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. David

    You hillary groupies (yes that's what you are.) are idiots. As a real Democrat, I would never vote for McCain. If Obama (who I support) lost, then so be it. Nothing could make me vote republican. You morons don't think or care if she is better or not you just want her to win. period,If the roles were reversed you wouldn't be screaming "Denver" or what ever nonsense you think. Get over it. rules are rules none of you complained when you thought she would win and Florida and Michigan didn't matter. She sure didn't. Now that she is losing she and all of you want to change the rule to fit your childish complaints. That's like running plays during halftime or time out and wanting it to count, hitting after the bell and claiming it was fair. Democracy is counting votes of course but it is also following rules. What do idiots want next? To rob banks and later tell the judge "Oh well I know the law said we can't rob banks but since so many of us ignored that law we should be able to keep the money and go free."

    June 1, 2008 04:55 am at 4:55 am |
  2. Rightsaid

    Ivan, don't fool yourself. The only "all" votes should count are the ones you think will get your candidate elected.

    Plenty of other votes haven't counted (Washington primary, etc.). You add up all the votes cast and Obama is still way ahead, even without the Michigan "none of the above votes".

    It is a crummy situation, but save the outrage. The DNC tried to do the fairest thing possible. Don't forget that MI and FL weren't supposed to count at all. Even the HRC campaign said it and knew it. . . .that is, until they found that the only way to maybe just maybe get ahead would be to count an entire state that Obama did not even compete in.

    June 1, 2008 04:56 am at 4:56 am |
  3. Real Thing

    I understand that there's a lot of vitriol from both sides but I'm curious to know why Hillary advocates who have been adamant about letting "every vote count" as they stand, have never mentioned that Hillary supported the punishment meted out to the 2 states before the primaries and only after she realized that she needed those votes did she start raising her voice in protest. Does that not smack of hypocrisy? Furthermore, while I realize HRC supporters feel slighted by the loss of the 4 delegates in MI, are they so blind as to not see that this is still punishing Obama for playing by the rules? The DNC made the rules of the game and each political party has the right to decide how their nominee will be determined. The DNC decided that MI and FL would not be counted and all candidates agreed to play by the rules. Regardless of whether you agree/disagree that the punishment was fair, or you think its Obama's fault for removing his name, these were the established rules and he was under the belief that the votes from these 2 states wouldn't count – i.e. he followed the guidelines set by the DNC. Seating any of the delegates for Hillary without giving him a substantial share would not be fair because then HE would be the only one punished for the MI primary violation. So for him to accept any compromise on MI was very gracious on his part and I'm astounded that none of HRC's supporters can see that.
    Having said that, it has been a long primary season and many of us are bitter towards each other and the opposing candidate, and the party itself. But as one wise American once said, "A house divided cannot stand". Please folks, don't let us fall down because of anger or spite, such malice will only come back and haunt us.

    Vote the Issues 08!

    June 1, 2008 04:57 am at 4:57 am |
  4. lindacisme

    If the Democratic Party thinks that their actions yesterday were "a step towards unity", they are very mistaken. What they have done is pushed many Democrat votes to McCain.

    This election could have been an easy one for the Democrats, but again, they insist on nominating a very liberal candidate (with a thin resume), and they will watch once again, their candidate lose to a Republican.

    Bye bye, Dems – you lost me......

    June 1, 2008 04:57 am at 4:57 am |
  5. Joe

    Shame on the the spineless DNC. I agree this was a hard and difficult challenge, but to take this course of action is uncalled for. This has shaken my confidence in collective wisdom of the democratic party.

    I’m an independent voter now.

    Hillary "08

    June 1, 2008 04:57 am at 4:57 am |
  6. Patricia

    It would have been better if they had just seated the delegates as voted. Obama would still have the lead and be the nominee at the convention. I am worried about what this is doing to the democratic party and fear that this gives John McCain undeserved leverage in November.

    June 1, 2008 04:59 am at 4:59 am |
  7. chandler

    A true democrat would never vote for McCain under any circumstance. Just thought I would put that out there.

    June 1, 2008 05:00 am at 5:00 am |
  8. Matthew

    Ivan, if it's not about Hillary or Obama, why is it that moderates should vote for McCain only if Obama is the nominee, but not if Hillary is the nominee?

    June 1, 2008 05:00 am at 5:00 am |
  9. show me

    i think she should be happy with the outcome but then it didnt give hillbillary the overall lead and that s the only thing they would except to bad get over it she lost

    June 1, 2008 05:00 am at 5:00 am |
  10. Pt

    Hillary and Barack both thought it was a good idea to discount the votes of people in those states. This is a clear indication of the cheating Hillary is capable of. Cheaters never win, Hillary and winners never cheat. She's trying to do anything she can to win and it's not gonna work this time. I'm so glad because we need change and I don't mean changing to another cheater. I hope she and her supporters let this dead horse die and move on to what's important to our economy, beating McCain.

