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. Cry Me A River

    Ivan: But all votes are not equal since some states have more delegates then others. There is no such thing as one man one vote. People in FL and MI are not complaining their party leaders have said it’s a valid comprise. The only one who is complaining is Hillary and her supporters. There were 14 Clinton supporters on the RBC and only 8 for Obama... so please give it up and stop crying foul.

    June 1, 2008 05:13 am at 5:13 am |
  2. Joel

    Are Hillary's supporters so moronic and stubborn that in spite of an unbiased ruling, they would vote for John McCain? I understand that they want to fight for what they believe and by all means they should. Nonetheless, if McCain wins in November, they will suffer for it. It is not as if by voting for McCain instead of Barack they are somehow going to make the democratic party feel sorry for deciding to nominate Obama. The candidate who, in lieu of whatever clintonian mathematics is currently being circulated, wins the popular vote, delegate majority and SD majority should get the nomination. The people, as of Tuesday, will have spoken. I truly hope, as a U.S. Army veteran, that the people will make their choice based on the issues, not race, sex, creed or color.

    June 1, 2008 05:14 am at 5:14 am |
  3. christoph

    good bye madame president of coocoo land! hope you'll keep your trap shut now, got a headache from all the bickering!

    June 1, 2008 05:14 am at 5:14 am |
  4. Gina

    Ivan, I guess you don't know this, but...


    So, voting for McCain as a way to "teach" the democratic party that all votes are equal...is pretty inconceivable.

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

    Looks like the Democratic Party has shot itself in the foot again...gifting the November election to the Republicans..

    What a waste....2 great candidates...and in all likelidhood, all for nought..

    June 1, 2008 05:15 am at 5:15 am |
  6. carolinas

    I agree with FH2.....that Hillary Clinton's campaign was not clean and she is very dishonest person with so many lies. I don't think we should clear her exaggerated 20 million debt either....Just stepdown gracefully.

    OBAMA 2008..!!!

    June 1, 2008 05:15 am at 5:15 am |
  7. right source

    It's time to move on and get ready for November. DNC has ruled!!!

    June 1, 2008 05:15 am at 5:15 am |
  8. Daniel

    What disgusts me is the behavior of my supposed adult peers. To see individuals 18 and older throwing tantrums and having fits like pre adolescent children is regrettably discouraging. Watching the DNC committee this morning was very disheartening as both Clinton and Obama supporters behaved in such abhorrent fashion.

    Grow up people. This barbaric behavior needs to come to an end. As one of the comittee members so appropriately stated, "the world is not perfect, but it is good." You may not have received the decision you so desired, but you need to remember that this isn't the end of the world. This isn't personal. This is not the worst case scenario. Another 4-8 years of republican ignorance and filth is the nightmare.

    Lets stand together. Lets stand united. Let us not forget that which we fight for. DO NOT VOTE MCCAIN in november. VOTE DEMOCRAT NOVEMBER 2008

    June 1, 2008 05:16 am at 5:16 am |
  9. Mary

    I'm soooo sick of these Clinton supporters...They need to get over it...Even if the committee had awarded no delegates to Obama, she still wouldn't get the nomination.

    June 1, 2008 05:16 am at 5:16 am |
  10. Simon

    Obama doesn't need these people to win. Bottom line.. anyone willing to suffer 4 more years of Republican rule deserves far worse. I hope Obama sticks to his base and forgets about these whiny losers.. because his base includes Bush Republicans.

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

    Ivan... you would like to actually suggest to ruin the country to "teach the DNC a lesson". Do it with your own family!...that has to be the most rediculous unthoughtful thing I've heard on this blog. Quite frankly, you're an idiot who should have his voting privilages revoked. With regards to vote...I'm sorry... I don't know what they're thinking... Obama has brought such momentum to his campaign...with his current resources... if he actually tried and campaigned in those states I think they would not have gone toward Hillary in that fashion. I was for not counting the votes at all... those were the rules...everyone knew them...particularly Hillary....now you've made Obama suffer though I think he'll win anyway. DNC should have just stuck to their guns.

    June 1, 2008 05:16 am at 5:16 am |
  12. MIke

    The DNC has spoken. As one who had voted for Clinton in Pa., I can't support Obama, and my Democratic vote will go to McCain, as will I am sure many more.

    June 1, 2008 05:17 am at 5:17 am |
  13. thack

    Hillary has lost it, literally and figuratively. Michigan and Florida are under the same rules in both Democratic and Republican primaries, with 50% delegate count, and she still won't give up. Worse, she is allowing her supporters to continue their reckless attacks on the Democratic Party and its now clear nominee. She, and this, are pathetic.

    June 1, 2008 05:17 am at 5:17 am |
  14. Peggy Fuentes

    Somebody please investigate all of OBama's friends and acquaintances before it's too late.

    June 1, 2008 05:17 am at 5:17 am |
  15. Darrell

    "this will teach the DNC the lesson that in democratic system all votes are equal. there is no such thing as half vote."

    Would you rather the DNC be just and rule Florida and Michigan half votes because they broke the Dem rules, or would you rather they give in to Clinton supporters because they are threatening to vote McCain??

    I would not want shrewd politicians running my country...

