May 21st, 2008
06:00 PM ET
6 years ago

Obama willing to ‘go more than halfway’ on FL, MI

(CNN) - Obama senior adviser David Axelrod says the Illinois senator’s campaign is “open to compromise” and willing to cede Hillary Clinton the advantage in talks over the seating of the Florida and Michigan delegations at the Democratic National Convention this summer.

"We are willing to go more than half way. We're willing to work to make sure that we can achieve a compromise," Axelrod tells National Public Radio’s Michele Norris in a Wednesday evening interview. "And I guess the question is: is Senator Clinton's campaign willing to do the same?"

Clinton spent Wednesday in Florida highlighting her push for full delegations from both states to be seated in accordance with their January votes, which were not sanctioned by the Democratic National Committee because of the early primary dates. Her campaign has charged the Obama team with blocking a compromise on the issue – a claim that campaign has denied.

"Well obviously, any compromise is going to involve some give, and that means if there's something on the table, we're willing to consider it," Axelrod told NPR in the interview set to air Wednesday evening. “That may include us yielding more delegates than perhaps we would have, simply on the basis of the rules."

Obama now appears likely to finish the primary season with a delegate lead, including superdelegates, that would not disappear if both states’ delegations are seated based on the results of January’s contests, in which his name did not appear on the ballot in Michigan. Clinton won both primaries.


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Florida • Hillary Clinton • Michigan
soundoff (352 Responses)
  1. BIFF, BIFFINGTON...

    She's not gonna stop until either she is the nominee, or the party is in ruin.

    you read it here first.

    May 21, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  2. Concerned citizen

    Well, while I don't think he should, he is so gracious - Hillary Clinton doesn't deserve such a graceful manner from her opponent, though. She agreed to all rules and now as she is losing, she wants to change the rules. That's not acceptable!

    It is funny that Obama, whom others criticize for his "inexperience," behaves in the most civilized and mature manner among all candidates after all. We need the most mature and respected person for our president, since the current one is not and he's destroyed our nation's image. That's why I am supporting Barack!

    May 21, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  3. Shane

    WHY NOT ALL THE WAY? THEY VOTED AND THEY ALL ARE PART OF THE USA NOT HALF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    May 21, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  4. Lisa

    Hillary makes me sick !!
    She agreed to the rules in the beginning. She's Pathetic !

    If Hillary is anywhere on the ticket in November, I will vote for McCain.

    Hillary has really shamed all women.

    May 21, 2008 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  5. DGH

    I'm so tired of Obama's campaign trying to sound moderate, inclusionary and reasonable when they are constantly attacking Clinton backhandedly or just without actual 'heat' in the message. Just because someone says something with a smile, a casual, slow drawl, leaning back on a stool with his hands in his pockets, as if we're all buddies at a local barbeque, doesn't mean he's not attacking. Just the contrary. He's ridiculed Hillary, has sidestepped substantive issues and manages to follow in his idol Ronald Reagan's footsteps by being the second "teflon" Presidential candidate.

    Congratulations Obama! You've just successfully pulled the wool over the American people's eyes. God help us over the next four years.

    May 21, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  6. Lee-- Dallas, TX

    Hil and at least her supporters are going to want it all. But what about the people who stayed home because they were told it wasn't going to count? What about the number of uncommitted and those that voted for the other cantididates? Can we give those voted for the other candidates to Barack of those that have endorsed him?

    It's almost over. Then we can get to the other part of this process. Beating McCan't.

    May 21, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  7. Chuck, Democrats United We Stand

    All I can say is watch out ladies and gentlemen, Sen Clinton is getting ready to steal the race. I feel something underhanded and foul in the air today, and it has to do with all this mess with FL and MI.

    May 21, 2008 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  8. joyce in arkansas

    i do hope you know what you are doing
    do not trust her

    May 21, 2008 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  9. Justin

    Game. Set. Match.

    Obama takes the high road even when he doesn't need to take the high road. This was never Obama's problem, nor was it his fault, but now his campaign is doing what they can to provide validation to the voters of Michigan and Florida. And he will still win this primary... handily. Thank you, Barack. You are a politician that makes me proud to believe in the America of King, Lincoln, and Kennedy.

    May 21, 2008 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  10. Lana

    Well Hillary....ball is in your whiney court now. The math is sooooo NOT in your favor, that Obama can and will allow you to save face if you accept graciously.

    Of course, if you insist on the bogus and irrellevant "popular vote" arguement which has NEVER been the basis of electing a Democratic nominee, then I hope the supers body slam you and show you the door in about 10 seconds.

    Please, end this with dignity and with you and your husband's legacy in tact and not tatters. For once, do what is right for the party, not yourself.

    Women for Obama

    May 21, 2008 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  11. Venus

    Way to go Mr. Axelrod – just keep playing along!

    Go Bam!

    May 21, 2008 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  12. Jason-NoVA

    Just END this already!!!!!

    May 21, 2008 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  13. Sal, SD

    A few more historical references for your viewing pleasure:

    1/9/08: Howard Wolfson: I guess one other thing I'd add is that, as you know, this is a race for delegates.

