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. Nikki Willis

    While it's true that Puerto Rico isn't a U.S. state and therefore does not participate in general elections, MANY Americans of Puerto Rican decent do live in Puerto Rico, and they do VOTE in the general elections. Are you suggesting that their voice shouldn't be heard in the primaries because they are not going to vote for Obama as overwhelming as African Americans? For those who suggest that they are not as American as you, you sound like Bush when being against the war in Iraq was being called unpatriotic.

    On the other hand, there isn't a single state holding caucuses in the general election. Why? Because the constitution only gives us one vote each. Obama clearly had an advantage during the primary process as many of his supporters got to vote twice in states such as Texas and Washington, where people can vote in both the primaries and caucuses. Sure, Obama supporters are more vocal, but in a general election, it doesn't matter whose supporters are the loudest, you still get 1 vote each.

    Now that's how democracies work.

    May 26, 2008 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  2. Sunny

    Go Hillary!!! Don't quit! Don't let the sexist CNN or the sexist obama supporters influence your decision!!! Fight on!

    May 26, 2008 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  3. Sherri

    The state officials of Florida and Michigan have disenfranchised their own voters. That is where the beef is. It is not with the candidates. They should all be voted out of office.

    The rules were established in August of 2006, the punishment was well known, and all candidates agreed. FL and MI thumbed their noses and proceed with their illegal election. Shame on them.

    Obama and Edwards removed their names from the ballot in MI. Clinton did not. How in the world do you fairly seat the Clinton delegates, when the other candidates were not eve represented.

    This is a mess. Shame on those who lie about the process now and try to change the rules in midstream.

    May 26, 2008 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  4. Geraldine

    You young jerks out there don't remember the best 8 yrs we had with Bill Clinton. You all probably voted for Bush.

    May 26, 2008 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  5. Young democrat

    What? I don't believe it! sIR cHanGe is actually going to be the democratic nominee. To bad.. sIR cHanGe has been dead since April 30, 1945. I am not kidding, same deal, just different intentions.
    Clinton '08

    May 26, 2008 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  6. susie

    Obama has made a mockery of this race. There is so much hatred because of him.

    May 26, 2008 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  7. Gilbert PR

    The right to vote in the General Elections should be given to all US Citizens regardless of where they live. If we can go to war and die to defend life, liberty and democracy, we should be able to vote for the president.

    May 26, 2008 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  8. yes we can

    I have finally figured out what HRC stands for " Your Royal C_NT"

    May 26, 2008 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  9. lol

    you stay in the race hillary, you have over 17 million voter who want you to be the next president. the only reason they want you to drop out is because obama can't beat you. take it to the convention, kennedy took it there, and he was behind over 700 delegates. no one told him to drop out!

    May 26, 2008 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  10. Chooch

    Real Democrats will vote for the best candidate to run this great nation,. That isn't O'Bummer. I am a democrat. I have been a registered Democrat for over 30 years. I have never cast a vote for anyone, democrat or otherwise that I did not feel was the best person for the position. This election will be no different in that respect. The only difference will be if O'Bummer gets the democratic nomination. I am not ignorant enough to fall for the b.s. He will never get my vote.

    May 26, 2008 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  11. Andres Perez

    Puerto Rico has been in the limbo forever. How she thinks to resolve the status quo in PR? When she talks with the people that are against U.S., she was talking in favor of their auto-determination, when she talks before the people who support the statehood then she promised to resolve the issue of Puerto Rico’s status by the end of her first term. She changed the terminology to talk depending of her audience; she used different words that mean nothing so everybody would hear what they want. The Puerto Ricans have the right to auto-determination, but what that means? Are we ready to accept 4 millions of Spanish speaking persons with vote in the Congress? PR has a representative in the U.S. congress but he can’t vote. The Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizen and in some way PR is a state. Are the Puerto Rican blinds? What did Bill Clinton in PR favor? Nothing. What did HRC for PR? Nothing. The Puerto Rican's are proud of their African, Indian, and Spanish heritage so they are suppose to support Obama but who knows. If Obama team work just a litter more in PR with the right persons, and the right message then he will put PR in his pocket. The Puerto Rican's are smart and they love politics so we will see what happen.

    May 26, 2008 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  12. mongersgoaway

    Si se puede! Obama Si! Hillary No!

    May 26, 2008 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |

    KEEP GOING BABY!!!!!!!!!!

    May 26, 2008 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  14. AA

    I don't actually see it as an insult when people compare Obama with Carter. If you listen to the speech Carter gave over 20 years ago, he described exactly where are today, how we would depend on foreign oil ,our economy and the whole nine yard. And Obama is doint the same thing, trying something better for our children.
    It just kills me to see the division between the democrats. If it's not Hillary I vote for McCaine or if not Obama.... I know most Hillary supporters say that but how annoying. Look at the republicans, no matter what, they stick together. They laugh at us! Believe me not all of them like McCaine but guess what, they stick together and ralley behind him. Tthey amaze me. I will never be a republican nor cast my vote just because my candidate didn't make it but I honestly admire their unity. Tell me people why can't we be like that??
    Obama 08 if not, Hillary O8

    May 26, 2008 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  15. Adrian === Dallas

    Its over!!! The sooner clinton supporters realize this the better, the party must unite behind our nominee (Obama). We can not afford a third McCain/Bush term!!

