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. Kevin

    It is sad to see these Democrats behaving like this They should learn something from Republicans. Republicans will never vote for Democrats just because their candidates is not chosen..

    No wonder why Democrats always lose...

    June 1, 2008 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  2. Shawn

    So Obama received votes even though there is no way AT ALL to prove for whom those Michigan votes were cast. After seeing how he used "rules" to eliminate competitors in his first Illinois state legislature race, it was a lack of good judgment on his behalf to have his name removed from the ballots without having been required to do so. He should have known better.

    This is the most disgusting, disappointing and anti-American process I have ever witnessed. Arbitrary allocation of delegates is the equivalent of giving electoral votes to a random presidential candidate in November.

    Well I know one thing for sure. My friends, family and peers are voting for Hillary in the fall one way or another. If her name's not on the ballot, she'll get our write-in votes. I'm not one of those Clinton supporters that would vote for McCain over Obama, but that career politician that hasn't accomplished anything in his time in office sure as heck is NOT getting my vote.

    Hillary '08! YES SHE CAN!

    June 1, 2008 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  3. Robert

    Whining Hillary & Supporters, I think Rev Pfleger was very close in his impersonation of Sen. Clinton...and the Clinton supporters (closet Republicans) are acting just like her. What in the world..she and Harold both agreed to the rules along time ago when they were cork screwing into the primaries while under fire from...oops....

    June 1, 2008 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  4. Lorraine Leclerc

    I am discussted with the media and the democratic party. I now see that the vote of the people means nothing. Superdelegates seem to run the party. This is not a party for the people. And as for the media , they should report the results of the election, they should not tell people how to vote.We wage wars in countries to bring them democracy and yet we are losing our democracy here.I will now become an Independent.

    June 1, 2008 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  5. Rick

    All of these Clinton backers who plan to defect will change their tune once she bows out and begins to campaign on the part of Obama. They're all talk.

    June 1, 2008 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  6. Atlian

    According to Howard Dean this morning, the DNC gave Fl and Mi exactly what they asked for. Hillary needs to move on and accept it. And it is quite clear that most of the people who voted uncommitted in Mi were Obama supporters. Why else would they not vote for Hillary?

    June 1, 2008 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  7. TY

    I wonder where Hillary would be standing on these issues if the roles were reversed. I suspect we'd have Obama sitting on the sidelines with no additional delegates from Florida or Michigan.

    This is what happens when you have a person motivated by pursuing their desired end by any means available. It's a shame that she misses that which most Americans understand...that just because you can do something, it's not automatic that they should do that thing.

    If she cares about her country, party, or the people she would represent as president, she should drop from the race after Tuesday's elections are complete. Otherwise, she will destroy her party's ability to be effectively represented in the November presidential election.

    June 1, 2008 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  8. JMS

    As a Clinton supporter, I won't vote for McCain, but I can't vote for Obama either. The more that I learn about Obama, the less I trust him. The manner is which he won his first election was an example of a sleazy politician in action. The hate spewed out by some of his supporters is appalling and is another reason that I won't support Obama.

    June 1, 2008 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  9. krissy

    After this event, I am even more sure of my decision to support Obama as the better candidate. Obama conceded "losses" in both michigan and florida in the spirit of uniting the party. Neither election was fair or democratic but he wanted unity so he compromised.
    Hillary on the other hand, has never understood the word compromise.... has never considered the possibility of caring for something other than herself and her bid for presidency (and she would still lose even with florida and michigan voting fully). Do you think she really cares about democracy?? If she did, would she have signed the pledge a year ago to not count Florida and Michigan AT ALL because they moved up primaries? No, the time to protest was a year ago- then I would believe that Hillary's protest was genuine.
    I hope to never see or hear of hillary again. She is a traitor to the democratic party.

