From NBC/NJ's Athena Jones and NBC's Lauren Appelbaum
DETROIT -- Clinton today stepped up the pressure on Obama to back a re-vote in Michigan, calling it a crucial test of whether he means what he says or not.
"Sen. Obama speaks passionately on the campaign trail about empowering the American people. Today, I'm asking him to match those words with actions to make sure the people of Michigan and Florida have a voice and a vote in this election," she told local members of the AFSCME union, which has endorsed her. "I have accepted the plan for a new vote in Michigan, proposed in draft legislation and approved by the Democratic National Committee. In fact the DNC put out a statement earlier this morning making clear that the proposal fits within the DNC rules. It is fully within the party's rules. I call on Sen. Obama to do the same."
Clinton said 600,000 voters in Michigan and 1.7 million Florida voters were at risk of being shut out of the Democratic process. "I think that's wrong and frankly it is un-American and we cannot let that continue," she said. "This goes way beyond this election and it goes way beyond who's running, because no matter where you were born or how much money you were born into, no matter where you worship or the color of your skin, it is a bedrock American principle that we are all equal in the voting booth."
Michigan has 128 pledged delegates, but the state has been stripped of all of the because it broke party rules by moving up its vote. Clinton won the uncontested January primary, but Obama's name was not on the ballot.
The comments came shortly after her campaign held a second conference call in two days to accuse her rival of standing in the way of the Democratic process, because the state's proposal for a re-vote can not go forward until he signs off. "This isn't about political gamesmanship," spokesman Phil Singer said on the call. "This is about counting votes."
"If the Obama campaign tends to allow voters in both Michigan and Florida to be disenfranchised, that's their prerogative," Singer continued. "Our belief is that the voters in these states should be counted and their voices should be heard."
Clinton needs a re-vote in Michigan and needs to do well in it to gain more delegates, add to her popular vote total, and convince superdelegates she should be the nominee.