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. carolinas

    DNC has done an excellent job with fair judgement. Ofcourse, panelty should be there to break the rules as well the candidates has to follow the DNC guidelines. Hillary Clinton didn't remove her name with a cheating mind to " STEAL ALL VOTES " for herself only. Here, I have to admire Obama. Edwards, Richardon and others who removed their names promptly to respect DNC guidelines...shame on cheater Hillary.

    OBAMA 2008...!!!

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

    Ivan, you're right. The most important thing right now is to teach democrats a lesson. So why not elect someone who would carry on the worldwide killing? You don't get the point. It's not about the person, it's about the policy. And people should realize it before it's too late. And I hope, I truly do hope, that the majority of Clinton supporters are smarter than this.

    June 1, 2008 05:25 am at 5:25 am |
  3. Demi Girl

    Now that the decision about Florida and Michigan has been made, it's time for this fiasco to end. The decision was fair, and as Democrats we need to come together. Clinton supporters who claim they wil vote for McCain if Obama is the nominee are only spiteing themselves, in particular, if it is the Clinton supporters who will be most hurt by a McCain win (the white blue collar workers and women that seem to be Clintons biggest supporters). If McCain wins, we can kiss a better healthcare system goodbye, women's right to chose will be thrown out of the window, gas prices will skyrocket, our men and women in Iraq will continue to be there another 100 years, and the economy will continue to deteriorate. Wake up! There are some of us who can afford to weather through these bad times, but not everyone. The Democratic win is essential in November. Clinton supporters, don't HURT yourselves just go prove a point.

    June 1, 2008 05:25 am at 5:25 am |
  4. Michael Templer

    only and ingnorant fool would vote fore McCain soley on the basis of this decision.

    the fault here lies with the states itself and the RBC committee

    they could have done this last year by striping them of half their delegates, gave the super delegates half a vote, and forfeited the non-elected official super delegates

    The state, this committee and dnc should suffer for it.

    Not a Candidate

    even with full Votes Clinton is not going to get the nomination but can blow up the party

    There was no real election in Florida or Michigan

    Only in the old Soviet Union would they call an election where the new candidate is not able to compete because the other 7 signed a pledge
    not to compete there and the same in Michigan

    Give me a break

    you idiots we have 140,000 troops in Iraq that need to be brought home
    we need 10,000 more troops and proper equipment to train the Afghan army

    the economy is in the tank

    Health care costs are going up

    and were going to see $5 gas by the end of the summer

    and you want to teach the DNC a lession or take you ball and go home
    because your candidate ran a horrible campaign and only was able to
    gain some traction by lieing, breaking pledges, and running negative ads

    60% of the country has a negative view or doesn't find her trust worthy

    that means everybody doesn't like her but you Hillary suppoter

    and I say one last thing if she doesn't end this and get behind Obama
    you can forget VP

    you can't be no 2 if you don't acknowledge who is no 1

    I tired of you debating it is still a game when it's been over since the 11
    consecutive loses in Feb due to a bad candidate and a worse campaign strategy.

    June 1, 2008 05:27 am at 5:27 am |
  5. Stacey

    Obama removed his name from Michigan in deference to the DNC's decision that Michigan and Florida would not be counted due to THEIR rule breaking.

    Why should he be punished because he followed the rules and respected his party's decision?

    I think this decision MORE than fair to Mrs. Clinton. Considering she :
    1. agreed that Michigan votes would not count. AT ALL.
    2. has been quoted and is on record as stating that "everyone knows Michigan votes will not count." as reason for NOT removing her name from the ballot.

    I am neither an Obama or a Clinton supporter. I find this entire situation untenable. Mrs. Clinton was for the war before she was against it, and was for the DNC rules stripping Michigan of it's delegates before she was against it.

