their right as citizens) if Obama gained more delegates then she in these States? Yeah, right. If you think Hillary is most concerned with your right to be seated Florida and Michigan rather then for her own self-benefit then ask her if she would agree that both States delegates be seated and that both split their delegates equally betrween her and Obama. See what she says then and listen to the spin. Obama's name was not even on the ballot in Michigan and they should be seated so it benefits her? No way... The Obama camp would never agree to that and I don't blame them one bit.

    March 6, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  5. Lisa



    March 6, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  6. Young Liberal

    Should Hillary win the nomination, Nader gets my vote.

    March 6, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  7. Abha

    Vote for Hillary, that would make Chelsea with 16 year of White House experience and a better experienced candidate in future.

    March 6, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  8. Karen P

    If they can afford to revote,'s their own fault they didn't follow the rules. People in those states should be angry at their OWN officials. Let their officials pay for the election if they want one. If Obama can raise that kind of money...the Florida and Michigan figure out how to raise money to have an election.

    Not following the DNC rules in the first place was just stupid!

    March 6, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  9. Jim

    I wonder if Hillary would feel so strongly about the voices of the people of Florida and Michigan being heard if Obama had won the primaries?

    March 6, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  10. Fil Romero

    It's interesting to me that many people seem to be asking when will Hillary Clinton quit campaigning for the nomination and allow Barack Obama to win. Why does she have to quit? How come nobody is asking when will he quit and allow her to win? This is a race, a competition rather. Although he is ahead in pledged delgates Senator Obama isn't even close to securing the neccessary delegates to win. The Obama campaign and his supporters seems to feel like they're now entitled to the nomination. It's troubling to think the Obama campaign and it's supporters will feel "disenfranchised" if he doesn't win the nomination. What about the almost equal number of people who have voted for Senator Clinton? Why shouldn't they feel the same way. Is it because the vast majority of Obama supporters are black Americans who might "raise cain" if he doesn't win? Are we afraid of what they might do? Again, this is a competition that has proven to be very competetive so we have to continue on until someone actually wins. Let's also remember that superdelegates are allowed to use independent judgement when voting for a candidate. If this were a literal foot-race, and two people were neck and neck, we wouldn't expect one to just quit so the other could win. Obama and his supporters act like he's a handful of delegates away from the nomination and Hillary is just preventing him from crossing the finish line. GIVE ME A BREAK!

    March 6, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  11. Annamica, OH

    I can't believe the number of people here who would like to have FL and MI disinfranchised. Is it fear if there is a re-vote Sen. Obama would lose again?

    March 6, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  12. willard

    Rules are rules and if you can't follow them there are always consequences. It would be unfair to Obama and his campaign when he played by the rules and as always the Clinton's want to make the rules up as they go along if it is in their interest only.

    March 6, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  13. Jay

    Voters in Michigan and Florida will be crucial to the democrats winning in November. If they are disenfranchised in the primaries, you can forget about them showing up in November.

    March 6, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  14. Lisa

    Veronica in CA, that's only what she appears to be saying.

    The delegates elected would necessarily be Clinton delegates because they got no competition because Obama was not competing, respecting the rules of OUR party. They're OUR rules.

    She knows she'll get their votes. THAT's why she wants them seated.

    March 6, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  15. Dean

    A similar thing happened with the governor election in Washington State. The loser of the election kept asking for a re-count until she got ahead in the election. Then, when she got the lead after the 3rd recount she told everyone to let it go because she won. Now we are stuck with a governor who has raised more taxes and wasted more money then any governor in our history. Can't wait to get her out of office next year.

    How come when someone gets behind they just want everyone to change the rules to get ahead.

    March 6, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  16. Matt B

    Absolutely not fair to change the rules when you're behind! Cheaters never win!

    March 6, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  17. Joyce, NY

    Lots of Obama supporters in this board do not seem to read the whole story about this.

    It was the republican legislature in Florida that decided to move their primaries despite opposition from the democrats. It wasn't the fault of Florida voters that it got moved! Why punish them? They are part of this country and should be counted.

    The bigger picture is that Florida is a MUST win state in November. Obama should take heed and listen. Do not count the republican states in his column voting dems come GE.

    Florida and Ohio are MUST win swing states – if we ever learn anything from 2000 and 2004.

    So Obama and supporters, don't get so cocky. Dems need these states to win in Nov. along with Michigan. So don't tick them off!!!

    March 6, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  18. AJ / North Carolina

    JC above is wrong. Hillary will win – those of us is states to come are contacting all of our super delegates to vote for her. 🙂

    Obama = Loser
    McCain = Loser (thanks to Bush backing him)
    Hillary = Winner

    March 6, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  19. Brian

    Clinton is a sore loser. She is losing and the right person for the job is winning. She will strong arm her way into the White house. Florida and Michigan chose to ignore the rules of the game and now Clinton wants change the rules during the game. I DON'T THINK SO!!!!

    Obama will be the nominee and Clinton needs to be quiet so she can be the VP nominee.

    March 6, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  20. Bill

    I can not stand you people anymore. First of all, Hillary has not lied or cheated. She has not changed her stance on either of these states from the beginning. This is being distorted all over the place by the media and bloggers.

    What CLINTON has said. If she is the nominee, she would move to have Florida and Michigan seated. "if she is the nominee", not to get the nomination. She has also said that Michigna and Florida voters need to be counted because if they are not it will hurt the democratic party in the general election.

    You guys buy into anything you hear and then do not pay attention to the facts. Its so easy to call this women names, so I guess thats easier than actually researching some facts.

    Grow up. Yes, I am a Clinton supporter, only because people like you made me actually look into her record. She is solid, she is truthful. There is no skelton's or evil doings by the Clinton's. Also, the Obama supporters turned me off with their hateful tactics while their candidate was preaching for change.

    Hillary Clinton is a honest, trustworthy women. She has dedicated her life to public service and you people should be ashamed of yoursleves.

    March 6, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  21. willowood

    I have been feeling a little queasy lately with all this Florida/Michigan delegate poltergeist head spinning. Rules for the Clintons-oh, right, there are none. Rules for theDemocratic party-are there any? Rules for Obama and Edwards...they keep trying and Hillary keep's denying.

    March 6, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  22. HD for Obama

    A blatant attempt to steal election. Do you really want someone like this as President?

    March 6, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  23. Kerry

    She complains that Obama wants to "change the rules" when he suggests that superdelegates should vote the same way that their voeters voted but when it serves her she wants to "change the rules" herself.
    Never thought I'd say it, but I think I would vote for McCain if she got the nomination without winning the most pledged delegates.

    March 6, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  24. Steen

    Change the rules: let the people vote! You cannot disenfranchise them.
    Except when the convention comes and Clinton is trailing, then the superdelegates can overturn the will of those voters who voted for Obama.
    They sure are tricky, dem Clintons...I give em dat much. But if I ever catch one of dem poking around in my backyard...

    March 6, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  25. andy

    If Hilary had respected the rules that the DNC and ALL 50 states had agreed to, she would have respected the well-publicized restriction on awarding delegates in Florida and Michigan and not campaigned there. There should have been NO ballot for democrats in those states to avoid this ridiculous argument in the first place.

    If voters have a beef about this, they need to contact the state democratic committees in Florida and Michigan and demand that they pay for a primary...the DNC has MUCH better things to do with their money than bail out the idiots who moved the primaries in the first place. To do otherwise would be identical to allowing a football player to score a touchdown because he kept running well after the whistle was blown and everyone else stopped playing.

    March 6, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
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