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. Ron

    Let them! If these Clinton backers are that selfish and immature, then they deserve to have 4 more years of Bush's continues failed foreign and domestic policies. This has to be one of the top dumbest remarks made by a support.

    For the record, Senator Obama and Senator Clinton agree on the approach to most issue, with only slight variations in the execution of those ideas. Can the same be said of the Republican's canidate? I think not.

    June 1, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  2. jim

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

    I'm not sure what you would like the commitee to do. Say that Obama would not have gotten any votes there. Let's be real you know and I know that would never have happened. Being from Michigan and knowing that our legislator, which is Demacratic, broke the rules is very said and we needed to as a state have to pay a price. You cry being far like my five year old. What they decided is fair. I also voted for Hillary so yes it is sad but it is fair. Let's move on and win this thing.

    June 1, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  3. TD

    Obviously those who will vote for McCain due to the DNC's delegate decision are not paying attention to any issues, just personalities. This country needs to vote out the Republicans before any more damage is done to this country. Voting Democrat (Obama or Clinton) is the first step.

    June 1, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  4. angry white person

    my question is why should obama get half the delegates in mc when his name was not on a ballot he took his name off that was his fault not hillarys yes they did break the rules but it always looks like obama gets the best results on everything (way to go howard dean destroy the voters right) you did not make it as pres. now you will do it through obama to bad he will not win (hillary or mccain 08 )no way to obama

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

    Can someone explain me please why Hilary Clinton did not stop her campaign machine in those both states Florida and Michigan when she knew votes were not supposed to count because of the non-respect of the party rules???? In my opinion, she is responsible of what is happening right now and all the hatred coming from her supporters. What a lack of leadership and hate for democracy. And there are people who wants her as president? With Hilary as president, welcome to the third world war!

    June 1, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  6. Dennis

    For me the issue is not simply the Florida and Michigan delegates, but rather the entire nominating process. Had the nominating process been the same as the Republicans, Hillary would be the nominee. Had all states had primaries (which are more representative) rather than some having caucuses, Hillary would be the nominee. And then add to that the Florida and Michigan debacles and the Democrats have Obama as the nominee. To the DNC I say, your process is flawed. I voted for Hillary here in California, I will not be voting for Obama in November.

    June 1, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  7. Carl

    It is clear by the headlines stating Clinton supporters may support McCain, that America , after years of apparent progress, is still rampant with racism and bigotry. Barack Obama represents the best qualities of not only America, but humanity, and deserves the nomination and the presidency. After 8 years of " W " and the disgrace he and his cadre of criminals ( Cheney, Rove, Rumsfeld, et al.) have brought on America's reputation abroad, it is beyond comprehension how anyone could vote for a Republican.

    June 1, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  8. Michigan

    I support Hillary Clinton

    If Barack Obama speaks on bringing people together, it doesn't take a president to do that job as much as it would to bring the economy back together and our relationships global. When Barack Obama mention what type of change he means in Iowa, it was basically fixing the economy. Who is up for that job more? Hillary Clinton, vote for Hillary.

    Woot Hillary

    June 1, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  9. karen

    I am a 41 year old woman who has a lot of respect for Hillary Clinton. Having said that, I am appalled at her supporters attitudes about supporting John McCain over Barack Obama in November. While these may be emotional threats uttered in the spur of the moment, and may ultimately be empty, her camp can not claim that this has not been a thorough and fair primary campaign. The fact is, for many reasons, Hillary Clinton did not do as well as she had expected. She expected to have the nomination locked up after Iowa and Super Tuesday and therefore agreed to the sanctions imposed against Florida and Washington months back. Now, facing the end of the road, she is now reversing course on the tacit agreement she made with the DNC. Talk about flip-flopping.....

    Truth is, Obama and Clinton have much more in common in terms of their policies that either of them do with McCain. Clinton supporters need to put aside their vitriol and remember that they are Americans first (and can they honestly say more of the Bush agenda is what they want for our country?), Democrats second, and Clinton supporters third. I would love to see a woman in the White House. I would love to see an African American in the White House–but more than anything I would love to see a Democrat in the White House, and I hope Clinton supporters come around. Or it will be more of the same Republican in the White House, only an older more Hawkish version....is that what Clinton supporters want? Really.....

