June 1st, 2008
11:20 AM ET
6 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. Cyrano

    Poor Hillary... boo hoo!
    It has been over for SOOO long. The Committee members came to a very fair conclusion considering all the difficult concerns involved for the voters and the party. This workz. Game over.

    Whatever Hilary supporters move over to McCain in the fall deserve to be voting for McCain... closet republicans just like Hillary. What a bunch of imbeciles. Ruin our country because you favorite little candidate doesn't get the nomination? Good job geniuses.

    June 1, 2008 03:18 am at 3:18 am |
  2. Snyggast

    There's no doubt that Hilary supporters will even vote for W. Bush if the General Election wasbetween Bush and Obama.

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

    Harold Ickes should be ashamed of himself. He is a member of the Democratic Rules Committee and his role in the discussion and vote on Saturday was to be UNBIASED as he and the other members of the committee worked to create a compromise for Florida and Michigan. If he and Hilary continue down the warpath they created on Saturday, we can just all sit down and let McCain win the general election.

    Both the Obama and Clinton campaigns agreed early on that the votes in Florida and Michigan would not count. It was only after Hilary was losing that she changed her mind and started a war within the Democratic Party. Hilary should be thankful the DNC decided to give her any part of the Florida and Michigan delegates. Hilary – sit down and act like an adult for a change. Let the Democratic Party survive.

    Hilary is NOT concerned about the American people – she is concerned about the POWER she wants!!!

    Sue

    June 1, 2008 03:18 am at 3:18 am |
  4. tp

    I think that Obama would in any event win the nomination. I he were to support full representation by Michigan and Florida he would be viewed as a statesman by both sides and unify the party behind him.

    June 1, 2008 03:18 am at 3:18 am |
  5. maramara

    The Clinton camp is well informed on the rules of democracy and should try to stick to those rules. If their candidate, a wife of the former president, cannot respect rules drawn up by her and the party she is affiliated in, how then will she be able to respect the constitution of the United States of America? I am an independent and speaking with an independent mind. The Clinton's are unfair. The Rules and bylaws committee has over done it becuase those primaries were not legitimate. The delegation should have been sitted with no, half or full voting right and the delegates allocated equally to both candidates. The best option was to re-run the primaries. They should apologies to the American people for abusing the confidence that was bestored on them by many American.

    June 1, 2008 03:19 am at 3:19 am |
  6. JCT

    What a historic event.
    In November of 2000 Democratic Party was searching in the trash cans for votes that did not exist.
    In May 31st 2008 the same Democratic Party trashed over 1000000 votes casted counted and certified by the States of Florida and Michigan.
    What happened to the phrase that every vote count?
    DNC today punished the voters of those States for what their State officials did, moved the Primary dates.At the same time they are asking for Party unity. What a joke.
    Well my friends we believe in CHANGE too.
    " Senator McCain you will be the next president of the USA. "

    Life long Democrats from Jefferson County,Texas

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

    Clinton supporters really showed their lack of education at the Rules Committee

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

    I totally agree with this comment made by Clinton senior advisor & RBC member Harold Ickles: "This motion will hijack, hijack, remove four delegates won by Hillary Clinton and most importantly reflect the preferences of 600,000 Michigan voters,” and added "that the White House hopeful reserved her right to bring an appeal before the DNC's Credentials Committee later this summer." I was born & lived 52 years in MI. & this is a time where they are trying to live in the worse economy of all the states due to all the Auto Plants closing or ripping off workers with up to 28 years seniority with a years worth of wage buyout & no benefits! Then they are going to turn around & hire nonunion workers for 1/2 the price. I know this as I was a UAW Rep. at General Motors. So, now all my friends are losing their homes too! Talk about kick you when you're already down! They actually voted to make the people who went out in bad weather to vote only be considered 1/2 a person! How dare them! Obama took his name off so that is his own problem. This was an unworthy & unjustified decision by the DNC. They made a political decision not a constitutional decision. Therefore, give us Hillary to vote for or we're switching over to McCain. Check out what everyone is saying at Hillary's blog! I hope they consider this very hard as only Hillary can win! Obama needs to come back to run once he is involved with many more things concerning government and gains some experience and also once we have time to find out all the other bad stories I think are going to surface. He can forget thinking the quitting of his membership of his horrific church will help after remaining there 20 years! Sorry too late!

    June 1, 2008 03:21 am at 3:21 am |
  9. Tareque

    Lets move forward all Democrats!

