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. Dusacre

    If angry Clinton supporters want to vote for McCain, then let them do it. These are people who want to have their ways in everything anyway. Let see what McCain will give them at the end. Four years from now you will come right back to where you are now if not worse.

    June 1, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  2. foshizzle

    The whole acting of Hillary Clinton and her followers is just ridiculous. Obama did not even have his name on the ballot in Michigan, and now Clinton gets delegates or this primary. Considering that fact, how insane the Clinton folks are to complain about the situation.

    June 1, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  3. jl

    Obama has taken the high road here. Hillary, rules are rules. If Florida and Michigan should be included in the process, they should, at their expense, hold a new primary in accordance with the rules of the Democratic party.
    Our 2 party system is archaic, but politicians thrive in it. Maybe this debacle will make room for a 3rd party–offering viable options rather than a choice between the lesser of two evils.
    It is a shame that our politics have taken on a sports type mentality with rivalries between same party politicians yielding hurt feelings that get in the way of what is in the best interest of the people!

    June 1, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  4. PCS / North Carolina



    Question for the DNC ( Hillary supporters)
    1) Although Obama lost some states, he did win some delegates in those states. So, how can you argue that Obama should get 0 delegates in MI ?

    2) Hillary states " Obama should not be awarded any delegates from MI". She is agitating her supporters to riot, essentially trying to rig the votes.
    Just like a Tribal election = MUGABE regimen

    3) She had the support of 13 members of the DNC rules committee.
    Why she did not question the MI, FL issue when she was leading the delegate count ? In-fact she agreed to all the bylaws set fourth by the DNC rules committee.
    Please do not cry foul when you are loosing the nomination. Players do not have the right to change the rules in the middle of the game to suit you own agenda. We are talking about our country, and not about somebody who think she has the birthright to become the president of this great country.
    Sure, Hillary supporters will vote McCain and get him elected in November, just like they did to get Bush in power. In 10 years, we will reflect on this and say “We missed a great chance to unite our country and the whole world”

    June 1, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  5. abcd

    Al Gore,Howard Dean,Pelosi should all make a statement and endorse Obama after Tuesday's last primaries,that will unite the party.

    Clinton knows after this negative-full of lies-delusional,thrash campaigning she has no chance to be nominee in the future years,that upsets her.This was her only chance and the name Clinton is over by yesterday.

    Michigan-Florida was agreed months ago,funny Clinton makes it issue now,when she didn't ever mention it months ago when she was leading.

    Those some Clinton fans who say they'll vote for McCain,go ahead,who cares,Obama will be president without your votes too,he is that strong.Funny Hillary's plans are more similar to Obama's than McCain's,but her fans prefer McCain,why?They can't stand a black president,still open racism,get a life..

    June 1, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  6. susants

    Bad behaviour and threats do NOT become Party activists. What an insult to Mrs Clinton that her supporters would attack her Party while she is still running to capture its nomination.
    They need to chill out.

    June 1, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  7. rcusm

    Some people just have to vote for a liar, he is a confirmed liar, by his own word. The degeneration of the political process and election of leadership in our country continues in spite of the lessons learned during vietnam, and now iraq. Lies cost lives. To bad americans must sleep in the political quagmire, and pay for the mess these egotists so casually create.

    June 1, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  8. jeff

    There is something wrong with a system that if you win CA, NY, PA, FL, OH, NJ, TX, MA, and MI, you still lose the nomination.

    It's the Electoral College stupid...It's the electoral college stupid!!!!!

    June 1, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  9. John from Texas

    I think the majority of Clinton supporters are fair minded people. This is an emotional period of the campaign, but most of the Clinton supporters will step up and do what"s good for the country in the end. Obama supporters, don't label all Clinton supporters as "nutjobs!", they're not ,and you'll need them to take back this country. There are idiots from both camps who can't see past the end of they're noses, but these are not representative of either camp. Let's just get it done in november.

    June 1, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  10. Dennis

    This primary will be a valuable teaching tool for Civics professors nationwide. We as adults expect (demand) that our children follow the rules! We're teaching youngsters that it is okay to ignore rules. Senator Obama's camp was awarded a 50/50 split by the DNC rules committee but yet agreed to compromise even further. One would think that Clinton's supporters would be thankful. Instead, they behaved by yelling, screaming, etc. during the hearings.

    Everyone (both camps) got more than they deserved from the DNC committee. Why?....because the whole process should have never taken place. The rules were known, both parties involved agreed to them and if I were in charge, Saturday's event would not have taken place. RULES ARE NOT MADE TO BE BROKEN!! YOU FOLLOW THEM...PERIOD!


    June 1, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  11. Carmen, NC

    Just because they didn't get their way. This is crazy but if so then they were not Democrats anyway. They broke the rules so they should pay for it. Any if they want the war and no health ccare then they should vote for McCain. Hillary you are a pathetic to get these people to turn from from this Democratic Campaign. You promise to back Obama if he wins just like he would if you won. Don't be a jerk or jackss. The world is not built around the Clinton's anymore.

