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. Cali4Hillary

    LOL!!!! LOL!!!! Any of the Obaramas want to give it a try??
    The answer was easy.... zero accomplishments!!!

    The interview in question was with Tubbs Jones and Texas State Sen. Kirk Watson on MSNBC Tuesday night. Host Chris Matthews asked Watson, a supporter of Obama, to name the Illinois senator's chief legislative accomplishments.

    "Well, I am not going to be able to name you specific items of legislative accomplishment," Watson said.

    Asked if it was a problem he was unable to name any of Obama's accomplishments, Watson said, "Well no I don't think it is. Because I think one of the things that Sen. Obama does is he inspires. He's able to lay out a vision, he's able to lay out solutions."

    February 20, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  2. narayan

    here we go again; goodlooks charm image oratory no substance, reallife needs realsolutions for the problems facing the country not yes we can. we have made mitakes twice; what the heck one moretime; GOD SAVE US.

    February 20, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  3. Nando, Florida

    If this were to happen Denver would look like NERO"S ROME!!!!!!!!

    February 20, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  4. lets be real here

    What Hillary Clinton supporters must realize is that...if she is losing this many contest in the primary, in all these states that she should have easily won it means she just isn't that strong of a Canidate for the General.

    10 states in a ROW? This should not be happening if Clinton is the best bet to win the General Election. Even if it is 'okay' for her to lose this amount of states in a row, she still shouldn't be losing by this wide margin of defeat.

    People simply will not vote for the Clintons in the General. America is showing you that. Some of these states she should be winning hands down...especially against a new comer like Obama.

    As Democrats we just got to go with the best chance to win in the General, so far Obama is that person. C'mon guys put aside your anger and devote it to the party that deserves it...the Republicans.
    Lets unite and focus our energy into defeating J. McCain and the Bush administraion.

    Go Obama, Go Democrats in 08

    February 20, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  5. hold a sec

    TAA what are you talking about, she clarified her remarks, that was not what she meant. Apparently you have always been 100% clear to all of those around you when you speak...never made a mistake huh?

    The difference here is Bill Clinton has been in politics for 40 years and should know better. Michelle Obama is new to this and will learn that even your mistakes counts....give her a break, in 40 years I bet she won't be making the same verb

    February 20, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  6. Sharon from Michigan

    Hillary's devotion to the state of Michigan and Florida is for self-preservation. If the election were re-done today, I'm not so sure she would win either one. People are becoming familiar with Barack Obama and what he stands for. Hillary has been trying to come up with a slogan, since the beginning of her campaign. How about this one, "For Hillary the Presidency is out of range because Barack Obama stands for "Change". .

    February 20, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  7. Michael D. Hafer


    Watch her comments. Her phraseology was clumsy, but she was saying she was more proud of her country than before because of the hugely positive response to her husband's campaign (he being a man of mixed race). And you know what? I agree with her! It's entirely possible to be more proud of your country when it is showing signs of actually fulfilling Martin Luther King Jr's dream. The year after 9/11 made me less proud of my country as the drum up to the Iraq War was taking place. I saw my country go down the path of so many frightened children instead of taking a stand for courage. We've climbed back out of that hole and I am prouder of my country for it. It's time, in November, to get back on track and to be the country we are capable of being.

    February 20, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  8. pbj

    Can't wait 'til Hillary tries her next stunt - trying to change the rules of the game to seat the Florida and Michigan delegates at the convention.

    February 20, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  9. Raum

    She's showing her true colors

    February 20, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  10. Antonio

    It is a sad day in America when people vote for pop stars instead of a candidate that can get the job done–and done well.

    February 20, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  11. Dallas-Fort Worth, TX

    A message to Hilliary Clinton......

    I was on the fence between in this whole debate, but after your non acknowledgement of your voters/supporters from my former home state of Wisconsin last night. I was really ticked off!!!

    At least stand up and say – I lost but for those of you that heard and supported my message. Thank You!!!

    That showed me a lot. I have always supported the Clinton philosophy but I'm sorry this campaign has brought out the worst in you and your husband.

    I'm now a proud resident of Texas and I will vent my frustration by voting for Obama!!!

    Obama '08 – Undecided NO MORE!!!!

    February 20, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  12. People should be heard!!

    People of Michigan (600000) and Florida(1.75 million) should be heard. Delegates should be seated. The people from these states should not be ignored. It is unfair!!

    February 20, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  13. Tim Randolph

    TAA: Really? Are you a black woman in today's America? Have you heard her comments in context? Geesh. Get over it. By the way, Bill happens to be a former President, as well as a professional speaker. As a gun toting, God-fearing, father of five in Arkansas who is white and enjoys fishing and hunting; I am proud to say I support Barack Obama.

    February 20, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  14. Cynthia St. Louis

    It is scary and sad to see "the Clintons" self destruct in this way.

    They have certainly lost sight of what this race is all about. Hopefully, someone will step in and stop this madness.

    Losing is hard, but it doesn't have to be blind.