    June 1, 2008 03:21 am at 3:21 am |
  10. Josh from Edmonton, Alberta

    I feel sorry for the committee. This outcome and the strong reactions towards a compromise were to be expected. Hillary supporters are deeply upset at the end of a highly divisive campaign and now that her last hope to somehow catch up has slipped away. Obama supporters on the other hand may still feel offended that she was able to make any gains at all after the rules were clearly broken but at least they can breathe easier now since it won't make any difference in the final outcome whatsoever. The saying has proven true again: "if you try to build a bridge you'll be stepped on from both sides!"

    June 1, 2008 03:22 am at 3:22 am |
  11. Ana

    The CRB should punish the delgates or the committee not the people of Florida and Michigan. They must listen to the will of the people not to their few members who actually got mistakes. The people didn't get any wrong doing by voting their candidate which they thought was the best candidate for pres. this coming election. If they don't give what people wanted, people will not give what they gonna ask, simple as that.

    June 1, 2008 03:23 am at 3:23 am |
  12. M OROW

    The Michigan Democrats went against the Rule of the Game. Obama abided by removing his name because its wrong in the first place to have the primary since not in accordance with the Rules. When the rules suit Hillary and her campaigners they say 'ok' but when it does not suit them they say 'Denver"Denver'. Where is the fairness. Who directed the Michigan Democrat to go ahead of the primary date and broke the Rules? Obama therefore should not be penalised. The DNC has been fair to award 69 delegates to Hillary and 59 to Obama.

    June 1, 2008 03:23 am at 3:23 am |
  13. Tim from Eugene OR.

    I hope history will show what an arrogant selfish careless race Clinton ran. She was the first dem. that cared so much about her own ambitions to become president that she divided the party, just so a fellow dem. that beat her fair and square would lose in 08 and allow her selfish butt to run again in 2012. What a selfish loser! Out of the three contenders, Obama is the only one that I have heard say he believes in Jesus, and for that reason alone, I think Obama still has a chance. Since the little monkey we have in there now was not a real Christain, but flung hints of a belief about the Lords only son around like cheap candy. I don't think the Lord will be mocked again. As for the veins coming out on their neck hard core femenist, to hell with them and there corrupt choice.

    June 1, 2008 03:23 am at 3:23 am |
  14. Nevada Mom

    As I watched these proceedings today, I could only cringe each time some supporter of Hillary Clinton would begin shouting at the members of this committee. Their complete lack of reasonable and civil behavior just showed how simple many of them are. They were ugly, hostile, and not at all interested in any compromise. It would be their way or no satisfaction. They came to the negotiation table with the frame of mind that there was only one possible soultion that would be tolerable.
    And, Harold Ickes should be ashamed of himself for the inflamatory rhetoric he delivered today. He seems like a real jerk.

    June 1, 2008 03:23 am at 3:23 am |
  15. Dan M

    Obama’s people need to find a way to address the issue of perceived sexism in the treatment of Mrs. Clinton during the campaign. When you see your role model and standard-bearer losing it is natural to perceive mistreatment even where there is none.

    The blogs are full of nasty and hurtful language directed toward her. That invective cannot be blamed on Obama but I believe it infects and coarsens the interchanges between the camps. Truly ugly, invective is directed at Obama too, but as the winner it is incumbent on him to reach out to Clinton supporters.

    June 1, 2008 03:24 am at 3:24 am |
  16. Radiance

    The resolution that was agreed upon was not a fair one. To count all the votes would have been equal to playing a game with once set of rule, taking the results of that game and applying them to a different set of rules. That is implossible to do while being fair. The inpact of the first set of rues has already had an effect, and at this juncture I am not aware of any time machine. The Obama campain conceeded to Hillary the results of a beauty contest in Florida. That was unfair to him but he did it. No one wants to play a game that is not fair. Obama was as unknown as Hillary is known around the world. Being told he could not campaign in Michigan, he took his name off the ballet, and I would have as well. Again, no one wants to play a game that isn't fair. The Obama campaign gave Hillary the advantage of a beauty contest in Michigan. It was not fair to him but he did it anyway. OBAMA MADE THE COMPROMISE. If Hillary Clinton wants to hurt the party of America, (And I am sure that the Democratic party is the party of America- with all it's history, evolution, diversity and imperfections to boot, it is America to a T.) then she can take her case to Denver. If Clinton supporters want to vote for McCain out of spite grounded in the lies they belive, then they can do so. Our most GOD given right is the right to choose, even if that choose will be bad for you. If Both Hillary and some of her supporters make the decisions I stated they have the right to make, they will be doing so agains America and its interests. In 2000 we voted for a party that was not representative of America, and now we are at risk of loosing it. A vote for Obama is a vote for America. In November we'll see just how many Americans are really for America and how may just claim to be.

