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. Jessica, MI

    Just background info: Hillary is good friends with our (MI) governor, Jennifer Granholm. Granholm has been promised a spot in a Hillary presidential administration. The MI primary date switch has been suspect and ill-timed from the start. Hillary left her name on the ballot after giving other candidates the impression she would withdraw.

    Hillary's trying to steal this election. Be wary.

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

    Hillary is the only candidate who broke the DNC's rules. In fact this should disqualify her. Florida and Michigan are the ones who ignored DNC's rules. This could go to the court.

    March 6, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  3. Len

    Another Clinton flip-flop.

    Rules seem to be for everone except them.

    I hope they destroy the DNC.

    March 6, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  4. Anonymous

    OH Hilary, give up already.

    March 6, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  5. Tony

    Hilary is just looking for another way to win. Despite agreeing initially, for Florida and Michigan to be penalised.

    March 6, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  6. Bill W

    Typical Clinton, anything to win. She agreed to the rules. Now she wants to change the rules she agreed to.

    Obama was not on the ballot. Many people did not vote, because they were told the vote wouldn't count. Also, there were other candidates still in the race when those states voted. If we let the vote again, then we need to let all the other states re-vote, where people voted for Edwards or another candidate who is no longer running. The vote in those states is NOT legitimate. It cannot be counted.

    PLUS, I am in PA. We vote last. I do not think it would be right for Florida and Michigan's votes to be moved so they are now after PA. Election after election, PA does not get to vote while the races are meaningful. Now we have a close election, and we here in PA are supposed to decide it. Florida and Michigan should not vote after us, that just is not right.

    March 6, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  7. Abner

    If the reason we are in the middle of this predicament was due to Michigan and Florida voters’ fault, then I would say that they should deal with the consequences of their actions. However, it was not vote's actions that caused them to have their votes not counted. It was the DNC’s, who threatened to impose simply UNENFORCEABLE RULES. How does the DNC expect the Michigan and Florida voters feel come November after they learn that the Democratic Party does not consider their votes worth to be counted? If those votes are not counted today, they will surely not be for the Democratic candidate in the general election. Can the democrats afford that?

    March 6, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  8. tim b

    All Democrats, the media, and the general public should be absolutely disgusted about Hillary Clinton's attempts to break the DNC's own rules and get Florida and Michigan delegates seated. Little kids on the backyard baseball field know how to follow their own rules better than does Hillary Clinton.

    Her "win at all costs" attitude, sacrificing truth, integrity, honor, and her own party's rules is the exactly the type of Washington thinking that got us into the trouble we're in today, and exactly the type of questionable character that America does not want to see in our next president.

    March 6, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  9. Kevin, Louisville, Ky

    Clinton NAFTAgate

    March 6, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  10. Sabrina, Las Vegas, NV

    Is it just me, or does anyone else think the leaders of those 2 states are in the Clintons pockets

    March 6, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  11. Willis





    I SAY NO!

    March 6, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  12. CA boomer for CHANGE

    Of course she would do that... her win at all costs mentality has absolutely nothing to do with her concern for the voters of Florida and Michigan. Can this be any more obvious?

    March 6, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  13. Jack from WV

    This just bewilders me how two States, Florida and Michigan who knew as well as the other States when their primaries were suppose to be held, yet on their own decided to hold them early knowing that there was going to be problems. Now since it didn’t work out Mr. Dean understands that without those votes counting the possibility of going to the Nation Convention without a clear winner is almost impossible he is open for suggestions. Give me a break. I have children and I have told them that if you make a decision and a bad one you must suffer the consequences, and so must Florida and Michigan.
    I know that since this race is heating up once again and the possibility of either Obama or Clinton bowing out is just not plausible, Mr. Dean will have to come to some sort of compromise. Either way it’s wrong these States should suffer the consequences.

    March 6, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  14. MexAm

    Dean talks out of both sides of his mouth. He wants Fla and Mi to follow the rules. so no revote, no seating of the delgates. But if the people want a redo, then the taxpayers of Fla and Mi. have to pay for it.
    So he is ok with it if someone else pays for it. Nice going Mr. Democrat. Eat your cake and eat it too. This way the DNC does not get blamed for denying the vote to Fla and Mi.