    Obama/Richardson 08

    May 26, 2008 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  16. Doris,Memphis TN

    Hillary Clinton will never be President of the United States.
    The type of politics that she is involved in is over!
    And no Chelsea will not be the first female president either!
    Bill don't even think about it.
    Good-bye Bill, Hill, and baby girl Chill!

    May 26, 2008 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  17. Bill

    Puerto Rico needs to look hard and long at who Hillary really is. How many examples do we need to see her true colours. We need a leader who can unit our party, unit our country and show the world our new America. Echo of the past is not the step we need to take. Puerto Rico can finance a looser all they want but I hope they are smarter the the rednecks we have here. Hillary will say and do anything to get the vote. I hope Puerto Rico really considers why Obama was away from Puerto Rico. Obama made a speach for a friend, Ted Kennedy. He took time off his campaign schedule to do a friend a favour. Thanks the kind of person I want watching my back. Can you trust Hillary? Do you want her behind your back? When in dougth , through it out.

    I hope Puerto Rico vote for a man who has experiences similar to them. Hillary and Bill make over 100 million dollars. Do you think they really understand what it is like to be poor. Hillary worked for WallMart for 6 years against unionization and providing health care benefits for the employees, not to mention treating woman better. She is old school with the old boys club. Time for a change and Puerto Rico can be that change.

    I hope Puerto Rico does us proud and understand what has been said by Hillary over the past days.

    May 26, 2008 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  18. Karwolo

    Wasn't it this same bill clinton who sometimes ago was saying things like you can't put on a jersey to play a game without expecting to get dirty? Now he's crying all over the place about his wife being treated unfairly. Mabye, it's time she got out of the game. Another thing, it's funny how the clintons jumped all over Obama's 'bitter' comments, even making ads and mentioning it on stump speeches as well as getting a bit drunk in the process, but now they don't want Obama to even mention her ploy to have him killed. Imagine what bill would have said if Obama made a statement implying that he wanted
    hill-liar killed.
    An independent who leans republican but hates the clintons.

    May 26, 2008 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  19. seah5

    Go Hillary!

    Happy to see the People in Puerto Rico won't let their minds be manipulated.

    America Needs Hillary.

    There are some serious Reason the majority of the Democrats, and the rest of the country do not want obama.

    May 26, 2008 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  20. Tired of Everyone

    There are a ton of repeat bloggers here and on every article! Really people – get a life! I wonder if some of you are really paid campaign workers since the average person would never have the time to blog in every article like some of you do (with the same crap I must add!).

    May 26, 2008 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  21. Another interested Canadian.

    'Anne from Canada', speak for yourself not our entire country. I'm also from Canada and I can honestly say I don't know anyone in my neck of the woods who wants to see the Clintons back in the American White House.

    I've been following this election too and everyone I know is rooting for the best candidate to enter American politics in years, Barrack Obama.
    He's a breath of fresh air. It seems the millions of Hillary supporters have forgotten the corruption of the Clinton years, especially the controversial pardoning of 16 terrorists, Bill's impeachment, the fact that Hillary stayed with such a patronizing and womanizing husband, as well as plenty of other filthy laundry.

    Americans may have forgotten but Canadians haven't. It's nothing to be proud of.

    May 26, 2008 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  22. jenniferaz

    carrie sean

    "Si se puede!" was stolen by the Obama campaign from the United Farm Workers whose patriarch and American heroine, Dolores Huerta, has tirelessly campaigned for Senator Clinton! Learn your history before tossing out accusations.

    More than half or America's democrats have voted for her, why should she leave now? So much could happen between now and August. Why are so many people scared of democracy playing its course? Things can get very frightening if future viable candidates are bullied out before their time, it is not what America should EVER look like.


    Good for you! My positive thoughts will be in DC with you!

    May 26, 2008 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  23. northernview

    is it just me or has anyone else noticed the similarity between Ms Clinton's campaign and the Bush war strategy:
    1 plan for a short campaign -underestimate what it will take to win
    2 redefine "victory" as the situation on the ground changes
    3 hope the surge works ( WVA and K )
    4 have no exit strategy

    Are you guys sure this is the person you want to lead your country?

    May 26, 2008 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  24. Manny Rodriquez, Miami

    Hispanic people have spoken throughout this whole campaign:

    Hillary Si

    Obama No

    And make no mistake, we are the fastest growing ethnic group in the U.S. Adios Obama.

    May 26, 2008 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  25. Bob G.

    Not sure why Barry even went to Puerto Rico – he has already won the nomination and general election and is just waiting for the inauguration. On Day 2 he will start his new campaign to become supreme commander in chief of the planet Earth. There is no stopping his enormous ego and arrogance!! Hope he picks an experienced qualified Vice President to run the USA while he's globe trotting.

    May 26, 2008 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
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