    June 1, 2008 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  10. ellianna

    Harold Ickes certainly has shown Americans what the Clintons and the Clinton Camp view as "MY WAY, OR THE HIGHWAY"!! For a political official who has been around for more than 25 years, to speak up at a Democratic Rules/By-laws Committee meeting, as he did yesterday, and even use cuss words to put forth his point is completely deplorable and "unconscious"! The HRC campaign has been and continues to be the MOST SELFISH and SELF SERVING people I have seen in my entire life. THE RULES ARE THE RULES IN LIFE!! I commend the DNC Committee for their very professional conduct and HONESTY in that meeting yesterday!! HILLARY CLINTON PUTS A NAIL IN HER COFFIN EVERY DAY OF THIS CAMPAIGN!! I CANNOT WAIT UNTIL THIS COMING WEEK WHEN ALL OF THE SUPERS COME MARCHING TOWARDS BARACK OBAMA!!
    AS OF MAY 31, 2008:


    June 1, 2008 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  11. Rick

    We'll see when the general election is over. I am a Clinton delegate who WILL support Obama if he gets the nomination. All I have to do is look at the type of leadership we are leaving, then look at McCain. I shudder at the prospect.

    June 1, 2008 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  12. Scott C

    It's so ridiculous. The Republicans gave Michigan and Florida half votes too.

    It wasn't just the Democrats who punished the two states.

    So why would you vote McCain because of the Florida and Michigan situation?

    Obama won fair and square. Your complaints are just sour grapes.

    June 1, 2008 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  13. Sunshine

    Some explanations are needed here:
    1)How can somebody who can not convincinly win the primary election be more electable than the one who won?
    2) Is DNC greater than Clintons or Clintons greater than DNC?
    3)My grandma always emphasize that I should abide by the rules and show respect to the constituted authority? are things changing.
    4) Why do we have a lot of uneducated people supporting one candidate than
    the other?
    5)Is presidential position a family affair?

    June 1, 2008 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  14. Pax Veritas

    Hillary and Harold better start healing the Democratic riff they are promoting.
    I do believe Hillary wants Obama to lose after seeing yesterday's
    staged outbursts by rowdy and rude followers. How sad.

    June 1, 2008 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  15. Ed, Santa Fe, NM

    I suppose megalomaniac Hillary will run as a 3rd party candidate now... She's all about CLINTONS... I'm sick to death of this harpy and her attitude of ENTITLEMENT.


    OBAMA '08

    June 1, 2008 11:45 am at 11:45 am |

    Wake up Hillary agreed the delegetes would not be seated if they moved the primary up. She thought she would keep Obama from getting the nomonation and didnt need FL and MI. Obama removed his name because he knew the votes wouldnt count if primaries were moved up. He played by the rules and now typical Clinton fashion she is whining because she is losing so wants the rules changed so she can win. Give up Hillary and go back to AK.

    June 1, 2008 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  17. PaSaint

    Hillary – would you like some cheese with your whine?

    This whole affair is a sad commentary on the state of America today. If you whine enough – people will change the rules for you. This was decided – the votes would not count. The only reason this debacle continues is because Hillary and her camp pressured the DMC to reconsider through their constant and incessant whining,

    Hill and Co. This is over. You need to concede as graciously as you possibly can and move on. The Republicans are laughing at you and your party as you are dividing your party because of your own personal agenda. If McCain wins – you have helped him do that.

    June 1, 2008 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  18. Nicole Martin

    Clinton supporters,I implore you to be rational. Are you democrats or a zealots? You protest too much. If you demonstrate now, that you condone divisive behavior and party betrayal, what does that say about your initial judgment in candidates? You are saying that you embrace the old, ugly politics and therefore your fervent support of Clinton presents a very dubious picture. Your behavior reflects on her. The uglier it gets, the worse she looks. You dishonor her and all she is supposed to represent.

    June 1, 2008 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  19. Gin Denison

    After watching DNC Rules Committee proceedings I was a bit let down. I truly did not believe Mr. Obama should have been awarded the large number of delegates he was given.

