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. KMP

    The DNC's decision to seat Florida and Michigan delegates with only half a vote is a poor excuse for democracy. Who do they think they are? I've decided to stand by my fellow citizens in Florida and Michigan, and I encourage others to do the same. Come general election time I will cast 1/2 my vote for Obama, and 1/2 my vote for someone else. I know my vote won't count, but that's nothing new for democrats. Support Florida and Michigan!!! Vote Half and Half!!!!!

    June 1, 2008 04:36 am at 4:36 am |
  2. Mick

    If all of the actual votes are counted, and if we generously give Obama every Uncommitted Michigan vote, then they are both in a virtual dead heat with less than 100 votes difference. However, that would give Obama about 3% more pledged delegates. There are clearly flaws with the Delegate system, and that's what the Superdelegates are supposed to help resolve.

    Unfortunately, most of the so called Superdelegates – especially the last few to choose sides – are little more than bandwagon jumpers, backing the candidate who is perceived to be the front runner and ignoring the people's votes. This is why Clinton will not give up; she will take this all the way to the convention in Denver, and there's no way to stop her without giving her the nomination.

    She will never accept second place, and neither will Obama – they have both made that abundantly clear many times – so a dual ticket is out of the question. It's only going to get uglier this summer, and the Republicans are relishing it.

    June 1, 2008 04:37 am at 4:37 am |

    I,m sorry to say but Hillary Clinton supporters are a joke!!! To say you'll vote for McCain because your candidate didn't get full delegates seated (EVEN THOUGH RULES HAVE BEEN BROKEN) and you take a look at McCain policies, has to be downright STUPID!!!

    June 1, 2008 04:37 am at 4:37 am |
  4. Anne, Iowa

    One thing is now crystal clear. It's either Hillary's way ot the highway! For some, it was never about what is best for this country...it's always been about about you and the Clintons. So yes, go ahead! Vote for McCain! If that is the best your you can do for your country, let's not have a fight over it! It's called freedom of choice! I doubt you were ever gonna vote for Obama anyway. You have your racial biases and we have to respect that.

    To all democrats out there whose interrest is what is best for this country, whether Obama or Hillary supporters..do what your heart tells you is the right thing to do. In every contest, there is a winner and a loser. You either accept that you win some and lose some in life or you believe you have to win all. Intelligent fair-minded, reasonable people understand that. It's how you handle the wins and the losses that define you as a person.

    So go ahead. Vote your conscience. If your conscience tells you McCain is the best candidate vs Obama, by al means vote for McCain. But please be honest with yourself. For you it never was about the country. It was about you and Hillary and if by God hillary doesnt win, then to hell with the democratic party!

    As a true democrat , I for one will support either Obama or Hillary, whoever wins. It was never about Hillary or Obama. It was about my country and what is best for my country!! And a democrat, Hillary or Obama is what is best for this country! But if McCain appeals to your senses, by all means vote McCain. It;s your right!

    June 1, 2008 04:37 am at 4:37 am |
  5. Peter Damoah-Afari

    Who cares......... they can go. Shame on them. How can a true Democratic behave this way? The fact, remains that Obama is the nominee and no pressure from any name can change things.

    June 1, 2008 04:37 am at 4:37 am |
  6. wood burns

    We don't want these Clinton Spoil Sports in the party anyway. I hope they leave the party for McCain just like they said they will. Just goes to show you the seeds of hate, dissension,lies that have been sown by Hillary "I'll say anything to win, I'll cackle away the truth, old school politics" Clinton.

    These people need to leave the party now, just like they promise. We don't need these disingenuous, blinded by the lies of Hillary people hanging around. They obviously can't see through the bent and twisted logic that is needed to believe the crazy justifications and the constant moving of the goal posts of the hard hearted Clinton camp.
    America deserves better than what Clinton could ever offer.

    June 1, 2008 04:38 am at 4:38 am |
  7. Paul

    This just shows how divisive Hillary and Bill Clinton are to the Democrats. Unity was a promise by Hillary Clinton, but I guess they only meant it if they won. With Democrats like these ladies God Help America. I certainly hope she understands what voting for John McCain means to women. Good luck ladies.

    Voting Republican will get more of the same. Bad judges that reverse Rowe vs Wade, a continuing war, a bad economy and high gas prices, no changes in health care.

    These ladies are mindless Hillary supporters who don’t think about the consequences of being poor losers and doing something against their self interests.

