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. Daryl from Seattle

    This guy is a fraud. He sounds like he can't get over his own racial prejudice if he honestly thinks Sarah Palin and Barack Obama are the same. If he's really a life long Democrat, why didn't he vote for Nader-Gonzales or something bit more fitting of a Democrats political view point. Instead he's just voting for McCain out of spite? You were never a Democrat, none of you so called PUMAS were ever Democrats. You were Neo Conservative Republicans and just didn't know it.

    By the way....watch out for the landslide. You're standing right in front of it...

    Lets go B.O.!!! Obama-Biden 08

    November 4, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  2. Andy

    it is about time people started saying the Obama is just as qualified then Palin is....also he noted that Palin is only second on the ticket

    November 4, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  3. tony

    He likes Palin.

    That automatically disqualifies him as a rational person in my mind. Discounted.

    November 4, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  4. Chris (SC)

    Funny how someone who wants people to be united and is democratic is somehow for McBush.

    Why don't you vote for Barr or Nader if you don't like either party?

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

    PUMA = Republicans. We don't want (or need) your votes anyway.

    November 4, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  6. Stevik

    I'd like to hear what Will Bower and other PUMAs say after a year of Obama in office. I suspect they will regret their actions and realize that they were just being sore losers. Obama has far more experience than our country's best president, Abraham Linclon, had.

    November 4, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  7. Veteran for Obama

    The PUMA drive is severely overrated

    November 4, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  8. I want someone dumb like me

    Sometimes you just can't argue with stupid...

    November 4, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  9. Tim

    Why doesn't he just be honest: He started the group because he wanted attention. Stop whining! I still don't understand how Obama "stole" the election from Hillary. I remember voting for him along with millions of others.

    If you want to abstain from voting out of protest, fine. I respect that. But how can you support Hillary and all she stands for AND THEN vote for McCain/Palin? It's nonsensical. Losers.

    November 4, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  10. rob

    who is he???...enough said.

    November 4, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  11. Jonesie

    Such ignorance should not be rewarded.

    It is not noble to be petty.

    The question has been and always will be: Who is the best for America?

    The answer is Barack Obama.

    The President of the United States should be; intelligent, honest, trustworthy and have the best intrests of the American People.

    Obama is 4 for 4. McCain is 1 for 4.

    November 4, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  12. Ben

    Right, because the way in which Mccain has run his campaign and gone back on everything he used to stand for strikes me as very stable. Obama is a calm and measured thinker, he is not prone to rashness, if you want to know what kind of leader he is, look at the way that he has run his campaign: deftly, calmly, and presidentially.

    November 4, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  13. independent for Obama

    WHY IS THIS IN THE TICKER?!!!!!!!!!!! PUMA, WHO CARES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    November 4, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  14. Was independant, but now McCain 2008

    Glad to see there are PUMA's out there. Let's hope there is enough of them to bring some sense back into this election rather than sheep following sheep.

    McCain 08, the intelligent choice.

    November 4, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  15. Betty

    Please let us just unite our country and get over it!

    November 4, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  16. C. Smith

    Wow. Good luck with that, Will. Maybe there's a spot for you on Palin's 2012 campaign staff.

    November 4, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  17. Bill from Georgia

    Hey PUMA, you guys have failed....again. Get over yourselves.

    Go Obama !!!

    November 4, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  18. mrland

    This is idiotic. Nobody worked harder than Obama to get the nomination, and the comparison with Bush is wholly wrong. To all PUMAS, just leave and go be Republicans.

    November 4, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  19. Tay in Texas

    Wow...just ...wow. Imagine putting all of your energies into saying, 'I don't REALLY care who the president is...just not this guy'. Also, the notion that this group is encouraging people to not vote is a very shameful one. Wow.

    November 4, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  20. Patrick

    Cutting off your nose to spite your face...

    November 4, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  21. Speechless

    Yes... b/c we can certainly trust a career opportunist like John McCain.

    I liked both Clinton and Obama – and I would've loved to see a ticket with both of them on there. But I certainly trust either one of them a helluva lot more than I would ever trust McCain.

    November 4, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  22. thetruth

    this guy is an idiot!!!

    November 4, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  23. RIF

    Who cares.

    November 4, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  24. Tim

    What an ill-informed idiot

    November 4, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  25. sam

    you stupids......had i met you in person, i would hv used other words!!!!!!1111

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