Clinton camp says Florida vote counts

01/29/08 Mitch E. Perry
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As we reported last night, Hillary Clinton came to Florida on Sunday for three fundraisers, including one in Sarasota. She did not hold any campaign events, sticking to the pledge she made after the Democratic National Committee stripped the state of its delegates for moving its primary to January.

Clinton also said last week that she wants the delegates from Florida and Michigan to be seated at the convention next summer in Denver.

Now, a New Hampshire newspaper is blasting Clinton for her appearance and those comments.

The Union Leader calls Clinton a "liar," writing in an editorial, “Clinton coldly and knowingly lied to New Hampshire and Iowa. Her promise was not a vague statement. It was a signed pledge with a clear and unequivocal meaning.

"She signed it thinking that keeping the other candidates out of Michigan and Florida was to her advantage, but knowing she would break it if that proved beneficial later on. It did, and she did. New Hampshire voters, you were played for suckers."

Today, Howard Wolfson, the Clinton campaign’s chief media spokesman, strongly disagreed. Speaking to reporters on a national conference call today, Clinton campaign aides were on the defensive, responding to charges that Clinton was fine with upholding the pledge made with the other Democratic candidates not to campaign in Florida -or Michigan.

But now that the race has shifted to Florida, where she needs to quell resurgent interest in Obama because of his overwhelming victory on Saturday night, reporters asked if she wasn’t now singing a different tune.

With Clinton expected to make a speech in Davie, Florida, tonight shortly after the polls closed, one reported asked Wolfson if Hillary Clinton perhaps regretted taking the pledge not to campaign in Florida.

With none of the Democrats campaigning for votes, Chief Clinton political strategist Mark Penn was asked if a Hillary Clinton victory tonight could be attributed to her stronger name recognition. Penn said that wasn’t the case.

But Obama surrogates were having none of that. On the conference call, Obama Campaign manager David Plouffe brushed off the question of whether he would support seating Florida's delegates.

A later conference call set up by the Clinton campaign that was to feature South Florida Congressman Alycee Hastings was later cancelled, no explanation was given.

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