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. NG in DC

    There is a solution that would appease many many of us Clinton supporters - not all of us, but many:

    Obama/Clinton 08: The speeding ticket to the White House.

    June 1, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  2. Addam

    It's obvious now that Clinton will do anything to get into the Whitehouse, even split the Democratic party in two and essentially hand the Republicans the White House for another four years. Everyone agreed Florida and Michigan violated the rules that were AGREED upon. Obama removed his name from the ballot in Michigan as did just about every other candidate but CLINTON! Why? Because she could forsee an opportunity to use the Michigan votes and also the Florida votes if needed, which she is doing now. I never understood why a Clinton supporter would vote for McCain in the fall. His policies are complete polar opposites and if you believe in what Clinton supposedly believes, how can you support someone who would fight for none of those issues? Spite? Are you that petty? I always said I would vote Democrat in November regardless who won the primary because if you look at their stance on the issues, they are almost identical. After reading this article and seeing that Clinton will stop at nothing, if by some chance she is the nominee thanks to the Superdelegates, I simply won't vote for President in November, because voting Republican for me isn't an option because of all the things that they DON'T stand for and the Democracts DO.

    June 1, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  3. hsl

    There is more to it than just Senator Clinton's supporters being petty when they say they will vote for McCain.
    While I would not vote Republican I am at a real loss at what to do if Senator Obama gets the nomination.
    I cannot, in good conscience, vote for him.
    I think it would be an injustice to myself and my family and to my country.
    I am entitled to feel that way the same as those who are not in support of Senator Clinton.
    In a country of brilliant experienced people this is what it boils down too?

    June 1, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  4. 58 old white ladies for OBAMA






    June 1, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |


    June 1, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  6. mike

    let all those big babies vote for McCain, who will they be punishing Obama, or themselves. I hope McCain gives them exactly what they deserve, another 4 years of Bush. Besides since when do people put Hillary infront of whats best for them, there family, and community, certainly thats what they would be doing by voting for McCain.

    June 1, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  7. John W in NC

    Diehard Clinton supporters did not like the Michigan outcome? OK, let's go back to a 50/50 split or as Clinton said, "Michigan does not count.." Perhaps the Rules committee should not have given the Clinton campaign anything in Michigan or Florida. They certainly do not seem to appreciate it.

    June 1, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  8. Penny

    I will be voting for Sen. Clinton in November regardless of whether or not her name is on the ballot. If she's not on there I will be voting for her as a write-in candidate.

    June 1, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  9. American living in Canada

    Even if Hillary received all of the Michigan delegates, she STILL wouldn't be able to catch Obama. GIVE IT UP HILLARY! Admit you've lost and be graceful about it!!! You're the one dividing the party....and you call yourself a uniter. Yeah right....

    June 1, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  10. Juro

    'Let's go McCain!'

    This alone proves Hillary supporters know nothing about politics.

    They won't like McCain.

    (But that's not the point, isn't it?)

    June 1, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  11. white guy in Mississippi

    Clinton supporters who decide to back McCain are just sore losers. It's time to get behind our nominee, Barack Obama. He is an excellent candidate, and he will make a historic President who could be as important for this country as JFK.

    Go Obama '08!

    June 1, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  12. Ron L


    June 1, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  13. Dan - Atlanta

    Many of the Clinton votes, especially in the latter states where she won big, had results inflated by Repuiblicans crossing over to prevent an Obama nomination. As we can see, those Republican votes are going home now that there is no mischief to be made.

    June 1, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  14. rabbit851

    Lets see, we have a candidate that while it looks ike things are going her way, agrees to the rules of her party but when things start going against her she wants to change the rules. Can you trust anything she says when she changes her mind on such fundamental issues as the rules of her party?

    June 1, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  15. Eric Grose

    The 2 states in question? They were just told that everyone who voted that they only counts as a 1/2 a person a piece.Are you kidding me????!!! They also told those 2 states that what you want does not matter.I am a registered Democrate, I will not vote for Obama,and I will not vote for McCain.If Mrs. Clinton does not win the nomination,I sincerley hope she runs on the Independant ticket so I can vote for her.

    June 1, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  16. Lisa

    I feel like if this was Obama that was so far behind, I would feel bad and mad, but I sure hope I would not take it that far

    June 1, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  17. Mike Peach

    My Florida vote only half counted, so myself as well as my wife and many friends will vote Republican come Presidential election time.

    June 1, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  18. carl Indep.Mo.

    I just can't understand why Obama took his name off the ballot in Michigan?...Who cares if he was told that it wouldn't count. What would it hurt if he left it on there? Hillary decided to keep her name on the ballot, it wasn't going to hurt anyone..Super Tuesday John Edwards was left on ballots and he was already out of the race..no harm done!...

    June 1, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  19. ny college

    HILLARY or McCain '08 the "freshman" senator Obama is not ready to run this country yet

    June 1, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  20. Jane

    Whey did they give the uncommited votes completely to Obama not Edward? Did they claim Edward was dead even before he quitted the campaign? Riduculous and disgusting.

    June 1, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  21. Stacked

    Wanting all votes for a stacked primary is wrong. I guess that is what was expected. What baffles me is why on one is angry with the state officials who moved the primaries up! Do they still have their jobs. The people in those states voted for them. You cant be angry at the candidates! Or the DNC.

    Why is it now fashionable to out-ly disregard rules that have been followed for years just because it does not suit you!

    And not to vote for someone who shares nearly all the ideals of the candidate you are choosing but is fairly loosing is crazy! ITS CRAZY. This is not a personal fight, its so we can get the country back.

    So people would rather live in 4 more years of this, then vote the partys choice.


    June 1, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  22. TT

    Hey lets ask Clinton who would SHE vote for in November, granted she looses the nom???????

    June 1, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  23. Amy from MI

    Great, they'd rather support the candidate who will give us 100 more years in Iraq, more of the Bush economic policies, outrageous gas prices, etc. If they vote Republican they get what they deserve. Clinton should be encouraging her supporters to unite the party, but she herself is a divider so it doesn't surprise me at all!

    June 1, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  24. Joe Brown

    If Hillary isn't the nominee, then I will be voting for McCain unfortunately. I'm a Republican, and I'm not happy with the direction of the country. However, replacing a right wing nut with a left wing nut isn't the answer. Hillary or McCain 2008!

    June 1, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  25. Jamille Hall

    Way to go Clinton supporters!! It will be because of you that this country will have to suffer for the same failed George Bush policies. I hope you have fun filling up your gas tank when it reaches 5-6 dollars a gallon. Just remember don't complain about the economy when McSame gets elected......IT WILL BE YOUR FAULT!!!!!!!

    June 1, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
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