November 4th, 2008
05:40 PM ET
6 years ago

PUMA founder: Obama is Democrats' Bush

PUMA members still won't vote for Obama.
PUMA members still won't vote for Obama.

(CNN) - When Will Bower, an ardent Hillary Clinton supporter and lifelong Democrat, founded PUMA, Party Unity My A**, his mission was to express frustration in the Democratic Party. Fast forward six months to Election Day, and he is proud to say he's cast his ballot for the candidate he "trusts" most: John McCain.

"I see Barack Obama as essentially being the Democratic George Bush," Bower said. "It's a reactionary movement. People like John McCain and Hillary Clinton represent mores stability and sensibility to me."

Bower started the PUMA movement in the days leading up to the suspension of Clinton's presidential campaign in early June.

The initiative was not to rally support for McCain but to unite those who don't want Obama as president.

The group is predominantly composed of female Clinton supporters, Bower told CNN in early June, but he has also helped launch the Just Say No Deal, a nationwide coalition that he estimated has 2 million voters who are also vowing to "say no" to the Illinois senator.

The 36-year-old Washington resident has never voted for a Republican in his 18 years of qualifying to vote but said he feels that Obama does not represent the voice of the Democratic Party but the "leadership" of the Democratic National Committee.

"I didn't want to validate corruption or reward the campaign for what I thought was a fraudulent victory," Bower said. "What I am left with is a matter of trust. I have very little trust for Barack Obama. Even though John McCain and I might have differences on various issues, I trust him.

"[McCain is] a bipartisan leader, and I think that's the kind of leadership we need right now," Bower added.

Only during Clinton's convention speech in Denver, Colorado, did Bower consider not voting for McCain, but at no point was he swayed toward Obama.

He credits the Arizona senator's choice of Sarah Palin as his running mate in helping to decide his vote.

"I think [Sarah Palin] is essentially as qualified as Barack Obama," Bower said. "The benefit of Palin is that she is only second on the ticket, as opposed to first. I feel that Barack Obama is no more qualified than Sarah Palin."

As for the other members of PUMA, Bower says the majority will be casting votes for McCain, just as he did.

"There are plenty of PUMAs who are still not ready to go the extra step [and vote McCain], but they are not ready to vote for Obama, either."

Those voters, he says, will either abstain from voting, vote third-party or write in Clinton's name.

Only a small percentage of members have shifted toward supporting Obama, but if those members pull the lever for the Democratic nominee, they are "no longer a PUMA," Bower said.

soundoff (370 Responses)
  1. Keith - Ottawa, Ontario

    How does he not choke when he considers.... President Palin??

    November 4, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  2. Anonymous

    Palin is just as qualified as Obama? You have got to be kidding me.

    November 4, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  3. Andy

    A vote for McCain is a vote for more of the same. McCain has been a Bush bootlicker since day one.

    November 4, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  4. Anonymous

    At least once this election is over, these PUMAs will officially become irrelevant.

    November 4, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  5. John

    I think he's right. Although I have no problem with Obama being our president, his being elected is certainly a "reactionary" move, like Bush's election was. We'll see what happens, but perhaps Obama won't be the "savior" everyone thought he'd be.

    November 4, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  6. Thanh

    Hey, I supported Clinton, but not voting for Obama out of bitterness is stupid. John McCain now, is not the John McCain from the primaries. His message has been warped and corrupted by others in the GOP. Nearly every single negative ad has not focused on the issues, but instead attempted to link Obama to terrorists and others with radical agendas? What part of "real American" does that to a fellow citizen?

    John McCain in the primaries ran on virtue and honor. Not now. Also, how can any Democrat PUMA even consider putting Palin so close to the Oval Office. It's insane.

    November 4, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  7. Sokuy30

    He is just another wishy washy Democrat!
    I voted for Obama and I am life long Republican.

    November 4, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  8. Turnabout is fair play

    Stupid idiots who would rather cut off their noses to spite their own faces.. You are NOT hurting Obama you PUMA dumbf@cks, he will win despite your lack of intelligence.

    November 4, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  9. Manny

    i felt exactly as will did. too bad i didn't get to learn about the group's formation earlier. i would have gladly joined them. well, at least, in spirit and deed, i was with them. i voted for mccain.

    November 4, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  10. Yea

    I would have voted for Hilary Clinton as well.

    November 4, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  11. We love Sarah

    This clown is nucking futs.

    November 4, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  12. Joe

    Why doesn't he just register as a Republican? They love losers.

    November 4, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  13. Concerned Voter

    Who cares what this nobody thinks?!

    November 4, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  14. Anonymous

    Cutting off the nose to spite the face. A 36 year old basically stating "Waaah waaah waah, if I can't have my toys, noone can!" Never thought I'd be saying this to an almost 40 yeart old man but, Grow up kid.

    November 4, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  15. deehsmaj

    This guy has to be stupid to say that Sarah Palin is as qualified as Barack Obama. He sounds like an idiot.

    November 4, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  16. W.C. Minor

    What a fool. I sense that his only goal is to back McCain in an attempt to rally his candiate in four years time.

    "[McCain is] a bipartisan leader, and I think that's the kind of leadership we need right now," Bower added.

    The same "Bipartisan leader that voted with "King" George 90% of the time. Give me a break.

    November 4, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  17. JimL

    Would someone please tell Will that his fifteen minutes are up?

    November 4, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  18. Beth

    Obama will divide this nation no matter what happens. (Check out the Black Planter standing outside the polling place in PA) Either way how this election turns out America will suffer and we can thank Obama for dividing America. Hillary supporter for McCain/Palin
    McCain/Palin 2008

    November 4, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  19. D.C. Churchwell

    I agree with Bowers, but I can't vote for McCain because of his running mate. She is the complete opposite of everything I believe in. I decided to use my vote to make a statement-I wrote in Hillary R. Clinton for my presidential choice!

    November 4, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  20. TP

    Great to see you really stand for Clinton's ideology... Thanks, but no thanks to you...

    November 4, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  21. Chris from St. Louis

    He mis-stated his number of supporters ... it is not 2 million ... it is just TWO.

    November 4, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  22. Mark

    I guess it's hard to own up to being a racist. I'm not sure what else it could be. Obama and Hillary have very similar policies, night and day from McCain. This loser is either a racist, or he has some sort of popularity contest going on in his own mind ( or both). The good news is that these PUMA jokers are about to crawl back under a rock, never to be heard from again. Just one more thing to celebrate.

    November 4, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  23. Carol

    And a bigot speaks.

    November 4, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  24. Anonymous

    Any Democrat who professes to support John McCain, saying his decision was solidified by McCain's choosing of Sarah Palin, is not credible, in my humble estimation. I've been a Democrat since 1966 and can tell you that these "PUMAS" are not now and never were, genuine members of the Democratic Party. Their lack of Party loyalty reveals a pack of sniveling, whining, little spoiled brats who didn't get their way. I'm a Barack Obama supporter and would have proudly, and loudly supported Hillary Clinton had she won the nomination.

    November 4, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  25. A Democrat

    PUMA all the way. The DNC shoved Obama down our throats and today I voted McCain. How can Obama unite a country when he can not unite his own party????

    November 4, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
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