May 22nd, 2008
12:20 PM ET
14 years ago

Clinton aide denies flip-flop on Florida, Michigan

(CNN) - Senior Clinton adviser Harold Ickes said again today that his vote last summer to strip Florida and Michigan of their delegates was not at odds with his current push to have full slates from both states seated at the Democratic convention.

On a conference call with reporters Thursday, Ickes said his 2007 vote had been intended to send a message to other states not to follow Florida and Michigan’s lead in scheduling their primaries before February – and by that measure, the decision had been a success.

"We started to invoke a full stripping of the delegates from those two states to send a very strong signal to other states that if they broke the window there would be very severe consequences," said Ickes, who added that both states had already been penalized because neither had benefited from the attention or campaign advertising revenue that would have accompanied a legitimate contested primary.

"Lessons were learned and now it is time for us to turn our attention to the general election and to make sure that these states - that we do everything to try to assure that these states are in the Democratic column," he said.

The Rules and Bylaws Committee of the Democratic National Committee will take up the issue May 31, and the Clinton campaign says it expects them to decide to seat both states’ delegations in full.

Both Bill Clinton and Clinton campaign chairman Terry McAuliffe have signaled in recent days that they would be willing to consider proposals that would cut the delegate voting power for Florida and Michigan by half, the same penalty the Republican Party has imposed on both states over the issue.

The number of delegates required to claim the Democratic nomination is currently 2,026. The Clinton campaign has said that in their view, that number is 2,210 – a figure that assumes the seating of full delegations from both Florida and Michigan. Today, Ickes said the number would depend on the Rules and Bylaws Committee’s decision at the end of the month.

Filed under: Florida • Hillary Clinton • Michigan
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