May 21st, 2008
11:20 AM ET
9 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. Franky

    Ohhh great, we couldv'e used this one before West Virginia, LOL!!!!

    May 21, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  2. paul oregon

    most people want to back a winner . go obama . unless your a clinton supporter

    May 21, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  3. Crush Rush

    There are women miners KIM.They get out of their computor chairs and go earn a living for their families instead of sitting and whining all day for Hillary on the blogs.

    May 21, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  4. JP

    Those miners are a bunch of latte-sipping elitists.

    May 21, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  5. Lazarito

    Obama 2008!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    May 21, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  6. L.A.


    May 21, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  7. Patrick, NY

    As a Cornell ILR student, this is a big endorsement. Congrats Barack.

    Obama '08!

    May 21, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  8. Helen

    2 Kim in LA

    Take a break from listening to Hillary's speeches. You are sounding just like her...when matters are not in your favor you WHINE.

    Call the guy that hurt you...see if he will apologize (or lie like Bill did Hillary) and get over it. But come on...don't lump all men together like you did. I thought SILLY SEASON had ended.


    May 21, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  9. Steve

    I'm not sure if this is the correct place for this question, but I have heard on several occasions -one fpersonally the others on tv that Rush Limbaugh has had his avid listeners vote for Obama in the primaries because there is more of a chance that McCain will win against him a opposed to Clinton. Anyone can you confirm this or deny it?? Is tis true?????

    May 21, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  10. ???

    Funny thing I noticed, when men vote for Hillary no one says anything, but the second a man votes for Obama he's sexist. Get over yourself. Last time I checked feminism is about equality and choice NOT getting a woman elected no matter who she is.

    May 21, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  11. Rom, NY

    Those nasty Republicans who keep posting misleading messages about "I will vote for Mc Cain even I am a long time Democrat", You will get over it !!
    What are you afraid of?
    Are you scared that your old guy cannot unite enough conservatives and independents to win in Nov ?? - LOL
    Not this time, mischiefing and those kind of tactics won't work this time !!

    May 21, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  12. David O



    BARACK OBAMA: President of the United States Of America

    Sounds like sweet music.

    May 21, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |


    May 21, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  14. Annette TX

    Way to go Obama! And please women, stop making it as men are against women, that is so untrue! I am an very educated women with my Masters in business. I can not believe how women are acting. Stop naggin! Face the facts, Billary is not going to win. If you dont like it, then move on to another country! This world will be much better without ya.

    May 21, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  15. Hillary 08

    sorry Obama, you'll never win...will someone please tell him the real facts..The American people will decide this race. No one else. Game Over O.

    May 21, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  16. gp

    How is Hilary going to spin this .She has always some arguments to put up with the fact that Obama is almost there...Even more shameful is this new atempt to create deaper split caling frustrated women ( for who not hat reason ) to fight for her, and conect their pain with her .So manipulative and agly. By the way I am women and used to be behind her but along the way I figured out I am lackily not that type of women. She is sexist when always plays that card when feels things dont go her way.But we all know that .What was not so clear she is rasisst as well , which we did not know-since Clintons Always strategicly manipulated Black voters for their purposes!!!!! Other wise would she be happy with votes she gets from allm those poor souls which still in 21 centyry vote for her because oponent is black ..Shame on her !!!!!!!!!!!

    May 21, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  17. Tired of W, OH

    Come on, CNN! Why won't you post this?

    Hey, before y'all go callin' Kentucky voters a bunch of racists, consider this: Obama is only half black. That means that Kentucky voters are only half racist! YEEEE-HAWWW!

    Seriously, go look at the county-by-county results for Kentucky and pay attention to the margin of victory by Clinton in each of the counties. As you get towards the back-woods counties in the eastern part of the state, Clinton wins by 80% or more. As you get towards the more industrialized parts of the state (like Louisville) the race is much tighter. This is not due to a large African American population. This is due to an educational gap. People in larger cities follow the news much closer than those in rural areas. They are exposed to more racially diverse conditions and are much less prejudiced. I'm not saying that rural voters are dumber. They're just more ignorant to the world around them. And ignorance breeds prejudice. Those are just the facts.

