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. Tony

    What about democracy? Don't we need rules and laws and should we allow to violate them if they do not favour the Clintons? The "Democratic" party has shown enough personal loyalty to the Clintons, and now the "superdelegates" disproportionaly to the voters still push Hillary just based on some kind of personal loyalty to her family. The "Democratic" party should keep in mind the people are voting CHANGE in Washington and not CHANGE of their rules so that the party favours Clinton once more (this is how Bush was forced into office; don't do that or if you do it change your name).

    March 6, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  2. Alex

    Typical radical leftist views from Obama people. The math is very simple in the general election. NO FLORIDA+NO MICHIGAN=NO GENERAL ELECTION WIN.

    March 6, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  3. David, Boca Raton, FL

    Ahhh, us Republicans are loving this.

    March 6, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  4. Vera Shabazz


    March 6, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  5. G.L.

    Does anyone hear how ridiculous it sounds to blame one person for the actions of the DNC, the MI Democratic Party, the FL Democratic Party and the FL state legislature (which is republican)?

    Did it ever occur to you that the "Rules" made by the DNC were flawed from the start? ...That the punishment for breaking those rules was made up by the DNC as it went along? ...That the punishment doesn't fit the crime? ...That disenfranchising the voting public who had no voice in the choices that all these parties made isn't an appropriate way to deal with "breaking the rules"?

    The DNC is supposed to be the parent organisation here-obstensibly with its' wisest members making well thought out choices for all democrates...they blew it.

    Seat the delegates, fire Howard Dean, and learn from the mistake.

    March 6, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  6. Fake it til you make it Hillary








    OBAMA 08

    March 6, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  7. Paul

    I'm a Democrat in Michigan, and I don't think our delegates deserve to be sat at the convention. Our state's democratic leadership agreed to abide by rules in scheduling, and we broke those rules, even after we were told "If you break these rules, this is what will happen." Then we act shocked that the consequences that were spelled out for us occurred. No do-overs, No seating delegates, this should be a wake-up call to the state leadership that not adhering to something they agreed to is not a way to do business, to build a cohesive political party, or to have a fair and equitable democratic system.

    And for people from other states who think this will affect how voters in Michigan will make their choice, you are wrong. The people of Michigan are not stupid enough to submit themselves to four years of John McCain because they feel snubbed. Myself and every other michigan dem I know will still be voting, and still be voting dem in November.

    March 6, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  8. Wes

    Obama followed the rules to his party for this process. Hillary didn't.

    If Obama didn't the lead as the front runner from all those primaries I bet we wouldnt' be talking so much about Florida and Michigan.

    Voters should vote but give credit where its due and where its not. The Republican governor of Florida messed it up for the Democrats in Florida. Another way should be figured out. Same for Michigan.

    And ALL OF THE SUDDEN they're strongly advocating the voice of the voters.

    HELLOOOO WE'RE INTO MARCH ALREADY. Where was your speaking for the people voice a month ago or before that?

    March 6, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  9. Nadeem

    Also, Hillary used the marketing spin of winning there. Remember her going to Forida for a victory party. Haw do you undo that.

    This is a joke.

    March 6, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  10. Terry in Texas

    how can we as democrats, especially in a state like Florida, where we claim that Al Gore was robbed of the White House because every vote did not count..Now we are trying to stop votes from counting. I voted for Obama, but if Florida causes him to lose so be it. We just cannot tell that many people their vote does not count....The DNC cannot have legal right to do that. It is absolutely wrong in a free society such as ours.

    March 6, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  11. Jay

    I would bet that after the general election, Dean is out as DNC chair. This is a train-wreck and all his doing.

    March 6, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  12. chris, cedar rapids, iowa

    I'm a Republican who was going to switch parites but this issue has me sticking to my side of the road. If the Democrats can't play by their own rules what is to say that Clinton or Obama will play by the rules as President. How can any sensible person with a 6 grade education NOT see this as clearly a Clinton side step to power...whatever..and you guys speak of change? Ya right...

