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. derek

    Clinton supporters need only to look at their own candidate for blame in this. The increasingly arbitrary and desperate metrics she's been pushing on her supporters have given them false hopes, and (frankly) have distorted their logic. It's all 90% emotion, 10% bad math.

    And to those women who were screaming "McCain" today: enjoy your vote, and enjoy all of the "extra-training" he suggests you need to "keep up" with the boys. Also bear in mind: Obama asked his supporters NOT to protest on Sat. You want to see an Obama supporter protest? Got room for, say, 50,000? Don't push it folks. And yes, we will see you in Denver.

    June 1, 2008 02:30 am at 2:30 am |
  2. Jane

    I do not understand it. What is it the Clinton supporters expected? Hillary herself said the votes would not count, and the one speaker was absolutely correct when she pointed out that changing the rules in the middle of the game to gain advantage is called "cheating".
    Does Hillary not realize that cheating only reflects badly on her personally? Fighting this decision will only serve to put McCain in office. If she cares about any of us as she so steadfastly espouses, then she can show that by gracefully conceding and moving on.
    Thank you, DNC rules committee, for not allowing the precedent to be set that your rules are only for those who choose to follow them.

    June 1, 2008 02:30 am at 2:30 am |
  3. vivek

    I am not an obama supporter, but I am asking why is it hard to follow the rule that florida and michigan primaries were void in the beginning . If the president wannabe doesn't follow the rules he or she will end up as a bush who has disdain for rule book called constitution.

    June 1, 2008 02:31 am at 2:31 am |
  4. FrankSmith

    Finally, I live in a "nation" where "breaking the rule" each time, is rewarded. Levaing my native land to seek peace and "justice" in this land of "opportunity," I have for the first time been let down! I am over 50 years now, consistenty taught my kids to follow "all rules" agreed to, in any setting that they find themselves. Today, my kids reminded me that such a nation simply does not exist. The "fortunate" always wins! Hillary has won, by forcing the DNC to reward her even a single vote, after she had made a pledge "not to take any votes" from MI and FL!

    June 1, 2008 02:31 am at 2:31 am |

    I hope Hillary takes it to the convention. There was a deal to have a re-vote in Michigan and lobbyist employed by Obama "convinced" the state legislature not to allow the re-vote. Sounds similar to his old tactics in Chicago (i.e. his first election for the state senate) when he got all the other candidates disqualified so he was the only one voters could vote for. Presently, I unfortunately think he has the nomination wrapped up. I guess I will vote Mccain. An American Hero sounds better then a deceptive fool.

    June 1, 2008 02:32 am at 2:32 am |
  6. Dave in Florida

    Thank you Hilllarious supporters for turning a very informative hearing into a circus. You are thanked for your raucious behavior. You should be shamed. A real Hillary supporter wouldn't be questioning this decision. Only Ickeyness clones...buh bye.

    June 1, 2008 02:32 am at 2:32 am |
  7. AA

    Fair decision for breaking the law. And they are still upset. God, enough is enough. When are the Clinton's supporters happy? If it is on thing it is the other. Let them vote for McCaine, another four years of who knows what SICKENING!!
    Republicans are having fun.

    June 1, 2008 02:32 am at 2:32 am |
  8. Trollmaster

    These fools chanting "Denver, Denver" are playing right into the Republican's hands.

    Most of them are probably being paid by the Republican party to be there and pose as Hillary Democrats

    June 1, 2008 02:33 am at 2:33 am |
  9. Rick

    Its funny how hillary supporters speak with such hate and anger like the person thats winning done something wrong I dont like all that negative crap yall bring to the table any way yall do more damage than any thing else...you ever thought about that? Obama played by the rules and still won, and if we start thowing out the rules then why have them if we aint going to use them? and by the way she signed off on them because she thought she was going to be BILL"S 3RD TERM LOL

    June 1, 2008 02:34 am at 2:34 am |
  10. Nick

    McCain 2008.

    June 1, 2008 02:34 am at 2:34 am |
  11. Pat

    What a joke! So we give votes to someone that wasnt even on the ballot. He was on, took his name off, tried to get it back on. Another Kerry Flipflopper! What about Edwards? Shouldn't some of those votes hve counted towards him? What about the other candidates? To think that they would all have voted for Obama just reinforces the elitist attitude of his campaign. This is why the Dems will lose again. They had this election in the bag and now just keep shooting themselves in the foot.
    If McCain takes his name off of the ballot, will they fight just as hard to give him the votes that dont go for Obama?

    June 1, 2008 02:36 am at 2:36 am |
  12. Ben Dover

    Next, we will hear how the Clinton supporters will hold their collective breath until the Democratic party yields to their demands.

    Thank God I am an independent.

