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. Mike

    If Hillary's and Obama's platforms are but, say, 20 degrees apart, but their platforms are a near 180 degrees from McCain, why, other than race or MSGS [1], would Hillary supporters vote for McCain?

    [1] Major Sour Grapes Syndrome

    June 1, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  2. Democrats Unite Against 3rd Bush Term

    Go ahead and vote for China to emerge as the worlds superpower as we waste trillions of dollars on senseless wars that will outstretch our military and make us weaker against terrorists... Go ahead... I hope your grandchildren get the opportunity to thank you for destroying our nation.
    What happened to Russia after wasting all it had on senseless wars?

    Wake up people...

    June 1, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  3. John D

    This was as fair as it could be, given the circumstances. The fairest thing would have been to uphold the DNC's prior statement, that these were just beauty contests. For now, if Hillary wins the rest of the delegates, she will be the nominee, and I will support her. If she doesn't, I will support Obama. This is simple. I am in Florida and did not vote because I was told my vote would not count.

    June 1, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  4. Eric

    This is a clear indication of why we don't want Clinton as President. She attracts the far-right extremist ideology that the country is trying to desperately to rid itself of.

    June 1, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  5. Sally

    The people who are saying they will vote for McCain, were not going to vote for Senator Obama anyway. The Clintons have suceeded in making the Democratic party a mess. The nerve of the Clintons to speak of how much they love this country. Its pathetic that the Clintons are whinning and complaining because things are not going their way. This is not about them, but about what this country needs in fixing the mess Bush has made. Bill and Hillary have shown the country their true colors. The votes in Florida and Michigan should not have been counted at all.

    June 1, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  6. Robert

    Well, finally the Democrats get to know about Hillary what the Republicans have known for 16 years.

    Hopefully it won't take them 16 years with Obama.

    June 1, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  7. Coleman R. Brice, Asbury Park, NJ

    Anyone voting for McCain out of spite instead of serving their democratic principles aren't even mature enough to vote. they should go back to the sand box and learn how to play fair and lose gracefully.

    There shouldn't have been ANY compromise. Florida and Michigan broke the rules.

    When elected leaders in the highest positions of government disrespect rules and truth itself, do we even have a civilized society anymore?

    June 1, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  8. Bitter Allen Hussein, Visalia CA

    Stephanie says>>You should of bowed out and ran again when it was your turn.>>

    The real pity was that her time was in 2004. She would have been a much stronger candidate than Kerry and we would all be working on her re-election campaign now.

    June 1, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  9. Reyna

    Hillary Clinton continues to divide our great country. I have never knew of her to be so selfish...she only cares about herself....not the democratic party, not her supporters...she will stop at nothing to win..even if it means playing all the dirty tricks....

    its sad to watch the "undecided superdelagates" to sit on the sidelines...they know what the outcome is,...they know tthey can end it....make your decision now...stop allowing the Clintons to continue to make a mockery of our demoncratic process....THE WORLD IS WATCHING.

    June 1, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  10. RGuillermo

    The Democratic Party will nominate a Presidential candidate that will not win in the General Election. It is so obvious that Barack will not win due to the states he won against Hillary are traditionally Republican States (the red states). I predict that McCain will be the next President and the Democrats will lick their wounds again for the next 4 years......

    June 1, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  11. doc4nuts

    This all becoming tiring. Dems who vote for McBush should no longer have the gall to complain when he is elected. You asked for it, you got it!

    June 1, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  12. PJ

    Well, The Clinton supporters are going to take their marbles and go home to the horrible politics that got our country in it's current mess. What kind of folks would act against their own best interests?? I guess it's the same ones that voted for George W. before, so lets just wipe their mud off the democratic party and get on with beating John McCain in November. Obama has acted with more restraint against the spoiled-child antics of Hillary than I could have. He is going to be the next president and I am looking forward to not seeing Hillary's pantsuit again.

    June 1, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  13. Floyd Crisp

    ICKES needs to get real. Hillary was given delegates she didn't have until yesterday and she was given more than anyone else. A primary with only one candidate for any reason on the ballot is a joke. As Dodd just said, they all agreed to not run in FLA and MI. The Hillary campaign needs to knock it off.

