Politics & Government

Clinton says she'd support redoing Fla., Mich. primaries

WASHINGTON — Hillary Clinton said Wednesday that she would favor restaging the Florida and Michigan primaries, if the Democratic national Committee continues to insist that primaries' original results won't be counted.

At an appearance before the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Clinton said she still believed that the results of the two primaries, which were held in violation of national Democratic Party rules, were "fair and they should be honored."

But she added that if the Democratic National Committee continues to insist that the delegates from those states not be seated at the party's convention this summer, then the primaries should be held again.

"In my view there are two options: Honor the results or hold new primary elections,'' Clinton said. She said she hoped rival Barack Obama's campaign would join her "in working to make that happen.''

Obama's campaign said it remains opposed to seating the delegates based on the results from the January votes, which took place after all candidates including Clinton declined to campaign in the states. Only Clinton's name was listed on the Michigan ballots.

The campaign also said it has "concerns'' about a re-vote conducted by mail, which is the option state Democratic party leaders in Florida have settled on. But Obama campaign manager David Plouffe said the cmpaign will follow whatever decision the national party makes.

"We'll watch carefully to see what kind of remedies are floated,'' Plouffe told reporters on a conference call. "Obviously if something is approved by [the Democratic National Committee] both campaigns are going to have to abide by that.''

In Tallahassee, Florida state Sen. Steve Geller, the Senate Democratic leader, released a poll he commissioned that shows that 59 percent of Florida Democrats who voted on Jan. 29 support a do-over.

"The only people with the moral authority to tell people we can ignore the votes of the 1.7 million are the 1.7 million,'' Geller said. The poll of 600 registered Democrats who voted Jan. 29 was conducted March 10-11 by the Kitchens Group of Maitland, Fla.

The back and forth came as the Florida Democratic Party continued readying plans for a vote-by-mail primary that the state party would run — raising the estimated $10 million price tag through contributions from donors.

The proposal has met opposition from Florida's Democrats in the U.S. House, but state party spokesman Mark Bubriski said the party needed to "look at all the options and duly research them.''

U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings, who backs Clinton and opposes a re-do, said he's worried about the viability of holding such an election.

"It's fraught with all sorts of difficulties,'' Hastings said.

He said the House members are looking for DNC Chairman Howard Dean and state party chief Karen Thurman to sit down with the campaigns and negotiate a settlement.

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