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. Sharon

    So is this HRC giving a pre-concession speech? Sounds like it to me.

    March 27, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  2. m

    Good news! The rest of Obama and Hilary supporters will stay home!

    March 27, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  3. Conservative

    I think disgruntled Democrats will vote for Ron Paul before McCain. Ron Paul is anti-Iraq war.

    March 27, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  4. Time for change

    Thank you Hillary for finally encouraging your supporters to "think"!!!

    March 27, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  5. Ronald

    Reminds me of when Hillary said about Obama, "Words are cheap." Only time will tell if Hillary was sleep deprived when she made this comment.

    March 27, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  6. v.ananthan





    -HILLARY 08.

    March 27, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  7. Enrique, Chicago

    I do not support Hillary, but I applaud her for her call for unity. Thank you Hillary.

    March 27, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  8. go blue

    Thank you Hillary.

    It's about time you said something for the good of the party and not simply for the good of yourself.

    March 27, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  9. Dan, Washington DC

    This whole thing just reminds us how dumb Americans are. You're going to ignore everything that's going on in the world and in this country and vote for McCain just because your candidate didn't win the primary? Are you insane? Do you not possess reason? Look, Obama may be all show, and Hillary may be strong arming her way through the process, but on the matter of issues, they're basically identical and polar opposites of McCain. The way things are looking, you might as well vote for Bush to get a 3rd term. You all need to get beyond the fact that Hillary is a liar and Obama lacks substance. Every politician in history has been a liar and more show than substance. Guess what, McCain is too! Right now, this country needs a Democrat in office or else we'll get 4 more years of Bush-like policies and keep circling the drain. So please, don't let your petty personal vendettas hurt all of us who have brains.

    March 27, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  10. Brian

    Right and we are suppose to believe her why? After she ensures that many people won't vote for Obama in the general LOL What a joke and she needs a new name, Hillary Potter Clinton with her magical thinking.......

    March 27, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  11. Zia Siddiqi

    Super delegates should use their own judgement and even vote for a candidate with fewer pledged delegates if they feel that the candidate in question is a really bad choice or completely contrary to the DNC idealogy. But that is not the case here, i.e. both Obama and Clinton are very capable candidates with very similar positions. So there is no reason for them to go against the popular choice.

    March 27, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  12. Penn State Students for Obama

    If hillary wins the nomination i will be one of those 19% to vote for MaCain and nothing she says is going to change my mind. This is my first time voting and i would rather have MaCain in the office, then a polarizing, liying, desperate lady, a monster and a person who stays with her husband throughout years of affair. Yes hillary you have experience in all the wrong areas and for that i can't and will not vote for you.

    March 27, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  13. Uncle Sam

    As this political campaign progresses, I believe that more and more Americans will support Senator John McCain. They will do so not of spite, but because they will recognize the greatness in the man. When a tortured prisoner of war with broken body is offered freedom from hell and declines out of regard for his fellow captives, that demonstrates a level of moral courage most of us can barely imagine. Such nobility of character is no small thing and is not limited to an event that happened forty years ago. We see it arise again and again. When Sen. McCain takes on members of his own party out of conscience. And when he reaches across the political divide to help enact legislation for the good of the country. And we see it when as a candidate he risks his own presidential ambition by remaining true to his vow to protect our country from harm. And when he commits to treating the other candidates with respect. The Jewish people have a word for someone like John McCain – he is a mensch. And I would vote for him if he were running for Miss America.

    March 27, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  14. Charlotte

    Well, I'm not so sure we will be better off with Obama. McCain is a better choice in my opinion.

    March 27, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  15. Eli

    You want hear OBAMA say anything like this. He claimed to be the uniter but we all know that he is NOT. She from the beginning even when ahead said she was think about the so called dream ticket he always said Im not thinking about that right now. So she has always tried to work with both sides he had rather only have HIS SIDE, which we all know by now is SCARRY.

    March 27, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  16. Rom,NY

    I am an Obama supporter but I applaud her for saying that
    Good move!!!
    No matter what happens we should be united at the end to put an end to a third term of Bush !!!
    Yes we can and yes we will 🙂

    March 27, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  17. Glenice Kemling

    If Obama gets in as the Democratic nominee, I will vote for MCain.

    March 27, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  18. Horace

    I have voted democratic for over 20 years. However, Mark my words, I will not vote for Hillary. She has shown with her campaign: 1) her belief she is above the democratic party 2) The will of the voters does not matter unless they vote for her 3) She lied about Bosnia and other Foreign policy experience, 4) and has shown overall lack of integrity.

    I know Senator Clinton's campaign believe they can "steal" the nomination and they unite the disenfranchise Obama supporters, but they are sadly mistaken.

    March 27, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  19. BL-NYC

    Sorry Senator Clinton, with all due respect, I could not see Senator Obama Governing our Nation... No Chance!

    March 27, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  20. Nando, Florida

    we will see said the Blind Man???

    March 27, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  21. Fav

    Hillary, if you're not the nominee (God forbid)- i will vote for McCain!

    I WIL NOT carry the responsibility in my head, that i voted for Obama!

    March 27, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  22. Thanks Hillary

    Listen folks I am not a Obama supporter and for the last couple of weeks i thought i would never voter for Hillary if she somehow received the nomination, but this is the best thing she has said in a while. We all need to get off our "trip" and realize that if we vote for McCain, whom by the way i like as well but strongly disagree with his policy, we will have determined our fate, our soldiers fate our economies fate, our education, our kids, our healthcare etc.....we have to have a Dem' in the House no matter what.

    March 27, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  23. Kyle

    I'm not sure trying to twist the speaker of the house's arm and advising "elected" delegates to ignore the will of the voters who elected them qualify as doing everything you can to have a united party. In one of your own favorite attacks....Those are "just words".

    March 27, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  24. David Shinall

    Thank you Hilary! After causing this battle of the democrats, it is only right to try and make things right (after the fact I might add). It really scares me to think that someone would vote against there party of choice out of spite. Most people who are truly democrats or truly want there country to get out of this mess in the middle east, what are you thinking. Voting for McCain is voting for another 4 yrs of downward spiral. The common people are the ones that have suffered this war, not out elected representatives. It is time for someone as our leader to listen to the will of the people. The will of the people do not want this war to ruin this country, With McCain that is what you will get. And that my friend is exactly what we have now. Use your brain people, and don't play into the Replubilcans hand again!
    Truly concerned
    and truly American.

    March 27, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  25. justin from LA

    Well i've gotta say that this does put me at ease a bit after recent events. I hope that she is being sincere.

    This whole situation has made me pretty depressed and I was beginning to think that McCain was a shoe in.

    March 27, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
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