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. Brian Knoxville, TN

    Barry Bam Bam and the Tiny Bamas.

    I love it.

    All you Hillary haters call yourselves Democrats? Have you people completely lost your minds, or are you so clueless about what has been going on the past 20 years in this country that you don't even know how stupid you all sound?

    HILLARY CLINTON '08 & '12

    May 26, 2008 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  2. indent

    I'm just not sure we are ready to listen another stubborn, non quiting Washington insider for the next four to eight years on may be enough.

    May 26, 2008 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  3. James

    Clinton or McCain ? wow what planet are you on. Obama or Clinton...more like it, unless we want a 16 year old brain in a 70 year old body for president be my guest, wouldnt surprise me, nothing would at this point. But McCain people....come on...

    May 26, 2008 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  4. Dmitriy

    Where is Judas? He even went against the votes of his state. When Hillary won New Mexico he wanted to appease Hussein and endorced him, or maybe his wife, who said "for the first time in my adult life I am proud of America"

    May 26, 2008 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  5. Anne from Canada

    I am from Canada an following this very closely. Lived 10 years in the USA (legally), so I feel american t.oo. Here goes. since it will most probably not be posted, but I need to vent here.
    Folks, this is serious business, not American Idol. Hillary IS the most electable and qualified, in fact the only electable of democrats since some other good potential runners dropped early. I had some respect for Edwards although I did not feel he could commend the country in the mess it's in now and really was chocked when he went for Obama.
    You want change? if you buy new furniture for your house what do you do first? Clean the old stuff out first. Hillary is the only one that can do this. Obama can rule the world with his ponpous attitude when it's all cleaned up. In 2016

    Wake up americans. Do you really want 4 more years of Bush?
    Canada wants Hillary. We need and miss our friends from the south. Bush thinks we all live in igloos. And we promis we'll get read of our canadian moron in power in the next election.

    YEA!!! for universal health care.

    May 26, 2008 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  6. Ken Horowitz

    Hans- The primary in Puerto Rico is relevant to us, at least, since we're American citizens who can go off and die in Iraq but can't vote for or against the person who sends us there. It's the only participation we're allowed in the presidential process, and until the U.S. makes up its mind about what to do with us – because what is considered a viable status option and what isn't changes every four years – we'll have to sit on the sidelines and hope America decides to finally tackle the issue it's largely ignored for more than a century.

    May 26, 2008 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |

    TO: Belle May 26th, 2008 5:08 pm ET
    i can't believe you strung that many words together just to say you won't won't for Obama. get a life Belle. Obama wa fine before this election and will be fine after.

    May 26, 2008 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  8. Chris, Middletown, CT

    Simple....Clinton are a gullible....whats wrong with HRC supporters....maybe literacy programs would help

    May 26, 2008 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  9. DanceKerr

    It is so UNAMERCIAN that the democratic voters of FL & MI are not being allowed to have their votes counted. So wrong AND WHY? An Early VOTING DATE CHANGE!

    May 26, 2008 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  10. PuertoRican from PR

    Wow. Every time I think the US has progressed, I’m brought back to reality. “These people”, “they no speak English”, “why do they even get to vote, they don’t have to follow Federal law”.
    Some truths from a Puerto Rican living in Puerto Rico:
    1. although we cannot vote in the general election, we have a federal court in PR
    2. Puerto Ricans in PR are heavily recruited into the US ARMY. (hence, Puerto Ricans are fighting a war for a President they don’t even get to vote for).
    3. Federal employees who work in PR have to file federal tax returns, but cannot vote in the general election. (meaning, taxation without representation).
    4. If you were able to see the news here, you would know we are not buying any of it, from either candidate.

    May 26, 2008 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  11. Matt

    Puerto ricans should help the democratic party put a end to Hillary uselless race for presidency and vote for the candidate that have already WON! BRACK OBAMA
    si se puede!

    May 26, 2008 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  12. Dave in Pa

    I am looking forward to the day the day when Hillary and all her supportors come to the understanding that they LOST. Obama is far the only potential candidate to be President. The Clintons are finished stealing, lying, and covering up their rotten lifestyles.
    Time for Change. Obama all the way!!!