    June 1, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  10. Yash Sinha

    This is very childish decision by DNC. When the official of Michigan and Florida announced their date, they should act that time and not now. When the vote is scheduled and voters vote, it's not voters fault, it's official's fault. DNC should punish the official and not the voters. The vote is fundamental right in democratic society and that right is stripped off by DNC.
    If the system is faulty, Obama should take a stand for his so called "change" and change the rule. In this case it looks like Obama's personal gain over took his much hyped stant "Change we can". He can not deliver what he talks. Then why should people will vote him. A voter will always be neutral and vote who thinks will good for the country and society and who can deliver.

    June 1, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  11. Peter FROM NJ

    HILLARY 08

    June 1, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  12. paul

    hey sore losers just accept it, Hillary has lost it. Even if Hillary were to receive the full delegates she still would be trailing Obama. Face the facts, dont whine about losing.

    June 1, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  13. julie - oakland, ca

    rosa parks broke the rules. because the rules were UNFAIR.

    June 1, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  14. Hilda

    If they want McCain then go for it. What kind of democrats are you. Pick up your crayons and go home. Don't keep crying about the war if you vote for McCain. I would think the people dying in Iraq would be enough to make you see the light, guess not. It is not all about Hillary anymore, and these people are just nuts!!

    June 1, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  15. Anne


    June 1, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  16. Jacklyn Flynn

    A committee of 30 displaced the votes of 600,000 Michigan voters and violated one of our most precious freedoms.

    I am a lifelong Democrat, but I no longer recognize my party. Pelosi and Dean do not reflect my values, and they are living in denial if they think that this decision will unite the party. Given a choice between Obama and McCain, I will be forced to vote for a Republican for the first time in my voting life.

    June 1, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  17. ROO

    They say this now out of emotion, but when it is all said and done. We will unite as a party. No Democrat in their right mind would vote for McCain.

    June 1, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  18. Eleanor

    I Thought the DNC made a fair compromise under the circumstances, they knew full status would not be on the table!
    Hillary Clinton was fine with the status quo until she realized she was losing and then wanted the rules
    changed in the middle of the game ...well guess what ..Life does not work that way!!!
    If she is honorable and devoted to her party and having party unity then she will accept defeat and gracefully bow out. We will soon find out if party unity means more or her own greed for power and big ego!!
    personally I thought her supporters made spectacles of themselves at the meeting, acting like a bunch of unruly kindergarten kids and very immature.I said days ago on CNN that fan support could come back to bite the dems and it could turn nasty and it did.They should have had a closed meeting!
    The super delegates created this fiasco...they could have ended it days ago but they all deluded themselves by saying how exciting this race was!
    All I can say to her supporters is grow up!!! If you vote for McCain out of revenge then you deserve to wallow in the misery of 4 more years of Bush style government, more loved ones getting killed for
    Bushs illegal and immoral war, taxes for the rich and poor economy more forclosures and even higher gas prices!!!!

    June 1, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  19. shaolinPrince

    This is why the youth are voting for Obama so overwhelmingly because Clinton will do anything to win. Florida and Michigan both knew the consequences of their actions before they decided not to abide by the rules. Furthermore, the ones that are pushing for the Florida and Michigan vote to count, what example are you setting for the youth of America. You are telling the youth that it is OK to break the rules if it is to your advantage. The youth of this nation are smarter than most adults realize. They (the youth) can tell when you are being hypocritical, or truthful. The youth of America seems to be more honest than the adults. The adults can learn from the youth and stick to what was established and agreed to before hand. If you show the youth how to circumvent the rules and laws than you cannot become angry when they (the youth) do so because they are only learning from the adults’ example.

