June 4th, 2008
04:14 PM ET
10 years ago

Rangel criticizes Clinton over non-concession speech

Rangel criticized Clinton's non-concession speech Wednesday.

Rangel criticized Clinton's non-concession speech Wednesday.

(CNN) - Prominent Hillary Clinton backer Charles Rangel thinks the New York senator could have been "far more generous" during her speech Tuesday night after it was clear Barack Obama had clinched the Democratic nomination.

Rangel, the senior member of the New York congressional delegation and an early supporter of Clinton’s presidential campaign, said in an interview Wednesday Clinton should have been more clear about what her future plans are.

"I would agree that after the math was in before her speech, that she could have been far more generous in terms of being more specific and saying that she wants a Democratic victory," Rangel said in an interview on MSNBC.

"I don't see what they're talking about in prolonging this," Rangel added. "There's nothing to prolong if you're not going to take the fight to the convention floor…I don't know why she could not have been more open in terms of doing up front what she intends to do later."

Rangel also said the entire New York congressional delegation is awaiting guidance from Clinton on what to do, and could be put "on the spot" if the New York senator does not explain herself soon.

"We could be on the spot if we don't get some answers about what does it mean when you say that you are not endorsing - or what does it mean when you say that you haven't - you're not out of the race. It just doesn't make any sense. It's inconsistent with wanting a Democratic victory and not endorsing the Democratic candidate."

soundoff (284 Responses)
  1. 1paperclip

    This is just crazy talk. Has anyone endorsed another candidate the same day as an election? Obama supporters need to chill a lot! They are being impossible as usual.

    June 4, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  2. Robert

    What does Hllary want? To be the center of attention. The media spotlight. It's her oxygen. She can't survive without it. Doesn't matter if the circumstances don't make sense - she's just gotta have it.

    June 4, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  3. Bukky

    One big reason why she cant be vice president...


    Clinton supporters think Obama whent negative. Infact he only responded to her attacks... republicans will not be so kind

    June 4, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  4. JB

    You are so right? What a horribly narcissistic self serving speech. It did nothing but to make her supporters even more bitter and anit-Obama.

    It is HER responsibility to get HER supporters on the democratic bandwagon!

    June 4, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  5. New Democrat

    Hillary said earlier this year that she would "work her heart out" for the nominee. Now, we have the presumptive nominee and so far she has not respected that fact but, rather, has indicated that she may choose to fight on – which would certainly be to the detriment of the party. I realize this situation is not easy for her and that she is probably trying to determine what she can get out of it but it truly is time for her to put her party and her country ahead of her own desires. It takes strength to fight to obtain our dreams but it sometimes takes even more strength to let go of those dreams. Please do the right thing Hillary – and soon!

    June 4, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  6. elen

    I don't understand it either. Here is Sen. Clinton's strongest mentor and supporter and he is frazzled and upset and in a spot. I am coming to believe that "narcissistic delusions" apply well to this family.

    June 4, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  7. Terry-IL

    How can Hillary claim she wants what is best for this country. She makes women look bad. She needs to concede. Listening to her supporters talk about how she should run as an independent or they will vote for McCain is outrageous to me. We need our party united. We need Americans united, we need change, we need relief. Hillary get out of the way. It was a great race but it is over now. Congratulations Obama, what an amazing day in history. No one could steal your thunder, not even a Clinton!!

    June 4, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  8. James

    If she takes it to the floor,she will lose superdelegates daily. Even if she found some way to steal the nomination, it wouldn't be worth having because her nomination would be viewed as a Clintonian fraud.

    June 4, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  9. The Other Campaign Strategist at 115th St & Amsterdam Ave

    You are correct Mr. Rangel ... unfortunately she continues to show bad judgement and just won't listen ...

    June 4, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  10. Pandering

    And she want to be VP? She would railroad his campaign and try to be in charge. I would not consider her as VP. Too much baggage! She was not even gracious in he speech last night.

    June 4, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  11. Sammy

    Sounds like to me that she sorta played them a little with her telephone call knowing that some would leak what they talked about. The goal was to get huge media attention not only for a potential concession but also even more attention when after she didnt do it. Well.... she succeeded in keeping her #1 in the news. How's that for self-importance?

    June 4, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  12. William L. Quigley

    Congratulations to Charles Rangel for speaking his mind. It's takes courage for any politician, particularly one in New York, to criticize Sen. Clinton.

