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. Jade7243

    Clinton Rules 101: Make the rules according to what you think is best for you. Do not play the game according to the rules you made up, but try to hold everyone else to those rules. Go to court if you must. Exploit every loophole. If there is a loophole you overlooked that goes to your opponent's advantage, sue. Claim that he is not following the rules. Do this regardless. Always claim the opponent is not following the rules. This gives you cover to not follow them, even though you've never been following them. Claim the playing field is uneven. Even when it tilts in your favor, claim the field is unfair for your opponent. Periodically, you should cry. Periodically, you should claim that you are being victimized. Complain about being the victim of the multitude of unfair practices and then state categorically that you are not complaining. You should also complain about the media. It doesn't matter what you complain about. Complain your opponent gets better coverage, more coverage, not enough coverage, unfair coverage. If for some unknown reason, you should lose. Complain more. And also state that what you lost doesn't count. Charge targets and change goals. Draw a line in the sand, then erase the line. Claim that you never drew that line in the sand. Claim that your opponent drew the line and that he erased it too. No matter what, do not concede. It you concede, that means you lost. If you don't concede, that means you won. Winning is everything. No matter what the outcome, you win. Heads, you win, tails you win. That's Clinton Rules For Dummies.

    March 1, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  2. Rashaad in Fort Worth

    Hillary and Bill go away!!!!! You will not win the state TX quit complaining and take your loss like a man.

    March 1, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  3. Alex

    Obama's down fall shall come in due time HILLARY 08!

    March 1, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  4. LaLainKCMO

    Every state is different – you can't change the rules of the game in the middle of the game. She knew this going in – oops! that's right she didn't plan for anything after Super Tuesday.

    You snooze, you lose.

    Obama 08

    March 1, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  5. truth be told

    like what i've been saying all along – if it's not to their advantage or if they see they're losing, hillary and her minions will be raising hell. they are now threatening filing lawsuits just to get their way.

    all of these rules for primaries and caucuses were already in place long before this election year. the clinton camp, among others, know these rules, including not seating the florida and michigan delegates because they had the arrogance to break the rules and went ahead and held their primaries outside of the timeframe allocated to them. the clinton camp signed off on these rules. now they have the temerity to say these rules are unfair. bill clinton won texas with the exact format now in place.

    so, if you, clinton supporters keep on harping how the system is unfair to you, you have no else to blame but hillary herself. she should know all of these. apparently she does not have a tight control of her campaign (e.g., running out of money, not paying the bills in iowa and new hampshire as reported in the media (bias?), turnover of campaign i need to go on and on?). if this is the kind of experience she will take to the white house in 2009, so God help us all.

    March 1, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  6. NOBama

    Anyone for Kool Aide?

    March 1, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |

    She knows she is losing in Texas. Here it comes. She
    will sue Texas

    March 1, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  8. Mary

    Hillary people go the primary, then go causus for Hillary. Texas, Ohio, Idaho and Vermont We need all four states.

    March 1, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  9. Gary

    Obama voters .Dont forget the Super Bowl. The system is just what it is. There is no system honest,from our justice etc.You Obama voters are what you are,dreamers. Hopes and dreams. Obama always says we can. You dont hear him saying He can.Change,change,Iraq,Iraq,yes we can ,yes we can,promises,promises.Hes a broken record along with his empty suit speeches.He bought you all with rock bands,smooth talk and videos.Sounds to me like enough to change our countries problems.Give me a break. When the lights go out at night ,he is laughing at you voters that voted him.He has you all wrapped around his finger.If he is elected you will get your change,the world in worst shape. I thought Americans were smarter than to vote for someone that has no qualifications,or know how .It shows you how easy it is to sell you all. Where is all of the Generals,Admirals,and top leaders that are edorseing Obama. He has none ,because they know truley who should be leader. That should tell you people something. concerned Viet nam Vet Go Hillary

    March 1, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  10. Sam Rose

    Hillary is a whiner and a cry-baby–

    Anything that doesnt go her way-she thinks is unfair–
    she has not displayed the qualities of a leader during this campaign,
    hopefully Ohio and Texas can see right through all the lies of the Clinton's......

    March 1, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  11. LIZ

    It is ashame that Obama supporters are threatening every african amercain who doesnt vote for him!!! That is a shame and against everything they have been preaching what is righ tor wrong for decades. It sounds more like a cult that anything else!!

    I challenger of you supporters to threaten me!!! Your words mean nothing....

    HILLARY ALL THE WAY!! and if she is not voted as the democratic nominee.....I am voting for McCain or not voting at all

    This country is so screwed up!!

    March 1, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  12. DB

    This was one of her "firewalls". The fact that the Clinton's move the bar or try to change the rules every time they are losing another contest sickens me. She says she wants to have a unified party in November. Her actions tell a different story. Please leave now while you can still escape with some dignity, Hillary.

