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. Kim

    Are you kidding me? This story is relevant how? Get over it, and get behind the party choice.

    November 4, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  2. Mel

    This guy is stupid....You would think after 8 years of dufus Bush he would be smarter. Hey Idiotm do you know how many Republicans have crossed the isle to support Obama? Lots....Here is a so called Democrat with his feeling hurt....big baby

    November 4, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  3. Francis, OH

    Sore loser. Whatever.

    Obama/Biden 08

    November 4, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  4. Democrat

    Idiot!

    November 4, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  5. Steven

    Sarah Palin as capable as Barack Obama? Give me a break. I would have voted for McCain had he not chosen a complete ignoramus as VP.

    November 4, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  6. Bill Uhlig

    Barack can win without the 12 votes that PUMA "represents"... votes that were ALWAYS going to be McCain's anyway.

    There is no such thing as a bone fide Hillary Clinton supporter who is going to vote for McCain.

    November 4, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  7. WHO CARES?

    Who is this person and why should we care what he says? IT is SOUR GRAPES–that's right –vote for McSame –but be proud. Don't use that moment to bash Sen Obama, he can't help it if others like him...

    November 4, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  8. jaycee

    Yawn.

    November 4, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  9. Kevin in ND

    Will... you have some SERIOUS issues.

    What planet did you say you're from?????

    November 4, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  10. Will

    Why give this guy a voice and make a big deal of what he thinks in the national stage? I am a Republican and I voted for Obama, I am glad to say that my vote cancels his vote. I couldn't vote for Obama in the primaries but as far as I can tell he won the popular vote in the primaries, so does Mr. Bower think that his opinion should trump the opinion of millions of voters? Ok, so he is frustrated his candidate did not win the primaries, so what? Move on! Get a life!

    November 4, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  11. BlackStratCat

    What an idiot...

    November 4, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  12. Brett Perry

    This person is an idiot! What has McCain done for you to trust him? 5 examples and please do not include the word Maverick or POW! Obama, although far fetched in (AS BOTH CANDIDATES ARE) in what they are offering is offering something McCain will not be able to, CHANGE! Obama may not go down as the "BEST" President ever... but he has better judgment and offers more to American people does then Nutso McCain... He offered you palin. That is like asking for a car on Christmas day and getting a stuffed cat. God only knows how bad we need Obama in the White House!

    November 4, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  13. Lily D

    I wonder if he would have said and done the same thing, if the Democratic candidate was a WASP (White Anglo Saxon Protestant) ...
    Racisim is alive and thriving in the good ol' USA!!

    November 4, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  14. David

    Unfortunately, he is a sore loser. The primary was won fairly by Obama and those who supported him. A vote for McCain is in no what a supporter of Hillary should be doing.

    McCain is not trustworthy-it is Bower's anger that his candidate lost that blinds him to just how power hungry and egotistical McCain is in his drive for the presidency.

    Obama has his faults for sure but so do Hillary and John McCain.

    Bower forgets that 18 million people also cast ballots for Obama. Voting is a numbers game and unfortunately, Hillary lost due to the numbers.

    These types of groups again sabotage the voting process and should be stopped and charged with an appropriate offense.

    PUMA's should quit their tantrums and get behind the proper candidate who best represents the Democrat Party and its supporters and that person is Barack Obama.

    November 4, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  15. Sade

    Who cares about you or PUMA. Regardless of what you think history will be made tonight and OBAMA will win this election.
    You did not represent Hillary Clinton neither do you represent her values. She does not support nor appreciate your kangaroo group of unforgiven spirits.
    Your hidden agenda is simply that I can not vote OBAMA, it has nothing to do with your annoyance that Hillary does not win the nomination.
    SHAME ON YOU AND PUMA!

    November 4, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  16. Anonymous

    "I feel that Barack Obama is no more qualified than Sarah Palin."
    That pretty much says it all about Will Bower. If he sees no difference in qualifications (judgment, life history, achievements, political philosophy) between Obama and Palin, then this guy and his supposed followers are obviously hacks.

    November 4, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  17. mr carter

    " He credits the Arizona senator's choice of Sarah Palin as his running mate in helping to decide his vote."

    That there is a fail, sir... of all the points u coulda tried to use to make a point.. u practically used the ONE that DEFEATS ur arguement...

    November 4, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  18. andy

    what a tool.

    November 4, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  19. Ramen Dude

    To all PUMA members,

    How does it feel to criticize Obama, yet be excluded and marginalized by the Republican party?

    November 4, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  20. Tharakan

    I agree to his perception of Obama

    November 4, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  21. Jonathan

    If you truly supported Hillary Clinton, then there is no reason to vote for McCain. Hillary and Obama agree on 99 percent of the issues that you, as a Democrat, could care about. Don't kid yourself by saying that you are voting for McCain because you don't like Obama, you are just bitter that she ran a less effective campaign.

    November 4, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  22. Bob Partso

    Having seen the PUMA supporters gather at the DNC, I can see that PUMA is only a thinly veiled group of racists who, rather than spreading their intellectually dishonest talking points, should just come out with the fact that they hate black people.

    November 4, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  23. Dex Dean

    There is nothing worse than a sore loser. It takes a mature person to congradulate your opponent who has won. We all learned that from childhood.

    Regarding the comment that Sarah Palin is as qualifed as Obama, please wake up and acknowledge a man who has put together a campaign over 21 months which has been run as smooth as silk and beaten to the punch the old line politicians of the Clintons and McCain. CHANGE IS NEEDED IN DC and it is coming.

    November 4, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  24. AM in VA

    Well Bower will have supported the loser in the last three elections. The country needs a change after 20 years of Clinton and Bush. He can continue to gripe while the rest of us work for change.

    Obama/Biden '08/'12

    November 4, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  25. Dave W.

    I sure hope that McCain wins and that Bowers is eligible to serve in Iraq or Afghanistan. I'd bet even Hillary thinks hes a loser.

    November 4, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
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