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. Ashley

    At 3am all Hillary is gonna do is pick the phone up and hand it to Bill. Let him deal with whatever is going wrong.

    Give it up Hillary

    March 6, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  2. L.B.


    March 6, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  3. Moore

    "This connection between the Clintons and InfoUSA only underscores the necessity of full disclosure of income sources and amounts by all the presidential candidates and the release of their income tax returns, a step Mrs. Clinton has, thus far, refused to take. "

    Clintons tied to scamming elderly. Google it!

    March 6, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  4. Ardnuas

    I hope voters are "smart" enough to ask her to release her tax returns, and e-mails that she is HIDING. Also ask... WHAT EXPERIENCE DOES SHE HAVE ?
    ( Florida and Michigan broke the rules, and Clinton AGREED with the punishment) Obama/Edwards 08 Si Se Puede

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

    Obama is still ahead. Go Obama 08' NO MORE CLINTONS!!!!!!!!!

    March 6, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  6. andrew jones your dream old lady!

    March 6, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  7. 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 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  8. Paul M

    There should be no do-over contests. Both Florida and Michigan knew they were in violation of the DNC rules by holding their primaries when they did. Respecting the DNC rules, neither Barack Obama nor Hillary Clinton campaigned in either state (in fact, Obama wasn't even on one ballot). But now that the race is so close, there is talk (especially by the Clinton side) to take a Mulligan rather than abide by the rules. There won't be any "do-overs" for whomever is elected President. The candidates should learn that now. Also, I don't get to vote twice in my state and the voters in Florida and Michigan (who knew there would be no delegates attached to their votes when they went to the polls the first time) shouldn't be afforded the opportunity to a do-over. If any do-overs ARE conducted, the DNC should not foot the bill.

    March 6, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  9. Vincent Faraone

    If you cant win fair and square, Cheat. How refreshing that the lepord didnt change her spots.

    March 6, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  10. Jeremy

    Wow Ryan

    "she didn't know that these states would even be necessary"

    Did she think she would win the nomination so easily that they wouldn't matter. Sounds like the arrogance we should be against.

    March 6, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  11. d

    Being from Michigan, I know for a fact that our State cannot spare such an expense. I, being a taxpayer, do not want my taxes raised once again to have a "revote" period. Our Govenor KNEW this was against the DNC rules, and she went ahead with it anyways. Furthermore, the revoting for Michigan and Florida WAS NOT looked at until now???? Come on...............guess it will ALWAYS be dirty Politics as usual with these candidates.

    March 6, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  12. BS

    You can't change the rules half way through the fight.

    Is Carl Rove Hillary's campaign manager!!!!!

    March 6, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  13. Henry

    The rules for Florida and Michigan were set before the process and the Clintons agreed. The Democratic National Committee should put a stop to the underhanded acts of the Clintons.

    If the DCN allows the Clintons/Super Delagets to go against the will of the people I and many will change political parties.

    Dmocratic National Commitee (DCN) needs to step in against the tactics of the Clinton Campaign. It is obvious the Clintons have no shame.

    March 6, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  14. Efrain Hernandez Sr.

    I am a Florida registered Democrat voting on each local, county, state and national election since 1974. I have never seen something like the actual situation regarding my Democrat Party at the State and National level ignoring the power of the constitutional voting rights of the registered voters in Florida. If the NDC had to penalize someone for moving ahead the primaries in Florida, Dr. Dean took the easy but dangerous decision not to allow the Florida delegates to be seated at the National Convention. Why he did not penalize the leaders of the Florida State Democrat Committee instead. We, the voters in Florida will have the power in our hands to penalize Senator Obama and the NDC on the general election in November 2008, because Florida will be the State who will take the decision about which party will win the Presidency of our Nation. Today I perfectly knew who is the real Mr. Obama, when he and Dr Dean refused to allow the Florida delegates to be seated at the National Convention. Mr. Obama, no delegates seated, no votes for for you in November 2008.

    March 6, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  15. Sara

    BS, great post and how true. Why can't more people see this?

