November 4th, 2008
05:40 PM ET
13 years ago

PUMA founder: Obama is Democrats' Bush

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="PUMA members still won't vote for Obama."]

(CNN) - When Will Bower, an ardent Hillary Clinton supporter and lifelong Democrat, founded PUMA, Party Unity My A**, his mission was to express frustration in the Democratic Party. Fast forward six months to Election Day, and he is proud to say he's cast his ballot for the candidate he "trusts" most: John McCain.

"I see Barack Obama as essentially being the Democratic George Bush," Bower said. "It's a reactionary movement. People like John McCain and Hillary Clinton represent mores stability and sensibility to me."

Bower started the PUMA movement in the days leading up to the suspension of Clinton's presidential campaign in early June.

The initiative was not to rally support for McCain but to unite those who don't want Obama as president.

The group is predominantly composed of female Clinton supporters, Bower told CNN in early June, but he has also helped launch the Just Say No Deal, a nationwide coalition that he estimated has 2 million voters who are also vowing to "say no" to the Illinois senator.

The 36-year-old Washington resident has never voted for a Republican in his 18 years of qualifying to vote but said he feels that Obama does not represent the voice of the Democratic Party but the "leadership" of the Democratic National Committee.

"I didn't want to validate corruption or reward the campaign for what I thought was a fraudulent victory," Bower said. "What I am left with is a matter of trust. I have very little trust for Barack Obama. Even though John McCain and I might have differences on various issues, I trust him.

"[McCain is] a bipartisan leader, and I think that's the kind of leadership we need right now," Bower added.

Only during Clinton's convention speech in Denver, Colorado, did Bower consider not voting for McCain, but at no point was he swayed toward Obama.

He credits the Arizona senator's choice of Sarah Palin as his running mate in helping to decide his vote.

"I think [Sarah Palin] is essentially as qualified as Barack Obama," Bower said. "The benefit of Palin is that she is only second on the ticket, as opposed to first. I feel that Barack Obama is no more qualified than Sarah Palin."

As for the other members of PUMA, Bower says the majority will be casting votes for McCain, just as he did.

"There are plenty of PUMAs who are still not ready to go the extra step [and vote McCain], but they are not ready to vote for Obama, either."

Those voters, he says, will either abstain from voting, vote third-party or write in Clinton's name.

Only a small percentage of members have shifted toward supporting Obama, but if those members pull the lever for the Democratic nominee, they are "no longer a PUMA," Bower said.

soundoff (370 Responses)
  1. MN for Obama

    Waaaaahhh! Grow up! Moron!

    November 4, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  2. Barbara in NC

    Sarah Palin is a liar and McCain is senile. What's wrong with this picture.

    Go ahead PUMAs – cut off your noses to spite your faces.

    Obama/Biden '08

    November 4, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  3. Chi4Obama

    Who cares what PUMA's have to say.

    Is this organization even still relevant?

    November 4, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  4. Steve in CA

    Looks like the PUMA movement didn't work. Too bad.

    November 4, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  5. Patricia

    Sounds like he has sour grapes to me. BOO HoO, you'll get over it and see how great we can be united....

    November 4, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  6. Tiffany

    Can we say...bitter?

    November 4, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  7. Franky

    These people are still around?? I've seen more of Gov Palin than these guys for crying out loud...thank you Sarah! LOL!!

    November 4, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  8. Lyndon

    Enough with division and pettiness. Obama won fair and square and he's about to win this election. Anyone who supported Hillary Clinton that doesn't realize that John McCain's policies are a direct antithesis to her and Senator Obama's policies spits in the face of everything that Hillary worked for during the democratic primary. You can find a reason to not like Obama, but don't insult our intelligence.

    November 4, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  9. Uh...

    Where do they find these people?

    November 4, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  10. Independent white female patriotic voter

    PUMAS are not rue Clinton supporters! if they were, they would have followed her steps to unity and supported her issues by voting for obma. Those PUMAS are self centered women who absolutely had one goal in mind and that was to gt a woman into the hwite house, that is not loyalty.

    November 4, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  11. seanfc

    Thanks for your input, Mr. Bower. Prepare to never matter ever again.

    November 4, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  12. L in CA

    There's one born every minute.....

    November 4, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  13. Gia in Los Angeles, CA

    How infantile. Anyone who cares about the issues Hillary stands for, will find 99% of the same values and goals with Obama. Those people are cutting off their noses to spite their faces!

    November 4, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  14. Integrity

    McCain's campaign shows absolute integrity with fund raising, but Obama's campaign raises a lot of illegal practice questions.

    November 4, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  15. Frank

    If this guy is telling the truth about having been a Clinton voter (which I very much doubt) then he is one of the many Americans who are simply irrational.

    Granted that Obama doesn't satisfy every Clinton voter, he is still far closer to her politically than is John McCain.

    For a Clinton voter to support McCain on the basis of personality demonstrates a level of political immaturity that is simply astonishing.

    November 4, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  16. Ken

    Grudge much?

    November 4, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  17. Chi4Obama

    Hey PUMA's,
    Just make sure that you are thanking President Obama in about a year, when you are paying paying lower taxes and covered with universal Healthcare.

    November 4, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  18. Jesse from Berlin

    Oh shut up already... You lost

    November 4, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  19. steve

    Sour grapes by a bunch of sore losers and idiots. You should all be ashamed of yourselves.

    November 4, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  20. Danny, OH


    November 4, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  21. mom for Obama

    Anyone who is voting for McCain was never truly an "ardent Hillary Clinton supporter". Clinton and McCain stand for such different things and Sarah Palin shares only two x chromosomes with Hillary. Hillary has asked her supporters to join her in voting for Obama to bring us the change we need

    November 4, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  22. STL-Veteran

    Bower is an's simple as that, nobody stole the election two states, MI and FL did not follow the rules and from where I come from if you don't follow the rules you get punished. He needs to get over it or leave the Demoratic Part for good. I supported the Clintons for 8 years and it's time for a change, and 4-8 years of another Clinton administration is not change.

    President Obama will Change this country for the better!!!!

    November 4, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  23. Euridicie


    November 4, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  24. Vic

    Registered Republican "voted" Obama/Biden 08

    Go Democrats....

    November 4, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  25. tape1227

    The Clintons and their organization just won't die. Just wish more of the "Sisterhood of the Traveling Pantsuit" was able to see through the lies and half-truths of Obama. This guy gives Obama more credit than I do saying he is as qualified as a Mrs Palin.

    November 4, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
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