May 30th, 2008
10:32 AM ET
6 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. Chris in VA

    My! What a surprise! This is about as big a shocker as some MSM member like Linda Douglas joining up to get paid as a member of the Obama campaign.

    What next? Jack Cafferty officially joins the Obama campaign?

    May 30, 2008 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  2. nowlin

    When you are burded by truth, then there are decisions that will not make
    you popular. So stay strong!

    May 30, 2008 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  3. Robert in Toronto,ON

    I'd actually consider moving to America if Obama is the President. I'll give up Canada, which is saying alot cuz I get all the pancake syrup and hockey I want!

    Go'Bama 08 – 16!

    May 30, 2008 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  4. New Yorker

    This guy is scum- Obamaphiles you can keep him, With friends like this, who needs enemies?

    May 30, 2008 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  5. Coby

    It's funny how people are angry at McClellan for coming out and telling the truth.

    May 30, 2008 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  6. Jim

    A strong republican coming across the aisle and likes Obama–yet Hillary still insists she "more electable"… This itself (although I never like McClellan) shows that a broad range of people prefer Obama over the same-old Washington politics that come bundled with Clinton and McCain.

    . Yea one that lied to the american people. Is that why obama suporters like him so much?

    May 30, 2008 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  7. Dee Okla.

    You can say what you want about him flip flopping, but I yet to hear any of bushes people say he is not telling the truth. They only talk about him!

    May 30, 2008 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  8. DEMOCRATS 4 HILLARY '08

    So-called Democrats embracing a candidate they know nothing about, opening their arms to Murdoch and McClellan after all they've done to this country, and gleefully bashing Hillary Clinton...

    It's priceless.

    "A strong republican coming across the aisle..."

    Obama fans are blind and mindless.

    HILLARY CLINTON '08

    May 30, 2008 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  9. The mob is fickle

    Greed was the sole reason for his selling out. How much did an insider stand to make for defecting from a president with an approval rating of 27%. Espicially to a fickle bunch who want to read all the negative slander about a man they hate? FOOLS, he is making loot for selling his diginity. I don't care, he'll get what's coming to him.

    May 30, 2008 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  10. Scott Hughes ATL

    If you hate Obama, then you will probably always hate Obama, but guess what... Everyone is not crazy or a traitor, hypnotized, etc... You have to ask yourself why people from all walks of life seem attracted to Obama's message and style.

    Most of these people from all walks of life, seem to be leaving other constituencies to come to support Obama.

    And those that seem opposed seem to be, just "seem" to be the same ole type of people that are running this country into the ground. They refuse to accept change. They can't understand why people are so dissatisfied with our government not working for them. They seem to think that breaking from the norm is a bad thing. Or they want to return to 1990. My mom used to say, "You can have everything you want in life... EXCEPT the way it used to be..."

    These same people are seeing a major decline in their own standard of living but because of some deep seeded hatred, or flawed tradition, can't seem to step into 2008.

    Well I guess they have every right to live in the past, when things were good for just a few... But they do not have a right to hold the rest of us in that past. Nor do they have the right to be angry with us for wanting a policy shift in government to the inclusive, rather than the exclusive...

    My sadness comes when I think about whether Obama does a great job as president or not, those intrenched boneheads will do their best to bring him down every single day of his administration.

    I pray for his stamina in the White House... (Obama, quit smoking... You'll need the energy...)

    May 30, 2008 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  11. Bob Chisolm

    "he is "intrigued by Sen. Obama's message...a message that is very similar to the one that Gov. Bush ran on in 2000"

    OK' he's not disillusioned, he's delusional.
    I certainly don't remember Bush ever calling for the government to nationalize oil companies, to socialize medicine, or support for on-demand abortion in 2000 This guy has serious problems recalling what's real (and what is unreal) from his memory.

    May 30, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  12. OBAMA SUPPORTER IN IOWA

    Glad you have your support. Thank you for verifying what we all knew was true. If I had a son or daughter still fighting in Iraq, I would be furious. I wish I knew why some people are clinging to the idea that his war was justified. Very sad.

