March 27th, 2008
05:09 PM ET
6 years ago

Clinton tells Democrats: Don't vote for McCain

Clinton said electing a Democrat is of paramount importance.
Clinton said electing a Democrat is of paramount importance.

FAYETTEVILLE, North Carolina (CNN) – Hillary Clinton pleaded for partisan unity on Thursday, urging Democrats not to abandon their party to vote for John McCain if their preferred candidate fails to secure the nomination.

Clinton was asked by a questioner in the audience here what she would tell frustrated Democrats who might consider voting for McCain in the general election out of spite.

“Please think through this decision,” Clinton said, laughing and emphasizing the word “please.”

“It is not a wise decision for yourself or your country.”

The crowd applauded loudly.

A Gallup poll released this week indicated that 28 percent of Clinton's supporters would back McCain should the New York senator lose her quest for the Democratic nomination.

That compares to the 19 percent of Obama supporters who say they will favor McCain should Clinton be the party’s nominee.

“First of all, every time you have a vigorous contest like we are having in this primary election people get intense,” she continued. “You know, Sen. Obama has intense support. I have intense support.”

Clinton stressed that there are “significant” differences between her and Obama, but said “those differences pale to the differences between us and Sen. McCain.”

“I intend to do everything I can to make sure we have a unified Democratic party,” she said. “When this contest is over and we have a nominee, we’re going to close ranks, we’re going to be united.”

– CNN Political Producer Peter Hamby

soundoff (183 Responses)
  1. Darth Vadik, CA

    Thank you Hillary, God Bless you, finally, finally, finally, right now I feel like giving you a hug, finally, and I will vote for you in the general election if you get the nomination, but in the primaries...

    Go Obama

    March 27, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  2. no way

    Noble effort Hillary.
    I applaud you for being so willing to do what is best for the country.

    Unfortunately, if Obama wins, he will only win by stealing the nomination, by having the DNC change the rules for him, by disenfranchising the voters.

    I can not accept that.
    Some of us will NOT vote for the party nominee out of protest. We will speak out against rigged elections, we will not condone disenfranchising voters.

    I will vote for you if you are the nominee. Otherwise, the democratic party will suffer the consequences of blowing off its base and pay the price for ramming Obama down our throats.

    March 27, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  3. Tim

    Sometimes I think Obama supporters, and frankly the media, only hear what they want to hear. They've made up their mind about the candidates and refuse to be swayed. Obama is apparently this can-do-no-wrong saint of a politician even though he's used the negative tactics he likes to preach his campaign is above (of course, the media ignores this and exagerates the Clinton camps' negatives). And they think Clinton is this self-serving, win-at-all-cost candidate who does not care about unity and wants to drag her party down. This quote from her proves that this is just NOT the case. Clinton cares about her party and her country and is merely doing what good candidates do. They fight hard for what they believe in. They do not give up. And they push for true democracy where ALL the voters are heard. Obama supporters and ANY politician suggesting she quit and that the party is being ruined... ARE THE ONES ACTUALLY CAUSING THE PROBLEM. They need to let democracy play out, stop whining, let Clinton do her thing and Obama do his... and hopefully the remaining voters will focus on the ISSUES, ignore the media, and choose the best candidate.

    HILLARY 08

    (cnn, please post my comment this time)

    March 27, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  4. tewabu

    Hillar you are the one who force the democrats to vote for McCain, Please stop exagrating things!!!

    March 27, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  5. Darth Vadik, CA

    That wasn't too hard to say was it?
    Than you Hill.

    March 27, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  6. Thanks Hillary

    lol...oops i AM a Obama supporter, i mispoke oops' mis-typed

    Obama '08

    March 27, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  7. VOTER FOR TRUTH, DIGNITY-OBAMA/EDWARDS 2008

    Come on, Hillary. Did you find out today how miserably your are
    slipping in the polls? Last week, you stood up for McCain.
    Now, today, you are telling the Democrats not to vote for McCain.
    No, Hillary you cannot keep putting your venom out there for a
    reaction against Obama, let it ride for a week or so and when it
    don't help you in the polls, say something just the opposite to make
    you look better. You are tiring us out with flipper-flopper ways, Hillary.

    This was the best post of the day on the ticker!!!!!!!!!! In response to
    Bill Clinton's little speech on "Can't you take a punch".

    "Most football players don't count on being on the receiving end of
    of personal fouls committed by other members of their own team."

    March 27, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  8. better person

    This demonstrates that Hillary is the better leader.

    She cares for the country and its people.

    Obama cares for his personal glory.

    If he doesn't get his way, he brings in lawyers. Who wants that kind of leader?

    March 27, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  9. Tym

    Very presidential.

