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. Larry in TX

    King Solomon once had a tough decision. Two women each claimed a baby was their own. Solomon said "Cut the baby in two and give half to each mother." The real mother said "No, give him to the other!" Solomon then knew who the real mother was.

    The DNC had a very tough decision and knew not everyone would be happy with it. It is really too bad that some Clinton supporters, who felt they "lost," are willing to subvert the next election in favor of McCain. So, who are the real Democrats?

    Maybe Hillary's new slogan will be: Mc-Cain and Dis-Able

    June 1, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  2. Roger M

    I am a Democrat and have been waiting patiently for this to resolve itself and have not chosen to support either candidate. I think Obama or Clinton will make great Presidents and will support whomever our party endorses.

    Now that there is a solution to the FL and MI debacle, and I think a fair one, it seems we can't start crying "foul". I don't think the DNC is causing the divisiveness in the party…we are. Many supporters (for both candidates) are tearing us apart. Shockingly, many have been behaving like the Republicans in the name destructive tones and arguments.

    As many posters have pointed out, and I concur, the rules were broken and punishment had to follow other wise they’d be setting a precedent that needn’t happen.

    June 1, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  3. mhp

    As a Clinton voter and supporter I am so upset with the Clinton hawks yesterday. I work in higher education and we teach students everyday, you break the rules, you pay the price. Michigan and Florida broke the rules. I, personally do not think either delegation should be seated. This is a sad parlor trick Hillary pulled and makes me feel sorry for all of the turncoats in the party who will vote McCain in November because of this. Obama won fair and square. Lets not let this opportunity slip from our hands.

    June 1, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  4. Deadhead for Obama

    For those who are upset about this now, and saying they will vote for McCain...the GOP did the same thing the Democrats did - they took away half of FL and MI votes. They just did it at the beginning of the process, not the end...which avoided this whole messy controversy.

    It goes to show how much better organized the GOP is than the Democrats. Same problem, same solution, less controversy.

    McCain stands exactly opposite the Democrats on virtually every position. Any Democrat who votes for him out of spite does not understand this.

    McCain wants to overturn Roe v Wade. He wants to privatize Social Security. He favors school vouchers. He supports the war in Iraq. He is against equal rights for same-sex couples. How anyone who is a Democrat, and supports the Democratic ideals can vote for McCain is beyond me.

    June 1, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  5. Whew

    By the way, how many people have ever tried to umpire a ball game? I did it ONE TIME when I was younger. The first thing I learned was, you NEVER change your call. People from both sides of the field get real angry very quickly.

    June 1, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  6. Montreal

    The second comment on this blog; "And why would Obama take his name off? "
    Has The USA reached the level where Honour is foolish?

    And besides it speaks volumes where Clinton barely got half the votes running against no-one !!

    June 1, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  7. E. C., Houston, Texas

    In One Word: 'Crooked' Both Democratic Party Rules and Leaders. Clinton supporters will make the Correct decision if they Vote for McCain instead of Obama ....IF.. Clinton does NOT receive the Nomination. Obama is the LEAST and MOST UNQUALIFIED person in the campaign. Obama has NO business even being a participant in the Campaign BECAUSE HE IS NOT EXPERIENCED AND NOT QUALIFIED. Obama has NO clue about Government or Leadership. Obama spent ONLY 3 years in the Senate and Accomplished NOTHING. Obama doesn't even have a decent resume. WHY are Democrats pushing this guy? Makes NO SENSE.

    June 1, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  8. Lynne

    If Obama is the Dem candidate, I'LL VOTE McCAIN!!!

    June 1, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  9. David, Paducah, Kentucky

    If those radical Hillary Clinton supporters feel that way, then they are free to vote for McCain and suffer the consequences of their hotheaded, knee-jerk reaction.If they vote for McCain, then they were not true Democratic voters anyway.

    June 1, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |

    The super delegate from Las Vegas is under indictment. Why was she permitted to voice her opinion?

    June 1, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  11. Patrick House

    I have been a Republican for 35 years and have recently switched my party.Obama is the reason!I am 58 and have worked on Wall Street 25 years.The Clintons are close to City Bank,hedge funds,and private equity funds.When I worked at Drexal these people were called corporate raiders.I count myself an expert on these grouips and the morgage crisis.Many of their supportors are part of the cause of this morgage mess.She wanted to appoint two of the main players in this mess to help solve the problem,Robert Reuben and Alan Greenspan.The morgage problem is only part of our economic woes.Paul Vocker and Warren Buffet,two brillant men on the economy and the Fed are backing Obama.Compare Obama's integrity ratings to hers.I hope the Clinton people don't go Repulican.That would be a tragic thing.