    I voted for Senator Clinton during both her senatorial campaigns and for her husband during both his presidential campaigns. I am so appalled by her conduct during the primaries that she has lost my vote permanently. By not conceding, she has encouraged her supporters to hold out for her nomination or selection as a running mate. Since neither will (or should) happen, her supporters will become further embittered instead of supportive of the Democratic ticket. By making another four years of the Bush policies more likely, she has placed her own ambition over the nation’s welfare.

    June 4, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  13. martin

    she doesnt deserve consideration after her lame speech last nite.she should join mccain's camp.

    June 4, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  14. Mike

    What's is up with NY? Why are they waiting for Billary?


    June 4, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  15. Denise P Quinton

    Hillary is prolonging her decision because she got the votes of the people in a government founded on that principle. So please do not decide when she should give up, that is not yours to make. First of all she has been treated with disrespect, sexism, by the media, the DNC and all the leaders and superdelegates on the Hill. So for once, leave Hillary alone and who really cares because your golden candidate OBAMA will never win over the senior vote, the blue collar worker, nor lifelong Democrats who can see right through him and no longer support the values of the DNC

    June 4, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  16. Rudy NYC

    Could it be that Clinton is showing why her campaign failed. Failed strategy. Could it be that they actually no exit strategy and are trying to come up with one? LIke Bush had to take days to figure out Katrina.

    Hillary. This is a hiring decision and the primaries are the interview. Your narrow campaign planning and single-minded strategies are in plain view for all to see.

    I'm no politician, but I thought the first rule in politics and war was to always have a fall back position. You have not demonstrated any thinking along those lines.

    June 4, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  17. I faced the truth

    Could it be that Hillary Clinton is being defiant because she does not want the Democrats in win in 2008? Hmmm. It would free up her changes in 2012. What kind of loyality is that? All about self.

    June 4, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |

    Hillary has us all confused about what it is she is planning on doing.

    Come on Hillary speak up. Tell us something. We need to win back the White House. What's on your mind.

    Just don't destroy the entire democratic party because you didn't get what you wanted. People respect and admire you and expect nothing but support for the party from you.

    June 4, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  19. Georgia Independent

    Every single candidate has been demanding real-time decisions, announcements, etc. When 8 pm rolls around in an eastern state – most of the time CNN and Fox are both busily making predictions. Candidates have conceded defeat before 50% of the votes were even counted!

    The election process has spoken, there's no question who is the nominee. Get on with it. Hilary needs to concede/congratulate like any other defeated candidate would do and realize that whether you are male, female, androgynous, black, white, or green – the political game was decided many years ago – you can't re-write the rules because any candidate wants "time".

    Even dunderhead Romney conceded defeat when it was obvious! And he thought he was ordained to be Pres!

    June 4, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  20. Jot

    This is for Pelosi, you once said that nobody should take away the will of the people. What happened this time? You are so pathetic all along you supported Obama everybody knew that. The nomination was stolen from a woman the world knows is more experienced to lead this country to glory. If Obama loses in November it is the so called supper delegated to blame. You took away the will of the people, Pelosi and all those Tom Dasho who couldn't even help Obama win his home state South Dakota, Teddy Kennedy and John Kerry couldn't either. You will be all to blame

    June 4, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  21. Harriet Goes To Denver

    When Hillary decided to go the 'Harriet' route, she probably just ruined her chance at VP. I was all for her being VP until last night.

    If she really wanted VP, she would have acknowledged Obama's nomination and re-set the tone when her 'Harriet' supporters started their shrill 'Denver' during her speech.

    the 'Harriets' need to admit defeat, shut up and move on or register as Republicans. I no longer care about their poor loser tirades and impotent threats.

    June 4, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  22. Joe Regis

    It's OK sweetie.

    We will just declare victory.

    Obama/Clinton. 08 &12

    June 4, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  23. Maria

    Good point, Anita. She's counting on her supporters to stick with her blindly without giving them any sense of what she's thinking. That doesn't seem very respectful.

    June 4, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  24. Theory

    Rangel is a very loyal Clintonian, even he can see how destructive Hillary is becoming !!!

    June 4, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  25. fairandstraight

    He is correct. Before anyone can be a good leader, they must first know how to follow.

    June 4, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
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