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. Laughing Out LOUD

    Boy did them dems make themselves look foolish today on national television. Welcome your new president of the United States ... John McCain!
    That was downright pitiful discrediting and punishing the voters in Florida and Michigan. You would think that the Democratic party would have had their stuff together in order to not allow a state hold it's primaries outside of the parties own rules. What a bunch of idiots. Certainly not the type of leadership i want running our country.

    One Nation Under GOD!

    June 1, 2008 02:54 am at 2:54 am |
  2. David

    I hate to say it, but I called this after New Hampshire: 2008 will be the new 1968 if Dems screw it up as bad as they have.

    Good job, Dems. Biggest footbullet of all time. You just gave the general election to McCain. All you had to do was accept the 69-59 solution in Michigan. By my count, Obama is only 52 delegates away from clinching the nomination....the 69-59 would have handed him the nomination without as much backlash as the half-vote solution. Now the Clinton supporters are going to accuse you of stealing votes; if you let 69-59 stay, then you could have washed your hands of the matter, because it was a MICHIGAN plan, not yours.

    Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to start preparing myself for 4 more years of Bush Lite.

    June 1, 2008 02:54 am at 2:54 am |
  3. VallejoSaint

    Goodnight Hillary! Now you can step away from the table and have some nachos. You dont have to go home, but you definately have to leave here.

    June 1, 2008 02:55 am at 2:55 am |
  4. maramara

    Do we find any link between the Catholic priest's mocking of Clinton and the claim that "Don't Steal my vote"? Any democratic process that is not guided by rules respected by all is not democratic.
    If Mugabe organises elections, and decides which results to accept and which to reject based on rules that suit him alone, do we call that democracy? If yes, then let America leave Mugabe alone and why not pay the price for Saddam's Hussein's death.
    We believe the media especially CNN and Fox news are not doing America any good.
    People like Rebecca Sinderbrand and the others in Fox need to put this country's interest at heart when they write some of their reports. When you pour petrol in fire what do you expect. America's situation is quiet fragile and need real patriots to handle it.
    I pray God really guides Americans during this time when people who seek to destroy America from within are not listened to by fellow American.
    Thank you

    June 1, 2008 02:56 am at 2:56 am |
  5. emmanuel Ray


    June 1, 2008 02:56 am at 2:56 am |
  6. Mark

    What do they expect? That the leading candidate just gives up and walks away?

    With some intelligence this result could already have been seen weeks ago...

    June 1, 2008 02:56 am at 2:56 am |
  7. Tom

    The fact that Hilary only received 55 percent of the votes in Michigan by being the only person on the ballot says a lot. The fact that 44 percent of the people that voted would rather vote for someone else says even more. That means that people took time from their lives to vote for no one rather than vote for Hilary. These people went and voted knowing that there was only one person on the ballot and still didn't vote that one person.

    June 1, 2008 02:57 am at 2:57 am |
  8. isis dagmar

    Could someone explain to me: are some of Clinton's supporters upset because they think that the division of Michigan delegates was unfair, and that Clinton should have received more than she did? Or are they upset because they think that Obama should not have received any Michigan delegates? The former I understand, but the latter seems completely unreasonable, considering that the idea is to have people;s votes counted, and clearly many people did not vote for Clinton.

    Really, all these divisions within the party pale beside the differences both candidates have with McCain. Why can't some people see that? I am an Obama supporter, but I would vote for Clinton in a second if she won the nomination. Calling each other "Obamabots" and "Hillbots" and trying to judge the candidates by their supporters does nothing to help the thousands of soldiers and millions of Americans who are suffering because of Bush's policies–policies that both Clinton and Obama intend to change and that McCain has vowed to uphold.

    June 1, 2008 02:57 am at 2:57 am |
  9. Unreadable

    First things first.

    (1) Hillary supporters who cheer McCain on are crazy idiots. Sorry about being so blunt, but the fact that they want to belong to the party of Hoover, Nixon, McCarthy, David Duke, Larry Craig and Mark Foley (you know, the typical Republicans) does not speak to their intellectual abilities or clarity of mind.

