May 25th, 2008
05:40 PM ET
10 years ago

Clinton upbeat on Puerto Rico campaign swing


PENUELAS, Puerto Rico (CNN) - Campaigning in Puerto Rico on Sunday, Hillary Clinton was a great distance from Sioux Falls, South Dakota, the scene of her comment about Robert F. Kennedy’s assassination that sparked a media furor.

Her swing through sunny Puerto Rico was a vacation from the many political distractions on the mainland - questions not only about the assassination remark but also her dwindling chances to secure the Democratic nomination. Morning talk shows discussed the fallout from Friday's controversy and pored over a New York Daily News op-ed written by Clinton outlining her reasons for staying the race, but the candidate was far away, soaking up sunlight and adoration from hundreds of supporters in towns on the western part of the island.

In Puerto Rico, her speeches have been abbreviated but cheery, devoid of political sniping. Clinton herself has been upbeat.

At an evangelical church in the town of Hormigueros, Clinton took her place Sunday morning among the congregation and gently swayed to music as dancers waved ribbons in the air. It was the beginning of a marathon day featuring five separate campaign stops.

“It is in the spirit of our Lord and Savior that I come today to thank you for letting me spend this time with you,” she told the church-goers. “To feel the spirit in this beautiful church. And to see a worship service that includes the whole person, making joyful noises and dancing in praise. I feel blessed.”

Her speech at the church was tailored purely to Puerto Rican issues, as she pledged to clean up former Navy testing ranges in Vieques and promised to resolve the question of the island’s “status” by the end of her first term.

She then changed into a pink floral-patterned shirt and traveled southward to the immaculate seaside in the town of Boqueron, jammed with beach-going families who swarmed the senator as she walked along the beach, camera crews trailing. There were handshakes and embraces for shirtless men and bikini-clad women alike.

After that, it was on to the small town of Penuelas, where Clinton ate a leisurely lunch of rice and beans in the shade at Boquamar Restaurant, perched on a breezy blue bay. Clinton dined with staffers and New York Rep. Anthony Weiner, who had accompanied the campaign to Puerto Rico.

She gave remarks after lunch (still in the floral shirt) to a small crowd gathered in a dirt road outside the restaurant, using a translator throughout. Though she has avoided doing so during this trip, Clinton ventured gingerly into horserace politics, challenging Barack Obama to a debate sponsored by Univision.

“I accept that invitation, anytime, anywhere,” she declared. “That is the best way for the people of Puerto Rico to have their questions asked and answered and for the rest of the United States to learn more about Puerto Rico.”

Clinton soon departed and her motorcade headed east through the mountains in the direction of greater San Juan, where she had two more events planned for Sunday evening. She will also spend Memorial Day in Puerto Rico with three campaign stops, before returning to the mainland on Monday night.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, she makes return visits to Montana and South Dakota.

(Photo credit: Peter Hamby/CNN)

Filed under: Hillary Clinton
soundoff (202 Responses)
  1. Mr DE

    ANY OBAMA SUPPORTERS can do what ever they want.
    But in reality there is no dem candidates have reach the magic number.

    You all might wonder why many super delegates have not cash their votes yet, Im very sure they will wait till convention.

    There are about 73 pledge delegates remaining and about 206 super delegates remaining.

    Obama needs about 55 total delegates and Hillary needs about 245 total delegates to claim a nomination.

    As of 05/24/ general election.
    Obama vs McCain.... 45 – 47 McCain will WIN
    Hillary vs McCain.. 49 – 44 Hillary will WIN...

    You decided who you want your next president.....


    1972 Democratic Primary popular vote
    Hubert Humphrey 4,121,372 (25.77%)
    George McGovern 4,053,451 (25.34%)
    Henry M. Jackson 505,198 (3.16%)

    1972 Democratic National Convention
    Delegate Vote for Presidential Nomination
    George McGovern 1,865
    Henry M. Jackson 525
    Hubert Humphrey 67

    So it seems not always popular vote will get nominee.

    1972 General Election
    Richard Nixon (R) 520 electoral vote
    George McGovern (D) 17 electoral vot

    May 25, 2008 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  2. Hal

    There are only three primaries left in the campaign and PR is her best shot to recruit her own Sirhan sirhan. She should be booed off the political stage. Her underhanded efforts to recruit whack-job racists to "open the door" for her reveal the true nature of the Clintons.

    May 25, 2008 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  3. Daniel, Loganville. Ga.

    Liz Trotter is the latest to continue with the garbage aganist Sen. Obama.

    When asked her opinion of the recent scandal surrounding some comments made by Sen. Hillary Clinton, which Trotter described by saying that, "some are reading [it] as a suggestion that somebody knock off Osama." Hemmer quickly corrected Trotter, having noticed that she had said "Osama" when she meant "Obama." At this point, Trotter said, "Obama. Well...both if we could!" Trotter then laughed gleefully.

    May 25, 2008 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  4. Mikey

    Has she apologized to Senator Obama and his family yet?

    I'm not holding my breath. This is the same person who laughed, no cackled, in a reporters face in response to a legitimate question and made fun of her sniper fire lie on SNL, but never owned up to it.

    June 3rd can't come too soon, and he should have the magic number by then, unless there is a ridiculous settlement to the Florida and Michigan delegation issue.

    May 25, 2008 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  5. William

    Hopefully they will vote for something other than "Bounce Dryer Sheets", aka "Hillary Clinton Brand". It's amazing to me what people use for criteria in the most important Democratic primary and general election of that last 30 years. "I'm voting for Hillary Clinton because her name is recognizable"........... ...