    1/25/08: Howard Wolfson: And we have said since Iowa that this is a race for delegates.

    2/1/08 "It's useful to win states, but states don't vote - delegates do," said Harold Ickes, who is heading up the delegate operation for New York Sen. Hillary Clinton.

    2/6/08 Wolfson again: And overall, we have a significant lead among delegates, overall, which, OBVIOUSLY, at the end of the day is what is going to positively determine which Democrat is our party's nominee

    May 21, 2008 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  14. JML

    Give her Florida the way it was voted and split Michigan. Sound fair?

    May 21, 2008 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  15. Danny in Pittsburgh

    Yes. Let's all bend low to the lowly.

    Dammit! She signed a pledge agreeing that the FL and MI election would NOT count, and admitted it on Meet the Press in October!

    That means, folks, no matter how bad the decision by the DNC...those were, and ARE, the freakin' RULES.

    Now you've got her CHANGING the number from 2025 to 2211....when not TWO MONTHS ago she crowed that 2025 was the number they were shooting for before Super Tuesday.

    Enough of this crap. Enough of the "new Clinton math" and "moving the goalposts" every time the end is near.

    Superdelegates. Grow a pair, do what must be done, and lets get on with the business of changing this country already!

    May 21, 2008 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  16. Xango 4

    well why is everyone else always giving in , and while she just takes and takes..

    she is the one that broke the rules.. i know Obama wants to be fair, but what is her deal.........

    i can not stand this woman... she is cruella devil the worst in all of the fairy and scary tales...

    she is so divisive...
    and so racist, using fear, and other tactics,
    I know that we must unify before November but please someone stand to this monster.......................she does not care about anyone but her self, billy boo and her daughter and that is the only reason why she is still here, she is paving the road for the princess so that they can continue with the dynasty..

    i am sick of the clintons, with etheir affairs, lies, and money..
    and lies over all............

    May 21, 2008 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  17. Marcus B

    This will not be good enough for Hillary. She needs the math to go exactly the way she spelled it out in her speech in Boca Raton today. A compromise is not going to get her the White House, so no, she will not be willing to budge from her ridiculous stand-point on Florida and Michigan.

    May 21, 2008 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  18. Ardnuas

    Hillary is trying to take ALL of the delegates... This shows SMART voters her TRUE character (even though she AGREED they would NOT count when she did NOT NEED them)
    Obama/Hagel ( I want Chuck Hagel to be VP)

    May 21, 2008 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  19. Randy - Denver

    Now I may be getting old but didn't Ms. Clinton, JUST LAST WEEK, refuse to accept a compromise in Michigan? One where she got a 10 delegate advantage? But I guess that was, in Clinton thought, Mr. Obama refusing to compromise and give her ALL the delegates because he followed the rules and, as REQUESTED by the DNC, removed his name from the ballot. It is called doing the honorable thing which explains why Ms. clinton does not understand why he did it.

    Only good thing come June 3, when this has all been sorted out and the last SELECTION (these are NOT Constitutional elections folks but simply the parties way of deciding who will be the candidate hence no RIGHTS were taken if Fl and MI are not counted) is completed she will have lost. I do not expect the superdelegates to give Mr. obama the election until then, to do so would destroy the party by waiting they can show that he won fair and square even after the counted the (whining cheaters) of Florida and Michigan (the whining and cheating part does not apply to those who reside in those two states and followed the rules of the DNC those are the ones I feel have been really truely disenfranchised not the whining cheaters who voted)

    May 21, 2008 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  20. stacy

    I read that Obama paid off Bill Richardson's campaign debt, i. e,
    apprx 12 million, is this true?

    May 21, 2008 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  21. km

    It won't be good enough. If you listen between the lines of her speeches and her surrogates...they are going to convention.

    May 21, 2008 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  22. Fred

    This is like watching the BAD NEWS BEARS...... just settle on a number – split the delegate on some algorthim and move on...

    Bararck – put her on the ticket and then get a food tester for 8 years!!!

    May 21, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  23. Boye

    This campaign seems to impress me more each day. I must admit this is calculated politics but the intelligence of this campaign cannot be beat. Since MI and FL votes weren't completely fair push it out until every other state has had a chance to vote. This way supers will make their decision based on the complete fair votes. At this point adding MI and FL will not make much of a difference.

    May 21, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  24. L MIAMI FLORIDA

    COUNT OUR FLORIDA VOTES ASAP ! CARAJO !

    GO HILLARY !

    May 21, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  25. naya

    I have lived in this country for the last 16 years and could not wait to become a citizen so I can vote for a democratic presidential candidate. Today, when I finally have a voice and support Senator Obama's bid for presidency I am shocked at the treatment he is receiving from the democratic party. While senator Clinton is picking up racist votes and openly plans to change the rules for choosing the presidential nominee the prominent democratic figures are just standing on sidelines letting senator Obama fight at the same time Senator McCain and the destructive campaign of Senator Clinton.
    After 16 years of excitement and desire to become a democrat with a right to vote now that I am finally there I am becoming discouraged, disillusioned and disappointed with the democratic party.

    May 21, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
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