    June 1, 2008 05:27 am at 5:27 am |
  6. Alex, USMC

    Ivan, you're missing the bigger picture here. Sure, in a purely democratic election each vote would count as an equal. That's a "pure" way of doing things and I agree with you on principle that this should be the case. But that's not the way America is. It's not the way the Democratic nomination is, it's not the way the Republican nomination is, and it's not the way the General Election is, either. What you're talking about is a pure 1-for-1 vote where there is not electoral college and no delegates.

    Well that's not what we have. There are arguments for and against it, but the fact is that we exist in the world we exist in. Changing the rules right now goes against another principle factor in democracy: the rule of law. We'd love to be able to change things to the way we think they "should" be, but the fact is that not everyone agrees on the way things should be.

    Blaming the DNC for following the rules it has set forth is likely blaming a cop for arresting a guilty individual and then complaining because you happen to like that person. How can you possibly say that they need to be "taught a lesson"? They followed their rules, which are much like the rules of the General Election. This is not some recent thing. these rules have been around for quite some time. America votes using delegates and the electoral college. You might as well blame the entire United States for promoting a system that doesn't have a "pure" democracy.

    The "half vote" is a concession, in fact it is a GIFT to the governments of Michigan and Florida. The DNC could have taken away half of the delegates (the actual number of people attending the convention in Denver). Instead they said that all of the members could go, but they receive a half-vote. If I had to choose between half the number of people with a full vote and the same number of people with a half-vote, I will choose the latter any time.

    You preach about having the "right to vote". That is exactly what they are doing. They are giving more members of the Florida and Michigan the "right to vote" in the primaries. What's funny is that for all your desire to claim it as such, you're dead wrong about voting in the primary as a right. The fact is that the DNC has it's own rules. The primary is not an official part of the Washington process. The DNC ALLOWS states to vote, but as we've seen, there are rules to follow in order to be given that right. Florida and Michigan went against the party rules and the citizens paid.

    If you want to "teach somebody a lesson" perhaps you should direct your anger to the representatives of those states who allowed a violation of rules. I realize that the Republicans in Florida are being blamed for the moving up of the primary, but had the Democrats so much as voted against it they would have been deemed as doing their best. As it is, only ONE Florida democrat voted against moving the primary up, the rest voting in support of it.

    Stop blaming the DNC for following rules, and start actually understanding the government you live under before your start criticizing those who run it.

    June 1, 2008 05:27 am at 5:27 am |
  7. Zack

    All Moderate democrats should vote for McCain if Obama is the nominee? first Obama is The Nominee. if u wanna Vote McCain that's Your Vote and your Choice! you said ... this will teach the DNC the lesson . maybe u right but most Important Lesson will be you and same 1 like you.. 8 more years to bush.... but u know what i really like to Vote Mcain. why.... same Reason like u !!! hmmm i just like Clinton and she lost so late me push it as far as i can push . it's logic ah

    June 1, 2008 05:28 am at 5:28 am |
  8. Andy UK

    I'm not American but an outsider looking in with great interest at the Democrat race, and with the hope that McCain will not be the next president after 8 years of Bush and a failed US/ UK Iraqi war.

    Mrs Clinton has obviously completely damaged the Democrats ability to win in November with her actions to continue in the race, she should have bowed out of the race with grace, and should now agree with the fair decision of the Commission. She and her husband Bill are two of the most divisive and self-interested politicians.

    If she really wants a united Democrat party she should bow out after Tues...but lets see....I don't think she will as Bill so desperately wants to be back in the White House.

    June 1, 2008 05:28 am at 5:28 am |
  9. Tom Mann

    Why didn't they give Michagan votes to all candidates that we still in the race in January? Why not give the uncommitted vote to Edwards, or some other guy? Notice I said guy, and I belive with BHO included that would mean 4 men. How about 10 delegate to each?

    June 1, 2008 05:28 am at 5:28 am |
  10. beverly

    If Obama were not black would he have received Oprah's financial and media backing? Not likely. He is a gifted orator, but our country desperately needs the experience and international respect that Senator Clinton would provide at this crucial time in history. The Democratic party is not likely to win this election if the only choice is between a charismatic neophyte and a seasoned politician. Washington politics require savy players and Senator Clinton would be able to maneuver the issues more adroitely than either of the other candidates. The Democratic Party is going to regret handing this election to the Republicans and forever weakening their party as well as our country.

