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. Amy


    I forgot. Begin each sentence with....My friends,,,,,, when you speak about anything. Whether they are friends or foe...that should get em....

    June 1, 2008 04:09 am at 4:09 am |
  2. Alex, CA

    Bye, Hillary.
    You should not have voted for Iraq war. At that time of lunacy 23 senators had courage to vote against it, but you voted for. This forever defined how low is your level of experience and judgement. Generally, it is unfortunately much easier to get presidency if you're a son or a wife of a president, but not to such shameful extend.

    Obama 2008

    June 1, 2008 04:09 am at 4:09 am |
  3. Independant

    Wow, how retarded are Clinton supporters? And they say Obama's followers are brainwashed.

    Once again, proof that the Democrats can't run an election and are placed on this earth solely for my amusement.

    June 1, 2008 04:10 am at 4:10 am |
  4. R.O.

    Clinton needs to just accept the inevitable. What a cry baby!

    June 1, 2008 04:10 am at 4:10 am |
  5. Angie

    I watched the coverage and I have to say Ickes has the right name. He really is icky.
    How Clinton supporters could believe Michigan and Florida would really get full votes is beyond me. The decision to do that would have set a very dangerous precendent. States might then just willy nilly start changing their election dates and fully expect their votes to count in the end. Michagan and Florida got more that they should have. Maybe Florida deserves to be seated, but Michigan didn't have the same excuse – they had Democratic majority and weren't forced to change their date. It would have been within the rights of the DNC to strip them of their entire votes or only give them 1/4 vote.
    Obama has the moral high ground here. If Clinton continues to go on she will humiliate herself and women everywhere. Stop graveling!!

    June 1, 2008 04:11 am at 4:11 am |
  6. joan Wohlner

    Hillary's legacy is at stake. Support the party or selfishly think of herself. She would make a great Attorney General!.

    June 1, 2008 04:11 am at 4:11 am |
  7. Lili

    Are those Clinton supporters supporting Clinton as a person or the way she deals with many issues to reach for better USA?? As I cant find major differences between Obama and Clintons stressing on issues.

    June 1, 2008 04:11 am at 4:11 am |
  8. Jason B

    Up till now, i was giving the benefit of the doubt to Clinton Supports. I am saddened because, i thought once victory was out of reached she would be a unifier. I have been taken-a-back with certain Clinton campaign positions but did not lose faith in her. If she does not denounce these reactions – simply – she is no a democrat

    A former Supporter of Obama\Clinton (or vice versa)

    June 1, 2008 04:11 am at 4:11 am |
  9. Texas Tea

    That's right, let's just vote for McSame, that will teach the democrats. Let's just chunk it ALL out the window. Who cares, rules are made to be broken ...right? (sarcasm) When Hillary (as she stated) gets behind Obama...then what? When she begans to say how wonderful, ready and prepared Obama is (once he wins the nomination) are you going to listen to her..or turn your backs on her?

    June 1, 2008 04:11 am at 4:11 am |
  10. Frank in NYC

    These Clinton Supporters are nutjobs

    June 1, 2008 04:11 am at 4:11 am |
  11. Saffoula

    What message is Clinton sending the youth of this country and the rest of the world? That rules that you have agreed to are meant to be broken if things don't go your way? That there should be no consequences to breaking those agreed upon rules? That she, as a woman, has learned how to play the same old "good ole boy "politics ala Karl Rove? America deserves far better than another member of the political elite/establishment as president in 2008- vote Obama!

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

    If Hillary Clinton is not the nominee, John is McCain! sure to be the next president..

    June 1, 2008 04:12 am at 4:12 am |
  13. Bill

    Nobody in their right mind can honestly say that Michigan should've been counted as-is, whith Obama getting zero delegates!

    This is insane and repulsive. Obama and Edwards did the right thing to take their names of the Mich ballot, since the DNC had already made it clear that the votes wouldn't be counted. Hillary should've done the same thing out of solidarity, but she perferred the greedy, power-playing route. Any Mich resolution must be fair to both parties. Giving Obama zero vote would've been utterly dispicable. You think the Hillary supporters are pissed off? What do you think would've happened had Obama got zero delegates in the Mich resolution? It would've been the end of the Dem's hopes for 2008.

    But here's whats worse...

    Even if you gave Clinton the Fla and Mich primary results she wanted on a silver platter, she STILL would've been behind Obama!

    Even if she got Mich, Fla, a Puerto Rico blow-out (75%-25%) and a split in the remainig two states... she STILL would've needed two-thirds of the remaining super delegates to win. This just couldn't happen. Why would two-thirds of the remaining super delegates all of a sudden jump to Hillary when the popular delegates are clearly in Obama's favor? And two-thirds no less?

    Hillary Clinton will be marked in history as a pathetic, power-hungry sore loser and, unfortunately for Bill, she's dragged his legacy down with her.

    June 1, 2008 04:12 am at 4:12 am |
  14. Charlie Richmond

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

    June 1, 2008 04:13 am at 4:13 am |
  15. Gezahegn

    If Hillary Clinton is not the nominee, John McCain is sure to be the next president..

    June 1, 2008 04:14 am at 4:14 am |
  16. Ursula

    Give it a rest, Hillary. We're tired of you.

