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)


    June 1, 2008 05:06 am at 5:06 am |
  2. GasIsHigh

    Pathetic! United States of Arabica

    June 1, 2008 05:06 am at 5:06 am |
  3. I an Obama Supporter-CA

    Oh give me a break. You are only undermining yourself if you would vote for John McCain with all of the economic slow down, lack of progress in Iraq and outrageous gas and food prices that we are seeing now. Sure. If you like the way most Americans are living right now vote for McCain, but to vote for McCain because you dont like the Democratic party rules, that isnt sensible. Your either a republican who would never vote for a democrate or your an upset Hillary Supporter. I dont think even most clinton supporters would say something like that. My question is why didnt anyone protest vigourously when this decision to not count votes initially happened. Now Fl. and Mich and being pandered to by Hillary Clinton just so she can eeck out more votes, not because she actually cares about those votes. she has you fooled. When she thought she had this puppy wrapped up in Feb. she couldve cared less. She signed an agreement along with Obama to not count the vote. What about the people who didnt vote because Obama wasnt on the ballot. What about those who didnt cast a vote because they were told it wouldnt count. Even Obama is willing to suck it up and take a bit of a loss so they there can be some measure of success there inspite of the situation. But its just never enough is it??!! Cant wait till this thing is over. I tell you I would never vote for John Mccain. I dont like Hillary and her dirty politics and unethical behavior but I would suck it up because it would benefit me in the long run. Hopefully those upset clinton supporters will do the same.

    June 1, 2008 05:06 am at 5:06 am |
  4. wayne

    Those thinking of voting McCain, the Republicans also cut delegates in half in Florida for violating party rules. If you vote McCain you dont hurt the Dems..you hurt YOURSELF.

    Why didnt Biden, Edwards and Richardson voters behave as foul as Clinton supporters are behaving now? I never heard Richardson say he lost because he is hispanic, I never heard Obama say he lost a state because he is black why does Hillary say she is losing because she is a woman?

    June 1, 2008 05:07 am at 5:07 am |
  5. Jean Jolicoeur (Florida)

    I think all Clinton's supporter should reflect on the notion of cheating when they want to change the rules in the middle of the game. Had it been Obama in Hillary's position, the committe wouldn't even convene on the issue. Obama would have been forced out of the race long time ago if he were so far behind in term of pledge delegates. Why should they change the rules because of Clinton?

    June 1, 2008 05:07 am at 5:07 am |
  6. Sandy

    I understand democracy and I also support every vote should count, but in situation like this, one should not forget, that Obama only played by the rules that everybody agreed including Hillary and since it doesnt suit her now, she is crying foul.
    90% of whats being said is more about politics and not democracy, in either ways Rules are set to make things fair to all.. unless one thinking about returning to the " Wild West" !!!

    June 1, 2008 05:07 am at 5:07 am |
  7. scott

    Anyone who would vote for McCain out of spite over this must not care about the economy or the war.... I think that right now there are bigger issues than Michigan and Florida that we need t focus on.

    June 1, 2008 05:08 am at 5:08 am |
  8. Craig A Texas Democrat

    I cant believe that people are so upset that a black man is going to be president. Obama ran a better ship than hillary. Her team didnt even understand the democratic political process. If obama ran his campaign so smooth i will hope he will run this country the same.

    June 1, 2008 05:08 am at 5:08 am |
  9. Jim, Indiana

    All of this because of the date of the primary! Ridiculous!

    Obama gets delegates for not being of the ballot in MIchigan!!! Never!!!

    This is a farce, a mockery of our democratic system.
    We cannot sit by and let this continue. All Americans who want to preserve a democratic electoral system must stand up and resist this attempt to force one candidate onto the Democrats without fair validation of primary results!

    What will the future hold for us if we let this go by?

    Rally around Hillary now to stop this outrageous spectacle!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    June 1, 2008 05:08 am at 5:08 am |
  10. Connie

    If this is not about Hillary or Obama. Why are you willing to vote McCain? Don't ask me to vote McCain. I'm going to vote Democrat no matter who the nominee.

