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. Dealt

    This is astonhising. Why does one hear this "If the nominee is not my choice I'll go McCain" only from Clinton supporters? The lady has stirred up so much antagonism bordering on hate among her supporters that they don't seem to mind whether the Democratic party is destroyed in the process. I think she should denounce very vehemently and unequivocally their voice of hatred.

    June 1, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  2. RR

    When are folks going to wake up? Obama is an empty suit. A bag of "hot air". Come the election, McCain will win > 90% of the 50 states claiming a landslide victory. Clinton has showed what true grit and determination is – she has earned the nomination and would stand a better chance against McCain.

    June 1, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  3. Anonymous

    Finally, true democrates working hard to ensure the Republic remains for the people!

    June 1, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  4. Krys

    I have been a long time Democrat, but I am 99% sure that I will vote for McCain if Obama wins. Obama would join the "famous" church when he needed them to become the nominee, and quit when he believed they are in the way. Does that mean he is a hypocrite?He doesn't stand up for what he believes. Period.

    June 1, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  5. Andrew

    In Florida, it was a Republicans who controlled the state who moved the primary, Democrats had nothing to do with it. So we are punishing the voters for something the Republicans did?

    June 1, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  6. Jack

    Let 'em go. If they are too blind to see what's really going on, who needs them?

    June 1, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  7. Nick

    It really is sad to see that all the delegates that wil be seated would only count as half a vote. It's a disgrace to all voters.

    Now in the part of Hillary voters going to McCain if Obama wins the nomination. Are they that scared of Barack Obama?

    June 1, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  8. Dem in Chicago

    Whatever. The few that follow through with their childish threat, we won't need anyway. We'll win w/o them.

    June 1, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |

    How many days has it been since Hillary and McCain voted to go to war in Iraq?


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

    I hope Clinton lives up to her promise to fully back Obama as her chances look slim and her supporters look determined to divide the party. As someone from Michigan told me, they hoped Clinton would not try to take away their voice for Obama because they were told to vote Uncommitted since his name was on the ballot.

    June 1, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  11. Linda

    Let's move along Clinton supporters!! Enough is enough...time to put it to bed – good night!! Sweet dreams...

    Obama all the way!!

    June 1, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  12. art

    I am a life-long democrat but as a result of what the party has done to Hillary I don't know that I will vote for Obama this election. The party and the media has done a job on Hillary she deserved the nomination as the best qualified person for the job. Obama is an empty suit with little experience. I don't think that I could vote for someone that is so poorly qualified to be the commander in chief, we've already voted for one charismatic know-nothing the last two elections. Let's not be fooled again.l

    June 1, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  13. Jack

    HAHA.... go Hillary! Obama cannot with w/o Clinton Democrats many of whom agree w/ McCain on global warming, immigration, stem-cell research, campaign finance reform, and taxes

    June 1, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  14. John Steward

    Hillary Clinton has worked so hard for her entire political career trying to put the Democratic Party back in the map, after being destroyed by Reagan and Bush. I am amazed that instead of recognizing her contributions to create this new strong Democratic Party, the DNC put a young, inexperienced Obama who simply ride on the coattails of Bush disasterous policy!

    I don't buy this sexist argument in the beginning, but as I keep reading what Obama supporters write in forums and comments like this (e.g. hissy fit), I realize that it is the only reason why both Obama supporters and Democratic Party loathe her, a very strong and determined woman. Nobody is calling Obama as "throwing a hissy fit" when he feebly castigated Republicans for going after his wife.

    Worse, I think Obama has many more uncovered skeletons in the closet and with his behaviors of throwing his inconvenient supporters under the bus (grandma, Pastor, and now, church), if he is getting the ticket, I am either going to stay out the election or (shudder) vote for McCain.

    June 1, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  15. Laura

    The Obama supporters on these blogs have said they would never vote for Clinton if she were the nominee. In fact their own candidate said that he knew Hillary's supporters would vote for him but he doubted all his supporters would vote for her. Now that Obama has the nomination within sights, we should all unite. That seems rather two-faced. I, for one will vote Green Party or Ralph Nader. I wont vote for a candidate who's supporters mock me with comments about age,gender, and educational level.

