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. jim

    what an idiot...mccain stable?

    November 4, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  2. Kate

    Sounds like he has decent sense to me.

    November 4, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  3. wesinca

    This guy is such a delusional tool! He hasn't voted for a republican in his 18yrs of eligibility is a lie because he voted for Bush in 00/04. His numbers are also dubious because he counts distinct site visitors as people who are going to vote for McCain which is fiction. His 15 minutes of fame are almost up.

    November 4, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  4. Geoffrey

    Regardless of whether or not any of these people are either of these in the slightest bit, there's probably not a better way to scream to the world "HEY LOOK, I'M A RAGING FEMINIST" or "HEY LOOK, I'M A RAGING RACIST."

    Clinton didn't get picked. Get over it. And as best I can tell, being non-American and all, you can't be a Democrat voting for McCain, at that point you're just a Republican.

    For the record, I'm not entirely sure that I care who wins, but I will be thrilled to see the campaign finally be over. Between the federal election that we just went through and the one that the USA is going through now, I think I can count the number of "vote for me because I'm awesome" ads on one hand, while I would have to borrow the hands and feet of everybody I know to count the number of "vote for me for no reason other than that I'm not them" ads that I've seen. Man, I hate politics.

    November 4, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  5. GET REAL.

    the very definition of "divisive"... and as far as I'm concerned, divsive equals corrupt.

    call the primaries what you will, but Hillary's been able to get over it and stand behind Obama, so if you can't, then you're just nursing hate and you need to get over yourself. it's childish and immature. period.

    November 4, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  6. Jenny

    This guy is an idiot. He just cannot relate to someone that has a brain. He made that clear when he said he thought Sarah Palin was a good choice. Makes me think that it was something other than his head that he was using to come to that decision.

    November 4, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  7. mike g

    Who cares about Bower and the PUMAs, they are more than welcome to vote for McCain. If they think that the Republican ticket is trustworthy, well that should say enough really. Poor fools

    November 4, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  8. Jamaal

    McCain is going to lose so it doesn't matter !

    November 4, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  9. Dean Smith

    It sounds like Will Bower is the Democrats' George Bush. What a sad, sad man.

    November 4, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  10. Conservative James, Phoenix, AZ

    Oh, boy, sounds like someone's diaper is full.

    November 4, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  11. walterrock

    Community organizers seem to run better campaigns, and Obama ends up being the last one standing. I haope he does well for America. PUMA can take their toys and go to their own sandbox...

    November 4, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  12. 47yo male for McCain

    There is no uniting. A screw ball thug such as Obama will not unite this Country.

    November 4, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  13. Gianna

    You know, I can understand someone not being enamored of Obama (I don't agree, but I can understand their stance). However, I just can't wrap my head around someone who ardently supports Hillary Clinton and all that she stands for turning around and voting for John McCain, who is the polar opposite of Clinton on so many topics. How on Earth can someone believes in Clinton's stance vote for someone who believes the opposite of what she does? Doesn't it make more sense to not vote rather than that?

    November 4, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  14. Suzanne

    I don't understand how former Clinton supporters can vote for John McCain. Even if you are angry and upset about what happened to your candidate, voting for McCain is like betraying your candidate and everything she stands for (health care, Iraq, etc.). It is wrong on so many levels.

    November 4, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  15. James

    Bower should change the meaning of his little club to PUMA: Party United, Me A–hole.

    November 4, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  16. mike

    This guy lost me at Barack equals Palin. What an idiot. If he finds Palin palatable he was never a democrat anyways. Palin is so far right and to even consider voting for her says alot about someone who calls themselves a democrat.

    November 4, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  17. Mike

    Shut your fool mouth PUMA.

    November 4, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  18. Scott

    PUMA – isn't that a sneaker?

    November 4, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  19. Arsha, QC, Canada

    PUMA or Cougar (just kidding), accept that Obama will be the next president and get over it.

    November 4, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  20. Anonymous

    Jeez, the guy should at least write in another candidate, not vote for the opposition.

    November 4, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  21. Mike Mike

    Will Bower is just mad that he will not land the fat cat job that he had been promised by Hillary. Mr. Bower it is time to go find a real job like us hard working people. Instead of throwing a tantrum go out tomorrow and work hard to make this beautiful country even better!!

    November 4, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  22. Ron

    This man is clearly nuts. Palin as qualified as Obama? Huh? Obama's intellectualism and world view as opposed to Palin's...what? Can you imagine Palin having high level meetings with ANY world leader? Trying to broker peace in the mid-East. Easing tensions in the Congo? Any other large scale World issue? Are you kidding?

    If McCain-Palin wins tonight, I am moving...TO FRANCE.

    November 4, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  23. kbb

    During the entire primary, Clinton supporters accused Obama of "copying" her policy positions. So, given the choice between a black candidate who supports all the same positions as they're candidate, and a white candidate who stands opposed to everything they claimed to be for, it leads me to conclude that these people have one single overriding issue – race.

    (And the "not experienced" BS is just that. Obama is older now than Bill Clinton was in 1992.)

    November 4, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  24. alvino

    Is it because John McCain shares so many of the same ideals of Hillary? At least Bower and McCain agree on dividing and not uniting.

    November 4, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  25. Moos

    "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."

    Clearly there is no comparison. Obama has something to say, Palin doesn't. Obama appeals to the middle-ground, Palin doesn't. Obama seems worldly and educated, Palin doesn't. Obama has run a positive campaign, Palin has attacked Obama rather than propose changes.

    The list is endless.

    November 4, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
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