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. Chris Gorham

    She is so pathetic. I Will vote for McCain if she is on the ticket as VP because she is that damaging.

    May 21, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  2. joanne

    go girl go show them all especially jack cafferty.....dees he not make you ill....................honestly............a man scorned by a woman LOL...............desperately in need. Give thenm all HELL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Girl Go Madame President NO DOUBT NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    May 21, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  3. ike

    You Obama supporters make me sick with all the hate that you spew. Grow up if you have nothing of substance to contribute shut up. America land of the Obama loving Hypocrits. Campaign o change huh. You should look in the mirror once in a while and see how closley you follow your candidate lead. Oh yea we really don't have to do it just say we are going to. Your media has destroyed a woman who has spent her life working for the citizens of this country. If you guy is so far ahead let the votes count. If he is so Inevitable why disenfranchize so many voters. I don't like any of you so how about you all drop out....anyone....I thought not. Congradulations your guy just lost my vote. I am now voting for McCain.

    May 21, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  4. Gringo

    It's hilarious to watch Obama the last few days pandering for the demographic blocs that back Hillary . He's going to show up any day with a rifle in one hand and a moonshine jug in the other and try to tell us he's just a good ole boy..
    If Clinton supporters had wanted him, we would have voted for him in the first place.

    May 21, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  5. MelEll

    I know CNN will never print this because they never print what I write. Here goes anyway –

    Please Hillary, it's been a great run, but the math speaks for itself. The rules are the rules – Michigan and Florida will be counted, but it won't change the fact that it's just not your time. You've been of tremendous service and have done amazing things for the democratic party and for women in the world, but please do not ruin our party because you want to get your way. It's time for unity!!! We need to beat John McCain in the fall, and the longer it takes for the democrats to come together, the easier it is for McCain to go unchallenged. The longer it takes, the greater the chances are of a third Bush term and the USA can't handle that, neither can the world.

    Start taking the high road! It's time. Let it go!!!

    May 21, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  6. Obama 08

    She's turning FLA Democrats against the parties nominee....that is quasi-treason to the DNC. Someone needs to step up (preferably behind her with an ether soaked rag) but never the less.

    May 21, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  7. terri ohio

    this women changes the rules every week anything to when Im from Ohio and I think after the NBA playoffs are over the Cleveland Cavaliers should play in the final game because we have Lebron James and he has a better chance of beating the winning team. This is not the way the rules go or is it

    May 21, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  8. Eleanor

    this woman is like a bad nightmare that never ends!!!

    May 21, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  9. AVEMBE The sun

    I'm sure of one thing this is going to be a supa mega hell of a mess for the dem...and it's just sooooooooo GOOD for the Republicans...Yessssssssss!!!Come on dems keep on that way and one more time you will loose these elections

    May 21, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  10. FedUpDem

    ch May 21st, 2008 4:19 pm ET

    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.


    Well said unless you're obama and then there are 57 states!

    May 21, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  11. Sandi

    I've said it before – if the shoe were on the other foot would she be in favor of those votes!! What if she was only 60 votes away from the nomination and Obama 200 down, would those States be so important to her. NO – she and Bill would have been insisting that he concede 2 months ago! What part of "rules" does she not understand. She was very willing to abide by those rules prior to those two States conducting their primaries. If she doesn't support the DNC rules, how can we expect her to abide by "rules" in the White House??? Give it up Hillary -it's over, it's been over!

    May 21, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  12. Obama '08 '12

    She makes me sad and angry. I'll leave it at that.

    May 21, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  13. Independent for Obama

    Please let it END!!!

    May 21, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  14. M Philllips

    Does she recall agreeing not to campaign? I understand she signed some documents to that effect. Does she expect all of the votes in Michigan? Does she agree with disenfranchising voters who obeyed the rules and rewarding those who broke them ( herself included)? Is this persuasive evidence that she is electable?

    May 21, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  15. Canadian Observer

    Oh, PLEASE. The media has definitely been giving her a free run for her money on this one. Can someone please call her out already?

