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. Jerry

    You got it all wrong. Puerto Rico is NOT for Obama, nor will it ever be. Only a few feel-good, turn-coat politicians on the Island support Senator Obama. Most Islanders have been with Senator Clinton all along.

    Whether we live in Puerto Rico or the states, we all know that Senator Clinton is the best choice for the future of Puerto Rico. Puerto Ricans are not too partial to the "Teflon" that the media and his supporters have coated Senator Obama with. Puerto Rican are more partial to wood charcoal, or just open flames, rather than Teflon.

    Riqueños, don't allow yourselves to be fooled by Senator Obama's rhetoric.

    May 26, 2008 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  2. sf94127

    Obama is very divisive; that may not be obvious to a lot of people.

    To take my meaning look at the postings on the Huffington Post, a blog published by Arianna Huffington. The HP supports Obama 110% even though theu have no official endorsement. They viciously slander and malign both McCain and Hillary. If you dare to post a contrarian view on Obama you will flamed. Its just rhetoric and vitriol but it gives you an idea. The Obama-maniacs hate Hillary X10 more then McCain. They figure McCain is a non-issue, he will be easily swept aside because "no one in their right minds would vote for McCain"

    I am disappointed CNN has Arianna Huffington on from time to time. She is a vicious, biased woman. A few years ago she was ultra right wing, now she is ultra left wing.

    I laugh when I see Obama people post CNN is the "Clinton News Network"; most of the supposedly unbiased CNN contributors are clearly pro-Obama. CNN needs to be neutral to have credibility.

    May 26, 2008 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  3. Reality check

    I’d like to know what the DNC and the Superdelegates are sniffing if they think after June 3, all Democrats are going to hug and hold hands and sing Kumbaya behind the eventual nominee. The Clinton’s are TEARING the Democratic party APART. This is turning into a farce. Puerto Rico can't even vote in the general election.

    Good Lord, I might give my vote to McCain because I’m beginning to not care WHICH one gets it!

    May 26, 2008 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  4. Michigan for Obama

    Don't fall for it PR! Hillary is like a chameleon, changing her colors as she moves from state to state (to territory...) She doesn't care about you, she only cares about your vote. Don't be fooled the way WV was, you're smarter than that! And super delegates should be looking at the way she is trying to bring Obama down, leading the crowd to boo him.

    May 26, 2008 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  5. Luis

    Well this Puerto Rican is an Obama supporter all the way. I really hate how the media portrays all hispanic voters are for Clinton. Obama has white, black, asian and HISPANIC voters that support him.

    OBAMA 08!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    SI SE PUEDE!!!!

    May 26, 2008 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  6. jnc06

    "She's a divisive politician." Does anybody else see the problem with that statement? Politics and divisiveness go hand-in-hand. You can't sit there and tell me that they aren't because there will ALWAYS be disagreements in politics. ALWAYS.

    I don't care if Obama was purple, he doesn't need to be running this country. He's going to be learning things the hard way when he gets into office and that's not something this country needs right now. Give him another term in the senate to get his foreign policy act together and then let him run again later on. I think he'll be an excellent candidate for president in the future, but not right now.

    Mark my words: If McCain gets voted into the presidency because of the whole "experience" factor, we'll have another draft on our hands. Look at it – he's so pro-military, we won't be able to pull out of Iraq anytime soon (even after Bush is out of office), and our military resources are being stretched so thin right now.

    Whether we like it or not, there will be ignorant people out there that vote for McCain over Obama just because Obama is black. We can't change it. While there are aspects of both democratic candidates that I don't like, I'll take experience any day of the week. That's what employers do; that's the way our society works. That's the way it should work. She's qualified for the position, way more than Obama. Like I said: give Obama at least one more term in the Senate, and he'll be a better candidate. Until then, Obama supporters should be prepared for some Clinton supporters to switch to McCain (though, I can tell you right now, I will not).

    May 26, 2008 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  7. sandra

    Excellent! Divide and conquer – I'm sure Mrs. Clinton must be happy. She is doing a great job did helping Republicans.
    In every State she is she says is one of them. What is she going to say now: Yo soy boriqua, boriqua de corazón?

    May 26, 2008 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  8. H




    May 26, 2008 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  9. Richard

    The most amazing thing to me is that in spite of the constant baiting that the Clinton campaign has done, Obama always takes the high road. Sometimes I think he's too much of a gentleman. And regarding all the promises Hillary is making to Puerto Ricans, when she goes back to being a junior senator she will have time to work on them. Think she will still care about Puerto Rico then? BTW, I'm from New York and Hillary promised us 200,000 new jobs if elected to the Senate.... we're still waiting.

    May 26, 2008 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  10. HerbG - New Jersey

    This is directed at Proud American –

    if you were as proud as your screen name, you'd be upset that Obama never mentioned the military in his commencement speech at Wesleyan, Yes, he suggested that the graduates serve their country, but not in a military capacity. Why that omission ? Wesleyan is a very liberal university. Had he mentioned the military, he would have heard a round of boos unklike any heard before. So Proud American, on this weekend of remembering the one millinon men andwomen who made the supreme sacrifice covering all our wars so that we can enjoy life, why couldn't Obama have said simply, On this Memorial Day weekend,let's take a moment to drop our hearts and say a silent thank you for those that lost their lives for our freedom. Instead of all that we are about to vote as our next President a man who married a woman who is not proud of our country. You call that good judgement ?

