March 27th, 2008
05:09 PM ET
14 years ago

Clinton tells Democrats: Don't vote for McCain

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Clinton said electing a Democrat is of paramount importance."]
FAYETTEVILLE, North Carolina (CNN) - Hillary Clinton pleaded for partisan unity on Thursday, urging Democrats not to abandon their party to vote for John McCain if their preferred candidate fails to secure the nomination.

Clinton was asked by a questioner in the audience here what she would tell frustrated Democrats who might consider voting for McCain in the general election out of spite.

“Please think through this decision,” Clinton said, laughing and emphasizing the word “please.”

“It is not a wise decision for yourself or your country.”

The crowd applauded loudly.

A Gallup poll released this week indicated that 28 percent of Clinton's supporters would back McCain should the New York senator lose her quest for the Democratic nomination.

That compares to the 19 percent of Obama supporters who say they will favor McCain should Clinton be the party’s nominee.

“First of all, every time you have a vigorous contest like we are having in this primary election people get intense,” she continued. “You know, Sen. Obama has intense support. I have intense support.”

Clinton stressed that there are “significant” differences between her and Obama, but said “those differences pale to the differences between us and Sen. McCain.”

“I intend to do everything I can to make sure we have a unified Democratic party,” she said. “When this contest is over and we have a nominee, we’re going to close ranks, we’re going to be united.”

- CNN Political Producer Peter Hamby

soundoff (183 Responses)
  1. Amy Jacobson

    Glad she clarified... Maybe it's me, but I was under the impression that Obama and Hillary wanted us to vote for McCain!

    Pretty smart candidates we have.

    March 27, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  2. Hillary is a LIAR ! ! ! -- New York

    all Hillary's trying to do is rip apart the democratic party so Obama loses the general and she can run again in 2012 . . but what if Obama decides to run again in 2012 ??

    he sure can raise the money legitimately unlike you Hillary ! ! WHERE ARE YOUR W-2s ????

    March 27, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  3. The Austrian


    Does it even matter anymore? Whoever wins the election will be sure to contiune three things: 1) Destroy the Economy, 2) Keep war going (whether in Iraq or Iran), and 3) Lose US sovereignty to foreign unions.

    March 27, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  4. To Hillary:

    If you are not the nominee, the only way I will not vote for MCain is if you
    run as an Independant or I can write your name in. But I'm sorry, voting for Obama is not an option, democrat or not. This is one 'typical white person' that doesn't like labels, racist ideals, or people that have issues with other people, much less the one who I will call my 'President'.

    March 27, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  5. Chris (WA)

    This is probably the smartest thing she has ever said. Kinda sad that she has to reprimand her own voters, but it's the truth. The differences in the candidate's policies is so stark that it makes you wonder if the supporters are just Obama haters and lean toward picking a "favorite celebrity" rather than thinking about the issues and what we need in a politician.

    Obama/Edwards '08

    March 27, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  6. dAnnE

    Way to go Hillary! I support both Democratic candidates as should each of their supporters. I like McCain as well, but would not vote for him.

    Obama or Clinton '08.

    March 27, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  7. Tin

    Why can't Obama say things like that? I thought he is running a positive campaign.

    March 27, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  8. Kim

    She is such a nightmare. Maybe she should have called for unity before she shot her mouth off about how she and McCain are able to put forth their lifetimes of experience but Obama will put forth a speech. Now suddenly she doesn't want her supporters to back McCain because she is hearing the grumblings of her own party saying she is too divisive (and since she doesn't have a prayer without their votes so she is changing her tune). Just because she and McCain have a natural advantage of saying they have been in politics longer than a guy in his 40s does not mean it's the right kind of experience. Let's put an end to this dinosaur who is suffering from multiple personality disorder.

    March 27, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  9. Ryan P.

    Good to know Hillary values the greater health of the Democratic party over her own candidacy, cause there for a while I doubted it. I'm sure she can't get the nomination at this point, unless Sen. Obama completely tanks from here on out in every primary, but I'm glad there's still hope to unite the party around a nominee. HOORAYY!!

    March 27, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  10. Deidre, Birmingham

    Well that is the first thing Hillary has said that I agree with. If you vote for McCain in an attempt at nose-thumbing to the DNC for not overriding the will of the voters and placing the nomination in her hands, THE BLOOD OF OUR AMERICAN SOLDIERS WILL REST ON YOUR HANDS.

    March 27, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  11. bob

    im sorry

    i as many here in florida...and michigan

    are disappointed on how silent obama campaign was with revote

    it will hurt him here in florida..and i am sure november

    and btw, obama...50/50 split...doesnt cut it either....

    March 27, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  12. Dan, NJ

    Well, at least she's paying it lip service after weeks of comments about McCain being qualified as commander in chief and his patriotism.

    March 27, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  13. TN from CAN

    I'm a obama supporter and it's finally refreshing to see some humility from Hillary and the Hillary campaign.

    March 27, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  14. Slept in Church for 20 years

    They won't vote for McCain. If Clinton is the nominee, all the "new" democrats will just stay home like they always have. Then they can complain when the party losses the White House in November.

    March 27, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  15. April in Texas

    WOW!!! I am impressed as she said something right in regards to uniting the party.

    Obama 08
    Austin Texas

    March 27, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  16. wow

    I love you Hillary

    But I will not allow the DNC to install Obama as our nominee.

    If they persist in doing so, and he is our nominee, I will break from the party. Not to spite Obama, not from hate- but as a matter of principle.

    They- Dean, Pelosi, the DNC, the Media can not rig an election in America and get away with it. I will make my voice heard via my vote- or LACK of it for the democratic nominee.

    The only way I vote democratic is if the Party and the media STOPS bashing you, stops handicapping you and lets the people vote for you in this primary.

    March 27, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  17. emily

    Bravo to her for addressing this. Anyone who would vote for McCain over a Democrat is basically saying they'd like to see a third Bush term.

    March 27, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  18. Jim

    So, Clinton bashed Obama as worse than McCain....

    What do you think her mindless Billary drones will think? they will make the only decision possible based on her low-ball Democratic politics of saying GOP candidate is better: they'll vote for GOP if she does not win the nom (and right now that is almost certain).

    She did it to them and now tells them to "think about that choice...." Hypocrite, as usual.

    March 27, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  19. Will

    Sorry Hiallary, I would never vote for that anti-american racist. He is a devil in disguise, or should I say muslim. He is a lyer, his whole book is nothing but lies. I would have to vote for McCain. To the media , I am a typical white person that will not unite behind this racist.

    March 27, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  20. Swe

    Obama can never unite the country nor the democratic party.

    March 27, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  21. CHERYL





    March 27, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  22. Larry Buchas

    You're right, Hillary. Your supporters are getting childish.

    Thanks for clearing that up.

    March 27, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  23. freedom of speech

    Only Hillary can unite the party.

    I admire her willingness to do so.

    But some of us will protest the corruption of the DNC and the party elites if they steal this nomination from her.

    March 27, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  24. California Independent

    That's funny. Obama was never an option for me. We have too many serious issues to allow an (empty suit whose resume was padded in Illinois by his friends in the legislature and has tried on multiple occasions to take credit for others work in the senate) inexperienced, less than honest politician to have the White House to satisfy his over-inflated sense of self. He would be another Bush with a cult following. No thanks.

    If it isn't Clinton, McCain '08

    March 27, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  25. Miss H

    I applaud Hillary Clinton for making that comment! If she wins, I'll support her. I think that Obama is the better candidate, however I want to see Democrats taking back the White House. We need to be UNITED. C'mon guys, quit being so bitter.

    Obama '08

    March 27, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
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