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. George - Modesto, CA

    Wow...bitter much?

    November 4, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  2. Kevin

    And when President Obama nominates Senator Clinton to his cabinet? Are you PUMA fools going to call for her to reject the nomination? How can anyone be so blinkered after the last eight years?

    November 4, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  3. Kim

    How can you compare Obama to Bush? Bush is so out of touch and has no brains.

    November 4, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  4. Ryan

    This idiot needs to be hit with a brick. What a horrible failure as a human being.

    November 4, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  5. Live Free or Die Forever

    What a sore looser. McCain is NOT a bipartisan leader. He's like Bush- won't listen to our allies and the next stop will be Iran for us if he becomes president.

    November 4, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  6. NO OBAMA

    count me in that group too.. i am another Hillary supporter that voted for McCain today.

    November 4, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  7. McCookie

    It's sad that his vote was driven out of anger at Obama for winning. But his irreverence of McCain voting with Bush, and not clarifying what he would do different than Bush clearly underscores his lack of mental involvement while casting his vote.

    Further case and point is his validation of Sara Palin. Republicans say she is a Whacko, and ill prepared to be VP let alone President at a moment's notice. Her prank call and school girl response to the call just magifies her ignorance in foreign affairs.

    But hey, people have to right to cast their vote for who they want. In the end Obama will win, and all the Repubs can go to Alaska and succeeed with Palin.

    November 4, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  8. Professor Frink

    sour grapes much?

    November 4, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  9. Anonymous

    This is such a crock!! How can you be for Hillary and vote for McCain?

    November 4, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  10. Arizona democrat

    Bower what are you gona do brother when obama wins tonight. Think about it.its not time to be sour get it together and we can do some nation building. Negativity gets u nowhere coz Obama goes all the way. He is like an express train.........wuuuhh

    November 4, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  11. Molly B

    Are you seriously kidding me?!?

    November 4, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  12. TB

    Will Bower and PUMAs followers are sore-losers that Hillary didn't win the nomination. The statement he made that Palin is just as qualified as Obama is rediculous. How can he make that claim with a straight face. I think he is voting for McCain because he doesn't trust African Americans, not because he doesn't think Obama is qualified.

    November 4, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  13. Sandra

    If this is the guy that I'm thinking of (saw him on TV)....then what an idiot. Also, incredibly obviously a Republican operative!

    November 4, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  14. Stan

    Sour grapes and not much sense.

    November 4, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  15. B.B. Rebozo

    Wow. Why give this fringe person such a prominent spot in the media coverage? Smells like MEDIA BIAS to me.

    November 4, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  16. cvu

    Wow...I really like this PUMA guy.
    Exactly what I thought.
    If the poll were correct about the next US President, a book named "The Stupid American should be written" in 2009. Forget 'The Quiet American" by G. Green,

    November 4, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  17. Linda32

    LOL, Obama is the farthest thing from a Bush!!!

    November 4, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  18. Linnae

    Is the only way to unite this country now a major national disaster?

    November 4, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  19. D from Virginia

    Is Hillary really what we needed? Yes, he should have chosen Clinton as his V.P. so we could have seen H.R. Clinton Vs. Palin.

    November 4, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  20. Stephen

    Go away.

    November 4, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  21. Michael M, Phoenix AZ

    My daughter called me this morning at 9:20 AZ time (MST) to tell me she just voted for Obama after waiting for about 1 1/2 hrs in Palmdale CA. My son called me this afternoon at 2:45 (he lives in AZ) and told me that he waited over an hour to vote in Chandler AZ, and he got there before the polls opened...also an Obama supporter. GO Obama, beat the old guy!

    November 4, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  22. Anonymous

    WHO CARES WHAT YOU THINK IDIOT....MAYBE YOU CAN CRY A YELLOW RIVER WITH LEIBERMAN !!!!!!!!!!!11

    November 4, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  23. Matt - Florida

    Huh, why would someone hate Obama so much, given the similarities between he and Hillary? I'll give you one guess.

    November 4, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  24. Chi4Obama

    PUMA = Bitter Hillary Supporters.

    She lost. Let it go!

    November 4, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  25. Julia

    GO OBAMA!

    November 4, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
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