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

Clinton rallies union in Puerto Rico

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/05/26/art.hrcpr.ap.jpg 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. Dave W.

    Clinton and her supporters have decided that if she can't win the White House no democrat will. Her Husband speaks of fthe disrespect she has received from the media and superdelgates, but what about the disrespect he showed her 10 years ago? The Clintons feel that it is their right to be in the Wjite House and nobody better get in theior way. Bill said last week that maybe Chelsea will go into politics. Maybe she can run in 2016 with all of the expierience she has being first child, and the first child landing in Bosnia under sniper fire. There is one questiuon that I have never seen any reporter or debate mediator ask hillary. Why did you sign an agreeement that Michigan and Florida would not count with the other candidates and not stand up for Michigan and Florida in the beginning? She refuses to answer that question.

    May 26, 2008 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  2. dl

    Thank you Puerto Rico..
    Please remember everyone of your votes make a difference..
    And Please try to excuse all the ugly comments on this blog.
    Hopefully this is not the "new and improved world of Obama.

    May 26, 2008 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  3. Laura

    So Suzie, let me get this straight. Puerto Rico has to be an American
    territory but shouldn't be able to vote in your primary. How Imperialistic of you. No rights or voice but are a territory....wow.

    May 26, 2008 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  4. Chris

    Hillary will win Puerto Rico. End of story.

    May 26, 2008 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  5. obama has already one

    obama has already won. who cares anymore. just leave Hillary it is nearly mathematically impossible for you to win, and in reality it is impossible for you to win so stop plaguing our party and leave you liar. where is the party unity, 50 percent of you will vote for mccain, what are you stupid, you like iraq, you like being fired from you job, i hope you get laid off when mccain gets elected cas half of you voted for him.

    May 26, 2008 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  6. mary

    Hillary says, she has been to Puerto Rico numerous of times why hasn't she done more for the Puerto Rican people. No se puede con Hillary. Es muy mentirosa. Action does, action sees. What has she done?

    May 26, 2008 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  7. Lori (TX)

    Since Hillary enjoys campaigning in US territories (not states) – I hear she's trolling for delegates in Mexico next! Ha! 🙂

    May 26, 2008 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  8. bryan

    this is a prime example of how a core constinuency of Hillary's will move in the direction of McCain if she is not the democratic nominee. Hispanics do not like Obama and have no interest in hearing his rhetoric

    May 26, 2008 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  9. Sexy

    jt the best choice, Barack is smart. why should you debate someone that you have already beaten? That's make no sense...like Hillary reasons to stay in the race doesn't make sense. I guess I have to deal with her for another week, lying and deceiving people who can't think for themselves. Hillary can only win over people with that polygamist mentallity.

    May 26, 2008 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  10. It's finally over !

    I'll be celebrating over the next few days just thinking about the fact that I wont have to here Bill or see Hillary on a stump speach again.
    they should stop trying to conn thier supporters into giving more money in order to pay down her debt.

    ( she has enough money of her own she should pay it her self, along with the summer gas tax, since she is so concerned about everyone picking up an extra $30.00 this summer)

    If she cant manage her own money why would you let her manage yours ???

    May 26, 2008 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  11. EUNICE

    Hillary all the way. It is Hillary or McCain. No one else is fit.

    Hillary, the only choice. Hillary, the only popular Choice.

    DNC and CNN are not getting it yet. That the people want Hillary.

    No money in the world will make America to vote for Barrack Hussein Obama. He is a liar and a deceiver. Hillary has the popular votes.

    It is Hillary or McCain in '08

    May 26, 2008 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  12. Christine D

    We are with you all the way Hillary.

    May 26, 2008 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  13. Jason, San Diego

    I boo Clinton.

    May 26, 2008 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  14. Kevin

    I am glad I have an education...If Purto Rico thinks they are not being deceived just to get a vote then so be it....She could care less about you guys. "one million purto ricians support me in new your therefore so should you" wow sounds like your being talked down too or maybe grouped together

    May 26, 2008 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  15. Ab-Corpus Christi-TX

    I love to have a candidate with no experience !!!
    The fact that neither McCain nor Hillary has an experience as President of USA !!
    I do not want to have our President going to Mayo clinic just for checking his health every three months…. Wasting our money!
    I do not want to have our president where her husband was fouling around during his presidency…..I am afraid she will be revenged for her husband!
    Keep in mind that all the politicians are liars!
    Choose the candidate that least liar……that's Obama !!
    I vote for him………..and the world will be merrier……….

    May 26, 2008 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  16. Dan (TX)

    From the FEDERAL REGISTRY:

    Can citizens in U.S. Territories vote for President?