    June 1, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  12. Concerned Citizens

    listen the Republican party also penalize MI and FL for moving there party forward. Please someone tell me why the republicans are not asking like animals? Can someone please get a grip on Hillary's supporters. They are acting like a group of rabid dogs.
    Listen the only reason why anyone will vote for McCain over Obama if they are a Hillary Supporter is simply because of a racial issue. Admitting it is a step towards healing. Because Hillary and Obama both have the same goal. The issue overall is how to get to those goals. Hillary has obviously shown that she is a fighter... this quality is good in some instances (think divorce lawyers... expenses... no one gets anything done...someone is always left unhappy). However, sometimes you need a negotiator and thats what i believe Obama is good at.
    Clinton really needs to bow out....

    June 1, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  13. mickey

    So disgruntled Clinton supporters will vote for McCain because Hillary didn't get what she wanted. Let 'em go. We don't need spoiled brats in the democratic party. WE want mature thinking adults whose first priority is what is good for our country...and who will abide by the rules determined by the democracy.

    June 1, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  14. Ty

    I see a lot of comments related to race in the current politics. First thing you all need to get strait is Obama is biracial. Hes 1/2 white 1/2 black so give the race thing a rest. Second of all the only time race actually came into this nomination process was when some one mentioned "hard working white blue collar Americans". Bottom line is she lost. If they are so angry at the democrats that they will vote for McCain, go for it. Just don't say a word when in 2 – 3 years we are fighting 5 or 6 wars across the world gas is 15$ a gallon and the US is on the verge of becoming a 3rd world country.

    June 1, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  15. SilvanoNPG

    A few random comments...

    Where were all of the complaining residents of FL and MI when it was clear that their vote would not count? We know HRC stated she understood the vote would not count so it is quite lousy of her to try and change the rules when it may be to her advantage.

    I want Obama to represent me on the world stage and before our country.

    If HRC somehow pulls this out, I will still vote for a democrat because I do not want another 4 years of the misguided republicans. Those that state "if HRC is not the nom, I'll vote for McCain... " are scary. This is not about the candidate whereas it is more about our country healing and being re-invented -a party switch will help.

    Any COMEDIAN could have "mocked" HRC the way that preacher did. Its hilarious that this is an issue with Obama. I mean, if your relative or close friend mocked gays or minorities, does that make you a person of poor judgement? If your mother disaproves of you dating outside your race, would you denounce her? LOL, Im living that sceanrio right now.

    If there is proof that Obama sat for 20 years and heard 20 years of racist rants etc, please let's have that come to the forefront for discussion.

    Regardless of what Obama says, race will play a factor. There are some people in this country (TX, rural PA, WV, KY etc) who will simply never vote for a african-american man no matter how talented the candidate.

    A comment about "experience." Our current president had government experience and 8 years on the job...look at the mess he has made. LOL...."mission accomplished."

    We need someone who is not in bed with the energy companies and not interested in getting his/her name in the history books.

    Ugh – can this be over.....

    June 1, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  16. Stan

    Hillary's Campaign promised 10,000 supporters at this "Rally" – 300 showed up.

    I think this is an accurate reflection of how many of the die hard supporters the Clintons really have – despite what you might think reading these "Comments" sections.

    June 1, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  17. vicky

    Let me see: first Hillary said she would have voted against NAFTA if she could have foreseen the results.Next she would not have voted for the war in Iraq in hindsight. Then she gets all her supporters upset over MI & Fla saying that they would be disenfranchised when she first agreed to this procedure. What next? Will she go back on her word when she promised to campaign for the winner? We shall see that too. Good luck to!

    June 1, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  18. Eric

    McCain/Clinton Ticket

    If McCain really wants to win he would choose Hillary as his VP choice. All he has to say is that he is a "uniter" and all Hillary has to to say is she agrees about real "Change" and they can work together to resolve the Iraq conflict. Hillary would bring in the moderate Democrats for McCain and he wins. The extreme conservatives can stay home, because they would not vote for Obama and they would not cause a problem even if they go Libertarian. Hillary has a shoe in for presidents spot in 8 years. If Hillary doesn't take VP, she has no other chance for President, because her worst case scenario is Obama does 8 years and his vp pick does another 8 years. Her best scenario is in 8 years. Hillary would not dare run against an incumbent democratic president and if Obama loses in 4 years to a Republican she has to wait that term out to run again.

    It's all about how bad they want it. McCain and Hillary 2008.

    June 1, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  19. Ron

    Hillary clinton should stand up as an Independant. We cannot afford this country to go to the dumps again.!!! Hillary 08

    June 1, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  20. Ram

    I hope this will be music to Clinton's ears! What a disgusting woman!! She exactly accomplished what she hoped for : divide the party.

    June 1, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  21. Mayra

    yup true if Clinton loses McCain has got my vote 100%...sorry Obama you dont meet this country's standards....

    June 1, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  22. to Denver

    Obama ran a tv ad in Florida he broke the rules and got a prize!
    It will be a pleasure to leave the dems, it has become a far -left we hate America party. THEY ARE A JOKE!!!!

    June 1, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  23. Platypus

    I still believe Clinton will pull it off to a nomination.

    But nationally, it will be McCain.

    June 1, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  24. After further review,Texas.

    Sounds just like a woman,"my way or the highway".This has become all emotion and no logic.

    June 1, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  25. cindy

    I will have a tough decision in November if Obama is the nominee. I am a diehard card-carrying democrat but have never been so disgusted with party leaders as I have been during this campaign; from the way Florida and Michigan are being handled to the superdelegates who switched their vote based on the flavor of the month. I'll either vote for McCain or not vote for the presendential office at all – neither option is a good one.

    June 1, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
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