    Now with that out of the way, let get to a more important point, namely:

    (2) In Michigan and Florida, Hillary engaged in vote suppression.

    Yes, that's right, VOTE SUPPRESSION.

    Think about it. First, the Democratic party tell voters that Florida and Michigan primaries are not real and, in Hillary Clinton's own words(!), are "not going to count for anything".

    Then all major candidates remove their names from the ballot in Michigan, except one. Yes, the crafty Hillary kept her name on. It was all planned by her and her buddies McAuliffe and Ickes who stripped FL and MI of all their delegates.

    So, of course, hundreds of thousands of regular people trusted the party, trusted Hillary, and stayed at home, and did not vote.

    But now Hillary says the primary was real. She fooled them all. She DISENFRANCHISED them. She SUPPRESSED their vote.

    She should not have gotten a single delegate of the unfair FL and MI contests, and only through her total lack of conscience and Obama's gentlemanly gesture of reconciliation, does she gain the 24 unfair delegates from her Florida and Michigan vote suppression scheme.

    Who in their right mind would vote for such a dreadful person? Yuck.

    Sane people support and vote for Obama.

    June 1, 2008 02:58 am at 2:58 am |
  10. PixFan

    For a Party which yelled so loudly to Count All The Votes in Gore v. Bush, I am aghast as to how the Party leaders can hypocritically dismiss the votes of Michigan and Florida. The voters of these states were not the ones who decided to move their primaries earlier. It was their Party leaders. Why will the Democratic National Convention Committee now punish the voters who took time out of their lives to cast a vote, a fundamental privilege of our society? The best scenario would have been a re-vote next week, and then punish these states in the next voting cycle instead. Punishing them in the next cycle will allow time for the voters of each state to fully reflect and absorb and perhaps call for a change in their primary process. Why punish the voters now when it is not their fault? Why not re-vote and COUNT ALL THE VOTES?

    June 1, 2008 02:58 am at 2:58 am |
  11. Nicki from AK

    Also, people who say they are Clinton supporters who will vote for McCain if Obama wins the Democratic primary, don't really believe in the principles of the Democratic Party. The Supreme Court is already leaning too far to the right, in my opinion. Do you want a conservative President picking the next Supreme Court justices or a liberal President. Let go of the hysteria and think about what would happen to our country if we continue with Bush policies through McCain.

    June 1, 2008 02:59 am at 2:59 am |
  12. Louise from Canada

    The DNC really didn't have to do anything, but it appears they felt compelled to do something, and they did. I question Senator Clinton's motives and it appears she more for herself than for the people. For the good of the party, Senator Clinton should have accepted the reality of the situation and made a gracious exit from the race. I often have doubted her sincerity, so perhaps she doesn't do gracious very well either.
    I'm Canadian and it's very important for our world who will be the next President of the United States. If I was an American I would vote for Senator Obama and would encourage everyone I met to do the same.
    He will be a fabulous President!!

    June 1, 2008 02:59 am at 2:59 am |
  13. Dorian, Newark NJ

    More like bitter Clinton supporters. I watched those whole meeting on CNN and these have to be some of the rudest people on the planet. They break the rules and some how they still think it's all about them. Sounds like the candidate they are supporting. Half the delegates was generous, personally, I don't think they should have gotten any. After seeing the type of people at that meeting, now I know why Florida can never get a voting session right.

    Don't forget the threats to go to the convention and supporting McCain. Maybe they don't realize this is not a beauty contest. We have people losing their lives based on a lie, people losing their homes, jobs, can't afford to support their families and this is what the democratic party has to deal with? Hillary played her part in this and fueled their anger with lies and deception. If they vote for McCain in November, let them get what they deserve when life gets even harder for them.

    June 1, 2008 03:00 am at 3:00 am |
  14. David from Georgia

    We would not be in this mess if Hillary would have simply followed the rules. Hillary knew something like this would happen. She put this card in her pocket at the beginning of the race, just in case things didn't go her way. I am very disappointed in Hillary's behavior as well as her supporters. How do you reconcile the votes of the people who decided to stay home. Let's grow up..

