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. citizen3591

    In 1994, Hillary Clinton, and alter ego Bill, failed at presidential leadership by alienating important players in the health care reform initiative.

    That same year, as a direct result of alienating the electorate, Republicans took over Congress, initiating the "Republican Revolution" and years of nasty partisanship.

    She has always been described as "polarizing", even before the campaign. Now she has managed to polarize members of her own party.

    What's really troubling here is that her credibility is gone. It's actually hard to believe her when she says she wants to unify the party, in the face of such strong evidence that she wanted to divide it.

    March 27, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  2. ArizonaSon

    Didn't Bill Clinton say the Hillary and McCain where the only two patriotic candidates left in the race.Didn't Hillary say that she and McCain where the only qualified candidates left in the race. I think the only thing Hillary cares about is Hillary.

    March 27, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  3. Bond

    What she means is: "We're gonna unite after I knee-cap Obama some more."

    March 27, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  4. jo

    Tell her to say that to her husband. Apparently, Bill thinks that Hillary and McCain are the only viable choices.

    March 27, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  5. hope

    Dear Mrs Clinton

    I am one of your supporter I have been voted and registered as a democrat from the time I was allowed to vote,this time if it's not your name on the ticket, I am going to vote for McCain. The reasons are the biases against you in the media, the dirty politic in the democratic party, all that turn me off, as a disenfranchised voter from Florida, I don't have the stomach to vote for another democrat.

    Disenfranchised voter

    March 27, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  6. Dave, SC

    Good call Sen. Clinton, but you are still a LIAR!!!

    March 27, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  7. Travis

    This broad has got to be kidding. Does she expect her supporters to vote for Obama after she's made him out to be American-hating Muslim, inexperienced, idealistic and "out-of-touch", all talk, etc... With all her trashy rhetoric, she's basically jeopardized the Democrats chance of winning the 2008 general election by fractioning the Democratic party. It really perplexes me that some or many Clinton supporters would even consider voting for a man who would sincerely purposed a "100 year war" in support of this "war on terror". We won't know how much damage she's done until the 2008 general election. It wasn't up until Hillary's negative campaign bullcrap that polls showed Obama trailing McSame McCain in the polls for the 2008 election.

    March 27, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  8. zachary drummer

    I hope to god she's being sincere here. Most clinton supporters will follow whatever she says, so this is good. But if she walks away from this comment, like she has done before with other words, then I will lose whatever respect I still have for her.

    March 27, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  9. John

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

    And Senator Clinton believes in the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, invisible snipers on the tarmac in Bosnia and her husband's fidelity ...and that's the truth...phttttttttttt

    March 27, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  10. Michael

    If she wins the nomination I'll vote for McCain. Better the lesser of two evils.

    March 27, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  11. jason

    This may cause her to lose a few of her supporters: they want to hear that it is okay to approve of McCain more so than Obama, because spite is more fun than reason.

    Of course, she may gain a few Obama supporters since she is, for once, seemingly giving a crap about peace in the democratic party.

    Not me, of course, for a simple reason: A transparent government is the most important thing in the history of american politics, as far as i'm concerned; and Obama seems to be the only person who wants to give that a shot.

    March 27, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  12. White Woman for Obama

    I am glad that she is finally saying that she doesn't actually want her followers to switch parties. With the way she's been talking about her opponents, I would have given about 50/50 odds that Obama was going to have to run against a McCain/Clinton ticket.

    TBH, I still have a lot of doubts about her commitment to the Democratic party, and about the character of someone who is willing to do that to their party.

    March 27, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  13. Nina

    Hillary needs to stop throwing dirt at Obama. She does not look clean after the sniper fire comment.

    March 27, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  14. Belle

    Sorry to hear Obama does NOT feel the same.

    Doesn't matter though....after all of HIS SUPPORTERS hate remarks to Clinton supporters, I would RATHER vote for McCain

    March 27, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  15. Sick meat

    This is what happens when we over analyze thigs. Mrs. Clinton is right, the Democratic party isn't going anywhere. It will work out in th end.

    With such a close race- remember neither of them will reach the number of delegates they will need- both need to stay in and hear the voices of the remaining states and primaries. Lets see what the rest of the country thinks.

    March 27, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  16. No Hillary

    How can Clinton tell voters not to vote McCain while she herself showed in-depth admirations for him. Hillary is one of the most "double spoken politicians" I ever heard of.

    March 27, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  17. a real vetran HM1


    March 27, 2008 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  18. Mike

    Oh my God! There is no end to the Hillary monsters hypocrisy. She does every concievable thing to trash and back stab Obama. Then smiles and calls for party unity. Hillary has done more to destroy the Democrat party than anyone in history.

    March 27, 2008 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  19. confused

    Hilary ???


    1st You Destroy the Democratic party then
    YOU want to close ranks

    Wow are You confused

    March 27, 2008 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  20. HH

    How does Sen. Clinton argue for her supporters to vote for Obama if she doesn’t believe he is ready? Or is that some kind of Bosnia moment?

    March 27, 2008 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  21. John Zeger

    Vote for the Democratic candidate in November, regardless who it is! We don't need another four years of Republican mismanagement.

    March 27, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  22. Tseada

    She is the one who gave people that idea and now it's too late to do damage control. Remember when you were going around telling people you and McCain were the only ones ready to be commander in chief?
    You are lost and confused...go seek some help!

    March 27, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  23. Ohio for Obama

    FIRST thing she has said in a while that actually makes sense...well said

    March 27, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  24. MC in TX

    Let's hope she's willing to follow through with these words this fall when she's asked to support and campaign for Sen. Obama...

    March 27, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  25. jo

    Hillary has the sense to tell that. Obama people are threatening. McCain with iraq and Iran and suprime court judges, go figure. Hmm.. I like to stay with in the democratic side even though I don't want Obama to be the nominee.

    March 27, 2008 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
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