November 4th, 2008
05:40 PM ET
5 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. Lisa

    There is only one Bush,,Willy so quit your crying and acting like a baby. You are not a democrat, you are a cry baby, so knock it off!!!!!!!!!!

    November 4, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  2. Tyshunn Felton

    well i for one am SHOCKED!

    November 4, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  3. Michele

    I think that HIllary would be appalled at people like the above mentioned that end up voting for McCain. It is a diss on all that she represents. This gentleman is not worthy of my time

    November 4, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  4. joy

    Wow! This PUMA person is real nut case!

    November 4, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  5. Bala

    Its too late... Obama will be our next president in next few hours.. A man does not know what he is doing. You can route for Hillary in 2016. Sober guy.

    November 4, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  6. John

    What an idiot.

    November 4, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  7. Irving Texas

    Maybe the PUMA GROUP can afford 4 more years of Bush policies, the majority of people can't; people are hurting all around the world. Obama is liked across the world he can unify the counties and bring propersity and respect back to USA. Somethimes we have to put our pride and selfishness to the side for the GREATER of all people.

    WE ARE ONE PEOPLE VOTE BARACK OBAMA

    November 4, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  8. KM

    Bower – could you be any less relevant?

    Sour grapes much?

    November 4, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  9. KentD

    CNN – why post the irrelivant?

    We know that the PUMA is a very small amount of voters.

    Bower's comments about Palin prove that there is little thought in his head.

    November 4, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  10. Mikey

    Obama is likely to get more votes than any presidential candidate in history.. or the second most if McCain wins. He has the most donors ever by a wide margin and also the most volunteers ever.

    But this idiot feels that Obama does not represent the voice of the Democratic Party?

    He's either so incredibly immature that he could not take Hillary's loss or he has a particular problem with Obama that he declines to state.

    November 4, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  11. Tim

    Oh cool, a fake Democrat showing support for John McCain! How refreshing and newsworthy.

    November 4, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  12. Even Steven

    What a spoiled sport...and he's full of it too! A HUGE percentage of Hillary folks, including myself, moved our support to Barack long ago. I suppose there are still some whiners out there like this loser (two time loser?). Oh well, guess that's what freedom and democracy is all about. The freedom to make the wrong choice too.

    November 4, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  13. Glenn in California

    Who cares?

    November 4, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  14. Anonymous

    Will Bower my arse!!!

    November 4, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  15. haven

    PUMA is somehow still relevant?

    November 4, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  16. j.s

    These people are being childish. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. You have to respect the process. Obama won, and he'll be an excellent president.

    November 4, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  17. twiddly

    What an ignoramus.

    As Hillary herself said, if he was supporting her for her stance on issues and policy, then Obama is the only candidate that makes sense.

    Voting for McSame because your candidate lost the nomination is just childish.

    Get a grip and get over yourself.
    Who do you think you are? Donald Trump? LOL

    November 4, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  18. California Gold

    This guy is way too emotional over Hillary's defeat.

    November 4, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  19. Rick Rude

    This guy's throwing away the ideals that Hillary stands for just cause he's pissed off - get over yourself, homey.

    Obama/Biden 2010

    November 4, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  20. witch

    You are so .........................................................

    November 4, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  21. NJ

    WILL BOWER IS RIGHT ON THE MONEY. HILLARY CLINTON AND

    MCCAIN ARE SENSIBLE AND STABLE- OBAMA IS TOO FAR TO THE

    LEFT, TOO RADICAL, RISKY AND DANGEROUS....

    November 4, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  22. Tab

    This man is clueless.

    November 4, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  23. Doc

    Who cares? It's called being on the wrong side of history. Soon forgotten and discarded.

    November 4, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  24. John

    Clinton 2012

    November 4, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  25. Good speeches

    PUMA founder, thats your opinion, and I respect your decision, but stop being a sore looser because people are not listening to you.

    More people choose Obama over Clinton. Period. You can debate it with all the grey area theories you want. Huffing like a 4 year old will not change that.

    Rather than rallying around the party's candidate (like they did with McCain) you decided to fracture the party and if that caused an Obama loss, you would gloat in an "I told you so," moment.

    Im so tired of it all. Vote or not, choose McCain, or not. Clinton is NOT the nominee. Understand. Shes is not!

    November 4, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
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