March 1st, 2008
12:55 PM ET
15 years ago

Clinton supporter rips Texas caucus system

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Cisneros made calls on Clinton's behalf from her campaign office in Laredo, Texas last month."]

SAN ANTONIO, Texas (CNN) – Former HUD secretary and Hillary Clinton supporter Henry Cisneros excoriated Texas’ arcane electoral process as “a great burden on voters” and said that losing the delegate count on Tuesday because of the state caucuses would be “exceedingly unfair.”

Cisneros was speaking to a group of Clinton volunteers who had gathered on Saturday morning at Fox Tech High School to train for Tuesday evening’s state caucuses, which follow a day of primary voting. One-third of the state’s pledged delegates are allocated through the caucuses, while the rest are determined by the day's primary vote.

Clinton herself rallied the troops after Cisneros, formerly a mayor of San Antonio, spoke.

“This is not the ideal way,” he told an audience made up of Clinton volunteers from 20 or so area counties. “Ideally it would just be a straight out vote, and that would determine who gets the delegates, but they created this intricate system in Texas, which frankly is a great burden on voters.”

Cisneros said a scenario in which Clinton wins the primary vote, but loses the evening caucuses, would be “exceedingly unfair” and warned against being “outpowered” by Barack Obama precinct teams, who have overwhelmed their Clinton counterparts in earlier caucus-based contests, outcomes he described as “tragic.”

As volunteers leafed through instructions on recruiting 25-member precinct teams, Cisneros told them, “we cannot throw away our hard work and our win by not being there at the caucuses.”

- CNN Political Producer Peter Hamby

Filed under: Hillary Clinton • Texas
soundoff (427 Responses)
  1. Flem


    OK, so now Hillary has already prepared her conspiracy-theory excuse as to why Texas "doesn't matter" in the event that she loses the State (which she undoubtedly will).

    "Texas is irrelevant because of its arcane political process which no doubt favors my opponent."

    This woman is truly a piece of work. She's getting her flunkies to formulate excuses out of thin air. Be careful though, Shrillary! You're going to alienate whatever electorate is thinking of still voting for you by critisizing their political machinery.

    March 1, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  2. ToddT

    My friend lives in Chicago too; they sure know how to bs people there. With all his money and speech writers, you would think Obama could come up some new bs. Same old stump speech over and over. Excuse me, I am getting sick.

    March 1, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  3. Interesting

    At some point Clinton supporters must admit, that this disorganization in her campaign is a huge reflection of how she would be in the white house.

    March 1, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  4. Susie

    Obama has done plenty of whining. I just wish Clinton's camp had expressed this concern, as well as the concern over unfair press coverage beginning BEFORE Feb. 5th, earlier. She's right. She's the only substantive candidate – but of course we must ask ourselves just how substantive is our country? Hopefully we will not, once again, elect the feel-good candidate over the one who is qualified.

    March 1, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  5. indie17

    It looks like the delegate count from March 4th will be split pretty evenly with one side or the other possibly getting a few more delegates.

    Clinton had said she would drop out if she did not win Texas and Ohio. I think all of the recent press from the Clinton camp is simply fodder for their March 5th press release, where they will claim they now have a reason to march forward to Pennsylvia (even though not enough delegates were picked up on March 4th to help her.) In the meantime, Wyoming and Mississippi will be won by Obama.

    Clinton will not pick up enough delegates to catch up with Obama, even if she stays in until the convention. I can only deduct that her campaign has decided to try and steal the election with superdelegates and seating Michigan (Florida won't matter.) Michigan would give her 70 free delegates.

    Even then, I don't think she'll win. Neither do most analysts.

    Hopefully Clinton will drop out after March 4th, and salvage the Clinton reputation.

    March 1, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  6. Ronald, American living abroad

    The system was fair for Bill Clinton for unfair for Hillary. Is she trying to claim that her husband ran a sexist campaign which disenfranchised her? These people will do or say anything to gain power. Beware Texas of these interlopers!

    March 1, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  7. foday

    one word I have for Hillary you cannot change democrat rules, because. It was there before and it was through these causes that your husband won his nomination. Why can't you ask him for some advise.? Or are looking down on him and his idea? They will never change the rules for you. What do you think? are you that important than any former president that went through these Texas rules and become president. Look for another new plan we have not heard from you, may be you will win. which I'm sure you will not. Please get out of the race and not bring the democrat party along with you. I think your main plan is if you did not win the democrat party will come down with you Come on be a respectable woman and give honor to the party and the white house.