    June 1, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  16. Mike from Illninois

    Obama is to left wing to be president, vote for McCain. At least he votes for what he beleives in instead of special interest (see Obama's voting record in Illniois). McCain should put Hillary on his ticket since they both vote for America.

    June 1, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  17. Erica

    It's just silly that Clinton supporters wouldn't try and get rid of the old bush ways Bush by sticking with the Dem. It also just sounds ridiculous that she is saying how she is ahead in the popular vote but only if you don't count true American votes with the caucus states but Puerto Rrico is just so important for her... Why is that?
    I am a 20yr old Rep. army wife from an all white family in Indiana and every one in my family from me to all my grandparents is supporting Obama.....

    June 1, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  18. Barb in MN

    Harold Ickes voted to strip the delegates from Michigan and Florida and now he's personally attacking Barack Obama on the compromise. What a hypocrite! He's also saying Barack hasn't mentioned Hillary in his apology about Father Pfleger which is a lie. It is on You Tube and I also read another instance where he mentions how horrible the attacks on her were in a story in SD, where he mentions her. I don't care if they stay in the race until Wednesday making their case on the popular vote. Fine, it is their right. But why do they think they can lie and try to slime Barack without some consequence to them and to our party. I think Clinton doesn't realize the sour taste people will have in their mouth from all her personal attacks on Barack and if she is trying to ruin Barack's chances so she can run in 2012 it is a bad strategy. Man, people get drunk with power so easily. Note to self-never run for office.

    June 1, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  19. John

    What the Democrats don't understand is that you need independents to win an election. Even though I am a Clinton supporter, as an independent, I feel no guilt about voting for McCain. Obama better hope that the rest of us independents don't feel the same.

    June 1, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  20. B. McCreary

    Make no mistake as an african american of this country and a devoted
    democratic, the fact that the Democratic party has seem fit to trash my vote and used the superdelegates to give the nod to the obvious party
    favorite Obama, is something we see in other countries not here. But
    come November there will be an opportunity to make our vote count, and that said Go McCain. By the way in case you didn't know yes I am a Hillary support and I am in Florida.

    June 1, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  21. Jeff

    I agree with Marcelo – if HRC supporters vote for McCain, and McCain wins, he'll continue the war. Then the blood of the soldiers will be on their hands, just like it's on the hands of GW. Are they willing to betray everything we stand for at at time when America must redefine its role the world, just because your nominee didn't win? What kind of person does that make them? The word 'cultist' comes to mind....

    June 1, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  22. Michael Arnaud

    Just another reason why we should do away with the primary season and just have the general election and let everybody run. People talk about party unity, when you look at the parties there is nothing but disunity. Each one has several different factions each trying to control what the party does.

    Yet, since nobody in the parties really wants to actually let the PEOPLE
    really choose who will be President of the United States, we're stuck with the circus that we have. God save the United States of America.

    June 1, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  23. Grace

    McCain = Angry, Spiteful old man

    Hillary supporters that vote McCain because she doesn't get the nomination = Angry, Spiteful voters

    Obama didn't make this decision. The DNC did and they did so in the only way they could if they interpreted their rules "liberally'. Remember, the votes were not going to count AT ALL.

    The Hillary supporters who attempted to disrupt the meeting reminded me of the Bush supporters in 2000. Shameful and not worthy of being a Democrat. So, take your ball and go home (vote McCain) if you must, but you must be ready to pay the consequences if McCain wins because you didn't put personalities (race?) aside and vote for Obama. His positions and Hillary's are almost identical except for on healthcare which would be a major improvement either way.

    Dems 08

    June 1, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  24. useless

    even a moron would decide fairly quickly .....

    to stay with the Church, or
    to be in the race for President post.

    Obama must have quit his church long time ago.

    June 1, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  25. Robert GA

    THe verdict is fair and clear. HRC want things to fall in line for her which most can understand. It's all about her ot the people. She voted to reject the votes of FLA and MICH. and now want them because she behind. Sen. Obama was talking the popular vote when he won the 11 in a row and HRC was saying POPULAR vote is not important it's the DELEGATES. Now she flips to the popular when she's behind in delegates. Whatever fits what she needs at the time and what gets me is that Americans are falling for it. Media has been rough on her? They continue to handle her with KID gloves. Like I said Whatever fits her argument at the moment. Lets vote for change.

    OBAMA 2008

    June 1, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
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