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. James Parochetti

    Even after last week's win for Hillary, she couldn't even get the senior senator from WV. We're past the point of knowing who the democratic nominee will be, it is heartwarming to see something like this that could lead to so much change in WV and the entire USA.

    May 19, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  2. andrew s

    better late than never, welcome on board

    May 19, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  3. R. Cooper

    You all know as well as I, this single W-VA superdelegate for Obama absolutely eliminates all other W-VA voters for Hillary! CNN let's take of poll of those W-VA'ers you polled last week who said they would not vote for Obama. Ask them "How do they like him (Obama) now?" and see what the poll results give you on that!!!

    May 19, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  4. RAMOND

    IT'S AMAZING HOW THIS NATION IS CHANGING EVERY SINGLE DAY. OBAMA IS THE MAN, AS THIS PRIMARY SEASON COMES TO AN END, OBAMA WILL BE DECLARED THE WINNER. IM SO HAPPY TO BE AN AMERICAN. IF OBAMA WINS THE GENERAL ELECTION THIS WILL SEND A HUGE MESSAGE TO THE REST OF THE WORLD. AMERICA, SUCH A YOUNG COUNTRY HAS GROWN DRAMATICALLY OVER IT'S YEARS! GO OBAMA GO!

    May 19, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  5. kani

    billary

    G O HOMMMMEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!

    May 19, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  6. Tangi

    That is truly remarkable...only God has the power to CHANGE people thru other individuals such as Barack Obama.

    Thank you Sssenator Byrd for your continued support of the truly remarkable young man Barack Obama.

    Change is coming for the good of our country...for my kids and your kids and future grandchildren. Thanks Be To God!

    Obama 2008

    May 19, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  7. Mike, TX

    This isn't change....these old coots KNOW that they will be able to walk all over Obama. THAT is the ONLY reason they are backing him. They KNOW they could never walk over McCain or Clinton. Obama will be their doormat. Heck...he already is!

    Obama's supporters (that aren't in Washington) are truly uneducated and naive.

    May 19, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  8. mario

    convention is a long time to goo for him and kennedy , will see

    May 19, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  9. D'Anne

    Americans of all ages are ready for change... Meaning a new way of taking care of business. One that improves the healthcare system, improves the economy, makes college affordable, revamps our educational system, works towards peace before war, one that really takes care of its people.

    May 19, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  10. Larry

    Are not 'superdelegates' supposed to vote the way their state voted; least that's what a number of them did when they went from Hillary to O-BA-MA!

    May 19, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  11. AJ, IL

    BREAKING POLITICAL NEWS!:

    Another superdelegate, Kansas Democratic Party Chair Larry Gates, endorses Obama.

    Obama has picked up 3 superdelegates, thus far, today! Obama is 110 total delegates from clinching the Democratic nomination!

    May 19, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  12. Fed up in Texas

    ......guess you won't be getting reelected for the next term considering your state OVERWHELMINGLY voted for Hillary. What a way to turn your back on your own people.

    May 19, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  13. Tony - DC

    ANOTHER DEMOCRAT CAVED!

    So goes the White House..........AGAIN! :(

    May 19, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  14. Bill

    Voting is not over folks. Superd elegates should being doing anything until all the votes in all of the states are counted.

    Why would a super delagate goes agains the will of his voters?

    Seems Mr. Rockefeller should be changing his vote to match the electorate of his state. Isn't this a democracy??

    May 19, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  15. HYPOCRACY 08

    LOL...
    I'm surprise he didn't say McCain was to old to be POTUS.

    May 19, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  16. Katie

    Just another follower, not a leader. Go ahead, jump on the Obama bandwagon as it drives America straight over the cliff!! I guess it's too much to ask these people to have their own opinions obviously. Obama is not experienced or strong enough to lead this country and I will not vote for him even though I am a Dem. Go Hillary!! It ain't over yet...

    May 19, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  17. Debby

    Wow the stupidelagates have no respect on what the voters want in their states how undemocratic.

    May 19, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  18. Greg Atlanta

    Maybe it's the Obama Kool-Aid Byrd's drinking. Just forget about the voters of your state so you can feel better before you kill over. He used to be a leader of the KKK. Byrd is praying to god not to send him to hell for his past.

    May 19, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  19. Rich

    Democrats watch out for people who say that they will vote for McCain if Hillary isn't the nominee. A lot of them were Republicans from the start trying to help Bush Jr out in the general election. True Hillary Supporters don't fall for it!!!!!! Vote Democrat!!!! We can't afford 4 more years of Bush!!!!!

    May 19, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  20. Brian from Fort Mill, S.C.

    Wasn't Byrd an ex-Klan member? And now he's supporting a black man for president?

    I'm impressed! :)

    May 19, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  21. raf

    p Coleman - "Fast track"? What exactly is "fast" about a primary that's gone on for 15 months?

    And keep in mind it was Hillary who was the first to say superdelegates should vote their conscience and not necessarily follow the will of their states. They're just taking her advice.

    May 19, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  22. Sara Shamili

    That is wonderful. I have great respect for Senator Byrd because of his solid opposition to Iraq invation and his Christian faith. Thank you Senator for your support of the only candidate who would end the war.
    God bless you. He knows well that Hillary is dishonest when she says that she would end the war. She has, is and will be for occupation of Iraq and will even advocate for more wars.

    May 19, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  23. Venus

    Thank you sir and welcome!

    Thank you for searching your heart and soul!

    Go Bam!

    May 19, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  24. Anthony Oweh

    What a repentant man, please judge Byrd no more of his past, we all have sinned before now........welcome aboard to the real world Sen. Byrd.

    Anthony from Dallas.

    May 19, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  25. Oh Boy...

    If Byrd would allow it (which I doubt), Obama could trumpet this as the epitome of change. Byrd used to be a Klansmen; now, he's supporting a black man for President. If that's not change, I don't know WHAT is.

    May 19, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
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