    June 1, 2008 05:17 am at 5:17 am |
  16. Shirley

    I know that many people were terribly disappointed that Hillary did not win. I was fortunate because I decided early on that I would support the one that the majority wanted. We had two excellent candidates and they both fought very hard.I believe that she will be given an important job in Obama's administration and she will do her very best.
    This was more about the popularity of each candidate. Now let us get back to the importance of the fall election. Remember WHY it is so important to beat the Republicans. Let us all stand together and WIN. Because Hillary did not win, would you rather have more years of this frightening war? Do you want to worry constantly about losing your home or your job? Do you want more years of high gas prices, and $4.00 a gallon milk? Aren't the worries about our huge deficit more important than the candidate? The loss of allies, the secrecy of this administration,the cover-ups and torture and constantly being lied to? Do you want to allow more terrible things like New Orleans. It was his slow and uncaring action that I criticize. Do you want to have to worry about your Social Security being terminated? McCain wants privatized Social Security. Think what those rich people have already done to the average citizen.That was one of the things Bush wanted . Do you want to continue with the arrogant administration breaking every law in the book , AND GETTING AWAY WITH IT. The Democrats should be held responsible also because many of Bush's offences should have called for impeachment and Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the house. stated that
    Impeachment was not on the table. Obama is a well educated man and I ask every Democrat to put aside their disappointment and fight for the election of a Democrat.The recovery of our nation is truly at stake.

    June 1, 2008 05:18 am at 5:18 am |
  17. Tony

    If u r a real Democrat the notion of voting for Mc cain should not even cross your mind, the point is the two states broke the rules and the have been punished for that(even the republicans have halved the delegete count from this two states). The goal for all dems is to make sure that we take back the white house, most dems have voted and OB is the winner, he has won by every metric out there( including popular vote), if we start fight amongs ourselves then the reps will take the white house again and a war in Iran is inevitable.( remember Mc cain song bomb,bomb,bomb Iran). USA is the strongest in the world but lets remember nobody win all the time, can be bullying others to submission everytime. Let talk with a soft voice carrying a big stick.

    June 1, 2008 05:19 am at 5:19 am |
  18. Reno

    We the real democrats will NOT be provoked by angers, emotions and hatred feelings. We will fully support whoever wins the nomination.

    This is NOT about Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama, so whoever says that if their candidate is not gonna be a nominee then they would chose McCain, I;m sorry either you're just a troll from the next door party or you're not a member of The Democrat Party long enough.

    This is about taking this COUNTRY to the right direction. One more time, this is NOT about fulfilling someone's ambition to be the POTUS.

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

    Hillary or McCain but never Obama. The ruling on MI was a disgrace and Fl should have gotten 100%.

    The democratic party has become a cess pool of left wing nuts I no longer have any respect.

    June 1, 2008 05:20 am at 5:20 am |
  20. Will009

    Why are people being so silly. How can you ask that the DNC sits all the FL and MI delegates when Obama didn't have his name at all in MI and didn't campaign in FL. Clinton is just trying to make things hard and it'sdisgraceful. And she keeps on saying she can win come Nov. How can you trust her to that when she has failed to beat Obama in any category. He has raised more money, won more states, won more votes. This is a joke. Funny how Hillary counted MI and FL and left of the cacus states (you really think she believes every voice counts). People at least for the sake of self respect be fair in the contest.

    And the people thinking of backing McCain, I haven't heard anything so childish. You would throw away all your ideals, keep the young men and women of your country in war. Just because you favorite wasn't the chosen. Think about it. Don't be selfish, you owe it to those troops. The Presidency isn't American Idol....

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

    IVAN and those with similar views.

    RBC did the very best given the facts. What seems to be missed by so many are the rules. Should the party rules be ignored? Should no penalty be warranted? Now it is time to unify!

    June 1, 2008 05:22 am at 5:22 am |
  22. Hope LV,NV

    If people really what another Bush term just to spite themselves then so be it. I think that in spite of all the negativity coming from the HRC camp I think the DNC did the best they could in the middle of the game. I also would like to ask where were the die hard Clinton supporters when this whole penalty process was being discussed before the primary even started? Oh you thought it was a slam dunk so no big deal.

    June 1, 2008 05:23 am at 5:23 am |
  23. Sleepless in Michigan

    To all so-called democrats who are saying "Hillary or McCain", guess what? YOUR VOTE WILL HAVE VERY LONG TERM CONSEQUENCES and none of then to you or your family's benefit. But go ahead and take pride in the mess you'll support with your short-sighted stance. Btw, why don't you ask Hillary. "Why did you sign an agreement that Michigan and Florida WOULD NOT COUNT?" She refuses to answer that question... And ask yourself, is this how she plans to run our country? dividing its people? sinking it in debt like her campaign? putting her selfish interest first because she's not a quitter? That sounds pretty much like Bush... don't you think? There is a strong difference between being smart and being wise...

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

    Did Rush Limbaugh in disguise?

    If I understand Ivan correctly, if Clinton is not the nominee, you're saying that 'moderate democrats' (hopefully that is not a synonym for 'hard working Americans, white Americans') should not vote for the candidate (Obama) whose policies they generally agree with...but instead vote for McCain simply to spite the DNC? It's comments like yours that show the true colors of Clinton and her base.

    The near 16 years of the Bush-Clinton monarchy is coming to an end, and no matter how my tricks the clinton base my try, or idle threats that they shout at the top of their lungs, nothing is going to change that fact.

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

    The should shut up and follow the rules

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