May 27th, 2008
07:50 AM ET
15 years ago

Clinton rallies union in Puerto Rico

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/05/26/art.hrcpr.ap.jpg caption="Clinton’s campaign is hoping to score a significant popular vote win in Puerto Rico."]
PONCE, Puerto Rico (CNN) - Hillary Clinton held the most raucous rally of her Puerto Rico campaign swing on Monday in front of several hundred members of the Servidores Públicos Unidos union, who shimmied to live music before the event and cheered on the senator with chants of “Si se puede!”

The union operates as an affiliate of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, which has endorsed Clinton and spent millions on her campaign’s behalf. AFSCME President Gerald McEntee was on hand in Ponce to introduce Clinton, but he spent a good chunk of his speech eliciting boos for Barack Obama.

“Obama was here twice,” McEntee said, painting the Illinois senator as a Johnny-come-lately to the issues affecting Puerto Ricans. “Once to raise money. He was here for two hours, and he left, and he went on vacation. Then he came back this past weekend for two days, then he left again.”

An energetic Clinton, assisted by a translator, delivered a speech similar to others she has made on the island, pledging to offer economic incentives to the island, promising to resolve the issue of Puerto Rico’s status by the end of her first term, and reminding voters that she represents an estimated one million Puerto Ricans in New York.

In the middle of her remarks, as the audience chanted “Si se puede!” - a phrase that's been co-opted by Obama supporters - Clinton injected some Spanish of her own.

“Not only ‘Si se puede!’ Si podemos! We will! We will!,” she shouted, although there was some debate among reporters whether she stumbled over the word “podemos.”

Clinton appeared on the stage with her daughter Chelsea, who did not speak, and Bill Clinton, who campaigned with her throughout the day. The former president said his wife has long been dedicated to Puerto Rican issues.

“She understand you better, she cares more, and she has the best commitment for the future of the people of Puerto Rico,” he said. “Nothing would symbolize her commitment more than this victory” on June 1. The Clinton campaign is hoping for a healthy margin of victory here to bolster their argument that they are winning the popular vote.


Filed under: Hillary Clinton
soundoff (1,133 Responses)
  1. maxxim

    Why clinton doesn't understand ,it's over.Obama wins. Move on. clinton,move on...

    May 26, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  2. Y

    They no speak it the english. They no understand what Hillary said. They no can see who the real ILLARY Clinton is.

    Puerto Rico for Obama.

    May 26, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  3. vote4realchange

    Belle, you are absolutely right. Everyone is unjustly attacking the Clintons... calling Hillary a lyer (among other things, most of which is sexist, degrading, and ironically untrue). While she may have made a few small mistakes, like all politicians who are around long enough, OBAMA'S whole campaign is ONE BIG LIE. He will not be able to deliver real change like he is promising given his limited political experience, he has no history of crossing party lines, and his plans to fix our nation's problems contain much more rhetoric than detail. So why is everyone so hopped up on this guy? I think the answer is simple, his message of hope is inspiring to people who want to believe in something great (and who don't know better than to look for the smoke and mirrors). Obama supporters vote with their heart while Hillary supporters vote with their head. Which will be more likely to fix our economy? Which would be more likely to get us out of the war in Iraq? Which will be more likely to give Americans affordable and better healthcare? I rest my case. Obama supporters are hating on the Clintons because the Obama dream that they have bought has them brainwashed from seeing the reality that Hillary is the better candidate – they simply don't want to see it.

    Vote Smart, Vote Hillary!!!

    May 26, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  4. Sandy

    58 year old white ladies...just for the record, get it right. Hillary won Texas!!!!!She will take Puerto rico and montana too.

    May 26, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  5. D.

    Maybe they were booing her since she fell off the being neutral train.

    May 26, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  6. Venus

    That's great! One guy to boo Obama?

    I guess she needs that for her ego!

    Watch – after she wins she will ask for more money!

    This show down is great! Obama will get the last two!

    Go Bam!

    May 26, 2008 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  7. mya

    OBAMA for President!!!!

    May 26, 2008 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  8. gp

    She is poisones

    May 26, 2008 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  9. Jim

    Hillary is just so doublespeak. Stay in Puerto Rico... PLEASE... PLEASE... PLEASE. Obama baby... President Obama.... mmm mmm can't wait.

    May 26, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  10. Jpat

    she seems to have many of the hispanic vote...hopefully obama can pull off a win, or lose by a small margin.

    Obama '08

    May 26, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  11. Deborah

    well, Hillary is doing what she wants...divide the Democratic Party. If she can't be President then her next goal is to destroy it. It's amazing that the Democratic Party is sitting by just watching.

    May 26, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  12. jason

    not at all divisive. she isn't wrecking the party for her own interests. who ever accused her of such a thing? what were you thinking?

    May 26, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  13. Morgan

    "In the NEWSWEEK Poll, participants were asked to answer questions on a variety of race-related topics including racial preferences, interracial marriage, attitudes toward social welfare and general attitudes toward African-Americans. Respondents were grouped according to their answers on a "Racial Resentment Index." Among white Democrats with a low Racial Resentment Index rating, Obama beat McCain in a hypothetical match-up 78 percent to 17 percent. That is virtually identical to Clinton's margin in the category, 79 percent to 13 percent. But among white Democrats with high scores on the Racial Resentment Index, the picture was very different: Obama led McCain by only 18 points (51 to 33) while Clinton maintained a much larger 59-point lead (78 to 18).
    Who exactly are these high Racial Resentment Index voters? A majority, 61 percent, have less than a four-year college education, many are older (44 percent were over the age of 60 compared to just 18 percent under the age of 40) and nearly half (46 percent) live in the South."

