June 1st, 2008
11:20 AM ET
7 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. Montanaboy

    There was no way Hillary supporters were going to accept anything shy full deligates for a primary with one candidate ... her. Heck, even the ugly duckling can win with those odds.

    Obama has been very gracious to not smother this in Hillary's face. How can she or her supporters respect themselves when everyone accepted to deny Michigan and Florida months before it was an issue. Now that it is the only way Hillary can win, it is unjust and not fair.

    Come on. Grow up Hillary supporters. Have some honor and try to look yourselves in the mirror. Can you respect yourselves changing the rules as you go for your own convenience? I couldn't.

    For those who would now support McCain, you are traitors to the democratic party, your country and most importantly, your children.

    June 1, 2008 12:49 am at 12:49 am |
  2. Saed

    This is crazy....Her campaign has obviously gone kamikaze on this whole thing... Today we probably saw the real beginning of the party divide...This is so stupid...If you wanna chant McCain fine, but don't come crying when Bush the 3rd is in office and none of you people have a job, health care, or food for your children...What idiots...I am so sick of the Clintons and their supporters...Obama can do this without them....And if he can't we can give thanks to Hillary and her ignorant supporters...

    June 1, 2008 12:49 am at 12:49 am |
  3. Harry C

    Sour Grapes Clinton supporters! These Clinton supporters are only reflecting what the Clinton camp has been preaching since the socalled super Tuesday, POOR LOSERS! Trash supporters of a Trash Candidate! A vote for Clinton was a vote for McCain anyway so nothing has changed.

    June 1, 2008 12:49 am at 12:49 am |
  4. Sarah L, Fayetteville, AR

    They should be happy they got anything. The only thing these people care about is Clinton winning. Period. Not the "right" to vote. Not the party. Not winning in November. Just Clinton. The behavior of Clinton's supporters this afternoon should show the Superdelegates that Clinton is a poor choice for the nominee.

    June 1, 2008 12:49 am at 12:49 am |
  5. Ross in MD

    Birds of a feather flock together.

    Not surprised at the childish behavior of Hillary's supporters at all.

    June 1, 2008 12:49 am at 12:49 am |
  6. No More Clinton!

    Wow! Did you see those big mouthed women in the committee barely letting the members talk? They reminded me of Clinton and her whining about delegates to get every piece of pie even if it isn't hers. Clinton has lost and needs to face the facts! She is one angry woman who is scorned by her husband and any other man she cannot control. They are both evil and power hungry! They will kill to get what they want! Not to mention the allegations made against them in prior years! Why haven't those been mentioned? OBAMA do not EVER put her on your ticket! She will AX you!

    June 1, 2008 12:49 am at 12:49 am |
  7. fredi

    This whole Hillary "movement" is looking more and more like a cult!
    Give me Hillary or give me DEATH! Who is going to bring all these angry, misled people back into a reasonable dialog?
    I don't know how many of Hillary's supporters are that extreme, but they sure are very loud – and Hillary's inflammatory rhetoric really does not help.

    June 1, 2008 12:49 am at 12:49 am |
  8. Peter Kuhn

    What these fools don't realize is that Hillary Clinton didn't care about their votes not counting until she needed them. The also forget that Clinton as a Senator did nothing to help Florida Reps in January of 2001 officially protest in Congress Bush's electoral votes gained in Florida.

    June 1, 2008 12:49 am at 12:49 am |
  9. KCJ, FLORIDA

    I WISH IT WOULD`NT GO TO THE CONVENTION BUT IF IT DOES IT ALSO WOULD BE A GOOD THING BECAUSE ALL THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY WILL BE IN THE HOUSE AND WITH A OVERWHELMING VOICE OR A LARGER MAJORITY TELL HER TO SHUT UP AND GO AWAY. AND BY SOME LUCK SHE GETS ON THE TICKET SHE BE NOTHING BUT A FIGURE HEAD BECAUSE OBAMA WILL IN CHARGE OF ALL THE IMPORTANT ISSUES AND WILL VIGOROUSLY FIGHT FOR HIS POLICIES AND NOT HERS.

    June 1, 2008 12:49 am at 12:49 am |
  10. Jeff - Florida

    I completely understand why the Clinton supporters are angry. Being a Florida Democrat, I was pretty peeved myself that it seemed as if our votes won't count. However, our state broke the party's rules that were laid out quite a long time ago, even though our Republican-controlled government was to blame. As such, if any rules or laws are broken, there should be punishment. I think this decision is completely fair and we need to be thankful they gave us half our votes, for they could have left it as it was and gave us none.

    June 1, 2008 12:49 am at 12:49 am |
  11. xdem

    Do you believe us now....obama supporters??? The party is spilt thanks to the DNC an Obama. He'll never win without Hillarys supporters, all 17 million of us!

    June 1, 2008 12:50 am at 12:50 am |
  12. anthony

    its sadto see people not for the dem party just for the canidate this is when the party should come together but its not about the party its all about the person and it should not be that way

    June 1, 2008 12:50 am at 12:50 am |
  13. JD

    And they call these racist, hate-filled voters Democrats?

