May 21st, 2008
04:16 PM ET
13 years ago

Clinton recalls 2000 Florida recount in push to count votes

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Clinton is making three campaign stops in Florida Wednesday."]BOCA RATON, Florida (CNN) - Making a last-gasp campaign swing through Florida on Wednesday - just ten days before the Democratic National Committee will decide the fates of the disputed Michigan and Florida delegations - Hillary Clinton forcefully pressed for the primary votes in those states to be counted "exactly as they were cast."

"It is well within the Democratic party rules to take this stand," she said, defending her position in front of a sizeable audience at a Boca Raton retirement community. "The rules clearly state that we can count all of these votes and seat all of delegates, pledged and unpledged if we so choose, and the rules laid out make clear the process for doing so."

It was Clinton’s first campaign stop in Florida since the night of the state’s primary on Jan. 29, and Clinton picked a suitable venue to make her case for counting every vote: Palm Beach County, ground zero of the politically-charged 2000 Florida recount.

"We believe the popular vote is the truest expression of your will," she said. "We believe it today just as we believed it back in 2000, when right here in Florida, you learned the hard way what happened when the votes aren’t counted and a candidate with fewer votes is declared the winner."

The New York senator made repeated allusions to the 2000 recount and proclaimed that the Democratic party, the party of civil rights, has a duty to count every vote to determine the true intent of the electorate. Moreover, she argued, counting the votes is a simple matter of American democracy.

“I have heard some say counting Florida and Michigan would be changing the rules,” she said. “I say not that not counting Florida and Michigan is changing a central governing rule of this country, that whenever we can understand the clear intent of the voters, their vote should be counted.”

She avoided criticizing Barack Obama directly, but Clinton tied Obama’s decision to remove his name from the Michigan primary ballot to the current predicament facing Democrats in Michigan and Florida.

“I know that Sen. Obama chose to remove his name from ballot in Michigan and that was his right,” Clinton said, “but his choice does not negate the votes of all those who turned out to cast their ballots, and we should not let that process rob all of you from your voices.”

“You didn’t break a single rule and you should not be punished for what happened beyond your control,” she added.

Earlier in the day, on a flight from Washington, D.C. to Florida, Clinton aides spoke to reporters and emphasized Florida’s general election importance, stressing their belief that Clinton, not Obama, would fare better in the state this fall against John McCain.

The campaign also revealed a new metric by which to gauge their late-blooming momentum this primary season: Since the end of February and excluding previous contests, said spokesman Mo Elleithee, Clinton has won more contests, more delegates and the overall popular vote.

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Florida • Hillary Clinton • Michigan
soundoff (198 Responses)
  1. Scott ATL

    Desperation personified.... She's beginning to be tacky now...

    May 21, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  2. HH

    If the superdelagates would step up around 60 of them this will be over. He has the most delagates I dont know what she wants.

    They keep moving the goal posts tho, she signed a pledge said she would not let them count and now needs them and then has no chance.

    I think the Clinton campaign in a trance. Come on Obama really out spend her so she will be more bankrupt.

    May 21, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  3. Pam

    She agreed to the DNC rules before the primaries. Why wasn't she fighting for these delegates BEFORE she started getting her butt kicked by Obama? An even better question...why are there people buying into her load of bull poop?

    May 21, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  4. ch

    There are 50 states not 48. The democratic nominee will not be legitimate unless the votes of all 50 states are counted.

    Clinton supporters offered a plan to pay for a re-vote in Fl and MI but Obama’s campaign refused. What is he afraid of other than losing in these two critical states?

    How can voters in America who went to the polls and voted in the closest primary election in 40 years have their votes disregarded? These votes were certified by the FL and MI Board of Elections – they are legitimate votes.

    So either we re-vote or we count the votes already cast. Otherwise, there is no official, legitimate nominee. Period.

    May 21, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  5. Mike

    "We believe the popular vote is the truest expression of your will," she said. "We believe it today just as we believed it back in 2000, when right here in Florida, you learned the hard way what happened when the votes aren’t counted and a candidate with fewer votes is declared the winner."

    I wonder if she told the crowd in Palm Beach that she was one of the people who decided that their votes WOULDN'T COUNT!

    She keeps forgetting that she did that.

    May 21, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  6. jo

    I can't stand this woman...she will not stop until she steals the nomination from Obama.

    May 21, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  7. America

    Come on Al Gore- show Hillary how shameless and self-serving her analogy is and endorse Barack Obama!