    June 1, 2008 02:37 am at 2:37 am |
  13. Fair

    I think it is a fair solution. Its seem to be the only logical solution. Are clinton supports that angry that will GO McCain because it was split down the middle. Democrats turning REPLUBICAN overnight seems so childish and ridiculous to do such a thing. ITS THEIR WAY OR NO WAY. No one person is bigger than the BIG PICTURE. I am DEMOCRAT TIL THE END NO MATTER HOW THE END MAY BE

    June 1, 2008 02:37 am at 2:37 am |
  14. Dave in Florida

    "I'm a Clinton supporter and NOT happy with this decision. Hillary should have gotten ALL of Michigan's delegates with ALL the votes! Truth be told, she was the only one that had her name on the ballot in that state! Obama conveniently did not put his name on the ballot, therefore he should get NO DELEGATES from that state! Looks like the DNC is obviously biased in favour of Obama. "


    June 1, 2008 02:38 am at 2:38 am |
  15. Joe Birdsall

    Harold Ickes needs a muzzle. His unctious claims are going nowhere except to further polarize Clinton supporters.

    June 1, 2008 02:39 am at 2:39 am |
  16. Anil Sharma

    For a logical mind, it is hard to understand why should Senator Clinton's supporter complain about Floria and Michigan. Everyone agreed to rules. If someone can not play by rules, how could you trust him / her to run the country. Was it not a lesson learnt in last seven years?

    June 1, 2008 02:40 am at 2:40 am |
  17. Christopher, AZ



    June 1, 2008 02:41 am at 2:41 am |
  18. Jane

    Congratulations president Obama! The DNC was fair. The Clinton's should have seen it coming and supported Obama. If up to now Hillary doesn't realize that she has lost, then when Jesus Christ comes, Hillary might not recognize him.

    June 1, 2008 02:42 am at 2:42 am |
  19. Chuck

    Knock yourself out! Rip off your eyes to spite your face.
    We are tired of the thuggish behaviour of Clinton and aides trying to hold the party to ransom. If it were the other way round,clintons will never let one vote count in both Mich and Florida to give Obama any boost.

    If you vote McCain, everybody and our children and Grandchildren will suffer the consequences over the years, we will be 10-20yrs backwards.

    Those who voted in Michigan and Florida are not more American than those who did not vote there because they were told their votes wont count. Also Michigan and Florida cannot go unpunished as 48 other states obeyed the rules.Why should 2 states disobey and act like the 48 others are stupid!!!!!? The truth is bitter.

    Democratic Party 08/12

    June 1, 2008 02:43 am at 2:43 am |
  20. Jonathan L

    Liberal CNN posters will now claim that the same Republicans who troll on these blogs, claiming to be dissatisfied Hillary supporters now voting for McCain, were in Michigan and Florida today, chanting "Let's Go McCain!"

    Guess what. Neither claim is right. Hillary supporters are peeved and they will not be supporting Obama come November.

    June 1, 2008 02:43 am at 2:43 am |
  21. Kevin of RI

    Wow the Clinton people would really rather destroy the party than unify to beat the republicans. So sad so sad...

    June 1, 2008 02:44 am at 2:44 am |
  22. Benard-California

    The major candidates agreed to the fact that the DNC rules were violated. As a consequences, the votes were not going to count. This was even before both election was held. To you Clinton Supporters, this is something even Senator Clinton Agreed to then. Now that it was apparent that she was loosing, she wants the rules that she agreed to play by from the beginning changed in the fourth quarter of a game, with 30 seconds to go so that only her practice shots would count.

    If the DNC bye rules committee had done what she wanted, it would have been immoral, undemocratic,irresponsible, and a violation of the rules which the DNC itself had set fourth at the beginning of the race. This would amount to stealing the nomination. What the DNC did was even bending over backward to accommodate some of her request in the interest of party unity, and that of the people of Florida, and Michigan. Any reasonable human being having observe the transparency of this committee, one would come to one conclusion that the committee was fare. Non of the candidates got all what they wanted. What was important was for most reasonable viewer to leave with a sense that the committee was fare and impartial.
    The world is watching. This sent a clear message to the world that the democratic party accommodates those not just by the corridors of power, but outside of it. It also say one thing loud and clear-those who play by the rules will not be penalized for playing by the rules, even when they are playing against the Clinton's. No one is above the rules of the game.

    Benard-Victorville, Ca

    June 1, 2008 02:44 am at 2:44 am |
  23. David

    Just ruining her party

    June 1, 2008 02:44 am at 2:44 am |
  24. W.H. Thomas

    If Clinton supporters are so upset that HRC lost that they will vote for McCain, I say let them.

    June 1, 2008 02:44 am at 2:44 am |
  25. rachel w

    The decision by the DNC not to allow all of the delegates from florida and michegan to be seated must be challenged in order to allow the democtratic choice of the people in both states to prevail. The DNC in it's actions has done little to unite the party but has done a lot in helping to divide it even further. We must overturn the DNC's ruling by making the case for all of the delegates from both states to be seated.

    June 1, 2008 02:45 am at 2:45 am |
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