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. Josh

    It makes no sense to me how these people can agree that the Democratic party violates the bedrock principles of democracy, and in retaliation, they will vote for McCain, whose party punished Florida and Michigan in exactly the same fashion: half the votes as punishment for early primaries.

    June 1, 2008 05:36 am at 5:36 am |
  2. Andrea

    Last time I checked the DNC and RNC both allowed only half of the delegates. This was a fair compromise. I really don't understand the sour grapes attitude by some Clinton supporters. Maybe they should stop making excuses and just admit that they simply aren't comfortable voting for Senator Obama. He's winning fair and square, and will win the nomination. He has run an exceptional campaign, while maintaining his integrity. If these supporters feel McCain is the way to go then more power to them, and when the same old politics continues to PLAGUE our nation they will only have themselves to blame!!!!

    June 1, 2008 05:36 am at 5:36 am |
  3. Dick

    Iam a Hillary supporter but I dread the day when rules will be meaningless !
    “Fighting for our rights ?” Not sure what rights are being referred to! I understand the right to live in an orderly society where rules are respected!
    Shame to our leaders!

    June 1, 2008 05:37 am at 5:37 am |
  4. Gaz

    Obama have just won the race to the white house and i dont know Mrs Clinton is going onand on all because she is Clinton? No need for this ha la balow, if she was the one leading i dont think the DNC will go all the way to hear this case , is time for Clinton to bow out and keep her head high Shame on her if she follows thsi to the convention and hope all the super delegates will go for OBAMA coz he is the REAL DO GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OBAMA GOOOOOOOOOOOOO

    June 1, 2008 05:37 am at 5:37 am |
  5. Rick in Chicago

    So wait, Hillary got 50% of the delegates from states who's votes she initially said shouldn't count and in one state where Obama's name wasn't even on the ballot? And her supporters STILL aren't happy? Sounds to me like she was rewarded with votes she wasn't entitled to, by her own previous admission. Yet she has her supporters pointing fingers at the DNC?

    How about pointing fingers in the following directions:

    1) At the people in FLA for continuing to elect Republicans. It was the Republican-controlled state legislature and the Republican governor that moved up that primary date. Stop voting republican, they wont get elected, and they wont be able to screw with the voting process.

    2) At the Dem party heads in Fla for not filing an appeal to move the date back. They had roughly a YEAR between when the date was moved up and when the elections were held to take this to the courts and they decided instead to just play a game of chicken with the DNC and see who blinked first.

    3) And of course at Hillary who, like every other Dem candidate, agreed that those votes wouldn't count. Why do you think it is that ALL the other Dem candidates had their names off the ballot in Michigan? She said, back in October, and I quote: "I personally did not think it made any difference whether my name was on the ballot" and "You know, it's clear, this election they're having is not going to count for anything.".

    Yep! Your hero Hillary helped stab you guys in the back ... but make sure you paint her as an innocent victim in all this as you continue to blame everybody ELSE but her. It's the Hillary way!

    Time to accept the inconvenient truth now and get over it Hillary homers, or punish yourselves as well by helping elect Bush to a third term via McCain. Just don't complain about Republicans afterwards like you've already been doing for YEARS already!

    You lost that right when you helped elect one.

    June 1, 2008 05:38 am at 5:38 am |
  6. pp

    lets start a new party...perhaps the "Centrist Party", with Hillary as our nominee for President. Now that would be an ellection!

    June 1, 2008 05:39 am at 5:39 am |
  7. Viet Tran

    Ivan, you would vote to continue the policies that has virtually destroyed the respect of our country abroad, caused countless deaths, brought out economy to the crapper, taken no meaningful steps to stem the threat of terrorism, constantly stonewalled any policies which help stem our addiction to oil as well as protect our environment? You are right, this is not about Hillary or Obama, but it is not JUST about your votes, it is about the future of the world and our children and grandchildren. EVERYONE knows that the DNC warned FL and Michigan, but they showed NO respect for their own bylaws...so tell me, should they be exempt from the rules? IF the DNC just decided to reject their votes for no apparent reason, there would be justification in all this protesting. I don't trust Obama nor Hillary, but I certainly would choose either one over McBush. I hope you and others like you realize the implications of what you are proposing and repent from such thoughts. Getting ANYONE who will get us out of this mess is much more important than your childish complaints.

