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. Gary

    This is moot point. Florida and Michigan re-dos while democratically and politically correct will not alter the delegate count. I suspect that if they did re-dos that Clinton and Obama will get a similar number of delegates, despite theearlier primaries. So if thats whats best for the party then conduct them. No big deal its only money to hold them at stake. It looks like this will go to the convention. If I may ask PA voters a favor- please review the latest Clinton scandal/fraud/discrepancy about NAFTA and Obama and Canada. Here is your chance to right a wrong, as well as give the fine people in Ohio some redemption for their being duped. America will not stand for cheats, corruption etc. We'll leave that domain for the GOP and Clintons. That will only help McCain(McBush) in the general.

    March 6, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  2. Mary

    Every votes counts...even the ones in Florida and Michigan. I think something can be done to make this equal for Hilliary and Obama. They both are great, and deserve every vote they can get. this is still americanot South africa or Russia. Let the good times roll. as President Bush says, "Lets Roll".

    March 6, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  3. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    The Clintons have broken so many laws and rules, one more won't hurt. Republicans are smart, Giuliani was their baggage and they got rid of it quick, very smart. Democrats hold onto old baggage and vote for Hillary while she's creating more baggage to take to the White House, not so smart. Wake up democrats, Hillary is not your winning ticket.

    March 6, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  4. nick

    Why didn't she come out for them when they first decided not to count their votes? Need I answer for you? She is a Clinton for sure. Snake

    March 6, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  5. Diane in Texas

    Whose fault is it that Obama was too inexperienced to put his name on the ballot even though the delegates didn't matter? It is his fault and if he is too inexperienced to do this tiny task, he is too inepexperienced to be president. GIVE THE PEOPLE OF FLORIDA THEIR VOICES BACK, LET THE VOTES COUNT. SAME IN MICHIGAN. If the Dems lose Florida, they will lose the entire election in November. Oh well!

    March 6, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  6. simple thought ?

    she who laughs last, may have the last laugh?

    March 6, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  7. Sheri

    First of all the people of Florida and Michigan should not be upset with the DNC, they should be looking at their representatives for not playing by the rules.
    Hillary Clinton went against the rules voted by the DNC and chose to go ahead and campaign in Florida, the people who voted for her were essentially duped by Florida leaders.
    If Florida and Michigan want their delegates to count then they should cough up the money to have a redo for primaries or caucases.
    The public was privy back then when Hillary made a dash for Florida to obtain delegates, and it's very transparent what she's trying to do now. Guess what Clinton campaign? NICE GUYS DO FINISH LAST!

    March 6, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  8. Alan

    Ol' Hill at it again. Displaying the same type of failed leadership she did in the '90's with healthcare. If is doesn't go her way she tries to bully and force it on people.

    Yeah that is the kind of leader we need.

    March 6, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  9. Larry Dickman - IA

    She agreed to the rules and now she wants to change them. Sorry but that is not right. If the shoe was reversed, you know she would not want the delegates to be seated.

    Is it right that the votes don't count – yes. However these two states had the chance to not change the dates of their primaries, and they didn't. Sorry.

    March 6, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  10. Stephina

    I don't believe that the Democratic Party really afford to turn away primary votes and delegates from Florida and Michigan.

    In the end they will have to hold another primary prior to June or seat the delegates according the votes that were taken during their original primaries.

    The Democratic Party comes across as not knowing what they are doing, they have divided their nomination and caused hate between the Clinton and Obama supporters and yet they expect to win in November. I don't see that happening at the current rate they are going.

    March 6, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  11. Veronica in CA

    She's NOT talking about having the results stand as they are. She's talking about finding SOME way to seat delegates from Florida and Michigan after it has been determined by those states and the DNC how to apportion them.

    March 6, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  12. Mark

    I cant live through another 8 years of posturing Clinton side speak. Congrats Ohio, youve voted for another candidate who will completely ignore your situation and ignore your state for another 4 years. But like good machine style party democrats you supported your base. the same base that left you for dead about 30 years ago. Im starting to think OH may be slow in the head.

    March 6, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  13. Eric

    I am outraged by Charlie Crist's "offer" to have a second primary.

    It's clear to me that the purpose of a second primary in Florida would be to prolong to nomination process, thereby helping McCain (whom Crist endorsed). Florida moved the primary when we knew the delegates would be stripped and went ahead anyway.

    Florida is in a serious budget crisis. I'm a state prosecutor and our cost of living increases were cancelled because we're so broke. The governor has been having every state budget slashed because the projected state income fell far short. My office has a hiring freeze and it's unclear when we'll ever get the raises we were promised when we were hired. It is outrageous that he would offer to have a second primary, costing the state of Florida millions of dollars, when we can't even pay law enforcement and prosecutors, especially when we moved the primary ahead in spite of admonitions by the DNC.

    Does anyone disagree that Crist's move is purely political? He's obviously positioning himself to be McCain's VP pick. It doesn't hurt that he's getting national attention either.

