May 21st, 2008
06:00 PM ET
7 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. Jean

    What is Hillary's goal???????????????

    Stop whinning – I am a 69 year old woman and I am tired of listening to these arguments. Isn't the ultimate goal of the Democratic Party to win the White House??????????????

    REAL ISSUES ARE IMPORTANT OUR FUTURE AS A WOMAN IN AMERICA IS NOT ONLY IN OCCUPYING THE wHITE hOUSE AT ANY COST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    May 21, 2008 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  2. Ben

    Hillary is up to something but it will not work for her. the MI and FL votes that hillary wants counted is not for MI and FL, is for Hillary and Hillary alone. She's a fool, a big fat fool. She wants to damage the only visible chances of Democrats taking over the white hse. she knows that she will not get the nomination, but her pride and ego will not let her. shame on you hillary, shame on you bill, shame on you little miss wana be president in 10yrs

    May 21, 2008 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  3. Texas Democrat

    Revote! It's the only thing that is fair to both candidates and states, and the Democratic Party needs these two states in November.

    We wouldn't be in this mess if the DNC had followed the rules and only stripped them of half of their delegates. It makes me doubt Howard Dean and the rest of the leadership's impartiality, because these states favored Clinton.

    Go Hillary!

    P.S. It's a little late Obama, once again you're all talk. Hillary has been proposing solutions for a long time now. And to those who are too short sighted and see this as only a political move by Clinton, I hope you remember this when McCain is elected in November.

    May 21, 2008 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  4. Dianne Sanders

    I think that it is unfair and that all of the votes should be counted. I also think that if there was a move that the super delegates should make ,they should have a ticket with both Obama and Hillary, Wake
    Up America, The best Woman for the job is Hillary and if you put another woman inher place it would be a slap in the face. I will hope that all woman would march on the DNC and the White House in Protest!!! All Women Groups should be standing up united against the gender basis in this election, it is not sore losser it is just so true. The John on CNN is os bitter and his hate for Hillary is just wrong.

    May 21, 2008 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  5. RR

    Smooth!....

    May 21, 2008 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  6. Shirley, Silicon Valley, CA

    Big mistake to give in anything to the Clintons! They will eat you alive if they could! Never trust any Clintons!

    May 21, 2008 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  7. NO-BAMA

    OH....

    SO MISTER OBAMA "UNITY & CHANGE"
    ONLY WANTS TO DISENFRANCHISE HALF THE VOTERS ???

    First HE THREW WEST VIRGINIA & KENTUCKY Under the Bus

    ...Now this...

    So much for "Hope & Change"

    ....a facade

    May 21, 2008 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  8. King in MO

    Obama should get all the uncommitted in MI and his and all his supporters votes in Florida. That is as far as he should go. Who cares if she gets the popular vote then. She's been claiming it since the delegates looked out of reach in early April anyway. I don't really understand how Hillary supporters think this is fair play. Would they be this vocal if the roles were reversed. Of course not. Fighting for the case of the fight when your on the same team is just stupid. Hillary should just keep her poise, see her way to June 3rd, then graciously drop out.

    May 21, 2008 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  9. Diane, NY

    According to Hillary:

    Only big states matter–unless you are a small state with mostly white, high school only educated voters

    The pledged delegates decide on the nominee–unless you don't have the majority.

    It's up to the super delegates–unless you can't get them behind you then...

    It's up to the popular vote–as long as you don't give any Michigan votes to Obama and don't count the states that have caucusses

    You can't disenfranchise voters–unless they are the ones who stayed home because they thought their vote wouldn't count.

    She welcomes your vote if your a racist but shames those she thinks are sexist

    Wake up democrats....it's not about you....it's all about her.

    May 21, 2008 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  10. Sebastian

    The rule of law must apply ....

    Let's all be clear here that any resolution of the FLorida and Michigan disputes WILL NOT be allowed to alter the outcome of the contest.

    This primary ( in 2008) is not the 1st time the DNC has contemplated this scenario and established some prior recommendations for how to treat it.

    They don't include applying majority of the the offending state's delegates to determine the nomination.

    It could and SHOULD however include allowing ALL DELEGATES to vote on the PARTY's PLATFORM.

    May 21, 2008 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  11. Sara

    Many here in Tampa did not vote, especially those not affected by the property tax issue that was on the same ballot. My sister and I both voted for Obama. How dare Hillary imply that she wants our votes "to count."

    May 21, 2008 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  12. How will it end?

    Sharon in Minnesota....do you READ? Everyone knows this was not a candidate decision; Fl & MI didn't follow the rules. Are you so silly that you don't get that? HRC tells you something untrue because she knows her people are too lazy to learn the truth and you'd rather someone else do your thinking for you. Obama is not the reason they don't count. And HRC is the one who rejected the last deal by MI to seat their delegates.

    It is frustrating to see how utterly ridiculous some of you are. I can't believe people old enough to vote are not smart enough to seek answers beyond what they are told.

