Report: Clinton Camp Moving to Seat All Florida, Michigan Delegates

This is a rush transcript from "America's Election HQ," May 5, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

MEGYN KELLY, CO-HOST: New tonight, is Hillary Clinton about to fracture the Democratic Party?

A new report says the Clinton campaign is secretly preparing a move at the end of May that one political expert says would mean nuclear winter for the Democrats. She will, reportedly, push to have not just some, not half, but all, all of the delegates from Florida and Michigan seated at the Democratic National Convention, even though Barack Obama did not campaign in either state, per party rules, and wasn't even on the ballot in Michigan.

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What would that do to the Democratic Party?

Joining us now is former Clinton adviser, Dick Morris. You can read his column for free at Hi, Dick.


KELLY: So, let me start by saying this — Clinton's campaign, this is on Huffington Post, came out and said, "Secret — we've been pushing everyday to have these delegates seated." The thing that's interesting about this report is that she wants all of them — reportedly, she wants all of these delegates to be seated, to be given full credit, if you will, for wins in those states, even though as I pointed out, Barack Obama didn't even appear on the Michigan ballot, per party rules, and they had to vote for Hillary Clinton or uncommitted.

MORRIS: Sure. Well, look — first of all, I mean, the bottom line here, folks, is relax, nothing is going to happen. Obama has got this thing sewn up. It doesn't matter what happens tomorrow.

KELLY: If she gets the delegates seated?

MORRIS: Even if she gets them seated. If she gets — if she gets all of Florida and all of Michigan seated, she gains about 50 delegates on Obama, and Obama would still go into the convention with a lead of more than 100 elected delegates. So, it doesn't make much of a difference.

The proportion representation rules are that she won Florida by 17 points. There are a little bit more than 200 delegates. That's 34 delegates. There are 130 delegates in Michigan. She won by 10 points over the non-committed slate. So, that's 10, that's for 13 or 14, add them up, it's less than 50. Obama is now leading by 150 delegates in the elected delegate category and 130 when you count superdelegates.

KELLY: But not to interrupt your math, but.

MORRIS: So, she'll be 80 — she'll be 80 behind in the worst way.

KELLY: Listen. But there are many analyses out there that say you're wrong on that, they say actually she gets all of Florida and Michigan seated, plus, as well on the remaining primaries, she'll be ahead of Barack Obama when it comes to the delegate count. And that's why they're calling it this potential "nuclear winter" for the Democrats because this would effectively seize the nomination from Obama.

MORRIS: Well, George Bush called it a "fuzzy math."

No, there's no way that Hillary comes out ahead on that. There is the case about the popular vote, but about the delegate vote, Obama still would have a comfortable lead. And, on top of all that, it's impossible for her to do what she's talking about doing. Yes, she may have the majority on the rules committee, if all of the members who are voting for it continue to want to commit suicide.

KELLY: And let me just tell people what that is, that at the end of the month, this goes to the Democratic National Committee rules committee, that's about 30 members, they'll make the decision on whether Florida and Michigan delegates get seated. Go ahead.

MORRIS: No, they won't. They'll make a decision but then it goes to the credentials committee. And the credentials committee consists of three members from each state. And Obama has won about 10 more states than Hillary has. So, he's going to have a margin of 30 in that committee.

Now, there are 25 members that are appointed by the chairman, by Howard Dean. All of those would have to vote for Hillary for her to pull this off, and even then she might not be able to. And Howard Dean does not like the Clintons. The Clintons ran Harold Ickes against him and tried to dump him. And the Clinton were the people behind the negatives on Howard Dean when he was knocked out of the race against Gary. There's no way he's going to cooperate.

Then, if she gets the rules committee, if she gets the credentials committee, then it goes to the floor, even if she doesn't get the credentials committee, she can bring it up on the floor. And in that vote, neither Michigan nor Florida can be seated. So, the underlying Obama majority will remain in force and will exclude those two delegations.

But it's not going to go down to that, for goodness sakes. What's going to happen is that after these primaries are over, Obama is going to have a lead of about 130, 140 delegates. And at that point, he'll be at 1,920. And you'll need 2,025 to get nominated. And there'll be a surge of superdelegates scrambling to get on the late train to fill those last 100 seats on the bandwagon, because they'll be terrified, first of all, of reversing the verdict of the voters, and secondly, in having a president for four to eight years from their own party where they can't get the right time of day from him.

KELLY: Dick, I know that you, obviously, think that Obama has this thing sewn up and Hillary is essentially out of it at this point, but what if tomorrow Hillary Clinton wins not only Indiana as she's expected to, but if she wins North Carolina, do you see that as at least a momentum changer in this race?

MORRIS: Yes, sure. It will be good momentum for her and it will have some effect on the remaining 230 delegates that are getting selected in West Virginia, Kentucky and Oregon and North Dakota and Montana and Puerto Rico, but it's going to have real no impact on the results. Look, out of all of Pennsylvania, all of the hooting and the hollering and everything, she picked up a net of 12 delegates over Obama — 12 delegates.

She'll probably come out of tonight losing a little bit or gaining a little bit but more or less an even split.

KELLY: But does it convince the superdelegates that she is more - that she maybe a better general election candidate if she's got the momentum and she wins the states she's not supposed to win in, like North Carolina?

MORRIS: No, because the polls don't suggest that nationally, number one. And number two, these guys are not going to stick their necks out and defy the will of their own constituents. You're not going to have a congressman go and vote for Hillary when his district voted for Obama. That's a great way for him to get a primary fight and get knocked off the next time. They're not going to risk that. Believe me, take it to the bank. It's Obama.

KELLY: You heard it here from, if you want to check out his column. Thanks so much for being here in, Dick.

MORRIS: By the way, still us watch us on FOX News because we're real fun, but it's Obama.


KELLY: We appreciate that. Thanks for the shoutout.

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