    June 1, 2008 04:14 am at 4:14 am |
  17. Ikem Umealo

    I was a Clinton supporter in the begining and had been impressed by her fiery defence of the voters in Florida and Michigan. But now it appears to me that she is only in defence of these voters wishes in so far as she gains from it and not because she was born to fight for the right of others as she often claims. It is a shame that even now that the full delegation from these two great states will be seated with half votes- somewhat to the advantage of the voters there- she rejects the decision because theres no immediate political benefit to her. It is sad because in detroying her political future, she destroys also the wonderful legacy of Bill Clinton, and perhaps the demogcratic party: but only if we allow her to. If we loose the election in the fall, i will begin a push to raise money against her New York seat.

    June 1, 2008 04:14 am at 4:14 am |
  18. Ben

    the clintons are not pure democrats, they're desparados. they care only about themselfs. to them everything is "me me me me me me" is either me or no-one else. that's not how a good democrat is. the clintons will fare better in Iran, south korea, saudi arabia, and a host of other nations where leadership and power belongs to a few family and persons. i will like the DNC to suspend the entire clinton clan from the party if they decide to spoil or damage the party's unit by prolonging the issue of FL and MI issue

    June 1, 2008 04:15 am at 4:15 am |
  19. JB

    Just another part of track laid for the Clinton railroad express. She really didn't have a chance. If the all those superdelegates who were originally backing her had a set and stayed with her-this would be "too close to call"...even with big wins in WV and KY, they still flocked to Obama. I hope the democrats are happy with him because I'm not and this is one democrat who will not be one come November.

    June 1, 2008 04:15 am at 4:15 am |
  20. Emmanuel

    Typical for Clinton supporters. It's either Clinton or McCain, and when we are going through another 4-8 years of disasters like what happened with Bush.

    These Clinton supporters like the religious wing that came to the call of President Bush will have no one else to blame but themselves.

    Remember Clinton is not a republican but a Democrat, so why are people acting like this is a vote against Democrats and Republicans.

    This is not a whim, this is a chance to make a difference, and Clinton and Obama are technically on the same side.

    June 1, 2008 04:16 am at 4:16 am |
  21. For outcasters like me...

    I wonder if Hillary's supporters care about the real issues like their party rules, the economy and the war... or just about Hillary? This seems like "we don't care what we have to sacrifice, we have to get her to the White House" mentality! so my question is do you guys realy care about the core issues that needs to be solved or you're going against Barak just because he won? For outsiders like us who have been following this process from the begining I wish John wins the general election if somehow Hillary got the party's nomination, cause this campaign seems running in a blind hate rather than a real meaningful issues that you people needs desperatly!

    Jay from Canada

    June 1, 2008 04:17 am at 4:17 am |
  22. Laura Smart

    The DNC should be aware that there are many Hillary supporters that are not Democrats. They are only for Hillary. The only solution that will satisfy them is a unilateral desicion to hand Hillary the nomination and apologise to her for allowing opponents to run against her in the first place. Maybe we can call them Hillaricrats!

    But as Hillaricrats, I suppose they will vote for who she asks them to vote for. If not then they are probably Republicans who are angling for a weaker candidate who they can defeat in November. Or people like Liberman who was only in the party for only selfish reasons.

    June 1, 2008 04:17 am at 4:17 am |
  23. Corey D Harrell

    Cheaters never prosper

    June 1, 2008 04:17 am at 4:17 am |
  24. E Cason

    What I saw, heard, and read from the Clinton campaign and her supporters is a bunch of whining about NOTHING. What about the caucus states votes being counted? Yeah, that's what I thought! In those 4 states she got her head head handed to her, but there's no mention of that or of being "fair" to those states. Hypocrisy at it's best.

    Now the votes or voters are being hijacked? Clinton and Michigan were lucky to get ANY delegates seated. The same goes for Florida. They violated the rules and then perpetually cried when they couldn't get everything their own way. The rules have been the same since the 80's, so don't complain about the rules! EVERYONE knew about everything AND agreed to the rules before the process got started. But in typical Clinton fashion, as they have done all primary, they want to cry and change rules and throw temper tantrums because they feel they've been robbed, screwed, hijacked or whatever.

    The Clintons and her/their supporters need to stop blaming everyone but themselves period! It is Hillary's lack of planning, short-sightedness, incompetence, stupidity, and over-inflated ego of herself that got her in the mess she is in now. Now matter how you want to look at it.....her campaign is over! She will be LUCKY to win PR with more than 4 or 5 points. She will lose SD by 10 and Montana nearly close to that margin. Her swing state and big state claim is a joke and her popular vote and "electoral map" claims are even more garbage! The bottom line is, SHE HAS LOST!

    Taking it to Denver is NOT going to change the outcome so she needs to let it go before her political career is through! She can't switch to Republican because she'll lose the women's vote with a quickness. She can become an Independent while she is still in the Senate, but she will lose what pull she has because the Democrats will not vote to put her in any power positions...look where Lieberman is now.

    To conclude, if you Hillary supporters want to vote for McCain, do it! If you want to stay home because Hillary won't be on the ticket with Obama, then stay home! Just the hell up and do it already, because in the end most of you WILL vote Democrat come November and the rest we just don't care about!

    June 1, 2008 04:17 am at 4:17 am |
  25. Karim

    It's difficult to praise the grand scheme of a remarkable voter turnout for Democratic primaries signifies when the details are so disgraceful.

    As events unfold, this debate has proven to be less about fairness and more "Who's side are you on?" A minority of Sen. Clinton's supporters won't be happy until all the votes are counted, and only counted in Clinton's favor.

    "Democracy" is quickly becoming the latest catachresis, a word raped and left a hollow version of its former self.

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