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. Bill

    After re-reading the article, no where does it say that the system is unfair or that the Clinton campaign is complaining about the system. What the article does say is that if Hillary won the popular vote and lost the caucus vote, it would be unfair. Its obvious that he is trying to motivate the volunteers by point this out and that its not an ideal way to vote, but....The beginning of the piece by CNN implies a complaint. This article and the way its being portrayed is wrong.

    I see this as a man telling his people we can win the popular vote, we need to make sure we will the caucus, if not, then its unfair. I do not see him critizing at all, although making a clear statement that a straight vote would be easier.

    I think its wrong for CNN to present this story as misleading as it is a few days before the vote. You know people only pick up on the negative.

    READ with caution and try and understand what he is really saying.

    March 1, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  2. K Warren

    The Texas rules have been around for quite some time. Caucuses have been around for a really long time. Until Hillary started losing, she had no problem with either.

    I am going to vote for Obama for a couple of reasons. One, he encourages and inspires without the platitudes so often provided by politicians who have been around way too long. When he talks, he includes the American people in his words of hope. How many times does he say "We" instead of "I"? Too many to try to count. I don't know about the rest of the voters, but for me, it is way overdue that a politician, any politician, even thinks in terms of what we may want instead of what they want. Usually, all they want is to be reelected so that they can line up with all the other politicians in their party in order to do absolutely nothing for the American people for whom they have been elected to "serve." I look at Hillary as one of those self-serving politicians who care little for our citizens but think very highly of themselves. Gee, 16 years of being first lady is somehow included in her overall experience of 35 years.

    Second, Obama wants to try a different approach in dealing with our enemies as well as our friends. Over the last 40 years, none of our presidents have been real successful dealing with both groups. Indeed, it has gotten so bad that the majority of folks around the world currently looks at this country as being somewhat malevolent. That needs to change. Hillary continues to say that we should not meet with our enemies unless those enemies demonstrate that they are willing to bow down to our will. Bullys do not win friends. When was the last time that a bully got your support?

    I hope we can look at tomorrow with greater enthusiasm than today. If Hillary should attain the nomination, I think that we will have mostly party bickering and total partisanship. Not much to look forward to from her leadership.

    March 1, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  3. T John

    A peek into the crystal ball...

    Obama wins Texas going away, wins a nail-biter in Ohio, and Clinton gives a wonderful concession speech that does wonders to heal the rift in the Democratic Party. By November the entire country has been introduced to Obama and he wins in a landslide.

    Hillery Clinton has been a decent Senator, and has the potential to be a great one once she no longer feels the need to triangulate for a presidential run. Above all though, she is a politician. If she loses on the 4th and tries to continue on, she will destroy any chance she has at maintaining a base of power within the Democratic Party. She's smarter than that.

    As she says, she'll be fine. So will the Democratic Party.

    Hop aboard folks. We welcome all comers.

    Obama 08

    March 1, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  4. mike

    Texas and Ohio please put her out of her misery!!!

    March 1, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  5. Frieda

    When Bill Clinton was President, everytime he got caught screwing around Hillary would go on TV and accuse the Vast Right Wing of trying to destroy him. They have never take responsibtily for any of their actions. Same old ! Same old! Hillary should just go home and bake cookies .

    March 1, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  6. Sherri

    It seems to me that the playing field is fair and equal to both candidates. There is nothing about the Texas system favoring one or the other candidate. Both must face the same obstacle of getting their voters to the Primary and then the Caucus.

    I am so tired of the Clinton Whine Campaign. Where is the substance she speaks frequently about? It has been lost in the bickering, fear mongering, negative attacks and silly tirades. I expected more from you Senator Clinton. I solidly support Barack Obama.

    March 1, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  7. Dare

    It is really unfortunate that the hard-core hillary supporters are so distasteful of Obama that they say the would as democrats cross-over and vote for McCain. What sense does that make as a democrat? You'd rather vote for an extension of Bush than vote for a democrat just because your candidate did not win?

    People need to grow up in this country. All this divide would not help anyone. Obama has run a clean campaign without exposing any of the flaws of the previous administration and Hillary flaws except for the walmart issue. He has consistently stayed on facts even when they tried to sway him into dirty politics. Now I understand why he says we need to change the status quo of the country and vote for change.

    America has a long way to Go. I hope people open their eyes and do the right thing before we destroy the country our children are going to inherit.


    Obama '08

    March 1, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  8. Lisa

    What about Michelle Obama? Everyone is so worried about Bill, you have no idea about who Michelle Obama really is. Barack is hiding her just like he's hiding his middle, hiding his friends, tried not to attend the black forum in Louisana. Hiding that picture of him in Muslim attire. This guy is a joke!!! For everyone reading these comments from other countries, not everybody in America will fall for this fraud. The same people that's voting for Obama voted for Bush, so you must forgive them.

    March 1, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  9. Cris in Texas


    March 1, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  10. LDFan

    Dear CNN,
    Is it possible that the Hugh Shelton endorsement for Hillary can b put up on the ticker? I mean, Obama's Hulk Hogan endorsement made think the endorsement of the former head of the joint chiefs of staff could match the Hulkster.
    P.S. I no longer expect my posts to make it up but at least think this over.

