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. k k k

    billary stop whinning its over cash ur 401k and go spend ur husband bloody maoney in the caymans

    March 1, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  2. Cyndi, MD

    Did the Clintons or their supporters complain when BILL won in Texas? I didn't think so.

    March 1, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  3. darlamc

    looks like all the obama supporters are out in full force today. Posting message after message about how evil Hillary is behaving. You folks are going to be sorely disappointed- Hillary is taking a stand- I have been to my local precinct meetings here in SC. Obama's Political Precinct captains will run over you- and not think twice about it. If you live in Texas and plan to caucas for Hillary be prepared. wwwdotpoliticalamnesiadotblogspotdotcom

    March 1, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  4. Evan

    Honestly, how can Clinton whine about the rules? They've been there for YEARS!

    If Obama was losing all the caucuses, she wouldn't be speaking this way – she just can't get her people out in the amount Obama can. Maybe you should have brought in energized voters

    Discounting caucuses was HER CAMPAIGNS fault, not Texas' fault.

    March 1, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  5. k k k

    cry baby

    March 1, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  6. ron wahahachie Texas

    Hillary clinton is behind in all the national polls and her camp knows, that Barak Obama is the right candidate to win in November. The clintons have had there turn, bow out not and preserve the Democratic Party. This movement is inclusive to all races ann creeds. Obama is
    welcomed even by foreign nations. Hillary has done a good job in the
    past, but it is the past. Move on Hillary the numbers are aganist you.

    Barak Obama, will win Mississippi, by a large margin, we all know that. So even if Hillary wins Texas and Ohio by large marging of over 16%, she will still lose once he wins Mississippi. So Hillary cant win and she knows it, she is a Republican and is helping the Republican cause by staying in the race when she and her supporters know that she cant win

    March 1, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |


    I wonder if he would be giving the same speech if she had been the one wining in the past 11 ridings.

    It's time to stop dividing democratic voters. Please! All unite behind one candidate after March 4th, the one who will have the most delegates whomever that may be!

    March 1, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  8. Rick, Flowery Branch GA

    Is the Hillary camp saying they didn't understand the rules before going into this race? Clinton supporters "get real". If she cannot effectively run a campaign, how in the world can she be President? She and Bill are not the candidates of choice. American's are backing Obama as he represents truth, exercises good moral judgement and ethical. All of which can never be spoken of the Clintons.

    March 1, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  9. Pam in Houston

    The Clinton Campaign's attempt to change the rules and/or sue the TDP is only evidence that they are desperate! If they think the voting public is that stupid, they are sorely mistaken! Somebody please tell the dummies that their candidate is telling the world just how dumb she really thinks they are. This is sad and funny at the same time.

    March 1, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  10. tc


    March 1, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  11. Athan from MD.


    "With John McCain well ahead in the race for the Republican presidential nomination, and because Texans can vote in either party's primary, Republicans have been voting in the Democratic race, University of Houston political scientist Richard Murray said."


    March 1, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  12. Pia

    Ditto on everything you said. Every loss of Hillary's is someone else's fault.
    Not once have I heard Hillary even utter the words 'thank you' at any of her rallies or even debates! What a dork!

    March 1, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  13. Lost in Moderation in Vermont

    So I am sure CNN will not print my comment, but...
    Get over it Hillary. If you lose Texas it will not be because of the convoluted Texas primary. It will be because Texas wants Obama. Mark my words this will be Hillary's excuse to go on even if she loses Texas, even though everyone was saying she was done if she lose Texas.

    March 1, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  14. David in Texas

    Jack, Stupidity knows no bounds... Stop crying Hillary!! but to be honest there isnt "democracy" in caucuses, Look at how many people vote in a primary compared to caucuses. Its sad to think they can represent a whole state. All being said and done, i'm too upset with my own republican party to even get out and vote unless McCain picks a true conservative as a running mate. IF a democrate gets in the office prepare yourself america you will see high taxes and more debt!

    March 1, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  15. jacksmith


    If you think Barack Obama with little or no experience would be better than Hillary Clinton with 35 years experience.

    You Might Be An Idiot!

    If you think that Obama with no experience can fix an economy on the verge of collapse better than Hillary Clinton. Whose 😉 husband (Bill Clinton) led the greatest economic expansion, and prosperity in American history.

    You Might Be An Idiot!

    If you think that Obama with no experience fighting for universal health care can get it for you better than Hillary Clinton. Who anticipated this current health care crisis back in 1993, and fought a pitched battle against overwhelming odds to get universal health care for all the American people.

    You Might Be An Idiot!

    If you think that Obama with no experience can manage, and get us out of two wars better than Hillary Clinton. Whose 😉 husband (Bill Clinton) went to war only when he was convinced that he absolutely had to. Then completed the mission in record time against a nuclear power. AND DID NOT LOSE THE LIFE OF A SINGLE AMERICAN SOLDIER. NOT ONE!

    You Might Be An Idiot!