    Their candidate didn't win, and they either threaten to leave the party or take it out on Sen. Obama, showing their favoritism for Sen. McCain? It doesn't sound like they were members of the Democratic Party in the first place.

    June 1, 2008 12:50 am at 12:50 am |
  14. Dee

    Why was the DNC allowed to decide for the people. Thats not what and who the people voted for. It's very clear they are bias.

    June 1, 2008 12:50 am at 12:50 am |
  15. ral-OH

    Those "angry" Clintons supporters really did nothing to further
    the sympathy by being so disrespectfull to the DNC rules and
    bylaws panel.

    That was embarrasing to watch, and I think Clinton should
    apologize for sending those ill-mannered people to Washington.

    Clinton can state she didnt send them, but all know she was
    behind the decision.

    Rules are rules, and everyone should be glad the panel even
    entertained the thoughts of those that wanted things changed.

    It is time to move to November, if the "angry" protesters want
    to move to the McCain side – then I guess they will like having
    and out of control economy, 4 more years of war and a government
    that is run by lobbyists.

    June 1, 2008 12:50 am at 12:50 am |
  16. Newly Independant

    The Democratic Party is broken. I won't declare support for John McCain just yet, as frankly that's not particularly rational behavior; however, I will be registering as INDEPENDANT by the time November comes. This is a sad day for the democratic party.

    June 1, 2008 12:50 am at 12:50 am |
  17. swede

    I AM SO DISGUSTED AT THE DNC. THEY TOOK PEOPLE WHO GOT UP TO VOTE AND JUST SPIT ON IT> MOST OF THESE ARE OBAMA PEOPLE AND WORKED THE NUMBERS THAT SUITED OBAMA BEST. I WANT HILLARY TO TAKE THIS AS FAR AS SHE CAN. TO FIGHT THE RULES THAT MAKE IT LEGAL TO RIPE OUT GOOD INTENTIONED PEOPLE>I WILL NEVER VOTE FOR OBAMA AS I SEE THROUGH HIM AND I NOW WILL WITHOUT A DOUBT VOTE FOR MACAIN. I CAN'T believe that you call yourself the democratic party. If this is democracy then it's time to try something different.

    June 1, 2008 12:50 am at 12:50 am |
  18. Benjamin from Wyoming

    I think this is more than fair and equitable. The rules are the rules and Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama both agreed to those rules. The fact that the RBC gave virtually all of Florida and Michigan's delegates a half vote is a HUGE concession considering the party rules.

    Those of you who threaten and throw childish temper tantrums threatening to vote for McCain this fall, just go ahead. Go ahead and do that but don't come crying to the Democratic party if McCain actually wins in the Fall and you have a far worse housing crisis and more bloody years in Iraq. The blood of our troops and more innocent Iraqi's be on your own selfish stubborn hands. If you vote McCain then you deserve the results. Just go ahead and dig your own graves and then fall into them.

    June 1, 2008 12:51 am at 12:51 am |
  19. JC

    Let me get this straight, Hillary Clinton kitchen sink strategy failed and now it's Obama fault. Hillary you got a lot of work to do, unbrainwashing your crazy voters. Good luck!

    Viva la Obama 08!!!!!!

    June 1, 2008 12:51 am at 12:51 am |
  20. Adebayo Ajagunna

    The Clinton campaign is not only damaging their party's chances of winning the general elections, it is also seriously damaging America's global position as the champions of democracy.

    What can America's leaders now teach 3rd world sit tight leaders like Mugabe, when someone who is seeking America's highest office will discount laid down rules, and say and do anything to suit a win at all cost objective.

    Clinton has fought a good fight and she has lost narrowly to a better candidate. All this shenanigans: " sit all the delegates in FL and Mi" , "i am stronger in the swing states", "i am more electable, cause the whites will vote for me" are diminishing America's democratic leadership credentials globally and rapidly tarnishing the Clinton legacy.

    It is obvious Clinton somehow thinks her opponent is somehow unworthy of the position, but democracy says the "people's will counts not yours" and the people have chosen Obama.

    June 1, 2008 12:51 am at 12:51 am |
  21. walrus

    Unfortunately the spineless leadership of the Democratic party has substantially lessened the chances that they will win the White House.

    June 1, 2008 12:51 am at 12:51 am |
  22. curious

    it seems to me the superdelegates who supports obama wants obama to win because they want to be in the white house ....even though they know obama dont have much experienced on how to run the country,hhmmm........HILLARY `08

    June 1, 2008 12:52 am at 12:52 am |
  23. Ken

    If you want endless war, another war with Iran, higher taxes on employers who offer healthcare, no real economic reform plan, and a do-nothing wasteful government that is antithetical to everything Hillary has fought for, by all means, Go McCain.

    June 1, 2008 12:52 am at 12:52 am |
  24. James Waghorne

    The Democrat Party's survival now will depend on which ideology personna will rear-up. General Custer or Mahatma Gandi.

    June 1, 2008 12:52 am at 12:52 am |
  25. Lydia

    yeah..yeah...yeah...toothless bulldogs. (Yawn)

    June 1, 2008 12:52 am at 12:52 am |
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