    So here we are at the 11th hour and I am concerned. It is possible, depending on who Senator McCain selects as his running mate I, too, may have to vote Republican. Mr. Obama causes me concern – everyday we hear more things about him and his past that cause additional concern. I don't think I can vote for him. To be fair we will wait to see who he selects as his running mate before making a final decision, but, I am so very disappointed that we are this late in the race and finally we begin to hear things about the "Rock Star's" personal life, how he runs a campaign using dirty tactics, that are as disconcerting as most rock stars. The media sold a bill of goods, hope it turns out to be as good as they kept telling us it was!


    June 1, 2008 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  20. Jerry Roselle, Illinois

    When you vote for Hillary this is what you wind up with!

    June 1, 2008 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  21. Dave

    Do any of these Obama clowns know why the members of the Democratic Party violated the rules in Florida? A Republican
    controlled florida congress made sure a referendum which
    would take billions from the Social Services of Florida was
    put up for a vote on Jan 29 along with the Democratic Primary.
    The Democratic Party needed to get out the vote for that
    referendum and the Democratic Primary. The asked the
    Democratic Parry several times within the rules if they could
    be allowed to vote early so they could defeat this referendum
    and the DNC would not allow it, They were set up by a DNC
    and the Republican party to make sure that Obama, a sure
    loser in the general election once the Rezko trial shows how
    corrupt he is. Check out Pringle pieces iin Oped news. Just
    put Oped into the search engines. It is a progressive site and
    not a conservative one. What a bunch of fools you are to
    buy into this guy Obama.

    June 1, 2008 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  22. Sinbad

    To each and every person that thinks the deals made yesterday were not fair:

    Florida and Michingan broke the rules thereby giving the DNC the RIGHT and RESPONSIBILITY to implement the automatic consequences, which is 50% of the vote. NOW you want to blame Obama!! For what!! The DNC wanted to take ALL of their votes and negate them. Clinton recognized that these two states did not FOLLOW THE RULES!! She even went so far as to record an ad in New Hampshire that they wouldn't count, signed an affidavit that she agreed to the conditions in FL and MI. She FLIP FLOPPED ON THE ISSUE! She wants ALL the votes counted RIGHT! What about those extra 30,000 votes that wrote in for Obama. That her own supporters on the DNC said "OH NO we don't want those counted!" I guess disenfranchising some voters is okay as long as their not for you! To put if another way, if OBAMA said, NO, do not give in make sure that the harshest penalty is implemented, Clinton wouldn't have gotten a single delegate, and FL and MI would still be staning on the outside looking in. They're not, the DNC was absolutely fair, Clinton supporters can not as Donna Brasil put it, "call timeout at the end of the game and change the rules to support their interests" Clinton and her supporters talk about democracy and the will of the people and counting every vote. But they SURE AS HELL DIDN'T WANT THAT YESTERDAY IN THAT MEETING. THEY WANTED ALL THEIR VOTES COUNTED AND NOTHING FOR OBAMA.

    June 1, 2008 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  23. Scottsdale

    DNC is disgrace party. It does not represent the people voices and it does not speak for me. DNC did not give fair count for the Fl. & Mich. voters.

    Time to move on! Go McCain 2008 all the way to the White house.

    June 1, 2008 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  24. MannyG

    Hillary all the way or I'll choke on McCain. I was a registered DEM and now I have registered as NO AFFILIATION. The DNC has got get sht together or give it up. The DNC started tis mess, they should get someone with at least half a brain to clean it up. Pelosi is no better than Harris of FL.

    June 1, 2008 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  25. Jon

    If you're a democrat and you'd have John McCain be president over Obama because you're upset with the results of this campaign cycle, you deserve what you get:
    War, recession, political disharmony, intellectual intolerance, xenophobia, etc.

    Switch parties, please, you're making dems look bad and, quite frankly, we don't need any more negative nellies here!

    Yeah, that's right, I said "negative nellies." DEAL WITH IT!

    June 1, 2008 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
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