February 20th, 2008
03:15 PM ET
12 years ago

Clinton campaign launches new offensive on delegate counting


Delegates cheer at the 2004 Democratic convention. This year their official role is under heavy scrutiny. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Hillary Clinton's campaign launched a new Web site Wednesday designed to convey its argument about how delegates should be counted - the campaign’s latest offensive against Barack Obama's contention that the candidate with the most pledged delegates should win the party's nomination.

The new Web site lists five of the Clinton team’s disputed views on delegates, including the ideas that Florida and Michigan's delegates should be seated at the convention despite party sanctions and that there is a "clear path" for Clinton to finish the race with more delegates than Obama.

The Web site also argues that superdelegates - or what the Clinton campaign is now calling “automatic delegates” - should not look to the primary season vote when deciding which candidate to support, stating, "The fact is: no automatic delegate is required to cast a vote on the basis of anything other than his or her best judgment about who is the most qualified to be president."

According to CNN's latest estimate, Obama has earned 143 more pledged delegates than Clinton. But Clinton currently has the support of 73 more superdelegates – which translates into an overall deficit of 70 delegates.

Speaking with reporters Wednesday morning, Obama campaign manager David Plouffe repeated the campaign's contention that the candidate with the most pledged delegates should win the nomination, and said it is nearly impossible for Clinton to catch up in that count.

“This is a wide, wide lead right now,” he said. “I am amused when the Clinton campaign continues to say, 'Well, it’s essentially a tie.' I mean, that’s just lunacy. We have opened up a big and meaningful pledged delegate lead. They are going to have to win landslides from here on out to erase it.”

Plouffe also said the Clinton campaign keeps "offering alternative theories for why they can win the nomination that have nothing to do with the votes that are happening in these contests.”

Related video: Watch CNN's Abbi Tatton take a look at Clinton's new Web site

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

soundoff (231 Responses)
  1. Soldiergal

    Look, folks…
    If you really are Democrats, do you really think staying in Iraq for the next 100 years is the best way to respond no matter who wins our nomination? Truthfully? Threatening to vote for McCain is well and good but do you want your children or grandchildren to wind up fighting for oil, or bombing Iran, or any of the rest of it?

    No matter how we feel, Obama or Clinton, we're going to have to suck it up in November and get our act together, or we'll wind up with 8 more years of Bush/McCain. Let's not be a party of sore losers.

    And, yes, I've posted this comment on a couple of the blog articles. We all need to think seriously about the future and drive on, not wallow in tearing both of these campaigns down before the Republicans try to do so. Don't give McCain or the futile efforts of Nader an opportunity to ruin the Democratic bid for the White House.

    February 20, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  2. Reality

    Fork – Hillary – Done

    She can't possibly win the election based on popular votes. Instead, she is now hoping for backroom machinations to be the candidate. But if that happens, the Democratic party will split asunder and McCain will cruise to victory.

    February 20, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  3. Goodheart

    Hundreds of thousands of Florida voters will not have a say.... the Democratic National Committee cannot just take away their votes. Obama was on the ballot, yet he lost Florida by hundreds of thousands of votes. Let's give those delegates to Hillary and re-do Michigan and see how far ahead they are.

    P.S. I'm a life-long Democrat voting for McCain if Obama gets the nomination.

    February 20, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  4. Netta Young

    Well Hilary is PUBLICLY asking the DNC to change their rules to suit her! WHAT NERVE!!! Get a grip Hil its over!!

    1 last note, if the Michigan and Florida delegates get seated i want another primary here in Michigan. We were forced to vote uncommitted because we didn't follow DNC rules. We should have another chance with all candidates on the bloot and see who will come out on top.

    **knew alot of prople that didnt vote cause Obama was not on the ballot**

    February 20, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  5. Joshua Helms

    I am not surprised. You can see right through her and her camp.

    February 20, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  6. Summerville, SC

    I think it's very funny how Obama's people want "the voice of the people" to be heard and to determine the nominee through pledged delegates considering how they also want to conveniently ignore the voices of the 900,000 people who voted for Clinton in FLORIDA. How's THAT for integrity? Keep the faith, Hillary!!

    February 20, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  7. Sacha

    Maybe if Hillary Clinton started to focus on promoting her policies instead of constantly attacking Obama, she would get more votes.

    As for the Florida and Michigan delegates, it's funny how she didn't feel the need to advocate for "their voices the be heard" before february 5th when she tought she was going to win!

    The way her campain has been turning out is just DESPERATE and PATHETIC.

    February 20, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  8. Praetorian, Ft. Myers, FL

    Fair is fair!!

    You should support the decisions of your political party my dear.
    Don't turn into a muckraker.....

    February 20, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  9. Clinton is Right

    Yes. Delegates should be seated from FL and Michigan. Otherwise it is not fair to people of Florida and Michigan. Leaders should act quickly on this matter. The voices of 600,000 Michigan primary voters and 1.75 million Florida primary voters should be heard. The People of FL and MI should not be ignored. It is very important in this race

    February 20, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  10. onenibble

    Hillary Clinton is not what the votes in Florida & Michigan are about. Every vote of the people should be counted.

    February 20, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  11. Pointing out the truth - not negative!

    How is pointing out the truth negative?

    Texas – Ohio – Pennsylvania and all the remaining states:

    Senator Obama is willing to disenfranchise millions of voters (Michigan and Florida) for his own political gain!