    I might not be college educated, but I have common sense. I can't pay 4 – 6 dollars a gallon for gas. I don't wont to see my fellow americans kill in this war. I don't want go without health care or see anyone else go without. I don't wont to lose my home, because jobs are leaving the US.

    You can be an idiot all you wont, but don't expect me to join you in your idiocy.

    June 1, 2008 05:08 am at 5:08 am |
  11. Lia Redegeld

    When you decide to choose for McCain just because you're angry at Obama, than you are doing yourself no favour at all. Yet another 4 years of republicans means that America is going to be a third-world country. On this very moment the economy is on a very bad level and that's going to be worse because all the money will be needed in Iraq. Needed for a war which will never end. How many people have to die just because that silly man and his administration wanted to begin a war. And thanks to this complete idiot the rest of the world is in danger as well. Thank you very much, George Idiot Bush, for killing all these people! Yes, that's your fault and when we get another 4 years of these idiots than America and the rest of the world is going to be even worse than they already are. Oh, and you feminists: not choosing for Obama, just because your beloved Clinton couldn't win from him, would be a very un-feminist decision. The republican issues are far more feminist unfriendly than those of the democrats.

    June 1, 2008 05:09 am at 5:09 am |
  12. mia

    I honestly fail to understand how Clinton supporters can be outraged by this solution. ALL candidates agreed to the DNC's decision not to count the primaries from Michigan and Florida.
    Whether or not this decision was wise from the beginning is a different question. In any case, it means that in both primaries Hillary Clinton had a clearly disproportionate advantage – seeing as she was running against either noone (Michigan) or candidates who had much less name recognition and no opportunity to campaign (Florida). To count any of the votes she gained under these circumstances is already hugely in her favour.
    She just gained half a vote per delegate against the rules she herself agreed to – and people are actually complaining that she didn't get more? Seriously, I don't understand.

    June 1, 2008 05:09 am at 5:09 am |
  13. Hans-Erik Iken

    I guess the fanatical Clinton supporters were not going to accept any other outcome then her getting the nomination, no matter who broke what rules.

    If people like that are MODERATES I have to go back to the dictionary and reread what moderate actually means.

    The R&BC has tried to be as evenhanded as possible and the result from any compromis is usually that neither side is totally satisfied, as is the case now. The committee has tried to make the best of the mess created willingly and knowingly by those two states parties, and now some groupies still want to take it to Denver? I think they have very little chance, most people will realise this was the best deal in a bad situtaion.

    June 1, 2008 05:10 am at 5:10 am |
  14. ken levy

    I pray to God tonight that Hillary Clinton takes the DNC to Denver and splts the convention in half after they stabbed her in the back today!!

    June 1, 2008 05:10 am at 5:10 am |
  15. Ted G

    Now all Democrats must come together, and pull together, for the long haul to November. The petty displays of spite by both sides at the DNC meeting were understandable, but now there is no place for anything of the sort. McCain and the Republican machine are rubbing their hands with glee at our disarray: "divide and conquer" is the only way a candidate who is too old and too identified with the failures of the previous administration could have a chance.. unless we give it to him.

    And now we have a dynamic, younger candidate whose nomination is already a victory for those who would like to turn the page once and for all on racism, militarism, exclusion and all other forms of discrimination. No matter who we backed going in, now it is a solemn duty for anyone who calls himself a Democrat, or indeed anyone of any party who believes in the positive things America used to stand for, to itself and to the world, to work for his election.

    June 1, 2008 05:11 am at 5:11 am |
  16. nathanshadow

    Stop the Obama hate, he won fair and square.

    June 1, 2008 05:11 am at 5:11 am |
  17. Talana in Eugene, OR

    Can we say sore losers? They knew they had already lost before they walked into that room. Because the rules committee did not nominate Princess Clinton, they are crying some more.

    As a teacher I fully expect penalties for rule breaking... not following them, expecting to get around them is not the type of arrogance that needs to be in the oval office.

    June 1, 2008 05:11 am at 5:11 am |
  18. Donald Johnson

    This is an example of how childish this woman is.... I really wonder who was yelling Go McCain in the background.... probably those backwards "blue collar whites" she happens to have as the corner stone of her campaign...

