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. Anne35

    WHO really CARES!!!

    Puerto Rico cant vote in the General elections anyways.

    Do the people over there even know that the primary race is OVER.

    If i was Barack i would have gone over there too great vacation spot

    and spot and good beaches.

    May 26, 2008 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  2. C Spurgeon

    Don't bother moderating my comments. I am not interested in participating in this kind of atmosphere.

    May 26, 2008 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  3. Woman for Obama

    Its funny how Sen. Clinton can stir up mess, but Obama gets labeled as divisive. I formally supported Clinton, but I am so disappointed at the way she has run her campaign. She seems to be a really horrible person

    May 26, 2008 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  4. Woman for Obama

    Clinton supporter – you are the dummie. Puerto Rico is a commonwealth of the United States and not a state. They can not vote in the general election!

    May 26, 2008 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  5. carmen

    FYI – Carrie Sean Si se puede was stolen from the hispanics, they chant this during immigration marches, {obama is not intitled to everything its a universal chant. but of course obama supporters think they own the world. because they are guilted into voting for a fraud! the truth will be revealed 5 days before the convention, OBAMA THE FRAUD WAIT AND SEE!!!!

    May 26, 2008 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  6. peggyledbetter

    Hillary is a loser! My friends in California said they need to recount the votes there....because Hillary owe lots of money to the Colleges there which she left behind a large sum of debt. How in the world can she answer a phone at 3:00am, when she can't answer debt collector calls in California and pay the outstanding balances owed. Bill the next time you open your mouth to say their picking on my wife??? Just shut up and start writing those past due bills out!!!!!!!

    May 26, 2008 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  7. Aravind Sloan

    To tell you the truth, neither of the candidates running are good candidates. We have to pick the lesser of the two evils. Who has more electablity against the McCain? Second, we have to look at the social construct of this country. America is not ready for a female president, nor is it ready for a president of color. Who ever wins the nomination has to defeat the republicans. Does it matter if it is Clinton or Obama? All we need is a democrat in office. I for one can not take another four years of Republican domination in America. Its just sicken how they have ran this country down.

    May 26, 2008 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  8. Tom Borger

    "Si se puede" was co-opted by Obama supporters? Are you kidding me? Si se puede means "Yes We Can" in Spanish. It was "co-opted" by Hillary supporters who are depressed they didn't have David Axelrod to come up with a catchy slogan of their own.

    May 26, 2008 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  9. Ray

    "Soba, Clifton, NJ May 26th, 2008 10:00 pm ET
    Clinton Supporter May 26th, 2008 5:21 pm ET
    Hello! Puerto Ricans CAN vote in the general election, dummies.

    – Puerto Ricans living in the United States can vote in the general election

    May 26, 2008 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  10. Billy

    "...although there was some debate among reporters whether she stumbled over the word “podemos.”"

    Really? Are you serious? Is that the best you can report? I think some 'reporters' need to get lives and start thinking about other issues (oh, maybe their own!), not whether someone can pronounce a word precisely from another language.

    May 26, 2008 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  11. patrick

    Well the last poll had her up by 13% in Puerto Rico....

    Boriquen, as a fellow islander i plead to you to give the vote to Barack Obama.

    Who better can understand your plights and struggles other than another person of island heritage??

    The only thing Hilary will remember is No se puede after you give her the vote and wait for results.

    May 26, 2008 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  12. cpljoeb from NC

    Here we go...stop fighting amongst each other, your worse than CHILDREN. This election is over. The winner is GOD, he knows all, he knows who the winner is and whoever that person he wants in will win, no matter what we post here or what the polls say. So go ahead and make fools of yourselvers because it is his will and his way.

    May 26, 2008 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  13. Marcus

    What I find funny about all these posts is the Latino support of Hillary. I know most of these posts are made by Mexicans and not people of the Caribbean. Just a side bar 80% of Puerto Ricans have African ancestary. See Wikipedia. The Caribbean islands........ like most of them consist of people who are called " Hispanic" but their ancestors are from Africa: Dominican Republic, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Aruba, Trindad and Tobago. That's why the polls can't accurately guage the "Latino" voters. I doubt she'll win by double digits that's very unrealistic considering Puerto Ricans so closely identify with African American culture. Besides the polls are only counting those who have the money to have purchased phones and they are only counting land lines. Most Puerto Ricans are poor and don't spend so much time at home. I can't wait to see these Hillary supporters spin this when Hillary is crushed in a U.S. territory.
    She's spending so much time slicing and dicing people because she's so unpopular that she has not appropriately sliced and diced the Latino community. Every Latino is not brown and Mexican. Latinos are: black, white, asian....anyone living in Latin America.

