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. KE

    A fighter earns respect when he/she wins. But this game the company picked a rookie against a pro and they've been telling their audience all this time a pro shouldn't hit a rookie too hard. Shame shame.

    Go Hillray, don't pull your punches.

    May 26, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  2. Sean

    jmm: Last time I checked, Osama wasn't running for office. Maybe you're confusing him with Obama, since there are so many right-wing people out there who try to blur that line for you. It's ok, though. When he is elected President, he will still look out for you.

    May 26, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  3. marylee wagerman atlanta,ga

    HILLARY PLEASE JUST GO AWAY

    YOU AND BILL ARE SCARING MY KIDS

    May 26, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  4. Edwin, Fayetteville, NC

    The Clintons have proven to me that they are untrustworthy and I wish that I had never voted for him. Sen. Clinton has not been dis respected and there is no plot to drive her out of the race, she and her husband did that with out help from anyone. The people of Puerto Rico are smarter then she gives them credit for, I have heared some of their comments some support her but most are supporting Sen. Obama.

    May 26, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  5. Ed

    hi from Canada..

    Hey I don't expect this to be posted as you never have posted any of my comments before... here goes another try... and by the way CNN..I thought FOX news was bias in the way it favored BUSH and the Republicans..(I wonder if there will actually be a FOX network after Obama wins.. They could just show old movies.... ) but the way you report on HIllary and tend to put as one of your comments her said "Flulff" about Hillary is only showed showing the bias you have as being Pro-Hillary...move on CNN ..Obama is gonna win...report on less fluff and more substance...
    Anyhow I am going to submit this and see if you actually post it..here goes nothing..

    Ok being in another country and watching what is going on gives me a different perspective and from what Hillary has done up to this point has been more and more desperate… but what she said about RFK is inexcusable… did she inhale what Bill said he did not or what..???
    Even when she so called apologizes..she tries to justify it somehow…to all you people that support her …how could you support such an idiot??? and to top it off threaten to vote for McCain who is a clone of Bush just because you do not like Obama …
    OK people ..grow up and realize that Obama is the winner even if it is not official yet…
    If you really love and care for your country , put aside your prejudice against Obama and unite to defeat the tyrany and dictatorship of the Republicans that you have had to suffer for during the past 7 years…
    and your dismal economy is starting to even affect our flourishing economy up here in the Great White North…
    So for the love of G*D, vote for Democrats in November…. eh?????

    May 26, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  6. Jose

    Si se Puede!

    Hillary – If you want to promise something to Puerto Ricans, promise them independence. Then we will elect you Governor or President. Stay in Puerto Rico!! We love you!!

    May 26, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  7. Democrats for Obama

    I'm not only disgusted with the Clintons, but with alot of their so called supporters of whom are really Republicans. Anyone that is a true Democrat is not going to vote for McCain. These people are only trying to cause division in the party and will cut their noses off to spite their faces. Hillary and hubby are are like two carnival barkers, appealing to those who are the most gullible and uninformed.

    May 26, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  8. Rosemary

    Belle you are right on. Barack is an insidious influence on this campaign – lets his staff put out the crap and then tries to elevate himself above it. Let me tell, you from working on many campaigns – the staff doesn't put out messages like that without the person running it knowing about it – their are constant briefings etc. I no longer trust Barack and absolutly will not vote for him. I think the way Hillary has been treated by the DNC, the news media, her so called friends who used her and her husband are discraceful. Listen up female graduates – if you serve your country working for the people – you too can be treated like Hillary. Stay in the race Hillary and take this thing to the convention – that's what the process is set up for, so use it.

    May 26, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  9. jerry

    Oh HILLLLLLIIIIIRRRRRRRRYYYYY Puerto rico wont matter because on May 31 the DNC decides on MI and FLA. Ill tell you a little secret even if they give you all MI delegates and seat FLA as it voted. Guess what you are still short and Obama gets his 72 delagates from FLA he only needs 49 of these for 2026. All this happens the day before Puerto Rico votes. I hope they give you everything you have been screaming for in Fla and MI BWHAHAH. Check Mate, Game over. P.S. Popular vote never has mattered in an election and never will even if you lead, WHICH YOU DON'T.

    May 26, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  10. Marlie:

    I wonder when and where she lived in PR. Does she have a PR accent? We all know her platform and promises change – depending on her audience.