    March 1, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  11. capn mike

    One of the many problems with our entire electoral process is these Caucuses...this is a National election, not a State election, and the outcome affects each citizen of the entire country...hence all these processes should be the same throughout all the states. Of course, we also have candidates who don't win the popular vote getting into office anyway based on the archaic Electoral College, so we are a mighty poor example of our much-touted "Democracy" for the rest of the world.
    This system needs to be rebuilt.

    March 1, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  12. Sara

    Making excuses already? It's not fair! Whine. Whine. Haven't the voting rules been this way in Texas for quite a while? Didn't President Clinton win with these same rules in place? I bet you didn't complain about the rules then.

    March 1, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  13. OBAMA 08

    Jeannine: You don't know what you are talking about. Do you really believe that Obama's lead is due to AfroAmericans? Educate yourself!!

    March 1, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  14. Schmidt/ Iowa

    Never in my life have I seen a movement as strong as Obamas. His character AND attributes are just what 70% of America wants. He is the only one out there that won't get mired down in the same O same O politics of the past. YES CHANGE IS ON THE HORIZON AND I WELCOME IT WITH OPEN MIND AND HEART! Talk don't cut it as it takes action. Go Obama! America is ready for you!!!!

    March 1, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  15. tdm

    Hillary "whines".
    Obama "defends".
    Hillary goes "Negative".
    Obama uses "facts".
    I believe the dictionary should use the names of these candidates when defining these words, because I see no other logical pattern to their use. Texas primaries are ridiculous. Anyone complaining about these issues is justified in doing so. Bag on Hillary for something legit people.

    March 1, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  16. Pat a Republican

    I'm for Obama. Time for Hillary and Mike Huckabee to go home, the party's over...........they're like guests who have overstayed their welcome..

    Go Obama!!

    March 1, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  17. Charlotte

    Pia, days of the week are capitalized. Hillary supporters are suppose to be stupid? You're the one that will need the tissue on Tuesday. I would also like to state, I was ignorant as to the Texas process until this election. I never really followed the election process this closely until this year. I know about super delegates and how the electorial college works. I honestly had no idea each state was so very different. I think it is time to reform the whole process before the next election. One other thing, just in case you missed it, Obama did not vote for the war in Iraq

    March 1, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  18. Dave. San Diego, CA

    Just like in Nevada. She had the teacher's union sue in order to stop people from caucusing, but once she won, it was a "fair" system. I didn't hear her or her supporters criticizing the NV caucus afterwards.

    She did go on later and say that caucus states don't matter, red states don't matter and that of course "we all knew what was going to happen in Louisiana becaus they have a high African-American population."

    The facts are clear…..only the states that SHE wins matter. None other matter at all.

    Like Obama has stated: "it's not about red states vs blue states, it's about the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA".

    Hillary needs to pack up and go back to New York and take her little dog Toto…er….Bill with her.

    And to the person that wrote: "Those of you who say they don't want a woman in the White House—-who gave birth to you–a woman you should have the greatest respect for. " I HAVE GREAT RESPECT FOR WOMEN AND MY MOTHER, HOWEVER I HAVE ZERO RESPECT FOR THAT WOMAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    March 1, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  19. reader-of-many-sources

    Yet another instance of Hillary wanting to change the rules. I'll be she rearranges the stickers on her Rubic's Cube too.

    March 1, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |




    ...BUT IT WASN'T



    March 1, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  21. tammy

    There's a lot of things unfair in this want to be the leader of the most powerful country in the you thing everything is going to be "fair" then? either grow up and deal or take your toys and go home.

    March 1, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  22. Ann Aloha FariMedia, PA

    Wow Now the Obamanites are crashing the Clinton Campaign Volunteer Training Program?
    Geeez, I guess they have to learn somewhere...from the best.
    Media spies love to hang around and spin such worthless fragmented events. I guess I can wait a day or 2 to find out the whole story.

    March 1, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  23. the real truth

    Cisneros, Shame on you how can you how can you claim this system is unfair Texas has been this way for over the last 28 years. Just because Hillary running and you can't help her fix the number Same on you.

    March 1, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  24. democracy

    Like I said the Billary Clintons and their blind followers will try, do , and say anything even if that means challing the nomination of Senator Obama in August. Remember people in power do not take NO for an asnswer, this is personal and she has said it.
    OHHH Billary Billary, where art thou now................... stepp out please, the country is telling you to step out, the whole world knows your time has come and gone

    March 1, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  25. concern citizen

    This is becoming frustrating. Hillary is always complaining about the rules when it does mot favor her. if she won 11 contests, she will have no problem with the Texas voting system. Since she is behind and needs to win Texas to stay in the race, she does not like the rules. Funny how Bill Clinton won Texas with the same voting system. Mabye the issue is not the voting system, but your hypocrisy on the campaign trail. This is the reason you are not winning states. You are constantly critizing Barack and your record is flawed. You stated that Obama did not show up for some important national security votes. However, you forgot that you did not show up to vote on the FISA bill. You stated that you are best in national security, yet you voted for the worst foreign policy decision, the war in Iraq. You also stated you are best in the economy, but you supported NAFTA that outsourced our jobs overseas. Just because you have experience and so call solutions for the country does not mean they are good ones.

    March 1, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
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