    March 27, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  10. richard sandberg

    As an independent, who has voted for a democratic president all my life, I can say I will not vote for Obama after watching his henchmen make a mockery of the Texas caucus I attended. I can not believe that Texas is counting the caucus. Where I was at none had to show that they previously voted in the Primary. Then their was a Obama supporter running the caucus instead of the elected chairperson that was elected. Also, first they said all we had to do was sign. After half of the Clinton supporters left, then this person says we have to stay or our vote would not count. I do not even know if this Obama voter was a registered voter in our precinct. Also, I would never support a candidate who has no foreign experience, or leadership experience. He had a chance to be a leader by being in charge a committee, but he has shirked this responsibility, What else will he shirk? If he was not going to lead the committee he would have resigned so another senator could his committee. I do not want another experience president like president Bush. I do not agree with McCain on a lot of issues, but I do believe he will be a better leader than Obama.

    March 27, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  11. Talimee

    Thank you Hillary. I dont know if I will vote for McCain if you arent the nominee... I just said that I would actually consider McCain because I find it hard to vote for Obama.

    March 27, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  12. LatinoNation

    Im sorry Sen Clinton but its like this ! I do not trust Obama and I cant wait to see if he would do anything for Latinos the way he talks about every other race so i will have no choice !

    March 27, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  13. truth be told

    I'm glad to hear her say that...

    Now, can she please bow out!

    March 27, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  14. good

    Good for advocating unity.

    But many of us will simply write your name in.

    No to Obama and No to McCain.

    The DNC needs tough love and the democratic base must teach the party once and for all not to mess with our election.

    They should never have meddled. They should have trusted the electorate to vote and then they should have counted all the votes.

    Rigging an election will result in defection from the party

    March 27, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  15. J. McCaskill, MS

    Way to go Hillary!!! It is quite laughable, if you will, that Senator Obama and his supporters have not said this. All they have done is urged Senator Clinton to drop out and refuse to allow revotes in Florida and Michigan. This shows the true strength and leadership of Senator Clinton. Hopefully we will have this type of leadership in the White House with her as President.

    Hillary '08'

    March 27, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  16. Raphael Texas

    Hillarys comments show she only wants what is best for the country. Unlike Obama whose comments only have racial tones or his own political agenda in mind.
    As for example Obamas radio interview when he used the term "Typical White Person".
    Yeah a uniter, give me a break...

    The highroad for Hillary.

    March 27, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  17. Ken in Western NY

    I think that because Hillary has done so much mud slinging at Obama that her followers (28% of them) are believing everything she says and would rather see McCain in the White House than Obama (remember she herself even said that McCain would be a better leader than Obama!).

    If she had done less of the slinging of mud at her fellow democratic opponent and focused more on the issues, then maybe it wouldn't have come to this.

    Lets just hope the Superdelegates agree with Speaker Pelosi and do the right thing. They should vote as the people they represent have voted, and yes, that does include Kennedy and Kerry. Clinton still won't have enough delegates to win the nomination.

    March 27, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  18. Amy Jacobson

    Glad she clarified it to me… I was under the impression that Obama and Hillary wanted us to vote for McCain!

    Pretty smart candidates we have.

    March 27, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  19. Alex Whitte

    I bet Obama supporters are going to find something wrong with this and start yelling again. They always find something wrong and spin it til it makes her look bad, at all costs.

    Also, did CNN recognize that today's Obama speech on his economic plan is exactly the same as Hillary's economic plan she laid out on the 20th of March? Why does he copy her so much? Can he come up with his own ideas?

    March 27, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  20. HILLARY!

    SORRY, HILL....I just NEVER will jump on the Obama band-wagon....YOU or McCain...I need to know I've supported a candidate who knows what they're doing......

    March 27, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  21. Dee

    that is what you say now today, Hillary. Tomorrow you say sth else?
    How can I trust you- pls tell me?

    March 27, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  22. rl

    Can't be in any worst position if Hillary supporters would then vote for mccain, I support Hillary but without her I'll vote mccain, I will not be part of the black and white issues invading the white house, there are more races than just black and white..NO HILLARY VOTE MCCAIN.

    March 27, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  23. Helen

    That is good! Democrats should unite! we have to stop McCain.
    I am strong supporter of Obama, I also respect Hillary.

    March 27, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  24. Gerry

    Right Hillary. I'm sure you'll try to unite the party providing you can duck all that sniper fire.

    This woman cannot be trusted and will do and say anything to get elected.

    March 27, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  25. Dominique

    Somehow, I do not believe her. She has stated that Obama is not fit to be commander-in-chief. We all know that, that is bunk, but "now" after trying to knee cap him and have her high powered friends try to throw this election, she is saying the right thing? She knows the value of words... I hope this time her talk is more than an inflated lie. I do not want to see another one of our soldiers die for the ego of a few people.

    March 27, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
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