    June 1, 2008 05:01 am at 5:01 am |
  11. Matthew Richardson

    Are you serious? Are you kidding me? What is that going to solve? What could voting for John McCain possibly accomplish? Tell me ONE thing that Hillary Clinton and John McCain agree about? Where do their policies ever align? I really hope that the Clinton supporters who are thinking about voting for McCain in the general election SERIOUSLY reconsider. We will be TRAPPED for four more years in a system where the American people are suffering, we are tangled in a number of serious foreign issues, and our world standing drops by the minute. What everyone is failing to understand about the Primary system is that it IS NOT ABOUT THE POPULAR VOTE. That is what the general election is supposed to be for...in a round about way. No one ever said that primary season was about the will of the people...it is the party's opportunity to determine the best candidate for the general election. Please stop the bickering....unify the party...and let's throw our support whole-heartedly behind the democratic nominee...So yes...Ivan...fight for your right. But fight for it against the party that has DESTROYED America over the past 8 years. Fight for the right to be a proud American...and let's make history together.

    June 1, 2008 05:01 am at 5:01 am |
  12. John

    FL and MI democrats are welcome to show their sexist and racist side by siding with McCain.

    HRC lost this election long before she admitted. How can they defend her once it is apperant that she lied constantly, turned this race very ugly and made a mockery of the party as a whole.

    This is not about a dynasty or a woman president. This is a new beginning and an idealistic president like we never had before. It is fine to accept FL as a McCain state, but logic would say PA, MI, OH would vote for Obama this year.

    June 1, 2008 05:01 am at 5:01 am |
  13. AB

    Ivan, you're obviously uninformed because the Republicans stripped MI and FL of half their delegate totals as well. This is what the DNC should have done at the outset rather than stripping all of them only to have to concede to a plan similar to the RNC. Remember too, Hillary supported the plan to strip all the delegates UNTIL she needed them. She's a conniving politician with situational ethics. Do you really want her in the White House, I don't think so. As for McCain, sure vote for the guy who doesn't know what the troop levels are in Iraq, who's a Shiite or a Sunni, who's fighting whom, or that photo ops in a market place are not representative of security conditions faced by Iraqis. He's a sorry old politician.

    June 1, 2008 05:01 am at 5:01 am |
  14. Anonymous

    The bottom line is that Hillary won the states needed to win in November and Obama did not. So if you want a democrat in the whitehouse it will have to be Hillary. If you think Obama can pull it off then you are in for a huge shock. McCain is more a democrat than Obama and will get many of the Hillary votes against Obama.

    Taking the Wright/Ayers/Hamas/Rezko issues with Obama, he just cant support and befriend these people and then drop them like a hot potato when the media gets a hold of it.

    With Bush/Enron already happened why would we invite Obama/Excelon next?

    Who's Obama's campaign manager? Who is his campaign finance chair? You look at those people's histories and it is Bush 2.0.

    Time to wake up people.

    Hillary 08 for the big win!

    June 1, 2008 05:01 am at 5:01 am |
  15. Dinand

    Though I am a clinton backer and would loved to see the delagates be seated as they voted i do think this was a reasonable decision. I think the best decision would be though award the uncommited delagetes of michigan awarded to obama but all the votes to hillary fully recognise.

    Hopefully by winning in puerto rico primary super delagates will feel that they can justify their vote for hillary clinton since from then she will definetly hold the popular vote.

    America is making a big mistake by again voting a inexperienced guy who say's who will bring change above an experienced woman who's devoted her life to make change happen.

    The whole world sees american once again as a strange country who thinks the presidential race is like American Idol. Because obama is so likeable is good in speeches and probably can sing better as well you are voting for him.

    June 1, 2008 05:02 am at 5:02 am |
  16. Nelson, OSLO

    The Clinton camp has already widen the wound and the division with their cheating and biaise words and it is unfortunate that her so called worshippers are being lead in to their direction.

    It shows the type of education they are and would give to their children, that is doing everything even is ti break the rules to achieve their aims

    June 1, 2008 05:02 am at 5:02 am |
  17. John, V

    Ivan, if ths is not about Obama or Clinton why do you want to vote for McCain if Obama is the nominee? Would you do the same if, by some sort of miracle after the Montana primary, Clinton become the nominee? You Clinton supporters are so detached from the reality these days. have you ever questioned why Clinton agreed to the penality in the frist place and only after she realised that she is not going to win the nomination that she is making a big fuss about it, like she care for Florida or michigan voters.

    Oh yeah, the party is going down, thanks to Clinton who thinks she is entitled to the presidency and not earn it the way Obama did. I am ashamed to be a democrat and a Clinton supporter!!

    June 1, 2008 05:03 am at 5:03 am |
  18. Nobama, Noway, Nohow

    Obama and Excelon is just revisiting Bush and Enron all over again.

    Obama and Hamas is just revisiting Bush and 9/11 all over again.

    Vote for the real change.

