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. Timus

    Obviously Hilary supporters could care less about the rules. Just like her. She is to blame if the party loses in November. There are lemmings on the left and the right that will go whichever way the wind blows. I think the responsible candidate knows that and doesn't throw the entire party under the bus to win.

    June 1, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  2. Jim, a moderate

    Looks like Rush has accomplished his goal of creating chaos amongst the democrats. Hillary's supporters are trying to bully their candidate to the front of the Democratic ticket even though Barack Obama has won more delegates in primaries and caucuses that were officially sanctioned by the Democratic National Committee.

    They want to recognize primaries that were held in violation of the rules. The committee's ruling to strip the delegates was supported by "THEIR" candidate and now that she is losing, they want to change the rules. They talk about being fair but only when it seems to suit Hillary.

    June 1, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  3. Sean

    I've been trying to be understanding of the frustrations felt by Hillary suppoters, but at this point, I find this reaction from some to be childish, selfish and flat out wrong-headed.

    It's disgusting that some people are willing to sentence thousands more of our young troops to death in a continued war by supporting McCain simply to satisfy their petty frustrations. And others who claim to support women's rights are willing to risk having Roe vs Wade overturned by a McCain Supreme Court, also to satisfy themselves.

    How vile. If you're so small-minded that you're willing to sacrifice the lives of others to make you feel like you really stuck one to Obama, then who needs you?

    June 1, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  4. Chip

    The actions of the Clinton campaign to DEMAND all the delegates from non-sanctioned, uncontested primaries is unfair, ridiculous, self-serving and offensive. The thought that the next best action for a Democrat whose candidate doesn't make the cut is to go to MCBush is equally stupid! Have these people lost their minds?

    June 1, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  5. The Political Ninja

    Ok so let me get this straight. Hillary and Obama believe in 95% of the same things. Yet, Hillary supporters will vote Mccain if she loses. You are willing to have another 4-8 years of a Republican because your candidate is not the nominee? I think all Hillary supporters need to take a hard look at this and decide if they want to be responsible for another Bush like administration. If you are willing to go down that road then you were never a democrat in the first place. Smells like the Lieberman virus has struck again!

    June 1, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  6. Hillary4President

    How can you take away 4 delegates that one candidate won and "give" them to the other? It is bad enough that they gave him all of the uncommited votes. The rules of the party say that uncommitted votes must STAY uncommitted. What a farce and yes I will be another proud Democrat that will help to bring BO down in the GE. The DNC has pushed us out. I have been a life long Dem but not this election. Get ready BObots and the DNC for a throncing come November you will have almost half of your own party voting against you. Wait for a bigger blowout than McGovern.

    June 1, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  7. mb1

    didnt clinton and obama both sign off on the "rules" before both ran? now clinton wants the rules changed? give me a break.... her and her supporters should be ashamed of the damage the have done to the democratic party....

    June 1, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  8. Elizabeth in Illinois

    They got what they asked for. They wanted the delegates from Michigan and Florida seated. Those delegates are now seated.

    So it didn't come out totally in favor of Clinton and as a total disadvantage to Obama? Is that the problem?

    Boo-hoo. Be careful what you wish for, Hillary.

    June 1, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  9. Marilyn from Ohio

    Senator Obama and his wife withdrew their membership from Trinity Church due to recent comments from the pulpit there. However, Senator Obama said he will miss the "friendship" of the congregation. This is the congregation I remember seeing standing and applauding the despicable comments about America and the mocking of Senator Clinton, a former First Lady of the United States, and whites. How can a man be president and not distance himself from "friends" like this?

    June 1, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  10. Kate

    I am a Clinton supporter but... these people are making us look bad. I can't believe that people who claim to be Democrats would be so spoiled as to be willing to throw the whole race because they don't get what they want. Come on guys... if you are for Clinton then you believe in her and that means you are far more likely to agree with Obama over McCain. Don't act like a spoiled child and take your toys and go home. In the long run you are just hurting our country and our children.

    June 1, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  11. HRC 08&12


    If he gets it he's going down. I'm campainging ferociously for McCain. I'm an Independant now.

    June 1, 2008 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  12. Mat

    I honestly can't believe the way these Hillary supporters are acting. How childish. Why in the world would you turn to McCain if Hillary didn't get the nomination, the two are vastly different. It's infuriating how childish it is. The Michigan and Florida compromise is very fair. They blantantly broke the rule, they need to be punished, counting all their votes would have just set an example that its okay to break the rules because no consequences will come of it.

    June 1, 2008 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  13. stephanie

    I am an African American woman from Illinois and Yes I will vote for McCain in Nov. why beacuse the DNC can't get its act together and does not deserve my vote!

    June 1, 2008 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  14. Carl

    The Clinton supporters that will vote for McCain are morons. Obama wins even if the rule comm. would have given her Mich as voted and Obama none. As for her popular vote argument, I guess since I am in a caucus state my vote doesn't count!!! Where is her concern for my disenfranchisement? So go ahead and vote for McCain. We will get four more years of Bush crap and Hillary will not get the nomination in 2012. She has ruined her reputation and other than the few nut jobs that still think she can win, she will not get any support in the future. When you do all you can to defeat your own party, you end your own political career.

    June 1, 2008 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  15. carol phillips m.d.

