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. Hillary all the way!!

    GO HILLARY!!!!

    HIllary believes in the American Dream!!!

    GO HILLARY!!!!

    ALL THE WAY TO THE CONVENTION!!!!

    YOU GO GIRL!! YOU ROCK!!!!

    We want to bring back the days of peace and prosperity!!!!
    Thank your for standing up for what is right!!!

    HILLARY CLINTON 08

    May 27, 2008 12:22 am at 12:22 am |
  2. Jesus en Puerto Rico

    Yes she should stay here and become governor we would love that =).
    But I prefer her up there being President.
    Now Neither Obama nor Hillary has said they will convert PR to a state, read the news right!!! They have said they will establish the status PR chooses and I don't want to be part of the US. I have read so much hatred in these pages and I don't want to be part of that.
    WE PUERTORICANS ARE SMART, A BIG MAJORITY SPEAKS ENGLISH, THANK YOU! WE UNDERSTAND HER PERFECTLY AND WE WILL CHOOSE HER! SHE WILL WIN PUERTO RICO!. =)

    Puertorriqueño con Hillary !!
    Si se puede!! Si podemos!!, Si venceremos!!!

    May 27, 2008 12:23 am at 12:23 am |
  3. Jesus en Puerto Rico

    C.W. Texas May 26th, 2008 11:35 pm ET

    Will someone in America please tell me why we are even talking about Puerto Rico it not a state and their votes don't count in the genreal election. These people are not even American citizens so what the point.

    Go and check a little of history WE ARE AMERICAN CITIZENS!!!!!!!!!!
    wow

    May 27, 2008 12:24 am at 12:24 am |
  4. greg

    check the facts, hillary is not ahead in the popular.

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2008/president/democratic_vote_count.html

    Popular Vote Count
    State Date Obama Clinton Spread
    Popular Vote Total 16,685,941 49.1% 16,227,514 47.7% Obama +458,427 +1.4%
    Estimate w/IA, NV, ME, WA* 17,020,025 49.1% 16,451,376 47.5% Obama +568,649 +1.6%
    Popular Vote (w/FL) 17,262,155 48.3% 17,098,500 47.8% Obama +163,655 +0.5%
    Estimate w/IA, NV, ME, WA* 17,596,239 48.3% 17,322,362 47.6% Obama +273,877 +0.7%

    May 27, 2008 12:25 am at 12:25 am |
  5. mish

    I think its just pathetic the super delegates dont come forward and end this madness!!!
    they are all delusional if they think this is exciting
    its devisive and hateful or maybe they just dont read blogs and watch the news!!
    the way the Clintons acted this weekend is disgraceful!!!
    they act like they own America and the people who vote for them
    are *living in some time capsule*
    WAKE UP its been either Bush or Clintons for 28 years
    give the country a time for change for Gods sake
    Obama 08

    May 27, 2008 12:26 am at 12:26 am |
  6. Margaret

    I hope the people of Puerto Rico don't fall for the Clinton lies.

    And to Pres. Clinton, if you can't stand the heat get out of the kitchen!
    (remember that one?)

    I'm glad Obama has taken the high road, he praises Senator Clinton in every one of his speeches.

    And like several people mentioned, he left PR to step in for his good friend Ted Kennedy.

    Obama '08

    May 27, 2008 12:28 am at 12:28 am |
  7. Rhonda Davis

    I had such admiration for Hillary, prior to this primary season. I was her number one cheerleader, but now, like many others, I have crossed over to change!!

    I pray she will save her face for the sake of all women because what she has done with her emotional outburst is justify why women are not seen as good leaders…we are too emotional…sore loosers!! Where is that strength she claims to have?? She appears to be the weak candidate in my opinion.

    And, another thing, how can you run a national budget if you can’t manage your own campaigns budget??? She is in debt. Yet, Obama has money to give (her)!

    Hello—who is really more electable?? It’s time for democrats to come together. He is winning fair and square according to the rules that were established at the start of this democratic presidential campaign…bottom line!!

    May 27, 2008 12:31 am at 12:31 am |
  8. HILLARY-LOYAL

    Don't confuse us with the facts!
    STAY THE COURSE HILLARY!!