    Hillary 08

    June 1, 2008 05:04 am at 5:04 am |
  19. Watermann

    Since the position of Senator Clinton and Senator Obama in most of the political issues is almost similar I wonder if the supporters of both candidates are stupid enough to split the Democratic Party also in the general election. The reason for this situation, according to my opinion, is not only the way both candidates are campaigning, or the party leaders kept themselves to long out of the Florida and Michigan controversy but even more the behaviour of the undeclared superdelegates. The result will be a further threatening and blackmailing of the Democrates until their Convention in August. I can`t understand this.

    June 1, 2008 05:04 am at 5:04 am |
  20. Vote Hillary

    Mcain all the way to the white house 08....Mcain can thank us in november,Let's see what Pelosi,Dean and the undemocratic DnC will do when our votes are fully counted when they are cast for Mcain! Are we communist's? The voter's are meaningless to the over 20 so called "Rules committee " You should call yourselves "We pick who we want committee " Disgusting is the only word i can come up with right now,I would stay home and not vote in November but i won't instead ill vote Mcain call me undemocratic cause that's exactly what i and the DnC are! Atleast we are now unified with one common purpose to be undemocratic!!...........................................................................................................................................VOTE Mcain 08............................................................

    June 1, 2008 05:04 am at 5:04 am |
  21. Jason

    Ivan June 1st, 2008 4:26 am ET

    The core of the democratic system has been undermined by DNC not giving the people of FL & MI the equal voice. People should fight for there fundamental right given to in this democratic system. This is not about Hillary or Obama, this is about our right to vote and to be heard, If we give up now then it will become a pattern and this kind of monopoly will dominate in future.

    If you vote for McCain based on that reasoning then it IS about Clinton [and Obama] and about your own bitterness in your candidate not winning a fair election. Why do I say this? Because the Republicans did the exact same thing that the Democrats did (each delegate gets half a vote) for the states that violated their rules. If it was only about each vote being heard, as you seem to say, then you'd also be railing against the Republican party for denying votes. But you aren't.

    June 1, 2008 05:04 am at 5:04 am |
  22. EDB

    While our elections are a form of democracy, the parties and party nomination rules aren't, and aren't required to be, plus they've been designed to give areas that would be ignored more influence over the others. It is the parties that chose their candidates, don't forget that. If you want to be heard by your party you become a member and be involved with it before the primaries and caucuses. If the parties would have any guts, they would admit the earlier primaries haven't improved the process or helped anyone. Florida/Michingan played a game....they thought they where more important than their parties process and their reasons for allowing other states first, they thought if they cried loud enough they would get what they wanted. Well they did, a little, and now a lot of delegates decided by people who didn't have the benefit of actually learning about the candidates through local campaigning (part of the reason for the spread out process), or even have the chance of choosing a candidate in one case....are having their state parties delegates apportioned regardless. Bravo.

    June 1, 2008 05:05 am at 5:05 am |
  23. Wes

    Voting for McCain because Clinton didn't get the nomination is like knocking all the checkers off the board because the game didn't go your way. People who are considering doing that should really think about what the future of our country would be under another conservative Republican president. Is teaching the DNC a lesson really worth that? And if you think the political system ever worked honestly in America, you really should be reading your history books.

    June 1, 2008 05:05 am at 5:05 am |
  24. independent

    its right the dicission was fair and truth u dont lose and want to change the law of the party at the end of the election to favor u no one is above the rules. does she wAnts to tell me she will be above the america rules when elected as a president that should show u that she is telling every surpporters that every one some how could be above the america rules its not a good example those with her will not deffanately vote for a black man or bacause she is a woman. they are little % of her surpporters its a pity she run her campaign in a way that she maked tiny part of the democrat member to be left unhappy cos she created a cinero in their minds like if she was treated unfair but she treated the party unfair and maked the party commitees to be uncomfortable with their rules u agreed with at the first place so she have to appoligize and try and bring the party to together that is yyyyyyyyyyyy women in america is not yet strong for the presidential race she run her race like she was in her kicthen u can impose what u want or like on ur kitchen not on people to favor u no. cant the michigan and florida voters think about this for a second that if hillary was ahead comfortably will she want to break the rules and poisen the voters in michigan & florida voters to come out and fight for themself iamgine that i live u all hillary supporter to think about that .LIFT YOUR LANTERS UP MY PARTY IS THE TRUTH.OBAMA FOR PRESIDENT "08

    June 1, 2008 05:05 am at 5:05 am |
  25. Jay

    Yesterday in Washington some vested interests have tried to hijack the will of the voters and mocked democracy. The fundamental of democracy in any country clearly states that 1 person = 1 vote. In no country is a candidate penalised for winning the certified election. Yet the United States Democratic party has made a mockery of the word Democracy and given a tight slap to the very fundamental principle that the United States tries to promote in other part of the world i.e., DEMOCRACY!

    There is no reason left to support a party of cheats. And I request all my learned friends to start supporting for the right Presidential candidate for the United States of America -John McCain.

    June 1, 2008 05:06 am at 5:06 am |
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