May 19th, 2008
01:00 PM ET
7 years ago

Byrd endorses Obama

Sen. Byrd endorsed Obama's presidential bid Monday.
Sen. Byrd endorsed Obama's presidential bid Monday.

(CNN) - Sen. Robert Byrd, the longest-serving senator in American history, announced Monday he is endorsing Barack Obama's White House bid.

Byrd, 90, has served as West Virginia's senator for nearly fifty years, and is one of the chamber's most vocal critics on the war in Iraq.

"After a great deal of thought, consideration and prayer over the situation in Iraq, I have decided that, as a superdelegate to the Democratic National Convention, I will cast my vote for Senator Barack Obama for President," Byrd said in a statement released by his office. "Both Senators Clinton and Obama are extraordinary individuals, whose integrity, honor, love for this country and strong belief in our Constitution I deeply respect."

"I believe that Barack Obama is a shining young statesman, who possesses the personal temperament and courage necessary to extricate our country from this costly misadventure in Iraq, and to lead our nation at this challenging time in history," Byrd also said. "Barack Obama is a noble-hearted patriot and humble Christian, and he has my full faith and support."

The endorsement is not without symbolism. Byrd was a leader of the local chapter of the Ku Klux Klan as a young man and was, along with several southern Democrats, an opponent of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. He has since denounced his previous views on racial segregation.

West Virginia's other senator, Jay Rockefeller, endorsed Obama earlier this year. Hillary Clinton carried the state by 41 points last week.


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Robert Byrd
soundoff (291 Responses)
  1. Chris

    Wait..I thought Obama was for CHANGE??? How is he CHANGE?

    May 19, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  2. Judy

    Will Obama denounce this endorsement because Sen Byrd is as old as dirt and therefore couldn't possibly put together a coherent thought?

    May 19, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  3. Linned

    All aboard the Obama train. Choo-choo.

    May 19, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  4. vjh

    Thank you Senator Byrd.

    May 19, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  5. proud army and navy mom

    i don't know how i feel about this. i guess it's never too late to change though. ok welcome aboard

    May 19, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  6. Pat Va

    The world is, indeed, changing.

    May 19, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  7. Beth

    In my humble opinion, this endorsement is HUGE. Thank you Senator Byrd!

    May 19, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  8. Ed, Santa Fe NM

    add up one more superdelegate for Obama...

    "You can declare yourself anything, but if you don't have the votes, it doesn't matter," Clinton said Monday

    YOU LOST IT, HILLARY... READ YOUR OWN BLATHERINGS, SHUT UP, AND GO AWAY!!!

    May 19, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  9. American Son

    that's all I can say is WOW!!!

    way to go Senator Byrd!!!

    May 19, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  10. Alisha(Independent voter) MN

    This endorsement is even bigger than, that of John Edwards because of the sybolism!

    May 19, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  11. Greg Pa

    Omg. a dem endorsing the expected dem nominee. What a surprise.

    May 19, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  12. S

    Wow, that is mighty big considering his past. The face of America is changing as we speak. I think if Obama is elected race relations in America would improve tremendously.

    May 19, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  13. J

    Don't vote the way your constituents want, no no vote in favor of where you can get power from. Corrupt to the core, that's Byrd for you. But what else would you expect from the longest standing senator?

    May 19, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  14. Michael

    Any questions?

    May 19, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  15. Dee

    SIGNED! SEALED!! DELIVERED!! IT'S DONE!!

    A former Klansman from West Virginia is supporting Obama.

    Now, ENOUGH about race!!

    May 19, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  16. Moses, Ca.

    Thank You Sir....

    May 19, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  17. mike from CA

    HOLA!

    May 19, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  18. Jack Colson

    Byrd is senile and all one has to do is listen to him for a few minutes on the Senate Floor.
    Jack C
    Oregon

    May 19, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  19. BV

    Way to go Sen. Byrd. It's getting better every day.

    May 19, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  20. Bobby

    Hey, I may not like his past decisions, but that goes to show you that people can change! Great news!!!!!

    Obama 2008-2012!!!!!!

    May 19, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  21. susie

    Obama said an Oregon we shouldn't be driving our SUVs or eating a lot! What type of government are we going to have?

    May 19, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  22. California Girl

    That's too bad!

    HIllary 08

    May 19, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  23. Angus McDugan

    What guts! Waits until the voters of his state chooses. What are super delegates? Might as well get rid of them and let the people choose.

    May 19, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  24. Susan

    It's never too late Senator. Thank you for the endorsement!

    Obama 08!

    May 19, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  25. Eddie for HILLARY

    Cut the bull... both HILLARY & Obama are good candidates.....

    I cannot believe these senators are blind enough to see that an Intern can rule this country in chaos! Poor judgement on his part!

    Elect a strong & experienced candidate, who won all the big blue states & swing states-- HILLARY CLINTON!

    May 19, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12