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. Kevin

    Obama supporters how young and naive you are !

    Can't win the election without florida or ohio. Simple fact !!!!

    Obama won't win Fl, Hillary proved that he won't win Ohio.

    Besides once the Resko trial drops the O bomb he's finished

    Bye Bye Barack. Hope all you young people that sent him money which you couldn't afford to send get a refund!!

    March 6, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  2. JR

    I agree the delegates must be seated. The best way to this is to divide the delegates evenly between the candidates (183 each). This would eliminate the need for a redo and would be fair to both parties. Not cost anything. No candidate should get more than the other since this was not a legal election, but it would respect the people and grant them their delegates. Also if this is done, There will be less reliance on the superdelegates.

    March 6, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  3. Mad in Texas

    Right on Hillary. No vote or delegate should not be counted. I don't know what's wrong with the Democrat national party to have come up with such a mess. They should let the state decide when to have primarys and NO CACUSES. All delegates should got to the winner of that state like the Republicans. Listen to me DEAN most of the Democrats out here that matter want MICHIGAN AND FLORIDA votes to count. There is no need for a recount. To bad the Whiner didn't put his name on the ballot in Michigan he sure advertised in Florida and his name was on the ballot. Too bad he got smoked. HILLARY 08

    March 6, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  4. April in Texas

    Sorry the rules shouldnt change just because it may favor one candidate over another. All parties agreed they would not count. If anything maybe a re-do vote but the states should be responsibel and nt the DNC. Dean stay strong for the strength of the democratic party.

    March 6, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  5. John Burger

    Seems to me if the Democratic Party wanted to end this fight they could do so today…

    Solution: John Edwards and his 23 pledged delgates

    If John would come out and endorse Barack Obama, his lead would be that much larger, and it would allow cover for super delegates to go to his side….then they could put him over the top.

    This would be well within the rules and be fair.

    Nobody is reporting this angle…John Edwards holds the key from keeping the Democrats from tearing the party apart…and it is the responsible thing to do….standing aside is standing for the Republicans.

    Florida and Michigan would be side stories…

    March 6, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  6. Jason, San Diego

    It's funny how Hillary was so much less concerned about all this when she had Super Tuesday set in her head as the day she'd take the nomination. It's also interesting that after formally agreeing not to campaign in those states, Hillary did exactly that. Everyone–the states themselves, the DNC, everyone–agreed that Michigan and Florida were going to lose their delegates. I, for one, just can't trust her...I want to, but she constantly puts her own ambition over the good of the United States. I guess her "35 years" (yeah, right) experience have taught her one thing: lie and cheat and steal...Washington style!

    Obama '08!

    March 6, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  7. Jim

    Of course she wants the delegates seated. She won Michigan because she was the only person on the ballot. She won florida because nobody else campaigned there. she wants them seated because she knows that is the only way she even has a prayer of winning the nomination. The lesson folks is this: If at first you don't succeed....Cheat!!!!

    March 6, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  8. Bill

    Obviously there is no way they can use the results of the primaries; Obama didn't campaign in those states and wasn't even on the Michigan ballot. That would be totally unfair.

    And really, should Florida even be allowed to vote anymore. I mean, first the hanging chads, and now this?

    March 6, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  9. Tonya

    You can't change the rules in the middle of the game just to suit you!! What's fair about that? If they do this and she wins the nomination a lot of people won't vote and we'll just suffer through 4 more years of Republican leadership!

    March 6, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  10. Richard

    Even though I do not support Clinton, Obama or McCain I find Hillary's recent tactics against Obama quite disgusting. The Florida and Michigan Democratic Party officials broke the rules that THEY AGREED UPON and now cry fowl. Fair is fair. If they want to have a revote after every state (including Puerto Rico) have voted then that seems somewhat fair.

    March 6, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  11. Pat M Canada

    "You Know" to coin a phrase. I think that America should go to the drawing board and design a hard and fast never to change document on "The Rules for Presidential Elections in America for All States."

    This is definitely the stuff that movies are made from !

    Here's an idea.... Let the citizens all over America vote for their Candidate of Choice all on the Same Day ! Each State counts their votes, records them and the one with highest number of votes wins!
    Very elementary....then if the Candidates want Delegates and Super Delegates....Have that vote separate...add up who got the most Delegates add that number to the number of the Dem and Repub with the winning number of votes in the Citizens election and the Candidate with the hightest total wins!

