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. Gin Denison

    The DNC has let down the members of the Democratic party. Folks who make comments need to remember the foundation of the DNC. While the Rules Committee focused on "following the rules" – they lost the voice of right and the foundation of the party.

    I am certainly not a Republican, however, I am quite disappointed by the lack of leadership by the DNC. I do not want to vote Republican and this may be the first time in my voting history that I cannot vote for either presidential candidate.


    June 1, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  2. FactCheck

    Let the Clinton supporters vote for McCain. He can cut off their social security, and healthcare. By the next election cycles, they'll all be homeless, jobless and/or dead.

    June 1, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  3. Wayne

    I watched the entire DNC meeting yesterday and all I heard was Hillary Clinton supporters yelling, whistling, and protesting throughout the entire event. I saw not One Obama supporter acting as irrational or barbaric as they did.

    June 1, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  4. Adam

    I watched the committee meeting and this is absolutely rediculous! Ofcourse Obama is satisfied because he lost those two large states BIG and this just lets him come away with a smaller loss! The voices of the people in MIchigan and Florida will NOT be heard with this solution. How can someone who received 55% of the popular vote in a state only come out with a 5 vote (10 delegate) lead! THAT'S INSANE! And... so what if Florida's delegation will get seated, they only get 1/2 of a vote which may represent the overall opinion of the voters but not to the extend it should! That just cuts Clinton's lead in half in a state that she won hands down.... I will be changing my voting status to Independent... obviously this party who has the word "democracy" in it's name does not truly care about the people.

    June 1, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  5. joanne

    iam 62 and have votes for democrats in every election. the dnc wants obama . they can have. i am out of the party and wil vote for john mccain.

    June 1, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  6. Anne

    FL and MI state party officials - the superdelegates and not the voters - made the decisions to hold early primaries and break the rules.

    They, the superdelegates, should have been penalized by losing their vote at the convention, not the delegates representing the voters' voices. The voters' delegates should have been seated at full force and the superdelegates barred.

    The voters have been 50% disenfranchised by this decision which they did not make or control.

    June 1, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  7. Jason

    Anyone who chooses to vote for McCain over one of the Democratic nominees obviously does not truly believe in the principles of either candidate. Their voting records and policy positions are 90% the same, and drastically, drastically different than McCain and Bush.

    We don't have room for groupies who care more about their candidate's popularity than the future of this country. We cannot afford to have bitter fools vote for McCain just because their preferred candidate loses. Do you want more wars? Do you want to be drafted into a war with Iran?

    Do you want your children to be?

    Anyone who votes for McCain, for any reason, will be directly responsible for the horrors that come. Think about that the next time you presume to threaten the country over your popularity contest.

    June 1, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  8. M Johnson

    Ok, so let Harold Ickes and his angry, drooling mob drag this tantrum to the convention. I hope, after the smoke clears they will all love the next four years under McCain.

    June 1, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  9. Deem Heemer

    I think that those Clinton supporters who refuse to vote for Obama and would rather vote for McCain need to remember the last 8 years. The Republican party bows down to corporations and are puppets for the oil companies – not to mention the fact that the Republican's leaders, especially George Double-yuh Bush are idiots. It wasn't only George Bush that was responsible for disasters like Iraq and the response to hurricane Katrina, it was his advisers, his entire administration, and that includes John McCain.

    It's voters like these that are causing America to lose its domination on the world stage and go into recession. Support your party, not your candidate, and America will prosper again. Vote Republican, I guarantee that nothing good will come of it, and you will aid in America's current downward spiral.

    June 1, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  10. David Goldman for OBAMA






    June 1, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  11. Reggie

    Anyone EXCEPT Obama. Our country and the world cannot afford to have him as president.

    June 1, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  12. TD

    I think all Clinton supporters who agree with this statement and plan to abide, should go to McCain as none of you who would do such a thing is not a true Democrat in the first place. The best person won and end of story. Why not let's unify and move forward. If Hillary Clinton had been the nominee, I know this one Obama supporter would be behind her 100% for the good of the party.