    June 1, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  12. Shannon

    Let's write Clinton in, we can vote for who we want. I want nothing to do with the hate filled Obama campaign, and if you doubt it is hate filled read the posts here. Obama does not represent me, he voted for the Cheney Energy bill, he skipped FISA, he skipped Kyle Liberman, he skipped 42% of his votes. More importantly he voted present 8 times on votes that pertained to a woman's right to choose. He has no backbone to take a stand, it's which ever way the wind blows, or the votes go . His supporters are some of the most hate filled I have ever seen, again read the posts here, look at his church. He sat in that church for years and listened to people cheer hate and racism, and now that it is going to affect the vote, he dumbs them. He says he's for hope and change, he says he's for uniting the country, well I don't see it, again just hate written here. Vote Hillary, she didn't need to steal delegates to win!

    June 1, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  13. TodayisTheDay

    Please expect an announcement by HRC today !! SuperDs can end this today !!

    June 1, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  14. b.t.

    If she can't have it, no one can. This is like a bad abusive relationship. Clinton supporters, you've been had. This woman doesn't care about you, she wants another chance to pillage the white house, like she and her husband did when he left. I mean that literally, they stole $80,000 worth of furnishings and housewares (including wall to wall carpeting) before he left. That's who I want to run the country I love!

    June 1, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  15. Jack

    I'm stocking up on the new Obama bumper sticker: "NO We Can't!" and "One Party Two Votes"

    June 1, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  16. B

    I knew this would happen. A fair deal is reached, and Clinton supporters are still crying foul. Nothing is ever fair enough. It's just really sad to see people be so short sighted. this has been a fair race, and your candidate has lost. Be reasonable.

    June 1, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  17. Carol from MI

    Hillary complained constantly about FL and MI counting. Well, now they are counting and still she complains. As of yesterday, she needed 244 delegates and now she needs 241. Yesterday Obama needed 42 and now needs 67.

    So who come out behind here? Still, he is in total agreement but of course her and Bill's crying will continue.....forever.

    June 1, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  18. Glen

    It is NOT a democracy when Michigan and Florida
    votes are not delegated as voted, shame to the DNC

    McCain will have my vote if Obama wins by default!!

    June 1, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  19. Matt

    Next Clinton supporters statement: "Oh well I know the law said we can't rob banks but since so many of us ignored that law we should be able to keep the money and go free."

    Anyway, Democrats 08

    June 1, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  20. B-dog

    Please do! Please Clintonites who have fully drank the kool-aid, please vote for McCain! Help ensure another Republican victory! Please Vote for McCain, keep our courageous men and women in Iraq! Please Vote for McCain so he can appoint 2 more Conservative Judges to the Supreme Court and numerous others to the Federal Courts who will overturn Roe v. Wade. PLEASE Clintonites and your poor understanding of how you've been played...Please vote for McCain so we can have more of the same. Please cut off your nose to spite your face.

    I doubt anyone who supports Clinton will understand much of this as she has overwhelming support of "blue collar workers" = uneducated white trash. There is no "overall vote" argument you ignorant fools! She cannot count caucus states because those numbers are not released for adding the total vote. She never mentions that because she wants you to believe every word that spills out of her cackling maw!

    PLEASE vote for McCain so our country will have more of the same. Will you gather together and ride the bus from FL when the Supreme Court rules on every issue that you so badly want to keep. Will you look in the mirror and point the finger at yourself or will you continue to blame others for the simple fact that the majority of Democratic voters wanted someone else. Please stop claiming the "sexist card"; can't you see that people generally aren't voting against women...they are voting against THAT woman. Imagine if Barry Bonds had been the first African-American to break the color barrier instead of Jackie Robinson. Things would have been totally different. The same goes with Hillary...just because she's a woman whose come the farthest doesn't make her the RIGHT one.

    So when you fill in your circle, pull your switch, or punch your CHAD, make sure it is for McCain on Nov. 2! Thank you Clintonites for showing your true colors. Enjoy the feeling of the knife as it slices off your own nose as you spite the rest of us!

    June 1, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  21. Brent

    It amazes me to hear that a Democrat would vote for McCain who will load the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade, continue the Iraq war and probably start a serious conflict with Iran. I guess that these are emotions talking and I hope they will cool off enough for voters to think things through before November.

    June 1, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  22. molly

    This just goes to show the intelligence level of some people. The fact of the matter is that Clinton and Obama have a very similar voting record, which are both very different from McCain's. To cross over to another party over this is unfair to your party, your candidate, and the American people.

    June 1, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  23. SARA





    June 1, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  24. Karuna in Cali

    they should see the video of Hillary telling them not to vote for mcain and anger. she And Obama really believe the same things and have the same goals. They just have different ways of trying to reach them.

    June 1, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  25. Goran

    I am just sick of having presidents who are Bush and Clinton last 20 years we had Bush Clinton administration, it is time for change Hillary is trying to force her way in, she is pathetic

    June 1, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
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