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. erica

    Belle's statement encapsulated everything I have been feeling.

    Bravo in a very tragic way...the best evidence of this is the vitriol spewed forth in comments here.

    When will you people who believe you are so entitled just S T O P. The hate you possess for another human being is despicable.

    "Belle May 26th, 2008 5:08 pm ET

    There is no excuse for the way this primary process has been covered by the media and manipulated by the DNC. I have certainly never seen anything like the bias portrayed in the media. The DNC allowed certain states to move their primary up; those states were the states in which they believed Obama would do well. Obama is the most negative candidate I can remember; he inspires such hatred and animosity that is just unbelievable (just read the comments on this site). His "strategy" is insidious hatred; first he makes a derogatory comment about one of the Clintons' benign statements, then he magnanimously states that he believes their explanation while his campaign continues to ensure negative press about the issue. The Michigan and Florida mess is certainly not his fault alone. The DNC messed it up then he brought his lawyers in to ensure there was no revote (which would have been within the DNC rules). Then, he stays above the fray and lets his staff and supporters ensure the hatred and animosity are continued. There is no excuse. Certainly, Obama did not do this alone; the media and the DNC have helped but the Clintons are less to blame for this mess than anyone else, yet they take the most fallout. All the people they have helped so much during their careers have not just turned against them, they have attacked with unprecedented viciousness. The Clintons have not destroyed the Democratic Party; Obama and the DNC destroyed and have ensured McCain will be our next President."

    May 27, 2008 01:07 am at 1:07 am |
  2. Go Obama!

    Gerald McIntee will be looking for a job after AFSCME convention.

    May 27, 2008 01:07 am at 1:07 am |
  3. Hector Ortiz

    Hillary Puerto Rico esta contigo

    May 27, 2008 01:07 am at 1:07 am |
  4. Voting for substance

    Carrie Sean–I almost don't want to respond because your ignorance is pretty clear. But, like most Obama supporters, you are disillusioned by his rhetoric and BS. Hillary didn't "steal" "his" phrase in si se puede. In fact, if one even can "steal" a phrase, he stole it from the United Farm Workers–a group that doesn't support him (as well as representative of a voting block that also doesn't support him). It is clear that you probably have a fair amount of free time–you might do a little research before trying to spew rhetoric without a factual basis.....oh wait, I forgot, you're an obama supporter, that's your/his MO.

    May 27, 2008 01:09 am at 1:09 am |
  5. Ratgurl

    For all you Women who threaten to vote for McCain if Hillary's not the nominee, think about this:

    A vote for McCain is a vote for a man who will be replacing up to 3 supreme court judges with ultraconservative judges, thus overturning Roe v Wade. While you, yourself, may be too old for this to matter, there are many women following in your footsteps for whom this may be a huge issue. Think about them instead of yourselves.

    Also, to call Obama a sexist mysoginst is just plain stupid. Go ahead & vote for McCain – the same man who PUBLICLY derided his wife by calling her a trollop & THE "C" WORD in front of the press and who plans to overturn Roe v Wade. Yeah, there's a guy who really supports womens' rights!

    And finally, why don't you just offer your children up to go over to Iran to fight "BUSH WAR version3.0," or better yet, go over there yourself. I'm sure our precious America could use a little Darwinism.

    May 27, 2008 01:09 am at 1:09 am |
  6. Voting for substance

    "Latinas for obama"....that's funny....but I think you mean latinA for obama because the rest of the Latino/a community isn't dumb enough to vote for someone who will never understand them and frankly doesn't care to (see: any state's primary)

    May 27, 2008 01:11 am at 1:11 am |
  7. Not another Clinton!

    What happened to my earlier posts? Is "moderation" just a fancy word for censorship? Did I forget to pay at the door?

    May 27, 2008 01:13 am at 1:13 am |
  8. MYA

    Down with Obama supporters,turncoats and traitors. The country can't exist just with rhetorics and misleading promises. We need somebody like Hillary with proven experience and foresight. I am very certain that Hillary's supporters will switch to McCain if Obama wins the nomination.

