June 1st, 2008
11:20 AM ET
10 years ago

Angry Clinton supporters tell party leaders: 'Let's go McCain!'

Some Clinton backers said Saturday they're voting for McCain.

Some Clinton backers said Saturday they're voting for McCain.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Democratic leaders hopeful that a deal to seat delegates from Florida and Michigan would mark an end to the deep division the controversy has brought to the party got some instant – and less than encouraging – feedback as they finalized the measure Saturday evening.

As members of the Democratic National Committee's Rules and Bylaws panel voted in favor of the measures, some supporters of Hillary Clinton's White House bid rose from their seats and began to shout “Don’t steal my vote!” and “Let’s go, McCain!”

Several paced the back of the ballroom, yelling at the committee members and chanting “Denver! Denver!” – the site of this summer's Democratic presidential nominating convention.

When Barack Obama’s name was mentioned, boos filled the room.

"This motion will hijack, hijack, remove four delegates won by Hillary Clinton and most importantly reflect the preferences of 600,000 Michigan voters,” said Clinton senior adviser and RBC member Harold Ickes, who added that the White House hopeful reserved her right to bring an appeal before the DNC's Credentials Committee later this summer.

The delegate allocations were a blow to Clinton, who comes away with an advantage of just 24 delegates.

She is favored in Sunday’s Puerto Rico primary. But Obama is thought to hold an edge going into next Tuesday’s contests in Montana and South Dakota – meaning Clinton’s chances of pushing Obama’s delegate lead down into the double digits before the Democratic convention have virtually disappeared.

After the vote, as knots of Clinton and Obama supporters circled each other and faced off in the lobby outside the ballroom, uncommitted Florida superdelegate Mitch Caesar – who said he would weigh in soon after the last primary Tuesday - praised the party for “taking the first step toward unity.”

Nearby, Obama supporter Laura Mitchell wasn’t so sure the party had started down the path to comity. “I think it’s going to be a disaster if this goes past Tuesday,” said the Maryland resident. “Every day it gets a little harder to imagine we will be able to come together.”

Boston native and Clinton backer Jenny Doggett, an organizer of grassroots group Count the Votes Cast, called the DNC “spineless.”

“I think what they’ve done is divisive, destroying the party. I’m disgusted,” said Doggett, who expressed hope that the popular vote in Puerto Rico and a shift in superdelegates might still be able to deliver the nomination to Hillary Clinton. “I’m done with the Democratic Party,” she added. “I’m an independent voter now.”

The Rules committee ultimately adopted modified versions of a Florida delegate proposal presented by Jon Ausman, and the Michigan Leadership Plan developed by Democratic officials in that state.

All delegates from both states, both pledged and superdelegates, will be seated – but each will only be able to cast half a vote. Florida’s delegates were split The decision adds 313 new delegates, but only 156.5 votes, to the summer convention, and raises the number of delegates required to win the nomination to 2,118.

The Florida proposal was passed unanimously by the panel – but faced a rockier reception on the Michigan plan, which employed a complicated and controversial delegate allocation formula that awarded a 10 delegate, 5 vote edge to Clinton.

The Clinton campaign later released a statement from Ickes and fellow Clinton adviser and RBC member Tina Flournoy that said the Michigan decision “violates the bedrock principles of our democracy and our Party,” and repeated their willingness to challenge the decision before the delegation is seated at the Democratic National Convention.

The Obama campaign released a statement from campaign manager David Plouffe praising the RBC decision. “We're extremely gratified that the commission agreed on a fair solution that will allow Michigan and Florida to participate in the Convention,” said Plouffe.

At a press conference at the hotel following the final vote, a skeptical reporter pressed Alexis Herman on her claim that the panel’s decision would unite the party. As Herman responded, chants of “Denver! Denver!” could be heard from the lobby outside.

Filed under: Hillary Clinton
soundoff (854 Responses)
  1. Hillary for President

    New Hampshire and Puerto Rico changed the rules and were not penalized..why were Michigand and Fla?

    We are a land of 50 states not 48!

    June 1, 2008 12:40 am at 12:40 am |
  2. najee shakir

    Let us not forget the bigger picture, and that is getting this Country back on its feet. We need to become the United States; and start living the words of our great documents. We need change!

    June 1, 2008 12:42 am at 12:42 am |
  3. jed

    As PT Barnum once said, there is a sucker born every second.