    March 6, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  12. Ronald, American living abroad

    Why is Hillary starting a war with the DNC over FL and MI? This is a wag-the-dog diversion to make people forget that she has not released her tax returns, that she is involved in a California lawsuit over illegal campaign contributions, that her campaign was responsbile for the Canada NAFTA-gate leak. What is Hillary trying to hide by changing the subject?

    Why is CNN so derelict on updating all the superdelegates who have endorsed Obama today?

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

    Obama should unite the party by admitting that he is not ready to lead our nation

    Hillary will be our Nominee,

    Obama should start investing an equal ammount of money on his campaign . It will show America that without double spending he cannot cause a significant impact in those people, including me who understand that he is simply not ready to lead our nation.
    Hillary can make a great difference and Obama could be a potential good Vice President. Obama can learn as a VP and eventually become our President.

    This election is not about race , gender or SES, it is about the future of our loved nation.

    Live to America and

    Hillary for President!!!

    Hillary 08- President of the United States of America

    March 6, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  14. Xavier, Washington, DC

    Whah, whah. I can't win playing by the rules so let's change them.

    March 6, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  15. Chris - Moreno Valley, Ca

    Well here she goes again, crying because she is behind in the delegate count and knows that there is no way she can catch Obama, no matter how you do the math, neither one of them will have enough, she and all of the other democrats voted for the DNC rules and now she wants to change them because they will most likely benefit her campaign, I don't think she'll be able to change the rules of the world at 3am if (and she won't) she becomes president, stick to the rules of the game Hiliary and lose graciously and save the Clinton name from humiliation, if she becomes the nominee you can guarantee there will be a lot of Dems voting Republican this year not to mention Independants and we will have another four years of Bush-enomics with McCain, can you say recession

    March 6, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  16. larry from minnesota

    Despite all the tricks, in our country everyone should be allowed to have a vote. I don't think there is any other option than to allow Florida and Michigan to vote again. I am unimpressed by Hillary's campaigning in both states and keeping her name on the ballot when the DNC had disallowed the earlier primary. Now, of course, people in Michigan and Florida will be more favorable to her because of her disregard of the DNC's discipline.

    March 6, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  17. LA


    March 6, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  18. Tmll

    Of course she does. Change the rules, break the rules, whenEVER
    its convenient. Win at all cost Hillary. It is sad that after both states
    of Michigan and Florida were officially told they had broken the rules, they still went ahead and had all those citizens go and vote. Did the states leaders tell them their votes were null and void before these people made the trek to vote? This whole think stinks to high Heaven and is worse than the chads fiasco in Florida. Clever though. Whoever backroomed this baby has money in the Cayman's!

    March 6, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  19. Lydia

    typical Clinton double speak

    March 6, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  20. Mildred

    Hillary want they vote. Here we go again.

    March 6, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  21. Martin

    We now see what kind of President Hillary will make. An agreement with her wouldn't be worth used toilet paper. She is running around screaming , "experience". Experience in what? To not abide by what one agreed to? Is this who we want as leader of this country? She's no differant from whom she wants to replace. Bush. Both are lawless in their dealings. God help us if she becomes President. No integrity period.

    March 6, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  22. BigAce

    More double speak from the Clinton campaign. When you are loosing fair and square, you want to change the rules in the middle of the game.

    I'm a Floridian, and I do want my vote to count. So Hillary, or your supporters, at this late date, how will the delegates be seated? Who's going to pay for a re-vote? When will it occur?

    You should'nt pledge to play by the rules and when you see that you are loosing, then look to change those very rules that you pledged to follow.

    Can someone say Flip-Flopper?

    March 6, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  23. Deb in Dallas

    Hillary wants to win – and like a 5 year old-she changes the rules to suit her. rules is rules lady!

    March 6, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  24. CHERYL






    VOTE HILLARY CLINTON 2008!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    March 6, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  25. Decline to State - San Francisco

    You can't rewind the clock (or just smash it as Clinton would have them do). What about Edwards and the others who were still in the race when Michigan and Florida had their ill-fated primaries? What if one of them had done well in one or both states. Would momentum have swung some other way? Would we now be looking at a different race than we are now? Who knows? The fact is that those states knew (and their voters should have known) that the DNC was going to ding them for breaking the rules. Sleep inthe bed you made, Florida and Michigan.

    March 6, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
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