    Basically, Clinton tried to breach a contract and if the adults who supported Florida and Michigan (being seated the way they were) they have no right to ever chastise a youth when they flaunt the rules and laws. This is not the example I would want any youth to learn. Maybe society needs to stop saying grow up and start saying revert back to being a youth. The supporters of this breach of contract have no leg to stand on (if it were a court of law) and the youth see this overwhelmingly. No Clinton supporter can see that according to the rules, none of those votes should have counted but they feel their candidate does not need to abide by the rules. What kind of president would Clinton make if she is so willing to break the rules if it suits her agenda. If Clinton felt so strongly about Florida and Michigan, why did she agree to them not counting. Can any of you Clinton supports answer that question honestly? No you cannot and be honest at the same time. Go head and look the youth in the eye and explain why you support breaching the contract and they will no longer respect you because they can look through your hypocrisy.

    June 1, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  20. cecil

    I agree AL, Clinton supporters need to grow up and stop acting like soil brats. Florida and Michigan broke the rules and had to pay a price. Go ahead and vote for McCain. They were never real Democrates anyway.

    Why don't her supporters ask why she agreed, and stop blaming the DNC. She Didn't have to agree, She could of protested loud and clear
    when the other candidates agreed she didn't.. The bottom line is she's losing, and wants to change the rules.

    She has a very bad habit of not knowing what she's signing and agreeing to. Experience 101 know what your agreeing to and signing..
    for. Very poor judgement in political matters.
    When things don't work out, Sen. Clinton and her supporters kick and scream like five year olds until they get there way. Not this time you

    Obama 08

    June 1, 2008 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  21. Nelson

    Each time that Hillary insists to keep running, I get this feeling. She wants Obama loses next Novemeber election, so she could go 4 years later against an unpopular Republican Party and against a 76 years-old, tired and Mr. More/same/as/Bush, John McCain. A local newspaper in NC published this joke: "It should be considered unconstitutional that George Bush aspires for a third term, but now using other name". Yes, It's a joke, but thinking very well, a reality.

    June 1, 2008 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  22. Grant

    Looks like a scorched earth policy by HRC and some of her more fantatical and totally in-denial, supporters. The close fought contest is clearly over to all except those who refuse to accept defeat. I wonder if the Clinton goal now will be to continue to issue threats, launch legal challenges, and push for further discord in the party. All with the aim of undermining Obama and the party in hopes he loses the coming election; then in her mind she will rise up again to rescue the party in 2012. Sadly, only in her dreams. The reality would be a shattered party and the Republicans in power another 4 years – what a legacy she will leave behind. On the other hand, Obama has done a great job of mobilizing new voters, young voters, independents and even some disgruntled Republicans to the Democratic party. Maybe he won't need these bitter Hillary supporters anyway.

    June 1, 2008 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  23. andy

    Of course they do. When she interviewed with Wolfe B. he ask her if Senator Obama were to get the nomination would she support him. Senator Clinton said she would and she would tell the 17 million people who voted for her to vote for McCain . She immediately correct and said Senator Obama. She got her message across and only her supporters caught it. Another intentional mis-speak.

    June 1, 2008 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  24. Wondering

    What would happen if the whole process was changed? ONE primary for both parties...ONE date for all primaries to be held. And while we're at it...get rid of the Electorial College. Let ALL votes count.

    June 1, 2008 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  25. Michigan Voter

    I am a Michigan voter and I am not happy with this decison, the voters should not be the ones punnished for what happened find another way to punish Michigan and Florida not using the voters and cutting our votes in half.

    And as Far as me being a Hillary supporter I am not so sure I will even vote if Obama is the nominee not because of Race just because everyone is so eager for change and think he is it, but lets face it he is the same as Hillary and McCain just everyyone is so blind to see it. Look at his pastors he shares their beliefs but as soon as he is called out about it he turns his back on his church of 20 years? Talk about a switcher. And yesterday at his press conference he couldn't even answer questions he was so nervous, how is he suppose to win the general election with McCain. He just isn't right you keep saying it isn't Hillary's turn but it isn't Obama's turn he needs to come back in 2016 when Hillary is done

    June 1, 2008 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
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