October 11th, 2007
05:00 PM ET
15 years ago

Clinton explains Michigan decision

Clinton explained Thursday why she opted to stay on the Michigan ballot .

(CNN) - Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton seemed to hint Thursday she expects to win her party’s nomination, as she defended the decision to remain on the Michigan primary ballot. But just down the road in New Hampshire, another Democratic White House contender, Bill Richardson, accused Clinton of having it “both ways.”

Clinton was asked about the issue on a New Hampshire radio show, days after five Democratic candidates removed their names from the Michigan ballot after the Democratic National Committee ruled the state violated party rules by scheduling its primary before February 5.

“I just personally did not want to set up a situation where the Republicans are going to be campaigning between now and whenever, and then after the nomination, we have to go in and repair the damage to be ready to win Michigan in 2008,” Clinton said in an interview on New Hampshire Public Radio program “The Exchange.”

Clinton said any weakness in Michigan could hurt Democratic chances to win the state in 2008. “I did not believe it was fair to just say, 'Goodbye Michigan' and not take into account the fact we're going to have to win Michigan if we're going to be in the White House in January 2009," she said.

Richardson, one of the Democrats who removed his name from the Michigan ballot, expressed frustration over Clinton’s decision.

“Maybe she's made up her mind that she's the nominee, but you can't have it both ways and say you're not going to be on the ballot in Michigan and say OK, leave my name on the ballot,” Richardson said at a campaign stop in Manchester.

- CNN Political Assignment Editor Marissa Muller

Filed under: Hillary Clinton
soundoff (42 Responses)
  1. Daniel, El Paso, TX

    About time Richardson takes a slug at Clinton. Hope there are more of these in the future. And for the record if hillary is right then why did she pull out of florida primary? Maybe this is like her I will not fund the war in Iraq anymore nonsense.

    October 12, 2007 02:46 am at 2:46 am |
  2. ProudLiberal

    Why people who are being polled ever utter this woman's name is beyond me. She cannot be trusted. She cannot the truth and is always, always triangulating. We need someone who has sound judgment, who has more elected legislative experience and who has gotten it right on Iraq. We need Barack Obama

    October 12, 2007 03:57 am at 3:57 am |
  3. JB Boston MA

    This was underhanded and no matter how she explains it, is just another example of her poor ethics and lack of character!

    October 12, 2007 08:09 am at 8:09 am |
  4. Rodney Dallas TX

    Why is it so hard for people to actually listen to her explanation and agree with it? Why must everyone analyze it just to find something wrong with it? WE CANNOT ABANDON THE CITIZENS OF MICHIGAN. It's plain and simple. Give them the opportunity to vote for a democratic candidate.

    As far as Richardson, just drop out, you have no chance in hell of getting the nomination. It will either be Clinton, Obama, or Edwards. NEVER RICHARDSON.

    October 12, 2007 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  5. Rodney Dallas TX

    ProudLiberal: How could Obama get it right on Iraq? He was not a US Senator at the time of the vote. He DID NOT vote for or against the war. Anyone can come in a few years later and say "Oh, we I would've done this instead". He cannot say that for sure. The only reason he says it now is because the war is an absolute failure. I only here Obama saying "We need change" yet, he never says what he's gonna change. We often here him say "Had I voted, I wouldn't have done it this way". Well, do your job and vote. That's what he's elected to do. Talk about a Johnny-Come-Lately. He never acts on any vote but tells you later what he would have done. He is weak and knows his chances are low. I just don't see why people are so interested in him.

    October 12, 2007 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  6. Tom - Dedham, Mass

    She half ass explains her "decision", I thought that was the job of the MSM and the Clintonista's?

    The "Queen" has spoken.

    What did Obama do, let's see I will wait to see how he votes on things...

    It's called "followship", not leadership.

    October 12, 2007 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  7. Kyu Reisch, Radcliff, Kentucky

    ProudLiberal, how many times you need to hear that Obama wasn't in Congress 2002, he was not eligable to vote. He has nothing to do with Iraq War or Anti-War. Are you pretending deaf or stubborn? He lies to public, played dirty games, denied experiences but he said he has more experiences than Hillary, it doesn't make sense. Now he should explain about Michigan University related his wife's position(?). He is not honest at all, I don't trust him at all. He needs to practise political experience and view a lots from now on. Hillary is right, Democrats need to win Michigan.

    October 12, 2007 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  8. Chris, Middletown, CT

    I swear that Hillary could say its "daytime" when its dark with a full moon...and you would believe every word...its like a cult following...a scarey liberal....entitlement driven...socialist program loving cult.