    I was at the protest yesterday with my 79 year old mom and my 3 children. even little ones can see the hypocracy of this "democratic ' party. my 6 y o commented " mommy why do the dems only count 48 states?' and my 9 y o son said he felt ashamed that he was seeing the democratic party act the same way he had just been learning in school the republ;icans acted to superres and deny the vote to african americans the way it was done during the civil rights struggles of the past. I will not vote for Obama and each action he pursues to disenfranchise the 17 million americans who supported senator clinton, makes me more determined to work against all democrats, particularly those high profile ones who have highjacked the nomination for their annointed hubris filled prince. the democratic party has disrespected not just senator clinton but the women, catholics, hispanics, mature americans and realists who support he. this party has left me, and i will work actively this fall to damage it as i believe only through failure will self serving hypocrits like nancy pelosi be pushed aside to return this party to its rightful and consistent constituents. Like after Mcgovern, silly dems can only learn and be serios about our nature through failure. sad....

    June 1, 2008 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  16. Mark from San Diego

    No surprise here – Hillary's stratgey for the last few months has been to attack Obama ensuring a McCain win so she can run in 2012. Hillary has always viewed McCain as a one term president.

    Hillary has only one objective in all of this – to help herself. She learned well from Bill. Both Bill and Hillary have done way more then their fair share of damage to the Dem Party. They should both just leave....the quicker the better.... by the way I am a lifelong Dem.

    June 1, 2008 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  17. Paul, Atlanta, GA

    I and most of my friends will be voting for McCain if Obama is allowed to steal the delegates. All Michigan delegates belong to Hillary as Obama was not even on the ballot there.

    Additionally, where is the separation of church and state when not one, but two of Obama's pastors are very political?

    Time to revoke tax exempt status from these overtly political institutions!

    June 1, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  18. Michigan

    I support Hillary Clinton

    I was shock that they had the audacity to add a poll inside Michigan's primary. Then to make the suggestion that the majority of the people who didn't vote was Barack Obama supporters, which I don't think is true.

    Woot Hillary

    June 1, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  19. Ken

    What senator Clinton and her supporters are trying to do is tantamount to stuffing the ballot box.
    You do not bend the rules of the game in the eleventh hour when it is very evident that your chances of winning the nomination are less than ZERO!!!!. Do the right thing and save some face. Back off!

    June 1, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  20. ?

    I was appalled at how rude the Clinton supporters were on Sat.

    June 1, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  21. gp

    Once more Clintons demostrate how much demage a bad judgement can make.Whole this mess is based on her falsh idea that she can vin. Clintons can talk about experiance but all comes down to RIGHT JUDGEMENT, other vise we see with Bush – as we would with Hilary, how far you can go if you base your decisions on the wrong judgement.Unfortunatelu he is determin as she is to prove that she is right and uses all might to do so. Why we let him to do so, why we let her ?????????

    June 1, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  22. Vincent DeTolla

    This is really not that complicated. Just hold a new election in both Michigan and Florida. Why not? Well, Clinton would win both and most likely make things even more complicated in the selection of Obama.

    The Democratic Party has chosen to solidify long term black support by nominating Obama. The general election in November will be a landslide win for McCain.

    Four years from now Edwards will be in a position to heal the party – this is why he chose to support Obama.

    Anyone that can add and is honest enough to admit race is THE issue knows the general election is lost.

    I am a livelong Democrat and 60s liberal and retired Political Science educator. I will vote for Obama in the General. Unfortunately I am also a realist.

    June 1, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  23. paul, nyc ny

    I am one of them. I think Hillary would be good for the country. A strong woman with the determination to do battle for what she believes is right for us. It is clear that it will be hard for her to get the nomination with delegates but the popular vote issue is something that must be looked at when Barack is nominated in whether he asks her to be VP. (He should)

    But that being said, I have great respect for McCain. I also think he is a strong man with the determination to do battle for what he believes is right for us. I am a gay man and I can be happy with that decision.

    Barack is a good man but not strong. His words yesterday about resigning from his church were more about the media making an issue than with him being disgusted with the way his 'spiritual leaders' conduct themselves. Its your church for 20 years. If it was not a sermon on Hillary, could it been a sermon on gay lifestyle or marriage, on white people as a whole, on latinos? It is more for me about what is being said all the time because after 20 years I am certain you have heard something UTTERLY disgusting that you would have walked away a long time ago.

    I'm gay and catholic. I have left many churches where I feel that my life was being disrepected. I remain Catholic but attend a church were the words are more peaceful and less hateful. Barack you would haave been a better man if you made that choice.

    June 1, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  24. JR

    Hiliary Clinton didn't have a problem not counting Florida and Michigan until she needed them. Even one of her own adivisers sits on the rules committee that took the votes away. Rules are rules, but I once heard a Clinton supporter say "Rules are meant to be broken:" Sounds like the last 8 years. Nothing worse than bad losers.

    June 1, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  25. Marge Hibbing Mn

    You got that right...from the outset of this campaign the insiders in the democratic party were blinded by the show of the drugged out zonked out American Idol type supporters of obama that confiscated the TV. And the good old white boy bloggers like olbermann and matthews who surely must be afraid of a strong women took it up and the wimpy ones added to the fuel.

    The rock bed solid base of the democrat party because they were not as flashy and did not have the blogs and the TV frontage were ignored. No more.

    This Democratic Party has collasped and who is to blame obama and his supporters. We will now see what he can do except sit on his butt in front of the buttons in the Illinois senate and ignore every thing except pushing present and in the US senate not even doing that and the dumb butt DNC thinks he can garner the support of the people who want a president to run the country, not one who can smirk, chant wave and dance...we had eight years of that. WE WANT TO GET SOMETHING DONE. Just think if obama the bummer doesn't know which button to push (his excuse for voting present) do you think he will start an nuclear war by accident?

    YEP WE ARE STARTING TO ORGANIZE NOW ""DEMOCRATS FOR MCCAIN""' obama will be a name that will live in infamy in the democratic party...he did what the republicans couldn't do..DESTROY OUR PARTY.

    June 1, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
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