    May 25, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  6. b


    May 25, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  7. KE

    You have to have a mind like a man to run for President. This is just my opinion. I'm sure I will offend some people (I'm a woman).

    Hillary Clinton has a mind like a man. And maybe that upsets some people. Remember, men has many enemies.

    But most importantly, we should be human first before anything else, and Hillary rocks 2008.

    May 25, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  8. A Bit About Carter and Obama to Think About

    While I admire Carter's post-presidency work, I can understand why he might "embrace" Obama. Their campaigns are very similar, and just like Ted Kennedy hoping to restore "Camelot" just one last time, so Carter might want to lend credibility to his own, failed presidency. .

    The reality is that JIMMY CARTER was a one-time president. The most obvious factor was lack of previous experience in Washington. Like Obama, he ran on a "leadership crisis" and skepticism about "Washington,” with confidence that his own personal qualities could end the crisis. His campaign in 1975 stressed Washington's defects and his own virtues - NOT SPECIFIC ISSUES OR A CLEARLY DEFINED IDEOLOGY. He sensed a yearning for “change,” and tried to persuade the “disenchanted” that he had the personality and values the situation demanded.
    Many voters found Carter puzzling—even contradictory—and UNTESTED. Carter only squeaked through to victory, with a popular vote of 40.8 million to Ford's 39.1 million and an electoral vote of 297 to 240.
    What Carter failed at was to have a compelling vision AND POLITICAL SKILL.
    Not surprisingly, Carter was a one-term president and even had to struggle to even obtain the re-nomination by his own party.

    Deja-vu all over with Obama!

    May 25, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  9. Clinton For President

    Win, Hillary, win!!!!

    May 25, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  10. Robert New York City & Miami, Florida


    May 25, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  11. Andre Weisz

    Hillary, please quit the race and show you are a true Democrat by supporting the best candidate, who won most pleged delegates, super delegates, states, as well as the popular vote.
    You may not have been aware for some time, or too many people may have said it already it too many times too clearly to understand.
    That's why I friendly whisper his name into your ear: "Obama".
    Go to sleep, get up well and support our new, long awaited president of the United States.

    May 25, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  12. Patricia

    I am sure Clinton will do well in Puerto Rico. Being away from the mainland gives her some time to think and relax. The end is almost hear.

    The MI/FL push by the Clintons will soon be over. Even if she somehow manages to get the popular vote, it won't matter.

    She has fought a good fight, but I believe it is time for the next generation to take the lead.

    May 25, 2008 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  13. deann

    I deeply respect Hillary all the way to fight for the people's will, she is the real USA president we need.

    May 25, 2008 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  14. Obama's What The World Needs Now/CA

    I wish you would stay in Puerto Rico. However, I'm sure they don't want you there just as we don't want you here. I am glad the world now knows you have been parading as a democrat for all these years. Everyone knows the only reason you became a democrat in the first place is you knew you could never go anywhere as a republican. As the republicans only like old, white men.

    Please do us all a favor and stay there.

    May 25, 2008 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  15. Venus

    Keep going Hillary! Best of luck in PR!

    Can't wait to see her exit next week after the last state!

    It must be a real shock for her and the Clintons that they let a rookie beat them!

    Go Bam! Change is coming to America!

    May 25, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  16. Olivia

    Hillary is the best candidate to turn around our ailing economy,provide healthcare for all and bring our boys home from Iraq. She is experienced, smart, capable. The people who support her know this and is standing with her 100% and insist she stay in the race. Different groups and Obama supporters have been trying to get her out of the race by undermining her validity for staying in. They say pretty awful things that are disrespectful to Hillary and her family.

    PUERTO RICO.......don't be conned by the music and dance and ads.
    If you want real sensible believable change, then support Hillary. Many of Obama's ideas and proposals are Hillary's, now said to be his. I follow the campaigns daily as I work in the home and see and hear what is going on and what is being said.
    Vote Hillary!

    May 25, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  17. cpl

    McCain vs Obama=McCain will win easily.

    McCain vs Hillary=Hillary will win easily.

    May 25, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  18. Hillary Supporter...

    I use to have so much admiration for the CLINTONS but after following the 2008 primaries and see how the CLINTONS have conducted themsevles, sad to say, I have lost all respect for them. Her method of conduct herself has not only destroyed her image but that of her husband as well and that will be evident in the months and in the years ahead. In the end she will ask herself, was it really worth it losing her dignitity, or even her soul over her quest for political power. Very Sad Clintons.

    May 25, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  19. Pat Va

    Her last hurrah...and not a moment too soon.

    May 25, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  20. What if?

    First it was the white hard workers voters, get ready my Puerto Rico, bothers and sister, she has a reason for talking about how important you are, she’s desperately NEEDS your vote, once got, you will be a thing of the past. For those who keep bringing up the Rev., McCain might not have been a member to either of their churches, but whose to say he didn't visit them as if he were.

    May 25, 2008 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  21. DannyCali

    Hillary fight until the end.........I think Carter and Obama the two that met with Hamas and will meet with Hamas need to give up by Jun 3.

    May 25, 2008 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  22. Mark

    Don't delete this CNN! Keep going Hillary; all us folks clinging to our guns and religion are with you all the way. No Hillary, Vote McCain!

    May 25, 2008 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  23. Mimi De La Cruz for OBAMA





    May 25, 2008 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  24. Karen, TX

    Thank you Hillary for making sure we have the support of everyone before the general starts. This will help when we come together as a unified party.

    Obama 08

    May 25, 2008 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  25. Judy Malone

    Please give up and help the party move into the general election. You're begaining to look like a sore loser–we know that's not what you are RIGHT???

    May 25, 2008 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
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