March 19th, 2008
12:00 PM ET
13 years ago

Clinton challenges Obama on Michigan vote

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Clinton used her first appearance in Michigan this year to rake aim at Obama’s lack of support for a re-vote there."] DETROIT, Michigan (CNN) - Hillary Clinton traveled to Michigan Wednesday and challenged Barack Obama to approve a new proposal for a primary re-vote, painting the issue as a matter of civil rights and charging that Republicans may take the state in November if voters there do not get a say in picking the Democratic nominee.

"I am here for one simple reason," Clinton said to a small crowd of supporters gathered at an AFSCME hall. "To make sure Michigan's votes are counted, and your voices are heard in this election."

Clinton, trailing Obama in pledged delegates, scheduled a last-minute trip here as part of a larger effort by her campaign to schedule re-votes in Michigan and Florida, both of which were stripped of their delegates when they violated Democratic Party rules by moving forward their primary dates.

On Monday, the Florida Democratic Party ruled out a new primary vote.

In a series of memos and conference calls in recent days, the Clinton campaign has portrayed Obama as obstructionist because he has failed to advocate for a re-vote in Michigan. A draft proposal by the Michigan state legislature, which has received a tentative go-ahead from the Democratic National Committee, would hold a re-vote on June 3 using privately-raised funds.

The Obama campaign released a memo Wednesday raising "serious" legal and procedural questions about the Michigan proposal. Clinton said the matter of Michigan's delegates boils down to each candidate's commitment to voting rights and questioned if Obama is committed to "empowering the American people."
"This is a crucial test," she said. "Does he mean what he says or not?
Citing the number of voters in the Florida and Michigan primaries, she said that "nearly two and a half million Americans are in danger of being shut out of our Democratic process." "I think that's wrong, and frankly it is un-American," Clinton said to applause, as supporters behind her waved signs reading "Michigan votes count" and "Count my vote!"She also argued that "ignoring Michigan and Florida would be a grave mistake" because it could alienate Democrats in those states.

"If the Democrats send a message that we don't care about your votes, I'm sure John McCain and the Republicans would be happy to have them," she said. "In fact, the Republicans will argue that Michigan and Florida voters shouldn't trust the Democrats to look out for them when we won't even listen to you."

- CNN Political Producer Peter Hamby

soundoff (299 Responses)
  1. Chris-Seattle

    Scotty beam me up, there's no intelligent life down here!

    Go Obama!

    March 19, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |

    Where was the fight for the voters at the time this decision was being made?

    March 19, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  3. Harerta Tesfa

    Usual maneuvering by a lady that will do anything to get elected, including neglecting rules she had chosen to abide for and making new rules to fit her purpose. It's sad there are actually voters that aren't troubled by the transparent and disturbing character of the person that we want to represent us in our domestic and international interests.

    March 19, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  4. Casey, Atlanta

    I am a Clinton supporter. However, if there isn't going to be legitimization of the Flordia and Michigan voters, she should fold the tent, and secure the walls of the Obama campaign.

    Unfortunate, but it is the will of the people (who voted), and we must respect that and remember the Democratic principles are much bigger than the individual candidate. Let's Congratulate Clinton, and now support Obama.

    Obama/ Clinton?

    March 19, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  5. jj

    Hillary or McCain – sorry BO!

    March 19, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  6. david

    Wow. Anyone check out Hillary's experience online in the archives at Clinton Library? Makes Obama look like a day care kid. LOL

    Hey, we want to see Obama's taxes and schedule for the past 15 years too....this is too funny.

    HILLARY 08!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    March 19, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  7. Gil - California

    Hillary is one sleazy person. I would vote to let W have a 3rd term before i'd ever vote for her!

    March 19, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  8. Tom

    I have to laugh at all the people being like, "Obama loses my vote once and for all for not wanting FL and MI"

    Oh come on, so your saying that you would put another republican in the whitehouse over Obama? If that is true, GET OUT OF OUR PARTY! NOW! WE DO NOT WANT YOU, WE DO NOT NEED YOU TURNCOATS!

    March 19, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  9. Paul

    Anyone who actually take Clinton's word as genuine clearly requires some mental check-ups. Clinton would be the first in line to block a Michigan and/or Florida revote if she was actually winning.

    This is another way she is attempting to attack Obama while damaging the entire Democratic party in the process. Remember Hillary, Obama said he would support a "FAIR" revote, not one created by your supporters like Jennifer Granholm.

