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. Steve

    I'm a Michigan Democrat who voted in the primary and I'm DISGUSTED with the Democratic Party right now! HOW DARE YOU ONLY COUNT HALF MY VOTE! I am NOT HALF a voter! COUNT MY VOTE! MY ***FULL*** VOTE!!!! I PROMISE I will NOT vote for the Democratic ticket in the fall if my Democratic primary vote is not counted, IN FULL!!!!!

    June 1, 2008 03:05 am at 3:05 am |
  2. Anonymous

    I think it's completely rediculous how stubborn the Clinton supporters are being. Both cantidates are superb for the nomination and to lead our nation as our president. Senator Obama and Senator Clinton's views are practically identical to each other. It's astonishing on how divided the democratic party is right now. We need to realize that we shouldn't be fighting each other; we should be fighting to bring respect to the United States of America and to help her citizens flourish in honor. Hopefully Clinton will step down and hand the nomination to Obama. Then we could see an Obama/Clinton ticket for the fall!

    June 1, 2008 03:06 am at 3:06 am |
  3. NoHitwomanHillaryOnVpTicket

    Go McCain and Go you know where else while you are at it!

    June 1, 2008 03:06 am at 3:06 am |
  4. David

    Hillary Supporter praising McCain? Come on, this is a joke. I'm sorry, but it doesn't matter whether you're a Clinton or Obama supporter... if you vote for McCain b/c one or the other doesn't get it... that is fake. Clinton and Obama have a lot in common policy wise (almost identical). McCain and Obama, or McCain and Clinton have almost nothing in common.

    June 1, 2008 03:06 am at 3:06 am |
  5. Somaz

    Funny, the more I meet and speak to Hillary supporters more it reminds me of the developing world mentality of a familiar name to cure all ills .. gandhi, bhutto, bandaraniake .... the list goes on and now the same stageshow will begin here .. sad but then politics is not about the service but the service charge .. Have to give it o Hillary for being more polished than the native version in India called Rabri Devi, but in the end its all the same , powerful husbands playing proxy power games.
    Hope America smarts up rather than dumbs down!!
    ~ very thoughtful bihari

    June 1, 2008 03:07 am at 3:07 am |
  6. Carlos Velasquez

    I am confused by the argument made today by the members of the rules comity that we had to" Respect the rights of the voters who did not vote because they were told it wouldn't be counted" when there were record turnouts in both Florida and Michigan. Doesn't that discount their argument? They spent all day to decide what they had already made their mind up on before they went in. They took votes that were cast by the voters for Hillary Clinton and just gave them to obama .I thought voting was the right of the people what they have done can not be legal you can not take votes and redistribute them that is undemocratic and un-American Hillary should sue the democratic party and run as an independent.

    I am usually a good judge of character and i feel it in my heart that when all of the truths about obama come out people will begin to see through his rhetoric and realize that the emperor has no clothes.
    You cant close a closer because a closer can recognize a pitch and all obama has is a good pitch. There is no substance or consistency in his message all you have to do is look past the image that they are selling.

    June 1, 2008 03:07 am at 3:07 am |
  7. Bobby

    Any one who votes republican because of this decision wasn't a real democrat to begin with. Clinton and Obama's policies are 95% the same.

    Democrats 08!!

    June 1, 2008 03:07 am at 3:07 am |
  8. kirt

    It's the blatant mistake of the DNC CRB for destroying the confidence of the people to the party, instead of uniting it's dividing because so many Floridans and Michigan's people were frustrated with their decision. The CRB must admit their mistake and give the people's will by seating all delegates from their states. It is easy to ask forgiveness to few delegate members than to start courting again million of people to support their nomninee. Their concern must focus on the people not to their supported candidate if they want unity among the party members. In this process, the voice of the people had been rejected, their decision falls to their preference and backing up of their candidate.

    June 1, 2008 03:08 am at 3:08 am |
  9. Bret

    Anyone who says that they're voting for McCain is their candidate doesn't receive the nomination is nothing more than a spoiled child. Grow up! This is bigger than your wanting Clinton to be President. So go ahead, vote for McCain, see what that'll get you.

