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. Alia

    REALLY, what is so hard to understand about the fact that both state's Democratic Parties broke the rules. I guess flouting them was not enough. The two states wanted to have their cake and eat it too. I really hate those that can not play by the rules while insisting that everyone else does. And then they still stand by their "righteous'" indignation.

    June 1, 2008 03:52 am at 3:52 am |
  2. Prayu

    How about the disenfranchisement of all those voters who stayed home because they knew their states had idiotically broken the rules?

    This is nothing but vindictive, disgusting and childish behavior by fools who should have their right to vote revoked. Considering how close the actual platforms are between Obama and Clinton, choosing McCain is just mind-boggling idiocy.

    If petty Hillary supporters actually succeed in helping McCain win, then this pathetic country will deserve 4 more years of failure.

    June 1, 2008 03:53 am at 3:53 am |
  3. Michael Young

    This is once again a very bad year in politic's, though i love Clinton determination, i feel she's fighting a lost war. Every day it seem's her campaign is loosing steam, what's left isnt't going to get her a nomination and in the way of politic's her continuation in this race will undoubtfully effect her career, as well as democrats. Emotions are high, and its scary how much different the candidates are. Its to the point when Clinton voter's are vowing to Vote for McCain if Hiliary doesn't win, even Hiliary herself wouldnt want this. We are so wrapped up on who impresses us the most or whom we want to make histrory, when we should be focusing on change, which will begin immediatley if a democrat is nominated president. They way things are going i wouldnt find it surprising if McCain wakes up in the whitehouse in 09.

    June 1, 2008 03:54 am at 3:54 am |
  4. j

    The democratic party is accountable for their acheivements and promises made to the people. Promise made by the house leader specially on starting the withdrawal has not been met. I hope the party is about more than winning the elections but solving the problems of the people

    June 1, 2008 03:55 am at 3:55 am |
  5. TheTruthHurts

    I have no interest in wasting my time with Democrats from any state that feel they can violate the rules and then moan and complain about a resolution OFFERED BY THEIR STATE DELEGATION that gives THEIR PREFERRED CANDIDATE more votes than the ZERO allowed by the rules at the time of voting.

    If they want to vote for John McCain in protest, let them. I would prefer unity to idiocy, but that's their choice.

    If they actually prefer John McCain to Barack Obama, that speaks volumes about who they are as Democrats, but that's certainly the right of every American.

    I'd also like everyone to remember, the practical impact of all of this is less than 10 delegates. Righteous indignation aside, it this really worth putting Bush's policies in the White House for 4 or 8 more years.

    By the way, regardless of outcome, those two co-chairs were far more polite and cordial than I would have been with the people in the room who refused to allow this very difficult process to proceed with respect.

    June 1, 2008 03:57 am at 3:57 am |
  6. k williams

    who cares. those folks werent there for people to get their vote's back. they were supporters of clinton who wanted to be devisive like hillary. i say good riddance go vote for macshame as prices of gas appproach's 5bucks a gallon.

    June 1, 2008 03:58 am at 3:58 am |
  7. Brian Metzger

    Clinton should be thankful she got *any* advantage out of this scenario. SHE BROKE THE RULES!

    June 1, 2008 03:58 am at 3:58 am |
  8. A. vermunt

    This is blackmail of the highest order. Before the game began, everybody agreed to the rules. Now that one side is losing the game, they want to change the rules. I think that is wrong ... and the rules should not be changed on principles. And if this means all Hillary supporters will vote for John McCain, so be it. Let them cut their noses to spite their faces. There are serious issues coming up in the very near future, and if HRC supporters want John McCain to control the agenda, they must vote for him.

    HRC had everything to her advantage: She is the former first lady, She had a former President campaigning hard for her, the Democratic Establishment was behing her, she had much more money, and she was leading by 30 points, she even had more African American supporters, etc. Simply put, the nomination was hers to lose.

    However, she ran a terrible campaign. I really think her team thought this would be a cakewalk, and they really did not expect any serious competition. But her biggest mistake was not anticipating the mood in the country after 8 years of George Bush. If she had, she would not have portrayed herself as a candidate of the establishment.

    Obama ran on a platform of Hope and changing Washington, and his message connected with millions of people ... and that is why he is leading today.

    Finally, maybe HRC is more electable, but that is not the point. The point is very simple: to be the nominee, you have to win, Maybe in the future the Democratic Party nominee should be determine by polls. But since this is not the rules now, HRC should accept defeat.

    June 1, 2008 03:58 am at 3:58 am |
  9. deb in Arkansas

    Maybe Hillary could run as an independent if her challenge to the Credentials Committee doesn't work out and she loses the Democratic Party nomination??? Or is it too late for an independent candidate to get on the ticket in Nov?

    Don't know how the rules work....just thinking out loud...

    June 1, 2008 03:59 am at 3:59 am |
  10. yk

    I have been thinking for long period that America is a country that respect the rule of law. Its somehow iron that someone who has brain washed her supporters in the contrary would want to be president ,the highest office of the land. It does not good image to America

    June 1, 2008 04:01 am at 4:01 am |
  11. A hispanic former Clinton supporter

    I am a registered voter in Florida. I voted for Clinton. But as this thing goes on and I feel Obama is our best chance. We need to unite. This is not about Clinton or Obama as candidates but the more of electing a Democrat. Our goal was to make sure both Florida and Michigan counted. We have our representation now. We can not penalize Obama for abiding by the rules. So let us unite and win this election.