    One thing though..when did inspiration become a bad word Hillary Clinton. Don't we appreciate when our bosses allow us to do what we are capable of..only with their inspiration to succeed to be better ourselfs! Since when did America become so dependant on Government that who becomes President is more important than what we as individuals can achieve. Obama has it right . I'd rather listen to his inspiration than Clintons "anyway I can to get the presidents office" talk. Lets move on's not about her, it's about US!

    March 6, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  13. kb from Iowa

    If they do it and she wins it...say good bye to Obama's supporters. They'll be so disheartened they won't show up Nov. 3rd. Try to win the general election without them.

    March 6, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  14. Kyle

    One question: Would she make this argument if she lost in each state?

    March 6, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  15. Justin

    Come on. The reality is that unless Florida and Michigan count neither candidate can win. If this wasn't the case there would be no debate, but it is the case. This question is an issue because of the numbers, not because Hillary is desperate (sp?), a whiner, a liar, a cheat, or a vain phony . Forgetting the reality of the numbers... If it were the other way around Barack supporters wouldn't have a problem. Excluding these two states threatens the legitamacy of the democratic process and of democratic principles. In a time where America is trying to show other countries that democracy works, it would be foolish to ignore the votes and voices of the people of two major states of this union.

    P.S. Even though it keeps being said that Barrack is ahead in the popular vote, it is untrue. Hillary is ahead in the popular vote. More people, based on votes, not delegates, want Hillary Clinton to be the president of this country. Why is everyone ignoring this fact?

    P.P.S. CNN, I find it hard to believe that the only people that have commented on this issue are Obama supporters. This is what SNL alluded to in the unfair treatment of Hillary in the media. Does anyone remember that the so-called negative direction of Hillary's campaign was in response to negative campaign ads from the Obama camp? Why isn't the media bringing that up? Furthermore, how is asking the questions that every American should be asking themselves when choosing a president a negative campaign tactic? The Obama supporters are getting so mad that Hillary has asked these questions because deep down they know the answer.

    March 6, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  16. Tony

    What about democracy? Don't we need rules and laws and should we allow to violate them if they do not favor the Clintons? The "Democratic" party has shown enough personal loyalty to the Clintons, and now the "superdelegates" disproportionally to the voters still push Hillary just based on some kind of personal loyalty to her family. The "Democratic" party should keep in mind the people are voting CHANGE in Washington and not CHANGE of their rules so that the party favors Clinton once more (this is how Bush was forced into office; don't do that or if you do it change your name).

    March 6, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  17. WML

    There should be a revote but I wouldn't be surprised if Hillary wins again and wins big. Then Obama will see that he can't win the big prizes which is important. Open your eyes: Hillary has the base voting for her and Obama has Republicans and Independents who have no intention of voting for him in Nov. Who will win then? I think he needs to realize that instead of whining that people are flocking to him. Only when he was winning because everyone loves a winner and they erroneously thought this would be over by now. There are too many superdelegates and too many states to just wipe everything away to someone who does not have a clear and decisive lead like McCain had over his competitors. Enough already.

    Another thing we've been talking about is he kept himself on the ballot in FL but not MI. He lost there. Maybe Hillary had the foresight to know that this would happen and that the rule (stripping delegates was stupid). Obama could have kept his name on, too. She did nothing wrong by doing that. Maybe the whining is on the other side because they didn't win and if they are seated, or even redone, Obama may lose and then he will be the underdog.

    I think the cries for Hillary to get out are absurd. The race is still close, truly. Obama simply doesn't want to fight for something he thinks he's entitled to. He wants no one to scrutinize or criticize him as we can see through how he behaves when he is and when he's the one who lost. Yeah, I want that attitude and arrogance in my president.