    March 1, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  8. sand

    Whats wrong with all you Obama supporters...have you ever asked yourself where all his money is coming from???Have you ever asked yourself how he is going to change things, as he never tells anyone??!! I am Dem...I will never support him...he is not to be trusted, just listen to him...My vote will go to McCain before I turn to Obama for anything...for gosh sakes, he doesnt even honor the American Flag..and says a percentage at a sport game does not either..we are not talking about sports we are talking about someone who wants to represent our Country!!!! He will not beat McCain...Vote HIllary.....she is the best one for the job..she is hard working and works for the American people...!!!!!!

    March 1, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  9. marilyn grant


    March 1, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  10. Jean

    It seems like the Clinton camp. has to overcome three opponents, Obama, the cacuses, and the media ( not excluding CNN, which has now become Barack-CNN). It would be interesting to see if the Clinton can overcome that many opponents. Oh, let's not forget she also has to overcome the hatred republicans who have been purposely registering democrat just to vote against Senator Clinton. I just hope a year or more from now that we are not as regretful as we are with the current administration for not voting for the most realistic candidate.

    March 1, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  11. Mike

    You Obama supportes have lost your mind, you are a bunch of zombies in your own ficticious part of the universe.
    His popularity has simply increased because most believe him to be "the next best thing." Blah Blah Blah.

    As a general rule, most voters do not change their beliefs in a few weeks; they are usually firm within their steadfast beliefs and values.

    I am amazed when I hear my own friends comment on Hillary's wardrobe selection for the day or some comment that simply didn't register well with them at that particular moment.

    Stay focused and vote based own the same convictions that brought you onboard with Hillary to begin with.

    People, Obama is not the real deal, he is simply a motivational speaker who has millions mesmerized.

    You will all be crying rivers if he gets elected, lets see what comments you will make then.

    Not a clue!

    Most of you would not vote for him if John Edwards were running against him versus Hillary, you simply need a alternate to Hillary being a strong, intelligent female.

    Obama supporters are so barinwashed.

    Go Hillary!!!

    March 1, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  12. Larry Buchas, New Britain, CT

    Sounds like the words of a loser!

    Why not throw in the towel? You would be doing everyone a favor. Barack's message is hope. Cisneros offers defeat.

    March 1, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |

    Cisneros doesn't represent today's Latinos. He is part of yesterday's cronies that the Clintons rely on to get that vote. Talk does not send a Latino to Harvard, good schools and tuition subsidies do. Hillary would rather help Bush to send that money to Iraq. Keep the people ignorant and you can lie to them forever. An educated person is not going to listen to the double talk the Clintons and Cisneros give us. This war has made the whole country poorer and the Latinos more than anyone else. Cisneros should be looking out for his own, but that would be asking too much.

    March 1, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  14. Mike

    You guys do realize that Obama has been also researching how to potentially sue if he loses as well, right? One thing I can guarantee: whoever loses will sue.

    Staight from the news:

    "Democratic sources said both campaigns have made it clear that they might consider legal options over the complicated (Texas) delegate selection process, which includes both a popular vote and evening caucuses."

    For all you hypocrites saying that Clinton is whining about this, well, that's just the pot calling the kettle black.

    No, his fans aren't delusional and the media isn't biased. You guys just keep telling yourselves that.

    March 1, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  15. Rational Thinker

    To Bee:
    I am not Latino or African American.

    From what I understand, African American like both Hillary & Obama, they like Obama much more.

    For Latino's media seems to imply certain percent of Latino vote goes for Hillary not because they like her most, but because Obama is African American.

    March 1, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  16. Miz

    I am from Ohio and in the newspaper on the 28th a comics, OBama's people are saying he has to talk dumb in Texas its Bush country. And there is what you want as Pres.

    March 1, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  17. Dylan from CA

    The Hillary Strategy: If it doesn't help you win: DISCREDIT IT. DISCREDIT IT. DISCREDIT IT.

    March 1, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  18. Judie Taylor-Texas Born and Raised

    We can only hope, she will be POSITIVE.

    For her own sake she MUST stay positive and talk about what she is going to do.

    Hillay must know whenever she POINTS the FINGER, that three are POINTING back at her.

    How could such a person in her position fall into such a rut?

    Could it be CARMA?

    Ibelieve she have good intent, but has fallen by the way side.

    Sometime we can want something too much and it may not be meant to be.

    We should never sell our souls to get anything, we should stand for something, because if we don't, we'll fall for anything.

    Because when our day comes to be JUDGED, Hillary, Obama or McCain is NOT going to be there.

    What this Nation need is CHANGE, If we pay CLOSE ATTENTION to TO WHAT'S WRITTEN IN OUR BIBLES then we should know GOD said in his word, You Must Be Willing To CHANGE.

