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. A.M. Saqib

    No Sir! Rules are Rules... no one is above the law, but perhaps 'Clinton' think they are above all rules and regulations. They can say and they can do whatever pleases them.

    Obama and Obama's team should not give in anything for no one... strictly follow DNC guidelines and accept the outcome of 'DNC' decisions, PERIOD.

    A.M. Saqib
    Houston, Texas

    May 21, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  2. Fact


    May 21, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  3. Dave from queens, NY

    Obama has played by the rules the entire time.

    Clinton has sought to change the rules whenever it suits her personally.

    It says all you need to know.

    May 21, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |

    Shane, because the rules were broken!!! Is Obama supposed to be held responsible for Floraida and Michigan breaking the DNC's rules?

    Grow up Clinton supporters! It's over.

    May 21, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  5. Casey from Atlanta

    Hillary won't rest until she wins. If she gets Florida and Michigan she'll want something else because those two states aren't enough to cement her nomination.

    This campaign is becoming exhausting... who knows what HIllary will come up with next.

    May 21, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  6. ex-Hillary supporter

    This could have been a wonderful and uplifting process for women. Instead, with her disgusting flip-flopping and deceptive tactics, Hillary is giving women everywhere an AWFUL name. How is she a role model for our daughters?

    May 21, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  7. Chris from San Antonio

    Sharon from Minnesota:

    You really should read up on current events before saying something that makes you look uneducated. Obama has no control over whether FL or MI delegates get counted. Hillary agreed to not seat the delegates way back when she thought she was a shoe-in for the nomination. Now grow up.

    May 21, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  8. shelly

    Wow I don't think anything can satisfy some people, they are just so full of hate. I feel sorry for anyone with that much hate for one person because of the color of their skin. Can't we for once just put our differences aside for the betterment of our country and our future generations, because at the end of the day that is what is important showing our children and grandchildren that we all count and matter in this great nation.

    May 21, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  9. California Girl

    To every super delegate of the Democratic Party,

    Please think long and hard about the simple choice you now have to make:

    1) Choose to endorse Hillary Clinton as the Party’s nominee and watch her become the first woman to be elected President of the United States.


    2) Choose to endorse Barack Obama and watch the first African American nominee of the Democratic Party lose in the general election.

    Hillary Clinton will win against John McCain in the states that the Democratic Party needs to win in order to reach 270 electoral votes in the general election.

    Obama won’t.

    It’s that simple.

    Hillary Clinton has been the best candidate in this long primary election, is by far more competent to run against the Republicans in the general election, and is infinitely more qualified to be President of the United States than is Barack Obama.

    Endorsing Barack Obama, a relatively unknown candidate with a thin resume who has lost nearly every large state and swing state to Hillary Clinton in the primaries by large margins, is a huge gamble at best.

    Please don’t gamble with our futures.


    May 21, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  10. Raphael Tx

    Axelrod is flip flopping just like his candidate Barack.
    Count the votes in FL & MI bottom line..
    "Were willing to go halfway" What is that? Be a man ans stop changing your views every 5 minutes to benefit your campaign.

    Go Hillary, if not Hillary Go McCain

    May 21, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  11. chad

    Even with florida and michigan counted the way they were .obama is still the winner is what john king said.before oregon and kentucky she would nead 6 out of 10 delegates for rest of contests and with him winning oregon and soon montana and south dakota more then likely she won't be able to win anyway

    May 21, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  12. kaz

    Obama should not give any thing to sen. Clinton. Obama and sen. Clinton both agrred to abide by the rule set by DNC. Why she wants to change the rule now. This is the issue of trust, yesterday she agrred and accepted the rules now she is against. How some one can trust her,

    May 21, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  13. 4hill@thehill

    I am done with this woman. I have been on her side from day one and as a woman I am ashamed. I live in FL and we were told our votes were not going to count that why I did not vote. I know other did but there were issues on that people needed to address. I have raised money for this woman and phone banked for her but this is going too far and too long. I will be the first to say I had an issue with having a Black president but I have to come out of the dark ages. I am a middle aged white woman who will be voting for Obama come Nov. This is no longer about me but it's for my children and grand children.


    May 21, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  14. jay

    also, she is only going to net a couple of delagates anyways, becasue Sen. Edwards is going to throw his support to Sen. Obama. Check mate. He still wins.

    May 21, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  15. Spectacles

    Sharon in Minnesota,
    Its Hillary that is in debt, not Obama.
    He has plenty of money.
    Why don't you leave the dark side and come into the light.
    It feels great and you sound so angry and unhappy.