    October 12, 2007 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  9. Cory, Jenison MI

    A typical hypocritical action by Hillary Clinton. She hasn't shown that she is capable of taking a firm stance on anything. I am hoping the Democrats can take the White House, but I feel that Hillary is unelectable in a gerneral election. A recent poll showed that 48% of the registered voters polled said they would never vote for her under any circumstance (including myself). She is far too polarizing to win a national election. My money is on Edwards as the Democrats best bet with Obama a close second. Hillary can raise money like nobody's business, but what good is it if it gives the Republicans four more years?

    October 12, 2007 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  10. spinstopper

    Hillary doesn't care what the dems think, she's got that nomination in the bag. Her focus now is on the middle, just watch her flip right..

    October 12, 2007 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  11. dawn -- Gaithersburg, MD.

    Nothing hypocritical whatsoever about promising not to campaign in Michigan and not campaigning in Michigan. Also nothing hypocritical about not promising to take your name off the ballot and not taking your name off the ballot. I believe this was an option open to all the candidates, including Gov. Richardson.

    October 12, 2007 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  12. JB Boston MA


    If you knew anything, you would know that every candidate agreed to remove their name. Hillary then chose not to, and did not inform the other candidates. That shows a complete lack of character. It is spineless and slimy. When are you going to realize that this woman has no chance of winning even if she gets the nod. She is despised by an almost majority of the country. I know hard core liberals that swear they will vote for Gumby before her. The dems are wasting their votes. If they were smart, they would convince Gore to come back (would win in a landslide). Many Republicans I know are willing to give him a shot at it. If not Gore, then Obama.

    October 12, 2007 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  13. Chris, Dallas

    Don't you dare listen to it. Hillary was right to leave her name on the ballot because she knows that it would upset her supporters. Even though she lied she did it for a good reason. She cares about the American people. She didn't really lie.

    Hillary 08 BABY!

    October 12, 2007 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  14. JB Boston MA

    "Even though she lied she did it for a good reason."

    Huh, sounds like a reasonable statement : )

    We have had 8 bad years of politics with partisanship, lies and deceit. Why do we want four more years with someone who has shown the propensity to do the same?

    This woman is Evil (that is a capital E). And 48% of this country agrees with me. Dems are throwing this election away.

    All you stubborn Hill lovers are going to be shocked when it is over. No, not shocked. I forgot how they run. . . they will claim a GOP conspiracy.

    For the Hillary fans, just contemplate this, seriously. 48% of those polled say they will NEVER vote for this woman. They hate her. How can someone win with those numbers? Why would you want to try and force that down peoples throats? It makes no sense. Obama or Gore can and will win if they get the nod.

    October 12, 2007 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  15. Coach Haughton NH

    My comment is not directed at hilliar because anyone who reads comments on here consistently knows that Oppose her wholeheartedly.

    My comment is directed toward the Prisoners of Hillaryland.

    She clearly said she would withdraw from the ballot...And then didn't.

    What have you learned about people in the real world that say they're going to do things and don't do them?

    I think good leadership is keeping to your word.

    I'm not saying that this is a big enough deal to change your vote...I'm asking you to do yourself a favor...and instead of buying into her reasoning wholeheartedly...Judge her as you would judge anyone else.

    Watch how many times she shifts her position...and in the voting booth......Will you really trust her?

    October 12, 2007 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  16. Coach Haughton NH

    I'm glad that someone in the Democratic Party is thinking of more than just capturing the nomination. I don't think the millions of voters in Michigan appreciate being disenfranchised.

    Michigan is too important a state to be playing politics with. It's a must win if any Democratic candidate is going to capture the White House. Let us pray that during the general election the Democratic voters in Michigan won't show their distaste with the Democratic Party and vote Republican.

    Hillary, PLEASE help the Democrats win this slam dunk election cycle.

    Hillary 2008

    Posted By Q. CHRISTIAN ATLANTA GA : October 11, 2007 7:50 pm
    Hey friend!

    By your logic she would've done the same thing with florida.

    October 12, 2007 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  17. Mia, Stafford, VA

    Why is anyone surprised? Some would say this is why she is the more experienced politician. But with politics like this, saying one thing and doing the total opposite, I will pass.

    Don't get me wrong, I don't think any of them should have removed their name from the ballot. The fact that she said would not campaign there and remove her name from the ballot, shows her true self.

    October 12, 2007 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
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