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)

    TO ROBIN- Oh yeah the Obama held restraint and were oh so nice. BULLCRAP!! i WONDER WHERE YOU WOULD HAVE BEEN ONCE THE DECISION HAD GONE THE OTHER WAY. DGIVE ME THAT PEACFUL RESRAINT BUSINESS THAT THESE AND YOUR PEOPLE HOLD. WE'VE SEEN YOUR RESTRAINT LIKE LOS ANGLES FOR INSTANCE. We Hillary supporters will show you restraint also. Come november you will see outstanding peaceful restraint of our hands staying away from the Obama block.

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

    Why wouldn't Hillary take this to the convention? We all know she does not want a Obama win the general elction just so that she can run in 2012. I love American and I think Obama will be better for the country than McCain. I think a lot of Hillary supporters are point blank racist and will not vote for the black side of Obama (remember he is half white). To those Hillary supportes planning on voting for McCain, Four years from now I will laugh at you just as I laughing at my neighboors who had to move because they cannot afford to pay for their house. When they were so high on BUSH 8 years ago I warned then and they would not listen. So I am warning you, take the high road and support who ever the democrats are sending to the general election

    June 1, 2008 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  3. JeffRob

    Any "Democrat" who was supporting Clinton but will vote for McCain, will then join in having the blood of 4000+ US soldiers and 600000+ civilian Iraqis on their hands, a privalage once reserved for neocons only.

    Democrats Unite! Obama 08! Troops home NOW!

    June 1, 2008 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  4. Mark

    If Clinton's people want to go for the republicans let them it will show the world the good ole USA true color Red WHITE and blue. and we deserve $10 a gallon gas and to keep our troops in Iraq for 200 hundred years

    June 1, 2008 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  5. wah wah

    oh my god!! clinton supporters DO NOT UNDERSTAND... that everyone didnt vote in Florida and Michigan cause they are uneducated. Is that not what her voters are? how can it count when not everyone voted because they new it WOULDNT count. CRYBABIES! SORE LOSERS! Go ahead and vote for McCain and do OPPOSITE of what Hillary wants! Hillary told her supportes to UNITE and they wanna vote REPUBLICAN!!! I guess they dont know what the word UNITE is... GRAB a dictionary!!! let me spell it again for you all.... U N I T E got it???

    June 1, 2008 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  6. TJ1

    This just shows that these people were never really Democrats. Their only issue was having a women President regardless of that candidates position on the issues.
    In that way it follows the model of the southern Democrats who abandoned the Democratic party when it made the decision to support civil rights.
    The party has to build on principles that guide it, and not to litmus test voters who will switch party allegiance depending on which candidate they view at the time as best to advance their single issue.
    Good riddance.

    June 1, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  7. puerto rican voter

    go ahead and vote for mcsame clinton supporters.. more of our soldiers gettin killed... economy in a mess and will get worse with mcsame.
    you are all nuts..
    barack is the man with a real plan
    hilary is nothing but a mouth full of lies and deseat....
    go obama my man

    June 1, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  8. Hugh

    I, too, have had it with the DNC. "Play by the rules?" Their rules are
    arbitrary, subject to change at their discretion. They changed their rules
    when they gave a waiver to South Carolina and Nevada for early
    primaries, therefore, blessing those states and cursing MI and FL.
    I'm leaving the Dem. party, becoming an independent. I doubt that
    anybody cares, but Obama WILL NOT win the election with my vote.

    June 1, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  9. Mary

    After seeing how these people treated Obama and his supporters- and setting up an example that if the candidate i snot chosen- then vote for someone else..do these morons really think Hillary can get Obama's support if she ever needs it.

    I am very angry with these Democrats. Way to go- no wonder why Republicans always win.

    Bush must be laughing loud at this moment and McCain must be celebrating....

    June 1, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  10. JWB

    I guess that is a good reason to not nominate Clinton, given the fact that in the eyes of her hard core supporters she represents the same values as McCain.

    June 1, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  11. manubi

    This is short sighted. Both senator Obama and Clinton share the same core value while GOP nominee is pro-life, pro-rich, pro-war, and lack of social responsibility. I can't believe people who support Clinton would actually turn away from their principle and vote for somebody as a form of revenge.

    We are electing somebody to lead our country to a brighter future. This is NOT a joke where you go out and vote because your candidate does not get chosen. THINK about it.

    June 1, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  12. ricardo williams

    Hillary Clinton is a traitor and incitor to mislead her supporters into thinking she was unfairly treated. She is sore loser. She should bow out of the race and start the healing of the party. Every day her supporters appear dumber and dumber. They don't understand the serious crisis facing this country because of the war in Iraq. Obama will be President and when he becomes President he will go to Iraq and bring home the troops.

    June 1, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  13. sandra

    So rules are good when they are good to me? Did I get right?

