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. LA

    So is CNN only posting the comments including a reference to "Bush" when the Bush reference is used to negatively reflect upon Obama as in the first post. Be fair if that's possible. Bush is campaigning for McCain, not Obama. Everyone knows that-even CNN. Now don't post this as you didn't post the other comment!

    June 16, 2008 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  2. Sheri

    Mr.Obama , Michigan and Florida welcomes you. You will be our next President.

    June 16, 2008 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  3. Jim Shimmer

    Cheap tricks by GOP. They can't do nothing this time.


    June 16, 2008 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  4. Karen

    Attention Obama supporters! You need to get educated before you post.

    Obama chose to remove his name from the Michigan ballot just prior to the deadline to do so. His decision, political observers say, was likely driven by a desire to appeal to Iowa voters (who were angered that Michigan had moved its primary up in the calendar) as well as the conclusion that he simply could not beat Clinton.

    There was/is no DNC requirement to remove names from the ballots - they just could not actively campaign there.

    June 16, 2008 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  5. New Day

    Cheryl L. Swaim June 16th, 2008 11:17 am ET

    Poor millionaire Obama.


    CNN: how do idiotic posts like that make it through?

    June 16, 2008 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  6. James

    The GOP had no solutions for ANYTHING...all they have left are attack ads, racism, fear mongering and wedge issues. They are pahetic.

    June 16, 2008 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  7. McCain supporter

    MCcain will not win so if they stay negative they will loss. Like at what happened to Hillary why she loss because they stayed negative.
    I will tell GOP to stay out of negative. If they go Negative I will not vote for MCcain.

    June 16, 2008 11:46 am at 11:46 am |

    they were not allowed to campaighn there as in fl. if hillary did so she was out of line with rules. he would have been there had mi not broke the rules as hillary did. she said you would not count. it is not obamas fault so go ahead and vote mcsain and see what happens. obama will still win and he will still treat mi as he does every state. he is for all not a spiteful person. so talk on real big. go back remember why he was not there. he went by all the rules. so put him down now for being the better person.

    please post this

    June 16, 2008 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  9. Desmond Sequeira


    June 16, 2008 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  10. michael tampa

    Look Michigan voters, I live in Florida and we did this to ourselves just like you did. Stop whinning and do what we are doing here, holding the politicans accountable who moved the dates and caused this mess. The candidates did not cause this,,,, your local politicans did!

    So stop whinning and take action or shut up!

    June 16, 2008 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  11. Think Again

    It's funny that Hillary supporters are banking on McCain winning in 2008 so she can run in 2012. That type of strategy is plain STUPID!

    June 16, 2008 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  12. Concerned in Texas

    It is apparent that the only persons that would believe these republican attacks are the sad souls who do not take a moment to think fo themselves and rely on attack ads to form their mindset. Obam did not make the rules, the DNC did and they were in place long before he arrived in the senate or the Presidential race. It is frightening to see that race is the motivating factor behind the majority of this rhetoric. Hillary did not need Florida or Michigan until she got way behind in the delegate/popular vote count. Think for yourselves this time people. Race should not be the issue, as some don't think that others notice that it is.

    June 16, 2008 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  13. Janice from Canada




    June 16, 2008 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  14. Anubis

    If Hillary Supporters vote in McCain this country will get what it deserves. I hope Obama will run again if he loses in '12 just so Hillary supports will never have their say. After all isnt that what you are doing to Obama? She lost get over it and do what's best for the country. If not we dont deserve democracy.

    June 16, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  15. Not fooled by distractions.

    Whoa crazy folks!!! The situation in MI was not Obama's doing, he was following the party rules. The gop bull crap is working. Look how many are all riled up at Obama over nothing that he personally did. You're falling into the lowest common denominator – the ones the gop hopes to enrage, those easily influenced with emotion – just like rush does. Think people – look at the candidates platforms and positions on the issues – don't be fooled by this republican hooey. This election is too important to be fooled by the same old gop tactics – they do this to distract from the issues – don't allow it. Pay attention to the issues, not the hooey.

    June 16, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  16. John from LA

    I love the Obamabots saying negativity doesn't work in politics-but it's OK if "Saint Obama"-attacks-then it's fair-because he didn't start it-this way of campaigning has gone on for decades-and now the bots think BO will "Change" everything-boring!-I love the salty language and rough and toughness of it all-what do the bots think when BO goes up against a terrorist nation-"Let's all hold hands"-that'll work!

    Grow up bots-welcome to the wonderful world of politics!

    June 16, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  17. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    Obama resisted having revotes in MI and FL. The DNC violated their own rules (that seem so precious to Obama supporters), by awarding MI's uncommitted voters to Obama. Obama is the DNC's pick, not the voters' pick. He desrves any attack over this that the Reps can make stick.

    For Boomer, no one is going to overturmn Roe v. Wade. Even if Mccain wanted to appoint a supreme Court justice who would do so, the democratic Senate would never confirm him or her. So stop with the fear mongering. Also any solution that isn't one person, one vote,is inherantly undemocratic and unfair.

    June 16, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  18. Sheri

    Boomer: I like when you said Grandpa McCain. lol, or should I say GREAT, Grandpa McCain.

    June 16, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  19. kenny

    Why would we want a President who finished at the bottom of the Naval Academy 894/899. What makes you think McCain would do better as President.

    June 16, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |

    The GOP is so scared. Why don't they run ads about the issues instead of attack ads?


    Because you have to say more than "War. War. and more War" in a 60 second ad.

    -PS Gas is $2.50 in Mexico. Even less if you pay in Pesos. I figure Haliburton/McCrypt/Bushwacko don't have investments pending in Tijuana.

    June 16, 2008 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  21. Blueray98

    He shouldn’t have received any of the delegates from Michigan. I sure wish Sen. Clinton would have won the nomination. It would have been great to see her and McCain – two people who are both proud of their country – running against each other. What a contest that would have been.

    June 16, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  22. debra

    I am a Democrat, but I do not support abortion. I believe that those babies are being killed. Any women could still legally choose to have an abortion if her life is in danger. It is only those who don't want the children that the law is benefiting. It allows them to kill the child and return their life back to semi normal. They have always had the ability to put that child up for adoption. There should be consequences to your actions. If you don't want a child – take precautions against it before it happens. After a child is conceived is too late to take those precautions. If you don't want the baby- give it up for adoption... don't kill it.

    June 16, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  23. Charnel in NC

    GOP! It won't work this type of old politics. Not This Time, period! Get a life!!!

    June 16, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  24. Terry, NJ

    November isn't the Democratic primaries Koolaid man. A whole new ball game if you will. One which you will lose because it won't just be 18 million voters voting for you. You have a couple hundred million more to throw into the mix. And they refuse to drink your Koolaid.

    June 16, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  25. KsK

    You know what was the deal & Michigan didn't play fair. This is the same wining that put G.W. Bush in the White House for 8 yrs & you want to do the same right. I guess you have too much money to spend on a rising & food. Ob is the one. Grow up people.

    June 16, 2008 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
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