May 24th, 2008
03:00 PM ET
15 years ago

Obama, Clinton court Puerto Rico's voters

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[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Sen. Barack Obama talks to veterans in Puerto Rico on Saturday morning."]
BAYAMON, Puerto Rico (CNN) - Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama took their campaigns to the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico on Saturday in an effort to woo voters before the June 1 primary.

There are 55 Democratic delegates up for grabs, though voters cannot take part in the general election in November.

Obama campaigned early Saturday at the University of Puerto Rico in Bayamon, where he praised the nation's veterans before Memorial Day.

"It's fitting to be here today, not just because Memorial Day is around the corner but because Puerto Ricans are such an important part of the United States military. On this island and in Puerto Rican neighborhoods across America, you can go into almost any home and find a veteran living there or a photograph of a loved one in uniform hanging on the wall," he said.

Obama also took aim at Republican Sen. John McCain over his opposition to an update of the GI Bill. The legislation passed the Senate on Thursday afternoon by a 75-22 vote and passed the House this month by a similar margin. It proposes to essentially provide a full scholarship to in-state public universities for members of the military who have served for at least three years.

"I don't understand why John McCain would side with George Bush and oppose our plan to make college more affordable for our veterans. ... Putting a college degree within reach for our veterans isn't being too generous; it's the least we can do for our heroes," Obama said.

Shortly after Obama's remarks, the McCain campaign hit back.

"Barack Obama talks about helping veterans, but when the choice came between delivering for our military men and women and playing partisan politics, he decided politics was more important," McCain spokesman Brian Rogers said Saturday.

Clinton, meanwhile, hosts a "Solutions for Puerto Rico's Families" town hall in Aguadilla on Saturday.

Clinton has done well among Hispanic voters in this year's primaries. She is expected to do well Puerto Rico's primary; Puerto Ricans make up a large swath of her New York constituency.

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soundoff (124 Responses)
  1. Luke

    B-NYC....... Feeble attempt at something? First you mis-spell his name but don't miss a beat on injecting HUSSEIN into your comment as if there were some connection to the former dictator of Iraq. Secondly, politics as usual? Supporting the GI Bill is politics as usual?..... or were you referring to something else? Weak......real weak.

    May 24, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  2. Dark Kent, Not Clark Kent

    Mrs. Clinton's race-baiting comments will hurt her on the island ...

    Puerto Ricans on the island tend to be more colorblind than mainlanders..

    May 24, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  3. Linda

    First off I don't like it that the Hillary discussion has been closed. I have watched Barrack talk to the Jewish and the Cubans. He does not realize that the Cubans do not want him to talk to Raf because he is worse than Fidel and all Cubans know that. Raf is the guy that carried out the killings and such for Fidel. As to making it ok to send money to the relatives. Yeah do that and make Cuba richer. What a joke! I grew up in the time that we waited until the convention to see who we would be voting for. This country is so spoiled. The majority wants what they want when they want it and they are going to be in for a big one if things keep going they way they are. Bill Clinton left us financially in good shape, at least he balanced the budget. It took George what a month to put us back in debt. Hillary has the basic idea as to what she is to do and can hit the road running after the election. Barrack will have to get a feel of what to do. There was a movie made back in the 70's I believe called "The Candidate" staring Robert Redford. Thing some of you out there need to watch it and then stop and think about what is real and what is fantasy. Thank you

    May 24, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  4. Never Obama

    Still not voting for him.

    The move has started….

    It is a FACT that Hillary supporters will not support Obama in November IF he is the nominee. This is a sincere movement that has started networking through emails and websites. Currently our projections are just at 50% of Hillary supporters who have dedicated their vote and campaign help to McCain.

    Sorry Obots. We want EXPERIENCE. Don't take it personal. It is what it is.

    Hillary or McCain

    May 24, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  5. H Howard Florida

    B- NYC doesn't know what he is talking about that is why he speaks in negative generalaties.

    May 24, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  6. Teresa W. of Newport Bch, CA

    Well, I'd be sure to have extra security Sen. Obama throughout the rest of the year. Sen. Clinton remarks may have been a timeline of innocence of historical moments but that indicated to me that the only way she could win the race is if something of similarity of RFK tragic event should some how be repeated again to Obama. She mentioned it twice during the campaign trail. This remark is spinning out of control.

    I guess she now feels sorry for what she said but she has not truely apologize for it. No one showed any mercy toward Obama during Rev. Wright spin. Obama was no where in sight but people pretty much accuse Obama of saying those words. Pity how people take things out of context. Sen. Hillary Clinton basically just toss her towel in on this one. I don't see any VP happening.

    May 24, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  7. usa

    to B_NY;

    oh really?? taking money from sepcial interst group.
    lying to americans (bill under oath, hill sniper fire).
    wanting obama dead so she can the get nomi. the list goes on and on.

    get your facts straight, before you open your mouth man.

    May 24, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  8. Mario

    Well see who is jalous...

    May 24, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  9. Axel

    Obama has still to secure the Democratic Party candidacy; 2026 delegates in total. Sen. Clinton has all the rights to continue with her campaign. These are the rules. Have problem with this; take it to the DNC. “Stop nagging you idiots”.

