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

Clinton rallies union in Puerto Rico

[cnn-photo-caption image= 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. mike

    Jim, Never Obama, and all the rest of you,

    I just love it when HRC supporters accuse Obama of playing dirty, and lying and attacking senator Clinton, like she's the one getting beat up all the time. COME ON. SERIOUSLY.

    The truth is that he has made an honest attempt to elevate the level of discourse, and unfortunately, some supporters on either side have shown how difficult that can be. I'm also amazed at the rationale that says a victory over another democrat in a primary equals a victory for that democrat over McCain in November. Wake up. voter turnout has doubled the republican turnout in some cases. relax, get over your loss, lick your wounds and fight for your country. Stop being hysterical and bitter.

    May 26, 2008 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  2. T

    Pastor Hagee needs to destroy Hillary under Catholic supervision.
    She has seriously compromised herself, the political process and the belief that Black Americans have the same chance as this women has without her drinking, lying and deceptions that she has demonstrated.
    We cannot forgive her with this type of dung campaigning.

    May 26, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  3. HSU

    People who boo are losers. They boo because they know they lost and they don't know what else to do. Besides what right do they have to boo, they don't even pay federal tax.

    May 26, 2008 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  4. LucieLee

    When is Clinton going to hold that Union guy that introduced her to account for being misleading against Barack Obama? he had very constructive meetings with voters in PR. One with veterans and a parade-rally. While Barack was talking substance, Hillary was whining. Hillary get it through your head, if you can. It's over darling~!!

    May 26, 2008 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  5. jonny

    Puerto Rico isn't even part of the USA. They shouldn't be part of any US election. I am Canadian. Can I vote? My vote is for Obama!

    May 26, 2008 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  6. rufus roach

    The Clintons are destroying the democrat...shame on them who we taught was for all people..they are they one playing the race card..

    May 26, 2008 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  7. Dealt

    "Si, si puede" was not co-opted by the Obama campaign as you wrote in the text. Rather, it was the other way round. Check your facts. It was Obama, who first used the rally cry "Yes, we can".

    May 26, 2008 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  8. jade

    this is just getting sicker and sicker. Let them vote for whoever they want but it's unfair that they can't even vote in the general election. Hopefully they will vote for the right one.
    Obama 08

    May 26, 2008 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  9. Anonymous

    Hilliary can stay as long as she wants to stay in Puerto Rico....she has Bill campaigning for her full time......she has Chelsea campaigning for her full time......and Barack has Barack......he can only be at one place at a time.......sounds like Hiliary has a competitive advantage......enough said.....

    May 26, 2008 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  10. Independent-Cuban-American-woman-voter-for-Obama

    If Puerto Ricans are reading this, I hope you will consider voting for Sen. Obama over Hillary. Here is why;

    The war. With all of her experience and the wisdom that should come from it, she VOTED FOR THE WAR.

    Our nation is in debt, mostly because of the war, $10 TRILLION and counting!


    May 26, 2008 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  11. USA4real

    I know that we are all Americans as long as we protect this great Country buy Hillary is giving us a preview what's to come if she is elected. The delegates and backers can't be wrong. I've been to the rally for Clinton and a recent rally for Obama. Hillary does not care for afro-americans, jewish-americans, or hispanic-american she's all about race and skin color – you should hear what the don't post – come on Americans fulfill our forefathers dreamsand make the right choice.

    May 26, 2008 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  12. punish STATE, NOT VOTERS

    i dont care who you are or who you are backing. you just MUST give Hillary Rodham Clinton respect!

    obama has all this money, all these inside superdelegates, all these endorsements on his side and this woman is still right on his tail!!!

    THAT TAKES A LEADER!!! the only winning obama is getting now is from inside indivuduals, not the PEOPLE OF AMERICA.... that means the tide has shifted in a huge way from him and the people who voted for him early on will not do so the second time around.

    May 26, 2008 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  13. Bob, Greeneville, Tennessee

    Did Hillary and Bill ever return all the furniture and art that they stole from the White House? Has Hillary ever mentioned if she's going to charge the same rates to the high rollers that Bill did for overnight stays in the White House? Is Hillary's brother still in jail? Can Hillary give a speech without saying "ya know"? What happened to the gas tax holiday,Hillary, oh....just another meaningless ploy to the hard working blue collar folks?

    May 26, 2008 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  14. karen, Canada

    Some one in comments above mentioned a Clinton trial vs Paul, why has the media not covered this? Are they waiting for after the election?


    May 26, 2008 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  15. matt

    i am saddened when i see people post "clinton or mccain, no other option," or some variation on that phrase. the woman herself will undoubtedly support obama when he receives the nomination and their policies are nearly identical. it shocks me to see the shortsightedness that exists in some americans political ideals.

