Clinton Warns Fla. Voters of Repeat of 2000 Election

(CBS)
From CBS News' Fernando Suarez:

BOCA RATON, FLA. -- Hillary Clinton warned the Democratic Party and Florida voters that not counting their Jan. 29 primary votes would be a repeat of what happened after the 2000 presidential election.

"We believe the popular vote is the truest expression of your will. We believe it today just as we did back in 2000 when right here in Florida, you learned the hard way what happens when your votes aren't counted and the candidate with the fewer votes is declared the winner," Clinton said.

"The lesson of 2000 here in Florida is crystal clear: if any votes aren't counted, the will of the people isn't realized and our democracy is diminished."

Clinton made her first trip back to the Sunshine State nearly 4 months after claiming victory in a state made up of people whose votes and delegates are not being recognized by the Democratic Party. Clinton said she believes that she and Obama have "an obligation as Democrats" to ensure that every vote is counted in this election.

But one argument posed by opponents of seating the delegates is that by signing the Democratic National Committee pledge neither candidate was allowed to campaign in the state, restricting any candidate at the time for pitching their campaign message to voters. Clinton argues that a variety of tools were available to voters - who turned out in record numbers on primary day - to make an informed decision.

"You watched the news, you went to the candidates' websites, you talked to friends and neighbors, you learned about our records and policies so you could make informed voting decisions. You didn't break a single rule, so you shouldn't be punished for matters beyond your control."

"The fact is the people of Florida voted back in January, you did your part, you showed up in record numbers, and you made informed choices, but today some months later you still don't know if these votes will help determine our party's nominee. You still don know if this great state will be represented at our convention in August. It is time you knew," she added.

As Clinton campaigns in parts of Florida today, the Democratic Party's Rules and Bylaws Committee is gearing up for a meeting at the end of the month to come to a solution over the delegates of Florida and Michigan.

At her first stop, Clinton seemed to be playing up a populist role in hopes of getting attention and support from voters in Florida who feel disenfranchised. Whether her attempts are too little too late, remain to be seen. One thing is certain, she seems unlikely to give up.

"The outcome of our election should be determined by the will of the people nothing more, nothing less!" Clinton said, "The people who voted did nothing wrong and it would be wrong to punish you."
  • Fernando Suarez

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