    Senator Obama is proposing millions be left uninsured under his proposal and saying that Senator Clintons will garnish wages...read hers for yourself – get informed. He is misrepresenting her proposed policy!!!!

    Senator Obama has personalities like Oprah stomping for him with comments like 'he is one of us' thereby creating a devisive Democratic Party.

    Senator Obama does not represent the policies of the Democratic Party!

    And for those who think Senator Obama did a great Economic speech………may I please refer you to Senator Clintons Economic package proposals of August 2007 and December 2007 – eeeccckkksss and 'opps, he did it again'………

    took the stuff right from Senator Clinton! Playing 'follow the leader' again……..Senator Clinton is the leader!

    Anyone who does not believe me – go read it for yourselfs! Get informed – not just one sided! One sided always means that everyone has actually missed the other side. One sided means that no one has any basis to compare. One sided means that the choice to remain one sided is just plain dumb! Get smart...vote smart...vote on issues not hollow words!

    February 20, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  12. avm

    If Obama wins I will become a Republican and vote for John McCan. This country needs experience over dreams right now and it is unfortunate that a lot of moderate Democrats like myself will become Republicans if Clinton does not win....

    February 20, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  13. marge

    It's insane!!!! Hillary is soooo desperate! Does she really think this will work???? Does she really think the DNC will allow her to steal the nomination????

    February 20, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  14. gary

    Barack Obama whose smooth glib tongue is wooing young people with idealism and unrealistic promises. Obama also knows that. this candidate has never done a single thing in his one year as a US senator. It baffles me to try to understand how this person can think that he is able to govern our country while propounding that he would do away with most of the military and security in our nation. I am also perplexed how Obama could vote not to continue our telephone surveilance of terrorists. In one year this egodriven candidate has racked up a voting record that makes him even more liberal than Ted Kennedy.

    February 20, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  15. Jack


    February 20, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  16. Alecki

    To ALL American Democrats:

    Please stop with Obama as a leader of the Presidential race. He is going to be eaten alive by the Republicans.

    Hillary is use to the abuse. Obama has no history of any senate accomplishments and has been tied with a criminal in Chicago.
    He really is great for a minister or rally but when he talks he has little to say.
    That's the truth. The truth hurts. But if you really want health care to cover all Americans and international peace, stop knocking Hillary and start supporting her.
    Let him be vice president learn the ropes, and then run for president.

    It really makes sence to me.

    This is a job interview not a pep rally.

    Please stop yelling for change. We all want change in our government. Start yelling "solutions"

    February 20, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  17. Rob

    If Hillary gets this in smoke-filled rooms and cheats the majority of voters you might as well hand the election to McCain now. It will be over. The Democrats will be split for years and we will have another 4 years of war and incompetence. What Hillary is up to now disqualifies her from the Presidency as far as I am concerned. I am switching to Obama.

    February 20, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  18. Bryan the white male

    I'll say this. There are a lot of young first time voters this year. If Hillary's group gets their way and re-seat Michigan and Florida, it will not only destroy the Democratic Party, but taint the election process in this country as a whole. For some reason I think she knows this and maybe just doesn't care.

    February 20, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  19. Tom Wittmann


    It is now clear that Hillary is provoking single handed the loss of
    the presidency to McCain !!

    Therefore: CHEAT and NOT win !!


    February 20, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  20. koloulupamba

    once more GOD as chosen his candidate .BARACK OBAMA

    February 20, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  21. kathleen, illinois

    No matter what, Hillary cannot change the votes of
    the people. A new website specifically to argue about
    how she can change this election to benefit her by
    getting people to feel sorry for her. or for the supers-
    delagetes to change their minds about helping her
    to win this election. I went the the DNC list of super-
    delagetes and it certainly lists them state by state.
    But, on the very top it states that some superdelegates
    wish for their vote to remain unpublished. Why?
    What about transparancy in a fair race for presidency?

    February 20, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  22. Republican for Obama

    It just goes to show how Clinton cares more about winning the power of the Presidency then about the will of her own party members and the American citizens. As a Republican who can sacrifice many beliefs for this countries chance to have a great leader like Obama, I would think that a fellow Democrat like Hillary would be able to set aside her own selfishness for the good of her country and her party, but I guess she just doesn't really care about that.

    Obamacan, NC

    February 20, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  23. MBG

    Since the American people are speaking loud and clear, it behooves the delegates, superdelegates and whatever else Clinton now is calling them to listen.

    Mrs. Clinton – are you listening?

    February 20, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  24. Truth

    What's left with B.H.O.? Even his empty words are not his own!!!

    This fake is the biggest joke in a century!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 20, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  25. KLM

    I did like Bill in the 90's and I even respected Hillary even though her healthcare plan failed. However, the first couple of times she cried turned me off and I'm a woman. If Bush cried in public we would rip him apart. I just couldn't imagine our potential Commander and Chief tearing up over something trivial. Now, 911 was a time to cry. Since then, she and her husband's attacks seem to be malicious and personal instead of "factual". I wish to get away from the negative campaigning. Then to top it off she can't run/control her campaign!!!! I surely can't trust you to be president then. If she gets the nomination, I will regrettably vote for McCain. (I've really tried to listen to hisd speeches but they put me to sleep).

    Hillary, don't bring down the Democratic Party.

    February 20, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
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