    Can Hillary CHANGE our COUNRTY?
    Can McCain CHANGE our COUNTRY?
    Can Obama CHANGE our COUNRTY?

    If you answered YES to any one you are wrong…. Because it takes all of us to put our:



    Non of these candidates can CHANGE anything by themselves, so stop acting like they are GOD.



    Elderly die because they can't afford their meds, the rich kids get high because they have to much access to prescribe meds………… and so on.


    March 1, 2008 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  19. Warren

    This Clinton way of thinking kills me. She blames everyone and everything else but herself. She complains if she is asked the 1st question in a debate that she insisted on. She thinks she won Michigan and Florida when they were unable to campaign there because of the States decission. Anywhere Obama campains he beats her.
    I am so sick of DIRTY OLD Politics. Clinton's lie and do all they can to cheat to get what they want.
    If I could, I would vote for "NONE of ABOVE" because we have no decent choices. But Hillary Clinton is the worse.
    I have nothing against a woman running and being President. But, Hillary is the WRONG woman.
    For those women voting for Hillary just because she is a woman, Have a good cry! She will be out shortly. Next time get a woman that is respected by all, not hated by most. Get a woman that has a decent attitude, not someone that attitude flip flops by the moment!
    I talked to many older women that will not vote for her because she kept Bill after his indiscretions. Many don't like how she acts! They think she is on way to a mental breakdown. I don't know but, I never liked the Clintons.

    USA vote "None of the Above" lol would that not be nice?

    March 1, 2008 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  20. Kentucky

    Every time she gets behind, she wants to change the rules. When will she finally admit that its not the rules defeating her, but rather the American people.

    March 1, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  21. kathleen

    Hillary will NEVER win the Presidency with an attitude like that.
    ANYONE that feels she deserves, or is entitled to the US PRESIDENCY should never win. Hillary blames everyone
    but herself or Bill for her losses and never thanks her voters
    until she has to. If Obama left those states as soon as he
    thought it was a loss, Obama would never recover from some
    action like that. Is this right?

    1.Use your clout to change the DNC
    rules in Florida and Michigan. UNfair

    2. Initiate a fight on National T.V. and
    blame Obama for picking on her. Idiotic

    3. Sue, Sue Lawsuit. That is a threat.
    We all don't like that word. It is perceived
    as cry wolf.

    4 Now, claim that if she loses in Texas,
    it will not be fair. Insane,

    4 To have the audacity to believe that
    her clout with the Dems. and The Reps.
    in Washington will be an automatic win.

    5. To leave the State as soon as the numbers
    start coming in instead of thanking her voters.

    6. Arrive at the next state and never mention
    the state she "just" lost in.


    Let's now play Cindy Laupers, "TRUE COLORS" for The Clintons SHOWING THEIR REAL PERSONALITIES.

    March 1, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  22. Pete

    I just can't believe that so many women seem to have such a high regard for Hillary, do they not see that her JUDGEMENT IS HORRIBLE!
    These comments from her campaign are just another illustration of this fact!

    March 1, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  23. Anita

    Wow. Way to go, Obama supporters.

    We know that Obama's campaign is all fluff and no substance, so why not throw a rock concert consisting of a Canadian band with an unknown lead Texan singer. I'm sure it will accomplish what it is intended to do, i.e., impress the young, impressionable and totally clueless Texas voters.

    March 1, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  24. Barry IL

    Senator Clinton's camp message is crystal clear. Everything that does not favor their camp is wrong. And they want to change the rule of the game not even in the middle of the game but at the end of it. All along, the Cinton campaign camp know what the Texas procedures of election involves, and were dead-silent for months. The procedure in Texas was right as long as Senator Clinton leads by two digits. But when that gap closes, all of a sudden, the rules of the game in Texas become "wrong". It's really amazing. It sounds like a political game draw from some third world politics.

    March 1, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  25. John - Spokane, WA

    Caucuses are an absolute joke !! I attended The Washington State Caucus and I can tell you all it did was confuse people, allienated certain groups of people such as Senior Citizens(due to transportation & bad weather), anybody who had to work during the two hour window of caucus voting and Physically Challenged people ! The proof that it doesn't work is this:
    Obama won the caucus vote 62% to Hillary's 38%
    In the Primary (With no delegates alloted and voting started before the caucuses and closed on Feb 19) Obama won 51% to 46%
    Granted he still won – but not nearly by the margin reflected in the Caucus, bottom line is that Washington State Delegates were not truly reflective of the vote. Trash the caucus idea, they are unfair and dont work.

    March 1, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
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