June 16th, 2008
10:49 AM ET
7 years ago

GOP attacks Obama over Michigan primary

Obama campaigns in Flint, Michigan on Monday.
Obama campaigns in Flint, Michigan on Monday.

(CNN) - As Barack Obama took to the trail in Michigan on Monday, the state's Republican party released a web ad needling him over his decision not to campaign in Michigan during the Democratic primary season - a line of attack Hillary Clinton warned of throughout her own presidential bid.

"Why did you boycott Michigan for so long?," the web ad asks. "You stiffed our voters."

The nearly two-minute long video proceeds to highlight Obama's "bitter" comments from a San Francisco fundraiser earlier this year.

"You insulted our way of life," the ad says, displaying assorted images of hunters and churchgoers.

A blog post on the Michigan GOP's Web site said the ad was created "to remind Michigan voters that when they wanted to hear from Barack Obama, he took every opportunity to thumb his nose at them."

In her push to have the disputed Michigan and Florida delegations seated in full, Clinton regularly argued that in a general election, Republicans would hammer Obama for his reluctance to do the same.

"If the Democrats send a message that we don't care about your votes, I'm sure John McCain and the Republicans would be happy to have them," Clinton said at a campaign stop in Detroit in March. "In fact, the Republicans will argue that Michigan and Florida voters shouldn't trust the Democrats to look out for them when we wont even listen to you."

Obama removed his name from the primary ballot in Michigan last year, a decision that led to a long-running debate with Hillary Clinton's campaign over the how to fairly count the votes from that state's unsanctioned Democratic contest.

Clinton won the uncontested Michigan vote in January with 55 percent of the vote, beating out "Uncommitted," which netted 40 percent. Earlier this month, the Democratic National Committee voted to seat the full Michigan delegation with half a vote each, allocating 69 delegate votes to Clinton and 59 to Obama.


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Michigan
soundoff (415 Responses)
  1. SMOQ

    LOOK THE DNC MADE THIS ERROR A YEAR PLUS BEFORE THE PRIMARIES. NOT THE INDIVIDUAL CANDIDATES...ONE ONE DEM LEFT THEIR NAME ON THE BALLOT IN THIS STATE

    June 16, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  2. Teena

    Why do you blame Obama for this? The state officials are the ones who did this, not the Obama campaign. It's ridiculous to blame him for what other people did. If the people of Michigan and Florida really want change, change their local officials then. They are the ones who created the mess, not Barack Obama.

    June 16, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  3. Vicki

    I too am a Hillary supporter. I will not vote for Obama unless Hillary is on the ticket. I also will not support a candidate who does seem to comprehend that the war is most emphatically affecting our economy. Therefore I suggest to all a write in campaign to elect Hillary Rodman Clinton as the next President of this United States.

    June 16, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  4. Dadedi

    I think it is insulting to black people who have fought so hard for this country to call them unpatriotic.

    I hate that, with all the nasty things we have done to black people, they should be meek, humble and accept being mistreated. No human being can accept to be mistreated. That is why black people started to move towards liberation theology and they do that to this day. It is silly to call black people unpatriotic just because they have liberation theology. It is uncouth for anyone to question Barack Obama's patriotism because he did not author the laws of discrimination that have defined this country for quite a long time.

    It is pathetic that to be American and patriotic, you have to vote against Martin Luther King like McCain did. It is pathetic that attending a black church makes you unpatriotic. I am ashamed of my country and some of the things it has done to black people. These things were never done in my name and I condemn them! But when I see my white brothers and sisters adding insult to injury by calling African American people unpatriotic, it makes my heart bleed. Being bigotted does not make you anymore American. Pathetic people!

    June 16, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  5. Dustin

    There were no rules stating that Obama could not campaign in Michigan. There was no rule saying that he had to take his name off the ballot. He CHOSE to do so. It was a political move (and a smart one in getting him the nomination) but it will hurt him now in the general.

    Hillary CHOSE to campaign there, and CHOSE to stay on the ballot even though at the time it looked like she'd get no delegates out of it. Gosh...who REALLY was the one who only cared about delegates and winning? Hm....maybe we made a mistake.

    Undecided?

    June 16, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  6. truth now

    Well now, let's see what the GOP has given us:

    1. Record deficeits

    2. The Iraq War with 2 BILLION DOLLAR A DAY costs.

    3. A Warmonger for a President.

    4. John McCain who called his wife the C-word as a candidate.

    5. Gas at over $4.00 a gallon.

    6. An Administration with scandal after scandal after scandal.

    7. A Vice-President that shoots people.

    8. An Administration that supports companies that take good
    paying jobs away from Americans.

    9. Ignorant voters that continue to support a party that takes jobs
    from them.

    10. Richest 2% of the country reaping hugh windfalls with tax
    reductions, while the poor idiots keep supporting them.

