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. victor

    Incredible how mean spirited people can be. More then half the blogs here have nothing to do with politics, which leads me to believe most people don't understand any of the issues and even less about just how bad a shape the countries in.

    May 27, 2008 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  2. E75, Orlando, FL

    I can't understand why there is such venom from some of the posts here regarding John McCain. A Bush clone? Please tell me how? I think McCain has substantial differences rom President Bush, in personality and in policy. Furthermore, McCain has done more than virtually ANY other U.S. Senator to cross the aisle and work with the opposing party. Obama likes to talk about how he has as well, but his record just does not support his exaggerated claims.

    We as a nation have a choice - a junior senator with virtually NO experience, bringing NOTHING of substantive value during his term so far - but he just so happens to be a good communicator, and a "likable guy." High on rhetoric - "Change, CHANGE, CHANGE"...I for one am not ready to hand over the keys to the castle to someone who's tenure in politics is slightly longer than mine (and I am NOT a politician), sorry folks. You can be all hopped up on idealism, but he is unqualified, and will ultimately be a huge detriment and dissappointment to this country if he wins.

    Then you have Senator Clinton - a member of one of the most well-oiled political machines we've ever seen in this country. But I think that's the problem. I think she's just a power-hungry, career politician. I think she will do and say anything to get elected, and I am sorry, but we need to put an end to this CLINTON dynasty scheme right now.

    Senator John McCain - who is the most liberal Republican Presidential candidate we've ever seen. I wish he were more conservative. But, I believe he has the courage to do what is right for this country - the background and know how to best use our armed servicemen and women. And the honesty and integrity lacking from both Democratic candidates. So you can disagree with McCain's positions, fine. But to call him a Bush clone and imply he would be a disaster for this country simply reveals how much of a kool aid drinker some liberal democrats have become, and it's quite sad, really.

    May 27, 2008 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  3. Mirta Rodriguez

    Puerto Ricans are not stupid, therefore, they will vote for the right candidate and that is Hillary Clinton.

    Come on Puerto Rico, voten por Hillary!

    May 27, 2008 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  4. Kevin, NC

    Phuck Hillary and Her uneducated racists supporters

    May 27, 2008 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  5. Carlos

    To people saying "Clinton or McCain" (or "Obama or McCain":
    Clinton and Obama's policies are so close that to say you'd vote for McCain over a Democratic nominee, even if it's not "your" first choice is ignorant.

    May 27, 2008 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  6. Mirta Rodriguez

    Puerto Ricans are not ignorant, they will vote for the right candidate and that is Hillary Clinton!

    COME ON PUERTO RICO, VOTEN POR HILLARY CLINTON!

    May 27, 2008 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  7. Mike

    If you let a snake roam. It will bit you. Please get this woman off the stage. She's only hurting Obama!!!!!!

    May 27, 2008 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  8. AnnaLee

    keep Going Hillary. We need a President like you. You are not a quitter. You are strong and will be a great leader. We love you. Obama has not yet said what is he going to change? We really worried about this. Love you!

    May 27, 2008 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  9. LB

    I wonder if the people of Puerto Rico know that it was during Bill Clinton's presidency that the banking deregulation took place that has given us our current mortgage and crediit crisis? I wonder if they understand that part of the reason our country is in the condition it is in is because of NAFT, GATT, and the WTO. I fought against those policies personally handing out fliers to people on the street precisely because of what it would do to american jbbs and the american worker... I was never against tade but I knew these policies were too imbalanced.
    I wish that Senator Obama was willing to talk more about those things.

    May 27, 2008 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  10. Lisa

    Dear all.
    Please support the candidate whom you think will do best among those running. Name calling and foul language will not accpmpolish anything positive. It is setting a very bad bad example to all the youngsters who are yet to come of voting age.

    May 27, 2008 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  11. R1100RT in VA

    Puerto Rico is a beautiful place with beautiful people.

    They DON'T want to be an independent nation.

    They want all the privileges and benefits of the USA but they DON'T want to become a state.

    They DON'T PAY USA federal taxes.

    They CAN'T vote in the USA presidential election.

    Why should anybody CARE who Puerto Ricans want for US president???

