November 4th, 2008
05:40 PM ET
14 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. CT from Chi-Town

    "What I am left with is a matter of trust..." Wow, focus on the issues much? There is NO WAY you could have been a Clinton supporter and then decided that John McCain was a better match. That's truly insane!

    November 4, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  2. Dave

    This group still amazes me.
    We want Hillary to win, but she loses. So we then to decide that for president we will vote for the person that opposes Hillary on EVERY issue.
    Thats not voting with the heart or the brain. It's a very bitter, very stupid, very selfish statement of "If my candidate can't win, then I won't let yours either!".
    I guess it proves that some people never do grow up.

    November 4, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  3. jroc

    sour, sour grapes. and just plain sad!

    November 4, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  4. Tor

    ha ha ha this guy is whacked.
    Does he even have anything to back the "corruption" claim?
    And, how exactly does the DNC just will Obama to victory when the real voters supposedly wanted Hillary.
    Hey PUMA, face reality. Hillary was a horrible candidate. Even most democrats thought she was a crooked, scary snake.
    She would have lost to McCain in a second.

    And, good lord how on earth can you possible claim Palin is a qualified as Obama? Obama is actually smart. That is a mighty big qualification compared to being against abortion and homsexual marriages.

    But hey, if America is ever attacked by an army of homos who want to get marriage licenses I say put Palin on the front line of defense.

    hah ha ha OMG this is the dumbest organisation in the history of politics.

    November 4, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  5. carolina

    I think it's silly that people will vote for McCain in suPport of angry Hillary Clinton support.

    November 4, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  6. Beckett

    PUMA sounds like another Swiftboaters for Truth. Get a life.

    November 4, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  7. Kerry

    So now, at the 11th hour, this clown gets his 5 minutes on the soapbox??? Filler story until the polls close. I trust John McCain make sure I'm good and broke 4 years from now. Obama/Biden '08!

    November 4, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  8. McCookie

    Excuse my typos on my previous comment. I'm sneaking a little break at work to reply to this.

    November 4, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  9. melissa

    cutting off your nose to spite your face. real smart.

    November 4, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  10. Peg, Findlay, Ohio

    How could a Clinton supporter be moved to John McCain by Sarah Palin? What issues do Sarah and the democrats agree on?

    November 4, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  11. Former Republican

    This tiny little group of disgruntled, immature voters does not deserve to have an article on CNN, taking up space, listening to their inane justification of abandoning their party's principles for their own little grudge-fest.

    November 4, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  12. Karen

    All I know is I'm sick and tired of hearing how bad it would be to have a black president . Well, I'm white but I voted for Obama . I'm proud of my vote and I have no worries aboout him being part black . Sometimes people need to look past color and pay attention to the real issues . I've watched his speeches , the commercial and I have to say , he has a heart and I believe he will do the country good . I don't think he would make his self look bad in front of his daughters . McCain is only worried about people who are up to his standards , like owning 6 homes or whatever . I live in a double-wide trailer, but it is my home and I can afford it . Let's hope and pray Obama gets the President position . We really need a change fast . Go Obama !!!!!

    November 4, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  13. Casey intelligent democrat.

    November 4, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  14. Riche1963

    Bower is just a sour puss. Get over it.

    November 4, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  15. AZ Lauren

    Throw yourself on the ground and commence temper tantrum..........................NOW!

    November 4, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  16. az voter

    A PUMA is a large wild cat that gets shot in AZ when ever it gets too close to the lambs.

    It appears that Will Bower's movement lacked Will Power.

    Too bad Will, guess you can pack it up now ... LOL

    November 4, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  17. John Gaskell

    Stop looking at resume and start looking at IQ. Obama is clearly more qualified to be president than McCain/Palin. Look what happened the last time you put an average IQ in the White House. "You're doing a great job, Brownie"

    November 4, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  18. Tom

    Apparently this guy has yet to look at the issues. Clinton and Obama AGREE on most everything. Clinton and McCain DISAGREE on most everything. We're not electing somebody to have a beer with. We're electing somebody to figure out solutions and put them into practice. McCain would do the opposite of what Clinton wants. Obama will do mostly the same as Clinton would. Voting for McCain because you can't have Clinton makes no sense whatsoever.

    November 4, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  19. Barb, Des Plaines

    Face the facts, Hillary is so over you. She just wasn't that into you. Why can't you move on?

    November 4, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  20. Isis

    Will, you're in the minority on this one. So Hillary didn't make it... that's because we liked Obama better. Running into the arms of the McCain/Palin fiasco seems like a strange way to express disappointment.

    November 4, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  21. DJ

    This man is no real Democrat. He is just another follower. If he really cared about Democratic values, there is no way he could vote for McCain. I liked Hillary too. But she's not on the ballot. We need leaders in these times and Obama will deliver!


    November 4, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  22. dd1

    PUMA my A++

    November 4, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  23. Steve

    I am proud to say that I wrote in Hillary!!
    Then I voted straight ticket democrat.

    November 4, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  24. Dan

    These people are fringe wackos. It's a shame the media covers them.

    November 4, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  25. Joe

    What a bunch of friggin' whiners...pathetic!

    November 4, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
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