May 21st, 2008
04:16 PM ET
7 years ago

Clinton recalls 2000 Florida recount in push to count votes

Clinton is making three campaign stops in Florida Wednesday.
Clinton is making three campaign stops in Florida Wednesday.

BOCA RATON, Florida (CNN) – Making a last-gasp campaign swing through Florida on Wednesday - just ten days before the Democratic National Committee will decide the fates of the disputed Michigan and Florida delegations - Hillary Clinton forcefully pressed for the primary votes in those states to be counted "exactly as they were cast."

"It is well within the Democratic party rules to take this stand," she said, defending her position in front of a sizeable audience at a Boca Raton retirement community. "The rules clearly state that we can count all of these votes and seat all of delegates, pledged and unpledged if we so choose, and the rules laid out make clear the process for doing so."

It was Clinton’s first campaign stop in Florida since the night of the state’s primary on Jan. 29, and Clinton picked a suitable venue to make her case for counting every vote: Palm Beach County, ground zero of the politically-charged 2000 Florida recount.

"We believe the popular vote is the truest expression of your will," she said. "We believe it today just as we believed it back in 2000, when right here in Florida, you learned the hard way what happened when the votes aren’t counted and a candidate with fewer votes is declared the winner."

The New York senator made repeated allusions to the 2000 recount and proclaimed that the Democratic party, the party of civil rights, has a duty to count every vote to determine the true intent of the electorate. Moreover, she argued, counting the votes is a simple matter of American democracy.

“I have heard some say counting Florida and Michigan would be changing the rules,” she said. “I say not that not counting Florida and Michigan is changing a central governing rule of this country, that whenever we can understand the clear intent of the voters, their vote should be counted.”

She avoided criticizing Barack Obama directly, but Clinton tied Obama’s decision to remove his name from the Michigan primary ballot to the current predicament facing Democrats in Michigan and Florida.

“I know that Sen. Obama chose to remove his name from ballot in Michigan and that was his right,” Clinton said, “but his choice does not negate the votes of all those who turned out to cast their ballots, and we should not let that process rob all of you from your voices.”

“You didn’t break a single rule and you should not be punished for what happened beyond your control,” she added.

Earlier in the day, on a flight from Washington, D.C. to Florida, Clinton aides spoke to reporters and emphasized Florida’s general election importance, stressing their belief that Clinton, not Obama, would fare better in the state this fall against John McCain.

The campaign also revealed a new metric by which to gauge their late-blooming momentum this primary season: Since the end of February and excluding previous contests, said spokesman Mo Elleithee, Clinton has won more contests, more delegates and the overall popular vote.


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Florida • Hillary Clinton • Michigan
soundoff (198 Responses)
  1. fred

    GO TO HILLARYCLINTON.COM........SEND E-MAIL TO RULES COMMITTEE ALL VOTES SHOULD COUNT

    GO HILLARY!!

    May 21, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  2. fatladyinthepantsuit

    Hillary I am pleading with you get out now, Yes we all know you are a fighter,but please stop thinking about yourself and focus on the american people who wants the democrats to be back in white house. you keep comming up the different excuses why you are continuing, but I know the people in your camp knows better. Just look at Bill's facial expression last nite at you victory speak. James carvelle was not loud and abravises this morning on CNN's American Morning.

    May 21, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  3. D.J. Morales

    If I understand Hillary correctly, her silent outrage in 2000 has now grown to righteous indignity in reference to Florida's failure to once again act within the framework of proper procedures. Would she be just as adamant if all the votes there were for Barack...

    May 21, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  4. Uncle Sam

    Can the American people see through the hype of empty promises for change offered by Sen. Obama?
    Yes We Can!

    May 21, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  5. Kenneth M

    WE DONT NEED ANOTHER CLIN TON. (SING IT WITH ME) WE DONT NEED ANOTHER CIN TON!

    I HOPE MCCAIN WINS BECAUSE SHE DOES NOT DESERVE THE OFFICE, AND OBAMA IS TOO GOOD FOR IT. HOW CAN SLICK HILLIE SUPPORTERS THINK SEXISUM IS WORST THEN RACEISUM. TRY ASKING A BLACK WOMEN WHAT IS WORST. I THINK IT IS SEXIUM FOR HER SUPPORTERS TO THINK SHE SHOULD GET IT JUST BECAUSE SHE IS A WOMEN. LOOK, FOR A JR. SENITOR IT IS FUNNY THAT HE HAS THE SAME VIEWS AS SHE DOES AND IN HALF THE TIME. AFTER 35 YEARS OF SERVICE SHE HAS COME TO THE SAME CONCLUSIONS AS HE HAS IN JUST 10 YEARS. GO AHEAD AND VOTE FOR MCCAIN. OBAMA WILL BE 50 IN 2012 AND STILL READY TO RUN. HOW OLD WILL SLICK HILLIE BE? 66. DO YOU THINK SHE WILL BE THINKING ABOUT RUNNING THEN? NOT

    May 21, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  6. Mike

    If it is so important for their votes to count then why did she sign a piece of paper saying that they should be punished and not counted at the beginning of the race? Are we so short sighted as to think this has anything to do with voters being disenfrachised. It has everything to do with Hillary doing whatever it takes to win. She will pull hair, bite, and spit just to come closer to winning. You can't win. Please come back to the real world with the rest of us, and let's focus on the real enemy.