    And, his fundraising couldn't buy him the elections in Texas, Ohio, and Rhode Island. I think people need to see Obama completely not just his sermon-like ways. Yes, this country could use some uplifting but we need real solutions and talk. And if he's turning negative (actually, he has already been negative), then he's going against his hope and change message. That's politics as usual, whether we like it or not, and by him doing the dance, he's no different and it takes a bite out of his slogan.

    March 6, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  18. Grif

    Yes Vanessa! If you don't mind my comment. But, was your vote negative, even if it was to you. Positive.

    If somebody else win's. You can't go negative afterwards. If you lose, you lose.

    Or at least you backed a loser. No winnings. Sorry.

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

    CNN investigated Hillary's qualifications to answer the red phone at 3:00 a.m. . . . but, I didn't hear any such report on Obama's qualifications.

    Obama told us he has the better judgement. I hope when CNN gets around to investigating his judgement, that they examine his judgement in purchasing discounted Chicago real estate (and with whose help); his judgement in answering press inquires about NAFT and the Canadians before he knew the truth; his judgement in retaining a staff member who didn't brief him about a conversation with a foreign government and his judgement about meeting his responsibillities as chair of the committee with oversight for Afghanistan.

    March 6, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  20. Brent

    This is what the U.S. election process is about....Hate all the candidates you don't want. I am so sick of politics.

    March 6, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  21. Jose'

    Must. Have. Power

    At. All. Costs.

    March 6, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  22. GME

    Hillary supporters:

    Wonder why it is Hillary Clinton now and not Hillary Rodham Clinton?
    Answer: Her brothers Tony and Hugh Rodham. Take a look at the Wikipedia articles. They received money from people in exchange for Pardons from Bill Clinton

    What tax returns are people talking about releasing; it is not April 15 yet?
    Answer: 2000 through 2006

    What is with Obama and Rezko , go to They have a very good article.

    Question Hillary supporters should be asking? Who is Norman Hsu?
    Answer: Wow, do a quick search and you will probably forget about Rezko, because you will have found the real thing.

    Question Hillary supporters should be asking? What comprises the 8 years of experience you had as First Lady and the 6 years of experience you had as Arkansas first lady?
    Answer: Well Hillary's schedule as First Lady while her husband was president won't be released until it is too late for democrats.

    Question Hillary supporters should be asking: How were you an integral part of the team if you did not have a security clearance as first lady?
    Question Hillary supporters should be asking: Are you voting for Hillary Rodham Clinton or Bill Clinton?
    Answer: Bill Clinton

    March 6, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  23. smb

    Of course you have to count both states. The DNC can't possibly continue the foolishness of not allowing over 5,000,000 citizens votes to be heard as opposed to 10,000 in some caucus states where "victory " was heralded. Obama who seems to do well where party activists are the only ones who have the time or patience to attend a caucus has not done well in crucial fall states and was on the Florida ballot along with John Edwards. Hillary won Florida the first time and will do so again either now and/or in the fall election.Obama did not take Florida,will not take it in a second round,and is doubtfull to carry it in a general election.

    March 6, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  24. Randolph Smith - Charlotte, North Carolina

    The Republicans want to have Hilary win because they can beat her easily. The Republicans in charge of Florida will not let a new election occur that could give Barak an advantage. Now they want to make sure to take money out of the Democrats coffers if there will be a re-do. This has everything to do with partisain politics and the political machines in Washington. If the delegates are seated as the votes are, Obama will win the rest of the primaries by landslides because it would expose the political inside machines to the people.

    March 6, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  25. Miguel G

    I agree 100% with Ken, CNN, please do a story on the "party leaders" that screwed the people of Florida and Michigan! Show their faces. List their positions and credentials. Note who voted for and who voted against (if any) moving their primaries up. The people have a right to know who caused all of this. Maybe then, people will stop blaming Dean or the DNC and put the blame squarely where it belongs!

    It's always Party Leaders, party leaders, party leaders. No more ambiguous labels!

    March 6, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
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