    May 21, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  16. christine

    i thought hillary said she is a fighter now she is winning and all this election she was acting like a man and now with florida she is winning do you think she can run the white with the she is i dont think because the problem is they are a lot of different hillary on her last nignt after kentucky she was calm and different and today she is this person you dont know i dont think she will do well in the white house, i am a women and i would love a women president but not this one thank god she doesnt have enough delegates i am telling the truth she not the same person all the time, i think this is nobodys fault its the rules i mean if we look at it that means edward, dodd, richardson have to comeback because they were also on the ballots come on lets just use common sense now she is letting down all the women who thought she was a fighter by winning over florida get over it and be a men stop wining

    May 21, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  17. Thomas

    "She is jeopardizing Roe v Wade" – No She is not doing anything, the Obama supporters are turning Hillary Supporters away its as simple as that, I'm not going to vote McCane though.. I going to vote Nader or write in Hillary, just never Obama!

    (And what is funny is my family that has voted for dems for there entire life is going to do the same thing... I would never think my parents would do this...)

    Hillary, McCane or Nader... just Never Obama

    May 21, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  18. Bobby tray

    Clinton wants to win by any means necessary. Any work towards a solution that FL and MI created by the way by not following the rules, is Clinton's realization that she's done. She still has bills to pay and people to alienate.

    May 21, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  19. Linda

    I just want Hillary to disappear.

    May 21, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  20. Stacey, California

    Hilary’s behavior is adolescent. She should call her losses, help the Party, and run again in 2012.

    Trust me, if she was winning she would not have any regards to including FL and MI. And for those of you wondering, yes, Obama would drop out. Look how far he’s been leaning to accommodate her tired campaign: willing to help settle her debts if he’s nominated, come to an agreement regarding FL and MI.

    Look, she’s a big cry baby and we don’t need some one of the demenor as presdient. Bush asked the folks in ME for gas; well she would CRY for it.

    OBAMA 2008!!!!

    May 21, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  21. Bobby tray

    Did anyone think that the white woman doesn't want to concede to a person of color? Could it be that she is just as racist as some of her followers?

    May 21, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  22. Unbelievable

    to the fools who still think that Obama controls Florida and Michigan seating delegation let's go over some facts

    Michigan and Florida were told last year they they would have their delegates stripped if they moved their primaries before Feb 5th

    They did and their delegates were stripped

    what's important is two things

    Inside the state many people that would have voted didn't because it didn't count.

    second and most importantly the candidates pledged not to campaign

    why to cury favor with Iowa and New Hampshire

    do you think Hillary would have one New Hampshire if they knew she was go back on her word.

    Seat the delegation and give them half a vote for breaking the rules

    Michigan should use the 69-59 comprimise that Michigan is requesting.

    and now that Edwards has endorsed Obama there should be a 51% -49% Clinton's favor adding Edwards and Obama's return

    If Florida and Michigan had decided to formally have a revote Obama would have had no choice but to participate – in his defense that would
    cost another 25mm for him to mount campaign there and not change the results.

    May 21, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  23. Thomas

    I can't believe this is even an issue, they both agreed the results wouldn't count... now she is in dire need of delegates and she demands they do count? I am from Florida and I did not bother to vote because I was told it wouldn't count. My parents did the same thing. To treat this the same as other primarys is an insult to everyone across America.

    May 21, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  24. shaolinPrince

    This is why the youth are voting for Obama so overwhelmingly because Clinton will do anything to win. Florida and Michigan both knew the consequences of their actions before they decided not to abide by the rules. Furthermore, the ones that are pushing for the Florida and Michigan vote to count, what example are you setting for the youth of America. You are telling the youth that it is OK to break the rules if it is to your advantage. The youth of this nation are smarter than most adults realize. They (the youth) can tell when you are being hypocritical, or truthful. The youth of America seems to be more honest than the adults. The adults can learn from the youth and stick to what was established and agreed to before hand. If you show the youth how to circumvent the rules and laws than you cannot become angry when they (the youth) do so because they are only learning from the adults’ example.

    May 21, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  25. coretta

    Look! The reason President Bush won a second term in the White House is because American people were afraid to put a new President into office during the war. President Bush is now talking about bombing Iran. This is a way to scare the American people into leaving a Republican in office. Hillary and Obama need to come together or neither one will become president. People are afraid to change presidents during a war, watch and see if the Bush administration don't try this again to hand the election to McCain because " he is experienced."

    May 21, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
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