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. Crystal, TX

    Of course she does, because she will stop at nothing to win. If she didn't think she could win Michigan, trust me, she'd be in Pennsylvania right now.

    She's a fake and a phony, and somebody should tell her she does NOT look good in yellow.

    March 19, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  2. jj

    Please people open your eyes!! Obama is not what he would like you to believe he is. I see no problem with counting the vates in Florida. If Obama was what he says he is , he would be all for counting the votes of Florida. I agree if it were up to him there would no more voting , simply because he is ahead. Would he be if all the votes counted.? what is he afraid of? jj

    March 19, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  3. Sharon

    GO HILLARY!!!!!!!!!
    This country sure could use a WOMAN'S touch right now 🙂

    March 19, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  4. mr singh

    Obama wants a revote in MI and FL. The problem in MI is that Hillary wants to count winter's result where only her name was on the ballot plus the revote. This would give her an advantage. I'm sorry but just because she's a woman doesn't mean she should get special treatment. There should be a new clean revote with both their names on the ballot. If she really wants people's vote to count and seat those delegates then what is she afraid of? I thought she was a fighter?

    As for FL, the governor has the power to order his legislature to approve a revote. Here again we have a republican meddling in Democrats choice and disenfranchising voters. I don't understand how the Democratic legislatures in that state are against revote. That is odd!!

    It is necessary to have those revotes because then you can have idea of the results in general election.

    March 19, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  5. Bukky, Baltimore


    She AGREED that they wouldn't count. Neither Hillary or her Supporters gave a crap about MI or FL until they realized she was being trounced.

    You people are IDIOTS if you think she would be doing this if the situation was the other way around.

    March 19, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  6. TJP

    And Obama calls himself a Uniter? He says he wants to bring together RED States and BLUE States. I guess Michigan and Florida must be a different color. He is the only candidate that ran ads in Florida and he lost big. Gee. I wonder why he doesn't want these states to do a revote? Mr. courageous? Give me a break. Go Hillary!

    March 19, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  7. seah

    Just accept the American Peoples Vote.

    In good faith they voted.

    March 19, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  8. ariel

    I am in awe of Hillary Clinton's diabolical energy,but the Democratic nomination has slipped from her grasp.It's time for superdelegates and party elders to begin seriously pressuring her to step aside.

    March 19, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  9. Andrew

    This debate is hilarious. I am a lifelong democrat, but do these votes even matter? NO. In the end, no one's vote will matter because the nomination will be determined by superdelegates in the backrooms of the convention. So re-vote all you want, but your vote will not matter in the end. And both sides need to stop using the word "disenfranchised." You break the rules, you can't vote. That is as American as apple pie-just ask convicted felons.

    March 19, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  10. Oh Yeah, Right

    Terry from Texas,

    Obama never had your vote anyway. You were just looking for an excuse not to vote for him.

    March 19, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  11. Ed K.

    She is right!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    March 19, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  12. Travis

    To tell Democrats that voted in the GOP primary they can now not vote is wrong. They were told time and time again that their vote wouldn't count. So they went over to the GOP side to try to sway their vote just like many Republicans did in the Texas primary simply because their nominee was already selected.

    So why is this Obama’s fault? He is looking out for voters rights. If the state of Michigan would have followed the rules we wouldn’t be here right now. Ask yourself why these new stipulation is there. It is 100% unfair and the proposed new primary does not fall into the state rules of the original primary, which is out right wrong. Get you stuff together Michigan and quite jerking this country and election around.

    March 19, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  13. th

    Come one come all to the let's get Hillary elected by any means necessary party. Look Hillary, rules are rules. Is it Obama's fault that the rules were broken NO! And whether you believe it or not, the only person this will help is you. Why don't you want to go by the rules???Maybe because if you don't you may have a shot?

    March 19, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  14. V in CA

    Now we have the "uniter," Obama, who campaigns about giving "everyone" a voice, trying to disenfranchise MI and FL voters. Do you really believe if he won those states he's still be challenging the do-overs? Give me a break. Only those whose voice will speak for Obama are given a voice by Obama.

    I will never vote for Obama. His decision to seek out Rev. Wright before making "upcoming political decisions" is just appalling, period. There's no way to spin that. He lied last week when he said he didn't know about these speeches, and then yesterday, admitted he "sure" did. He took his kids to that church. He never publicly challenged Rev. Wright even though he says he "disagreed" with him. This is NOT the kind of President we need!

    March 19, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  15. Nando, Florida

    NO HILLARY its not going to happen !!!!!!!!

    March 19, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  16. Peter in Canada

    Pop Quiz...Why did Kerry lose the 2004 General Election??
    It's because Catholics rejected and renounced the Democratic Party instead of their religion!
    If Democrats continue their HYPOCRITICAL demands that OBAMA reject his church, then they will again reject the Democrats!
    Remember, Democrats champion the "Women's Right to Choose Issue" and the "Homosexual Rights Issue" both are anathema to Catholics despite the Church's teachings on social justice (just like Barack).
    The Republicans are going to HAMMER the Democrats in November with this fact if Hillary is the nominee!
    Try winning the General:
    1. without African Americans
    2. without Catholics
    Hillary I demand that you tell John Kerry and Ted Kennedy to renounce and reject the hateful teachings of the Pope and the Catholic Church...go ahead!

    March 19, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  17. Ted in Chicago

    Re Tax Records – be clear – BO has released one year – the Clintons 8 years

    I would love to see 8 years of BO family taxes and understand how they afforded that house on the salary of a state senator and community organiser - 1.8 million

    And I want the REZO donations listed out – for those who missed it BO came to our local papers on Friday last to talk REZKO

    And the amount out of no where after 12 months moved from 150k to 250K when he talked to the editorial boards of the Sun Times and Chicago Tribune

    And no he did not release any details or schedules or lists of fund raisers

    Who is hiding what?

    March 19, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  18. Peter

    What are you afraid of, Barack?

    March 19, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  19. Bobbing Head Hill

    If I have to see her bobbing her head, and clapping one more time, I'm going to throw up. Hopefully on that ugly yellow jacket. LOL

    March 19, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  20. Debby

    I don't see the big deal why the Obama camp is challenging this maybe he would win Michigan with a re-vote. I agree with Hillary all voters voices should be heard and not penalized because of the stupid people running the DNC. Hey Dean remember we have 50 states not 48.

    March 19, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  21. Yetty

    She has some nerve. All Obama has to do is make a commerical with her comments from last year Septmember about Michigan vote not countng for anything. Now she wants to blame Obama because she has not got the votes that she wanted. Please, we all know the reason she wants the vote to count is because she has some superdelegates lined up for her there.

    March 19, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  22. Virgie

    I am really sick and tired of Hillary. When is she going to stop? The Obama campaign has to make sure that there will a fair play in the re-vote.

    I hope and pray that she will one day realize that the Clinton's days are over.

    March 19, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  23. Ted in Chicago


    Be nice – I am moderate – no reason to moderate me

    March 19, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  24. Jerome

    Obama's tail is between his legs.LOL

    Caught Lying again, so he is scared now...

    Bye Bye Obama.

    March 19, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  25. MD

    It's really sad when people don't understand what is happening. If you are upset, complain to your senator (Florida and Michigan) who wanted to move the primary date up.

    These senators knew the consequences of this action. Those of you who blame Obama, weren't going to vote for him anyhow. Your hatred has you trapped in a time warp. You believe everything the pundits say without researching the information on your own. The media only needs to overplay negative info. over and over, and they know those who disliked Obama will eventually come to hate him.

    March 19, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
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