    Barack Obama can bring unity and hope to the country. He needs the support of all democrats. Barack and Hillary are fighting for similar positions far different from McSame.

    I hope these people understand what they will do to themselves if they don’t get behind the Democratic nominee.

    June 1, 2008 04:40 am at 4:40 am |
  8. Jimmy

    What does that say about Clinton supporters, if they would turn to McCain instead of Obama – who has the SAME platform as Clinton? I'm not gonna' say it!

    June 1, 2008 04:40 am at 4:40 am |
  9. Sick and tired of it

    Will Clinton now really make a call to the Credentials Committee for 4 delegates out of the Michigan 69-59 split? When will this woman finally recognize she's riding a dead horse? Obama would even lead her with about 145 delegates when he would have got no delegates at all from Michigan. Stop this hoax once and for all.

    June 1, 2008 04:40 am at 4:40 am |
  10. Debby from CA

    Congrats Barack! Wrap this thing up so that we can finally say good-bye to the Clinton's. Her supporters can go with her. They are all whiners and losers. If Hillary loves Puerto Rico so much why doesn't she see if they have a job done there for her and her loving (yuck) husband. I bet even Bill will be glad when this is over and he can get away from her to. She hasn't gotten her way so once again America will have to hear how sexist this is, how she got cheated, how Puerto is such a CRITICAL STATE (which it isn't. Alot of good they are going to do the Democrats in the general election) I will give the Clnton's one thing though. They set this election up for Hillary to win no matter what. To lose it would really be a laugh on them. Face it Hillary we want honest people in Washington and your time is up!

    June 1, 2008 04:42 am at 4:42 am |
  11. Anne, Iowa

    Rebecca Sinderbrand...your bias is so obvious. What a poor excuse of a journalist! I watched the same televised preceediings live and your commentary is filled with your own personal opinions and biases. You are a very poor excuse of a journalist and you should be ashamed of yourself!

    Shame on you Rebecca Sinderbrand!

    June 1, 2008 04:43 am at 4:43 am |
  12. J.V.Hodgson

    If the clinton supporters change thier vote to McCain, that is thier right and their privilege and they must then live with the resultant President and his policies.
    What I do not understand is that people who vote in primaries are generally speaking more committed politically than the average voter, QED stronger in favour of democratic policies than GOP policy. Clinton and Obama have similar views on Health care and Iraq two major issues in which McCain is clearly opposed.
    This is emotion driven for whatever reason and has no reasonable logic, especially as Clinton's proposal disenfranchises people who went uncommitted in Michigan. It seems right to me that the DNC went with the States Democratic committee view. There were other options within rules, but could also have been criticised. The result is fair, and within rules.
    One request is that HRC decides her fate herself (not via legal actions for sure) on the 4th June and does not keep the democratic party fighting within itself until the convention.
    In this respect Dean and Pelosi are right, Super delegates please commit as soon as possible after 4th June. Have a nominee and fight McCain and not yourselves within the party.

    June 1, 2008 04:43 am at 4:43 am |
  13. CJ from MI lives in FL

    Unity... what kind of person, what kind of democrat would pledge their allegance to Sen Clinton then vote for Sen McCain when things dont go the way they had hoped.
    I mean to say that you stand for justice and honest government and reform in one breath only to turn around and vote for John McMore of the same Bush is insane. Its petty and its sad. I had hoped for more from Sen Clinton's supporters. This is exactly what the republicans want us to do. They are sitting back in their leather easy chairs getting ready for 4-8 more years of taking from the american people anything and everything while lacing the pockets of all the loyal partners who help or do little to get in the way.
    I love this country but sometimes I don't understand it.
    Democrats, Republicans and Independants need to realize whats going on here and vote.
    Don't stay home, don't let them silence you and don't let them steal your rights. The same rights that many have fought and died for.

    June 1, 2008 04:44 am at 4:44 am |
  14. LKY

    Um...one thing I haven't seen mentioned anywhere... Were either of these states' "votes" really fair to Obama? If I'm remembering right, the DNC told the candidates not to campaign in those states. Clinton did it anyway. Obama followed the rules, as set down by the DNC. He wasn't even ON the ballot in Michigan. As a result, Clinton had a victory in Florida and a "landslide" in Michigan. It's almost like they're all deliberately ignoring the fact that it wasn't a fair fight in either state. Hey, I think it's hilarious. All of us Republicans just sit back and watch the chaos unfold.