    May 27, 2008 12:32 am at 12:32 am |
  9. LISA

    If Hillary really cared about the Democratic party, she would have
    stopped the PR crowd from BOOING when Obama's name was being announced. This just goes to show you that Hillary only cares about herself. Obama nevered spoke badly about Ms Clinton, so therefore
    I think she should treat him with the same respect.

    Remember, there are THREE parties:
    1) Republican Party
    2) Democratic Party
    3) CLINTONs Party

    The Clinton's will do just about anything to get back into the White House!

    NO! NO! – Mr Obama should have the right to pick his own Vice President. Afterall, all of the prior presidents of the United States had the right to pick their OWN Vice President. What ever happened to FREEDOM of CHOICE????????

    Chula Vista California for Barack Obama!

    May 27, 2008 12:35 am at 12:35 am |
  10. MD

    WHAT HAPPENED TO HER AND MCCAIN'S BRILLIANT GAS TAX HOLIDAY?????? DOES THE REST OF THE COUNTRY NOT NEED IT, ONLY KENTUCKY AND WEST VIRGINIA???
    LOL!!!

    May 27, 2008 12:35 am at 12:35 am |
  11. Alphonse Moneau

    God for you, Mrs. Clinton!
    Remember not to destroy this party, your daughter may need it for her political career should she decide to serve the nation as a public servant.

    May 27, 2008 12:40 am at 12:40 am |
  12. Pete in LA

    One more week until the curtain falls on Hillary's campaign.

    May 27, 2008 12:46 am at 12:46 am |
  13. Hillary Voter

    Go Hillary! Go Hillary! Go all the way to the convention and to NOVEMBER!

    Obama is using the same play book "I'm a uniter, not a divider" as Baby Bush. I scratched my head 8 years ago, and i'm scratching my head now. What exactly am I missing here???! I have tried to be fair to Obama by watching his debates as objectively as I could and was not impressed with the man whatsoever. He is eloquent if and only if he's giving a sermon, but if you ask him off the cuff question he stumbles and stutters for something intelligent to say. How exactly is he to bring about change if he votes along party lines. If he was against the war, why didn't he enlighten the others to do as he would since that's his claim to fame "i'll work across party line to bring about change!". Oh but that's right, he didn't get a chance to vote – or would he had push the "Yes" button only to later state his intention was to vote "No" on the record. i could go on and on about what makes me uncomfortable with obama. Hillary has her faults too. but in the end when i shave off all the distraction and compare them in substance – there is no other choice but HILLARY!

    GO HILLARY!

    May 27, 2008 12:49 am at 12:49 am |
  14. Annoyed in PA

    I think the real issue of this story should be, why isn't Puerto Rico independent yet and why don't they just have their OWN primary (they're our colony??? I thought we ended that whole 'colonization' thing)? Then they can elect Hilary and take her off our hands.

    May 27, 2008 12:50 am at 12:50 am |
  15. steve

    The ignorance of the people supporting both of these candidates is astounding. The real problem with the political landscape in the country today is that once people choose a side, they will stick with that candidate always. They may not agree with the ideals but rationalize by listing a few qualities that they think there sides candidate may have.
    Few people listen to anything besides the bumper sticker slogans that their candidate spews. How many of Obama's supporters realize the damage his tax policies would do to the economy as a whole, from the largest corporations, to the guy making $8/hr flipping burgers? How many of Hillary's supporters know what her stand on so called environmental issues will do to poor families? How many McCain supporters know how many millions of jobs will be lost with his CO2 cap and trade system?
    People need to start thinking for themselves and see the evidence in front of them. Government creates problems with idiotic legislation, and then 10 years later treat it as a crisis, and an excuse to form a new department to take care of the so called problem, all the while using your own money to fund their idiocy, and buy votes.

    May 27, 2008 12:50 am at 12:50 am |
  16. Not Shrillary!!!

    It's not over till the "pantsuit lady" sings!!! And that time is very near!! I am a 50 year old white woman who will NOT VOTE if Shrillary wins the nomination. She was unpleasant and "cold"as first lady and still carries that aura with her. She is conniving,pandering, dishonest,and desparate. Please Bill, take her on a long cruise or buy her another home to decorate. It's over for the Clinton Dynasty!!!