    The only reason Billary is still "running" is to pay off some of her $20 million debt by duping her supporters into donating her money.

    As PT Barnum once said, make them pay to see the Egress. Yes, Clinton supporter, for once, do your research and go look up Egress and see what you are paying for this time.

    And people who agree with Mr. McCain's vision for America and so will vote for him do not belong in the Democratic Party anyway.

    June 1, 2008 12:43 am at 12:43 am |
  4. Jacob S, NJ

    Because those four delegates will really make a world of difference when Clinton trails by about 175. Who needs unity when you can cry about not getting four delegates?

    June 1, 2008 12:43 am at 12:43 am |
  5. kjhen

    Take it to Denver! I am behind you all the way. If that does not work, run as an independent. I am confident you will fight for us in the Whitehouse therefore we are will to fight for you.

    June 1, 2008 12:43 am at 12:43 am |
  6. David Newport, OR

    I will never understand why people will cut off their nose in spite of themself. But you know what...this may be the best for American politics in the long run. Obviously, the 2 party system is no longer working. Having multiple major parties will force politicians to learn to compromise and to work with other.

    June 1, 2008 12:44 am at 12:44 am |
  7. joel

    How sick and blinded by pride must you be? Have some respect for this hard fought race and the fact that the better candidate has forged through such a giant pile of garbage. Holding an early and thereby pointless primary these two states are lucky to have even received consideration. How unfair and ridiculous do you want to be?

    I just hope all who declared this are running down to the recruiters office tomorrow. No? TOO MANY TALKERS IN THIS COUNTRY. No?

    June 1, 2008 12:44 am at 12:44 am |
  8. NSM

    Yeah, go ahead and vote McCain. Then you can congratulate yourself when the guy sits idly by as the economy falters, further screws up the Middle East, and takes away your right to choose.

    You guys don't deserve to be in the Democratic Party anyway. Bunch of idiots.

    June 1, 2008 12:44 am at 12:44 am |
  9. Kurt

    SInce when do democrats not count votes!!!!!!!
    where is the outrage from moveon and dail ykos who in the past have called for voter disenfranchisement and petitions when there is SMALLEST sign of voter fraud!!!!!!!
    the obama people are the most hypocritical i have ever seen!!!!!!!
    hillary or bust!!!!!!!!!

    June 1, 2008 12:45 am at 12:45 am |
  10. Ras

    If they were so gung-ho for voting for McCain, they why don't they convince Hillary to run with him? Now we all know who the REAL Democrats are. We don't need wolves in sheep's clothing...it's time to cleanse this party of these fanatics. It's very simple...if you can't take the heat, get out of the party.

    June 1, 2008 12:45 am at 12:45 am |
  11. Gabriel Otto

    It's unfortunate that the whiners get the press. Understandable, but unfortunate. Move on, Clinton supporters and get a clue.

    June 1, 2008 12:46 am at 12:46 am |
  12. Politico

    No true democrat would vote for McCain, especially if they're politically savvy enough to realize that even Clinton admitted her and Obama's policies are very similar.

    The only explination would be that Clinton supporters put the idea of the candidate above her policies, in which case, their votes don't particularly hold a whole lot of weight in my view. If they're willing to support a candidate that completely overturns Clintons ideals (Roe v. Wade, a more fair tax structure, more money toward education, etc.), then they certainly aren't doing her any favors.

    June 1, 2008 12:46 am at 12:46 am |
  13. David King

    So what! The stupid Hillary fools talking about jumping ship are true Republicans anyways. So is Hillary for that matter. She's running the Republicans campaign while destroying the Democrats! Good riddens Hillary and all your zombies!

    June 1, 2008 12:46 am at 12:46 am |
  14. Diogenes

    I am so tired of Clinton supporters threatening to vote for McClain. We dont want to hear it anymore, please.

    Enough teeth gnashing and hand-wringing.

    Go ahead and vote for McClain.
    Nothing new there.

    People voting against their own economic and other interests is what gave us 8 yrs of Bush.

    What's another 8 yrs of another failed administration? We'll all be too hungry to care, anyway.

    So go ahead and cut your nose to spite your face. We just dont need to know about it.

