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. Mat

    This is crazy – "It is well within the Democratic party rules" [Clinton]
    It's also in the rules not to change the date of the primary, or are we going to ignore that rule as it doesn't help her?

    Look count Florida, and the other state and then only count Primaries and then only chose a candidate on the popular vote, not the delegate count, or what the super delegates say – lets just change all the rules to help Clinton –

    This is getting old quickly –

    May 21, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  2. Francis in Philly

    Are you kidding me? She's asking to distribute the delegates according to how the states have already voted? Obama wasn't even on the ticket in Michigan. This is idiocy in its purest form. This is not a game.

    May 21, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  3. Realist in Maryland

    This woman is relentless. Why were these votes not important when she thought she didn’t need them? Now that she is losing (or lost), they are utmost important. She mars the lines of democracy to favor her own selfish goals. She is poison to her party and to this country

    She insists she is “more electable…” Well, if she was, wouldn’t the numbers (delegates, fundraising dollars, etc) indicate that?

    May 21, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  4. Carl Abernathy - Florida

    Sen Clinton is wrong about the 2000 vote count. Every vote WAS counted, more than twice. Democrats have never accepted that they lost the election and looked really foolish in requiring all those re-counts which all turned out the same way. It is a lie to keep stating that people were dissed or that there was irregularity in the Florida votes in 2000. This state has very strong voting laws to protect all voters who are properly registered, and has had these votes for decades. Check them out for yourself and see that Florida's voting system is and has always been tops in this country.

    May 21, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  5. Jaun

    Woman to Woman
    Hillary why are you still in the race???
    Have more dirty tricks up your sleeves???IT NAH WUK.
    Or more Bosnia's sniper about a woman who would do anything to win.
    But girlfriend do the good thing for a change now ...SAY YOU HAD ONLY WANTED TO SHOW OBAMA YOU COULD OF CARRIED SWING STATES JUST LIKE HIM...then bow out gracefully...and with some dignity.

    May 21, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  6. T-Bone in IL

    She conveniently leaves out that she herself agreed that Florida and Michigan should not count in the first place. She is an opportunist, the only reason she feels all votes should count now is so she can pick up more delegates.

    I believe they should be counted, but fairly. She was offered a fair split of michigans votes, but declined because it didn't favor her enough.

    I'm an independant, who votes for the person I feel is the best representative of me and who would lead this country back to prosperity. I feel that's Barrack Obama. The thing is given the past 7 and 1/2 yrs, I would have voted for whomever was the Democatic Nomonee. Even if it were Clinton.

    OBAMA 08'

    May 21, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  7. Sammy

    What is all this? First, winning the nomination was all about superdelegates; then it came to winning the big states; then no Democratic nominee has won the national election without Ohio, PA, WV and KY (in that order). Now, every vote should count because it's all about the popular vote.

    And the Republicans are having a field day! Will someone tell Hillary that enough is enough? She has already said that Obama won't win in November, so why can't she bide her time and compete again in 2012? This is getting ridiculous and the Democratic leadership should call it for what it is.... Clinton is power hungry and will stop at nothing to destroy the party.

    May 21, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  8. Banko

    Hillary Loser, Hillary the cry baby. Once a loser, always a loser. Get over it . It is over. The ship sailed since Super Tuesday.

    May 21, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  9. ForBetterWorld

    She is just trying to get ready for 2012, as she spent so much time/money/energy anway.

    May 21, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  10. Michael Dem

    Come on Hillary, get on the team for God's sake. We need you and the supporters that you have in order to beat McCain. This is about what America wants, and what is best for America wants. It's not about what you or your husband wants, or about his candidacy. You and your husband are the standard bearers for this party, and what does it say about us when you are trashing our candidate and our process? Stop! ran a strong campaign, but your campaigns arrogance is what did you still crushed so many barriers. Please stop this!

    May 21, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  11. Marie-Lynn

    So why did she agree with the rules and now she is against them.. Because she is looking for POWER, that's it. Everybody should know by now this is her goal.. Nobody campain in both state why now counting votes for herself her BIG EGO..

