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. TrueBlue

    Well fellow Hillary supporters, lets not give up, we never give up. But we need to either have Hillary as an independent or we must vote for McCain, we cannot afford to lose our country to the communist party. LETS GO AND SAVE AMERICA !!!

    HILLARY / MCCAIN 2008 !!!

    June 1, 2008 03:29 am at 3:29 am |
  2. Voice of Reason

    I hate to play the race card but, when it's dealt...

    All these freaks that would vote for McCain, a candidate with a diametrically contradictory stance on many key issues (compared to Clinton)... Well... They'd have a hard time convincing me that their motivations were not overwhelmingly racial in nature. And the people that have claimed Barack Obama has enjoyed some sort of an ADVANTAGE in his drive toward the White House... Those people are delusional and need to get a grip! As sad as the reality is -much of it remaining unspoken as we tiptoe through the obvious- I actually find these small-minded people's abject fear of a black American president to be comical. See how they run...

    June 1, 2008 03:30 am at 3:30 am |
  3. david berbert

    And Hillary supporters called themselves Democrats?!? If Hillary supporters vote for McCain out of spite, then better to flush them out now, rather than during the convention. The party rules were upheld and not changed just to appease Hillary.

    June 1, 2008 03:31 am at 3:31 am |
  4. 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. Supers please move in and put all these to end. For the sake of party's unity. Or else Dems will go down with Clintons. Obama 08.

    June 1, 2008 03:31 am at 3:31 am |
  5. John

    I cant believe clinton supporters would act this way, I have always found them very rude and negative, they should be happy they got half the votes, before this fiasco happened, the rules were agreed to by Hillary and her chief delegate advisor, when they saw themselves losing they felt it was their right to bend the rules......pathetic they are!!, and by the way Obama and the rest of the states of America played by the rules...so thats a landslide majority!!

    June 1, 2008 03:31 am at 3:31 am |
  6. CTM

    If anybody would really vote for McSame than Obama than they never cared about what Clinton’s message in the first place..

    June 1, 2008 03:31 am at 3:31 am |
  7. stephanie

    Way to go Hillary! Way to divide the party. I hope you are happy. It didn't need to come to this. You should of bowed out and ran again when it was your turn. To those who would vote for McCain over Obama don't really know what the party stands for. Why would you vote for someone who stands for everything Hillary doesn't. Who do you think the Clintons will be voting for. let see... not McCain!

    June 1, 2008 03:32 am at 3:32 am |
  8. 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 us. 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.

    June 1, 2008 03:32 am at 3:32 am |
  9. Micah Rose

    Can anyone really say that Michigan's vote was really representative of Michigan? It was the only state that had less democratic voters than republican voters in it's primary. It was a state that had dems crossing over to vote for republicans in a Limbaugh-like operation. It was a state in which people just stayed home. When we talk about seating delegates, we should remember that Michigan had 0 delegates, and an unofficial primary. The rules for how delegates should be seated from a primary DO NOT apply, Mr. Ickes, as their primary was not recognized by the DNC. Any seating of delegates is an olive branch, meant only to unify the party, it does not in any way vindicate the results of its primary. If Hillary takes this to the convention, she will still lose, and she will potentially help McCain get elected if her rancorous supporters stay home or vote McCain out of idiotic spite. If she decides to selfishly play the party against itself at the convention, Hillary can kiss her political career goodbye, and any hope of having a legacy before senility claims her shall also be bid adieu.

    June 1, 2008 03:32 am at 3:32 am |
  10. walt

    Wow, so Clinton brings a few rowdy supporters ... this post makes it seem like they rained on everybody's parade. "Get me an Estelle Getty!", she demanded.
    I'm not really sure what else they wanted out of today's process. The results are fair for everyone, especially since the rules were broken and the vote was fundamentally affected.