    June 1, 2008 05:39 am at 5:39 am |
  8. Beth

    Has everyone forgotten that Florida and Michigan broke the rules? Clinton and her supporters didn't have any problem with this back in February. Clinton even stated then that she backed the DNC's decision not to count the votes in these states. Obama didn't even put his name on the ballot in Michigan. There never HAS been a fair solution to this problem from the minute these two states took it upon themselves to break the rules and hold their primaries earlier than they were supposed to. The voters in these two states have every right to be angry – but they're directing their anger at the wrong people. Be angry at the governors of your states that took your votes away from you in the first place by breaking the rules!

    June 1, 2008 05:39 am at 5:39 am |
  9. Marie Andrée

    Canadian observer

    Ivan, what's about the rules in your party? When you are a winner, you agree with he rules, when you are not agree, the rules are not fair. Free for all.

    June 1, 2008 05:40 am at 5:40 am |
  10. Ann

    It is sad but the Pastor wasn't far from the truth for we are all beginning to think that you feel INITIALED.

    June 1, 2008 05:40 am at 5:40 am |
  11. Domenico

    I suppose if Clinton had a large majority without michigan and florida she would have done the same this ideological battle, using the people to destroy the party ... ridicolous...

    June 1, 2008 05:40 am at 5:40 am |
  12. oswanegan

    Repub troll bloggers are loose... a vote for the old man is a vote for the same last eight years. Whatever your issues are with the DNC, remember that.

    June 1, 2008 05:41 am at 5:41 am |
  13. McPoke

    As an Obama supporter, I am glad this issue is finally over and he can now focus on the general election – McCain has had too much of a padding already and it is time he is brought down to earth. It is clear Obama is the candidate of choice by the Democratic party and by a majority of Democrats in general. What is lost in all of this is the idea that if Obama loses in November, it would really be Clinton's fault, not Obama's. I write this because if she pushes her desire to go to the convention with her army of support, it won't unify the democrats and it won't give the party the push it needs to win. Thus, Obama would have to do double the work to win half of the support of those who voted in the primaries.

    It is sad really to hear Clinton supporters scream for the head of Obama and the vote for McCain – it proves how divisive Clinton truly is and how this campaign now revolves around just her and not the party. Maybe it is just hurt feelings right now that are getting in the way – since this primary season is so emotional anyway – and eventually, the Clinton folks will support Obama in the end. But, it sure does not look nor feel that way and if it continues all the way to Denver, McCain could be reserving his place at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. come November.

    June 1, 2008 05:41 am at 5:41 am |
  14. Chuku

    This is sad. Someone should instruct HRC on how to be gracious in defeat.

    June 1, 2008 05:41 am at 5:41 am |
  15. Marcelo

    Will the childish tantrums of these unreasonable and uncompromising people never cease? They need to put themselves after the best interests of our troops and our country. And stop being petty! If they vote for McCain even though they are personally against the war and believe in healthcare for everyone, then they are responsible for their own actions if McCain wins. They will need to accept the consequences of their actions and not blame anyone but themselves. Each additional loss of a soldier's life is on their hands. If we end up in an additional war with Iran, that will be partially their fault for being so petty and shortsighted.

    Barack isn't a bad person. I think he's been unfairly portayed and unfortunately there are many people who are all too willing to deny him a fair chance to be known and understood for his values and principals.

    Democrats '08

    June 1, 2008 05:41 am at 5:41 am |
  16. vicky smart

    Hillary Clinton, it's not a most that you should be the next President of this great Nation. Maybe it is not Godwilling to be ther now. Be at peace and enjoy your marriage. Take a look at the mirror and see yourself great!. Don't let the devil use you to destroy your party. There are other positions that you can operate very well. Please Hillary protect your party. We still love you.

