May 30th, 2008
10:32 AM ET
7 years ago

McClellan hints at supporting Obama

Could McClellan be supporting Obama.
Could McClellan be supporting Obama.

(CNN) – Could Scott McClellan be an unlikely supporter of Barack Obama?

In several interviews with media organizations Thursday night, the former White House press secretary hinted that he was strongly leaning toward the Illinois senator's White House bid over his own party’s presumptive nominee.

McClellan, a former White House official who has angered several Republicans this week for his scathing critique of the Bush Administration, said he hasn't made an official decision on which candidate he will back, but offered that he is "intrigued by Sen. Obama's message."

"It's a message that is very similar to the one that Gov. Bush ran on in 2000," McClellan told CBS News.

The former White House press secretary struck a similar tone in an interview with USA Today, saying that he is attracted to both party's likely nominees.

"I have a lot of respect and admiration for Sen. McCain," he said. "I'm also intrigued by Sen. Obama."

McClellan, who played a key role in the president's 2000 campaign, isn't the first member of Bush's inner circle to express support for Obama. In 2007, former Bush strategist Matt Dowd also said he had become disillusioned with the president and said Obama was the only candidate that appealed to him.


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (358 Responses)
  1. Scott, Wichita

    Using the phrase "very similar to Gov. Bush's message in 2000" seems to me like he's trying to tie Obama to Bush.

    Obama isn't like Bush, he's like a certain German who was able to gather record crowds at his rallies, had groups of supporters and organizers spring up without official help, and able to captivate an audience with the power of his voice, broadcasting a message of change.

    History does repeat itself...

    May 30, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  2. Agnostic Democrat

    This while all the FOX NEWS staff is still salivating at the opportunity to run against HILLARY. Politics makes for some strange bedfellows and no one knows that better than Slick WIlly.

    May 30, 2008 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  3. Democrats Unite

    Welcome aboard the Obama Express smooth sailing to the White House.

    Democrats would make history this November with an African American President and a Female V.P.

    Democrat 08

    May 30, 2008 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  4. Independent99999

    Another hint to Hillary to step aside. Another dose that indicates an Obama landslide. McCain, wake up and get Huckabee and FiarTax before you can save your face this election

    May 30, 2008 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  5. Tangi

    LETS TALK ABOUT THINGS THAT HAS SUBSTANCE. OBAMA PICKS UP 2 ADDITIONAL SUPERDELEGATES TODAY FROM TX.

    CNN, THIS IS REAL POLITICS...NUMBER COUNTS NOT POPULAR VOTES. STAY FOCUS AND STOP SPINNING.

    May 30, 2008 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  6. James

    Looking for a new job???

    May 30, 2008 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  7. Tired of Obama

    McClellan says Obama's message is "very similiar to the one Gov. Bush ran on in 2000." Shouldn't that be a loud warning bell? And the naive are falling for it again. The "new politics of hope" is just old raunchy Chicago politics packaged with a new face. Superdelegates, don't fall for it.

    May 30, 2008 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  8. Eric in Ca

    People continue to trash McCellan, yet never stop to ponder the merits and truths of his accounts. Funny, I imagine those who bash him are the same ones who believe the supermarket tabloids – as truth!

    Notice how the Bush Admin. and others can feebly discredit Scott but not he contents of his allegations.

    May 30, 2008 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  9. Northern Canadian

    OBAMA is the ONE.....Good Bye, Hillary Clinton.

    YES, HE CAN !!!!! YES< WE CAN !!!!

    May 30, 2008 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  10. Sarah

    Of course when 4100 young Americans die, 30000 get severely wounded, 40000 suffer from PSD and the country looses hundred of billions of dollars for a war based on a big lie, many people may find an ethical obligation to tell the truth

    It is never too late. We have to learn from Iraq so that we don't repeat the same mistake

    May 30, 2008 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  11. Eleanor

    thank God someone has the moral fibre to try and redeem himself
    another one who had the moral fibre to leave this pathetic excuse
    for an adminisration is Colin Powell!!
    *the truth shall set you free*
    *Anyone* who supports Cheney and Bushs immoral and illegal Iraq war, Take a close look at the next vet whose face is burned beyond recognition because Bush decided to go into war for his own selfish reasons *Oil and revenge for Sadam* for nearly killing his daddy, and then ask yourself if you even have a conscience if you support MCBUSHs continuing the war
    Anyone in that administration who supported this immoral war and that includes Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and yes even pretty face Rice does not have a moral fibre in their body...that may seem harsh but its REALITY ....at least MClellan and Colin Powell left that administration its morally responsible that not one more troop die in this FIASCO

    May 30, 2008 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  12. vh

    I believe that you Hillary supporters are whiners. Do you really believe she is for the people? She said yesterday that she loved being in the white house and would like to go back. what does that tell you? It means it is all about her and her so called entitlement. OBAMA 08

    May 30, 2008 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  13. Emma

    All you haters of McClellan, just know that not one Republican has disagreed with the information contained in his book. They have launched personal attacks and I am sure McClellan expected this reaction.