    May 26, 2008 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  14. victor

    keep trying grandma !!! you aint getting the nomination , u r a liar .. Go Obama 08 and 012

    May 26, 2008 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  15. Nando

    She can win PR buy 90 percent and she is still going home JUNE 3RD.

    May 26, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  16. Michelle, Indiana

    Candoo – What you Hillary supporters seem to forget is that IF and that's a big IF she steals (yes, I said steals and it wasn't a misspeak on my part either) this nomination, you people need us even worse than we need you. It will be Obama '08 or McSame '08.

    May 26, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  17. Hollis

    Hillary voters continue to show they could care less about her issues by their willingness to jump to McCain who she herself says is the total opposite of her on the issues. It's either a female thing or a fad or both or they would not even consider abandoning the things she has worked so hard for and believes in. Sad legacy for her.

    May 26, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  18. Jessica, GA

    After George Bush's 8yrs failed policy of "no child left behind". Mr President, your policies have left Senator Clinton behind. We need to start teaching Maths and Arts to students and others.

    May 26, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  19. Wayne, Atlanta

    I am almost afraid to say it but Sen. Hillary & Bill Clinton have already poisoned the water. For what ever reason, every speech they make is a denouncement of Sen. Obama and a pitch at how much they have been mistreated. Think for a moment, none of the tactics used were even in the air when there was still some doubt about which way the tide would turn. Sen Obama has not stooped to low blows. Though I believe he has had very right to. A person in Sen Obama's position would not have been allowed to stoop so low. And a lot of you know exactly what I mean.

    May 26, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  20. Tom Gorham

    I am a 57 year old man, life-long Democrat, former local union president, who once said I would die before voting for a Republican. I voted for John Kerry for President. And one year ago, I was ready and willing to vote for Obama. I even told my disbelieving relatives and friends that he would be our next President. Now I firmly believe that Obama and the Democratic Party has abdicated its right to my vote. I am appalled that any party would not recognize all the votes of all the people. You can punish the Democratic party in Florida and Michigan if you like, but you cannot disenfranchise their voters. I refuse to accept that under any circumstances. Every vote counts!

    The media and the Democratic Party has abandoned the democratic process in more ways than one. They have been calling for the end of the nominating process for months... even before the large midwest states of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, West Virginia, and Kentucky had a chance to vote. I have always considered myself a liberal. Now I am a disenfranchised liberal because I refuse to vote in a fixed race. Hillary Clinton has been railroaded out of the race and her husband, former PRESIDENT Bill Clinton has been insulted and humiliated. It is unprecedented in my lifetime. I remember when conventions decided the candidate. I remember when the process went on until it was finished. Obama supporters claim a legacy from John Kennedy, but I remember a cliff-hanger nominating process in 1960. I switched from Obama to Clinton months ago when I saw what was happening. Don't think I will switch back again.

    I've already had doubts about voting Democratic due to immigration issues. I firmly believe illegal immigrants should be returned to their home country and that employers who knowingly hire them should be sent to jail. The border should be secured and illegal immigrants, drug pushers, and terrorists should be kept out. Stop putting our country at risk! An Obama/Richardson ticket is the end in November. Democrats will have conceded to McBush.

    And so I have resolved that Americans deserve four more years of pain. I will either sit out this election or vote for McBush. When the
    Democrats count on their base to support them, they should realize they have abandoned their base; those who believe in democracy, freedom, and individual liberty.

    May 26, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  21. RB

    I am surprised CNN hasn't been gotten all over Obama after having a photo op with the Governor of Puerto Rico, who is accused by the US Department of Justice of 19 counts of corruption.

    May 26, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  22. Susie

    Well, the Puerto Ricans who saw Obama as a johnny come lately sure were right on. We can only hope this flash in the pan doesn't ruin the country. Hillary is the better choice!

    Hillary '08!

    May 26, 2008 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  23. Joe from NC

    Why does PR count and the Caucus states don't

    May 26, 2008 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  24. punish STATE, NOT VOTERS

    actually obama got boo-ed in Miami why isnt the media talking about that?

    he lied to get the votes he has. now all hte polls showing Clinton is the favorite for the General Election.

    how can obama claim to have the lead if it only includes 48 States?
    that's stealing an election.

    DNC needs to punish the STATE, NOT THE VOTERS. take away $$ from the State Party, not the right of the voters

    May 26, 2008 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  25. Josh Henderson

    The fact that Hillary is pulling out sexism, and let me ask you all something, isnt weird to have the only President in the past get cough in a extra marital affair talking about sexism. The fact of matter Clinton Supporters, and I a neutral here, is that the fact remains, it is never good when a candidate has to come back on stage to beg for denotations. She has ran a crappy campagin, she wasnt prepared for after Super Tuesday, and that is why she lost 13 in a row. West Virgina and Kentucky, were people voting for Bill, the Clinton brand is very popular in those areas. Obama hasnt been perfect by no strech, but with the POLITICAL SCIENCE degree that I earned, the fact is his campagin has overtaken the world with his message. And Hillary just didnt find it till its too late. So the important thing is that we come together and get the republicans out of office.

    May 26, 2008 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
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