May 21st, 2008
04:16 PM ET
6 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. GDVW+

    Living in a State where the GOP usually manages to win, albeit by smaller and smaller margins; if the DNC changes the rules now then our integrity will have been sacrificed to satisfy the super ego of one woman whose real agenda isn't the election of Democrats so much as it is her own agenda. We have an outside chance of carrying Nevada this time but only if the rules are kept. Out here things like this still matter. They matter a lot.

    May 21, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  2. Mary

    I am sorry...perhaps I am dense, but how can she insist that the delegates be seated based on the primaries when Obama was not even on one of the ballots. As for the other state, they had agreed not to campaign...SHE AGREED TO THIS AND THEN SHE CAMPAIGNED ANYWAY! She is a cheat and a liar. If the Democratic Pary falls for this and supports her claim in any way...I will have to seriously rethink my support of the Party.

    May 21, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  3. Pat in Cali

    Boca Raton? Was that on purpose. She should have started in a city like "Fort" Lauderdale or "Fort" Myers, a place that sounds like where a fighter would go. But "rat mouth" is symbolic, too. Hmmm.

    May 21, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  4. David O

    Good luck lady.

    Just like the stereotypical woman, always changing goal post just to win an argument.

    First Florida and Michigan do not count, and now that she needs them to, they do.

    Hillary has successfully confirmed every stereotypical fear that people have about nominating a woman for the highest office in the land.

    You Ma'am, have set women in the US back 50 years.

    May 21, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  5. rumpusgoopus

    Oy the live long vey.

    May 21, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  6. Groundhog Day

    I am a middle-aged white woman who wants so desperately to take you seriously, but every time you come up with a new metric that miraculously reveals you to be ahead in the primary, I realize I can't believe anything you say. The only consistent message you have sent during this entire primary season is that you will say whatever it takes and do whatever it takes to win, no matter how absurd or insulting it is to the voters. Some of us have our estrogen block on and are actually paying attention.

    May 21, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  7. Tim in NC

    Okay I'll buy that, ya lets add Florida (as skewed and one sided as it ws since you were the only one who did ANY campaigning there), then we'll get those "uncommitted" votes from Michigan to count for Obama; since he and Edwards were both on the ballot there and Edwards has now endorsed Obama it only makes sense, its only fair to give those peopel avoice too right?!...

    How does your math for the popular vote work out there Billary...?

    May 21, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  8. John

    When you sign an agreement the judges always ask did you read and understand what you where signing? If you answer yes then they will always go against you. Did Sen. Clinton and her campaign NOT agree that Florida and Michigan not count if they voted earlier then agreed to before. So what is the problem, why is she now saying that their votes should count HER way. I am confused about the America politics. Please help me out.

    May 21, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  9. Ty

    When will the SD's come in if not now??

    May 21, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  10. tidho

    she knows how the rules can be changed with certaintly, but doesn't seem to understant the actual rules themselves.

    May 21, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  11. Addis - observer

    I am amazed by this woman!... Win at any cost!... Unamerican!

    May 21, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  12. Jeanie in Oregon has Hope and wants change

    How many of you think this crazy woman isn't going to take this all the way to the convention????

    She does not get that the majority of the democrats that are in office doesn't even want her, what SD in their right mind is looking at her when she makes these speaches, and not thinking she is out of her freakin mind!

    Where are the men in the white coats??
    Someone needs to put her in a staight jacket and give her a rubber room or you paint a lot of heads on the wall and she would think she is still campaigning :)

    May 21, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  13. Terri

    Now it is exactly as they are counted. She is sooooooooooo pathetic I never would have thought.

    She keeps talking about sexism how many exit polls have people openly come out and stated they were not voting for her do to her gender? But in WV and KY they proudly state the race is a factor in why they voted.

    May 21, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  14. Jay

    Call a whaaaaabulance for all the Obamabots. Hilly is correct, Every vote should be counted. Deal with it, get over it. She is fighting for our future and still has a shot at being our next president.

    Hillary -08

    May 21, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  15. Kathy, from NJ

    OMG, she is out of her mind (if she has one mind).

    May 21, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  16. A.K.

    This is ridiculous. Clinton clearly does not, and will not, ever have the popular vote in this primary. She is behind Obama in every stat: popular vote, pledged delegates, and states won. She is $19.5 Million in debt. It is a shame that she took a little boy's bicycle money to continue to support this farce.

    This 'popular vote' nonsense is just another Clinton lie – like raising $10 Mil in one day or Bosnian sniper fire. She wants to steal this election and it's going to be a sad sorry day in America if and when she does.

    May 21, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  17. Nevada!

    Here is the thing... to make it "fair" like all Clinton supporters are claiming it isn't then they must re-vote entirely. All this would do is give Obama more delegates to reach 2026. It won't close her gap. I really wish people would stop crying about this because it is straight forward. They broke the rules... there was a vote for punishment, which Clinton agreed to, and the punishment was handed down. That is the democratic way of doing things, so I am sorry Florida and Michigan you won't be lending you hand in the primary vote.

    May 21, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  18. Shirley, Silicon Valley, CA

    The real truth is about help Hillary win and at the same time blame it to Obama!

    Not too long ago when she thought she was the INEVITABLE NOMINEE, she SIGNED AGREEMENT NOT TO COUNT the votes in FL and MI!

    Hillary is such a DISGRACE!

    May 21, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  19. tidho

    ....and stop putting this on Obama.

    Both of those states came up with plans to seat their delegates and it was Hillary who refused those proposals not Obama.

    May 21, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  20. Anonymous

    The issue of counting the votes in Florida and Michigan is not necessary, Senator Clinton knew what happening in January when they went ahead of their time to hold the voting. So why does she keeps speaking about something that she accepted a few months ago? Senator Clinton is desperate, also is it true that Obama is not on one of the ballots in one of the states? Is she playing fair? I'm a democrat and who ever get nominated for running for president that is the person that I am choosing. Honestly, she needs to stop.

    May 21, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  21. DJ, LA, CA

    OH NO...she didn't just go there. OMG – what other bag of tricks does she have in store?

    Recount of 2000 an analogy to her changing the party rules that she signed in agreement before the primary???

    May 21, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  22. Beverly, NYC

    Dear Hillary:

    3 Questions:
    Do you pray with that mouth?
    Do you have a moral center?
    Do you really believe these lies?

    May 21, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  23. Sad!

    Hillary I have always liked you and I think you would make a great president but you are not going to win this one. I am sorry! Sure seat MI and FL- but you have to do it evenly because it would not be fair otherwise. Obama didn't campaign there nor was his name on the ticket in MI– that would be unfair to seat them as is. I know of people who didn't even vote because Obama wasn't on the ticket, and they some didn't vote because they knew it would not matter because their state officials broke the rules... I am sorry but that is just how it is. This is why we have RULES that ALL states need to follow and they didn't so tough. If they do choose to seat the delegates it needs to be split down the middle otherwise it is not far at all.

    Democrats 08

    May 21, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  24. fred

    I will second that spencer....all the way to the convention!!!!

    GO HILLARY!!

    May 21, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  25. Cathy

    Then according to Clinton's own statements that mean we must also count the caucus votes too....and Obama would still be ahead in the popular vote.

    I will support whoever the nominee is but COME ON CLINTON...can't just change the rules to suit you now.

    May 21, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
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