May 21st, 2008
11:20 AM ET
5 years ago

Mine workers union swings Obama's way

Sen. Barack Obama wins a major endorsement Wednesday.
Sen. Barack Obama wins a major endorsement Wednesday.

(CNN) – The United Mine Workers of America endorsed Barack Obama's White House bid Wednesday.

"We are extremely proud to make this endorsement today," UMWA International President Cecil Roberts said. "Sen. Obama shares the values of UMWA members and our families. He understands and will fight for the needs our members have today and the hopes our members have for a secure future for themselves and their families."

The UMWA says it represents 105,000 active and retired coal miners, mine construction workers, public service employees, health care workers and manufacturing workers in the United States and Canada, and that its membership includes more coal miners than any other union in the world.

The unanimous endorsement by the union’s political action committee comes shortly after the May 13 primary in West Virginia - a large coal producing state. Hillary Clinton overwhelmingly won that primary, 67 percent to Obama's 26 percent.

Roberts said the union considered both Sens. Obama and John McCain before making the decision, but found that Obama "will be on our side while Sen. McCain will not," citing proposals supported by the presumptive Republican nominee that he claimed would cut jobs in coal country, particularly in the Eastern area.

UMWA International's Dan Kane said the union will be "working as hard as we can, using every resource at our disposal in every community where our members live and work across this nation to do our part to help [Obama]."

Last week, Obama picked up the backing of the United Steelworkers Union. Both the Steelworkers and UMW had originally backed former Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards, who endorsed Obama last week.


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (130 Responses)
  1. Clinton/McCain

    How much did Obama pay these guys to endorse him? Obama is a sneaky guy.

    May 21, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  2. tell the truth

    Obama is for everyone. Rich,poor,old,young,balcd,brown,white,men,woaman,mixed, anything , the only reguirment is you must have a good heart.

    Obama will win in Nov. This is a movement that can not be stop. People are afraid just like 1865, or when woman was giving the right to vote or the civil right movement. People are afraid. This is sad

    Obama will win

    May 21, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  3. AJ, IL

    What took you guys so long?! Welcome aboard!

    Obama in 08!

    May 21, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  4. Rick in Florida

    Ever notice so many of the Hillary supporters CAN'T SPELL?????

    Uneducated folks are the easiest ones to FOOL, right Hillary?? With your newfound "populist" message, and complaints from you, Bill and your supporters that we're all sexist, you really are TOO MUCH !!

    Hillary....you and Bill loved the media when it showed you as the presumptive niominee, but now that you aren't you complain about media bias..............GIMMEE A BREAK.

    May 21, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  5. leapfrog

    If only the endorsement had come a week or so before the West Virginia primary...but an endorsement is an endorsement. Now if all the miners were to help swing WV, Ohio, Penn and Kentucky toward Obama in the fall, all will be well.

    May 21, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  6. Ding, Washington, DC

    Is there any blue collar job than this? It cann't get bluer than this. Now, Senator Obama has blue collar workers whatever that means. Thanks UMWA.

    May 21, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  7. what?

    poor Hillary, where are those stupid super delegates!

    May 21, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  8. Hillary Huckabee Romney McCain Rodham Clinton

    Hmm ... Steel workers, mine workers ... Doesn't sound like latte sippin', Volvo drivin' elites to me!

    CNN and the rest of the media: Isn't this the same "voting block" he allegedly needs support from? Get it right with facts (like this) before you peddle your ratings-dependent drivel and spin from all your mindless, lazy talking heads!!!

    May 21, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  9. bill from pa

    So where was this union last week. WV and KY are both mining states. Talk about a day late and a dollar short. Unions should be disbanded.

    May 21, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  10. James, SC

    Democrats all the way to the Whitehouse!

    May 21, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  11. Venus

    Keep in mind – the primary season is primary season and not the general election!

    This endorsement means that they will support Obama in the general election!