    June 1, 2008 05:28 am at 5:28 am |
  11. Elizabeth

    PLEASE don't vote for McCain – I am sure that ALL the politicians (MI, FL, and DNC) involved will see the devastating consequences of their decisions in this primary.

    But PLEASE do not make my children, our country, and the rest of the world suffer the because of ASININE OBSTINACY. This whole process has been upsetting for all sides, but there is too much at stake to stubbornly vote for four more years of the same tyranny.

    We have all suffered enough already. I am sure that they will fix these problems for next time, but why punish the people for the failures of the politicians? And punish us with MORE bad politicians? Just don't reelect the decision makers on the MI and FL issue...

    June 1, 2008 05:29 am at 5:29 am |
  12. American Deam

    We have heard these people saying vote McNasty if Senator Obama is the Democratic nominee. Which essential means that either these folks are incredibly stupid; so embroiled in a cult of personality that they can not clearly evaluate their own or other Democrats circumstances. Or they are these so called rush limbatics under the hypnotizing drug induced rhetoric of their master sent from another planet to destroy the democratic party. By any account the true dems should begin reunification and realize that the things we are all fighting for are more important than who the Democratic Nominee is.

    June 1, 2008 05:29 am at 5:29 am |
  13. GAB

    In a Democray it is true that all votes should count, but rules must not be broken, not even Florida or Michigan should be above the law.

    June 1, 2008 05:30 am at 5:30 am |
  14. RON AKA (A TRUE DEMORCRAT) a team player

    I believe the DNC did the the could to make everyone happy. You break the rules, your going have some kind of penalty. If your gonna jump ship and go Rep., this means your not a true Dem. If we lose, I now know who the blam; (Michigan) your not a team player. At least
    I don't have to worry about the DET. Loins change the rules in the NFL 🙂 🙂 🙂

    June 1, 2008 05:30 am at 5:30 am |
  15. Diana K.

    I agree with Ivan for the most part. The DNC's decision today is outrageous. I will either simply not vote or vote McCain. I am on the fence at this point. However, to me it is also about Obama and Hillary. I will NEVER vote for someone who condones racism and takes his children to a place of worship and allow that rhetoric to be imbedded into his children's consciences. I certainly would not allow my child to be exposed to racism in any way, shape or form. I cannot identify with this man. It is also disturbing that his "friends" in his church believe it is more than appropriate to make fun of and attack Hillary Clinton during services. It is all adding up. Factor in Obamas "brush off" joke at Hillary's expense after the Philadelphia debate. Not exactly presidential material. He has very much encouraged all the Hillary bashing up until the NC and Indiana primaries. Then suddenly he says that "we all need to be nice to Hillary supporters" after it was pretty clear he would get the nomination. I donated nearly $900 to Hillary. Obama will not get my vote nor my dollars. I have been watching all the coverage day in and day out for months and am amazed that even some of his surrogates indicate when defending him that some voters may reach unfair conclusions about him (regarding Wright, Ayers, the Priest) because voters don't know that much about him. Why would anyone in their right mind vote for a person to become President of the United States of America (the most powerful leader in the free world) that they don't know much about? A vast majority of the people who voted for him didn't even know his name a year ago. What is very scary is that we are in war that has now claimed more than 4,000 Americans; the economy is in the tiolet and gas prices are at an all time high, yet 1/2 of the Democrats have voted for a man they don't know much about. Crazy! This all a bad dream.

    June 1, 2008 05:30 am at 5:30 am |
  16. francis

    What amazes me is the way the Clinton supporters speak now. Why didn´t they say this a year ago when Michigan and Florida were penalized? That would have made more sense. HILLARY ran a great race but unfortunately Obama ran a greater one. They both had their problems along the way and Obama handled his better. Stop the crying and give this country the president and change is deserves. Democrarcy means counting all the votes but it equally means play by the rules. Any institution or country without rules and laws is called a Jungle.

