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. Allison from Cali

    Who cares? Mr. Bower do you think any cares about your movement? You sound like a bitter fool. Just go away.

    Don't try to trivialize what today means by interjecting your hate. Just vote and move on.

    Obama rocks!

    November 4, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  2. Rob

    GET OVER IT!!! Stick a fork in it. IT'S DONE! She will have her time again.

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

    Where's the logic here? How could a huge Clinton supporter possibly jusitfy a vote for McCain. There are 0 issues with common ground.

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

    I,ve seen George Bush,s work for the last eight years and let me me tell you, mister. OBAMA AIN,T NO GEORGE BUSH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You can fold that rhectoric up and sit on it.

    November 4, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  5. thrill000

    sour grapes...

    November 4, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  6. Rad Phil

    The funny thing, is that all this story just seems to be, is about a bitter Hillary supporter that (for some unknown reason) has some sort of grudge against him for winning in the primaries.

    Honestly we don't need that kind of hateful and blind crap to cluster up in the election, considering there are people out there voting for McCain AND Obama for policy reasons and views.

    November 4, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  7. Anthony

    man thats complete bull..Sarah Pallin??.i just plain dumb.McCain is going to have a heart attack in the next year and then we would be screwed with somebody who ran ALASKA.not ILLINOIS,or CALIFORNIA.stupid cold ALASKA

    November 4, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  8. Jesse

    That guy is a grade a moron, why give him any spotlight? It just reinforces his delusions of grandeur

    November 4, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  9. Samuel

    I am a registered PUMA with a brain. I have voted for Barack Obama in Tempa and no one will know. Not even you, Will Bower. Have some sleep because you are not relevant in any sense.

    November 4, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  10. rudy - thousand oaks

    Sounds like Lieberman

    November 4, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  11. Boye

    Aww... Is someone mad that it looks like Obama would win? So you would rather vote for another Republican's George Bush than Democrat's George Bush (even though I don't think Obama is a Democrat's George Bush)?

    November 4, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  12. Stacey

    Palin /= Hillary Clinton. Take your bitterness home with you and bury it in a can. If you were truly a Hillary supporter you would have followed her lead and done as she had asked.

    Please do not claim to be a Hillary supporter. You may have wanted to vote for her, but you certainly do not support her decisions.

    November 4, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  13. Sean C.

    So a bunch of embittered losers from the primary who operate with the support of Republican operatives is "news"? Really?

    Enjoy President Obama, losers.

    November 4, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  14. Paisley

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

    Yup, I'm a Proud PUMA who voted McCain-Palin this morning. :)

    November 4, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  15. jean Broke

    This are just those redneck who go with colour how dare you question the intergrity of a man like Obama he will win and you will get sadden so live with it that is the verdict of the real world we need change not the same

    November 4, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  16. Matthew

    Well I hope that common sense dawns on these people after this election.

    November 4, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  17. Diane Panama City Fl

    The reason Hillary Clinton did not get the nomination is that she ran a very disorganized, poorly executive campaign because she believed she had the money and backing to walk right in to the nomination – not because Obama is corrupt . I am still a fan of Hillary's – but Obama beat her by being better organized, sticking with his plan and being decisive and diligent. It's too bad this person is so angry that he would vote to destroy this country, rather than bring it together. Obama is smarter and used his skill and wits to win. That's the way is works. Get Over It!

    November 4, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  18. Independent for McCain/Palin

    My, my the BO supporters are out in full force today. T

    The only way BO is winning is all the blacks voting are for him. No racism here, that's the truth. Many have never voted before. Voters should vote for the person not the color and the issues.

    I heard a number of blacks in line today say they were going to vote for BO and then leave. Amazing!

    November 4, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  19. SG

    Amazing that he would not follow the request/suggestion/endorsement of Hilary Clinton to vote for Obama... especially since he thinks so much of Hilary

    November 4, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  20. Anonymous

    crazy as a bat

    November 4, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  21. JC

    Sad, sad. "Bye....

    November 4, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  22. Lifelong Republican for Obama, Columbia, TN

    Why is the idiot considered news?!

    November 4, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  23. Dealt, Lisbon

    "The group is predominantly composed of female Clinton supporters". Didn't Hillary tell her voters to unite behind Obama? Why were they supporting her? I seem to remember from the primaries there was not a wide gap on the issues betwen Hillary and Obama.

    Ok, so they were not supporting Hillary for the issues. Maybe it was because she is a woman. Well... there's no discussion there. Obama is a man, Hillary is a woman. Since it can't be race, because no Hillary supporter would be so small minded, they're turning to the McCain ticket because Palin is a woman. I'm sure Hillary won't feel flattered by that.

    November 4, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  24. barbara campbell

    Bower sounds like a DINO – Democrat in Name Only – who isn't playing with a full deck if he thinks Obama is more similar to Bush than Hillary. Trying to explain this to him isn't worth my time.

    November 4, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  25. mike b.

    What a moron....

    November 4, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
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