    OBAMA '08

    May 27, 2008 12:50 am at 12:50 am |
  17. LATINAS FOR OBAMA

    The Clintons are manipulating people... making the argument that we want her to stay in the race... They know very well that she has no chance of winning... but she is not a good team player, disrespectful and has a problem following rules.

    How can Senator obama possibly think of hiring her as his VP? Does she deserve that honor?

    We all know she is not a fair player, so, can Senator Obama trust her as VP? I wouldn't.

    Does she share Senator Obama's vision? Maybe some but didn't she spent time destroying his deram and bullying him?

    Why does she now wants to be his VP? I hope Senator Obama continues to treat her with respect but I hope he has the wisdom not to trust her.

    Her husband complains of media and the Obama camp treating her unfairly; so, what were they doing each time Obama 'misspoke'? They characterized him as 'out of touch' and 'ellite'. Her latest Kennedy flop raises serious concerns but is Obama bashing her for that?

    Unpredictable and ill intentioned people like her are scarry. Senator Obama will select who he thinks will be the best VP to help him win this election and to be his ally not someone with baggage, negative intentions and manipulative like the Clintons. Sorry!

    NOTE: I think America is ready for a White woman President (more so than a Black person) but to vote for her because she is a woman, or for him because he is black, will be wrong. I'll vote Obama because of the issues and because I can trust him more than I trust Hillary or McCain. Each of them can learn lessons from Senator Obama.

    Oh Mr. Bill Clinton, to earn respect, you should first practice it. Treat others the way you wish to be treated!

    May 27, 2008 12:51 am at 12:51 am |
  18. Glenn

    I thoguth we were on the same team here? Shouldnt Clinton or Obama supporters be booing the mention of Mc Cain? I think Bilary has created a monster that even she or Bill cant control. This anti Obama faction they created. Ironic since they themselves are not anti Obama . But peoepl usually intensify ideology. Kinda proves Obama's bitter comments/ Thats all you see from the bra burning femma nazis who should be supporting the historical candidate of Obama or Clinton. Their ideology is almost identical, so they need to stop with the threats of voting for Mccain. You wouldnt be doing it for ideological reason but face it racial reasons.

    May 27, 2008 12:51 am at 12:51 am |
  19. VJmem

    How can Bill Clinton fix his lips to utter the words "disrespect". How dare an impeached president (due to infidelity and lying to the American people) use that word. He has made me ill ! Let's not forget that it was rumored that he was cheating, again, during this campaign (you know that he and Hillary don't use the same planes). Also, I hope she doesn't have the nerve to ask for someone to help bail her out of debt when she continues to incur unnecessary debt! They make me tired.

    May 27, 2008 12:52 am at 12:52 am |
  20. Make believe Bosnian Sniper

    She is a liar that gets her support from unintelligent, ignorant, racist fools. That is all.

    May 27, 2008 12:57 am at 12:57 am |
  21. hmmm...

    this is doubly sad...nasty divisive comments are deemed appropriate for posting by CNN.
    But "due to the volume of comments we receive, not all comments will be posted", apparently includes any comment submitted that does not include name calling....sigh....

    May 27, 2008 01:02 am at 1:02 am |
  22. Bambi

    "In the place of a Dark Lord you will have a queen! Not dark but beautiful and terrible as the morn'! Treacherous as the seas! Stronger than the foundations of the earth! All shall love me and despair!"

    May 27, 2008 01:03 am at 1:03 am |
  23. hmmm...

    fortunately, I'm also a journalist (as well as a farmer) so I can deal with this....

    May 27, 2008 01:03 am at 1:03 am |
  24. lieutenant jeremy fortsworth (22 BST)

    SD and MO will erase HRCs puert rico win. Obama will come on top with more primary wins and more caucus wins plus more delegates. The clintons have perveted the popular vote count but it shouldnt matter anyway.

    Obama 08

    May 27, 2008 01:04 am at 1:04 am |
  25. Roxy

    TO ALL THE DELUSIONAL AND UNINFORMED OBAMA SUPPORTERS:

    The SI SE PUEDE chant was originally used by the MEXICAN people, and it seems to me that it was the OBAMABOTS who stole it from them!!!!! Man, can Obama come up with anything on his own?

    GO HILLARY, PUERTO RICO TE AMA

    May 27, 2008 01:05 am at 1:05 am |
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