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Thursday, May 22, 2008

Clinton Backer Paterson: Hillary Acting Out Of Desperation

Elizabeth Benjamin, Daily News
Gov. David Paterson, who is right now being interviewed by WAMC's Alan Chartock and taking calls from listeners on "Vox Pop," just disagreed sharply with his presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton, on her last-ditch efforts to seat the Florida and Michigan delegations.

While he stressed that he continues to support Clinton and will do so until "she makes a different determination," Paterson, a superdelegate, said he doesn't believe the DNC should change the rules after the fact on Florida and Michigan and added that he's not buying her claims about leading the popular vote if the ballots cast in those states were counted.

"I would say at this point we're starting to see a little desperation on the part of the woman who I support and I'll support until whatever time she makes a different determination," Paterson said, adding: "I thought she was the best candidate and I thought she had the best chance of winning."


Paterson, who is a DNC committee member and was present at the meeting when a vote was taken to penalize Florida and Michigan for moving their respective primaries ahead of the traditional starting contests in New Hampshire and Iowa, said he thought that decision was "a little unfair" and he "didn't agree with it at the time."

But he also noted "nobody was screaming" after that decision was made, although some people were unhappy with it, adding:

"There was a process. I thought at the time everybody agreed to it. I didn't hear any objections from the candidates...So I would think the Democratic National Committee would leave it where it is."


On Clinton's claims regarding the popular vote and likening the fight to set the Florida and Michigan delegates to the civil rights movement, Paterson said:

"You have to rule out the undecideds in Michigan. You have to assume she won 100 percent to nothing in Michigan. I don't think anybody in their right mind would do that, nor would they see it as a civil rights issue."

Paterson's comments came in response to the first question posed to him by a caller named "Casey," who sounded like a supporter of Barack Obama. She asked Paterson whether he would switch his support to Obama since his Oregon win and, if not, if he would "defend" Clinton's argument on Florida and Michigan.

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