    May 26, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  11. monic

    With all due respect, Mr. Obama doesn't know anything about Puerto Rico and the people. As much as a hate to admit, McCain knows more about that Island. The person who really understands the issues whether people accept it or not is Hillary Clinton. You may want to do some research and then you will find the facts and don't make yourself look bad when you make some of the statements above.

    May 26, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  12. DemsV

    Taking into account that Hillary has help Puerto Rico before 1998 after a Hurracaine then in 2001 she went back to help in other issues. I think she will win. Plus Obama didnt knew were PR was until he went there to get some money...

    May 26, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  13. Amy

    Mimi De La Cruz for OBAMA
    "PUERTO RICANS NOT THAT STUPID. THEY KNOW WHEN A PERSON IS JUST UGLY & A LIER."

    No, they are not. What about you?

    May 26, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  14. sdn

    Puerto Ricans are smarter than what's being reported in the media.

    PR is for Obama! 08 & 12

    May 26, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  15. Paula in WI

    This doesn't even warrant further discussion.She can't win even if she took all that's left..It's over.No nominee then and the Paul vs Clinton trial begins.Then justice will be served on the Clintons.
    Go Obama..time to find a VP

    May 26, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  16. Marlie:

    Rachel: Richardson is campaigning on Obama's behalf in PR this week as he speaks spanish. CNN reported it one. Only once that I know of. Obama is not on vacation. Watch the News.

    May 26, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  17. Scott

    The democratic party is in a real bind in regrad to Florida and Michigan.If they decide to not count florida and michigan on May 31st,then you are gonna have some bitter voters in both states come general election time in November.Both Florida and Michigan are "swing states" meaning I think democracts will need to win them in November to win General election.

    So lets go other scenario,lets say democratic party decides to seat Florida & michigan-it counts the delegrates and votes from the states.That will help appease democractic voters in general election in florida and michigan-which the democracts need...

    but if you count delegates and votes in frlorida and michigan-Hillary clinton will still be behind in the delegrate count,but she will be ahead in popular vote overall.Then she really does a have legit reason to carry this thing to the democrate convention in August.

    You could say Hillary is behind and she should quit,but if she can say say she is ahead in overall popular vote,then I can not blame her for staying in race till convention.

    May 26, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  18. K

    Women weren't even allowed to vote until 1920. Black men were allowed to vote in the late 1890s. It doesn't take a genius to realize it will be several more decades until this country will elect a woman president. The media tells you losers who to vote for and you follow like a herd of sheep.

    May 26, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  19. McCAIN THREW MEN OF GOD UNDER THE BUS!

    It's such a shame that they may be willing to waste their one vote knowing they won't get another one in November. What a shame! Shame on you Hillary and Bill for lying to these people and convincing them to waste their vote! SHAME ON YOU!

    May 26, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  20. Lisa

    Obama drop out, you cannot beat Mccain.

    May 26, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  21. ms j

    TO BELLE,
    Are you for real? Everyone knew the rules from day one, they OBEYED the RULES, everyone except those who are having problems NOW! Obama didn't campaign in those 2 states, what you as a so called Democrat need to do is find someone who can really explain to you who actually took the initiative to move their primary date. If Hillary had not been so anxious to go against the Rules and became a Team Player, we Democrats would not be at each others throats! She signed a commitment not to do any campaigning if the primary dates were affected, but she did, so you fault Obama? He agreed to whatever it takes to settle this issue, but you guys want Hillary to win more than SHE does, if SHE truly wanted to be fair and balanced she would from the very beginning OBEYED THE RULES!

    May 26, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  22. s.positive

    Latinos, She is only using you guys to get her by, she really doesn't care and if you want to sell your vote to this liar, the be my guest. She'll still lose...

    May 26, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  23. John

    Bill & Hillary spent 8 years in office, and did nothing about making Puerto Rico a state....now they're on her "first piority list"....PANDER!

    May 26, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  24. CARMEN

    Puerto Rico remember where we came from, our culture our food our music, support the candidate that has more in common with us, stop the Hilbillies. those clinton years are over!

    May 26, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  25. JJ

    Go Hillary. You are our only hope. If you don't win, I 'll be voting for McCain...Sorry!

    May 26, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
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