    June 1, 2008 03:32 am at 3:32 am |
  11. Rob

    Besides running a good campaigning and beating Clinton, what has Obama done so awful to incense Clinton's support so much so that they would rather vote for McCain. Shouldn't it be the Obama's supports who are angry at Clinton for being so disingenuous? She knew about the Michigan and Florida situation before she started her campaign, and never objected.

    June 1, 2008 03:34 am at 3:34 am |
  12. Hillary in 2008

    I am beyond disgusted with the Democratic Party. After 30 years as a devoted, contributing member who often campaigned for candidates, I find myself unable to recognize it any longer. The recent actions of the DNC are further evidence that the Democratic party has lost touch with its most committed members.

    June 1, 2008 03:35 am at 3:35 am |
  13. alright already

    I dont understand why the clinton supporters are so vehemently upset the Florida votes was declared half votes thats fine.Compromise on the michigan delegates by giving obama 4 more delegates than they wanted and that warrants tears.....and screams what??? Is clinton going to lose by 3 or 4 delegates or by a hundred or so....Being its going to be by a hundred plus whats the fuss over 4 delegates.I mean really,even if hillary got every thing that she wanted she would have still been down like 80 delegates.What is with all the unwarranted drama and anger at lest of all towards obama.i can see being disappointed but pushing obama supporters screaming denver or mccain 08....??? tha heck. this is surreal but i blame it on the leadership if the leadership acted responsible i think the crowd would have been way less rambunctious

    June 1, 2008 03:35 am at 3:35 am |
  14. Choc

    OK... let's try to make sense out of this... I am not a US Citizen, with no rights to vote but I can bet I got enough common sense.

    First all agree that these votes will now count. Now they are calling foul because of the loss... you must be kidding me.

    First of all, I understand the reason to seat delegates, which is to not to offend the voters. WHY CAN'T THESE GUYS NOT THINK OF THIS TYPE OF SITUATION BEFORE CREATING SUCH RULES???

    Now that the DNC has reached a decision, Clinton supporters are just being DISRUPTIVE. Get real, be democrats and support the party, if you care to win.

    NO ONE has stolen the vote... it is a party decision. MOVE ON!

    June 1, 2008 03:35 am at 3:35 am |
  15. Rus

    Ok, lets suppose Hillary fights this out. Hillary does not have as much support on the Credentials Committee, they are Dean loyalists primarily who will uphold the DNC's rulings. Unless Dean himself comes out and doesn't agree with it, I'd be surprised if things changed.

    So, lets then say Hillary fights this all the way to the floor of the convention. Will it really do any good? The delegates from Michigan that will be in attendance will have already been chosen based on them being pledged to Obama and Clinton. Can you take those delegates, tell them they're now uncommitted, and they'll magically go "I'm uncommitted now, I'm going to go for Hillary". That isn't going to happen no matter if they're unpledged or not, they're in attendance to support a specific candidate.

    The floor could go back to 74 – 55, but since they have half votes, that will give Clinton a 2 delegate swing. Nothing that is going to be of any signifigence.

    This is what Michigan democrates decided, and already were implementing in their local conventions from the testimony given on Saturday. Accepting that comprimise was the path of least resistance for the RBC and for Michigan as well. Honestly, those that are willing to protest now, I am guessing wouldn't have been happy with any decision the RBC made, they are die hard Hillary supporters, and there was nothing they could have decided that would have allowed their candidate to get back into the race at this point in time.

    It is not the RBC's fault Hillary is not going to get the nomination, it's the Hillary campaign's fault. Her lack of organization, funding, and campaigning between February and March has done her in here. That is her failure, but it's always easier to blame someone else when you admire and believe in someone. That is only human nature.

    I ask one simple question to supporters thinking this way. What has John McCain done to earn your vote?

    June 1, 2008 03:37 am at 3:37 am |
  16. Andrew in Iowa City

    I don't understand. Even if Hillary gets all of the votes in Michigan she is still behind Obama. I just don't get it. Do Hillary supporters ignore all the other people that have voted in this terribly long campaign? Clearly the majority of voters want Obama. sigh.