    Why don't we just stop voting and you can put up Obama for President would that work for you. Then we can get down to the nitty gritty of electing a President. and save everyone the money and time.


    March 6, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  15. Randy - Denver

    What would be best is for the rules, as established AND AGREED TO were followed, pure and simple, the democratic parties of Fl and MI tried to increase their importance by moving up their primariew against the wishes of the DNC (who choose HOW their representative is selected, there is no Right to vote for a party selection). Theoir bid for power failed pure and simple, the citizens of both states ahd plenty of time to call and fight their local prties to change the dates, they did not so they lose out. Other states tried the same thing when told what the punishment would be by the DNC they managed to change their dates so quit harping on this issue it is over and dead the states gambled they lost pure and simple. If those in those two states do not like it change your party leaders next chance you get. Hillary is only trying to turn attention from her loss in Texas and the fact she has gained less delegates after her "Great Win" then Mr. Obama will gain in Mississippi

    March 6, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  16. barry

    democracy means everyone has a voice. count the votes... otherwise,
    democrats may go join Lou Dobbs or support McCain

    March 6, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  17. gary

    i think florida should be seated. michigan needs to revote as not all were on the ticket

    March 6, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  18. Chet M

    There is no question in my mind that a repeat primary or a caucus needs to be staged, particularly in my home state of Michigan.

    I realize that this will entail spending some money, but so be it.

    Many of us, because of the fact that Obama was NOT on the ballet 1) stayed home – the weather being crummy, as usual – 2)voted 'uncommitted' or 3) crossed over and voted against the Republican we liked least. In no way does this represent the true wishes of many of the state's Democratic or independant voters. Furthermore at the time, the democratic national committee made it apinfully clear that the results would not count, going so far as to cancle the hotel reservations of our delegation.

    If neither candidate gets the majority of the pledged delegates, then rather than have it decided by some 'backroom deal' amongst the super delegates, something that would hurt the party in the general election, run the primaries here. Michigan is quite representative of the United States in terms of diversity of population.

    March 6, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  19. Dan Hussein Smith, TX

    I think these two states need to vote again. Let me suggest May 31 to give both candidates time to campaign.

    As an Obama supporter I strongly look forward to a fair contest in MI and FL.

    March 6, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  20. Kim

    She's a fraud!!! She will do anything to win - including this unethical and unfair stunt!

    March 6, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  21. Mary C

    Hillary is trying to destroy the democratic party. I as one democrat will vote for McCain if she is the democratic nominee. She is shameless. I would like to remind her that Ohio put Bush back in office and now they hate him. Ohio is no measure of how this nation goes. So goes Ohio, so goes the economy.

    March 6, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  22. Nadeem

    What a joke.

    I can't win without chaging the rules, so lets change the rules that i agreed to. Forget that i agreed, now that i am loosing change the rules and include them, but dont do a caucus because that doens not work for me.

    March 6, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  23. Army Vet

    please Go away Hillary....Don't start changing the rules because you can't get the delegates needed to beat Obama. The people have spoken! DROP OUT NOW!

    obama 08

    March 6, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  24. Louis

    The delegates should not be seated unless they have a real primary or caucus. and it is not that you are telling 2 million voters in Florida that they don't count, you are telling the other 3 million that didn't vote because they knew the primary was bogus.

    March 6, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  25. rightsaid

    Those delegates cannot be seated unless there is a re-vote. And a re-vote would be a fine idea, so long as the states pony up and pay the tab. Consider it a lesson learned.

    But it will not matter. Obama is going to have more pledged delegates, especially since he WON Texas on Tuesday. Barring some strange wrangling, he will be the nominee. HRC's recent rants, especially inferring that her would be opponent McCain would make a better president than Obama and trying to count Florida and Michigan as wins, show that she and her camp will indeed say anything to get elected. I for one think that is scary. Much more scary than 3am calls. . . .

    Obama 2008!

    March 6, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14