March 10th, 2008
08:00 AM ET
6 years ago

Obama, Clinton campaigns weigh in on delegate dispute

Advisors to Obama and Clinton on Monday discussed the possibilities of re-voting in Florida and Michigan.
Advisors to Obama and Clinton on Monday discussed the possibilities of re-voting in Florida and Michigan.

(CNN)— Controversy surrounding the results from Michigan and Florida’s primaries continued Monday as both Democratic campaigns make their pitches for how the Democratic National Committee should handle the situation.

Senior Clinton Campaign Adviser Ann Lewis told CNN in an interview Monday, the DNC should recognize and respect that such large numbers of Democrats came out to vote.

Michigan and Florida were stripped of their delegates when they scheduled their primaries before February in violation of DNC rules. However, given the unexpected close nature of the Democratic race some party leaders are calling for a ‘do-over’ in both states.

Barack Obama’s Communications Director Robert Gibbs told CNN’s John Roberts the Obama campaign is waiting to see what the DNC decides is ‘fair and reasonable.’

“We’ve said since the beginning that we unlike others would play by the rules that have been established,” Gibbs said in an apparent strike at the Clinton campaign.

None of the candidates campaigned in either state and Hillary Clinton was the only major candidate to appear on the Michigan ballot.

DNC Chairman Howard Dean said the decision is ultimately up to state leaders—assuming the Obama and Clinton campaigns feel the resolution is fair to both sides.

“I have to run these rules so that the losing side feels it’s been treated fairly,” Dean said on ABC’s “This Week,” adding that he has discussed possible solutions with Michigan Sen. Carl Levin and Florida Sen. Bill Nelson.

Related: Ann Lewis says Michigan and Florida's votes should be recognized

Related: Robert Gibbs says the Obama campaign is playing by the rules

--CNN's Emily Sherman


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Florida • Hillary Clinton • Michigan
soundoff (92 Responses)
  1. L. Tran, TX

    For Florida, if your name is on the ballot, you are in, whether you campaign there or not. On the Republican side, as same as Democratic presidential contests in the past, there are many unknown, weak candidates that cannot campaign in all states. Obama should have removed his name in Florida to be absolutely clean.

    For MIchigan, there is only one candidate, this not right for Obama. Revoting is required.

    March 10, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  2. Tyler in Raleigh

    Giving them a chance for a new vote tells FL and MI that breaking rules is the way to go. They wanted their votes to count more than the rest and by letting them have a do-over you are allowing just that.

    If you punish someone, do you compensate them later for their troubles?

    I am sorry that the voters lost their voice, but they can push their anger to their state. Tell them to vote for new people that will not make this mess again and learn from yoru mistakes. Counting these votes or allowing a 2nd election ensures that another state will do this in 2012.

    March 10, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  3. Mac in Nova Scotia

    Michigan and Florida broke the rules. The rules were agreed to by both of the candidates still in the race. Hillary wants to change the rules after the game has been played. The FL/MI votes should not count and the blame for this should be laid on the state parties and not on the DNC. They should divide the delegates 50/50 that way the votes count for something. Maybe they should give Hillary one extra delegate so she won't cry.

    March 10, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  4. stuart_zechman

    Hillary!
    Hillary!

    She's the best for you and me!

    Hillary!
    Hillary!

    Obama time to be VP!

    Hillary!
    Hillary!

    Vote for her or sexist you B!

    March 10, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  5. Myra

    NO DREAM TICKET. PERIOD.

    March 10, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  6. TO

    "No do overs" That's part of the problem in America today, no worried about the consequences of their decisions. To put it frankly they made their bed now they need to sleep in it.

    March 10, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  7. David, Dallas Tx

    Michigan and Florida knew the consequences when they made their decision.

    If the DNC balks now, next election season it will be a free-for-all because nobody will believe the DNC will actually impose their punishments. We'll have Halloween primaries and an election cycle that's even longer and more expensive, making campaign reform that much more unlikely.

    The Democrats in these two states should rise up and toss their state party leaders out of office.

    March 10, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  8. Kay

    So, Let me see if I have this right. The Republican Governor and legislature changed the date of the democratic primary in Florida . Over a million Democrats took the time out of their busy day to go to the polls and make their choice. You all don’t think they should have the opportunity to cast their vote for the Democratic Candidate count? None of the candidates campaigned in Florida so they all had a level playing field. Why shouldn’t the results count? Because some didn’t like the results? Sure sounds like it to me.

    March 10, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  9. Tom

    Perfect No do overs I agree. That's opening a pandora's box. I want o run now in all the other states. Can I get a do over in all of them also?
    Hillary is sounding like a replublican now!! Which doesn't surprise me. Maybe she never cheated on Bill but even at that should doesn't hold a candle to him. (Not to mention yuk) She's a win at all cost Clinton politician and will take the party down if that's what it atkes to win.