    11. Keeping the racial divides going so they can continue to screw
    the very people who vote for them.

    June 16, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  7. sandi

    Hey, rhurst,
    The only popular vote that Hillary won was the one that her staff counted. The rest of the world, using real math, had Obama in the popular vote by about 3000. Besides it's over.

    June 16, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  8. Quinn

    And now...THE TRUTH!

    Both the DNC and the RNC gave Michigan the exact same penalty. If the DNC was wrong, then so was the RNC.

    How crazy would you have to be to believe that Obama would shun the voters of Michigan on purpose? HE WAS TOLD THAT THE PRIMARY WAS NOT GOING TO COUNT. That is the only reason his name was not in the ballot.

    I must admit, I am really sick of you people who are willing to tell outright LIES on this board in hopes that you can keep people ill-informed. You can't scare us away from Barack no matter how hard you try. John McCain will have to win based on his OWN merits...Not fearmongering!

    For the last time, stop trying to pretend that all Hillary supporters are suicidal maniacs. Only a couple of nuts will actually vote for John McCain. He is NOT the answer to ANYTHING that women have been fighting for.

    June 16, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  9. Brenda of Saginaw ,Michigan

    I live in Michigan ( as you can tell ), and yes Mr. Obama will win here. It is a known fact that he and the rest were told not to come to here and they kept their promise except Mrs. Clinton. He is here today and God bless him for that. It is better late then never.

    June 16, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  10. Ted

    To Crush Rush

    Check your fax I know how you uneducated become "bitter" Out sourcing started with your beloved Bill Clinton and NAFTA. Second, once again you liberals and your unions drove the automotive out of Michigan with your union salarie. The automotive failed because of the union look it up.

    Finally, if Obama says he is going to raise taxes on large corporations why would they want to come back. Here is Obama's plan um TAX,TAX,TAX. Nice, take from the rich and give to the poor.

    Do you approve of socialism? If so vote Obama

    June 16, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  11. Rick FL

    The hypocrisy of the GOP here claiming, "You insult our way of life" is unbelievable. This is the same party that insulted our family values after showing us what a fallacy of a platform that was for too many of their members. It was another reason why I became a former Republican–now proudly for Obama, a man of decency.

    June 16, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  12. Ron, Knoxville, TN

    How dumb can Hillary supporters be?
    With statements like "I will never vote for Obama"

    Sen. Clinton's ideas are vertually the same as Obama's, yet they turn their back on him because, the rich elitist woman lost. GET OVER IT ...your a poor sport.
    Support the candidate that is closer to Hillary's views. It is not McCain...it is Sen. Obama.

    Besides, Hillary is a bold faced lier, and the extent of her experience, has been a 2 term wife of President, then 2 terms in the senate (which she only one because of her husbands resume)
    Hillary, is not fit to be President and never was.
    Sen. Obama, offers something that America has not had since Kennedy......A new perspective.
    At water coolers around the country, we hear talk of "Something has to change" or "What can we do about it?"
    The answer is elect someone who offers something different. Not the same OLD political garbage we have had the past 8 years.

    June 16, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  13. listen up

    Obama supporters who try to bully people into voting their way....

    Many of us vote on platform (Hillary's was the best of all 3) and on character (Hillary is a far better and more honest person than Obama) and pay very little attention to the packaging of the message.

    Obama is a pretty messenger who easily fools many naive poeple who do not bother to question his hypocrisy and contradictions and dirty politics. Dig deeper folks and you will find no substance but just a pandering politician out for personal glory.

    So Obama never rang true and never will and no amount of guilt-tripping about party loyalty will force our hand or our vote.

    June 16, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  14. Abolish Electoral College Now!

    The deck will always be stacked one way or another as long as this archaic system is in place.
    There will never be a truly fair election until and unless every vote is counted. Winner take all states are Wrong wrong wrong. Unless it is the overall individual vote count total there is no legitimate winner.

    June 16, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  15. jfs Memhis, Tn

    I really think that the outcome of the Democratic Primary is rather irrevelent to the tasks that the Republicans have at hand. Really NONE of their business..............They need to worry about how many people will be losing their jobs, homes to forclosure, and the price of oil TODAY ....and ....Tommorrow. They really do not need to be worrying about peolpes religion, or flag pins, etc. WE ARE CONCERNED ABOUT ISSUES !!! NOW GET WITH IT REPUBLICANS ....OR....You will lose in NOV !!!!

    June 16, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
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