    May 21, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  12. Ed

    Obama, I think you'd better end your Victory Tour pronto; it's going to look silly in hindsight.

    May 21, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  13. from CT

    Have a revote already, and call it a day, so sick of this...

    May 21, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  14. Todd

    What she needs is a good strong man to put her over his knee and paddle her bottom until she learns how to behave.

    opppps. Was that a sexist comment?

    May 21, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  15. Phyllis in Buffalo

    This is absolutely ridiculous! Why don't the wuss superdelegates end this circus?! This woman is doing nothing now but wasting precious time that should be focused on the general election. I cannot believe the DNC is allowing this to go on. Unbelievable!!!

    May 21, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  16. Re-Vote Genius

    ch – the people who should pay for the actions of FL and MI are not the voters, but the people who put them in this predicament - which INCLUDES Hillary Clinton and her campaign. Look it up: a re-vote will not be fair, because anyone who voted in the Republican primary, believing their vote in the Democratic primary would not count - AS THEY WERE TOLD - could not vote in the new primary. It's just another example of something that Clinton says that sounds good, until you think about it for five seconds and check the facts.

    May 21, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  17. boomonkey

    so she's working hard to count Fl and MI so they won't be disenfranchised.... in order to bolster her claim to disenfranchise the other 48 states that clearly have Obama winning by every conceivable metric.

    interesting argument. lol

    May 21, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  18. Evelyn

    Now I know I will not vote for Hilary under any circumstance. We are to let her exit gracefully, no criticism and yet she can call for new metrics by the day everytime it doesn't go in her favor. Well the democratic party may have just lost a long time supporter if they let her get by with this stuff. I would love to see every unpledged superdelegate support Obama just to put a stop to this nonsense. I was willing to listen and let the voters vote but this is not FAIR. She and Florida & Michigan knew the rules going in. What about all those people that didn't vote because they thought the votes didn't count? Can they now send in a ballot and have it counted since she wants to know the true will of "ALL" the voters? I hope this gets posted

    May 21, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  19. Delamere

    She is flatly its about since end of february?

    May 21, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  20. Judy Reed

    Unfortunately, Clinton only likes to bring up the rules she would like to abide by when they are in her favor. What happend to the rule that said if you push your primary up – the delegates would not be seated. Does she even recall that. And how do you call the process democratic when your competitor is not on the ballot. "Let's see – you can select from the following candidates ME, me, and Me. " Now let's get those delegates seated.

    May 21, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  21. Ding, Washington, DC

    Jack, Huckabization which states that “You don’t quit until someone gets all the delegates” is tactically and strategically stupid. First, it ignores: The costs, odds, and common sense. Senator Clinton, for that matter, is doing herself or party any good.

    Instead, NY Senator is:
    Draining IL Senator out of cash
    Exposing his vulnerability with certain voting bloc
    Giving her supporters false hope which is difficult to undo
    and the list goes on etc.

    May 21, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  22. LucieLee

    Why is Hillary showing such concern about the 2000 Florida recount, now? She didn't show so much concern then...she was too busy running for NY Senator. As a Floridian, I am highly insulted by her pandering~!!

    May 21, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  23. Bri

    For Hillary to say this would "disenfranchise" the Florida/Michigan voters, what about the people in Florida and Michigan who didn't vote because they were told it wouldn't count according to the rules. If you use the previous votes, it would disenfranchise the people that were told it wouldn't count. ONLY way Florida/Michigan can count is if there is a revote.

    May 21, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  24. CC

    Am I the only one who remembers that it was Terry McAuliffe, who is now running her campaign, who was the head of the DNC when these rules were put in place? Everybody carries on about Howard Dean, but he's only enforcing the rules set up by TM, the DLC (Lieberman, Clinton, et al).

    She needs to bow out, and wait for Obama to nominate her for the Supreme Court.

    May 21, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  25. Capt. Smash, Salt Lake City, Utah

    Does she need some professional help out of this thing I am worried about her!

    May 21, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
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