    May 26, 2008 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  11. Edgar

    All of you nut case – Obama supporters will regret every comment against Hillary you wait and see especially when she wins the popular vote. Has anyone seen Rev. Wright?

    May 26, 2008 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  12. Canada

    Lincoln, Kennedy, and now Obama – The only way the USA can ever hope to regain respect within the world community.

    May 26, 2008 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  13. Jim

    If you want 4 more years of W., vote for Hillary. She is just like him, totally dishonest.

    May 26, 2008 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  14. 45 white male in PA

    HilLIARy please stay in PR. the USA does not want you are the weakest link...good-bye

    May 26, 2008 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  15. Ken

    After reading some of the comments here, I have come to the mind that there are a lot of Barack Hussein Obama supporters that are afraid that Hillary Clinton is going to beat him to the nominee of the Democrat party.

    ALL of those that are asking or saying that Hillary has lost and should get out, are truly the dumb ones that are afraid and know that people have said that they want Hillary Clinton as the nominee, for they also know that only Hillary Clinton will be able to beat McCain in November,

    Barack Hussein Obama DOES NOT have what it takes to be a President. He lacks the talent, skills, knowledge and experience to make it happen.

    The Puerto Rico people will let the world know on June 1 that they want Hillary Clinton to become the Democrat Nominee and NOT Barack Hussein Obama! The people also know that if by some chance that Barack Hussein Obama ends up being the nominee, that he WILL NOT be able to beat McCain in November, so then McCain will be our President.

    That is why we ALL need to get behind Hillary Clinton and push her over the finish line, so she will be our NEXT PRESIDENT!

    May 26, 2008 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  16. jim

    These are the people you just can't see a woman coming up. This is America! Land of the fittest. She should be able to compete till the end. What is your problem – scared that she will winnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn??

    May 26, 2008 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  17. Jack Kao

    Obama pretends that he is Uniter.
    Look at this boad so many hatre comments
    from his supports, you can tell how
    he devide us to get himself elected!

    He is just another politician skill at politics.
    People have been fooled so many times!

    May 26, 2008 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  18. cpljoeb from NC


    What road runs through Puerto Rico to the White House? Where is your family from in Puerto Rico?


    May 26, 2008 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  19. judy

    Wah, wah, it's a cover-up or conspiracy. How about Clinton is a poor candidate running a poor campaign? Throw in a husband that obviously hopes she loses, or he just makes stupid comments. She's hurting her party's chances with her selfishness. If Obama loses in Nov., thank Hillary.

    May 26, 2008 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  20. Sandra

    It's amazing what you can get if your husband pardons Puerto Rican extremists while you are about to run your first Senate campaign in New York. Good value!

    May 26, 2008 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  21. kelly WI

    Amazing....for 16 years the dems have thought, the Clintons were the best thing in the world. Now, an empty suit comes along and they demonize the Clintons.
    I don't vote on emotions, gender or color. I vote on my money. I don't want to be taxed to debt. Obama is rated the most lefty liberal in the Senate. You might want to go check out how he got there in the first place. I am waiting for the Rezko trail and Larry Sinclair. Be that as it may, I would never vote for him. I wonder who would be his v.p. Farrakan? Wright? Who in his cabinet? Sharpton and Cindy Sheehan.?
    By the electoral map either Hillary or McCain would beat Ob.
    The Supers will make the decision and choose another loser. Good.

    May 26, 2008 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  22. jim t

    hillary and family – you guys disgust american people, get out of

    politics – you bunch of liers

    May 26, 2008 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  23. Tyrone

    Brian in Trinidad,

    Hillary's supporters hates oBama's guts and tha's all that will count in the general, if he makes it that far.

    May 26, 2008 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  24. dtaylor

    The Clintons have really lost it. I use to be such a huge fan of both Clintons but my impression of them has changed drastically. I have lost alot of respect for both of them. To imply there is some major cover up to keep Hilary from the nomination is ridiculous. And for those that imply the media and DNC are all trying to "give" Obama the nomination is insane. Hilary has far more superdeletes in the beginning which to me implies the DNC was very much in her favor.

    All the people talking about polls showing Clinton is more electable than Obama over McCain in the general election..what does it really mean? She was also far ahead of Obama in the polls before the primaries started and all indications was she would be the presumptive nominee after Feb 5th..but we see the polls is not what determines election results.

    There is lots of negative comments on blogs by supports of both candidates..its not just Obama's or just Clinton's...but anyone that is basing their vote on what a candidates supports post on a blog are not being responsible voters. As much as I have lost alot of respect for the Clintons, I would still hold my nose and vote for her if she was the is very hard for to me understand how a Clinton supporter would rather vote for McCain over Obama just because he beat Clinton for the nomination. Obama didn't make the rules, he only played by them...didn't try to change them when he got behind. So don't blame him for how the systems is set up...

    May 26, 2008 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  25. mama coo

    So Obama fans are saying negative things about people booing Obama. I wonder what they said when Shelia Jackson Lee was booed at the Texas Convention at at least two different venues. No mention of that but this merits all sorts of negative responses. What goes around comes around. Obama fans should get use to it. People have learned by their example.

    May 26, 2008 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
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