    June 1, 2008 04:01 am at 4:01 am |
  12. Kathy

    When both these states lost their rights to be seated at the convention, Clinton agreed with what happened at that time, because she was ahead, as soon as she fell behind, at that time she wanted both states to be given back what they lost. No matter what was decided, that didn't put her ahead, she is still behind. It was not what she expected, so there will be more to this after all the races are over where both Obama and Clinton are at right now. I believe that this will not go to the convention, it will be decided in the next few days on who will be running for the next President, which will be Obama.

    June 1, 2008 04:01 am at 4:01 am |
  13. Rob -BC Canada

    I said it months ago, that this woman would take this to the US Supreme Court if she had too.That said and the conduct of the people who support her just show clearly her real lack of regard for democracy the democratic party and the true self serving motivation she harbors.King and Queen Clinton once again.No one dare stand in her way.I wouldn't take that Bobby Kennedy statement to lightly either.I believe she will literally stop at nothing .

    June 1, 2008 04:02 am at 4:02 am |
  14. Time to move on

    Clearly Hillary's supporters are unfair and lawless.If not for the concerted effort of the party they did not even need to open the penalty to discussion in the first place because those states knew the punishment before they embark on such arrogance.More so Clinton herself initially said their votes wont count,so why the fuss now,Or may be i should ask them, where have they seen anybody being punished for being obedient?Who among her supporters can accept such a thing?People dont let yout objectivity die at the altar of sentiments.Remember this election is not about any candidates but you.Rally behind OBAMA for the better future.
    OBAMA 08

    June 1, 2008 04:02 am at 4:02 am |
  15. Clinton is a spoiled brat !

    Rules were broken, yet she still got something out it. And of course that wasn't enough for her. You would think she could see what she is doing to the party, I guess she really wants to see McCain in the house come Nov. America will get what it deserves if Clinton gets anywhere near the Whitehouse. And you thought things were bad now !

    June 1, 2008 04:02 am at 4:02 am |
  16. Billy

    Hillary and her supporters are so ungrateful...they should be lucky to receive half of the votes, they should be pointing the finger at their nominated officials for violating the rules. If the rest of the states followed the rules and they didnt, why should they get special treatment.

    Their behaviour at the meeting was also disgraceful, it would be good riddance if they did go republican, because they are cannot be true democracts. We dont need traitors.

    June 1, 2008 04:03 am at 4:03 am |
  17. Margaret

    Clinton supporters will never be satisfied with anything other than her stealing the nomination from Obama. They would rather vote for McCain than Obama, that's so sad, they will bring down the entire country just for spite. I want the troops brought home, I want people to be able to keep their homes, I want gas prices to come down, I want better education for my grandchildren and affordable health care, I DON'T WANT ANOTHER REPUBLICAN IN THE WHITE HOUSE!!

    Democrats need to win in November...period!

    June 1, 2008 04:04 am at 4:04 am |
  18. Alice

    I think the Committee was overly generous to HRC. Giving her ANY advantage in a primary which she herself told the voters "would not count," and which listed no other major candidate on the ballot, is a gift for which she should be grateful, not angry.

    June 1, 2008 04:04 am at 4:04 am |
  19. Marie

    Wooow, these Clinton supporters sure are emotional!! They're soooo emotional they wont listen to reason!!!!

    June 1, 2008 04:05 am at 4:05 am |
  20. Debbie

    it is the Hillary camp are the people who have hijacked democracy.
    How can you claim to win a state when you're name is the only one on the ballot – Shame on Hillary and shame on her supporters.
    Hillary has tried to destroy Obama's reputation thoughout this campaign.
    There isn't anything she hasn't trid or said to lie and cheat her way to win.
    We've heard all about Obama dirth laundry hroughout this campaign but have yet to really hear what's going on jer, what about PETER PAUL Vs. CLINTON'S.
    Why isn't the media covering this – why haven't Fox, ABC run this story???

    June 1, 2008 04:05 am at 4:05 am |
  21. Rob -BC Canada

    From a previous blog........

    "Josh May 31st, 2008 11:29 pm ET

    I'm a Clinton supporter and NOT happy with this decision. Hillary should have gotten ALL of Michigan's delegates with ALL the votes! Truth be told, she was the only one that had her name on the ballot in that state! Obama conveniently did not put his name on the ballot, therefore he should get NO DELEGATES from that state! Looks like the DNC is obviously biased in favour of Obama. Pelosi and Dean…we hate you!".........

    Wow,This is what your dealing with when you deal with the Clinton campaign.It is no wonder she can manipulate these simpletons to do her biding.

    June 1, 2008 04:06 am at 4:06 am |
  22. Jay Alexander

    As someone who attended a U.S. high school & college, I have always had the greatest respect for your country & the ideals enshrined in its Declaration of Independence & Constitution which in their own right are extraordinary documents.

    However, I find it incredulous that someone who has been called a pathological liar by many [friends included], has no sense of decency and fair play, and is unable to play by the rules, could possibly become standard bearer for your country.

    I guess honesty, decency and personal integrity are no longer a prerequisite for high office.

    June 1, 2008 04:06 am at 4:06 am |
  23. David, Torrance CA

    Ignorant Clinton Supporters – Too Stupid to Deserve To Vote.

    June 1, 2008 04:07 am at 4:07 am |
  24. XYZ

    Harold Ickes and co......are typical African politicans......we always go into an election with the election result already with them....wake up this is america....where the wish of the people wins.

    I am thinking there is more to this then to just have Hillary win.......what on earth will make an elected dem. vote rep. other than race......shame, shame...

    June 1, 2008 04:08 am at 4:08 am |
  25. Charlie Richmond

    Way to go RBC, finally we can move forward togeather and concentrate on defeating McCain in November, we are on are way, Yes We Can.

    June 1, 2008 04:08 am at 4:08 am |
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