    June 1, 2008 05:41 am at 5:41 am |
  17. Gregg Wetterman

    I have been a voting Republican all of my life. I have switched to the Democratic side this year because I think That Barack Obama is the best candidate to show the world that we really are not happy with the crazy things that have happened over the last few years. I really think it will take a fresh face to show that we mean to make a change in the way things have been going. And I would/will vote for Senator Clinton if she gets the nomination. I think that we cannot afford to have a Republican in the White House any time soon.

    What has amazed me is how ugly this thing has gotten. All of the lies and crazy things that I am hearing from people in the chat rooms. I can only hope that these people are doing what they are doing to undermined the election of either candidate.

    But when I see people arguing about what is fair about the Michigan results I get really crazy. How can anyone say that Obama should not get any votes? His name was not on the ballot since the election was not suppose to count. I still think that if your told that if you change the date then you will not count should have held up. I have never been given any extra time from the government when I missed a deadline. (I realize the DNC is not the government but it is close enough). I also believe that if a candidate had a problem with it they should have spoken up THEN – not after seeing the results. I am not sure how they think it was fair to take votes away from Clinton. I know it would be easy to argue that at least a few of the Clinton voters might have voted for Obama if they had been given the chance but they voted for her so she should have been able to keep all of the votes.

    I hope before the next election that they get some simple rules worked out on who votes when and what the penalty is, that everyone gets one vote and who you vote for gets credit for your vote, no super delegates, and states are split up based on percentage of votes. So the person that wins the popular vote wins the election.

    I also hope that all of the mud slinging I keep seeing is just a few of my former Republicans trying to screw things up and that you are not buying into their Internet Swift Boat play. The bottom line is that if we don't come together behind Obama or Clinton then a couple of years from now I really believe that the outcome of the Michigan/Florida delegation seating issue might not even make our top 100 list of the most screwed up things list. It will have just been a blip on the screen.

    June 1, 2008 05:42 am at 5:42 am |
  18. Write-in '08

    What a shame, that the DNC has decided to act in such a spineless fashion. I would urge all Michigan and Florida Voters to let your voices known this November, and Write in your choice for president. Yes it will be a little more work on your part, but atleast YOUR voice is heard.

    That will be a lesson to the DNC, and to America in general. That you will not be ignored, and to H___ with the choice for nominee that you did not actually choose.

    Write In '08

    June 1, 2008 05:43 am at 5:43 am |
  19. pasadena, ca

    The old axiomat its best..."no one that has power will willing give it up peacefully even if there opponent won it by the rules the one in power had dictated". This primary season has been an excellent example of what happens when there is a real pivot in power. Pretty amazing what the Clinton's and their political machine are willing to do to hang on.

    June 1, 2008 05:44 am at 5:44 am |
  20. Linton

    As an immigrant from Africa, I do confess that I am really saddened by the turn of affairs in the Dem. Party. The whole thing looks and feels like tribal politics, bring your opponent down whatever the cost and if you can't, make sure that he doesn't win.
    I believe rules are meant to be followed, I have two kids if they break the rules that we set for them we don't write the rules to change the punishment. I wonder if those who break the law in our society should be let go if they come up with good excuses.
    Oh, politics, or is it politricks?
    The Dems should realize that they have the chance to win if they play by the rules of the game. Some of them are beginning to sound like MUGABE, if I don't see my MAN/WOMAN on the podium I will vote for my enemy. How long are we going to suffer and let the consequences of that affect our children? PLEASE THINK, BE ANALYTICAL, STOP LOOKING FOR FAULTS, WE ALL HAVE IT.

    June 1, 2008 05:45 am at 5:45 am |
  21. Pat

    Are the fence setting super delegates EVER going to get down in the dirt and finish this off. If you don't do it THIS WEEK, it's going to get really bad. Please, put her out of her misery. She has fought long and hard and deserves a rest. We all recognize her committment and it someone doesn't pull back on the reins she'll need "committed."

