May 21st, 2008
06:00 PM ET
10 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. David from SC

    Once again Senator Clinton wants more than what is fair, she is offered it; and it is still not good enough. When do we say enough is enough?

    May 21, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  2. HH

    Once they settle on this she will find another issue to complain about.
    That must be the campaign motto complain,cheat,lie and steal.

    May 21, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  3. Ed in Portland

    At this point it doesn't matter. Except for the fact that those states defiantly and willingly broke the rules. We should not consider those votes at all. Maybe a revote would be most appropriate, but even then, we would be ultimately giving those states what they originally broke the rules for.....a greater influence on the outcome of the nomination process than they deserved.

    May 21, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  4. show me

    they should be split 50-50 or dont count them at all hillary just wont quit pandering like civil right s you have to be kiddiding she just set civil right s and women s right s back a 100 year s she would pander anyway she can to cheat

    May 21, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  5. Ken Pittsburgh

    Let get this right both Clinton and Obama agree to the sets of rules
    but of a sudden say is saying that Obama camp is the one standing in the way of a compromise on FLORIDA and MICHIGAN . When it was her saying that she should get all of the votes in FL. he should get none of the votes in MI. I have a Question ? if she was ahead and he was behind would she be fighting as hard to seat both states.

    May 21, 2008 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  6. Susan for Hillary

    FL & Michigan hopefully will vote for Hillary Clinton.

    May 21, 2008 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  7. Belle

    Obama's supposed "High Road" ONLY occurred once he felt Clinton would not catch him in delegates....that is NOT a high is a LOW ROAD.

    One more reason NOT to vote for Obama.

    Now he is "Pandering" because he NEEDS MI AND FL to win....

    May 21, 2008 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  8. Anita - AZ

    Any compromise is a good compromise. It's better than not counting at all, which is what the rules say and what BOTH candidates agreed to, until Clinton needed the votes.

    May 21, 2008 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  9. E. C., Houston, Texas

    Who does the Democratic Party think they are to make such stupid decisions. They sound like a bunch of teenagers. Of course, Florida and Michigan should have their delegates seated and all the primary votes counted. How dare this party make such an absurd rule.

    May 21, 2008 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  10. Sandra

    Hillary hit a new low when she likened her struggle to have the votes counted to the struggle of AA to free themselves from slavery and of women to get the vote. Unbelievable.

    May 21, 2008 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  11. silence do good

    "We're willing to work to make sure that we can achieve a compromise" Lies and hypocracy.

    That's preppy lawyer Obama speak for "I will stonewall and delay until it is too late". He tried that trick already. Is he really fooling people with that? Sounds like he fits in real nice in politics as it is! He was the "change" candidate, right?

    May 21, 2008 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  12. Griff

    But I'm 'Number One'..... You're number Zero!!! Obama... Zero!!!
    You blew it in you're own State.... Then Iowa??? Dream again next year... But Why???? But Why??? You know...... Good for Humble Life style.... You don't get what you want for Christmas.....

    May 21, 2008 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  13. Manuel TX

    This is the high road?


    The Obama campaign knows that they're in trouble in MI and FL...and this disingenuous effort at compromise will be seen for what it is.


    May 21, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  14. Lorri

    Obama followed the rules and Hillary didn't. And all she does is whine because it's not in her favor anymore. Hillary you really need to exit out of the race and retire. You're making a fool out of yourself and out of our country. The whole world is watching and laughing at you, not with you.

    May 21, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  15. nonny

    SMart move obama.... I love u

    May 21, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  16. AL

    Can someone please tell me why everyone is afraid of the Clintons? How is it she can say all the garbage she is saying and get all this free press when all she is doing is making up lies everyday?

    If this table was reversed, I believe Obama would have gotten out of the race with dignity. She can't for the life of her and now she is saying she will take this to the convention.

    Well, let me share a word for you Hillary Clinton....
    1) if you steal this election, we will not vote for you either.
    2) if you cost Obama the election in the fall so that you can run again in 2012, we will not vote for you then either.

    You have a major problem with the black vote despite the fact that none of the pundits are addressing the issue.

    AND FOR THE RECORD, OBAMA owes you NOTHING. NO VP, No nothing. The people who support you who say they will not vote for Obama were never going to vote for them in the first place.

    May 21, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  17. Juan in Colorado

    They're not going to give the nomination to Clinton. They are aware that it would destroy the party.

    The delegates will be seated, Obama will still be in the lead (even with Florida and Michigan fully counting) in delegates. The RECORDED popular vote will be in Clinton's favor, but that is because they don't take a tally on the caucus state votes, which Obama won by large margins.

    Either way, by the rules, Obama will be the nominee. Clinton endorses him, and the general (officially) begins.

    All Democrats should then fall in line behind the nominee, because a vote for McCain is harmful to women's rights, our armed forces, our economy, and our security. Any self-proclaimed Democrat that votes for McCain has lost touch with reality and is doing so for selfish, ignorant reasons.

    Democrats '08. Don't blow this.

    May 21, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  18. Sharon Minnesota

    Oh, now that he wants their money he's getting more cooperative. What a guy!! Please Florida & Michigan don't give him any credit, he's the one who wouldn't allow your vote way back when.

    May 21, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  19. Interesting

    DGH, plz take your meds. Is there anything he could have said that would satisfy you?

    Clinton has her followers so wound up, they forget we're all democrats. She is jeopardizing Roe v Wade.

    The seating is irrelevant because Obama has won the delegate race.

    The question is, what does Clinton hope to gain by making this an issue?

    May 21, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  20. Creative Woody


    Oh wait, he is. It's the DNC that's keeping the delegates from counting. Who knew? Oh, that's right, everyone knew except the Hillary supporters.

    May 21, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  21. Leericists

    My goodness. What does she want ? she wouldn't even win if it's all given to her. I mean c'mon this race is over ! Why is she putting herself so low ?

    May 21, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  22. Belle

    Quit asking for Clinton to quit. She won't. Obama does NOT have the delegates to win, Neither does Clinton. She is in this race until the nominee is decided...AS OBAMA WOULD BE IF CLINTON LED.

    No one asked Obama to quit after Super Tuesday....But he should BE GRACEFUL and quit now. He is NOT the candidate to win in November.

    May 21, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  23. Golly

    She signed the dotted line before the race started with MI and FL. DNC you need to set it straight and tell her to sit down and remind her of the contract. Why is she even getting floor time?
    I do not want a president like her, nor see he anywhere near a ticket.

    May 21, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  24. Emma

    Everybody needs to remember that:
    1. A lot of people in Florida and Michigan DIDN'T VOTE. How can anybody think the primary was a real "vote"?

    2. The DNC has to make sure that states don't up and decide to do this again 4 years from now. Life has consequences when you break the rules.

    Emma from Florida

    May 21, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  25. Mike D.

    hillary doesnt want to meet half way– she wants 100% for her and 0% for Obama

    May 21, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
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