    May 27, 2008 08:41 am at 8:41 am |
  12. Cathy in MD

    Another case of Hillary Clinton deluding a vulnerable group of voters to believe that only she understands them, only she can save them, and that the other guy is not to be trusted. And, another example of how she has no intention of uniting the Party (she would have bowed out by now to support the obvious nominee), and wants only to advance her own self-interests (to get back the old house because she thinks she entitled to it).

    May 27, 2008 08:41 am at 8:41 am |
  13. Cynthia

    Senator Clinton has been expected to win in PR for some time, but does she have the numbers in the end when all the contests have been completed?

    May 27, 2008 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
  14. Mel

    What this proves, once again, is that Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton fosters a divisive politics, she and her supporters take the low road every time they can. "Yes, they will." This is a failed leader because if you forget that the aim is to strengthen the party and to defeat Senator John McCain then you should not be running as a Democrat; she should join the other narcissist Bob Barr as his running mate. Senator Clinton has been very disappointing, despite her smarts and good policywonk skills. Poorly run campaign, negative attacks, poor judgement, whining about fragile women when she loses and then wearing gloves, shooting guns, drinking whiskey and saying "If you don't like the heat get out of the kitchen" when she loses. From week to week we do not know which Senator Clinton we will get. She should exit gracefully... somehow I doubt it, though.

    May 27, 2008 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  15. TEXAS

    If Hillary moves back into the White House she better start talking with Cuba. She will need to get more cigars!!

    May 27, 2008 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  16. Carla

    Boy, do I thank God that I am not an American. So many of you are so desperate for "change" ( and I don't blame you, good riddance to Bush); that you fall for the totally useless and empty promise of change by Obama!! He has said absolutely nothing in any of his speaches, promises change without saying how!!!
    Even before "Super Tuesday", I told people that Obama would win the nomination, not for anything that he does or says but because Americans are not ready to vote for a woman, no matter how much more experience or sound policy she presents. Obama may some day be ready to be president, but not yet. I at least hope that if the contest is between Obama and McCain, you will spare the world another round of republican garbage!

    May 27, 2008 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  17. Evelyn Jewell

    You folks in Puerto Rico, know who is the best qualified candidate to help you, when Hillary, is our next U.S. President.

    So vote for Hillary, on June 01, it's very important.

    Hillary hasn't got a fair deal from the U.S. TV news media, since the inception of the campaign. However many folks, who have listened to Hillary throughout the campaign, debates etc., know she's the most qualified candidate.

    Hillary's winning of the BIG STATES, with high electoral votes, needed to win in November, prove they voted, for the correct nominee.

    Hillary's voters will not support Obama, if he's selected as the Democratic nominee.

    Obama's endorsees do not make him more qualified than Hillary.

    Mc Cain will be our next President, if Obama is the nominee.

    May 27, 2008 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  18. Rick, PA

    Well, as Puerto Rico goes, so goes the Nation!! Ha Ha.

    May 27, 2008 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  19. Peter in PA

    To the people of Puerto Rico,

    If you boo when hearing President Obama's name, he will not allow you to vote in presidential elections. So be good!

    May 27, 2008 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  20. Peter

    who cares about PR

    May 27, 2008 08:47 am at 8:47 am |
  21. Michael, an independent Canadian

    All she is doing is dividing the Democrats into a highly polarized party which will not be able to heal itself to win the election. Her winner-take-all approach is going to cost the Democrats and the US an opportunity for real change.

    May 27, 2008 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  22. Wise White Guy

    And what is the point of you rallying anything when all it means is further dividing of the party when you have already lost? You and your Husband make me sick!

    May 27, 2008 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  23. Judi in the heartland

    I truly believe that Hillary suporters can't see the forest for the trees. Anyone as deperate as the Clintons,doing the things and saying the things that they are just to get Hillary elected and the two of them back in the Whitehouse. What do you think they would do and say to stay there? Fellow Democrats, WAKE UP!!!!

    May 27, 2008 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  24. Kelly

    Go Hillary!

    No Hillary on the ballot = a vote for McCain from Me!

    Hillary '08

    May 27, 2008 08:49 am at 8:49 am |
  25. marina

    My comments have been awaiting moderation for 10 hours!! and all this because I dared to say that the media and DNC have made a circus out of these primaries!!!! It's fine with me–I've learned something more today.......

    May 27, 2008 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
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