January 25th, 2008
02:00 PM ET
13 years ago

Clinton makes a Florida, Michigan delegate appeal

(CNN) - Days after she was the only major presidential candidate to appear on Michigan’s Democratic primary ballot, and four days before Florida’s voters head to the polls, Hillary Clinton has released a statement calling on her party to seat both states’ delegates at the national convention this summer.

Both Florida and Michigan had lost that privilege because of penalties arising from their decision to schedule their primaries in January, in violation of national party instructions.

“I hear all the time from people in Florida and Michigan that they want their voices heard in selecting the Democratic nominee,” Clinton said in a statement released by her campaign.

“I believe our nominee will need the enthusiastic support of Democrats in these states to win the general election, and so I will ask my Democratic convention delegates to support seating the delegations from Florida and Michigan,” she added.

“I know not all of my delegates will do so and I fully respect that decision. But I hope to be President of all 50 states and U.S. territories, and that we have all 50 states represented and counted at the Democratic convention.”

The major candidates, including Clinton and rivals Barack Obama and John Edwards, had promised not to campaign in either state following the Democratic National Committee’s decision, and Obama and Edwards did not appear on Michigan’s primary ballot. Despite calls from her opponents to remove her name from the ballot, Clinton did not follow suit, and she won the state’s primary January 15, with 55 percent of the vote.

On Monday, Clinton’s campaign condemned Barack Obama for running an ad on national cable news networks, including CNN, saying that the spot would air in Florida and violate the no-campaign pact agreed to by most of the Democratic field.

In Friday’s statement, Clinton called on her fellow nominees to join her – but said she would continue to abide by that pledge, and expected the rest of the presidential field to, as well.

The Obama campaign released a statement from campaign manager David Plouffe criticizing the move.

“When Sen. Clinton was campaigning in Iowa and New Hampshire, she made it clear that states like Michigan and Florida that wouldn’t produce any delegates, ‘don’t count for anything,'" he said.

He said Clinton was trying to "assign meaning to a contest that awards zero delegates and where no campaigning has occurred. Sen. Clinton’s own campaign has repeatedly said that this is a ‘contest for delegates,’ and Florida is a contest that offers zero."

- CNN Associate Political Editor Rebecca Sinderbrand

Filed under: Florida • Hillary Clinton • Michigan
soundoff (308 Responses)
  1. Liz

    I believe that the Michigan and Florida delegates should count. I liked the fact that Hilary left her name on the ballot as Obama and Edwards took their names off. Despite the fact that they did this, there were a lot of other people who wanted to vote for them. Obviously the states moved up their primary to be heard. Don't you know that Michigan is in a one state recession? I was extremely disppointed that although Clinton left her name on the ballot, she did not come to campaign or give a speech in Michigan at all. I would have liked to vote for a candidate who actually came to the state, so that I could get to know what he/she may think and how he/she could help the state's and the country's poor economy. Are we not the United States for nothing? I need a president to want to hear from my state as well as all of the other states and have a solution for them. So, let those states be heard at the national convention, please.

    January 27, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  2. c martin

    Aishia...the ads that went up in Florida were not approved by Barack and was asked several times by his campaign to ask the contributer to stop the ads. So lets get the facts straight....who is the only leaving their name on ballots in both penalty states.....Hillary Clinton.

    Now that is 35 yrs of campaigning....I mean experience.!!!

    January 27, 2008 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  3. Kelvin from newyork city


    January 27, 2008 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
  4. Florida gal

    It's not right or fair that Florida should be stripped of our democratic delegate votes. This is crazy and it needs to be corrected!! C'mon Gov. Christ, you need to have our delegate votes reinstated!! Geeze,,, what a bunch of crap!!

    January 28, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  5. C Peters

    How in the world did Florida and Michigan allow such a situation as no delegates for the state to happen? The election process should make every attempt to allow every voice to be heard!! From every state.
    Dr.Dean step up to the plate and correct this situation.
    I am trying to encourage people to be accountable for their actions.
    The persons that moved the date and eliminated the delegates need to be counciled.
    Please try and get it together before the General Election!!!!!!!

    January 29, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  6. Cgalas

    That Hillary Clinton would sign and agreement and then ignore it – not only ignore it – but deplore it's 'unfairness' – after the fact and when it begins to look like she is losing – is very disturbing. She – to me – is the epitome of democratic party whose underlying theme must be 'rules are meant to be ignored when inconvenient'.

    January 30, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  7. terra

    Its the great powers that be who made the decisions for the people not the people. We the people are the ones being punished in these states where our votes dont count. This isnt fair. This makes the race fixed as far as this florida democrate is concerned. The governement has silenced my voice.

    January 30, 2008 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  8. artie

    hilliary will win and john mccain will win

    February 4, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
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