    June 1, 2008 03:08 am at 3:08 am |
  10. John

    Maybe Clinton and her supporters should have fought for Health Care in 1994 this hard and we would have it by now!!!

    June 1, 2008 03:08 am at 3:08 am |
  11. Y

    I don't get it. Today Clinton netted about 23 delegates from bogus primaries, and her supporters are complaining? They must be insane. They got what they asked for minus 4 delegates and they're complaining? Clinton should distance herself from these selfish, undemocratic followers of hers.

    June 1, 2008 03:09 am at 3:09 am |
  12. Michael

    The Obama campaign has done a terrible job in trying to unite the party. Obama is doing victory laps around Hillary Clinton while Clinton is still campaigning. At least John McCain had the decency to treat Huckabee with respect the last few days of their primary season.
    No wonder Clinton supporters are going over to McCain. If Obama thinks he can get to the whitehouse without treating Clinton with respect than I'm giving my vote to John McCain.

    June 1, 2008 03:10 am at 3:10 am |
  13. Obama 08

    It really disgusts me to see grown adults acting like children.
    And you people wonder WHY our society is like it is. Just look at how RACIST these Clinton Supporters truely are. By the way, I AM WHITE.
    Talk about DISRESPECTING someone. THESE Clinton supporters have to be the MOST DISRESPECTFUL people ON THE PLANET.
    WE, meaning MOST EVERYONE we know, WILL NOT BE VOTING for THE CLINTON'S.....
    AGAIN "the Clinton's" are CHANGING the meanings of words and twisting the words to suit their agenda.
    REMEMBER Monica Lewinski, Bill Clinton and the meaning of SEX and what the word IS really means.
    These so called Democrats would rather vote for McBush than Obama? If that's the case..........THEY DESERVE WHAT THEY GET.

    June 1, 2008 03:10 am at 3:10 am |
  14. BillyC

    that's just sad. i understand being angry at the process, but "let's go mccain?" the only thought that comes to mind is that racism still exists in America.

    June 1, 2008 03:12 am at 3:12 am |
  15. Tony

    The hardcore Hillary contingent has no interest in party unity, a vote that represents the will of the people, common sense, or in a serious way the direction of the country.

    I think it is readily apparent that they will in some part or another act like petulant children and take their marbles and go home. I'd extend any and all olive branches to those who place the nation above personal preference or a dream deferred but to those who would rather continue to see the country run deeper in the ditch with a hollow ambition for some future triumph and redemption...GOOD RIDDANCE!!! BYE BYE!!!!

    It is better to lose with honor in pursuit of the correct path than to sell your soul to win. That kind of win robs one of all victory because you have sold out all worth fighting for. So, scream, threaten, pout, lie, and act against all you have fought for but the party and the nation will be much healthier without you.

    If that is nasty, immature, or rude then so be it, but no candidate is worth all of these tactics. An issue, some central belief, or a question of vision I could understand taking to the convention but all of this over a person is nuts.
    Clinton still losses (or fails to win, how ever you choose to see it), even by her own fantasy rules. So, how can any group that calls themselves Democrats that act and threaten to tear the party apart over a candidate with few substantive policy differences than their candidate? It doesn't wash and if that's how much you believe in the significance of the platform and taking the nation into a positive and sustainable direction, then we differ so much that you add nothing to the party.

    It is also very hypocritical that many of those that were the most outspoken are the very people responsible for creating this mess in the first place by voting to follow through with McAuliffe's visionless "nuclear option". Yes, it's very strange that so many of those that feel the strongest about "principles" on the rules committee contributed so mightily to taking them away when it suited them.

    When pressed on this the response seems to be that no one could have had the foresight to predict how this election would turn out.
    My question is why one needs prescience to apply their principles?

    Right thinking Americans will see through this and they will also remember all of this in 12, 16, 20, and beyond.