    May 21, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  18. Tyler in Raleigh, NC

    This shows that even though Obama was not their top choice, when it comes to McCain versus Obama the union understands what many other Clinton supporters do not.

    Sure you can stay home or vote McCain out of your "bitterness", but what good does that do?

    Would you vote for Bush again if he was up for re-election knowing the harm he would do just out of anger that Clinton lost? Do you really want us to stay in Iraq and lose more soliders because you are that petty?

    May 21, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  19. not her please

    Ben from NY–on your post regarding her closing the gap in delegates.......please,please please explain to me what Hillary's experience is? I do have a brain....but fail to see how living in the governor's mansion and watching her husband chase tail and living in the white house and watching her husband chanse tail amounts to experience....we've long since decided that her dodging bullets in Bosnia does not count as experience since it was a fabrication. What experience does she have? She has less elected position experience than he does...please since you obviously have a brain, explain to us all what her experience is??? Also, since she is so much a person of action and not just words, what action has she taken to get her 'gas tax holiday gimmick' set into law? What has she done other than tell the hard working uneducated people that is her broad support that she wants to do that for them. They, unfortunately believe her, and as the polls indicated that was instrumental to roughly 57% of the people in KY but she has done nothing–taken no action-to implement that. Where is her experience...where, when she has a chance to prove she's more than mere words–is her action to get that in place. Please brainiac...explain that to us all.

    May 21, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  20. James Nelson

    "Which side are you on, boys?
    Which side are you on?"

    OBAMA '08!!!

    May 21, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  21. Hillary Democrat

    News for Obama. The union is not the workers. Unions no longe control their workers like they used to in the past.
    Congratulations Democrats you have chosen the one candidate that will take you down the road of defeat.

    How does it feel to win the nomination and lose the election, again.

    John Syndey McCain, The President of the American People. God Bless America and Save us from the Islamic Jihadist.

    May 21, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  22. Farrell, Houston, Tx


    May 21, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  23. matthew in SF

    Everyone is too busy pointing out the splinter in other people's eyes to notice the log in his own. Grow up people! Yes, there are women who are just voting for Hillary to see a woman Pres. Yes, there are Blacks voting for Obama just to see a Black Pres. Yes, there are people voting for a candidate just to make sure the other one is not elected. These people are ignorant and foolish and few and far between. Just 'cause a woman votes for Hillary doesn't mean she is sexist. Just 'cause Whites don't vote for Obama doesn't mean they are racist. Just 'cause Blacks vote for Obama, it doesn't mean they are racist. A true Obama supporter would realize this. If you truly beleive in his message, YOU should stop "slicing and dicing" and accept that people just might not like your candidate or want him for Pres.

    May 21, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  24. REAL American for Obama

    To All Those Who Claim They Will Vote For McCain or Write-In Hillary:

    No, you're not racist or uneducated, just plain STUPID. Fortunately, this is a free country and you can vote for whoever you want to. However, just because you can vote for whoever you want to doesn't mean that you can't also make a very bad decision. You are free to be a MORON and waste your vote that millions have sacrificed and died for. Choosing McCain over Obama or trying to write in Hillary because Hillary is losing, even though Obama's policies are more in line with Hillary's, is a CHILDISH, FOOLISH decision any way you look at it. I don't care how smart you think you are, or how much money you have, or how much you "just can't stomach Obama". Voting AGAINST any candidate out of spite is SELFISH, WRONG and UN-AMERICAN. The best thing you can do is stay home. To do otherwise would be an ABUSE of the American Democratic process.

    May 21, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  25. Bukky

    All you WOMEN that wont vote for Obama becuase clinton lost. Please keep in mind that a 71 year old caucasian republican will not be waving the flag for womens rights, while Obama has been a supporter of womens causes from the beginning of his political career.

    If you women stay home OR vote McCain... the destrcution of roe v wade WILL BE YOUR FAULT and no one elses

    May 21, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
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