    June 1, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  14. Thomas Lydon

    Nothing more un-American than 30 people choosing for 2.6 million.

    June 1, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  15. Walt Lehman

    Hillary Clinton should run as an independent in the general election. I am a republican and would vote for her because of the way the democratic party leadership has stolen the nomination from her. The leadership has always wanted Obama to win. In fact, Obama has not shown me that the people are behind him. He won majority of delegates in states which held caucases, which are basically a small group of elected politicians controlled by the party. Notice that where there were no caucuses, Hillary won most of those states. Too Bad for Obama that the people's vote counts in the general election. Hers' to Hillary running as an independent!

    June 1, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  16. Pierre SD

    "Hillary should take it to the convention," is a statement that comes up a bit here and other places...

    But what can Hillary take to the convention if enough superdelegates endorse Obama to make even a 100% recognition of the MI and FL delegations insufficient to put her over the top?

    Those of you who want to take it to the convention REALLY want such a divisive disaster? This is the best year for Democrats in decades; if there is a major fight at the convention, neither Hillary or Obama will have a chance in the November... is that what you really want?

    But I guess if you're willing to vote for McCain - a man who holds no progressive/liberal ideals - over Obama who is a 95% policy clone of Clinton, then you never cared about putting a Democrat in the office to begin with.

    June 1, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  17. david

    I am an Obama Supporter. I have been a lifelong democrat. I HATE dirty politics (such as those of the Hillary camp). If this nomination is STOLEN from Obama, I will do everything in my power to campaign for an Obama Democrats for McCain (just to slap the superdelegates and the Democratic party in the face). I will then switch my party afiliation to Independent.

    June 1, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  18. CrunchMaster

    Reminds me of the spoiled kids who take their ball and go home when they don't get their way.

    June 1, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  19. Whew

    I'm going to get a whole lot of supporters together to boo the judge next time I break a traffic law. Maybe while I am at it, I can run down someone who did follow the law.

    June 1, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  20. Jay

    What a shameful fiasco yesterday. Just a few points to consider for the unhinged "Hillary or McSame" people.

    1. Hillary is 'owed' nothing, and she 'deserves' nothing, other than the right to campaign just like anyone else who has met the requirements. She is certainly not 'owed' nor after her recent conduct does she 'deserve' the nomination.

    2. If we are all forced to accept another four years of Bush, all your threats about what you plan to do in November will come back on you, as you'll not only turn other dems against you, but millions of centrists like me will work tirelessly to make sure that she will look back on this proactive and voluntary disintegration of the party as political and career suicide.

    She's done, and if she has any sense, she'll admit that and preserve her own political future, which is becoming apparent is all she really cares about in the first place. What a depressing display for those who just want the country back.

    June 1, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  21. steve

    this is wonderful.. hope you democrats keep this up till the convention.. it will be just like the good old days.. i can be thankful that we do not have such a divisive person like hillary in our party

    June 1, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  22. hector

    Its her party and she'll cry if she wants to .

    Obama 08'

    June 1, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |

    I am an inmigrant and I love this country more than Obama, I feel angry with him for all the obvious reason discussed here. It is so disgusted. I will vote for anybody else but him. He is a COMMUNIST !!! I am from Cuba and all this type of language is very familiar to me. Hillary will do a better role as a leader of the best country of the world than him.

    June 1, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  24. Latisha, Trinity Church Chicago

    Barack-I can't believe you left our church because of something that was said this week by Pfleger. It's not like you haven't heard this kind of stuff for the last 20 years. Why didn't you quit 5 or 10 years ago?
    It's obvious now that everything you do is to pander to white folk so you can get their vote. You really have no core beliefs and therefore
    cannot offer change we can believe in. It's a sad day.

    June 1, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  25. ajf

    I am saddened by this. If it was the other way around Barack wouldn't have a chance. He played by the rules that he did not created. I think Clinton will get the nominee. But there is no way she can beat McCain. She made a lot of people mad. McCain has not. Do you think the new voters that voted because Obama is on the ticket are going to vote for Hilary? No. The African American voter will not vote for her. The Independence will not vote for her. The United States is not desperate for her. Hilary killed the Democratic Party. How can you possibly take the Democratic Party seriously if they are changing the rules they created.

    June 1, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
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