    May 21, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  13. vince

    Enough with Roe V Wade. Do you people really believe we are going to vote for someone untrustworthy because of Roe V Wade? I have never known anyone who has taken advantage of that right. Why on gods green earth whould I vote for someone based SOLEY on that.

    May 21, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  14. William Porter

    Let all votes count, thats the( American Way ) Remember the world is watching

    May 21, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  15. sick of all of you

    Go Ralph Nader!

    May 21, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  16. AP

    Yes, Shelly; all Hillary supporters are racist. That's why they're voting for her. It couldn't be because they feel she's the better candidate, right? For someone to not worship the ground Obama walks on, it has to be because of the color of his skin, not because they feel he's unqualified, right?

    May 21, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  17. Lana, NATIVE AMERICAN CHEROKEE INDIAN

    BHO has the AUDACITY to step foot in Florida/Michigan? He thinks he is something special. Well, I am one of those female democrats who will NOT vote for him period. He is a hypocrit, CON-ARTIST, arrogant, race-hustler who now wants the voters in FL/MI to vote for him after he fought against their votes being counted. Sounds like baby Bush 2000 all over agains

    May 21, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  18. Max

    Dear Hillary supporters:

    So you are pushing for Florida and Michigan to be counted, because it is only fair that every vote be counted. I agree.

    Unfortunately, as a Michigan resident, I was told prior to the primary that my vote would not count whatsoever. I am a Barack Obama supporter with a polling place literally two blocks down the road. I stayed home after work and did not go vote because I was told my vote would not count. Now she wants to say that unless the votes are counted the entire primary is illegitimate? Really? Obama was not EVEN ON THE BALLOT in MI. And it wasn't as though he was the only one. Richardson, Dowd, Biden, Edwards....None of them were on the ballot. The only two that were were Hillary and Kucinich.

    May 21, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  19. Mike in Atlanta

    JUST READ........Clinton taking the vote count to the convention.....This is not good

    May 21, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  20. Terrence (Winston Salem, NC)

    Funny how this was NEVER an issue when Hillary was winning.....

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

    No Mr. Axelrod does not want a compromise. He wants something that will not compromise his campaigns supposed victory. He does not want a morale compromise.

    A re-vote was ready to be paid for and done and Obama's campaign said no thank you.
    Why should anyone compromise for Mr. Obama after that?

    May 21, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  22. Tyler in Raleigh, NC

    Hillary supporters are just "bitter" and clinging to their queen.

    They broke the rules, that's why they DO NOT COUNT. The DNC made the decision, they were warned, the parties agreed to it, then AFTER THE FACT... Clinton decides that she needs those people and it becomes an issue. Same with Hispanics, same with White, Blue Collar Americans.... same as she tried with African-Americans.

    May 21, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  23. Pat M Don't Get IT

    So – Due to the DNC who made the rules – Obama could have put his name on the Florida/Michigan Ballot but CHoose not to. Clinton CHoose to. A choice open to both of them. Floridians wanted a vote.....so Clinton received the votes because Obama was not on the ballot. Apparently Michigan decided not to have a ballot. No votes for either in Michigan.

    Now Floridians want their voices heard. Could you blame them? They did take the time to vote! BUT the DNC and Florida do not want their votes to count !? How is this Fair? How can any Committe or State willfully keep their constituents' votes out of contest and call it fair or Demoncratic? If I was a Floridian I'd be Fuming Also! It's like all other votes are important except theirs! Aren't all equal in a Democracy?

    And Why is it that in the last two elections at least the State of Florida has pulled a "Let's Rock the Boat" and Churn up the Election Waters Theme? Why did they have to change their date? No other State had to. What's with the State Government in Florida? (Excluding Chads of course.)

    May 21, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  24. funny

    But...but...wait...I thought this was all Obama's fault? Why is he trying to compromise? THis makes no sense! Didn't he write the DNC rules AND change Florida and Michigan's primary dates? Whoa, I can't comprehend this move.

    May 21, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  25. Pat M

    So – Due to the DNC who made the rules – Obama could have put his name on the Florida/Michigan Ballot but CHoose not to. Clinton CHoose to. A choice open to both of them. Floridians wanted a vote.....so Clinton received the votes because Obama was not on the ballot. Apparently Michigan decided not to have a ballot. No votes for either in Michigan.

    Now Floridians want their voices heard. Could you blame them? They did take the time to vote! BUT the DNC and Florida do not want their votes to count !? How is this Fair? How can any Committe or State willfully keep their constituents' votes out of contest and call it fair or Demoncratic? If I was a Floridian I'd be Fuming Also! It's like all other votes are important except theirs! Aren't all equal in a Democracy?

    And Why is it that in the last two elections at least the State of Florida has pulled a "Let's Rock the Boat" and Churn up the Election Waters Theme? Why did they have to change their date? No other State had to. What's with the State Government in Florida? (Excluding Chads of course.)

    May 21, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
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