    May 27, 2008 01:14 am at 1:14 am |
  9. Chris, Tx

    Ok...OK...let's all come together and get those idiots out of the white house! Obama or Hillary...take your pick, but please don't vote for another 4 years of what we've had the last 8! PLEASE!!!
    I voted for Hillary but would gladly take Obama over McCain any day! A no vote or vote for McCain would be down right crazy!!!

    May 27, 2008 01:15 am at 1:15 am |
  10. Hector Ortiz

    Hillary is going to win big in PR

    May 27, 2008 01:15 am at 1:15 am |
  11. Dan

    I love all of the ignorant people saying Hillary should drop out. Obama still has not received the delegates needed to end this thing, and the super delegates could end it today if they wanted. Obviously, they are choosing not to. I wonder why? If Obama is the obvious choice, why don’t the super delegates give him the 50 some odd votes needed?

    May 27, 2008 01:18 am at 1:18 am |
  12. Omar Khasru

    Hillary is out to woo America's third world protectorate, Puerto Rico, with scraps. I hope the Puerto Ricans are intelligent enough to reject her condescending remarks and superficial approach, in addition to her 'let them eat cake' attitude.

    May 27, 2008 01:20 am at 1:20 am |
  13. L from california

    i'm tired of hearing all the stupid things that the OBAMA supporter said, this people needs to be educated. if they think obama is the best choice for president why he has not clinch the nomination yet? OBAMA is not ready to be president and all of you obama supporter will have a really bad wakeup call in november. OBAMA will loose....

    May 27, 2008 01:21 am at 1:21 am |
  14. Michael

    Yes let us run this to the convention and in November hand McCain the White House. I am going to laugh when all you so called Democrats are crying in November when McCain is the President because none of you could get past your short sighted attitudes. It is going to be funny watching all the Clinton and Obama supports blame each other because McCain is President. Don't like what I'm saying, well the truth hurts, Democrats have a chance to unite and take back the White House, it will never happen though. If McCain wins the election because of all this mess then I guess the Democrats get what they deserve, be it good, bad or indifferent. All of this silly back and forth is the main reason Obama or Clinton will lose, Democrats are to short sighted and wrapped up in their own emotions concerning their respective candidate.

    May 27, 2008 01:21 am at 1:21 am |
  15. John, FL

    "Si se puede" means "yes we can".

    So now clinton is plagiarizing obama's call? That's laughable.

    What's next? Clinton calling for a "change in washington"? was she also called to run for presidency because of the "fierce urgency of now"?

    what a loser.

    May 27, 2008 01:21 am at 1:21 am |
  16. The Word

    HE WHO HATH AN EAR LET HIM (HER) HEAR – Translate,s he who can hear.Can hear without opinion,Can hear without personal anguish,Can Hear without stubbornness,Can hear without,racism.Can Hear Without.Predjucism of any kind,Can Hear without the Insecure Value's of those who never experianced the problem's(Blind Opinion) Listening is an ART just as Communication is an Art,Vote for the One Who Listen's The Most !!! The we CAN Communicate The Most !!!!!

    May 27, 2008 01:23 am at 1:23 am |
  17. R.R

    She promised so many things that poeple should understand that she is just desperetely saying things to win!
    Bill knows she can't make it to be the nominee!
    They are just dividing the party now!
    What a shame! What a sad situation!
    I can't believe they are still running!
    Maybe they should start preparing chelsea, for a better behavioral campaign! Her mum has been so negative!
    I just hope the party will unite behind Barack!
    I'm worried they way the clintons are making declarations now: it's not to unite, but to divide! It's really sad! They are pathetic!!!