    No, the Electoral College system does not provide for residents of U.S. Territories, such as Puerto Rico, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands and American Samoa to vote for President. Unless citizens in U.S. Territories have official residency (domicile) in a U.S. State or the District of Columbia (and vote by absentee ballot or travel to their State to vote), they cannot vote in the Presidential election. Note that prior to the adoption of the 23rd Amendment, DC residents could not vote in the Presidential election.

    The political parties may authorize voters in primary elections in Territories to select delegates to represent them at the political party conventions. But that process does not affect the Electoral College system.

    May 26, 2008 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  17. Bill

    Canada and the rest of the world loves Obama. Americans are not the only ones inspired. Americans are going to be on top soon enough. Cowboy foreigh policy is over. You cannot just bomb or attack those who do not share the same values. Bush could be charges as a war criminal. Hillary voted for the War, end of story. Six years on WallMart board is an issue. Which way the wind blows is Hillarys stump speach. Who will show up is always a guessing game. Not exactly the most loving couple......have you noticed. I would like to ask Bill what he thinks of the polygamy case.

    May 26, 2008 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  18. AJ

    Hillary, I'd like to thank you and your IMPEACHED former President husband Bill for being the best things that ever happened to the Repulicans in 2008.

    May 26, 2008 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  19. Marie

    sexy, so you really call yourself that....lol, please read your own ignorant post before you insult the education of Hillary Clinton supporters. What is wrong with people who support Obama, why can't you post without insulting people. It's like you're consumed with hate. How are you going to unite the country with all of your ill will. I'm still laughing at your screen name, seriously get over yourself!!

    May 26, 2008 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  20. Zach

    Who gives a crap about Puerto Rico? When they become a state and can actually VOTE in the general election, then we'll worry about their boos.

    May 26, 2008 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  21. Charles

    A couple of things. First, the media attacks where there is something to attack. Clinton has had more items come up to pounce upon. She has had more slips of the tongue. Her campaign supporters have made more headlines through their words. She has made it easy for the media to stay on her.
    Second, Obama has run, despite what so many seem to believe, a very clean campaign. Has he attacked his opponents on their stances? Of course he has. That's what you do in campaign. What he has not done is attack anyone on a personal level. What he has not done is capitalize on the mistakes other candidates have made outside of the issues. When the sniper fire situation came up, he never said word one about it. When Penn was found to be lobbying for trade in Columbia, he gave no comments on her foolish decision to have him around in the first place. It's hard to paint a person as the bad guy when he does nothing that can really be interpreted as bad.
    Third, Obama's campaign staff has put together something the media can't attack. His campaign has taken on the most recognizable name in the democratic party. The media, like so many across the world, not just the U.S. can only stand in awe of how David has all but slew Goliath. This is the standard against which all campaigns will now be judged in the future. While other campaigns that ran this season ran on a platform of what they felt America should think, his campaign found out what Americans were truly thinking and addressed those issues. His campaign has been based on what America can do for America, not what he alone can do for us.
    You have the chance to become a part of something that will pave a new road for America. To continue to find foolish reasons to hate Obama is only a foolish attempt to keep yourself from achieving a unified America.

    Obama '08

    May 26, 2008 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  22. Ed from Milwaukee(WI-Swing state)

    Who cares about Puerto Rico at this point in the game, they get to sit down for dinner but they only get to pick an appetizer. They only vote in primaries, with no pickings for the general election. Their votes are pointless in the bigger picture.

    Obama 08, all the way to the White House

    May 26, 2008 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  23. Jared

    I've read several posts that claim Obama cannot win in November. However, they never explain why Hillary would win the general election. I have a newsflash for you: she can't win the general, and here's why.

    Policies:

    Iraq: Hillary voted for the war in Iraq, and just like John Kerry four years ago, McCain will portray her as a "flip-flopper." And if you don't believe me, tell me why she never apologized for her vote.

    Iran: Last year Hillary criticized McCain for threatening to bomb Iran. Last fall, Hillary voted to name Iran a terrorist state, like McCain. And last month, Hillary went on Fox News of all news networks to proclaim "I will completely obliterate Iran." Where's the difference between McCain and Hillary on the issue of Iran?

    The Gas Tax: McCain was the first to propose this scam, and Hillary followed suit. There's no difference there.

    Cracking down on OPEC: McCain began pandering to the voters about how he will crack down on OPEC, and once again, Hillary followed suit. And my apologies to both McCain and Hillary, but because America is not a member of OPEC we cannot apply any pressure on the cartel to lower oil prices.

    Gun Control: I know in recent weeks Hillary has championed herself as a gun toting populist. However, upon closer examination of her voting record, McCain will say she's a liar, which brings me to my next point.