    If you think that Obama with no experience saving the environment is better than Hillary Clinton. Whose 😉 husband (Bill Clinton) left office with the greatest amount of environmental cleanup, and protections in American history.

    You Might Be An Idiot!

    If you think that Obama with little or no education experience is better than Hillary Clinton. Whose 😉 husband (Bill Clinton) made higher education affordable for every American. And created higher job demand and starting salary's than they had ever been before or since.

    You Might Be An Idiot!

    If you think that Obama with no experience will be better than Hillary Clinton who spent 8 years at the right hand of President Bill Clinton. Who is already on record as one of the greatest Presidents in American history.

    You Might Be An Idiot!

    If you think that you can change the way Washington works with pretty speeches from Obama, rather than with the experience, and political expertise of two master politicians ON YOUR SIDE like Hillary and Bill Clinton..

    You Might Be An Idiot!

    If you think all those Republicans voting for Obama in the Democratic primaries, and caucuses are doing so because they think he is a stronger Democratic candidate than Hillary Clinton. 🙂

    Best regards


    March 1, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  16. Eli

    Hillary Clinton needs to stay in no matter what till the convention, we need to get this information out there now. Because soon Obamas golden boy image will go away when the Republicans start bringing out all this stuff about his private life. When that happens all the super delegates will come running to Hillary at the convention. HILLARY ALL THE WAY. YES SHE CAN!!!!

    March 1, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  17. karen

    you obamabots kill me you have a nerve to be talking about whining your cult leader and his flock whine about every single thing you are the ones whining about super delegates which have been in place for years, but now you all want that process changed mid game because it does not benefit your leader obama, grow up and get a grip.

    March 1, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |

    CNN, you missed the part about her campaign people wanting to challenge the rules and doing so may lead to a possible law suit against them since they would be challenging a voting system simply because it works against them (or so they think). Do better news coverage man, you are better journalists than this, CNN

    March 1, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  19. AJ, IL

    I can understand Henry Cisneros's blind loyalty to the Clintons. After all Bill appointed him to his cabinet. But he shouldn't use Hillary's poor campaigning to belittle himself like this. I have never seen so much crying and whining from one campaign. Is this the type of White House we can expect Hillary to run? If so, no Thanks! Let's put an end to the "politics of personal destruction", and "reject and denounce" Hillary for President on March 4th!

    Obama in 08!

    March 1, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  20. Mothers in Ohio For Obama - MOFO

    Hillary is coming across as PATHETIC & DESPERATE! No wonder why people are running away from her in droves! Her lack of maturity and sportsmanship is speaking VOLUMES about her character...or lack thereof. Shame on you Hillary Clinton... Shame on YOU!

    OBAMA '08

    March 1, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  21. Mark Billingsley, Sacramento, Calif.

    WHAAAAHHHHHAAAHHH. God, they've known about this system for years and only now, as Obama appears set to carry off a narrow victory Tuesday in Texas or at least lose by WAY LESS than the 25 percent blowout she needs to mathematically stay in the race, the Clintonistas are crying about the system. Just like in Nevada and all the other caucus states. It's so insulting. The reason they lose caucus states is because Obama inspires people to get off their arses and actually invest in the system. So they go in groups to the caucuses to stand and be counted. It's a movement people.

    March 1, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  22. Seeman

    Isn't this a system similar to the one they accepted when Bill Clinton won in 1992? If so, why was it a usable system then, but "intricate" and "archaic" now?

    Hillary cannot have it both ways; just like she wishes to share credit for part of Bill's accomplishments, she wants to only use the parts of campaigning that help her win.

    Change the rules at the outset, not when it looks like you will lose.

    March 1, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  23. sunny g


    March 1, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  24. Joe Mallott

    Oh,Henery! Yiu have just epitomized the whole campaigin,Hilliary doesn't want t to play by the rules where the majority rules. Alll those years of the Texas caucus delegates and you didn;t whine then.
    Hilliary has to change the riles and try to swipe delegates in Michigan and Florida without a fair fight. Now you coime to the showdown under the rules you supported as a Texas Democrat and now yyou whiine . NAFTA was the first step toward the North American know the little plan to scrap the U.S. Constitution and form a new parlimentary governmenyt of the U.S,, Canada and Mexico.
    That's why everybody is fighting the Trans Texas Highway to build a highway to Canada...Oh, Henry! While were att iit why don"t you tell everybody why the U.S. economy is being deliberately tanked so people would be so desparate they would follow Hilliay into the new Union.. Let's's see the Clinton's financial records and that litt;le 31 million dollar contribution to Bill/s little foundation from the Canadian uranium billionaire.. Oh, and Henery even Danielo Ortega figured it out,,,this is a pro America revolution to gfive American back to Americans!

    March 1, 2008 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  25. prakash chand for HILLARY

    Thats correct.

    Obama has won mostly by caucases.


    If Democrats are counting on Obama to win genral election by caucases , good luck democrats.

    Elect someone like Hillary who can win big primaries.

    March 1, 2008 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
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