    May 26, 2008 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  13. Rhonda

    I find it ironic that former president Clinton would bring up the subject of disrespect for his wife when he committed the ultimate throwing of her under the bus during his episodes with the female intern blowing on his Lewinsky's harmonica.

    May 26, 2008 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  14. Susan=====NC

    Hillary you have fought a good fight so far and I hope that you don't give up now. You have the poise, good communication, nice to the people and if need be get to there level, sitting at the cafe and talking and sitting in homes and talking shows how humble you are. CNN have not treated you right at all==they have covered OB and McCain and seem to push you to the side. I get so tired of Blitzer I could scream, with all his pushing OB., maybe he wants to be VP for OB, the problem is he will not win-YOU ARE THE ONE FOR THE WINNING TICKET! It will come down to you an McCain. OB is so rude and you have not made any statement that the citizens of my age understand, those who don't shows that they were not born yet. It kills me to hear OB talk about the war and what he is going to do when he never served in any branch of the service. He could have joined, he loves talking about his grandfather and also how he grew up with a single mother. He is not the only one that had hard times coming up but we don't air our laundry in public. JUST DON'T GIVE UP, I WORKED FOR YOU IN NC AND YOU ARE ON THE RIGHT TRACK. you have votes here, it is beyond me why you did not carry this state, but we shall see in Nov. BEST OF LUCK TO YOU AS YOU CONTINUE YOUR HARD WORK.WHAT I WOULD GIVE TO BE IN WASHINGTON WHEN YOU ARE SWORN IN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

    May 26, 2008 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  15. Sexy

    Clinton Supporter, you need to get your education dummy. Puerto Rico can't vote in the general election. You have listen to Bill and Hillary lies so much to you are confused.

    May 26, 2008 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  16. Oh La

    Whats a few hundred people booing Obama, when you have a nation Booing Clinton.

    May 26, 2008 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  17. 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 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  18. Jim



    May 26, 2008 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  19. HillaryBoy

    HAHA that's funny. Puerto Rico know who is better. Yeah, Boo Obama the white racist hater. Obama is such a fake sugar coating everything he says that will never happen. He would never get the funds. Hillary=Cool, Obama= A Joke.

    May 26, 2008 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  20. Jean

    Armon in Dallas

    The color of Mr. Obama's skin is NOT a deciding factor for my decision not to vote for him. That vote is being decided by his pathetic lack of experience, his lack of any ideas to implement the "change" he boasts of, his questionable belief in America, and the thought he should get what he wants when he wants it.

    The fact he sat under the rantings of his former pastor for twenty some years and says he didn't know Rev. Wright's stand on hate of America proves that he lies. Then there is Michelle. –Oh, please, we want to be president of the United States now. Does it matter that she was never proud of her country until Barack started winning?

    I will not vote for him because he is elitist and, yes, he would be as a deer caught in the country's headlights if he is elected. He will have no idea what to do first, next, or last.

    GO-o-o-o-o-o-o-o Hillary.

    May 26, 2008 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  21. Nia

    I wonder if Bill is going to call this story a cover up?! oh and this statment is intresting:
    "The former president said his wife has long been dedicated to Puerto Rican issues."
    The same way they are dedicated to African Americans, or Asian Americans, etc....

    May 26, 2008 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  22. informed voter


    It is sooo funny that some of Hillary's supporters prove here just what tv pundits say about them! Some of you want to vote for her soo badly, but you seem unable to even spell her name!!!!!

    May 26, 2008 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  23. yes we can

    I've finally figured out whar HRC stands for "Her Royal C_NT"
    Please do the world a big favor and just get lost !!!

    P.S. dont forget to take your husband with you.

    May 26, 2008 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  24. kmd4104

    HILLARY or BUST 2008!!!!

    N"OBAMA, NO WAY!!!!

    May 26, 2008 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  25. linda canada

    puerto rico please honor clinton and give her a big win !from canada

    May 26, 2008 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
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