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. Eli

    Based on the way they ran their campaigns, Clinton and McCain both seem FAR more erratic than Bush OR Obama to me!

    November 4, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  2. ML Harris

    Will Bower is obviously a bitter bitter man who does not hold actual values. If he valued the things Hillary Clinton actually stands for, there would be no PUMA and he would not vote for McCain. Either you are pro-choice or you are anti-choice. Either you are for progressive taxes or you are for deficit spending. Either you are for a reasonable foreign policy or your are for bomb bomb bomb bomb bomb Iran. Either you are for a sustainable energy policy or you are for Drill Baby Drill. Either you are for all the Joe the Plumbers or you are for Joe the Unemployed Country Music Singer. Clearly, Bower is for himself.

    Question: Is PUMA another word for racist?

    November 4, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  3. mike bthayer

    2 millioninhis dreams

    November 4, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  4. k

    Are you joking?

    November 4, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  5. karen-phoenix

    This life long 64 year old registered republican voted for Obama/Biden in Arizona today!!!! NO McCAIN!!!!!! No How No Way!!!
    God Bless Obama/Biden

    November 4, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  6. jeremy - tx

    what a douche bag

    November 4, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  7. Mike in TN

    This man speaks the truth. I just can't wait for all the sheep to realize that their herder is not the Great Almighty they perceive him to be. And the fact that a lot of people around here criticize McCain for being negative ought to go back and read some of the rude and tasteless comments that have been left on here by Obama supporters! It's truly pathetic...

    November 4, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  8. Carlo

    Bitter much about your candidate not getting the nomination? Seriously man even hilary moved on, why can't you?

    November 4, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  9. Kryg

    Will Bower is free to express his/her opinion. History however will show that he/she is dead wrong. Most people are seeing a new America era dawning.

    November 4, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  10. KLEE

    bye puma – bye bye

    November 4, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  11. Ubiq

    Poor, sad little PUMAs. Even funnier that the majority of PUMAs are actually jaded cougars.

    November 4, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  12. Louis

    Dear PUMA: Game over. Thanks for playing.

    November 4, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  13. Xera

    Bower is a moron. Clinton and McCain have nothing in common and are diametrically opposed to each on almost every issue, yet somehow "trusting" an erratic McCain provides more stability than Obama? I can understand if he feels that Clinton was robbed, but he and his PUMAs should be sitting out the election or voting third party, not becoming Benedict Arnolds.

    November 4, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  14. enoch needles

    pumas are sad little babies. and rudy giuliani, who just spouted off to wolf is a slimeball of the highest (or is it lowest) orders.

    enjoy the next 8 years, LOSERS!!!!

    November 4, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  15. Peter

    He lost my interest at "I think [Sarah Palin] is essentially as qualified as Barack Obama."

    November 4, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  16. Expat in Canada

    I don't know how you could be a Hillary supporter who votes for McCain/Palin unless you have no concern for actual issues. Obama and Hillary were very similar on the issues, so voting for someone who's a 180 from a candidate you supported proves that bitterness at best (and possibly racism at worst) trump actual issues that matter.

    November 4, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  17. GIVE PEACE A CHANCE, VOTE A STRAIGHT DEMOCRATIC TICKET!

    There are a some of words I hope to never hear again.

    "surge", "maverick","pork", "PUMA", and any word ending in "ing" where the "G" is not pronounced!

    And finally, I will start a petition to ban the use of these two word in conjuntion, "my" and "friends"!

    November 4, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  18. David, CA

    The comparison of Obama to Bush confirms what I knew all along:
    PUMA= complete moron

    November 4, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  19. Ken

    Seeking the Presidency with only a less than a single Senate term?
    Arrogant.

    November 4, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  20. eric

    I've tried to not pull this one out during this campaign, but this guy is an outright racist

    November 4, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  21. Rick Rude

    Obama is the man
    He has a plan
    To do what he can
    To turn all Republicans into FLAN!!!

    November 4, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  22. AJ

    How was this moron ever a Democrat if, and I quote from above, "he credits the Arizona senator's choice of Sarah Palin as his running mate in helping to decide his vote?"

    November 4, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  23. Cheryl

    I hope that all those 2 million PUMA members get out and vote today.

    November 4, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  24. Sherry

    If BO wins this election as expected, he will NEVER be my president. I could go through the whole laundry list of reasons why, but I'll just say he's the worst candidate for president ever to run, and if the Democrats control both houses of Congress, this country is finished.

    November 4, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  25. nate

    Your 15 minutes of fame is almost up WIll and then youll go back to what youve always been: a loser.

    November 4, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15