    March 10, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  10. Jeff

    If Sen. Clinton were to have run a campaign ad in Florida, the Obama folks would have said she was breaking the rules. Why is Obama allowed to get away with this.. I mean.. rules are rules right? As far as Michigan goes.. why would anyone pull their name of the ballot in the first place?

    March 10, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  11. Franky

    "Therefore, for the democrats, please vote for Hillary Clinton, save the Party, and save the people from the mess!"

    What mess? I thought the Party was just starting, LOL!!!!!

    March 10, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  12. voice of reason

    If Michigan and Florida delegates are not seated then these Democrats should vote McCain on election day. There is already a group of over 10,000 ohioians that have pledged to do this and the citizens of these states should do it too. It is not the voters fault that the state establishment changed the primary date ahead. The democrat elected should be elected by ALL 50 states not 48.

    March 10, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  13. Bill

    Clinton has recently made a statement that pledged delegates do not have to vote with the popular vote of the district to which they were pledged. In theory true, but not a good practice.

    Clinton's campaign is saying Florida and Michigan's delegates should be recognized, although they did not follow the rules.
    She was previously in agreement with the DNC that the delegates should not be counted. That was when she thought she would have the election well in hand.

    Now, that she is behind they should be seated. It will be interesting to see her position on a revote. My guess is she does not want that.

    However, the most egregious statement that she has made to date is that John McCain and she have the experience on National Security to be Commander in Chief. Ignoring the fact that John McCain is saying to stay in Iraq as long as it takes, how could you feel comfortable as a democrat making that statement. Obama wants us out of the war, and presumably, she does. How could you feel comfortable making a statement like that, and putting the party at risk? That is not a statement of a person thinking about the good of the nation. Rather, it is self serving and speaks to her judgment and integrity.

    By the way, although much older, Ronald Reagan (Gov Cal) had less experience than Barack Obama in dealing with international issues, yet he is probably the best president on foreign policy and relations of the last forty years. Economy, maybe a different question depending on who you talk, too.

    March 10, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  14. Tony

    This is turning out to be another 2000 and 2004 debacle. Fear brings brings desparation, desparate people do desparate things. Hillary is going to destroy the democratic party and we'll have to deal with another Republican in office. FAIR IS FAIR Hillary. Obama is whipping that behind in every way. Play fair and have some integrity Hillary. If she wins, I mean steel the nomination, I'LL WILL NEVER VOTE FOR A DEMOCRAT AGAIN! Go Barack, do your thing and keep your head up and stay on the high road!

    March 10, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  15. Traci

    It's not fair to the voters to take away their votes. Obama is crying foul, but if he had won, there's no doubt in my mind he would be fighting tooth and nail to get these votes counted.
    Obama's ads ran in Florida, and he was on the ballot. While he elected to take his name off the ballot (as did John Edwards) in Michigan, the other candidates did not, so I don't see how this is just Hillary Clinton "manipulating the system." It's bad enough with the electoral college that many voters don't feel they get their say; let their voices be heard.

    March 10, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  16. vh

    ALL OF YOU HAVE NOT GOT A CHANCE TO SEE HILLIARY FOR WHO SHE REALLY IS. SHE IS USING THE SAME OLD POLITICS TO GET WHAT SHE WANTS. EVERONE SAYS AND HAVE SAID THAT THEY WANT SOMETHING DIFFERENT AND BETTER FOR AMERICA AND THAT IS WHAT BARACK OBAMA HAS BEEN TALKING ABOUT. CHANGING THE WAY POLITICS IS DONE, APPARENTLY YOU ALL WANT THE SAME OLD POLITICS BECAUSE YOU THINKS HE'S WEAK. WELL I PUT IT LIKE THIS IF HILLIARY BECOMES THE NOMINEE I WILL BE CALLING ALL OF MY FRIENDS AND FAMILY AND ASK THEM NOT TO VOTE COME THE GENERAL ELECTION BECAUSE VOTING FOR HILLIARY IS LIKE VOTING FOR A REPUBLICAN. USE YOUR HEAD PEOPLE.

    March 10, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  17. Chris, Colorado

    Neither Obama or Clinton broke the rules regarding having the Florida and Michigan primary / caucus before Feb. 5, that was each of the states fault. They knew holding their primaries / caucuses was against the rules. Now they want their votes to be counted. The only way to fairly have these states count is to split them equally between the two candidates. If people in Florida and Michigan are complaining about not having their voices heard, they should be complaining to their own state because they are the ones who decided to break the rules. No other state or either of the candidates should have to foot the bill for these states to have a re-vote. Florida and Michigan's elected officials have silenced all of the voices in their states. Complain to them, not the DNC.

    March 10, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
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