    March 6, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  16. Mad in Texas

    Why shouldn't all the votes and delegates count. Obama had the same chance as Hillary. He campaigned in Florida, she didn't, and his name was still on the ticket. He had a choice in Michigan but was too dumb to take it. Why should the people of Florida and Michigan be punished. DEAN says because of their rules. They don't have any rules. The rules of elections lay with the states. They have the right to hold an election at any time. This should be taken to the Supreme Court. Obama, Dean, and Puloski are trying to pull a Bush on Hillary at Kennedys bidding. How could anybody listen to that murderer. He should be tried. Like OJ he was another great American injustice. When you get to be President Hillary please go after him and try him. Also go after Bob Novak. Try him for treason. He gave up the name of the lady CIA Agent endangering her life, at Bush and Cheney's request. Bush and Cheney also need to be tried for treason. GO HILLARY 08

    March 6, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  17. Sheri

    The public was privy to the transparency of poor tactics used by Hillary when she made a dash for Florida, and it has become clear that she did not plan on playing by the rules in the first place.
    Nice guys may finish last (obama) but at least they finish...
    The leaders of Michigan and Florida need to cough up the money and play by the rules. It appears that Hillary, Michigan and Florida think they are bigger than the DNC or rules of the contest.
    Such a tiring story see over and over again in the movies. Don't they know that when you cheat you end up losing?

    March 6, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  18. Steve

    Ryan, Please explain to me why it's ok for Hillary to vote FOR banning the delegates, then attempt to get them un-banned. This is nothing more than typical Clinton politics, trying to change the rules as they go.

    March 6, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  19. The Decider

    This needs to be put to rest. It was decided by the DNC and the candidates (all of them) that there delegates would NOT be seated if they moved their primaries up. Now that she is scratching for delegates, she is BEGGING for them to be seated.

    I agree with Roland Martin.... Just split them down the middle and let them be seated. That will put them both closer to the magic number and make these last few states extremely important. I have seen the Obama campaign in most states where she picks and chooses. Beings from a midwest state it would of been nice if she could of spent a little time with us nobodies????? I won't vote for her.. Just keep crying and you will probably get your wish Hilly!!!! This is getting pretty sickening. Press loves it and I think it is going to tear the party apart......

    March 6, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  20. Buddy, OR

    Look at the big picture people!! We Dems cannot afford to have dissident voters in battle ground states like FL and MI. The state have and will play a vital role in the Presidental elections. We have to figure out a way to have these voters voices herd. As for FL I feel it should be hers. Niether of them campaigned there, both names were on the ballot, as for MI... I don't know. Give her hers and give him the uncommitted. Obama should have never taken his name of the ballot. Call it a lapse in gudgement, inexperience, rookie mistake, what ever, his bad. Live and learn.
    The point still is these people have to be herd.

    March 6, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  21. Stephen

    If you are not able to play by the rule you are out! No body changes the rule in between a game. As I understand everyone knew and understood that FL and MI don’t count so I don’t see why they should change anything now.

    March 6, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  22. SoreLoser

    Ryan – Next time, remember to bring the other half of your brain before you make such STUPID comments.
    The local politicians in both states KNEW the consequences and they still did it. IT ABSOLUTELY doesn't make sense to talk about these 2 states and people's voice now. Thats the price they pay for having such STUPID politicians like Sen. Bill Nelson. My 5 year old can explain this to you if you wish.

    March 6, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  23. Daid

    I can’t believe we are still talking about this issue. Hilary herself propagated and promoted this rule. How then can she then turn around to fight against it just because it is not going in her favor? She probably thinks she is above the law and can pick and choose which one to abide by at her appropriate time. America does this sound familiar? If you let the women win, you are putting another George W. Bush in the White House. I can’t imagine myself living, even for a second, under another Bush like administration.

    March 6, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  24. G.N. Penley

    Hillary wants to change the rules in the middle of the game, of course. Typical Clintonesque maneuver. If she had lost those states, I wonder what she'd be saying. Just kidding; I don't wonder at all. Here's wishing her the worst.

    March 6, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  25. Just Miss

    I really wish Hillary would stop with the dirty politics. If she was ahead right now Hillary would not want these two states to count. She has issues and really needs to get over them.....

    Hillary – Give it up!!!! Seriously, mathmatically it is impossible for you to win. You decided every vote wasn't important enough for you to try and get. "Only the big states matter..." You said! Well, guess what? The little states matter too!!! We all need a president....not just they few you decide are worth your time.

    March 6, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
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