    May 24, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  10. JaPAVA

    B get a life. The name thing is so old, his name is his name and we are all proud of it. He is doing is best to run a solid campaign, it is good to see him campaigning instead of conceding contests. You have to admit the guy is organized, intelligent, and qualified. I am proud of him.

    May 24, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |

    TO: B – NYC May 24th, 2008 5:21 pm ET

    "Barrack Hussein Obama has been doing a great deal of "politics as usual" lately…
    Seems to contradict himself quite a bit…"


    May 24, 2008 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  12. Tony - Indiana Moderate

    El Presidente Obama 08!

    Ha deletreado Barack, no "Barrack".

    May 24, 2008 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  13. George Ennis from Toronto, Canada

    Don't understand why Puerto Rico would be given any voting delegates (for the Presidential nomination) in the Democratic Party. They cannot vote for President in the general election i.e. they have no electoral votes. Also does not make sense to have awarded Puerto Rico bonus delegates based on the fact that they held their Primary so late. The net result you have over representation of a group of voters in the nomination process who cannot vote in the general election

    Statehood has been put to the ballot twice and defeated. The people have thus forgone any right to participate in the general election and by extension the choice of a nominee for the Democratic Party.

    Not suggesting the ground rules be changed now but it should definitely be considered for 2012.

    May 24, 2008 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  14. Will smith

    The commnents here will not be between Obama and HRC anymore, because we have moved on. lt will be between Mcbush and Obama, let Clinton supporters cont. in their dellusional states. I can't believe Mcbush did not support the new GI bill, 72 members of the senate supported this bill. What a lip service Mcbush pays to our veterans. It is not enough to be a war hero, when you think just like Bush that it is too generous to foot the bill of an instate college for veterans who have served more than 3 years in the military.
    I am waiting to hear Mcbush excuse on this and don't you guys see the way Mcbush and his thugs have been attacking Obama on every excuse they get, is this the type of campaign Mcbush and his GOP going to run. It is really condescending, have no respect for your competitor, take leave from Clinton book. She ran the same type of campaign, see where it landed her.

    May 24, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  15. unite the dems

    B-NYC..go take your meds. Calling mccain out on the bipartison GI bill is expected. Take your racist self and find another country. Obama is here to stay and he will be out next great president!

    May 24, 2008 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  16. RB

    B. NYC, resistance is futile. Barack is the next President. Look past your hate and you will realize this fact. It's time for a change!

    OBAMA 08!!!

    May 24, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  17. Frank

    Hispanics are way smarters that the naive Whites who fell for the empty promises of this inexperienced, yet arrogant, Senator! Obama will never score well with Hispanics; they know he is a fool and they won't support him even if Hillary doesn't get the nomination. Thank goodness for Hispanics in this country!

    May 24, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  18. dwho

    It is good to know that Hillary Clinton has done good with Hispanic and blue collar voters. Just as Bill Clinton did well with African-American voters in 1992. This one thing that is prolonging the campaign–division of interests.
    The comparison that Hillary made about her husband and Bob Kennedy's campaigns in 1968 and 1992 is somewhat questionable.
    There is no record of those two candidates being heavily in debt. Bob and Bill Clinton's campaigns well will financed that is why they were not asked to quit. Camparing that with her campaign, she is heavily in debt and in every measure she's behind Obama mathematically. Considering Mike Hucklebee, the Republican candidate, his campaign was in similar ship as Hillary. But he cut back on staffs and campaigned within his means. As for Hillary regardless of the fact that her campaign is in RED with the Election Commission about 19.5 million, she still wants to continue. This is where people are coming from to ask that she quit.

    May 24, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  19. RB

    HRC, you are a LOSER. You are hateful, vengeful, and just a terrible person. You've also set women back by 75 years. In short, you stink. Go away.

    May 24, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  20. Tom,des moines

    Obama vs McCain=McCain would win easily.

    Hillary vs McCain=Hillary would win easily.

    May 24, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  21. Sunny

    Maybe Obama is Puerto Rican now!

    May 24, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  22. chris in chicago

    b – nyc:
    don't let your hatred or racism show too much. Glad you're not on our team. You're part of the problem in this world. You're also the reason why Obama is doing so well. People are sick of your unfounded hatred for fellow Americans.
    By the way you're garbage argument is very dumb and is not based on any facts. Anyone can say that same line about anyone else in politics and not put up facts.

    May 24, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  23. King in MO


    "Barrack Hussein Obama has been doing a great deal of "politics as usual" lately…
    Seems to contradict himself quite a bit…"

    Let me guess

    A. You never served in the military

    B. You know nothing of the history of Veteran Affairs

    C. You don't know how piddling current GI Bill benefits are

    D. You obviously don't know that Hussein is an Arabic name that is shared by Muslims, Christians, and Jews.

    E. You obviously don't see that over 70% of congress voted for this so I guess all those people are just being political.

    F. F is for..............

    Educate yourself people, then relay your opinion

    Obama/Webb 08

    May 24, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  24. El Máximo Gutierrez


    JES WE CAN!!!


    OBAMA '08 & '12

    May 24, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  25. rose, texas

    i don't think hispanics will all back him.alot of hipanics r 4 hillary and if richardson is his running mate, he might as well say good-bye to all those votes. i just don't trust him , iran is one reason and he is muslim ,that is going to take alot of votes from him .

    May 24, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
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