    Please go away, the majority of people have enough of you, William, and Chelsea for our lifetime. You've had your 5 minutes of fame, go away.

    March 19, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  10. Amused in Florida!

    Amen, Seattle Chris, amen!

    March 19, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  11. JP Bless

    Obama does not set the rules but Hillary has managed to make many undescerning supporters to wrongly blame Obame for the stalemate in Michigan and Florida. It is the DNC and Howard Dean that's responsible for deciding what happens in both states but Hillary in win-at-all-cost or burn the ship mode is apparently playing her divide, manipulate, destroy games. No, it is not Obama's fault that Hillary is behind... the people have spoken!

    March 19, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  12. who cares

    go McCain , the true patriot.

    March 19, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  13. jude

    Why doesn't CNN every post my comments? Are they afraid of the truth? Or are they simply biased towards HRC's supporters? Anyways...I'm glad to see that a few people actually caught HRC's dispicable tatics and wasn't fooled by them. We know that Obama followed the rules to take his name off the ballot. Hillary should have done the same but she choose to not follow the rules. Furthermore, she totally agree to not count MI and FL before their elections and now she's blaming Obama??? Are you KIDDING ME? She's the one that is dirty and un-American!!! She's simply discusting...please don't be fooled by Hillary's rhetoric!!!! At least, there are some here who see right through it and now we just have to let the rest of the American people see it too.

    March 19, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  14. Jason

    So the voters in Florida and Michigan aren't included in this message of unity that Obama speaks so highly of? How can we truly be united without these citizens!

    March 19, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  15. Casey, Atlanta

    The other side to the current Clinton argument is does she respect rules? You can not change the rules after they have been made, and you began playing by them just because you are losing.

    No, I am a Clinton supporter, but there is no way I would expect an opponent to help me overturn rules that may work against them. However, I guess it doesn't hurt to ask!!!!!

    March 19, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  16. fred

    Yes we will put another republican in the whitehouse if Obama is the nominee!!

    Better McCain than Obama anyday!!

    Go Hillary!!

    March 19, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  17. Disgusted

    Voting rights for the folks in Michigan and Florida is as American as apple pie! What's wrong with us?? This should be a non-issue.

    March 19, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  18. JV

    Im with you Seattle Chris!!

    March 19, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  19. Dennis

    I don't buy that Clinton would be in Michigan if she were either ahead in the delegate account or if Obama had won Michigan in the primary. If it is so crucial for the votes to count in Michigan, why is she not in Florida attempting to champion the same thing? Why doesn't she fight for a way to make that happen? Michigan is convenient as a tool to hit Obama with because they haven't already ruled out a redo on their primary, that is why. Furthermore, why isn't she placing the blame for this mess where it belongs–on Michigan's legislature and Democtratic party? I thought she was about holding people accountable for their actions. I guess that is the way it is when it is convenient for her ends.

    March 19, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  20. Bret

    I'm a huge Hillary supporter but the rules are the rules. Sorry Michigan and Florida, you chose to break the rules so you get punished. I wish that their votes were counted because it would help my candidate but they shouldn't be. I'm still hoping Hillary takes it but we've got to stop tearing each other down. Either Hillary or Obama are far better options than another Republican in office.

    March 19, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  21. NJ4hillary

    hillary up up up

    obama down down down

    March 19, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  22. TiredoftheCrap

    Eric – "I will vote for McCain if Obama is the nomine."

    LOL, and who are you hurting? If voting for totally different views if your horse loses is what makes you happy then go for. Why do you have to say it though? Think anyone cares who lil Eric votes for?

    Anyone who can read and still supports seating delegates without revote (and a fair one), support it because you horse is losing. Admit it!!!

    March 19, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  23. fred

    They say that the Pastor of Obama's church has taken a 3 month vacation in an undisclosed location so that he cannot be reached until after the primary season closes? LMAO

    March 19, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  24. John

    "I am here for one simple reason," Clinton said to a small crowd of supporters gathered at an AFSCME hall. "To make sure Michigan's votes are counted, and your voices are heard in this election."

    Wow! Senator Clinton is going to make "sure" their votes are counted! That "promise" includes her convincing Senator Obama to accept a solution to the Democratic Party self-imposed fiasco that will serve her better than him. Has she no bounds to her claims of her promises, supposed "experience" or her veracity?

    March 19, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12