    May 26, 2008 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  14. patrick

    @ Belle,

    your ignorant and proofless comments make me want to vomit. How in the hell is Obama to blame for Hilary destroying her campaign??

    Take a few dayz if you need to to think about this one?

    May 26, 2008 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  15. Chooch

    The media, of which CNN is included, have reported on several occasions that O'Bummer supporters are younger college educated people. In contrast the media, again to include CNN, has also stated that Clinton supporters were older and less educated. I say that the media, to include CNN is the real liar in this matter. Evidence is how illiterate the comments are from the O'bummer supporters. For crying out loud, these people do not even know how to use the varying forms of the word "to". Also it is a fact that ignorant people are easier to control and to dupe, so rant on O'Bummer supporters. Lastly, O'Bummer will never be elected in the General Election. There are too many people that will vote that see the truth. Most of us are not like the herd of cows O'Bummer is leading through the pasture of b.s.

    May 26, 2008 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  16. Ilona Proud Canadian

    Anne from Canada,

    Guess what? HILLARY IS PART AND PARCEL OF THE OLD STUFF, and yes I agree with you, you do have to clean out the old stuff, in order to make a place for the new!

    May 26, 2008 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  17. Joan Q.

    I am disgusted by the majority of comments that I read here. All you people do is attack each other's candidate and make nasty comments about some personal aspect of one of the candidates. Support whoever gets the nomination and get over it.'s not Obama vs.'s Democrats vs. McCain!

    May 26, 2008 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  18. J

    Well, some good has come from this election.

    At least now we know where all the idiots are.

    Obama '08

    May 26, 2008 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  19. Jane FL

    see a case Paul vs Clinton. They are both liar. Bill respect yourself and pick your wife and go back to NY.

    May 26, 2008 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  20. patrick

    @ Georgia,

    how do you figure Hilary understands the people of Puerto Rico,let alone the island itself?

    Atleast Barack was able to show some rythym while he was there campaigning, only thing Hilary could sing to the beat was "Si se puede"....Go figure!

    May 26, 2008 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  21. Shannon

    Barbara in CA, are you insane, just wondering!

    May 26, 2008 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  22. NO OBAMA

    Obama sucks big time.

    May 26, 2008 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  23. NY for Obama

    Hey Belle, Hillary agreed to the DNC rules just like everybody else and didn't mind that she was signing an agreement to disenfranchise two states. It wasn't until she needed them that she wanted them counted. The fact is that Hillary walked around with a chip on her shoulder believing that she was gonna have this race wrapped up by feb 5. She didn't have a plan for after this date and this is why she finds herself in the situation she's in. Blaming everybody and their mother. Her only wish now is that something happens to Obama.
    I can't believe that you Clinton supporters will keep on supporting her no matter what she says. Have you all lost your morals?

    May 26, 2008 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  24. karma will haunt obama

    But according to Obama supporters Obama has no control over his staff. That’s why the Keith Olbermann info was distributed. Does that include his WH staff when he becomes president?

    Also, remember that national polling wasn’t pitting Clinton against Obama?

    Well now there’s a Gallop poll that shows Obama as the preferred nominee for the Democratic nomination.

    But not so fast.

    But the same poll shows Clinton beating McCain, nationwide by a better margin than Obama.

    So the Democrats prefer to nominate a candidate that may or may not win within the margin of error over one that wins without the margin of error – Clinton.

    What did we pro-Clinton people discuss today? Polls and the lack of reporting.

    How much do you want to bet they’ll report the poll that shows the Democratic preference is Obama. Not the poll that shows Hillary beating McCain by a wider margin

    May 26, 2008 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  25. The truth

    Hillary must have found new contributors in Puerto Rico that don't know any better. She only stuck around for the money, she's broke and needed money to get back home.

    GO OBAMA 08

    May 26, 2008 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
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