    June 1, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  13. Hahaha the DNC is funny

    This borders on tribalism. It's hillarious to watch as Americans condemn the budding democracies in Africa and the Middle East for the seemingly close-minded "follow the leader" type politics that so often happen in these countries. Where a family name and a particular race or religion are enough to win elections. But I'm having a hard time recognizing the difference in what is going on in the DNC today.

    June 1, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  14. sewong

    Why is everybody blaming Obama for the mess in Florida and Michigan?Before the Clintons didn´t care about the voters in these states.It´s really funny how the media are playing this right into her hand.They broke the rules,their delegates shouldn`t be sitted period.the debate is the same like the immigration debate.amnesty or no amnesty. .Clinton`s folks can´t stand the fact that an underdog out play her.She has her self to blame.They know that the chances are really really high for the democratic nominee to become president.she is just an egoist self center politician.

    June 1, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  15. andy

    I have a feeling the protesters outside would not have been satisfied unless the Rules Committee had devised a solution where Hillary was retroactively awarded all of the delegates from the states Obama fairly won.

    For the record, I voted for Hillary, and I think she would have been a good president before she and her people began insulting our intelligence with this Florida/Michigan brou-ha-ha. Now I believe she and her surrogates have zero integrity, and I will happily vote for Barrack Obama in November. Not all Hillary supporters are rapid lunatics like those who attended these protests. However, I'm not sure how any rational Hillary supporter can still justify their support. I sure can't.

    June 1, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  16. Pat from NC

    That anger is irrational. Who are they trying to hurt? Themselves? If they believe in Hillary and her views are almost exactly the same as Obama's, why would you support opposite views? The nation has spoken; more people believe in Obama's leadership skills. He didn't throw kitchen sinks, he organized well, presented issues well, and earned the nomination.

    June 1, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  17. Brian

    As a former Bush voter and a Hillary supporter who would have voted Democrat, my vote will be going McCain.

    June 1, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  18. Jenn

    Hillary supporters are behaving like children. We can only hope that they all grow up before November.

    June 1, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  19. Kevin

    Interpretation: "If we can't win the game by cheating, we'll take our marbles and go home!"

    Clinton initially agreed to the rules committee until it wasn't convenient to do so. When faced with the likely possibility of losing, she quickly changed her mind.

    A typical Hillary do-what-ever-it-takes mentality.

    June 1, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  20. Raj K

    Greatest democracy? How can a person who polled zero votes get 32 delegates in Michigan. It is more like elbowing out your opponent through power and influence.

    June 1, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  21. dennis from texas

    how you win an election..... declare the U .S. to have 48 states.... when elected give them back their votes...... make sure the people know you gave them back full delegate strength......allow the two states to join the union....... do not allow a revote that was completely paid by an outside group......this action would be too democractic..... always wear your flag pin.... it looks good on tv.......if you really want to win an election write in on the ballot HILLARY CLONTON..... let the DNC know that you care....

    June 1, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  22. barbara

    Congratulations to the Rules committee for sorting through a no-win situation and agreeing to the compromises suggested by the Florida and Michigan delegations.

    If Hillary fights their decision to the Credentials committee or to the convention, it will only be to sabotage Obama or to extort a vice-presidential appointment. She'll become persona non grata in the Democratic party, especially if McCain wins in November.

    June 1, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  23. suz

    Obama certainly worked the rules to get where he is now, yet his supporters disparage Sen. Clinton for working rules to her advantage. Let's give voters credit for the way they voted, and divert the correct number to Clinton–our next President!

    June 1, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  24. Amy from MI

    We in Michigan were told by the DNC that our votes would not count. I voted uncommited anyway, knowing my vote would not count. Some of my Democratic neighbors voted in the Republican primary, knowing their vote would not count. Most of my neighbors stayed home and didn't vote, knowing their vote would not count. And now the DNC has decided that the votes count? How anyone (Clinton) can believe that these votes in any way reflect the true will of the Michigan people is beyond me. The DNC should be ashamed of themselves for backing down.

    June 1, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  25. SIck of it all

    I'm sick and disgusted by everyone in this primary. Clinton, Obama, McCain. All the same. I'm a Clinton supporter but a Democrat first. I won't vote for McCain nor Obama. I right now I wouldn't vote for Clinton.

    June 1, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
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