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. Will

    The longer Clinton fights to stay in, the more she hurts the Dems and her chances in 2012, if she ever had a chance. She looks out for herself and no one else. Can't voters see through her phoney desperation? Go away, Hillary!

    May 21, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  2. Nwadike K. Patrick

    Clinton is waiting for a chance, that chance is if Obama sleep with a lady rather than his wife, then and only then, she will win.

    May 21, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  3. Pel

    It is good the Obama Team is willing to compromise, however, they should not be pressured into something that will hurt Senator Obama. Who is to know what would have happened if Sen Obama had campaigned in FL & MI. .

    May 21, 2008 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  4. DAN

    THIS IS GOING ALL THE WAY TO THE CONVENTION. OBAMA IS NOT HONEST AND KARMA IS COMMING FOR THIS ARROGANT EGO OF HIS. HILLARY SUPPORTERS WILL NEVER VOTE FOR SOMEONE WHO TRIED TO DISENFRANCHISE MILLIONS OF VOTERS AND NOW HE'S PLAYING NICE SO HE CAN BAMBOOZIE CLINTON SUPPORTERS, EXCEPT NOW WE KNOW WHO HE IS, A HYPPOCRITE. TOO LITTLE TOO LATE.

    May 21, 2008 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  5. Christopher

    Hillary Knows, she's the right one for the job. She can't give up. Obama just sounds like a Hallmark Card. Hillary has more substance.

    May 21, 2008 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  6. B - NYC

    So he gains even though he was NOT someone that the state supported?

    You know, if we are stupid enough to give this guy the nomination then we deserve the pain that we are going to experience for the next four year because it will be either four more years of Republicans or four years of speeches diverting us from all of the mistakes that will be made...

    He has NO experience people...

    May 21, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  7. Will H.

    It's astonishing that HRC wants all votes to count equally, but according to her "new metric", caucus votes would not be counted. Amazing!

    American '08

    May 21, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  8. Jerry in Fresno : )

    Senator Clinton is right; we all know her baggage and, that is why she can't win.

    This election, P.T. Barnum is wrong. There isn't a fool born every day.

    Who wants another liar like President Bush for Commander-in-chief.

    May 21, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  9. Penny

    YOU PEOPLE MAKE ME SICK! FLORIDA AND MICH. WERE TOLD THEIR DEL. WOULDN'T COUNT AND THEY STILL WENT AND VOTED. GOSH NOW YOU PEOPLE WANT TO BEND THE RULES. THAT IS NOT THE DEM. WAY MY FRIENDS. HIL KNOWS THAT BY COUNTING THOSE 2 STATES IS THE ONLY WAY SHE CAN WIN.

    May 21, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  10. Rules are Rules

    Shane, don't be so shortsighted. Or probably you don't know the word RULES. Voters in FL,MI voted knowing full well that they won't be counted towards delegates.

    Were they spineless not to address that with their state party bosses. Why cry now. Just be grateful that DNC and Obama are trying to accomodate in some way.

    Counting them 'AS IS' is BS...Not gonna happen..Stop dreaming and though HRC knows that she's just demanding so, so that she has a case (false) to stay in the race.. Belony !!

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

    At this rate, it'll be October and the Democrats will still be trying to determine who the candidate will be, effectively giving the election to the Republicans.

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

    Would Hillary be asking MI and FL votes to be counted if she was winning right now? I think not.

    May 21, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  13. Ryan

    Clinton will look horrible if she is unwilling to compromise on anything with MI and FL after all of this talk she has been doing about counting their votes. What about the votes of those that stayed home because they knew it wasn't going to count and those who could not vote for Obama in MI because his name was not on the ballot. If Clinton refuses to give Obama a single delegate in MI, I hope her supporters start to open their eyes and see that she really doesn't want every vote to count, just the ones for her. In her popular vote count that she refers to, she makes sure to discount 4 states! How is that counting every vote?

    May 21, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  14. RH

    "...simply on the basis of the rules."

    Well, that's big of him. ( : -P)

    May 21, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  15. Lisa

    You Hillary supports are PATHETIC!!!!! You don't have a clue. Idiots!

    May 21, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  16. Ken in Western NY

    If the shoe was on the other foot and it was Obama that was trailing in the delegate count and was saying and doing anything he could to get the delegates in Florida and Michigan seated, couldn't you just hear Hillary saying something like "Oh sure, my opponent agreed to not count the delegates or campaign in those states if they held their primaries early, but now that he's behind he wants to change the rules!" ??