    May 27, 2008 01:24 am at 1:24 am |
  18. Keith in CA

    Nikki Willis,
    Just a few facts: Obama supporters have not been boasting of their education. Hillary labelled Obama an elitist in an effort to pander to voters and present herself as one of the common folk. Didn't she attend a private school, receive an Ivy League education, and related to people's hardships by telling about not having heat at her family's summer home? Remember in Ohio when she told all those unemployed people the evils of NAFTA without mentioning that she and Bill supported it. How about the Clinton's borderline racist comments spewed from South Carolina to West Virginia? Regarding Reverend Wright, his rants were despicable and inexcusable. That's why Obama denounced and rejected him. Why hasn't Hillary denounced or rejected the West Virginia and Kentucky voters who said they would never vote for a black man? Is she that desperate for votes? Obama supporters don't claim any great educational enlightenment. We just happen to know the definition of hypocracy. And please, do not use the term "caught with his pants down" in any discussion regarding the Clintons. The jokes are too easy.

    May 27, 2008 01:27 am at 1:27 am |
  19. Bob, PA

    Hillary has become the unwanted house guest that won't leave.

    May 27, 2008 01:33 am at 1:33 am |
  20. B. hawkins

    This contest is over. There is no way Clinton can win. If you want her to take it to the convention hold your breath. There is no way that Bill and her are going to destroy thier reputations in the party by doing that. Obama only needs 49 more delegates to become the nominee. If you can not accept that now it will be come more clear in the next 10 days.. If you feel you have to leave the party then do what you gotta do. "If you can't stand the heat get out of the kitchen." as Hillary likes to say. John McCain is going to need all the help he can get and the democratic party is going to take back the White House because we have had enough of George Bush and will not accept MCsame

    May 27, 2008 01:38 am at 1:38 am |
  21. DemsV

    People failed to realize that Hillary has supported Puerto Rico before. Not like Obama that until now didn't even knew were it was.

    Hillary went to Puerto Rico in 1998 to get us help after a hurracain. Then she went back in 2001 to help us with Vieques.

    She has care about Puertorricans more than what people think.

    As a puertorrican in NYC she has my vote. And she has the vote of my family and friends in PR.

    Hillary 08-12

    May 27, 2008 01:39 am at 1:39 am |
  22. Connie

    It's funny how lies is more believable then the truth. The Devil deceive many, but my faith says not enough to give this nominee to Clinton.

    I am thankful my children is past the age for this war although my heart go out to those who serve.

    I just viewed a program on the ER for our men and women in the war. All of you who say you will vote for McCain should see it. After watching this if you still claim you will vote for McCain after viewing it. You are some sick heartless puppies to want our men and women to go through this. These men and women don't even know who they are fighting. These people are not walking around in uniform so our troops know who they are and getting pick off daily. We are past the number of people killed on 911. Over 4000 dead and over 27,000 mangled.

    This foolishness need to STOP. You can blow this is you wish, but don't blame anybody but yourself. It want be Obama's fault or Clinton's fault.


    May 27, 2008 01:54 am at 1:54 am |
  23. dictator

    It is ludicrous, sad , unfortunate that the clitons can apply the abc of third world politics and still have followers in the USA. It is sad to say, but they know who they're dealing with: uneducated poeple to whom math is just a nightmare, read between the lines cannot cross such mind, brief they 're idiots. may be we should not blam them(the clintons) they just seize the opportunity to delude their followers.
    It is shameful when one values more the ego, oneself over all.

    May 27, 2008 02:06 am at 2:06 am |
  24. Goody - Oregonians 4 Hillary

    Interesting is how Obama just can't take down his opposing candidate. All that money, nastiness and loads of BS and she's still running strong!

    Hillary all the way!!!

    May 27, 2008 02:44 am at 2:44 am |
  25. Hillary is a Winner

    I hope Hillary wins big in Puerto Rico and shows the world how weak Obombus really is. He is fluff and cotton candy. Don't believe his words of change because he doesn't know the meaning of the word.
    Hillary is the candidate that has proven she can win and win big like she did in NY, PA, OH, KY and WV.

    She also won Florida and Michigan.

    I say a good ticket, a winning ticket would be Hillary and Biden for VP

    May 27, 2008 06:19 am at 6:19 am |
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