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. Pat Brendel

    Hillary has stoked the fires that have created followers who would rather vote for McCain, a man that cannot possibly agree with, than Obama who is so much more in line with their ideals. That would be tantamount to throwing themselves and everyone else off a cliff. If Hillary's people truly believe in the philosophy of the Democratic Party, if they can see the damage done to this country in the last 8 years of Republican rule, if they can think of our country and not just their own hurt feelings, there is no way they could vote for McCain in good conscience. That would be biting off your nose to spite your face. It would be a lose – lose situation. I hope that after the smoke clears, level heads will prevail, and they will do what they know in their hearts is the right thing.

    June 1, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  2. Mary Plante

    I fit the profile of the angry Clinton supporters, white female over 50 from a union household. I'm confident that women like me will support the Democratic candidate. None of us will risk reversing Roe v Wade. If nothingg else that will bring most women of my generation to the polls for Obama. We know that McCain wants to undo the battles we fought in the 1970s and we won't let that happen.

    June 1, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  3. Charlotte carver

    What a group of spoilports! I am a Clinton supporter...and if she does not get the nomination I will vote for Obama....I do not want another four years of Republican mismanagement.....I would hope that all democrats would unite and elect the nominee of the Deml.party.
    Two states held early primaries in spite of being told they should not....now, they want it to be forgiven and votes counted....Pleeze!
    Democrats must unite and get the White House back! Ånd, common sense!

    June 1, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  4. MCD, San Francisco, CA

    If you vote McCain you get:

    Years & years of more US troops dying in Iraq AND Iran.
    Even Higher Gas Prices which equals High Prices on EVERYTHING
    Less Money to support yourselves in retirement.
    Higher Medical costs
    No Government accountibility
    More Big Business hand-in-hand with More Big Government.
    More lobbyist running OUR goverment.
    Feel good about slapping down those "Obama people"

    If you vote Obama (democrat) you get:

    To at least hope that he will be able to change at least some of the problems above that the republicans in power of rained down upon this country.

    Seems an easy choice to me.

    June 1, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  5. Missy, South Carolina

    Hey TrueBlue is Hillary raising money for the fight at the convention? If so please let me know why? She is suppose to be helping to unite the Democratic Party once FL and MI was seated. They are seated so what is the problem now?

    June 1, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  6. Karl Emmerich

    As a Hillary Clinton supporter and a Democrat, I'm voting McCain. Obama's potential of combining vision with experience may one produce a viable candidate. Today, however, I'm afraid only Hillary and McCain have both. How about a McCain / Clinton 'non-partisan' ticket?

    June 1, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  7. Rockbmg1

    I really can't wait to see what happens when the Clinton backers vote for McCain...

    I will be watching it from Canada...because I will not be here to see the third Bush term that is the McCain Presidency. Clinton tried to take advantage of flawed decisions in MI and FL. Had she played by the rules, then maybe she would already be out the race. I've never seen a canidate so defiant when defeat is so probable. I wish she and Ickes would just go away. Bill Clinton isn't coming back, folks. Jump on the Obama train and ride into DC!

    June 1, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  8. Richard Marks

    Clinton and McCain are the same. Just the same old scum that has been running the show for decades: McCain is just more of W and
    Clinton is just . . . well . . . Clinton. Who cares who is elected godfather between these two?

    June 1, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  9. Tina

    I am soooo tired of people saying that "it's about race" in this election.

    People get your head out of the toilet and and look at the facts.

    Obama is using EVERY dirty trick out there to disgrace Clinton, but whats new? EVERY election has people bringing out the bad things that he or she EVER did, instead of focusing on the TRUE issues. If we look at the records FAIRLY we can see Clinton has more experience than Obama, but will the USA do that FAIRLY? NO WAY IN HELL!!

    So, yes IF AND when Clinton gets defeated ( cause the ruling was UNFAIR) I too will be switching my VOTE to McCain and not out of spite, but BECAUSE HE has the MOST experience between him and Obama.

    June 1, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  10. Disgusted New Dem

    4 delegates?

    That's what everybody is ticked off about? Even if Hillary had those 4 'highjacked' delegates – more generously- even if she got Michigan's delegates and Obama got none, Obama would still be ahead and would most likely cross the finish line on Tuesday. So what's the big deal? Give them to her and she'll still lose.

    Not because anything was stolen from her. But because she actually did think she was entitled to the nomination. Case in point – she hadn't planned anything past Super Tuesday. She thought she'd be taking her victory lap in February. Her 'strategy' has always been to count only those states that 'mattered' to her. The 'big' states. the non-caucus states, the states that end in 'S', or whatever the measure is of the day.

    THAT is why she is not going to be the nominee. Not because of anything the RBC or DNC did. Not becuase of anything Obama did or didn't do. Not because of the media or the pundits or the vast LEFT-wing conspiracy. It's her fault and no one else's.