    Maybe a re-vote is necessary. But I have a feeling that if there was one, Obama would garner a lot more delegates this time around than he would have in January. Hillary might want to re-think this, but we all know she won't. She'll keep on fighting even after Obama gets past the 2,026 mark.

    Go Obama !!

    May 21, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  17. Joe, Northern Virginia

    Ok .. Wait... which front is her augment now? Is she arguing that she has the popular vote and deserves the nomination? Or she has the most of the total delegate count (regardless of the party rules) and deserves to be nominated?
    All well meaning Democrats and super delegates for that matter should show that they are Democrats first and will not let our party be reduced to ridicule by anyone…I mean NO ONE before casting their vote for someone who is more that willing to totally ignore the party's rule (to its detriment) to achieve her own political ambitions.

    May 21, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  18. Strength in Obama

    Obama is such a stand up guy! He looks more and more experienced and presidential each day. He is truly showing the spirit of compromise. He appears to be the bigger person in this issue. So many people missed the opportunity to vote for Obama and Edwards as they were told that their vote wouldn't count. I hope that Edwards stand behind Obama on this point as this is an issue that needs correcting immediately.

    May 21, 2008 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  19. D S

    Obama is so arrogant and he is trying to hoodwink the voters in Michigan and Florida. He never acknowledged trying to seat the delegates and he had the nerve to go and campaign in Florida. I think Hillary is the best person for this job and she should be the Dems nominee. He is talking to the voters about change and at the same time he is just being arrogant and he has no respect for Mrs. Clinton. The superdelegates who switched from Hillary to Obama and his supporters are ruining the Democratic Party. Howard Dean and the rest of the superdelegates know that Hillary has won the most important swing states for the general election. They need to do what is right and nominate Clinton as the party nominee. Oh and by the way, I will not vote for Obama in the fall. When I go to the booth to vote, I will skip over his name and vote in the rest of the elections.

    Hillary Clinton 08

    May 21, 2008 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  20. B - NYC

    I will NEVER vote for Obama...

    I was a Democrat my whole life, I have now changed to Independent... The Democratic party should be ashamed of how they have treated us...

    Clinton 2008!!!

    May 21, 2008 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  21. Juan Carlos(Vegas)

    every vote must be counted, period.

    May 21, 2008 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  22. Terrence (Winston Salem, NC)

    Shane May 21st, 2008 6:36 pm ET

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

    Because if a state (not the voters) breaks the rules, then we can't just turn our head like they didn't. Remember CLinton agreed to these rules too, genius...

    May 21, 2008 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  23. Proudly Independent

    I believe Obama will let Hillary have the wins in Michigan and Florida. He most likely will agree to a compromise that lets her get a little more than 50% of the delegates. The Michigan and Florida delegations will be seated. By agreeing to a compromise, Obama will not agree to let Clinton use especially the Michigan popular vote to further her false statement that she is leading in the popular vote. The votes in Michigan and Florida should not be allowed to count as part of the popular vote.

    Some form of punishment needs to happen. I believe Florida and Michigan elected officials were reckless and stupid. There should be consequences for not following the rules!!!!

    May 21, 2008 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  24. G.W.

    "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." – Sharon

    Interesting theory, Sharon. Yes, Obama single-handedly blocked people from Michigan and Florida from voting in a primary! It was not, after all, agreed to by all the democratic candidates (including Hillary). It was not, after all, legislatures in each state that refused the recount a few months ago.

    I love the Clinton people's talk of "disenfranchisement." First of all, a party primary vote is not an election, and has nothing to do with enfranchisement (otherwise, you could say that Republicans were disenfranchised for not being allowed to vote for Democrats).

    Yes, Hillary is truly a crusader for voting rights, a tireless defender of the disenfranchised (puke!)

    May 21, 2008 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  25. He is giving nothing

    The people have a right to have their voices heard – Obama is not the gift giver. Every other state has had their vote count – normally – which is the way it is supposed to be. She is not stealing anything you idiots. Also, she has the popular vote, not YOUR SWEETIE.

    I hope she does get the nomination – she would have worked hard for it and earned it – more than I can say for Obama.

    May 21, 2008 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15