    I find it funny and disappointing at the same time that months earlier, the SAME Clinton campaign that stated explicitly that Michigan and Florida had broken the rules and should be punished for it is the SAME campaign that now wants to seat the delegates "exactly as they were cast". Hypocrisy doesn't get any finer than that, folks.

    Though I agree that it would hurt the party if they didn't seat at least some of Florida and Michigan's delegates, I don't think seating them as they were cast would be a smart or fair move. With primary dates being as important as they are in the U.S., it would be very dangerous to not punish the states for moving their dates up even after being warned not to. If both of these states aren't punished, it definitely leaves open the opportunity for other states to move up their dates in future primaries as well (which would make one wonder why they haven't dealt with this problem already. Maybe rotating primary dates, anyone?)

    May 21, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  16. Stevo in PA


    Bill and Hill grossed $109 million. Don't tell me they couldn't affort a recount. Barack doesn't need to refinance a recount. He agreed to the DNC rules. However, Barack stated he was willing to seat all the delegates and allow the vote to count under a fair decision. He was even suggesting a 55% to 45% in favor of Hillary. But she's $20 million in debt and wants an 80 / 20 percentage.

    Talk about elite. $109 Million and your campaign is broke, yeah right!

    May 21, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  17. Kathy, from NJ

    This woman is sick, shame on me,..... why?....... because I was leaning to her, I used to like her, now I realize how badly wrong I was, if I only could take back my vote for her, I would have voted for Obama.

    May 21, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  18. Stop that Woman

    More hate from the Clinton camp....

    May 21, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  19. tj

    Hillary did a very good speech earlier today in FL, and she made a good point. Hillary leads the popular vote if FL and MI vote counts. Every candidate's name was on the ballot in FL so FL votes should definitely count, and maybe a revote should be held in MI. More democrats want Hillary for president. She's supported by the majority of democrats.

    GO HILLARY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    May 21, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  20. meck

    Under the DNC rules; if elections are held against the rules – such as were in Michigan & Florida – on appeal, only half of the delegates can be awarded. Second; if a candidate campaigns in a state in which the date was moved, that candidate may not receive any delegates. HRC does not understand the rules. It is not within DNC rules to count all votes as they were cast in Michigan and Florida as these two were punished for moving the dates. READ THE DNC RULES ON THE DNC WEBSITE. Its the end of the road of HRC. No miracle can twist the numbers.

    Meck. Vancouver.

    May 21, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  21. Republican for Clinton

    The republican controlled legislature and the republican governor signed the bill that changed FL's primary dates and now the Obama backers, are saying Hillary did it please, Obama thinks he'll win the GE, 95% of the vote of 17% of the population doesn't win you the Presidency, if Dems nominate Obama they are going to LOSE! Especially in a year where they ahd a lay-up win! This idiodacy will be spoke of for years to come! He wins most of his delegate lead in states like N. Dakota and S. Dakota, please, I have big news for you the republicans will win those states in a landslide no matter who the Dems nominate! GO HILLARY!!

    May 21, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  22. maria montebello

    Disgusting.She really thinks she can hoodwink her supporters into think they are being disenfranchised by innuendo and half truths. No wonder only the uneducated vote for her.

    May 21, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  23. Philip

    If Clinton "feels so strongly about this" why did she agree to not counting the votes before the primary began. This is shameless, but perhaps that is what it takes to be a good politician, no shame.

    May 21, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  24. Kiah

    She agree to the rules and this is NOT like 2000 and she knows it! I truly hate HRC and when she LOSES "officially" I hope she is cast from the political scene and her sad pathetic career is permanently damaged forever!

    She is NOT only trying to win at all cost but she IS diving this party on purpose. F strategy if she can't win she is going to make sure the Democratic name is damaged forever!

    What a sad and pathetic woman!

    May 21, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  25. Harerta Tesfa

    Madame Clinton, Democracy is first and foremost about upholding the rules each and every one of you agreed upon: Yourself, Obama, The Democratic party in Florida and Michigan, and the DNC. To backpedal and reneg on those rules is pathetic at best and UNDEMOCRATIC at worst. I beg you Madame Clinton to cling on to any shred of conscience you may have left!

    May 21, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
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