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)

    This is to WALLACE

    March 19, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  2. m

    the problem is not Obama. Hilary knew the rule of the game his year from the beginning of the contest. If the rule of the soccer is you play with your foot. You don't start using hands because you are defeated. Or you are seeking a way to cheat or win by fraud. Dean and the leaders of DNC have repeatedly and rightly say, "you don't change the rule of the game in he middle of the contest." Please reason well. Obama is not the one who made the rule. I am sure if election were to be held tomorrow in Michigan, Obama will still sweep the pool.
    Hilary has a problem and that is not connected with reality- that her time has come and gone.

    March 19, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  3. Anon Y. Mous

    Clinton is an ugly, ugly human being. Shame on you, Clinton! You MADE this bed, now you must lie in it!

    March 19, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  4. Leah DiMarco, TX

    John in PA-

    How silly that is...
    Up until now Senator Obama was ahead of Hillary in the RCP polls and Hillary didn't go home.
    Senator Obama is STILL AHEAD where it counts: states, delegates, and popular votes.
    It is Hillary that is done – and time for her to go home!

    Polls should always be taken with a grain of salt!

    March 19, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  5. Sara

    Hillary is really making the Democrats look bad. So divisive. No more Clintons. Obama 08'

    March 19, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  6. Patrick

    Wow Obama is actually disenfranchising voters!!!


    March 19, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  7. young white guy

    I love you Hillary.

    Always taking the higher ground to unite the people, to protect the people- irregardless of who the winner is.

    Hillary or stay at home

    March 19, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  8. Alice

    Typical Clinton....triangulate to achieve their goals. HIllary is raising hate and discontent with her very obvious lies. This woman did not leave her name on the ballot because she thought every vote counted. It wasn't an issue when they thought she was going to be coronated after Super Tuesday....NOW it's an issue. Besides, now FL and MI know how all the other states felt during Primaries of previous Presidential Elections. States that had Primaries after Super Tuesday NEVER had a say in who their Party nominated. NO one had an issue with that! Hillary, just admit defeat before you destroy the entire Party. What a selfish power hungry wench.

    March 19, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  9. Love Child

    Just give the white house to Mccain now stop wasting money. Because if hillary wins obama supports won't vote for her. And if he wins her supporters won't vote for him. These is sad four more years of the republicans. And it's all about race

    March 19, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  10. king from toronto

    it's bin over since super tuesday for hillary.but she refuses to see that.just quit now hillary.

    March 19, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  11. sascha

    That is so ridiculous! Mrs. Clinton is behind Obama, that's the only reason for taking this position now. But Obama is right, the DNC is making the rules and not the Clintons....

    March 19, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  12. joe

    Hillary Clinton's challenge just shows how desperate she is. Hillary broke party rules, her non-compliance of her own party rules shows that she does not believe in or hold to her own party ethics. Her challenge is self-serving. The fundamental right for Flordia and Michigan to vote was not exclusively taken away by Barack obama like Hillary Clinton would like for us to believe.
    Do we really want a president who will break rules to suit their own best interest ? A president whose greatest experience is contriving.

    March 19, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  13. Sara

    I like the part in this article "a gathering of a small crowd." Maybe people are waking up to what she is really about. Power at all cost.

    March 19, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  14. honestly

    If Obama is the nominee and Hillary supporters walk, we get McCain.

    This is far LESS favorable and less palatable to the Obama people than it is to the Hillary people.

    WE fought for freedom, and if the DNC rules take it away, then the heck with the hypocritical Democratic party.

    I hope you Obama supporters will enjoy the reign of McCain.

    March 19, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  15. Obama making people angry


    Obama and Obama supporters

    It is not about Obama or Hilary who will win in the nomination.

    This is all about democracy and people. Vote should be counted.

    Democracy is all about "By the people, for the people and to the people".

    Obama do not ignore people for the party leader's mistakes. Obama do not make them a Victim. Obama do not be a Cowrd, be democratic, and be a leader people of FL and MI should be counted.

    March 19, 2008 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  16. carol

    I wish people would get the facts before making decisions about this.
    Find out what the voters in Michigan were told before their first election. Seek the truth before you sentence. And don't trust CNN to give it to you.

    March 19, 2008 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  17. Kathleen, NC

    Not sure why this is Obama's fault. It seems that the only reason they are blaming Obama is because that's what Hillary wants you do to. Hillary consistently stresses that the super delegates should "follow the rules" – that is because that is what she needs to win. FL and MI did not follow the rules and Hillary supported that at the time. Now she is changing that because it is what she needs to win. Get a clue, she doesn't care about the people of MI or FL – just winning at all costs.

    March 19, 2008 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  18. Donna

    Five other states broke the rules and the DNC gave some of them a waiver! Why only apply the rules to Michigan and Florida?

    Rules are they should apply to all.

    Obama said he would try and seat the delegates earlier. Now changes his mind because of Republican vote not counting. What is wrong with this picture?

    March 19, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  19. d

    Obama....resign from the political race. You are a liar ! Not something new.

    March 19, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  20. Ashamed to be an American.

    I can't believe some of you people. They both agreed to these rules prior to the primaries. Hillary KNEW the votes wouldn't count. SHE AGREED TO THEM. And now she wants them to be counted?! No. If Obama doesn't get elected I will lose all of my faith in this country.

    This is just ignorance. I cannot believe you people.

    Obama 08.

    March 19, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  21. fred

    Obama has mostly won the red states and will not win them in the fall.

    The other states he won are from the 90% black vote in major cities. Will not happen in the fall.

    Even Iowa, which he won is now Hillary's state.

    March 19, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  22. Don, San Francisco

    Does SHE mean what she says or not? She didn't raise this issue when the DNC first penalized Michigan and Florida. She knew and agreed to it. Now she's changed her mind? Now she cares about the Michigan voters? She has no feet to stand on in calling Obama out on this issue.

    March 19, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  23. K

    Wake up people. It doesn't matter if she can catch up. No one has enough delegates to be the nominee and most importantly, Michigan and Florida are just as important as the other 48 states so LET them be HEARD. What are you Obama people so afraid of?

    March 19, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |

    Senator Clinton has no class. She is challenging Senator Obama and she has not submitted her TAXES as of yet. What is wrong with this picture.
    She had enough time to doctor the papers and now she is getting more time to doctor the TAX papers.
    Same Old Clinton Politics just like Bush Clinton/Bush. Bill is already in tight with Bush Sr.
    Same Game, Different Day!


    March 19, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  25. mohamed

    Yes Obama tell it like it is. You show time and time again you have the best judgement to lead America.

    OBAMA '08

    March 19, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
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