May 31st, 2008
03:16 PM ET
14 years ago

Clinton camp signals it's not so close on Florida

[cnn-photo-caption image=
caption="Ohio Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones speaks at a press conference outside the DNC meeting Saturday."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Just outside the ballroom where the Democratic Party's Rules and Bylaws Committee is deciding how to handle the seating of the Florida and Michigan delegations, the Clinton campaign said Saturday it was unwilling to concede the "concession" offered by the Obama team during morning remarks.

Florida Rep. Robert Wexler, a supporter of Barack Obama, told the panel Saturday morning the Illinois senator's campaign was willing to make a "concession" by agreeing to the plan presented by Jon Ausman that would cut the state's delegate voting strength by half.

Outside the room where the RBC gathering is already running nearly four hours behind schedule, senior advisers for Hillary Clinton said the Obama campaign wasn't making a concession to the New York senator, but to reality.

Ohio Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones crashed a press conference with Florida Sen. Bill Nelson, Wexler and Ausman meant to showcase the relative agreement among the Floridians pleading the state's case before the committee Saturday.

"We don't expect that the Obama campaign will be so 'generous' as to 'give' us the 19 delegates," she said. "It is in fact more generous and more appropriate to count all the votes as they were cast."

Clinton senior adviser Harold Ickes brushed Wexler's word aside entirely. "A concession? Give me a break," he told reporters. Under their formula Hillary Clinton loses delegates. How is that a concession?"

Wexler told reporters that 19 votes were better than nothing.

"Right now, they have zero votes, so it's a concession of 19. They have more than they started with," he said.

Obama campaign manager David Plouffe chimed in: "19 delegates is a huge concession. Harold of all people should know that gift-wrapping 19 delegates is an awfully generous gesture."

The committee has yet to reconvene after a private lunch that has taken more than twice as long as originally scheduled.

Filed under: DNC • Hillary Clinton
soundoff (17 Responses)
  1. Willy

    This is going to be good. After all the whining the democrats did in 2000 about counting all votes they are going to show their true colors and disenfranchise voters again and like they do every election but this time they can’t use the old play book blame it on a "Vast right-wing conspiracy". Go ahead make my day!

    May 31, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  2. ForBetterWorld

    I could not think DNC could be this stupid .. to get into this situation to start with ..

    One should not have agreed for not counting the deligates of Florida/michigan before and change your stand , to demand the change of rules, just for the sake of personal agenda. This is shame . Lost respect for these old time politics and the rowdism ..

    What is this nonsense !!?? One candidate is ruining chances for 2012 also ..forget about 2008 alone ..

    Continue the fight after 2009 for 2012 planning ....this is not the time ...if one is serious about seating all deligates ..

    I hope this won't repeat in DNC history !!

    May 31, 2008 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  3. LQ Rochester MN

    Shame on that campaign!! It was the DNC Rules Committee that decided that FL would get no delegates, that their primary would be for nothing, because they broke the rules. True, it was a Republican governor and republican-led legislature that broke the rules, but it was the DNC Rules Committee that said they would get no delegates out of this. ALL THE CANDIDATES had agreed with this decision back in 2007. Now that HRC is trailing, she wants it all, even tho' I am sure there were many democrats who did not bother to vote (either for her or Obama) since they knew their votes would not count.

    I think offering to count half is more than generous. I watched this part of the hearing and Ickes was just rude. Obama's campaign could have fought to stuck by the original decision.

    May 31, 2008 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  4. JD

    The disrespectful Hillary supporters should be escorted from the room. I have not heard booing from the other side, just the Clinton side.

    Then again, this disrespect isn't the least bit surprising.

    May 31, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  5. Tim

    I still can't believe it's even being discussed. If I was the DNC chair, this meeting wouldn't even be taking place.

    You cheated. You broke the rules. You don't get to be in the game anymore. Done. Deal with it. You don't get to change the rules after the fact.

    Maybe next time you'll learn how to play by the rules. Florida and Michigan both should be disallowed....and if voters there are smart (and yes, that's debatable), they'd fire the idiots who put them in this position in the first place, instead of trying to commit a hostile takeover of the presidential primaries.

    Hillary Clinton has never played by the rules, so I don't expect anything other than cheating from her. So it doesn't surprise me that she's stirring this pot trying for her ridiculous and desperate attempt at stealing the nomination too.

    It's over. Move on.

    May 31, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  6. Taka

    Count those votes!

    Go Jones!

    May 31, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  7. SaveTheDramaFoObamasMama

    Hillary is the one who can beat McCain in November!

    The obamabots are clueless!

    Gi Hillary!

    May 31, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  8. KM

    Is it to late for me to become an Independent? Superdelegates please put an end to this before the whole ship goes down.

    May 31, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  9. Take it to the Convention in AUG

    Harold Ickes is right the eletion is being Hijacked !I can't help but feel that Dean has Hijacked this election from the voters of MI and of this country!

    May 31, 2008 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  10. The DNC has SPOKEN!!!

    Buncha stomping whining crybabies.

    May 31, 2008 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  11. Maria

    19 is too many

    May 31, 2008 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  12. Robert New York City & Miami, Florida


    May 31, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  13. Michael

    Count votes 100 percent. 50 percent is nothing.

    May 31, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  14. Yuck

    That Stephanie Tubbs is a big mouth with no real purpose. She self inflates her importance and speaks nonsense on a continual basis. She would follow Senator Clinton to hell...

    May 31, 2008 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |

    I thought is time 4 clinton to give up and support obama,,change we believe in.

    May 31, 2008 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  16. A.J. in Fla

    Today,s decisons will provoke a Democratic Party defeat in November.

    May 31, 2008 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  17. Texas Democrat

    It appears that unless everything goes EXACTLY as they want it, Hillary Clinton and her ilk are not happy. Seating the full delegation, but halving their votes was a trully generous albeit questionable ruling. It is past time for these "Hillary or I'll vote for McCain" disciples to step back and see the self serving interest for a minute. The DNC rules clearly state that both states would automatically have lose half theor delegates for the rule infraction. Yet HRC wants all of the delegates to go to her when the election which was held was completely unfair. She is still determined cause an uproar at the convention, which will only re-divide the party...SELFISH!!!

    Look at a few well documented facts that you obviously don't know and CNN won't tell you.

    HRC :Prior to being elected Senator in 2000 Hillary Clinton has never held an elective office, and had never run for an elected office. Total years of elective office service 8. First Ladies are not elected officials, have no standing in either house of Congress, and are not in line to succeed the President or VP in the event of their death or incapacitation.

    BO: 8 years in the Illinois legislature plus 4 years in the US Senate totaling 12 years experience in an elected office.

    WJC (Bill Clinton): Rhodes Scholar, Graduate of Yale School of Law, former university proffessor

    HRC: Wellesley College, Yale School of Law,

    BO: Columbia University, Harvard School of Law, former university proffessor

    Since all of the above are "Ivy Leaugers" how is it that only Barak Obama is considered an elitist, and only appeals to the college educated audience...kind of hypocritical.

    May 31, 2008 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |