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. ron wahahachie Texas

    Hey Hillary, answer the phone and get out of the race. You have lost the race when you lost 11 straight primaries. You will not win 11 straight. Hillary get out of the race. Dont mess with Texas

    March 1, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  2. shaun

    This new bit of news is so pathetic that even HIllary's supporters have seized to stick up for her. I've only counted about 2 to 3 comments on this blog which are pro hillary, seems as if they're starting to wake up and see the wolf behind the mask.


    seattle, wa

    March 1, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |


    March 1, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  4. Realist - DP, IL

    Some pundits/pontificators are saying Clinton has do like 58-42 to get even thats a spread of 16%, Obama been doin better than that
    HI – 76-24
    WI – 58-41
    D.C. 75-24
    MD – 60-37
    VA 64-35
    ME – 59-40
    LA – 57-36
    NE 68-32
    US VI – 90-8
    WA – 68-31
    (% from Margin/Avg-my nice excel work
    State Obama Clinton Margin
    Hawaii » 76% 24% 52%
    Wisconsin » 58% 41% 17%
    District of Columbia » 75% 24% 51%
    Maryland results » 60% 37% 23%
    Virginia results » 64% 35% 29%
    Maine » 59% 40% 19%
    Louisiana results » 57% 36% 21%
    Nebraska results » 68% 32% 36%
    Virgin Islands results » 90% 8% 82%
    Washington results » 68% 31% 37%
    Average = 37%
    Average (WI,MD,VA,WA) = 27%

    Obama (11-0)
    Hillary (0-11)

    Power to the People

    Fuzzy Math Free Since '99

    March 1, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  5. kevin

    No one has polarized the nation more than Obama. Blacks on one side, Latinos on the other, and whites trying to do what is politically correct. America, wake up and vote for the best candidate. She is ready. Otherwise Dems with lose badly.

    March 1, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  6. debbi

    Lets be real............. Obama is a whirwind for change. Everyone
    wants change, but he's not the one ready to bring all the changes he speaks about... Maybe in 4 years, but today, you must believe in your hearts whether its popular or not ,she right now is the one we need in the white house- Do the right thing for for the democratic party, and america, you must vote for Clinton

    March 1, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  7. Jacques

    When something goes wrong in the world will Hillary whine and sue them? Will she just not talk about the bad things that happen to american instead of acknowledge them? will she bankrupt us? keep documents secret? hire trusted insiders and loyalists?

    Because thats exactly how she has run her campaign the biggest things she has ever run in her life.

    not very promising so far

    March 1, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  8. :)


    The Clinton campaign has been whining since Day 1. Is there anything new?

    March 1, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  9. babbie

    The possibility exists that the nominee would betray their voters after they come to power. For me, I will choose teh one with less chance of betraying, and the one is the one who has been tested.

    March 1, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  10. barbara from port arthur texas

    if anyone is interested in knowing "the facts" about how Texas represents its vote in the primaries, you might want to log into Texas Democrats. I have attended many caucuses in my 40 years of voting. I can honestly say that Texas voters respect the democratic system, takes everyones' vote very seriously, and all our delegates represent those candidates at our caucus to reflect THE VOTE OF THE PEOPLE.

    March 1, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  11. Fernandez

    Maybe, this contest will end in supreme court. Hahahahahah.

    March 1, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  12. Enrique

    Once again, Hillary's desperation is laughable. She's trying all she can to save her boat from sinking. All of a sudden, the Texas primary and caucus system is unfair? Truly pathetic.

    March 1, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  13. Joshua College Station Texas

    Pete: "Put yourself in the same position,when you have all the intelligence,the President,the joint chiefs,the defense secratary telling you about the threat in Iraq,We are the shining light for human rights in this world,i am sure evry single one of you would have voted to go to war!!!"

    You're an idiot. Not everyone would do this. The American people still do not have the whole story and never may, but there is very strong evidence that the decision by the Bush Administration to go into Iraq was dishonest and not based on good information. Someone with good judgment would realize that. I remember clearly when the evidence was presented by Bush et al. to Congress and the American people. I knew it was bunk then and I know it now. The reasons were too sketchy, the links too weak, the evidence too thin. It was BAD JUDGMENT!

    March 1, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  14. mick

    The only reason Hillary is losing all the states is because of the young vote. The young was not around in the 90's and don't do blue collar work like us men in our 50's, if they did we would see Hillary winning by far.
    I do believe that OB will win and I hope he can deliver, but I have a feeling he will forget all he has said and the young will still love him cause he is their rock star...way to go kids

    March 1, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |

    Cisnero's is making a fool of himself or there is money
    in it for him. If Hillary does not win in Texas, It would be
    "exceedingly unfair". What is this nonsense? Or is Hillary
    seeing the writing on the wall and feels already that she
    will lose in Texas? Why now, would it be "exceedingly
    unfair? Is Hillary going to sue TEXAS? I don't think so!!!!!
    WHAT A GAL!!!!!!!!!!!!