    June 1, 2008 05:31 am at 5:31 am |
  17. cevo.

    Ivan if your saying that the moderate democrat shuold vote mcain well let me tell you are not even a democrat your bunch of repubs poking there mouth in democrats business I have one word for you it is not going to work democrat will come together and vote any democratic winner so please back off

    June 1, 2008 05:31 am at 5:31 am |
  18. Connie

    f 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 wont 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 05:32 am at 5:32 am |
  19. Honky guy from Chigcago

    Let them go vote McCain. They were never true democrats from the start anyway. Bye bye and good luck ;-). Now for the white house.

    June 1, 2008 05:32 am at 5:32 am |
  20. A voice coming from Los Angeles, CA

    It looks to me that many of clinton's supporters are clinching onto McCain's side all of a sudden (just because thingd are not going there way), I guess we are going to be in IRAQ untill 2050 then if yall say so...voting for McCain is just like voting for BUSH and we do not need that right now, we need Americans to excel and have more opportunities out there for the new generation. CLinton needs to stop being a crybaby about things. Obama's name was not even on the ballot so she's still lucky to get her little boost in delegates and she should be happy about that, but its not going to last long due to the fact that she's down 200 and something delegates with 3 days left in the primaries. He's winning fair and sqaure no gimmicks, and crying, and pandering.

    June 1, 2008 05:32 am at 5:32 am |
  21. Logan

    This is the most equitable outcome under the circumstances. If Senator Clinton really has the interest of the Democratic Party and Country at heart, she should fully accept the DNC decision.

    She should gracefully concede defeat after Tuesday's Primaries and then work as hard as she has done to date to heal the Party and help Senator Obama defeat McCain in November.

    June 1, 2008 05:32 am at 5:32 am |
  22. Alan

    I feel that it is absolutely ridiculous that the Clinton supporters would even consider voting for John McCain. First off, Hillary supported the idea of not counting the delegates in Florida and Michigan and now since she is losing she wants the rules to change in her favor. It's funny because I know if the scenario was reversed and Obama was the one losing and he tried to get the delegates seated, the Clinton camp and supporters would say it is absolutely ridiculous that Obama is trying to get the rules changed. Basically, she is not only trying to cheat Barack Obama out of the nomination, but she is also cheating the other 48 states that followed the rules.

    I'm a registered Democrat in Florida and I still voted even though I knew that it wasn't going to count. I didn't feel disenfranchised because I knew that the vote wasn't going to count. I just did it because I wanted to. So the fact that Hilary even got anything out of this should be good enough. I felt that the DNC was very reasonable with the solution considering the rules were broken. Hillary, I say that you have the right to run until the last primary but once that is over, it's time to drop out. This country can not take another 4 years of the Republicans and what you are doing is hurting the party dearly. Quit being selfish and give up. If you truly care about, not only about the party, but the American people as well, you will drop out.

    June 1, 2008 05:32 am at 5:32 am |
  23. H D Phelps

    Someone needs to nudge Sen. Clinton! It's over-I'm sorry, but it is. If by some act of God himself, she get's the nod, I'd vote for her because I am a democrat to my core, but I mean, come on!! Stop!!! For the love of God, stop!!

    Obama '08

    June 1, 2008 05:33 am at 5:33 am |
  24. breanna

    is half a vote the same as being counted as 2/3rds of a person?

    June 1, 2008 05:34 am at 5:34 am |
  25. Karen

    It is very sad that Clinton supporters continue to say they will vote McCain. If that's what they want – go ahead. BUT – they will be responsible for a third republican term in succession, not Obama.

    I watched the RBC meeting yesterday and it's difficult to come to any other conclusion that the Clinton 'supporters' there did nothing other than discredit themselves and their candidate. Very sad.

    June 1, 2008 05:35 am at 5:35 am |
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