    May 21, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  7. TL

    I don’t understand why some people would feel that Clinton deserves a break by now counting Florida and Michigan delegates. Fifteen months ago, all Democratic candidates including Clinton signed a pledge to obey the rules and to ignore the results from the Presidential Primaries in both states. No matter what…everyone should follow that rules. It is disingenuous to change the rules now. That’s the reason why I no longer support Clinton, now and forever.

    Shame on those people for consistently ignoring this very simple fact!

    May 21, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  8. charlene

    GO GET THEM HILLARY

    HILLARY 08

    May 21, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  9. Lila

    I have never seen a more vindictive, mean-spirited, self-serving woman in all my life. I pray that all the super delegates will line up behind Obama in the coming weeks to show her that this race is over.

    May 21, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  10. Edward-Chicago

    I'm so sick of Hillary antics.

    May 21, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  11. mike

    Anyone ever see the scene in the movie Stripes where Sgt Hulka has all the soldiers in a line and is trying to find out who was talking while he was and he threatens punishment for the entire platoon if the culprit doesn't step forward. Then Bill Murray postures as if he's going to step forward but then steps back leaving an innocent Harold Ramis to take the hit. When it comes to the Michigan vote, Hillary is Bill Murray!

    May 21, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  12. Beat Nuts

    This is PATHETIC!

    May 21, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  13. Proud1of 26% in WV

    What happened in 2000 in Flordia was clearly Flordia's fault.She is quoting rules now.The rules also say that if any state broke the rules and voted early that their delegates would not count at all.Now she says that they must be counted as was voted bogusly.At this point she is trying to set all of the rules and numbers to follow.The DNC says they will do what is fair to both candidates.I'm sure that Clinton's campaign will say that anything short 0of handing it to her on a silver platter is not fair.

    May 21, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  14. Jennifer, VA

    Unbelievable.

    She has the popular vote lead, if you count Florida and Michigan, but then you can't count some of the caucus states (who followed the rules). So then it's not OK to "disenfranchise" voters in Florida or Michigan (or for normal people in this case, that would be "make them follow the rules"), but it is OK to disenfranchise the states that did?

    This gets more incredulous everyday...

    May 21, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  15. grlpatriot

    This Florida voter says: Count my vote!

    May 21, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  16. Carlos from Illinois

    Rules.... we don't need no stinkin rules!!!!! Bah humbug to DNC rules that were agreed on!!!!

    May 21, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  17. Anonymous

    This is a horrible picture of her – but accurate. How can one NOT be tired after relentless campaign stops?

    May 21, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  18. bp

    If this was about the popular vote, why would Hillary state at the beginning of the campaign that the pledged delegates were of the utmost importance? If it's all about the popular vote, why would the Democratic party have caucuses?

    When is someone going to call her out on these misleading remarks? Please end this process so that we can focus on November!!!! We are all on the same team here and this constant misleading of the general public based on what you deem to be the facts is not productive in any way.

    May 21, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  19. Jeff A.

    The Democratic National Comm. needs to step in and explain in no uncertain terms that Sen. Clinton agreed to NOT have Fl. and Mi. counted. She is not allowed to flip-flop on this issues. Period end of story.

    However, I have been amazed at the lack of a backbone that the Democratic party has shown. Even more suprising, are all of the people (on both Clinton's side and Obama's side) that continue the in-fighting of this party. Not to mention, the increasingly nasty tone of these exchanges.

    Dems, you are voting to change this adminstration and to remove the Replicans from office. Why can you not see that you want the same thing?

    It is amazing how bitter and hateful people are towards other people that want the same solutions as they do.

    May 21, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  20. LIl A

    Keep DREAMING Hill. Wonder which world you live in. OBAMA 08

    May 21, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  21. Here we go AGAIN!

    """ The campaign also revealed a new metric by which to gauge their late-blooming momentum this primary season: Since the end of February and excluding previous contests, said spokesman Mo Elleithee, Clinton has won more contests, more delegates and the overall popular vote."""

    ONLY COUNTING THE NUMBERS THAT SUITE YOU BEST –

    SHAME ON YOU! You're discounting all the votes before – what happend to EVERY counts? Even caucases!

    May 21, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  22. Capt. Smash, Salt Lake City, Utah

    She looks really beat up and tired. I hope her health will hold up long enough for her to recover from this campaign. I feel so sad to see her like this she needs to think about her legacy and her future. i hope someone will be there to help her win this is over.

    May 21, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  23. Niky

    Ya... count it in my score even if it was foul.

    May 21, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  24. i am not dump

    look at that evil face of hers. she will sell america to pay her debt

    May 21, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  25. Abul

    she's determined to see every vote counted. She's $19.5 million in debt, hopelessly behind and probably further damaging the party's chances in November, but no big deal. This is all about Hillary.

    Hey FLORIDA people, she didn't think your vote is so important till she fall behind Obama.

    PLEASE DON"T LET HER DESTROY THE PARTY!!!!!!!!!
    PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!

    May 21, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
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