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. G*O*B*A*M*A

    what a crybaby. perhaps getting your annual check-up will help in determining what is wrong with you. Some just take one pill a day and it seems to help.

    November 4, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  2. Free America

    Where are all the Obama twirps?

    November 4, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  3. Fred

    Sounds like this man is trying to hide his own racism in these statements.

    These are exactly the talking points that were thrown out at me by people who couldn't bring themselves to vote for a black man while I campaigned in Pennsylvania for Senator Obama.

    Hopefully the members of PUMA will abstain or write in for Senator Clinton rather than vote for Senator McCain.

    November 4, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  4. Above the Love

    PULEEEZE, this is not even news.

    November 4, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  5. Fed UP

    Get a life idiot! Hillary LOST...get over it and show support for the only REAL candidate: OBAMA!!

    November 4, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  6. Deb in San Antonio, TX

    Will, thank you for standing tall, I have also, followed your path,
    my sister, and my 3 adult kids and at least 170 of my close friends,
    "hispanics" who were all Hillary supporters. I am not one to follow the hypes of a man with only ambition and no substance. I want someone with "experience" and you are so very very right.

    Obama is the next George Bush. Good luck to those who mistakenly voted for him, I promise, you will regret it before
    his first 6 months. God help us all.

    November 4, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  7. Ida

    I guess someone is still a little bitter Hillary lost. Be a grown man and get over it!!!!!!!!!!

    November 4, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  8. sz

    What a whiner. His credibility is shot the moment he mentions that McCain's choice of Palin was the deciding factor in his vote. She is the antithesis of Hillary Clinton.

    November 4, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  9. bill

    what a big cry baby. 36 years old and spouting off like he couldn't finish the 9th grade.

    November 4, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  10. Bridgette

    Oh get that stick out your butt Will Bower..You are 18 and still wet behind your dam ears, if you think Sarah Palin is mor qualified then Obama. Keep sucking on your lemon and be quite lil boy.

    November 4, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  11. Florence

    Today was the saddest day for me. I couldn't vote for a Democrat for president. I voted third party. Obama has little experience and virtually no accomplishments. At a time like this, the Dems should be running someone who is up for the job.

    I also couldn't vote for Obama because of the sexism of his campaign. I find all the comments about Sarah Palin awful.

    The media never talks about sexism, just racism.

    November 4, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  12. Brian

    100% the trust thing. And, McCain has spent a lifetime earling this.

    November 4, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  13. Sean from Orlando

    Well that would make sense since Obama is directly blood related to Bush!

    November 4, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  14. McTraitor

    What a loser ... trying to unify people not to vote for Obama & basically helping Bush & McCain ... Bower needs to switch to the Republican Party ... what a loser!

    November 4, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  15. John Gillett

    Well said....I was a lifelong democrat until this election, but I did not vote for Obama.

    I hadn't thought of Obama as the dem's Bush, but the analogy fits....like Bush, Obama is arrogant, inexperienced, devisive and despised by many members of his own party.

    November 4, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  16. Jean

    How lame and what a colossal waste of time. Think of all the good this guy could have been doing in the world if he thought to pour his time and energy into something worthwhile.

    November 4, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  17. eric frank morrison

    i think he should wake up,and bear no go grudge.look at the economy,in shambles.

    November 4, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  18. James

    I agree. He was obviously not very interested in the issues that Hillary Clinton supported, otherwise he would not be voting for McCain.

    November 4, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  19. Meka

    YOU FAILED BOWER . . . AMERICA WILL UNITE!

    OBAMA/BIDEN '08-'12

    November 4, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  20. Will Cunningahm, Santa Barbara, CA

    Sarah Palin = Barack Obama...you are crazy. A Harvard grad, Senator, and US Law expert is NOT the same as a Sarah Palin – no way, no how. Will Bower is letting his distrust for Obama cloud his vision.

    November 4, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  21. Jay

    Have fun complaining about how Obama stole the election from McCain too when Obama wins.

    You can't seriously believe that McCain and Clinton more trustworthy than Obama... if so, I have some Savings & Loans you can invest in and a great idea for another war (let's attack Belgium! They're stealing our budweiser!).

    November 4, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  22. Darren

    Wow, an absolute breath of fresh air. I'm so glad to see there are those in blue out there who see Barack Obama for what he really is. I'm not a supporter of Hillary, but I'm impressed with PUMAs stance and solidarity in the face of a lot of fanatics who have never bothered to cast a vote before in their lives.

    November 4, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  23. Norcal DM

    I'm sure if Barack didn't have a swahili name and was white, Puma's wouldn't exist. Frankly, PUMA's arent' true democrats. Hillary already told you morons to vote for Obama b/c her values and his were the same. Get over it you darn PUMA's, W and Obama are world's apart in terms of intelligence, intellect, and common sense. Obama being the one who has light years more intelligence, intellect and common sense.

    November 4, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  24. not patricia

    patricia i did not vote because my vote has no impact on the result, but do you really believe what you just wrote? not that im bringing anything to the table here either, but can you please give me some reasons on who greatly united will become. america is lacking brain power as usual, and yes, i am an american.

    November 4, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  25. Raquel

    How can someone who supported the Democratic ideal when Hillary was running, now say they support McCain instead? Clinton herself asked her supporters to support Obama, but they just don't get it. Voting for McCain is like voting for Bush again. The PUMA group is just a pack or sore losers, still crying over spilled milk after all these months. What a joke.

    November 4, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
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