    Personality:

    Since today's politics are more about personality than substance, Hillary has an approval rating that matches Bush. The last time I checked, only 30 percent of the electorate had a favorable opinion of her. Compared to that, McCain would come across as a nice grandpa since he has a much higher approval rating.

    The issue of trustworthiness: Hillary has argued that everyone knows the baggage she carries, and guess what? The reason Republicans were looking forward to running against her last fall is because they relish using that baggage to their advantage. If you think the universal healthcare debacle, the conservative revolution of '94 and the impeachment don't matter, they do because Republicans haven't forgotten and neither have Democrats. Add Bosnia to the list, and you have the makings of a polarizing politician that would make Nixon blush.

    Her Campain:

    The Obama campaign gives Hillary too much credit because she has run a lousy campaign. She ran as the incumbent, and did not plan beyond February 5th. Also, she changed campaign messages more times than Cybil changes personalities. First she was for all Americans, and then she became about "hardworking white Americans." This brings me to my next point:

    African Americans: I'm not African American, however I can sympathize with that constituency because the Clintons have used the race card against Obama since South Carolina. As a Jew, this worried me because what the Clintons have said about race is not limited to one group of people: it effects everyone. When I heard Hillary reiterate Obama's race in this election, I could imagine Hillary running against my people, the Jewish people, referencing the Protocols of the Elders of Zion to pull ahead (which is complete bull, by the way). For that, I lost all respect for the Clintons.

    The campaign debt: Republicans have already joked about this, but it bears repeating: how can Hillary run the country if she can't even run a campaign? She's now over $20 million in debt. How is that possible?!

    The Divisive Nature of her Candidacy: If Bill truly believes there is a "cover-up" to prevent Hillary's chances of winning, I think both he and his wife should be committed. Because the truth of the matter is the Democratic Party has allowed her to continue despite her nasty remarks these last few weeks about race, the popular vote, and of course RFK. At no time has Hillary been considerate to Obama and his supporters. After all, Obama has won just as many votes and brought in more money. She cannot ignore that we exist, because we are the voters that put Obama over the top. Instead of continuing to divide the Democratic Party, Hillary should have made her case to young voters, white-collar Democrats, and African Americans. Instead, she thinks that our voices don't count, and that is arrogant beyond reckoning.

    The Superdelegates: Hillary likes championing democracy these days, but that is merely a cover to the argument she has been making since February: the only way Hillary can secure the nomination is to have the superdelegates give it to her. However, since everyone in the Democratic Party, including Hillary, agreed that pledged delegates would determine the outcome, at this stage in the game, if the superdelegates were to rob Obama of his victory, what is to stop him from taking the fight all the way to the convention? That and because a majority of the public, Republicans, Independents, and Democrats agree that she has been divisive, her idea of a party coup will rob Democrats of victory in November.

    In sum, I will agrue that Hillary gave up the fight for the people a long time ago. I think she and Bill are exhausted, arrogant, and they've defined their campaign about themselves. For Bill, this was his last opportunity to redeem his presidency because despite his economic successes, his sexual exploits gave us eight years of Bush (and if you don't believe me, there is no other explanation why the 2000 election was divided right down the center when the Democrats could tout eight years of economic achievement and a surplus to boot). As for Hillary, call me cynical, but I see her campaign as the reward for staying with Bill despite his public shame of her. My mother ( who happens to be 62), divorced my father because of his infidelity, and throughout this campaign, she kept telling me that she thinks Hillary is a doormat and faux feminist for championing women's causes when she has stayed with the biggest loust in recent history. All and all, I don't believe the Clintons will exit gracefully, they want to wound Obama and force Hillary onto the ticket, but after this week, Hillary will be lucky if she is welcomed back to the senate.

    May 26, 2008 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  24. Sexy

    Hillary makes me sick saying she is going to end the war when she voted for the war without reading the NIE. Why would anyone want someone to run the country who voted on a war without reading the report. Yet you have these dummies who think she is the best candidate. How she expect to handle this economy when she bankrupt her own campaign? I know I wouldn't trust her to make life better for me economically. She is leaving so much unpaid bills in every state she campaigns in. If you all think she is the best candidate then why don't you help pay off her campaign debt? I gues you all are not going to do that. Barack is not in debt and he is winning. I am glad I am supporting a winner and not a sore loser....

    May 26, 2008 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  25. Dayan G

    All of you who are againts Hillary are just scare of her and of how strong she is. For those women that are against her shame on you. For years we have been deprived of so many jobs, pay increases and higher postions because we are women, and now that there is one of us to represent and show this country that we can cook, wear heels and lead a country we don't support her. I can't believe that in some South American countries where there is so much "machismo" there are women leaders and women as president but in this country that we have freedom we have NEVER had one. WOMEN GET IT TOGETHER!!!

    May 26, 2008 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
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