    June 1, 2008 03:25 am at 3:25 am |
  17. Colleen McCloskey

    How can the party use the title "democrats", when the decision is an oxymoron to democracy. Florida votes were split!!!!!!!!!! What????????This means the citizens who voted for Clinton have lost their vote and it has been applied inaccurately to Obama. This will make it a stolen nomination if he is named such. A will undoubtly register as independent if the appeal in July is not granted. McCain will receive my vote if Clinton is not on the ballot, since Obama has left a sour taste on my soul that will not fade.

    June 1, 2008 03:25 am at 3:25 am |
  18. EWENIKE ROWLAND,italy

    THE CLINTON SUPPORTERS THAT WERE ANGRY NEED TO FIGURE OUT HOW TO LECTURE THEIR CHILDREN AND THE FUTURE GENERATION ON HOW TO PRACTICE DEMOCRACY WITHOUT RESPECTING THE RULES. THIS IS A CLEAR MESSAGE TO FUTURE DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CADIDATES THAT THE RULES OF THE PRMARIES SHOULD NO LONGER BE RESPECTED BECOUSE THEY MAY BE CHANGED AT THE END OF THE CONTEST

    June 1, 2008 03:26 am at 3:26 am |
  19. Erica

    Enough already. This all has to make you wonder. With all these acts fo selfishness by Hillary, what makes us think she will do whats best for this country if she can't even do whats best for the Democratic Party?

    June 1, 2008 03:26 am at 3:26 am |
  20. Kpkafle

    Great! Democrats yelling, "Go McCain". If these Hillary supporters are that bitter then go, go vote for McCain and see if your conscience can live with it. For the rational Hillary supporters we need you let's get rid of these Republican criminals in the White House.

    June 1, 2008 03:27 am at 3:27 am |
  21. TL

    Interesting. I wonder how many of the Clinton's backers are also closet Republicans, just like Mrs. Clinton.

    June 1, 2008 03:27 am at 3:27 am |
  22. jdp

    The panel’s decision will not unite the party. Obama was given delegates even though he wasn't even on the ballot. I want delagates too. So you say I never ran, then give them to Edwards. He ran. Do you see where this is going? How can anyone give delegates to a person who wasn't even on the ballot. And why would Obama take his name off? He was planning on being in the general wasn't he?
    Michigan and Florida are not being counted in full. The DNC is making a grave mistake. Many Americans feel that their votes don't count. This decision confirms their beliefs.

    June 1, 2008 03:28 am at 3:28 am |
  23. Robin

    These supposed "Democratic" supporters of Hillary's are trying to blackmail the Party with their votes. They don't seem Democratic at all in either philosophy or behavior. Or very adult. I'm proud of what the Democratic Party did today. They did their best. That's all they could do. And I'm also proud of the behavior of Obama supporters-who respected his leadership on this matter by practicing restraint and forbearance and not creating a scene.

    June 1, 2008 03:28 am at 3:28 am |
  24. Radiance

    The resolution that was agreed upon was not a fair one. To count all the votes would have been equal to playing a game with once set of rule, taking the results of that game and applying them to a different set of rules. That is impossible to do while being fair. The impact of the first set of rues has already had an effect, and at this juncture I am not aware of any time machine. The Obama campaign conceded to Hillary the results of a beauty contest in Florida. That was unfair to him but he did it. No one wants to play a game that is not fair. Obama was as unknown as Hillary is known around the world. Being told he could not campaign in Michigan, he took his name off the ballet, and I would have as well. Again, no one wants to play a game that isn't fair. The Obama campaign gave Hillary the advantage of a beauty contest in Michigan. It was not fair to him but he did it anyway. OBAMA MADE THE COMPROMISE. If Hillary Clinton wants to hurt the party of America, (And I am sure that the Democratic party is the party of America- with all it's history, evolution, diversity and imperfections to boot, it is America to a T.) then she can take her case to Denver. If Clinton supporters want to vote for McCain out of spite grounded in the lies they believe, then they can do so. Our most GOD given right is the right to choose, even if that choose will be bad for you. If Both Hillary and some of her supporters make the decisions I stated they have the right to make, they will be doing so against America and our interests. In 2000 we voted for a party that was not representative of America, and now we are at risk of losing it. A vote for Obama is a vote for America. In November we'll see just how many Americans are really for America and how may just claim to be.
    1.

    June 1, 2008 03:28 am at 3:28 am |
  25. Al

    Clinton supporters need to grow up and stop acting like brats. Florida and Michigan broke the rules and had to pay a price. Go ahead and vote for McCain. They were never real Democrates anyway.

    June 1, 2008 03:28 am at 3:28 am |
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