    June 1, 2008 03:38 am at 3:38 am |
  17. Rules are rules!

    Rules are rules....You can't expect your votes to count when you cast them before the legal date of elections. Florida and Michigan knew well in advance what would happen...Even Hillary herself abided by the rules before the game started. Can't take it out on Obama because he isn't in the Florida legislature. He played by the rules and won...It's as simple as that. I can tell my kids about this and show how adults compromise, and exercise fairplay. At the very least, Florida and Michigan should be happy their election ended up counting even though, by the rules, they shouldn't be counted at all. That's my 2 cents...Peace!

    June 1, 2008 03:38 am at 3:38 am |
  18. kathy

    Disgusting. This is the most biased, sexist, and underhanded campaign I've ever witnessed. Obama's supporters practice reverse racism and everyone is scared that if Clinton were to win by popular vote, that we'd have another race riot on our hands. Unbelievable. So, we're going to cheat Clinton out of votes for fear of black people will turning violent. What a joke. I've had it with the Democratic Party.

    Plan "A" – Hillary
    Plan "B" – McCain

    June 1, 2008 03:42 am at 3:42 am |
  19. pepe

    If Clinton and her supporters want to take this to the convention, they might as well go republican because they are not true democrats, our fathers and fathers before them, lived, supported and abided by the principles of democratic party and believed in party unity......Instead the Clinton campaign and her supporters are destroying it.

    it was always about the clintons and her feminists and there self indulging interests...

    June 1, 2008 03:44 am at 3:44 am |
  20. Radiance

    This blog was posted at 12:36 AM ET, on June 1st. Cheeters should at least be neat for those of us detail oriented.

    June 1, 2008 03:48 am at 3:48 am |
  21. arun

    clinton supporters are of the opinion that they run the democratic party.

    June 1, 2008 03:49 am at 3:49 am |
  22. Vtercell

    Is this what they call a hissy-fit?

    June 1, 2008 03:50 am at 3:50 am |
  23. Andy

    I think these decisions are more than fair. Both FL and MI voters ARE now represented, even though they had violated the parties rules.
    I guess Hillary supporters were hoping she would get through some mathematical trick a lot more delegates (and basically Barack Obama none) BUT the FACT is,she agreed at the time when they had their primaries early that they WOULD NOT COUNT.
    (And if we talk about "democracy" here, to claim you won the whole state when you are the only candidate on the ballot (MI) then this is more the style of dictators like Castro or Kim Yong-Il who always win with 90+ %-since they are the only choice on the ballot).
    People HAVE to come TOGETHER!!We are facing SERIOUS PROBLEMS in our country:every day REAL people DIE in IRAQ NEEDLESSLY; every day people struggle with REAL problems e.g. their house payments,food bills, health care andd the list goes on.
    We CANNOT let the republicans continue their disastrous policies.There has to be change. The longer we fight among ourselves the more traction McBush gets.
    Hillary has LOST by the will of the voters and she has to face up to it. ALL DEMOCRATS have to unite behind Sen. Barack Obama as our nominee and future President.
    Search your souls people, and you WILL KNOW this is the right decision.
    Let us make history- OBAMA 08&2012

    June 1, 2008 03:51 am at 3:51 am |
  24. Vancouver

    As a canadian watching both sides, i can finally see that Hillary Clinton is pretty much responsible for all this and the divide in the democratic party... it seems as if she advocated the protests which ultimately turned this decision day into a negative tone. I really think she owes an apology to everyone.

    June 1, 2008 03:51 am at 3:51 am |
  25. Alia

    REALLY, what is so hard to understand about the face that both state's Democratic Parties broke the rules. I guess flouting them was not enough. The two states wanted to have their cake and eat it too. I really hate those that can not play by the rules while insisting that everyone else does. And then they still stand by their "righteous'" indignation.

    June 1, 2008 03:52 am at 3:52 am |
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