    June 1, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  14. Shawn

    Who cares? Just look at them! Their behavior at yesterday's meetings and all over the message boards is appalling. All they are doing is highlighting WHY they don't deserve their nominee as the Democratic candidate. We're better off without them.

    BYE! Don't let the door hit you on the way out of the Democratic party. Personally, I think it's hilarious that they'll switch sides just to lose – AGAIN!

    Ha Ha.

    June 1, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  15. RB

    Wow, you Clinton supporters are just shameful!

    June 1, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  16. Al

    If these people decide to vote for John MCcain instead of Obama because of the delegate situtation. They were NEVER Democrats in the 1ST PLACE

    June 1, 2008 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  17. Sick of Two-Faced Hillary

    Why has no one mentioned that she was the only one that had her name on the ballot because she was the only one to disregard her SIGNED PLEDGE to disregard those states? If she breaks her word (even in writing) that easily, doesn't that just add to the credibility problems she has already created for herself?

    Truth and fairness mean NOTHING to this woman! She will do anything to get the presidency, clearly. She let THAT slip with the Bobby Kennedy reference. I wouldn't put anything past her; not destruction of the party, the country, or another human being. She is maniacal.

    You lost, woman! Go home!

    June 1, 2008 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  18. Tony

    They should ask themselves if they are better of today than they were 8 years ago. I am not and have decided to turn the page.

    June 1, 2008 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  19. Williams

    Do you honestly believe Obama went to church every Sunday for twenty years! Who goes to church that often except for deacons, the choir, and my grandparents. Have some common sense before you judge someone for what others say. It won’t be the end of the world for an African American to be president. Would we be a true melting pot if only white Americans were allowed to lead the nation? Do you honestly believe Obama could single handily destroy white Americans rights? Hell no he couldn’t. Stop letting your futile theories dwindle your better judgment.
    If your not already in the military than you will be next year once Mccain gets in office. WHEN he declares war against Iran there will be a draft. Common sense should tell you that. Look at recruitment ,and we're just fighting on two fronts in low intensity conflicts!
    If you don’t believe me than study the terrain. A mountainous country with the Black sea to it’s north. Our wonderful Navy can’t get in Black Sea without a bloody fight. And Russia can supply them as long as the war transpires. Don't fall victom again to people telling you we will be greeted as liberators!
    For all of you ignorant of tactics basically I’m saying it will be a ground war won with the sacrifice of your children’s blood and the money in your pocket. We will win but at what cost and for what at all? Gas will still be $4 or more. Choose wisely who you vote for in November regardless of race we’re all Americans to the World.

    June 1, 2008 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  20. Chris

    It is too late for her to run as an Independent. She will not be able to get in even half of the ballots. Remember Ralph Nader started his independent run in February and even then, he could not get into half of the ballots.

    So HIllary should bow out gracefully and rally behind Obama.

    June 1, 2008 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  21. Barbara - 65 yr old white female in NC

    I think each person that votes for McCain should have 1 person in their family sign up immediately for WAR..

    A vote for McShame is a vote for the draft (your kids? husband? grandchildren?) and you should be ashamed.

    June 1, 2008 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  22. Caryn, WDC

    It's very interesting to me how Barack Obama was able to control his supporters, who all behaved in a respectful manner. In contrast, the Clinton supporters acted like wild beasts yelling and being very disrespectful to the committee.

    Have you people ever heard of a compromise? Obama could have won a 50-50 seating in Michigan but in the name of party unity he conceded and agreed to a 69-59 seating.

    Clinton, you and your supporters disgust me. There's no place for you in our White House.

    June 1, 2008 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  23. lara

    Even Hillary Clinton has stated that her and Obama have more shared principles and values than her and McCain. Clinton and McCain are polar opposites...how could anyone turn the Supreme Court, the economy, the environment or foreign policy over to the Republican Party? If you are rooting for Hillary you need to honor her values and her principles and stick with the Democratic party.....vote Democrat in the general election.

    June 1, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  24. JMarie

    I am not strongly for any candidate, Dem or Rep. (And I'm a >50y female).

    The rules should have been followed, and no delegates seated from Fl or MI.

    DNC folded; they compromised, but by not following their own rules, they have left the door open for more noise this election season, and 2012 will be the Wild Wild West of make-your-own-rules elections.

    democracy weeps.

    June 1, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  25. jean from orlando

    talk about lack of common sense. 1st off Hillary and her supporters begged for the party to count MI & FL – and know their screaming bloddy mary because the DNC did not allow them to hijack the nomination for HRO. The thing that gets me – is that the supporters of HRO (mainly woman) that say they will vote for McCain if HROis not the nominee – well go head – i mean vote for a man who is anti-woman movement – anti equal pay for woman, anti-pro choice, and a candidate who feels like a woman is inferior to man...After you vote for McCain – let's see how much better your lives are as woman when it's all said in done.

    Common sense is a virtue

    June 1, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
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