    May 30, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  13. B in Indy

    Obama picked up 2 more super's last nite. If he gets 20 delegates in P.R., 8 in MT and SD, then he'll be six delegates short of the nomination. Senator Clinton was a great opponent and she's a very formidable candidate but she shouldn't have underestimated B.O. from the jump. That was her biggest mistake and she didnt plan to have to come from behind which is where the mudslinging and all this jazz started. Good game but it looks like it's over. If they take it away from Obama, i'll vote McCain in Nov! Jus kidding (wanted to sound like clinton supporters lol) , i jus wont vote:)

    May 30, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  14. Marc in Virginia

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

    Thank you, sir...my sentiments exactly. We all know how well that worked out, don't we?

    May 30, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  15. CB

    I'm proud of him for speaking out!!! We need more information about the behind the scenes stuff. Its no suprise the administration came out to attack him personally, but did you notice no one is saying what he said isn't true.

    May 30, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  16. ALECO1 -----NOKOMIS,FL

    THE TIMEING OF SCOTT McCELLAN'S BOOK COULD NOT BE BETTER. I CAN WELL UNDERSTAND WHY THE WHITE HOUSE IS UPSET. ACCORDING TO A POLL 89% BELIEVE McCELLAN AND ONLY 11% BELIEVE THE WHITE HOUSE.. LETS FACE IT, BUSH HAS NOT TOLD A TRUTH SINCE HE WAS TWO YEARS OLD.
    OBAMA CAN USE THIS INFORMATION FOR ALL ITS WORTH, AND ITS WORTH PLENTY. WHO IN THE WORLD WOULD VOTE FOR McCAIN, HE IS JUST ANOTHER CORRUPT REPUBLICAN.
    OBAMA WILL BE OUR NEXT PRESIDENT. THANK GOD.

    May 30, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  17. pat

    TO RESOLVE THE FL. AN MICH. PROBLEM IT SIMPLE OBAMAS NAME WAS NOT ON BALLOT THEREFORE YOU CAN NOT GIVE WHAT YOU DID NOT RECEIVE. HIS NAME IS NOT UNCOMMITED. FL. WAS A STATE YOU WERE NOT TO CAMPAIN IN OBAMA RAN ADS IN FL. THEREFORE HE VIOLATED DNC DNC DNC RULES AN SHOULD BE DISQUILFIED. HILLARY SHOULD GET ALL VOTES AN ALL DELIGATES THERE THATS THE LAW. WRITTEN BY THE DNC.

    May 30, 2008 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  18. pinky_50

    Way to go!! McClellan I hope you do decide to support Obama.
    Plus I do believe your story in your Book. It does not suprise me
    at all.

    May 30, 2008 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  19. Hillary Supporter

    Good move McClelland ....
    Another perfect fit in the Obama Camp!

    May 30, 2008 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  20. The Truth

    More proof that Obama is the STRONGER candidate, he will get Independents and Republicans.....

    OBAMA '08!

    May 30, 2008 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  21. 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 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  22. Carmen, North Carolina

    I am tired of hearing this same old tired speech about Hillary electability. WHY is she so electable. I hope someone can spell that out. Obama and any other canidates can win states if the people that Bill and Hillary will let them choose to vote on their own and not threaten them with a sanction. People wake up. If Hillary wasn't on the ballot and only Obama would you then go Republican and forget about the Democratic Party? Let's think about this and stop letting Hillary and Bill scare you in to voting for her if you really want to vote for Obama. Hillary may be old enough to know more in politics but she shure haven't used or demonstrate that in the last few months. People get a grip before you lose the Election to McCain and not because of Obama, but becuae of Stupid Does As Stupid Do (Bil and Hillary Clinton).

    May 30, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  23. Stuart

    Anyone from Texas knows he comes from a pretty disloyal slimy family. No Big Surpises.

    His mama wasn't a real republican either.

    May 30, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  24. Louis

    For all you folks who call this man "disloyal," you're clearly missing the point. He, in fact, is QUITE loyal - loyal to whom he's supposed to be loyal - the PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. He, like every one of us has the duty to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against ALL enemies - foreign AND domestic. Bush and his cronies have destroyed this country and have made us the laughing stock and sore-scab of the planet. McClellan had a DUTY to inform the American people about why we are where we are so that we might have an opportunity to wake up from this nightmare of disallusioned expectations and propoganda and begin to retake our country and our respect around the world. Way to go, Scott!!! Good for you!!!

    May 30, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  25. Obama 08

    This just proves that Obama can reach across party lines. Even Republicans are getting inspired!

    The electoral college won't be able to save the republicans this year.

    Obama will trounce McCain in popular vote by 5-6 million and win electoral college!

    May 30, 2008 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15