    February 20, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  15. Honesty_not Hillary


    February 20, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  16. Stacy

    She should give up the delegates of those states she said that don't matter. You know.. all those that Obama won. Isn't stating a whole population of a state doesn't matter disenfranchise all of the voters??

    February 20, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  17. Cali4Hillary

    Obama is fake...an empty suit and nothing else!!

    Hillary has 'REAL" solutions. Whacth out Obamalites.... we are barely in the 3rd quarter of the game. Hillary will prevail becuase she is the right choice for the American people.


    Michelle corrected her speech after the fact....Lol!!! Ooopss!! Did I just say that?? Yep...you did!!


    February 20, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  18. Anonymous

    I have listen to these candidates and they are virtually even on the issues, everyone is so inspired by Obama and act like he is some kind of rock star, comparing him to JFK, well he is a new face like JFK, but do we really know what kind of President JFK would have been, he was not here long enough to make even a full term, and if he were here today would he not be part of the establishment and certainly have plenty of so called baggage. Obama is promising that he will reach across party lines, but that will mean give and take so what issues is he willing to compromise on to achieve this. People do not seem to realize that he just a politician like all the rest, just younger. The media seem to be really promoting him. Every time Bill or Hillary say anything negative it is considered to be racist, but if Obama or his wife make a statement it is just a mistake and taken out of content. Still can not see what the Clintons said that was racist. A big deal is being made about releasing their tax returns, why do I care what they are we all know they are rich and Bush gives them all the breaks I don't kneed to see their return, just interested in mine. If Obama gets the nomination will may be in for a rude awakening.

    February 20, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  19. Texasboo

    Desperation and pettiness on the road to the White House? What a great way to unite the Dem party, turn off thousands of new voters, and disenfrancise voters who have spoken for their choice.

    Not a very presidential woman as Commander in Chief. And this is called having substance? Really Sen Clinton?

    Sen. Clinton, you knew the rules going in to BOTH Michigan and Florida and you still clain VICTORY? Really? You NOW care about the voters of those states you "won" yet you never acknowledge the states you lost?


    February 20, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  20. Arlene NY

    If Obama truly believes that the delegates and not the Super Delegates should decide
    the Democratic Presidential nomination then why has he been outspending Clinton in the Super Delegate Buying game?
    A New England newspaper article released the findings of a study that showed that Obama's political action committee has doled out more than $694,000 to super delegates since 2005, and of the 81 who had announced their support for Obama, 34 had received donations totaling $228,000.
    The same study found that Clinton's political action committee has distributed about $195,000 to super delegates, and only 13 of the 109 who had announced for her have received money, totaling about $95,000. This is why I question Obama’s 180 degree turn about the Super Delegates not getting involved.. He played and paid into the game. But now that he’s the frontrunner and he wants to dismiss the Super Delegates.This is sooo wrong on sooo many levels.

    February 20, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  21. Gerard, Tampa

    Enough hillary, floridans including me broke the rules. If you thought we should be seated, you should have taken that position in the beginning.

    You won here only because of name recognition...support another primary or caucus and see what happens? Same for Michigan, you think its fair you get the delegates when obama and edwards werent even on the ballot???

    Apparently the clintons will do anything to win 😦

    February 20, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  22. Elizabeth Antonucci

    The American people are again making a big mistake with backing Obama. What's the proof that American voters are not too swift. Well, they elected George Bush two time before they realized that he just can't cut the cake. It appears the American people pick candidates like they buy the lattest fad on the market. They are followers and not independent thinkers. Hillary has it! Hillary has the knowledge, the skills and experience to get the job done. Obama's plan is to talk his way to sucess. Don't think that will work with the Republicians in the real word. Maybe in Obama's dreems. Come on people, lets get the job done and elect Hillary Clinton. For once, vote with your mind and not your emotions.

    February 20, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  23. Jim, Burlington

    Hmmm, let's see.

    Obama was behind Hillary by 2% – 5% points and never campaigned in Wisconsin, then she decides to actually visit the state and run attack adds, the result being Clinton looses to Obama in Wisconsin by almost 15% points.

    Nice campaign tactics, seems to me someone who gets it so wrong predicting and judging the campaign is not someone I want to trust with their finger on the Nuke button.

    Ready day one – with bad judgment.

    February 20, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  24. Marco

    Is Really Funny that the Obama campaing thinks is winning because of "Change" when are you Democrats going to open your eyes that the Republicans are voting in this primaries as Democrats just so that Hillary can loose, and by doing so setting up the weakest Democrat candidate (Obama) against Mc.Cain just so they can keep the White House and win in November. No changing of rules right, thats fine but is also pathetic that the Obama Campaing has been trying very hard to change the rules in the middle of the game. Delegates can vote any way they want!!!

    February 20, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  25. TEXAS Mike

    Desperate Times call for Desperate Measures. She reminds of those little kids that daddy always gives them what they want. She will cry and cry until she is happy.

    February 20, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
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