    Read the book and for all you fools who continue to support the President and are offering your support to McCain, I guess a rock must fall on your head before you rely on your good sense. THEY LIED and no matter how you try to sweeten the pot, The President, Vice-President, Condolezza Rice, THEY ALL LIED!

    May 30, 2008 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  14. Jean, South Carolina

    The Hillary people is just as selfish as Hillary. Why bash the man because he gave insight to the old politic as usual. This is the change that Obama wants to get rid of and if Hillary is the President, then maybe someone would write a tell all about her and Bill. Then what would her supporters have to say about what they learned. This man deserved to be treated just like any other American Citizen, not because of what he exposed to the world but because he is a human being. Hillary people wouldn't know that because of the way Hillary treats people.

    May 30, 2008 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  15. Historian

    I guess McClellan wants to be Press Secretary in an Obama administration. And will Obama welcome him?

    May 30, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  16. Debbie

    If I were John McCain, I would be thrilled to have someone of Scott McClellan's conscienceless character support Barack Obama. Plus, Scott should fit right in with the Obama camp. After all McClellan is trying to pretend he is above the dirty business he clearly supported and defended. Sort of like Obama tries to pretend he is above the dirty politics that Axelrod has engaged in on his behalf and that Obama ,himself, used to take legitimate competition off the ballot when he ran in Illinois.

    May 30, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  17. Jason Johnson

    THE TRUTH COMES OUT ! Along w/some money from the Book he has another Agenda called "I'd like a position in the Obama Adm".
    He's wrong however, Obama will not be next Pres.
    Jason J
    Florida

    May 30, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  18. Paul from Kissimmee

    That makes business sense. He'll sell more books by turning his back on the Republican party. This guy really is pathetic.

    May 30, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  19. Marcus B

    If you consider this man's close ties to Pres. Bush and the fact that he was handed a job that he was terribly unqualified for, it comes as no surprise that he didn't go blazing saddles while working in the White House. Sometimes, all of you relentless critics, people have families to support and you have to cut off your nose to spite your face. I think he kept his silence so he wouldn't lose a job that he shouldn't have had in the first place. So, I am not too critical of "why he waited so long," or "why he stabbed his President and party in the back." All I can say is, if this is how he genuinely feels, which I can not judge, then I welcome his insight into this joke of an administration!!!

    May 30, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  20. Charlotte

    Is anyone surprised? He burned his bridges with the republicans. He has nowhere else to go. I don't like Bush, but this guy is like Richardson, Kennedy, Kerry, all of them are Judas. Hillary carried thier states yet they are ignoring the voters in their states?

    May 30, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  21. JamesAAMale

    WOW, looks like osama attracts all of the traitors, says alot about who he is.

    May 30, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  22. Randy

    I love the woman that says she is a 54 year old woman with an MBA....is that supposed to make her better than the rest of us? An elitist perhaps? Obama definately has her locked up....he just needs to find more of them.

    May 30, 2008 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  23. No Hillary

    Mc Cleallan, you are a man of honor and truthfullness.... thank you for your honesty.

    May 30, 2008 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  24. Marie-Lynn

    Welcome aboard Scott..

    May 30, 2008 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  25. Marcus B POST MY COMMENT PLEASE

    PLEASE POST MY COMMENT CNN!!! PLEASE!!!!!!

    If you consider this man's close ties to Pres. Bush and the fact that he was handed a job that he was terribly unqualified for, it comes as no surprise that he didn't go blazing saddles while working in the White House. Sometimes, all of you relentless critics, people have families to support and you have to cut off your nose to spite your face. I think he kept his silence so he wouldn't lose a job that he shouldn't have had in the first place. So, I am not too critical of "why he waited so long," or "why he stabbed his President and party in the back." All I can say is, if this is how he genuinely feels, which I can not judge, then I welcome his insight into this joke of an administration!!!

    May 30, 2008 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
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