In a move that might be seen as desperate, Hillary Clinton has suggested that delegates pledged to Barack Obama due to primary and caucus results are free to “flip” and vote for her instead.
During a meeting with the editorial board of the Philadelphia Daily News on Monday, Hillary was asked what she would do if Obama continues to hold the lead in pledged delegates.
He currently has edge of 1,413 pledged delegates to Clinton’s 1,242, according to the latest CNN count.
“I just don’t think this is over yet, and I don’t think that it is smart for us to take a position that might disadvantage us in November,” she said.
“And also remember that pledged delegates in most states are not pledged. You know, there is no requirement that anybody vote for anybody. They’re just like superdelegates.”
Two weeks ago Clinton made a similar statement, telling Newsweek magazine: “Even elected and caucus delegates are not required to stay with whomever they are pledged to.”
Hillary’s senior adviser Harold Ickes defended Hillary’s Monday remarks in a conference call with reporters.
“I think what Mrs. Clinton was trying to make clear was that no delegate is required by party rules to vote for the candidate for which they're pledged,” said Ickes.
“I mean obviously circumstances can change, and people's minds can change about the viability of a particular candidate and that's permitted now under our rules ever since the 1980 convention.”
Ickes added that while the rules allowed a campaign to petition pledged delegates to “flip,” the Clinton camp had not sought to do so.
But Jake Tapper of ABC News noted: “This notion that the Clinton campaign will try to flip pledged delegates has been floated and knocked down before, but I'm failing to arrive at any other interpretation for what she means here other than: We will convince pledged delegates to vote for us, as is perfectly within Democratic Party rules, despite the voters who elected them to support Obama.”
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