Michigan democrats are standing by their decision to move up the presidential primary. This comes despite four top tier democratic candidates pulling their names off the January ballot. As we first told you, Barak Obama, John Edwards, Bill Richardson and Joe Biden have withdrawn their names. Hillary Clinton and Chris Dodd are staying in. Lawmakers say they are disappointed, but they're standing by there decision to move up Michigan's primary. They say the national primary system is broken and despite the consequences this year, now's the time to fix it.
Jennifer Granholm, Michigan Governor: “We need a fairer system, we need a system that makes Michigan issues and the issues of the Midwest, of manufacturing states relevant. I'm not ready to give up on that.”
Governor Granholm says it's time for presidential candidates to focus on more states than Iowa and New Hampshire, the two states that usually vote first in the presidential primary.
Jennifer Granholm: “This move by Michigan, Florida, by other states that don't want to see this monopoly, this move will change the system going forward.”
Going forward, perhaps, but this year, four major democratic candidates have taken their names off the ballot, giving Michigan democrats even less say in the nominating process. Democratic lawmakers say it's a small price to pay to change the system in the long run. Now the question is, will there be fallout for the candidates who boycott Michigan? The governor says she'll make her presidential endorsement next week.
Jennifer Granholm: “Suffice to say I'm very disappointed in the candidates that have abandoned Michigan. Frankly I believe it's a bad move politically for anyone to not be on the ballot in the Michigan primary.”
And that's why democratic lawmakers are still holding on to hope that the candidates and the democratic national party will change their minds and take part in the primary after all.