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. Givemeabreak2008

    Who cares!!! I'm tired of all of the dirty politics and ready for the party nominee So the democaratic party can move forward!!

    May 26, 2008 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm |
  2. Anonymous

    si se puede was not co-opted by obama supporters, its the other way around.

    May 26, 2008 11:36 pm at 11:36 pm |
  3. MN

    Hillary, a few hundred Puerto Ricans love you. Good for you. You should stay for a looooooooong visit. No need to write letters home or send postcards. We'll be fine here without you.

    May 26, 2008 11:37 pm at 11:37 pm |
  4. Vishwanand Shetti

    Let's see if she says "So goes Puerto goes the nation!" If so, we'll know that she'll say anything to get elected.

    May 26, 2008 11:37 pm at 11:37 pm |
  5. Lansing, Michigan

    I support Hillary Clinton

    I'm very happy that Hillary Clinton has the popular vote, and I hope she hold onto it. She's winning, and may Puertoricans see it. She's in it, to win it

    Woot Hillary

    May 26, 2008 11:38 pm at 11:38 pm |
  6. melty

    Don't listen to them, Hillary - the DNC establishment, the biased media, Obama's fanatical following. Keep fighting. You've earned this nomination through the strength of character you developed along the way.

    And the last thing this country needs is another stolen election.

    May 26, 2008 11:38 pm at 11:38 pm |
  7. Former Hillary Supporter

    Hillary is pathetic. Her campaign at this point is taking its cues from Mondale's in 1984 when the battle cry became "polls don't vote, people vote." Sadly, while the polls didn't vote, they were accurate." "Yes we can" is like "polls don't vote." It's inaccurate. Worse, it's divisive to the party. I got off the Hillary bandwagon when I realized that she'll say (and has been saying) "whatever." The Cubs / Yankees fan needs to accept reality: something she's not good at doing. The longer she goes on with her divisive campaign, the sooner will be her demise in the Democratic party. Her supporters need to send her that message, if she can't see it herself.

    May 26, 2008 11:38 pm at 11:38 pm |
  8. Francesca

    Carrie Sean:
    Obama stole "Si Se Puede" from Mexican-American advocate for field workers, Cesar Chavez. You are as ignorant as your nominee. Do your research before you blog.

    Yes she can, Hillary, all the way to the White House.

    May 26, 2008 11:39 pm at 11:39 pm |
  9. Cora Portland, OR

    Take your marbles and go home please, Mr. and Mrs. Klinton.

    May 26, 2008 11:39 pm at 11:39 pm |
  10. Chris

    The democratic superdelegates need to be very careful when they nominate their candidate in this volatile election. With Nader, Barr, McCain, and (presumably Obama), Clinton could run as independent or with a 3rd party that has ballot access and do very well in the general election.

    May 26, 2008 11:39 pm at 11:39 pm |
  11. Anonymous

    Keep fighting Hillary, because you are shameless, soar loser, and your supporters are racists. Keep fighting, never stop, take it all the way to Obama second inauguration in 2012. Maybe by then you'll get a clue. and you might want to watch Bill while your in PR, you know he's trying to tip the barista.

    May 26, 2008 11:40 pm at 11:40 pm |
  12. James

    My comment is awaiting censorship. But I'm patient.

    May 26, 2008 11:41 pm at 11:41 pm |
  13. Carol

    Obama does not have enough experience to be president. Good luck, you will get what you deserve, which is nothing!!!

    May 26, 2008 11:42 pm at 11:42 pm |
  14. marina

    I am a European married to an American, living in the US since last August. I have lived through several elections in several European countries throughout the years.

    I am used to an objective, decent, civilized coverage by the media of the election process, coverage which is informative and at the same time gives people the necessary elements to judge and decide. I have NEVER, EVER witnessed in my life such a circus: the media trying to impose one candidate over another, "pundits" of unknown breed and quality who present themselves as the big experts, and a Democratic Party, which tries to push down the throat one candidate over another!!!

    I've always wondered why there have been so few Democratic Presidents in the last few decades, at least; why the Democratic Party failed to react or react inappropriately in situations which put the US in shame, internally and vis-a-vis the world. Now, I understand, there is no mystery: a DNC which is ruled by extreme liberals (nothing bad in that, I am one myself but NOT the majority of the party) with no or little connection to the rest of its constituencies, turns a blind eye to the facts about the November election . The result: a continuously hurt US and a sure McCain victory in November. WILL THEY EVER LEARN?

