June 16th, 2008
10:49 AM ET
10 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. Brandon in MN

    Hah, that's rich. The GOP stiffed the US for almost 8 years now!!!

    June 16, 2008 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  2. Donna

    true so true

    June 16, 2008 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  3. Greg, NY

    This ad is so misleading it's not even funny.

    Obama didn't campaign in Michigan because the rules said no candidate could campaign there. Non of the Democratic candidates campaigned there.

    Secondly, the only reason they weren't allowed to campaign there was because Michigan moved it's primary largely due to the state's Republican party!

    June 16, 2008 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  4. Keith


    June 16, 2008 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  5. Jonathan, Hartford, CT

    They should give him some heat over this. He was out to punish members of his own party by removing his name from the ballot. He is NOT to be trusted. He is just a wordy, elitist politican. Bush ran on change and look at the change he gave us. Who is to say that Obama's brand of change will be any better>

    June 16, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  6. Freida, NYC

    Good for the Michigan voters to finally speak up. I hope the rest of Americans wake up and boycott Obama and his clan, before it is too late.

    Mc.Cain 2008/Hillary 2012-2020

    June 16, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  7. Robert Barga

    This is why Obama will lose in November, he told the people of Fl. and MI that they do not matter at all. Is this the change we can believe in; the view that two of the states are unimportant at all?

    Robert Barga

    June 16, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  8. Whitney, Nashville, TN

    Didn't the Republicans strip Michigan of half its delegates as well? Do they think people from Michigan are idiots and don't realize this?

    June 16, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  9. Abby

    How about you stick to the issues, RNC? Like the war you tricked us into and the economy you managed mess up? We will not be distracted. Not. This. Time.

    June 16, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  10. Listen Up...

    The GOP is such a desperate bottom feeding creature that it refuses to focus on issues. Obama will court the voter there AND he'll actually talk about the issues that concern them.

    June 16, 2008 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  11. SAM2008

    here we go, this is the first state Obama will lose to McCain in November
    pick Hillary you might win it back.

    June 16, 2008 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  12. Arkay, MI

    When are these people going to understand that this was a decision by DNC. Obama was just abiding by the DNC decision and did not campign in MI.

    June 16, 2008 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  13. Bup

    I think "Gotcha!" politics are going to backfire this year. Both Obama and McCain deserve better treatment than unfair attack ads, and I think this sort of idiocy will work against anybody who wants to pursue it. Anyone with half a brain knows why Obama didn't campaign in Michigan or Florida during the primary season.

    June 16, 2008 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  14. Xena

    He is such a loser and will always be a loser. I will NOBAMA would just go away...

    June 16, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |


    June 16, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  16. Raymond Duke

    Obama will win detroit but I doubt if he will carry michigan overall. He will win detroit because it is just about totally black and they will vote for him regardless of the fact that he along with the DLC denied them the opportunity to have a revote. Oh but he is ready to kiss them and say , hey I raped you on your vote the first time, but I will be gentle with you the second time around because I have no choice for the general election because I can't disinfrancise your votes to suit my needs.

    June 16, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  17. Michigan for Obama

    Does the GOP know what the issues are...

    1. Economy
    2. Economy
    3. Economy
    4. Economy
    5. Economy
    6. Economy
    .... and on and on.

    But those GOP fools they can keep decieving people with their nonsense every election. Please, let McCain tell Michigan how he will restore our economy. Obama has more better ideas a

    June 16, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  18. Obama 08: Female, 60, white

    Can McCain offer anything other than attacks?? I thought he was supposed to be the one talking about issues. If so, he should be presenting what exactly he will be doing to improve the lives of the people in Michigan.

    Hillary didn't win on her attacks; now, hopefully will McCain.

    June 16, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  19. Sammy

    Is it me or is something is wrong here? I thought it was the Republican party in MI and FL that pushed the primary dates up and resulted in the "no-show" elections in those states. So when they put up an ad in MI to blast Obama for not campaiging there, are they suggesting that the people in MI are stupid not to read between the lines? Americans fell prey to such negative politics and the result was Bush. haven't we suffered enough? Can't peole just stick with the issues and allow the electorate to make their own decisions? I'm beginning to be very tired of the entire political process.

    June 16, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  20. White small town for Obama !!

    Poor Grandpa McCain.. Pleaseeeeeeeeeeee!!

    Obama 08

    June 16, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  21. Linda Esen

    Everybody and their mama knows the MI and FL broke the rules and resulted in punishement by the DNC!!!!!!!!!!!!! bOTH cLINTON AND oBAMA signed on to say that those votes wont be counted – With Clinton's loss inevitable alll the sudden you was advocating for the counting of this votes- so sure the DNC has some work to do BUT the RNC has to do a better job with the dirt it trows. Lets be very clear that the American population is VERY aware of whats going on and will vote the Republican mess!!! out come November ...come on surely you have better dirt than this RNC>>>>

    June 16, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  22. Loretta from California

    Michigan would do better to attack the DNC's rules committee. If they do not agree with the established rules, they should work to change them.

    Senator Obama did not make the rules. And he did agree to the compromise.


    June 16, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  23. Beth from Michigan

    How did Barack thumb his nose at Michigan voters? He played by the rules set down by the DNC as unfortunate as they may be. He recognized that the primaries in MI and FL wouldn't count, so he did a reasonable thing: he removed himself from the ballot. If anything, the GOP should be attacking the DNC for not caring about Michigan voters, that a simple argument over when to hold its primary allowed Michigan voters to be disenfranchised.

    As a female voter from MI, I am choosing Barack. I am going to the rally in Detroit today because he is my choice for president. Anything said by John McCain and the GOP will come off as desperate and weak in comparison to my resolve to do my part to change the country.

    June 16, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  24. Beca

    And I am of of those in Florida, won't vote for Obama since he blocked the re-vote.

    June 16, 2008 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  25. NC4Obama

    The truth is just so hard for the GOP to understand. Obama played by the rules, it's not all that complicated to understand. Anybody who wants to beat this drum are just dishonest.

    June 16, 2008 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
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