    May 26, 2008 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  16. Tim

    Obama supporters!!. I call on all of you to end the negative comments. Let's agree that our response to all the Tickers for the next three primaries will show a unified front. Let's simply post the following.

    Obama 08/12!!!

    May 26, 2008 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  17. Democrats for Obama

    I think that the Idea of Bill and Hillary running for governor of Puerto Rico is an excellent suggestion and they could take with them the good people of West Virgina, Kentucky and Arkansas.

    May 26, 2008 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  18. Tina

    To candoo – as a republican your total stupidty makes me absolutly happy. I am glad you see McCain = Clinton. We need your vote. We voted for Clinton on primary because if there is any chance for our candidate – it is a Cinton – McCain match up.

    So come on – change party and vote for Mccainl. You are not a demecorat any way. so vote with us for McCain

    May 26, 2008 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  19. punish STATE, NOT VOTERS

    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.
    they saw what obama was.... that was more than enough

    May 26, 2008 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  20. Clinton=corrupt

    During his term, President Clinton ignored 3226 applications for clemency yet had seen fit to pardon 11 Peurto Rican FALN terrorists and five Macheteros who had been serving prison sentences in the United States. FALN performed 120 terrorist bombings in the United States in which many Americans were killed and many more were crippled. FALN did not request this pardon and a number of them actually refused it. The Puerto Rican terrorist group known as the Macheteros, attacked and robbed a Wells Fargo armored car in Connecticut. The Macheteros intended to use the money to finance a terrorist campaign against the United States.

    During the Vietnam War, Clinton gave active support to the Viet Cong - who were also terrorists. Clinton also gave his support to the Marxist-Leninist dictatorship of Ho Chi Minh. Writing to ROTC Director Eugene Holmes in December 1969, Clinton admitted to working for a Communist front organization, the Vietnam Moratorium. Clinton acknowledged, "One of the national organizers of the Vietnam Moratorium is a close friend of mine. After I left Arkansas last summer, I went to Washington to work in the national headquarters of the Moratorium, then to England to organize Americans for the demonstrations of Oct. 15 and Nov. 16."

    Also, remember Marc Rich, in 1983, Marc Rich was charged with conducting the largest tax evasion scheme in U.S. history. Clinton rationalized the pardon on the fact that Marc Rich’s guilt lay in the importation of Iraqi oil, thus a pardon would promote the peace process in the Middle East. This pardon had no peaceful impact in the Middle East, especially because Israel lobbied for the pardon of a different man.

    May 26, 2008 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  21. Peter E

    And so the feigning-outrage-fest begins. When Hillary does something it is interpreted as 'destroying the democratic party.' When Obama and his supporters do the same thing it is interpreted as bringing about 'hope and change.'
    Obama's campaign is fueled by the same kind of blind mentality among the people that sank the nomination of Howard Dean in 2004: parroting media talking points that were seeded by the republican attack machine. This time, against Hillary.
    It is ironic that the same democrats who at that time rejected an agent of change as too 'radical' now rally around one who is supposed to represent such a 'change.' What's common? They still keep parroting the republican talking points.

    May 26, 2008 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  22. Susie

    The Obama supporters are so bad to bash Hillary. Don't be so harsh.

    All our family & friends are for Hillary.

    She is for ALL the people, experienced and a fighter.

    She will be a good president.

    Hillary 08!

    May 26, 2008 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  23. liar, liar, pants on fire

    So what they booed at the mention of Obama. Obama supporters did the same thing when Obama was making supporting comments of Hillary, but you (CNN) didn't make it news headlines. What a crock!

    May 26, 2008 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  24. jmarie

    Now I just laugh.

    Can we give her a little city soemwhere that she can serve as President-for-Life? She is really out of touch.

    Hijacking the Obama line for her to use as a mockery is just one step lower.

    She could not beat McCain even if she somehow changed every rule of logic and physics to unfairly commandeer the DNC nomination.

    The country's attitude changed over the last 8 years, and we're smarter. Smart enough send her packing.

    May 26, 2008 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  25. granforchange

    As a Latina for Obama, I am sure Puerto Rico will do the right thing and vote for Obama!! This Woman does NOT speak ONE word of Spanish, let alone Understand Our Culture,,, Keep in Mind this Woman in Her Home State of New York, denied Undocumented workers the right to get driver Licenses !!! The ONLY Thing this Woman has to offer is FALSE HOPE AND PROMISES FOR YOUR VOTE.. DO YOU REALLY THINK SHE WILL VIST YOUR BEAUTIFUL ISLAND ONCE THE ELECTION IS OVER?? WITH OR WITH OUR YOUR HELP, OBAMA WILL BE OUR NEXT PRESIDENT.. SI SE PUEDE, VIVA OBAMA.... !!

    May 26, 2008 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
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