    Obama '08

    June 1, 2008 03:00 am at 3:00 am |
  15. Belle

    The DNC is spineless! This election was rigged from the beginning....Mr. Obama had to sign a waiver KNOWING taking the name off the MI ballot would mean he would get NO votes, and write ins would be invalid. THOSE ARE THE RULES!!!

    Guess he ONLY obeys rules when it suits him!

    June 1, 2008 03:01 am at 3:01 am |
  16. delegates

    By hook or crook and your not still getting it billary!!........The fat lady is singing uh ohhhhhh uhhhhhh ................. hMmMm

    June 1, 2008 03:01 am at 3:01 am |
  17. Elisabeth

    Did Alice Hunter betray Hillary Clinton by voting for the compromise in Florida? Yes she did. More than 1 700 000 voters are the best and most secury "Gallup" ever made.

    June 1, 2008 03:02 am at 3:02 am |
  18. Jim N

    It astounds me to think that Clinton supporters would give Obama no delegates from Michigan just because no-one told him to remove his name from the ballot, when the party itself said the vote would be invalid prior to the vote. It astounds me that Clinton supporters would then claim 73 votes to none for Obama, after Clinton herself said before the vote that the vote should not count. They speak of fairness and unity - their proposals would split the party forever if adopted. Do they really and truly believe that the Michigan voters, who they so indignantly proclaim must be heard and counted, would be correctly represented by such a scenario? It's greed and power hunger, nothing more.

    June 1, 2008 03:02 am at 3:02 am |
  19. BDT

    If the two states had followed the rules to start with this would not be an issue.They tried and they got punished.Move on to the general election and take back the WHITE HOUSE !!!!!!!!!
    YES WE CAN OBAMA 08 !!!!!!!

    June 1, 2008 03:03 am at 3:03 am |
  20. Amanda

    Can you say re-registering as a Republican tommorow!

    Hillary 08 now being forced to vote for McCain!

    June 1, 2008 03:04 am at 3:04 am |
  21. Cats

    Let Hillary's suppoter go to McCain – get over it and move on! Grampa McCain is a loser also! Have 4 more years of Bush,
    Aren't you all jumping the ship before it sails?

    June 1, 2008 03:04 am at 3:04 am |
  22. edward

    Most Democract party leaders are a bunch of irresponsible leader. As a democract, I would say: Bill gave is glory. I would like to see it replay again. But anti-war left streamest like Dean and Kelly wanted to install Obama to affirm their miscalculations on war. When there's no war, US would lose its super power in the world. We didn't have to get into war. But once we are in it, US can't give its role as world police. Without that role, it can't compete with the rest of the world. We will lose our access to natural resources like oil. Bradley effect will put McCain into white house and democract will lose this opportunity for good. We, the moderate democract, will fight on and might even cross party line in general election. Go McCain after Cliton is down!

    June 1, 2008 03:04 am at 3:04 am |
  23. cleareyes


    Hillary is the real deal, she is the ONLY ONE for our nation!

    DNC leaders, our nation is more important than the party. 17 million of Hillary supporters are staying behind her ALL THE WAY!

    SEEING IS BELIEVING! A Hillary democrats revolution just begin, our voices are louder than ever!


    June 1, 2008 03:05 am at 3:05 am |
  24. Aaron in Arizona

    Looks like the DNC alloted the most delagates they could under the rules. Hope all the Hillary supporters will realize that and stop hating!!

    June 1, 2008 03:05 am at 3:05 am |
  25. Matt, Los Angeles

    Allowing a flawed and unfair primary process to be validated according to Clinton would have violated the bedrock principles of our democracy. YES, count, consider and recognize all the votes that were and would have been casted in a sanctioned and fair process. In a true democracy, the process to cast a vote weighs more than the vote itself.

    June 1, 2008 03:05 am at 3:05 am |
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