    June 1, 2008 03:13 am at 3:13 am |
  16. Rick McClain

    It simply amazes me that the pro-Clinton ralliers would make such a statement such as "Go McCain". Do these people really see the big picture? They would rather cross partisan lines to vote for a candidate who wants to keep on with Bush-era policies on the economy and war than to vote for another democrat simply because they wouldn't get her nomination? Wake up people, you may want this woman in office, but don't let that person who keeps dividing the Democratic party by this hold out cloud the direction of where we need to go as a country by voting for McCain.

    June 1, 2008 03:13 am at 3:13 am |
  17. Jim

    Clearly, these people are Clinton supporters first, Democrat second, and rational thinkers last.

    June 1, 2008 03:14 am at 3:14 am |
  18. Deborah

    My my my! This reminds me of the GOP battles in Virginia. The Democrats have started to eat their young. There is no hope. Surrender Hillary before it is too late!

    June 1, 2008 03:14 am at 3:14 am |
  19. Chris from Michigan

    So they get their way and have the states votes counted then they complain about that!? Seriously, I really don't know what to say anymore, I guess Clinton advisers want to keep this party divided and in the end I think they just want to leave Obama with little support from her voter base. Well I don't think that'll be accomplished but I'm sure they'll try that. Whatever happened to this so called "unity" they had in mind before the committee decided how to seat the states. Why is it now that the states are being seated they STILL complain..In my opinion neither state should have been seated until another primary for each state was conducted but we can credit several people for stopping that including some people in my candidates campaign. Do I feel regret for them stopping it? No not really, because we don't deserve the votes in my opinion because we broke the rules.

    June 1, 2008 03:14 am at 3:14 am |
  20. SM

    I am a Hillary Clinton supporter, but overall I am a democrat. I think the ruling was fair giving the circumstances that both states broke the rule by moving up their primary. We all were taught to play by the rules, and not change the rules in the middle of the game. Even if Senator Clinton was giving all the delegates she would still behind. It’s sadly unfortunate to hear people saying that they will vote for McCain if Hillary is not the nominee. I hope those people can think about the issues and what is at steak come November. Both Senators Clinton and Obama agree in most issues, and both are great candidate either one will be a great President compared to Bush or McCain. I hope we all work together to win in November.

    June 1, 2008 03:16 am at 3:16 am |
  21. Rafi, NY NY

    Let's be honest.. Those Clinton supporters would only have been satisfied if the committee gave Hillary 100% of the delegates in both states, none to Obama, and then a few extra to make sure she got the nomination.

    They don't care about fairness, they just want their candidate to win no matter what. They consider any other outcome "stealing the nomination".

    Good Lord, grow up.

    June 1, 2008 03:17 am at 3:17 am |
  22. kingsley

    its really amazing what is happening in the democratic party right now.But what baffles me most is what senator clinton is doing and saying now too. She agreed to all the decisions that were made about michigan and florida in january when she was winning, and now that she is looosing she is crying and sobbing and calling for a full reinstatement, its really a shame . she and her husband are gradually destroying the democratic party, No single individual is greater than the party, So let her do the wise thing, and run an honest and a faithful run.

    June 1, 2008 03:17 am at 3:17 am |
  23. Ngaruiya, Limuru, Kenya

    Oh! Clinton supporters just dont get it. There's no way she can close the deal at this point. About time they took a reality pill. Obama 08.

    June 1, 2008 03:18 am at 3:18 am |
  24. Laura

    How can you punish the people fo what their leaders decide. All my life I have heard "Vote, it's your right, your privilege." Now you want to only count half/ That sounds like something from a third world country to me. Come to think of it, at the rate this country is going, we may be a third world country before long.

    June 1, 2008 03:18 am at 3:18 am |
  25. Mark C.

    The dems need to move on now. Clintons need to be with the party and support Obama in his presidential bid. Perhaps they can try for a bid in 8 years. They have already been in the white house for 8 years, now its time for a change.

    June 1, 2008 03:18 am at 3:18 am |
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