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. Dean M

    Bower is a lunatic.... to say that "Barack Obama is no more qualified than Sarah Palin."

    Say what you like but when you say stupid things people will dismiss you out of hand.... It seems anyone can found an organisation these days.... I'm forming the BIAFI foundation. Answers on a postcard as to what that stands for.

    November 4, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  2. David

    what a worthless piece of dung. I'm pretty sure the only reason he doesn't like Obama is because he is black.

    November 4, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  3. ShirleyY - Seattle

    Obama is not his problem, it's own personal hate and only he can deal with it.

    November 4, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  4. Anonymous

    shut up mr. bower

    November 4, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  5. Larry

    One more bit of proof that we humans are not rational thinkers as much as we are rationalizers. How can anyone trust John McCain after the campaign he has run. I'm still trying to figure out which McCain is running.

    This is coming from someone who used to respect both Hillary Clinton and John McCain.

    November 4, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  6. concerned

    just admit it, people from the southern states have a ton of racial tension which has messed this country up from day 1. Half of the people will not vote democrat because Obama is a black man , half of the others will not vote McCain because if his running mate being female.

    It's a sad day when people in the United states will not vote for reasons like i mentioned above. I'm registered republican, i voted for change, and it wasn't McCain.

    Obama 2008! Believe it!

    as for PUMA? well they have their opinions and we all have ours , best of luck to both parties.

    November 4, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  7. sully

    thank god not every one will act like that idiot.

    November 4, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  8. George


    November 4, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  9. Josh

    Yep, buncha silly cry babies. The polls are showing how ineffective their movement was, and it will be confirmed tonight.

    November 4, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  10. oh no

    still bitter, wow!

    November 4, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  11. Rovian Bull

    What a joke. PUMA in the first place was a creation of Rove and Schmidt. At their peak, following the primaries, they had maybe a thousand people in their organization. By now, that number is down to a hundred or two at most. Anyone who claims to support Hillary and votes with McCain either hasn't the slightest clue on the issues, or cares nothing about our country and its wellbeing and is more concerned with revenge because their candidate didn't win. The final proof is that he said that Palin was the convincing factor for him. That makes him the only Hillary supporter in the world who feels that Palin is a positive for the GOP ticket. Enjoy your minute of fame, bc come tomorrow, the only job you'll have is getting Karl Rove's coffee.....

    November 4, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  12. JoelWhy

    So, after months of PUMA's shouting about how there was NO way Obama could beat McCain, now they suddenly change their tune. Obama is like Bush? That's the argument now? This group's a joke.

    November 4, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  13. Clare

    Also, while I am at it, how does "writing in Clinton's name" achieve anything? Its a wasted vote, surely, and makes no point except that you are a bit stupid.

    November 4, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  14. Warren from TEXAS

    Who cares dude vote for who you want and just because McCain picked a female that sealed in for you. LOL – OBAMA-BIDEN 2008

    November 4, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  15. Chicka

    Course, it's not like he's ever going to have to worry about equal pay, sexual bias, or needing to get an abortion......

    course he'd have no problem with Palin.

    November 4, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  16. Block

    What an idiot!

    November 4, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  17. Anonymous

    It's amazing that the canidate can move on and he cannot

    November 4, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  18. Tabeth

    America is a free country where everyone's opinion is to be respected.
    However, when we look more to a person than to the principals he stands for, we surely will end up with such organization as PUMA.

    Both Hillary and Obam are of few days under the sun. But strong principals can inspire future generations.

    There is somewhere a dark spot in their conscience that they can't see themselves. Hitler, despite of all that he did, he is still worshiped by some..

    You can't just help it

    Hope you get it!

    November 4, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  19. Was independant, but now McCain 2008

    Hillary thought she was preordained to be president, then Obama thought he was preordained to be ruler of the world.

    It would be great if both proved unsuccessful.

    I actually thought Hillary would have been a strong leader, Obama...not.

    November 4, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  20. Isabel

    I wrote in HRC for President!

    November 4, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  21. LawDog

    PUMA is stupid....we need to unify,not cry over spilled milk...

    Palin as qualified as Obama? She can't even name a newspaper she read!!!

    November 4, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  22. Lee

    Wow – a thought process supporting someone's vote – what a novel idea! Go PUMA!

    November 4, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  23. steveg

    Bitter, party of how many? How many faux-outrage afflicted people with a tenuous relationship with reality? Apparently they refused to listen to Sen. Clinton's urge to support Obama. Disingenuity and denial of reality .. now THAT sounds like Bush.

    November 4, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  24. daron

    these people are the reason bush 2 was elected in the first place and now they are voting for mccain in spite, they have no principles in thier life and are the people who blame the government for every thing and do nithing to change it ! so be selfish and vote agaisnt the next president and when things DO change we can laugh in your face!

    November 4, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  25. Matt

    Waaaaaa! The party didn't listen to me! Waaaaa!

    Seriously, he won the nomination and if you're truly a Democrat (or a sane person with a brain) you can't actually buy into McCain's fear-based politics.

    November 4, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
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