    March 1, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  13. April

    If you are from Texas, how would you like it if your primary vote didn't count at all, but your state spent millions for an election? Well, that is how it is in Florida, because our leaders didn't stand up for us. Also the Democratic National Committee, on which Jim Zogby, an avid Obama supporter, voted against Florida counting. Sounds like a unethical conflict of interest to me. Obama says superdelegates shouldn't decide the vote, but if you read recent articles, you will see that black superdelegates are being pressured and even threatened to switch over to Obama. If Obama really wants fair results, then he wouldn't discount how 1.8 million Democrats voted in Florida. What he says and what he does are two totally different things, and I don't trust him at all. In 2004, he was interviewed after being elected to the Senate, and he said he had no experience to consider himself to be a jpotential presidential candidate. How much could have possibly changed since then? He has been campaigning for two years.

    March 1, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |


    March 1, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |

    If you lose in Texas and Ohio, stay behind and thank your
    voters. They make a big effort for you and you should thank
    them and not jump on a flight to the next state and not even
    mention your loss. "THE GREAT PRETENDER!

    March 1, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  16. Roger from Arkansas

    So that's how Obama won 11 in a row. I knew it had to be a glitch in the system. Maybe we should go back and fix the other elections and that would make it completely fair.

    That's better than sending super delegates threatening emails so that they will vote for Obama. (Talk about scare tactics)

    March 1, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  17. Greg

    So Hillary does not like the system, history repeats itself. Checkout Clintons vs Peter Paul, to see the REAL Hillary and how to beat the system.

    March 1, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  18. Trev

    For those of you who are interested, Hillary has been complaining about the caucus system since BEFORE IOWA. She even expressed her dislike of the system after she won in Nevada. There is nothing new about what she is saying in TX.

    The fundamental anger and lack of respect for Hillary supporters by Senator Obama's supporters is discouraging. If anyone reading this is an undecided voter, I would encourage you to think about that. Have a great weekend.

    Hillary 08 (without the hate)

    March 1, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  19. MD in Florida

    I don't expect this to get posted, as I see that the majority of your postings are support for Obama, but I believe the CNN news channel supports Obama as well, but here goes.

    I am a democrat, and have been since before I was old enough to vote. I now live in Florida, but I lived in Texas for the last presidential election. The voting system there stinks. It IS a burden on voters and the children of the voters who must take extra time away from their families to go and caucus after voting. I also think that it is a bunch of garbage that Florida and Michigan (both of which Hillary took by a landslide by the way) lost their delegates. If you counted those delegates, she would be leading for the democratic nomination. You want to talk about whining, what about Obama when he lost those two states. Complaining that we didn't know about him, because he didn't get to campaign here. What does he think? That people in Florida don't own television sets or get newspaper delivery or radio reception? Give me a break.

    Talk about this. The book of revelation warns about a man that will come from seemingly nowhere, and be sauve and charismatic. He will try and take over and rule the world. Anyone that is formiliar with the bible know what I'm talking about. The bible warns that people will flock to this man almost like a cult. Sound familiar? Looks like Obama to me!

    As I said before, I have been a democrat since before I was old enough to vote, but if Obama is the democratic nominee, I will vote for McCain.

    Hillary if Obama wins the nomination, you should switch to independent and run anyway. I bet you would win!

    March 1, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  20. JB

    the Hillary suporters are so made about this they are going out side the system to try and beet it. I personaly got a call from a woman claiming to be a 'freind' of the head of the local caucus and wanted to know if I would like to come and cast my vote. I asked her about more infor about this caucus but she first wanted to know who I was going to vote for. When I told her Obama she said "you are kidding me!' and hung up the phone!

    This just shows you how far Hillary is willing to go to get what she wants. I hope Obama wins Texas but if he dose not I will know that the only reason Hillary won was due to stacking the causus voting in her favor.

    Shame on you Hillary...

    March 1, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  21. amk from india

    Hillary has done a great disservice to the concept of a woman us president by her petty, arrogant, whiny, poorly orgaized and misleading campaign. She reminds us of a typical indian politician (that is the worst insult in the world one could get.)

    March 1, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  22. Wang LI

    Go Obama !

    March 1, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  23. myrbailey

    The biased, slanted media continues to push B.O. and slam Senator Clinton. CNN spews the worst garbage, followed by FOX and MSNBC. Every effort to try to help Obama gain the nomination. Pure bias. They should be censored. Clinton is clearly denigrated in the press/tv talking heads while the freshman senator B.O. is praised. Clinton is the most qualified to lead this nation in foreign policy anddomestic issues. B.O. is all talk and no substance. Go Hilliary, in spite of the biased press you will get the nomination. Hillary for pres in 08.

    March 1, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  24. Ali

    This doesn't really support her claim that she is "Ready on DAY ONE". She's been griping about every caucas state she's lost, claiming that the system is unfair. Obama on the other hand was prepared and shall I say...READY.

    March 1, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  25. Tom O'Shea

    I guess Bill Clinton and The Party establishment will have to cancel the coronation for Hillary. She has a met a fibrant, exciting person who creates a feeling that something can be done about the sorry state of the United States after 8 years of Bush and his Republican cronies. Hillary should pack her bags and return to New York and the Senate and help unify the Democratic Party behind Obama for the upcoming battle against the war monger McCain.
    From Gloucester City, NJ "A Blue State"

    March 1, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
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