    March 1, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  16. Holly, Kansas City, MO

    Wah wah wah!! The Clintons are being investigated for FEDERAL ELECTION FRAUD in the 2000 election to the senate. I really don't think the CLINTONS are in a position to be talking about "fair elections."

    Please leave and take your slimey behinds with you. You have damaged America enough already. I'm a converted republican. Who converted me?? OBAMA!!! Get lost Clintons, America has had enough of you.

    March 1, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  17. edgeways

    I personally like the idea behind TXs system. the execution might be a bit laborious but the idea is good.

    If you cannot, or do not want to dedicate the time vote in the primary.

    If you have the time and energy and want to be part of the process also vote in the caucus, help choose the delegates.

    So, you have provisions for those working who don't want to give up income to vote (btw, it is illegal for employers to refuse to allow their employees to go vote in the caucus), and you have provisions for the dedicated, fully committed voters who are not afraid to stand up and participate.

    If Clinton CAN NOT win in a caucus situation what does that say about her support? You need to be able to do well under multiple situations in a primary season.

    People keep forgetting that the State parties are in full control of how to run their system. It does not have to be a strict one person one vote affair. And if people are unhappy with how it is done they need to effect change by being part of the process.

    And, yeah, this system TX has been around for decades. To start whinging about it days before the event is disingenuous and makes the campaign look unprofessional and incompetent.

    March 1, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  18. Beantown

    Yet another thing she and her supporters whine and cry about. When this is going to end? Why is it so hard to get it? She can't manage her campaign, but she is ready on Day 1 to be the president of the strongest nation on earth? This is laughable. Such a pitty! OK... I am waiting... as they always do, someone who supports her will blame me for being a male chauvinist. Bring it on for you have nothing else to throw. She is going down big and I thank the Lord for it.

    March 1, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  19. Chris, Washington

    I wonder if she'll come out & say, "well Texas doesn't matter, but on the other hand, Ohio matters a lot because I won"... Obama supporters, he himself said "let's not forget New Hamshire". Please go out & vote!

    Having said that, if for some wild reasons Sen.Clinton becomes a nominee, let's get united & vote for her. There are too many issues at stake. Please voice your opinion by voting for someone you support for now but remind ourselves that we have a president who doesn't even know about $4 gas price & can care less about hundreds of people being killed for no f* reasons! AND as the day goes by, McCain looks more like him. That's EXACTLY opposite of both Sen.Clinton & Sen.Obama believe in. It's very emotional time right now but please remember that any of these two senators can & will do better jobs than what we have & will have if we don't unite!

    March 1, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  20. NC

    If there wasn't a black/brown divide, there is one being created now in the media. There has no doubt been some tension amongst these communities (for various reasons) but it doesn't help to flame the fire.
    Why should our sons be chastised for the sins of our fathers?
    This is not the time for blame, but for unity. Let us, black\white\brown or whatever u consider yourself, unite around a common purpose for good because really, that's the only way we can move foward as a nation.

    March 1, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |

    Hillary, you don't like the way we in TEXAS do things?

    TEXAS LIKES DOING THINGS BIG......that means not just a primary or a caucus. Instead TEXAS WANTS BOTH A PRIMARY AND A CAUCUS.

    Hillary, you can leave TEXAS if you don't like our TEXAS ways of thinking!!!

    March 1, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  22. Raymond Ito

    The Clinton camp are obviously terrified of caucuses! They know they are no match for the Obama camp. Well, they should begin to advice Hillary to draft her concillatory speech, end her campaign and focus on how to be a good mother for Chelsea – because she needs a husband right now. Bush's daughter is marrying soon -good parents.

    March 1, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  23. Pat

    Texas ,Vermont, Ohio,Pennsylvania hold the votes for Hillary. She would be ahead on delegates if Florida and Michigan were not stripped of their votes. It is unfortunate that no one is discussing this issue., Remember this is a democratic society? Where are our votes?

    March 1, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |

    Hillary, you don't like the way we in TEXAS do things?

    TEXAS LIKES DOING THINGS BIG......that means not just a primary or a caucus. Instead TEXAS WANTS BOTH A PRIMARY AND A CAUCUS.

    Hillary now doesn't like it so she wants to change the RULES!!!

    Hillary, you can leave TEXAS if you don't like our TEXAS ways of thinking!!!

    March 1, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  25. Netta D'souza MD

    I am an independant, I think the best way to elect a candidate is to vote for them in privacy and not caucus which appears more driven like some herd effect.
    You can see the effect in the remarks and name calling which voters fear in caucussing but would not happen in individual voting.

    March 1, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
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