    June 1, 2008 05:45 am at 5:45 am |
  22. shabby

    Mrs Hillary i appreciate your affort for been there for us,i vow to sopport you till the end of this race you are a good leader with a lot experience let us unit with Obama campaign xxx so we can have a way forward becouse DEMOCRATIC must win white house, am very sorry for this manipulating,i dont understand why we are diciving ourselves,this gat to stop before convension, DNC you have done the right thing becouse you make the law and stand on it this is part of been a good leadership UP HILLARY CLITON UP BARACK OBAMA stay together ONE LOVE xxxx ONE DEMOCRATIC

    June 1, 2008 05:46 am at 5:46 am |
  23. CJ Lewis

    The DNC was wrong! A vote counts as ONE not 1/2. This is so wrong to the voters. If the DNC could be sued, It should be. There was nothing far about this. If Obama was so dumb to remove his name it's not up to the DNC to give him votes even 1/2 votes. If any of you want to know and understand Obama voters please go to Black wed sites. Read the comments! Trust me you will be shocked! This should not be a ran based on color or gender. Yet it has became just that! If the DNC was trying to stop a civil war , they only made things worse! God help us all and our Counrty. Obama is not Martin L. King nor does he have the experiance or knowledge needed to run our Country. We have only 2 Choices, McCain or Clinton. If Obama wins the Dem Party then McCain will win for sure! Change is just a word people .... think about it..... do you believe Obama can make changes all by hisself?

    June 1, 2008 05:50 am at 5:50 am |
  24. donna4hillary

    obama says that he knows more about forighn realtions than mccain does. i believe it. the reason why was just broadcast on tv. it seems that obama has ANOTHER friend that he has known forever, that he has helped financially and whose home he had dinner at many times. this man is the head of the middle eastern studies at a university and was once a teoorirt with the palestine liberation organization. this man advised obama in the past abot middle eastern politics and could be an advisorr in obamas cabinet if he becomes president. this friend is also a friend of ayers, another anti american. does everyone see a pattern here? obama has many friends that are all anti american and are terrorists. why do you think hamas endorses him?obama attended a church for 20 years where it was well known by all that the church was anti white. obama refused to accept his mothers race and instead decided to be black. his wife has a problem with white folks (read her thesis) and obama's biggest fan, donna brazille, claims that obama doesnt need whites to win the presidency for him. do you get it yet? he has LONG TERM relationships with people that hate america and hate whites. they are bitter and are very dangerous to the safety of this nation IF ELECTED to the oval office. do you dare risk your life with obama and his friends? i dont and so i will vote for mccain or anyone else BUT him. its all a fact ,...you just have to want to get to know this man better than you think that you do. open your eyes or else we are all doomed.

    June 1, 2008 05:54 am at 5:54 am |
  25. MyOpinion

    I find it strange that when Clinton wasn't behind she agreed that Florida and Michigan should not be seated because they broke the rules. Before the Michigan vote Barack had his name removed from the ballot in good faith. Clinton now makes it sound like she was ripped off. The Florida vote still give them the same value of what they would have originally got but the total for each was spit in half for BOTH. Michigan should have either revoted or not be counted at all since it would be obviously a bad deal no matter how you split it. You can't just give all the votes to Clinton because Barack made a good faith gesture that she applauded at first. Clinton is being a sore loser and she's gonna give the election to McCain just so another Democrat can't win.

    People are losing their homes, have to choose between heat, food or clothes, and our dollar value is in the toilet. We're in a war that we have no business being in and letting the terrorist that actually attacked go on his merry way. Our economy is closing in colapse and McCain will just keep the status quo of Bush's failed policies in place.

    Let not be petty like Clinton is being now. Lets not give McCain the job just because of one sore loser. The longer Clinton drags this out the more she hurts and divides this country. Barack will make a fine president and will do his very best for us. He's not a liar like Clinton or a conservative when it's works for his favor like McCain. Come on McCain is using Bush when he NEEDS him and has been the one stood behind mostly the things that give Bush a 20 rating. Then at the same time he wants you to believe he's got another plan it just sound exactly like the old one.


    June 1, 2008 05:54 am at 5:54 am |
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