    And out of curiosity, how many people showed up to protest her comments last year when she said 'Clealy this election they're having isn't going to count for anything' ? How many people were outraged then? Or thought their vote was being treated the same as a slave's vote? Was anyone crying disenfranchisement then?

    Wake up. She only cared when she was losing. She only cared when she absolutely needed you. And if this had ended in Feb. as she had thought, the RBC wouldn't even have been petitioned.

    June 1, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  11. jj

    yeah, race has nothing to do with this election.

    June 1, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  12. fouzi

    its time to take the rabid dog put it beside the whole she has dug, and pause and reflect. This animal has just bit your child(democracy),BANG

    June 1, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  13. Truth be Told!

    It's ironic that we still have the Democratic Obama supporters after what occured yesterday still shouting about the rules. The rules broken and the punishment are clear a 50% deduction in their deleagtes. That is fine, what I have a problem with and every Demorat should, is that a rules & bylaws committee ave delegates that were won by another based on a legitimate primary in Michigan. The only falw in that primary was that 4 other nominees removed their name form the ballot by their own choice. Then theDNC in Michigan, along with the Omana and Edwards campaigned for a uncommitted voye from their supporters. In our charter "Uncommited" i a valid canidate, they receive their own delegates ame as thoe named on the ballot. By our Rules & Bylaw committe not only went againt their own rules, they made some up, which including going against the actual primary vote and basically guessing by using mutliple sources, including exit polls. What? In the next election based on thi precident, they Rules& Bylaws committe or any other DNC commitee could including any eveidence to make their case even wiuth rules that address the circumstances being evaluaded.

    June 1, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  14. Phishmelt

    ok, so keep attacking those who won't vote for obama because they truly believe in hillary. is it possible that many of us just don't believe that obama represents the democratic party. i don't think he does. he is using republican measures to win. republicans win by disqualifying the others vote instead of getting more votes yourself. i would personally vote for the Green Party vs the republican styled obama.

    June 1, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  15. John W., Milwaukee, WI

    If the RBC or the DNC thinks this is the best way to create UNITY within the Democratic Party and RUSH to force Superdelegates to declare for Senator Obama on Tuesday, they have another thought coming!

    Dean, Reid, Pelosi, Brazile, et al of you Elites are simply giving John the election in November!

    What part of Senator Obama can't win in November don't you understand?

    They are discraceful!

    John CCain will be honored to receive my vote; I will be honored to give it to him!

    June 1, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  16. bob

    Unlike most of you leaving comments, I live in Florida and voted. I wonder why Obama didn’t put his name on the ballot in Florida and Clinton did. If he doesn’t care about Florida voters in the primary then he surely won’t care in November. If he gets the nomanation I will vote for McCain and most of the people I talk to in my state feel as I do.

    June 1, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  17. Anony-mouse

    Do any hardcore Clinton supporters realize that the Republican National Committee *also* punished FL and MI by halving their delegate votes?

    Ignorance is usually bliss, but in this case it is just nuts!

    June 1, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  18. Mike, Vicksburg, MI

    Now I know why the kids at school are so shocked when rules are applied. They aren't bad kids, they just don't understand, after watching their parents, that rules are made for everyone – you break them, you have a consequence.

    There are two special interest groups in this fray and one or the other was bound for disappointment – which wouldn't have needed to happen if either state's Democratic party had followed the rules.

    Once upon a time, I admired the Clintons. I voted for him twice and did so happily. I spoke up when others attacked Hillary. I began this primary season thinking that Clinton/Obama would be the greatest ticket ever offered in human history. NOW, I am sickened by the whining, the poor sportsmanship, and the integrity of Hillary who said in the last week that she would abide by the decision of the DNC rules committee. I almost throw the remote at the TV when the self-righteous Harold Ickes announced the right to reserve the challenge.

    June 1, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  19. justin


    I Absolutely cannot believe that you just stated that Obama

    "refused his mothers race and decided to be black"

    This is laughable, have you ever read a book lady?

    June 1, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  20. Frank

    Apparently Hillary Clinton wants the legacy of spoiling a Democratic victor in November

    June 1, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  21. Bri

    hillary supportors need to understand you can't campigne without rules. Rules are not meant to be broken and if they are broken the parties deserve to be punished.

    June 1, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  22. Denise

    The Hillary supporters are not democratic. They easily forget the main issues affecting this country!! High gas prices, recession, Iraq, rising unemployment, healthcare. They would be careless to vote for another Bush term. Everything that Hillary and Obama are fighting for will go out the window.

    June 1, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  23. G. Rodden

    The more I see of of the vindictiveness, the shouting of Clinton supporters, the more resonable Rev. pfleger seems. Their attitude of 'I'm not going to get what I want so I'm going to have a tantrum and vote McCain' proves Pfleger right, despite him being completely over the top.

    June 1, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  24. Karen



    June 1, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  25. Ben in TX

    If following the rules is so upsetting for the HRC campaign, I think the the rules panel should meet to impose the origional penalty for MI. It's four delegates that will mean absloutly nothing after Wed.

    June 1, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
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