    May 26, 2008 11:42 pm at 11:42 pm |
  15. tim, baltimore, md

    Kudos to Karen G for thinking outside the box....right on. She's right though, Obama has no chance vs. John McCain nationwide. You who believe otherwise are not objectively in tune with society.

    May 26, 2008 11:42 pm at 11:42 pm |
  16. billycollins

    Hillary keep up the good work YOU are going to be the next president of thr United States OF American. Seems funny when Obama thought he had the popular vote he said the super del could'nt take it away from him because he had the pouplar. I have a lot of faith and i belive you are going to be the next PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. SO KEEP ON FIGHTINT GOD BLESS YOU

    May 26, 2008 11:42 pm at 11:42 pm |
  17. chuck

    ... She has the lead in delegates Elected in Primary Elections and the insiders who went to the caucuse and the superdelegates are going to steal the elction from the will of the voters.

    May 26, 2008 11:42 pm at 11:42 pm |
  18. Jenny Paull



    May 26, 2008 11:42 pm at 11:42 pm |
  19. Nikki Willis

    Everyone should notice how Obama supporters like to pat themselves on the back for being "educated" while calling Clinton supporters "rednecks". By the way, if you are one of Obama's college age supporters, you are just a high school grad. What makes you more "educated" than other high school-educated working people?

    It's even more ironic how Obama could play good cop bad cop with his racist preacher, and still get called a uniter. If a Clinton supporter can point out the obvious, that Obama's unusually large share of the black votes is because of his race, and be labelled a racist, why the same people accusing her stayed silent when Obama's own preacher got caught with his pants down? Obama himself stayed silent as long as Reverent Wright was winning the black votes for him. No wonder he runs such a "clean" campaign, Because he has these other people fighting the nasty battles for him.

    May 26, 2008 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
  20. How Sad

    Silly Hilliary supporters. All they can do is post messages that sound like a cheerleader at a pep rally. They have nothing to say about issues.

    That's because they don't know diddly-squat about issues. Why else would they threaten to throw their vote to McCain, whose ideology is the 'mcsame' as Bush. They can't possibly be true Democrats.

    No wonder the demographics of Hillary supporters are called "the uneducated".

    May 26, 2008 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm |
  21. Christopher

    I think Hillary is the best chance if we want someone with experience. I am all aout change, but how about credentials and experience. I wouldn't be gun ho to have a helicoptor pilot take over flying my airplane. I believe senetor Obama will be a great leader someday, just not next term.

    Hillary, I know Texas is a long shot for the party, but we are here for you.


    May 26, 2008 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm |
  22. obamamama

    time for hillary to run as an independent,she already has her loyal supporters of 17 million and in a three way that might be enough.I am ready to donate to the max in such scenario.

    May 26, 2008 11:45 pm at 11:45 pm |
  23. obama supporter

    As an Obama supporter, I would tell Obama to campaign more in the remaining primaries and put an end to Clinton's last illogical argument about getting more votes in the final states. Everyone knows that Obama closes on Hillary in every state he campaigns seriously.

    May 26, 2008 11:45 pm at 11:45 pm |
  24. Katie

    It makes sense for Obama not to waste his time in Puerto Rico–they can't vote in the general election, and that's what he needs to be focusing on now. Face it, Clinton and her supporters–it's over. If you really care about the issues, it's time to come together as one party and support Barack Obama–I have faith that Clinton's supporters are intelligent enough to make the right choice once they begin comparing his stances with McCain's, which sadly do not live up to his reputation as a maverick. We're on the same team, guys–trust me, if you agree with Clinton's proposed policies, you shouldn't have much of a problem with Obama's either.

    Also, kudos to Charles for pointing out that Obama was also filling in for Ted Kennedy, another reason he didn't spend much time in Puerto Rico.

    Obama '08!

    May 26, 2008 11:47 pm at 11:47 pm |
  25. Big Mo

    Si se puede – I don't believe this was co-opted FROM Clinton's TO Obama's campaign, but the other way 'round. For those who are still taking remedial spanglish, it means "YES WE CAN" – sounds a bit like the distinguished senator from Illinois' slogan, don't it?

    Nunca Hillary!

    May 26, 2008 11:47 pm at 11:47 pm |
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