April 17th, 2008
04:40 PM ET
7 years ago

Watergate-era Republican backs Obama

Wiliam Ruckelshaus endorsed Obama Thursday.
Wiliam Ruckelshaus endorsed Obama Thursday.

(CNN) - From the politics/strange bedfellows file: Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama has won an endorsement from Republican and former Nixon Watergate figure William D. Ruckelshaus.

Ruckelshaus was serving as deputy attorney general in 1973 when he made history as part of the infamous Saturday Night Massacre. He and his boss, Attorney General Elliot Richardson, were fired after they refused Nixon’s order to dismiss the independent counsel investigating the Watergate break-ins.

The former Nixon FBI director and secretary of the Environmental Protection Agency hopes to help Obama defeat Democratic rival Sen. Hillary Clinton in the May 6 primary in Ruckelshaus’ homestate of Indiana. The state has been a longtime Republican stronghold in presidential politics.

“Senator Obama’s ability to attract not only Democrats, but also Republicans and Independents, makes him uniquely qualified to build the broad coalitions needed to address our nation’s challenges,” said Ruckelshaus in a statement.

Obama leads Clinton in Indiana 40 percent to 35 percent, with a 25 percent of respondents saying they’re unsure who they’ll vote for, according to a Los Angeles Times poll conducted April 10-14. The poll’s margin of error is plus or minus 4 percentage points.

The Obama campaign said it was embracing the endorsement because of Ruckelshaus’ "understanding of the importance of transparency,” which he gained during the tumultuous years of the Nixon administration, said Obama spokesman Kevin Griffis. Ruckelshaus remains a known and respected name in Indiana, which may draw independent voters to Obama, Griffis said.


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (468 Responses)
  1. Ted in Pittsburgh

    Mr. Patterson:

    This sounds like it could have been the topic of a question from last night's ABC debacle, I mean debate.

    April 17, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  2. Obama Supporter

    Welcome to the winning team!

    April 17, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  3. DEE JAY in MIMIA

    There GOes another one.... dawg i wish he was a super

    OBAMA 08

    April 17, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  4. Justin

    Of course this isn't important to Clintonites. Congrats OBAMA. Look for the surge of Super Delegates to come soon.

    April 17, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  5. Matthew

    How is Obama going to change Washington when he's friends with everyone? You ever wonder why Obama gets so many political endorsements? Is it because he's the quote-unquote front runner? Or are the backstabbers running their hands together and hoping they can get this puppet president elected?

    April 17, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  6. Stud

    The trains leaving and Hillary supporters are being left behind!

    April 17, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  7. charlene

    The Republicans are setting Obama up for the big let down.. Obama is target, The republicans wants him because Mccain can and will beat him come Nov. Either way if Hilary is not on ticket I and many Like me will be voting for Mccain

    Hilary 08

    April 17, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  8. Barb Canada

    Republicans all seem to want Obama to be the nominee.........Gee wonder why? Oh that's easy he looks pretty shaky right now, and news from the Rezko trial, is giving more questions about Obama rather than answers!

    April 17, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  9. Alex H

    With him comes the EPA? Ruckelshaus is a good endorsement.

    April 17, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  10. Allen, Lubbock, TX

    that's why this man should be presidents...I have not seen a republican endorse hillary.

    April 17, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  11. CHERYL FOR HILLARY

    SOB, SOB SOB.

    THIS IS NOT RIGHT! WHY AMERICA DO LIKE A CROOKED WOMAN?

    WE LOVE YOU HILLARY

    HILLARY 08

    April 17, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  12. mitch from ark.

    obama is a uniter.i hope more republicans and independents come together,and join us,to take our government back,from the 'dirty' politicians,of both parties.

    April 17, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  13. jl

    ANOTHER REPUBLICAN FOR OBAMA-

    SUPERDELEGATES TAKE NOTE!!

    April 17, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  14. Vince - Phoenix

    see this, people....

    “Senator Obama’s ability to attract not only Democrats, but also Republicans and Independents, makes him uniquely qualified to build the broad coalitions needed to address our nation’s challenges,” said Ruckelshaus in a statement.

    it's called RATIONAL THOUGHT...

    enough with the B.S. !

    April 17, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  15. Ca Native

    Obama is definitely going to attract independent and republicans!

    Well – at least those people that are not "typical white people" or bitterly clinging to guns or God.

    April 17, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  16. PA

    Where is McCain flag pin or Bill Clinton's or Charlie Gibson's or Bush's? Look at McCain's own webstie – no flag pin. So why in the world is this an important issue for Obama? Why is it so important that ABC's Gibson asks it BEFORE any policy questions in last nights debate? Do they think we are stupid?

    April 17, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  17. Venus

    Way to go! Thank you! Hillary – and the media – keep attacking Obama!
    The more heat you put on him the better! It' funny that he gets endorsements each time and I love it! Go Obama!

    April 17, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  18. Carol

    Everyone knows that Obama will make a Great President !!

    April 17, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  19. NickNas

    AHH a Man of Honor and Principle. We need poeple who will not be bullied and he has proved his mettle.

    Now ClintonBots will tear into him like THEY have done ANYTHING to help our nation.

    April 17, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  20. Caroline

    Thank you Mr. Ruckelshaus.

    April 17, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  21. obamican

    Now CNN this is a reall story.

    April 17, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  22. Johnson

    Just goes to show that prominent republicans are not afraid to SUPPORT Obama. This is not true of Hillary. She has republicans who don't like McCain but couldn't care less about her. I guess there are a lot of Hillary supporters who will go and join McCain's flip-flop express when Obama wins the nomination.

    April 17, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  23. Stacy Clarks, TX

    GO OBAMA!!!!

    (what is all that noise about him not being electable?!?!? HE BRINGS THEM ALL IN, REPUBLICANS, INDEPENDATS ETC...)

    OBAMA 08!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 17, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  24. Marine

    ????????????????????????????????????????

    April 17, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  25. Noah

    Obama sure has a lot of questionable friends...

    Obama lied last night in the debate..He claimed his writing was never on the questionarie about hang guns. He answered YES..He lied last night when asked.

    April 17, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
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