    May 21, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  8. Scared

    She has no problem with the fact Obama wasnt on the ticket in MI or that they agreed before hand about the rules?

    May 21, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  9. Andrew from Illinois

    I'm trying to figure out how HIllary believes she's won more. She's only fueling her depleted ego and republicans eagerly needing fuel for Obama attacks.

    May 21, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  10. spencer

    All the way to the convention..fight for it Hillary....

    May 21, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  11. GoObama

    History will reviel Hillary for what she is. A LIAR WHO WILL DO ANYTHING TO WIN. She was just fine signing the documents that said these 2 states wouldn't count and now she's on her stump preaching this garbage. Her followers are too caught up in her make believe story to see what she's doing but once time fades this will be seen for what it was. The expected nominee getting smacked upside the head by a powerful force that could not be stopped proceeded by the shreaking sound of fingernails scraping and scraping to keep up.

    GOODBYE HILLARY. I was a Bill fan, although I never liked her because I could see these characteristics in her, but I tolerated her. Now I can't stand them both because of the way they've blown this race and very possibly the Dem's chances to win what should be a HANDS DOWN victory over the Repub's this year. You DISGUST me and should be ashamed of yourself for what you have done.

    May 21, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  12. Angus McDugan

    I say let's cout them. They will amount to nothing in the end and it will shut her up. Otherwise, you will be hearing about how Obama "stole the election" years from now. The whining will live forever in the halls of the Democratic party. The Democratic leadership and the selfish states of Florida and Michigan are total screw-ups. What the heck are rules for. Also, if the "Super Delegates" had any sort of spine then this would all be over now.

    May 21, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  13. Maureen

    She's got her own Math, too bad she's the only one who gets it....
    She's looking pretty despartate and pathetic and all the talk about looking strong in 2012 is so wrong. She'll look the same as she does now only fatter, more tired and meaner.
    Good Riddence.

    May 21, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  14. Maya wants to see a DEM IN THE WHITE HOUSE!!

    sure, count the votes. Obama will still win, but maybe then everyone can stop being all mad, and we can concentrate on electing a Democrat to the White House. I love my candidate of choice, but even more than that we ALL need a Democratic President!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    May 21, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  15. Sara from Arizona

    Delusional woman, GO AWAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! OBAMA 08'

    May 21, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  16. Larry

    So now it is a violation of rights? Wasn't so when she said it was clear they weren't going to count. She signed a pledge and made it verbally clear that they were not going to count as both states violated DNC rules...once again now that she is in a bind, the rules and the goal posts continue to change...unbelievable. If she was as honest as she was tenacious, then maybe voters would have more respect for her integrity.

    May 21, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  17. abby from canada

    where were you when you sign the agreement to strip off the delegates?

    May 21, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  18. Allison Marie

    Honor & Count Our Votes.............

    *********Florida Demands Representation********************

    ****************Florida Love Hillary**************************************

    *********************Go Hillary Go****************************************

    Uncounted &in Florida & Boycotted by Obama Camp

    May 21, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  19. Gringo

    Keep up the good fight, Hillary. Don't let them have anything for free.

    And please please tell Mr. Empty Suit what he can do with his VP choice.

    May 21, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  20. Elizabeth

    Hillary and Bill received a majority of votes from the hillbillies in Kentucky so now she definitely is a HIILLBILLY candidate. Let's get rid of her!

    May 21, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  21. Oliver - MD

    The Clinton strategy of ‘winning at all cost’ just started. They will twist and turn the rules shamelessly to win. It is disgracefull!

    May 21, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  22. SlimSista




    May 21, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  23. Carla

    Hillary is hurting the democratic party but she doesn't care. It is all about her. She will come up with any scenario that will give her the win, whether it abides by the rules or not. If she were ahead, she wouldn't care about Florida and Michigan at all.

    May 21, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  24. Sara from Arizona

    If you are a Clinton, rules don't matter. Sore loser. OBAMA 08'

    May 21, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  25. Smart People for Obama

    She didn't care if the votes counted last year when it was announced the delegates would not be seated.

    I'm tired of Clinton supporters blaming this on Obama. It's not his fault. He agreed to the same rules as Clinton in 2007.

    By the way, counting th votes is not fair. I didn't go out and vote for Obama because I knew my vote wouldn't count. How many others didn't go out and vote because of that? The results of the original primary are invalid because of this.

    May 21, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
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