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. Ken

    Please undertake to do a story or post the names of the Democractic Party Officials in Florida and Michigan who took it upon themselves to ignore the direction and rules of the Democractic Nationial Party and who authorized an alternative date for the Michigan and Florida Primaries to be held. I belive a complete disclosure of the evidence surrounding this issue is required. Everyone knows that in elections and in society in general the rule of law must be adhered to and the democractic officials responsible for disenfranchizing Michigan and Florida voters need to be held accountable. Transparency is required here, not more back room dealings.

    March 6, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  2. Byron in CA

    Funny how the media is trying to make the connection of how negative press toward Mr. Obama could have made an impact in the elections on March 4th, but still fail to go further to the connection of how they've affected the perception of Hillary and her campaign over the last 3 months with a constant barrage of negative media toward her.

    What is equally as strange is how now it is accepted/encouraged by the media and seems to be the strategy when Mr. Obama goes negative in his campaign, which they and the media have been very critical of Hillary for supposedly doing.

    The double standard still exist

    March 6, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  3. Carol in Houston TX

    HRC should gather a group of children that she wants to lead and explain to them why "rules do not matter". During this election year students are getting involved in the political process, learning about parties, caucus etc., when HRC began to her campaign she, along with the governors of these states, agreed with also to "comply" with the rules now when it benefits her (supposedly) all of a sudden she is worried about "disenfranchised" voters of these states.

    While campaigning please explain why "rules do not matter" to the children.

    March 6, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  4. MANDY

    Interestingly, the voters who went to the polls were told that their votes would not count. Many voters went home WITHOUT voting!

    And Michigan HAS to put Obama on a ballot...instead of the Cuban way of just haveing Hillary.

    Oh, I forgot...the Michigan governor is a Clinton supporter!

    March 6, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  5. the good nurse

    Here we go. This is not fair. If the shoe were on the other foot we all know that Hillary would be first in line to protest seating those delegates! The Dems better be very careful...

    March 6, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  6. Jack R.

    Florida and MIchigan met with the DNC a year and a half ago. They agreed and voted on the rules. They went against party rules and expect to be seated? No way. They should not be seated at the convention and the DNC should not fund the do-over in the event they have one. The republicans have a nominee. The DNC should now be focused on electing a Democrat as president. Florida and Michigan... you made your bed now sleep in it.

    March 6, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  7. Chris in CO

    The magic number of 2025 was determined without any delegates from FL or MI. If those delegates are now added, then the 2025 number goes to 2208. You cannot keep the number at 2025 if you now include additional delegates.

    Will someone please tell Shrillary that if she wants to add these delegates then the number required to secure the nomination also goes up. My guess is that her concern for the good citizens of FL and MI will dissapate when she figures out that she cannot add these delegates without changing the magis number.

    March 6, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  8. Bayou Joe

    The republicans got it right the first time. That is leadership folks.
    They also got it right in ousting Saddam Hussein and preventing
    Al Qaeda from setting up bases in Iraq. Bush may not be the brightest crayon in the Box., but he has protected our country since 9/11. Texas and Ohio got it right too. Hillary or McCain will do, but not Obama.

    March 6, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  9. clare

    Count Florida and Michigan. The decision to void thier votes is ridiculous and anti-democratic.

    whoever wanted to do their civic duty and vote voted. COUNT THEM IN

    March 6, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  10. pat callahan

    just shows they are all the same. change the rules as they go along.they all make me sick.

    March 6, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  11. Ruben Guzman

    There is no question here. The voting was done, already. The people have spoken. If the Candidates failed to put his names of on the ballot, so be get the votes you deserve. The Vote stands, and a re-vote is not needed. Otherwise the Clinton group will start wanting re-votes when they don't like the outcome. Getting the your name in the ballot is Politics 101, and to the Obama group that is called political experience.....! Dollar-wise and experience-foolish is what we see here. Let the vote stand as is,....the Voters were given thier choices and they have spoken...!

    March 6, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  12. Shane, Dallas, TX

    What are the Obama supporters afraid of? Yes, these states violated the rules, but don't punish the voters! Their voices need to be heard, especially in a race this close. We cannot unite the democratic party unless these states have a say. If they aren't allowed representation, whoever loses this primary season will question if their loss and their opponent's win is really a true representation and will of the US as a whole. For democracy to work, all people need a voice.

    Thank you Hillary!

    March 6, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  13. Garba

    Nice. This reminds me of my childhood days when bullies use to change the rules of the game if they felt they were losing.

    A vote is a fundamental right of people in FL and MI. No argument there. However the rules are the rules and the good folks in those two states should make the people responsible for moving the date forward pay by removing them from office come next election cycle.