    June 1, 2008 12:46 am at 12:46 am |
  15. Paul Tan

    Yeah lets go McCain man! 4 more years with the Republicans! Neither Democrat will solve the growing threat of Iran. At least with McCain, we know he can contain the problems in the Middle East. He actually got shot down unlike Clinton who LIED about landing under sniper fire and Obama who actually wants to talk to Ahmadinejad.

    June 1, 2008 12:46 am at 12:46 am |
  16. smileyb

    Senator Obama is not the universal guy. He appears to be a man with a mission and we Clinton supporters have every right to be mad. as most of us just want to field a moderate , experienced candidate. Trying to look cool and with it, many of the super-delegates have and are moving to Obama. This is very much too bad for our country. What the DNC has done does not recognize that Obama lost Florida by just under 300,000 votes in a state where he was on the ballot. Figuring that Democrats will win in the House and Senate how can we be blamed for abstaining or voting for McCain who is at least not a closet radical who may be carrying a deep grudge against most of us.

    June 1, 2008 12:46 am at 12:46 am |
  17. Chris

    Nothing will ever be enough for Hillary and her supporters unless she wins – she had equal opportunity to win the election without those states and failed – even with the Clinton "machine". Why should Obama be penalized or even blamed for something completely out of his control?

    Do rules mean nothing? if so, do laws mean nothing?

    June 1, 2008 12:47 am at 12:47 am |
  18. Mike, GA

    They're bluffing.. I don't believe these idiots at all

    June 1, 2008 12:47 am at 12:47 am |
  19. Frank

    I know Hillary said she would support the eventual nominee. That should be predicated on a fair process, not one that is offensive and corrupt. We should not have Barack Obama shoved down our throats.

    I would support Hillary running as an independent. She could win the hearts and votes from moderates like myself from all parties, including independent voters.

    It's time for a third party to dominate American politics. A party of moderates with the best attributes of both parties. Hillary has the determination to make it happen.

    Time for a party change

    June 1, 2008 12:47 am at 12:47 am |
  20. Emily

    What is this, grade school?

    Eesh. Grow up people. Your just making yourselves look really bad.


    But then that's what your candidate is being. I bet she's smirking her little smirk and thinking she's all that.

    Just stop.

    June 1, 2008 12:47 am at 12:47 am |
  21. judy g

    Now that a decision has been made it is time for Hillary to gracefully allow the process to continue. Any more antics on her part will only make her look worse than she already does. If she hopes to pursue her political life, she needs to buck up and face the music. It is time to go home Hillary your train is about to leave the station.

    June 1, 2008 12:48 am at 12:48 am |
  22. Nick - Arlington, VA

    wow...this is just sad...clinton supporters aren't happy because she didnt get 100% of what they want (ergo Obama getting 0) and they are angry? Seriously, this needed a compromise....the elections, especially michigan, weren't legitimate...the democrats in each state, clinton and obama supporters alike, worked on these compromises in order to seat the delegations and instead of unifying the supporters there along with that Ickes seem hell bent on destroying the party because of a delegate compromise in MI....even if they did get their way, 100%, she would still lose...why do this to our chances to win in Nov....

    this is sad.

    June 1, 2008 12:48 am at 12:48 am |
  23. lynn

    clinton signed an agreement that she would not campaign in Florida and Michigan and that she accepted the DNC ruling that these delegates should not be seated in Denver. Obama was not on the ballot in Michigan, so to give her all of the delegates is unrealistic.
    If she can't keep her word on this, you can bet her White House would be the same.
    If anyone is to blame, blame the states that broke the rules, oh yeah, I think that decision was made by the REPUBLICANS in those states. Wake up people. If Hillary takes this to the credentials committee the dems lose in the fall, so just go vote for McCain, if you do this you are anyway.

    June 1, 2008 12:48 am at 12:48 am |
  24. Erik

    Senator Clinton's supporters sound more and more like Karl Rover disciples with their scorched earth mindset.

    Michigan and Florida flouted the rules imposed by the DNC and now claim they are being disenfranchised – my children make similar arguments and if I caved in to their demands they would continue to ignore the rules in the future.

    Even though I am a life long Democrat, if Senator Clinton sneaks her way into the nomination, my vote and my money will go to support Senator McCain's campaign instead.

    Sadly, Senator Clinton's continual moving of the goal posts has tainted her and President Clinton's legacies.

    June 1, 2008 12:49 am at 12:49 am |
  25. Peace

    ...Can't we all just get along...

    June 1, 2008 12:49 am at 12:49 am |
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