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. A Latte Lover, Seattle, WA

    WOW, is all I can say. I am very impressed.

    May 19, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  2. Democrats No Matter What!!

    Wow! Wow! Wow! This is a historical endorsement! I'm so proud of Sen. Byrd! Wow! Wow! Wow!

    May 19, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  3. James

    Thanks....we need to unite this country.

    May 19, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  4. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Sen. Bryd has been in failing health but his spirit has been healed. Change is always inevitable when one recognizes there is nothing constructive in hate. God Bless America.

    May 19, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  5. John

    That's what I call following one's consituents! WV does not want Obama if you didn't hear the news, get a new hearing aid!

    May 19, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  6. AJ, IL

    IT IS TIME! By tomorrow May 20th, Obama will be on the quick track to become the Democratic nominee! After May 20th, superdelegates are going to flock to Obama at a rate of 25 to 30 per week so by the time May 31st (Democratic Party Rules and By-laws meet on Florida & Michigan) and June 1st primary in Puerto Rico (which can't vote in the general election), Obama will have 2026 TOTAL DELEGATES by May 30th!

    May 19, 2008 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  7. Hillary Huckabee Romney McCain Rodham Clinton

    Shows what he knows compared to Geraldine Ferraro and rest of his electorate. Hmm ... Why is it that Hillary just can't seem to get endorsements these days? Maybe because she's already lost! Please go to Hillarystock. com and see the falling prices!!! Get your shares while they are low and hot!

    May 19, 2008 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  8. Sharon - NC

    This endorsement means more than additional support for Obama. It means that this country is finally moving forward.

    May 19, 2008 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  9. OBAMA SUPPORTER

    CNN
    please update all obamas indorcements from the week end
    just because hill did not get them don't need to neglect your job

    PLEASE

    May 19, 2008 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  10. Brown

    Yes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    May 19, 2008 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  11. p Coleman

    Seems like Super Delegates have no regard for the way the people of their state votes, what happened to the theory that the super delegates should reflect the will of the people.

    This whole delegate process is just a sham. They want to be on the winning side and since everyone in the media, and the party has picked Obama I guess that is the will of the sheep.

    Obama just wants to be on the fast track and everyone else wants to not miss the train.

    May 19, 2008 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  12. Greg Pa

    Obama supporters ,

    Can you name one thing Obama has done for America, good or bad.

    I can list many things McCain has done which are grate things. To be truthful i can name a couple of bad things to but that is true of any political figure.

    May 19, 2008 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  13. Kyle Indianapolis, Indiana

    WELCOME BYRD!!

    May 19, 2008 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  14. I will not vote for Obama

    I will not vote for him ~ I wil for for John Mc Cain 2008 !!!
    Go Ferraro !

    May 19, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  15. Yasriel

    Now, what arguement does HRC have?
    Democrats unite '08

    May 19, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  16. from CT

    Wow this is HUGE! Someone from West Virginia, an old KKK leader or something it said? Wholy cow...I'm glad he has changed, that's very symbolic.

    May 19, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  17. marywendy

    This is a very important endorsement. Byrd is beloved in West Virginia and his endorsement not only bodes well for Obama doing well in the General in West Virginia but certainly shows the thinking of the superdelegates.
    No late primary win will not convince most superdelegates. Considering the outcome of the WV primary, Byrd's decision shows how Obama has impressed those who have had a chance to observe political leaders close up over the years.

    May 19, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  18. Dylan

    Now THAT is change!

    Obama 08

    May 19, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  19. Kelley

    AHH the words of wisdom and experience. Thank you Mr. Byrd

    May 19, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  20. Denise

    He probably doesn't like the fact that Hillary tried to portray W VA as racist and is clearly making a statement about unifying the country. All of her dirty tricks are backfiring on her. She's not done yet though. She will try to steal the nomination through Puerto Rico, Michigan and Florida and claim popular vote.

    May 19, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  21. Mark

    We can and we will be in office in January with support like this. Thank you Byrd

    May 19, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  22. Zoey

    CNN is soooo slow with their news. If you guys stop focusing on non-issues then maybe you will be #1 in news.

    May 19, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  23. MELMARIE

    Now this is a man that is loyal to his party! I just wish everyone could just stand behind the true nominee and stop all of this division. There is only one America, not Black America, White America or Gender America.

    Democrats '08

    May 19, 2008 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  24. just jo

    someone commented that Byrd has part-timers, but i would ask them to read that moving statement...kudos to whomever wrote it!!!

    May 19, 2008 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  25. R. Cooper

    Hillary for Obama!! 08

    May 19, 2008 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
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