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. Libero

    Breaking News (CNN crawl): Little Mikey endorses Obama, even though he usually "hates everything"

    April 17, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  2. Loretta

    I am disappointed that Hilliary Clinton will do anything to destroy the Democratic Party. I once respected her but lately her "elitiest" attitude has made me sad and disappointed. When will it ever end?

    April 17, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  3. Republicans for Obama

    Great...

    "THERE IS NO BLUE STATES OR RED STATES...WE NEED A REAL UNITED STATES...
    Smart people in this country understands the real challenges facing our nation..
    Yes, united we can...

    April 17, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  4. James, SC

    Hey – Allen, Lubbock, TX

    You are very incorrect. A republican has endorsed Senator Clinton.

    His name is John McCain.

    April 17, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  5. NavyBoy, PA

    HRC should just give it up.... its over now!

    April 17, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  6. Ohio Dem

    Let me get this straight Obamaniacs... a Republican votes for Hillary, it's because they want her to win the nomination because she will lose against McCain. A Republican endorses Obama, it's because times are changing.
    That's very interesting. And might I add hypocritic of you all. You're so blinded by Barack's hope ray that you can't see the Republicans are playing the Democrats big time. Unity? Indeed! Ha. Get real.

    April 17, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  7. @americans

    way to go Obama!

    April 17, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  8. Sallie Mae

    Phenomenal! Go Obama!! You deserve every endorsement you get. I can see why everyone is running from McNasty and Hillabeans!!

    OBAMA '08

    April 17, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  9. If you don't STAND for CHANGE, you will FALL for Clinton!!!

    I hope the Hill-Bill-ies have their ark built... the flood of superdelegates is on the horizon!!!

    Can you imagine how she is going to curse the "lunch-bucket democracts" for filth when she loses!!! I wish I could be a fly on the wall... I feel sorry for her supporters.

    If you don't STAND for CHANGE, you will FALL for Clinton!!!

    April 17, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  10. JT

    no, not that one. the real post – geez. who ties your shoes?

    April 17, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  11. we wanh hillary, not mccain...screw him.

    Screw honesty and integrity. Give Hillary the nomination already, you cowards. Screw all of you.

    Hillary and nader Now.

    April 17, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  12. If you don't STAND for CHANGE, you will FALL for Clinton!!!

    I hope the Hill-Bill-ies have their ark built... the flood of superdelegates is on the horizon!!!

    Can you imagine how she is going to curse the "lunch-bucket democracts" for filth when she loses!!! I wish I could be a fly on the wall... I feel sorry for her supporters.

    If you don't STAND for CHANGE, you will FALL for Clinton!!!

    April 17, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  13. bill pike

    lets see: this man would not do what the president of the united states wanted him to do to cover up: lets see: obama knows or had lunch with someone who did bad things and clinton gave them pardons AND ESPECIALLY THOSE WITH MONEY. how does that work-i never had what with whom????? but clinton could have been under fire when all those pardons of those people were put in the bank, i mean given out?????? as we say in the south, I UNDERSTAND.

    April 17, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  14. we wanh hillary, not mccain...screw him.

    Since Ruckelshaus didn't vote for Hillary, he is obviously NOT IMPORTANT. He's useless and un-electable.

    Hillary and Nader.

    April 17, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  15. I HATE HILLARY

    NOW SHE'LL SAY HE DID WATERGATE. That would make him 10 at the time. I'm sure he was ALL over that Hotel. He was bombing at 9. I think he was at the 68 convention at 7 hanging with Abbey Hoffman. MY GOD LET GO OF THE 60's and 70's you flaming old bag.

    April 17, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  16. Pepou

    This is great news. One endorsement a day keeps old Clinton away.

    April 17, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  17. Its True

    Again, Obama reaches across party lines. Soon McCain will endorse Obama too...

    April 17, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  18. No Republicans in Whitehouse

    This is great news.

    But its sad to watch the media making a mockery of democracy.

    April 17, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  19. Bayou Joe

    He is messing with your mind. He wants Obama to be the candidate, not president. We all do. He is toast and we know it.

    April 17, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  20. AZM

    I wonder who he will stand next to in the general?
    McCain or Obama...
    I wonder who important his endorsment will be then?
    Wink.. Wink..

    It's all falling into place!

    April 17, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  21. Sara, Wisconsin

    Thank you Mr. Ruckelshouse.

    Those too young to remember back to Nixon should at least read up on it. Nice to see that those with courage back then are still principled people.

    April 17, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  22. we wanh hillary, not mccain...screw him.

    In response to "Mama4Obama", I'd like to say this: You can screw off. You and all you dam Obama supporteres.

    April 17, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  23. RB

    As usual the Clinton supporter idiots do not read what has been printed. If you look at what McCane's campaign is saying and I quote "They would much rather see Hilary Clinton in a General Election becasue she is to inconsistent and not trustworthy according to the National Polls" they do not want to see Obama in a General Election. Now, where is your claim for electability...oops, she slipped on that one again last night (inconsistency coming through again).

    How about the Clinton supporters gettheir facts straight before you post a message on this blog. To much idiotic non-fact supported comments from you guys.

    Go home and take your toys with you becasue you obviously do not know how to play nice.

    GO OBAMA!!!!!

    April 17, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  24. Tejano

    Maybe the Pope will endorse Obama before he leaves.

    The Devil is up to his old tricks. This is creepy.

    April 17, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  25. we wanh hillary, not mccain...screw him.

    TO john:

    If an American is red-blooded then he'd be a Republican. If he was blue-blooded he'd be a Democrat. If he's Purple-blooded, he'd be a Demigod.

    I agree with John: Hillary is the on

    April 17, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
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