    I can just about guarantee you that if the Clinton Duo wrestle this thing away from Obama, his supporters are going to raise hell like they have never seen and she will lose the presidency. We will abandon the party go independent with Barack leading.

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

    I wish some one in the democrat party tell hillary to give it up! She's only splitting the party!

    She using the feminist & racist to split the party to further her own selfish goals! Rather than who's best to beat Mccain!

    Now only because she's losing she wants MI and Florida delegates to be seated even though they agreed not to be counted. MI & FL are broke & in a recession they don't have the money! So give it up!

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

    Hillary, where were you when all these rules were decided? You were not an "advocate" for voters then, because at the time, you didn't think you would need Florida or Michigan. You thought you had it in the bag. I watched your interview with Katie Couric. When asked about if you thought about what it might be like to not get the nomination you answered, (and I quote) "It will be me." Remember that?? are really worried about all those disenfranchised just want the delegates now that you need them.

    March 6, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  16. Concerned Citizen

    The voters in Florida and Michigan have a right to have their votes counted...anything less is simply unAmerican. Whatever they choose to come up with, the DNC needs to figure it out quickly.

    It isn't the voter's fault that their state leaders went against national party leadership, so the DNC needs to work with those leaders to come up with a solution. The voters have every right to have their vote matter WHEN they cast it. Otherwise, neither candidate will have an honest majority and the entire process will be seen as being corrupt.

    Either there is a re-vote or the vote stands as is...the Florida and Michigan delegations can not simply be ignored.

    March 6, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  17. D.Kimbro OHIO

    Bill W. EXCELLENT points, it also is worth mention that these two states also agreed over a year and 1/2 ago to abide by the rules. I feel for these voters who done nothing wrong. However, you anger is mis-placed start with your officials, who disregarded the rules. The Clintons continue to distort and manipulate issues, Hillary knew she wouldnt be able to justify this. So now she is fighting for the rights of the people in Florida, and Michigan. Give me a break. What con artist these folks are. The truth will come out on them both.

    March 6, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  18. HG


    Oh Hillary give up you are done. You could never catch up in the math. I would NEVER vote for you. You are destroying this party. Barack has run an outstanding campaign while you ran like a typical cheater.

    March 6, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  19. Mike from Calgary

    The FLorida and Michigan players are ineligible, therefore a majority of the eligible delegates is now 1842 rather than 2024. Obama needs about 315 more to win. If all 50 states agree to redo the whole process, rebate to Obama and Clinto all of their expenses in the order of $200M , and to allow all contenders including Edwards to run, and to pay all primary & caucus costs thrown away and all litigation costs, and if Hillary & Obama & others agree to renege on their agreements, then the whole campaign should be repeated. Otherwise, a majoity of 1842 Seats wins the nomination.

    March 6, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  20. Mike G

    the Republicans will be laughing once again to the White House not due to their abilities. Has the DNC thought of how much money will be wasted by the candidates in having a re-do which could be used in the general election?

    Millions of Americans have come over to the Democratic Party and this is what they get...strong arming from the Clintons within their own, new party...

    March 6, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  21. 4Hillary


    DNC ~ You must seat Michigan and Florida.

    If not, you might as well let the GOP win in NOV!!

    Madame President Hillary, Thank you for speaking up for MI and FL.

    March 6, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  22. Bryan NZ

    Compromise – disqualify both states superdelegates (who are the ones to blame), seat the Florida primary delegates (where both candidates were on the ballot), & re-run Michigan caucuses (fraction of the cost of primaries). Not perfect, but about equally unfair to all.

    March 6, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  23. Dan

    Florida & Michigan's democratic leadership GAVE UP their delegates; they WERE NOT taken away. By choosing to violate party rules, they forfeited their votes. It should be plain & simple; but, for HIllary, clear logic, rules and issues of right-and-wrong apparently only apply when it's to her advantage. Would the next few states PLEASE dump her out on her ear...this is getting old, and the general election isn't even underway, yet. It would be "nice" for the states to get their delegates back, but at this point, lie in the bed you made! Don't like it? Take it up with YOUR state's democratic leadership, who broke the rules, eyes wide open.

    March 6, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  24. ross

    If you ask any teacher, rules are like laws. Without them, you have choas. Everyone knew the rules coming in, and some Michigan and Florida officials broke them. They are silenced their voters. Not the DNC.

    March 6, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  25. George T

    Florida should count! All candidates were represented and FL pays taxes like the rest of us.

    Now Michigan is a different story as Obama WASN't on the ballot–it just wouldn't be fair. Sorry Michigan, you guys should have gotten your ballot right the first time.

    Yes to FL, NO to Michigan.

    March 6, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
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