    March 6, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  14. Jazz

    Is it true that Obama took his name off in MI to help Iowa remain as the first to vote in these contests? Didn't New Hampshire move their primary up too? Why aren't their votes cast out too? It apparently pays to have the leader of the party be from YOUR state when you violate the rules. Obama didn't take his name off in FL but DID Win in Iowa.
    Please find the answers CNN. Thank you.

    The elections did not violate the laws of the land. They violated PARLIAMENTARY rules of the party. How big are the egoes at the DNC? What a fine mess they've gotten us into.
    Real Democrats Don't Quit!!!!!!!!!

    March 6, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  15. Demetri Demo

    It's good to see that partisan lines are forming WITHIN the Democratic Party. Good to know we're going to lose the general election because everyone here is so in love with their own candidate, so intent on just beating the other person, that they forgot that whomever wins, we ALL have to support. That is, unless you want McCain to win.

    March 6, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  16. Serge from Miami

    Why would anyone change the rules in the middle of a contest? In my experience, only cheaters and opportunists do that.

    Go figure.

    March 6, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |

    America, America, One day Hillary and Bill Clinton will come clean but when.

    The Bill Clinton of the past was a great leader before he put America for sale to China, Japan, Russia, UEA yes Dubai Port World.

    Now when they put America for sale we all are at risk. America we need to ask more question.......

    Bill Clinton, has did what no other President in history have never done in the world history.

    What would you call it if we find out he been selling secrets......

    March 6, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  18. Amy

    The villain in this is not Howard Dean. The villains are the members of the Florida and Michigan parties who not only knew the rules, but agreed to them. And then later for selfish reasons chose to thumb their nose at them. If you want to be angry at someone, be angry at them.

    What are we teaching our children if we say, "Okay, you can cheat and break the rules and then complain and still get your way." I feel bad for the voters in those states, but not because of Howard Dean. I feel bad for the voters because of their own leadership. Shame on them.

    And let's be honest hear. The governors of both states want Hillary Clinton as the democratic candidate... but for very different reasons. I wish Howard Dean had the guts to hold his ground. Those delegates should not be seated. There are consequences for your actions.

    March 6, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  19. Oh, Bill in PA....

    The DNC needs to figure something out with MI and FL, the voters of these states should not be penalized for something they had no control over. If the race weren't so close, it probably wouldn't matter, but it is, and so it does. I am sure they can come up with something that BOTH candidates agree with....

    and for Bill in PA, don't worry little one...your vote will shouldn't put your desire to 'vote last' ahead of the voice of millions of voters....

    democrat '08!

    March 6, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |

    To Bill W; you hit the nail right on the head. Rules, laws, ethics, honesty, integrity, morality, honoring your word; these are but SOME of the things that have no meaning to Hillary or Bubba. The only difference between Bubba and Hillary when it comes to the truth is that Bubba is a CONVICTED liar and she hasn'r been caught yet.

    March 6, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  21. Janel, St. Paul, MN

    If the DNC . . .and all the super-delegates. . .bow to the HUGE Clinton machine, they will lose voters.

    For the first time in many years, voters have been drawn into this contest. This is NOT because of Clinton, but because of Obama's draw.

    He promises "Hope," yes "H.O.P.E" This is something the Clinton/McCain campaigns joke about. But the Obama supporters have it. . .they desperately are looking forward to this.

    If their dreams are shattered, goodbye to Clinton and perhaps McCain. Voters will not turn out. . .and who knows where our country will be headed.

    March 6, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  22. OBAMA 08

    Fine, let her have a do over, as long as SHE pays for it. It is not fair for the DNC to have to dish out $25 million of party cash, just because Miss Hillary didn't do as well as she thought in all the other states.

    This is outrageous. She's going to use the Latino population again and try to win. It's over Hillary, just give it up. You will never catch up in pledged delegates.

    March 6, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  23. Franky

    "[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."

    Believe it or not, this is why I think it might be just a little hard to do it. But Howard is right, that I can't argue with. As for Michigan and Florida, I got their back but I'm sure they know their situation they're involve with....

    March 6, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  24. frank

    Go Hillary!! we are supporting you all the way.

    March 6, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  25. David

    The dialogue–in these Ticker blogs, on street corners, in living rooms, and communities across the country–is disintegrating. Ours is a party whose time and opportunity have come. We have a Republican President with the lowest approval ratings of any president of any party in recent memory, an unpopular war costing us billions of dollars and thousands of lives, an economy in utter disarray, a standing in the world that could hardly be worse...the list goes on and on. The time is now for a change, and yet we seem considerably more disposed to sniping at one another.

    At some point, this madness must end. The real risk–and none of us should underestimate its impact in November–is that the Republicans are consolidating and singularly focused on November. Our focus is diffuse. We have circled the wagons, and we are shooting ourselves. Beware, fellow Ds. We run the distinct risk of snatching defeat from the jaws of certain victory.

    March 6, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
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