    June 1, 2008 04:45 am at 4:45 am |
  15. John

    Hillary for President on the Indenpendent ticket. The time is right to bring an end to the iron fisted grip the dishonest two party system has on America and she's the woman to do it.

    June 1, 2008 04:45 am at 4:45 am |
  16. robert in london

    Mrs Clinton has not uttered his name since before North Carolina, Ive been looking out for it but cant find a single instance. I Think shes going to take this really bad when its all over and i think that will be in August, unless the supers put him over the top before then.
    No Joke, shes taking this really bad and he wont get any help from her for the GE.
    No Disrepect but methinks shes very ,very bitter and does not like him at all , or about as much as Geraldine Ferraro does.

    June 1, 2008 04:46 am at 4:46 am |
  17. cheeky money

    to all hillary clinton fans or supporters...
    the rules are the rules.

    you broke the rules you pay the price..

    HRC broke the rules by going to election early to steal votes
    so sorry HRC another bites the dust ....
    time to pack ur bags and go love

    June 1, 2008 04:47 am at 4:47 am |
  18. Proud American

    For those who are too childish to face facts I say go to McCain. You will not only be hurting everyone else you will all hurt yourselves and your families . As long as my conscience is clear that I did not contribute to such a spiteful act I'll sleep good at night. Will you be able to say the same?

    June 1, 2008 04:49 am at 4:49 am |
  19. Rightsaid

    No, Hillary isn't a divisive figure. Not at all.

    But then again, I suppose a good chunk of the Obama folks would be like that if things had gone (or go) differently down the stretch.

    Take a deep breath. Stop the hate, and stop McCain.

    June 1, 2008 04:50 am at 4:50 am |
  20. Anonymous

    Ivan, you clearly have no idea what you are talking about

    June 1, 2008 04:51 am at 4:51 am |
  21. J in NO

    It's hillarious to me that Clinton supporters believe they will hurt Obama by not voting for him if he is the Nominee. At the end of the day, the Obamas and the Clintons will still be okay financially and otherwise. So those who don't support him and decide to choose McCain instead, will only find themselves struggling even more when this is all over! So for all of you Clinton supporters, I say go ahead, vote McCain. Just keep this in mind: this is bigger than Clinton and Obama... Your pocketbooks will be on "E," not theirs!

    June 1, 2008 04:51 am at 4:51 am |
  22. Stacey---Alabama

    Great job by the DNC! I dont know what else Clinton wants if she isnt happy with this outcome. All of the delegates were seated no disenfranchisement, just with half a vote. She got at least 10 delegates more than Obama per contest; eventhough he didn't campaign in Florida or appear on the ballot in Michigan. Clinton and her supporters couldn't have thought she would get a 70 to 30% delegate allocation. It is time now that she encourage her supporters to vote for Obama and stop the divisive gestures.

    June 1, 2008 04:51 am at 4:51 am |
  23. Tina

    Very sad about how the DNC reached their decision-not out in the open-hidden from public view for over 2 hrs. Personally I will not vote for Senator Obama. Believe Hillary should take this to convention.

    June 1, 2008 04:52 am at 4:52 am |
  24. abmitus


    Listen fool,

    Had MI and FL followed party rules to begin with, thiswould not have happened. You are pretty stupid to suggest that Democrats support McCain in the general election to punish the party. You will only be punishing youself. If you want 4 more years of Bush, you have some serious issues and should not be allowed to vote due to lack of intelligence.

    June 1, 2008 04:52 am at 4:52 am |
  25. Eric

    how can i vote for a man to become president who won't recognize the will and votes of the people and ignores the solutions brought upon by others to solve Michigan and Florida, such as people offering to pay for it to be redone.

    how can i vote for a man who claims that he has never heard such "disappointing" things as a part of his church for decades, but then resigns from his church stating it isnt anything political when he obviously would have stayed there if it wasnt for this election and im sure it would have been fine is such racial comments were made

    I was so sickened to watch the whole DNC meeting...it seems as though only some were sensible...

    i can't vote for a party who is too blind to see they are hurting their own party, when that is the very thing they are trying to prevent.

    The whole Michigan thing is crap, giving obama those number of allotted delegates.

    June 1, 2008 04:52 am at 4:52 am |
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