    Also- keep in mind that only about 10% of voters vote in primaries!

    Go Bam! This is going to be another great day!

    May 21, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  12. alice2Fresno,CA

    I am glad to hear it because it's good news for Obama. They are supporting the right candidate & soon to be officially the Dem Nominee. It's getting closer & closer to the end. Obama for President, Change We Can Believe In.

    May 21, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  13. what?

    i rather vote for big bird than obama!!!

    May 21, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  14. James

    I am an Obama supporter, enough of these hate words towards Hillary. We should unite now. However I think the real Obama supporters are very polite. I believe Rush L. supporters are those saying hateful things about Hillary. They are trying to deceive the bloggers. Here is the good news, we are not falling for it.

    May 21, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  15. 60 YO white female , Springfield, VA

    Wonderful news !!!!
    Obama 08 !!

    May 21, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  16. kim from L.A.

    No not bitter Greg from NY... I will keep it up... Who are you to correct grammer. Responding to my comment alone show's your own bitterness Gregory. Go work the coal mines...

    May 21, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  17. Russ C, Seattle, Wa

    This calls into question the idea that Obama couldn't carry the blue collar vote. Maybe we Democrats want to win even if we have to lay aside our differences to do so.

    Oh! Wait a minute. Isn't that the point?

    May 21, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  18. JoeMamma

    Hillary should consider being McCain's VP. I can't tell them apart on ANY issue.

    Proud to be part of the 28% of Republicans who didn't vote for McCain in KY!

    May 21, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  19. joyce in arkansas

    WELCOME AND GOD BLESS YOU

    by the way
    KIM IN LA
    no women work in the mine to and in the offices.
    wonderful day
    63 more votes and he is on his way

    May 21, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  20. silence do good

    How appropriate! An endorsement from a boys club with their heads underground.
    Thanks to CNN for setting up that joke – but it was too easy.

    May 21, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  21. Ron

    If you are wondering how much endorsements matter, consider this:
    45% of Kentucky voters said John Edwards endorsement mattered to them. Obama ended up with 30% support in Kentucky...however the polls for weeks leading up to the primary showed Obama polling between 28/35%. Wow, what a bump Edwards gave him!!

    May 21, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  22. Cubsn08

    Will all of you stop it! Seriously! The us vs. them thing is getting ridiculous. I understand people don't like being on a losing side. Hillary will be beat. It's basically done. Sure the votes of uneducated, poor people matter. Their vote matters as much as the next citizen. Does the country want uneducated people making decisions? I suspect not. This contest is based on delegates, not votes. Should a baseball game decided by who gets the most strikeouts instead of runs? Come on! The rules of the game were set. Popular vote is not what wins this primary. D-e-l-e-g-a-t-e-s…hello, is this thing on?

    Bottom line – the country is headed in the wrong direction. Hillary is not and will not be the answer. Stop voting with your heart and vote with your head. To all the Hillary supporters who are "bitter" about the impending defeat: If you don't like Barack, then stay home in November. That way we couldn't blame you for another 4 years of George W. Bush.

    Have a nice day-

    May 21, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  23. Nicole in NE

    Yep – McCain will not supprt your jobs or the green collar jobs that Democrats propose. Or how about we keep shipping jobs overseas? Let's keep giving the wealthieat of Americans tax breaks while the rest of lose jobs, homes and healthcare.....while gas and everything else goes up in price?

    McCain DOES NOT care about the average American anymore, he sold his integrety to follow conservative lines.

    If this really what you want, I only hope your family and friends can make it through another 4 years of this. A LOT can happen in 4 years, we should know this by now!

    May 21, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  24. what?

    OH, WAIT A MINUTE BIG BIRD IS YELLOW, ONLY WHITEY!! NO BIG BIRD

    May 21, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  25. Hey

    Most democrats want Hillary to be president. She leads the popular vote and is ahead of McCain in the polls. Go Hillary!!!!!!!!

    May 21, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
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