    June 1, 2008 05:11 am at 5:11 am |
  19. cr

    How can The DNC “GIVE” delegates to a candidate, Obama, when he did not bother to put his name on the ballot.

    The people of Michigan are being treated like they are the bastard step child nobody wants to claim. In retrospect Michigan and Florida would have been better off if the held their respective primaries on June 2nd instead of January.

    I cannot believe that the DNC wants Obama as their candidate so bad that they are willing to erase election results, and cheat the rightful winner out of, in this case Senator Clinton, her hard fought and legally obtained delegates. I guess the party of inclusion only includes males, to hell with the women. It just goes to show that the good ole boy network is still alive and kicking in the Democratic Party.

    If the DNC is willing to cheat one of its own, and Senator Clinton is definitely one of the Democratic Parties biggest supporters and contributors, what will they do to the rest of us?

    If Senator Clinton really wanted to upset the good ole boy network (aka. DNC) she could run for president as a truly independent. Who could blame her? She isn’t getting the support from the DNC she deserves. Hell, she isn’t even getting what she rightfully earned, the full slate of Michigan delegates. As an independent she would truly get the respect she deserves. Could you imagine the heart failure the good ole boy network would have should she elect this approach.

    The Democratic Party needs to do what is right in the case and award Senator Clinton her full share of Michigan delegates. She defiantly earned them. She had the foresight and courage to run in Michigan despite the good ole boy network’s slap in the face. A leader is someone who is willing to face the consequences of their actions and do what is right. Senator Clinton took a slap in the face by the good ole boy network and made sure the voters of Michigan had at least one viable candidate. And what does she get for showing she is willing to be a leader? She gets her honestly won delegates stolen from her by the good ole boy network. That is what I call a true slap in the face.

    June 1, 2008 05:12 am at 5:12 am |
  20. Raul in CA

    Voters in FL and MI should be upset with their local and state party leaders for violating the rules that were on place. every candidate at the time, not only Clinton and Obama but everybody else who was still running....On the other hand let's not forget that the main target to get our country back on track by electing a democrat as president.-
    It's time to rally around Senator Obama, he has demostrated the qualities required for the job: great character, good administrator,great leader, wisdom & humility, but above all ...the ability to inspire people to believe in their country, that we can move forward if we are all walk together, that is time to grow up and fulfill the calling to be the nation we are called to be, it is time to work together to fix the state of our economy, the education system, health care system, to honor our troops and vet for their noble service by taking care of them (they have earn it)

    Obama/Webb 08

    June 1, 2008 05:12 am at 5:12 am |
  21. dogtrot 88

    Now that the Rules Committee has voted to seat Michigan and Florida, Hillary's claim to be ahead in the popular vote is legitimate. Also her claim to have won every important swing state is now solid.

    The DNC and Rules Committee can decree that the Michigan and Florida delegates have only half a vote at the Convention, but the voters in both Primary elections are not subject to those rules. Hillary can, and will, count their Primary votes 100%. Her ability to do this legitimately was only questionable while the question was whether either state would be allowed to participate in the Convention at all.

    June 1, 2008 05:12 am at 5:12 am |
  22. Eric


    You agreed Michigan and Florida should not count when the campaigns started. Why are we even having this discussion? Wonder why dem voters polled perceive you as being untrustworthy?

    June 1, 2008 05:13 am at 5:13 am |
  23. someone nice

    I have always believed that Obama has the intrest of all at heart.. l am not criticising Clinton but she does sure needs some rest. lf she has the amount of votes that Obama has, l believe all this noise about seating all will be going on. Everything is just happening because Clinton is not winning. This is not the way it has to be done, Let's be frank for once.................

    June 1, 2008 05:13 am at 5:13 am |
  24. John From CA

    That is so unfair to Hillary as Obama choosen delist his name from MI. Why DNC gave him delegates? I will not vote in coming election , DNC will never get any money from me. period.

    June 1, 2008 05:13 am at 5:13 am |
  25. voter in PA

    Ivan, I argee we most ideas but, rules were broken, as such is the result, all america, will vote the truth is we need too realize that people change views and not goverments.

    June 1, 2008 05:13 am at 5:13 am |
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