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. Mike - Iowa

    Funny how some people claim that Obama followed the rules; at no time did the DNC say that the candidates could not campaign in those states. So stop with the "he followed the rules". Actually he "worked " the DNC to his advantage, he knew they would not win those states so "why campaign there? Instead if we don't campaign there the DNC will have to split the vote, that way I win!"

    June 16, 2008 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  2. David in Chicago

    Obama 08 Hilary 12!

    NEVER McSame!

    June 16, 2008 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  3. Jim in Atlanta

    We all knew this was going to happen. I could think of 10 other ads that would be way better than this one including taking aim at the DNC for disenfranchising MI and FL voters. All of a sudden the voters in these two states are important for Obama. Isn't that just like him to make a move only when it's convenient for Barack? I hope he loses MI and FL because of the shananagans that went on in the primary. It would be poetic justice.

    Still for Hill in 12'

    June 16, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  4. Tx Dem

    I thought Edwards and Richardson also took there names off the ballot?

    and EVERYONE agreed not to campaign in MI or FL?

    lastly – why not focus on ISSUES that impact the: economy, healthcare, education, oil, NAFTA, military, balanced budget, taxpayers, college funding, medical research etc. etc.??

    June 16, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |

    Every nation gets the kind of leadership it deserves.

    June 16, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  6. terri

    Hillary 'snegative campaign has opened many doors for the GOP and now she is MIA

    What a Gem she is

    Go OBAMA

    don't worry about the haters and the ignorant people who obviously don't know any better and were unable to follow what really happened in MI and FL and how their flawed candidate, MI, and Fl broke the rules and now want you to take the blame

    Get a life Loser's

    June 16, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  7. Steve in DC

    The RNC is going to have to do better than that. People are smarter voters in 08...its not going to work.

    June 16, 2008 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  8. Who is what?

    Irrespective of one's view on Obama and his camp, the GOP has a weak point here – BHO has taken practical steps in order to secure nomination at the primaries time. Certainly he'll devote quality time now as the general election approaches.

    June 16, 2008 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  9. shannon

    Apparently Obama doesn't need Florida, Ohio, or Michigan. How many Iowa's are there in the Union?

    June 16, 2008 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  10. terri

    Are we really talking about this? We should be happy today the Saudi may increase oil production to help lower the price of gas


    Go Obama

    June 16, 2008 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  11. LaShanda

    Michigan BROKE THE RULES! He could NOT campaign in Michigan. Oh, but then again, the GOP can care less about following the rules, much less the Constitution.

    June 16, 2008 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  12. Rudy NYC

    McCain is being deceptive again. The GOP applied the same penalty, full delegation with half votes, as the the DNC. There was no "boycott", but rather an informal agreement among the candidates to not lend credibility to what were then deemed as "illegal" primaries.

    I have been trying unsuccessfully to research this. I recall during one of the Democratic Primary Debates last year that the candidates were asked collectively if they would campaign in FL or MI, or would they respect the ruling of the DNC committee and not lend credibility to those states by making them significant. I recall that all candidates expressed a willingness to respect IA and NH as being the "first" states with elections or caucuses.

    June 16, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  13. Tommy

    Typical repuklican strategy – treat the people like they are too stupid to figure out the truth on their own. Sadly, many of them are and take the bait, hook – line and sinker.

    June 16, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  14. Chris

    America is a sad, sad country. They prefer to listen to spiteful women and the childish and petty GOP who have rebranded America as a loser of a country. Continue to be stupid and nurse your spite and listen to idiotic GoP who have messed up this country more than anyone possibly could believe 8 years ago. I hope that your spiteful and petty ways continue to put gas in your cars and food on your table and your children do not starve because we know that spite can do all of that. Congrats, America is foolish. May your follies continue to put food on the table while the rest of the world realises what an idiotic country rules the free world and ignores you while sensible countries take over. If John McCain wins this election, with other countries watching closely due to the availabilitiy of information through the internet and the other media, I think these countries will stand up and realise that America is way too stupid of a country to actually be the leader of the free world.

    June 16, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  15. Stats

    Michigan has a nearly 15% African-American population. That alone is a voting bloc that McCain cannot reach. It also indicates a nice margin.

    Nice try RNC, next time try Wyoming (1%) or Utah (1%)

    June 16, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  16. ALECO1 -----NOKOMIS,FL


    June 16, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  17. MD

    Republicans can say what they want. The problem with Republicans is that they think people are stupid. They think because Rove pulled wool over people's eyes, McCain can too. Not so. Not this time.

    So let the Republicans say what they will. Who cares?

    Even in Europe Bush was greeted with demonstrations. DO you think people in this country want a THIRD trem of his "policies" thru McCane? I think NOT.

    June 16, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  18. MelissaMinneapolis

    The RNC is a huge group of hypocrites considering they did the very same thing. Also, what sane, logical person would campaign in a place where they were told nothing would count?

    June 16, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  19. Women for Obama

    For the 1000th time, all of the candidates agreed to remove their names from MI ballots...and signed a document saying so. Sen. Clinton changed her mind and added hers. It was per the direction of the DNC. Hillary Clinton only became obsessed with votes from MI and FL when her campaign started going south (aka: after Super Tuesday).

    June 16, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  20. Ludovic

    Obviously Barrak Obama will have to deal with HRC legacy all over this campain
    Thanks Hillary !!!!

    June 16, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  21. MD

    Obama dissed Michigan during the primaries and gave a "wink & a nod" to the Canadians after he said he would revisit NAFTA.

    Attention Michiganders, Obama is going to lead you further into misery.

    June 16, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  22. Susan

    Another attempt to deny the fact that theRepublicans are responsible for the Mess America is in. They can ncaver campaign on the issues, they just try to phoney up some excuse. By the way, didn't the RNC strip Mi of half it's delegates. Do you think people will forget? Not this time, Never Again! OBAMA )*

    June 16, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  23. Independent

    I love the spins in the comments. Can anyone really think for themselves or does everything have to be talking points ?

    June 16, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  24. ???

    Tony, NYC
    June 16th, 2008 11:22 am ET

    "Obama will never win over enough of Hillarys supporters to win in Novemeber. Go ahead and talk down to us and call us names Obamas clan. Your "King" is still not going to win."

    And your queen Hillary will get NO votes from Obama supporters in 2012 if that happens, so go ahead and shove that threat where the sun don't shine.

    June 16, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  25. RIF

    Sut up fake Hillary supporterrs! Hillary did not campaign in MI and FL either so the GOP would have run the same lines on her. Her name was on the ballot but she didn't campaign. People in MI undersatnd that it was 100% DNC and Obama had nothing to do with the falwed MI election no more than Hillary, Edwards, and every other candidate that agreeed with the DNC ruling of not counting MI & FL. The ONLY reason why Hillary started to care about these states is when she was trailing and it was her only possible path.

    Also, please stop the flawed thinking of voting for McCain this year so Hillary canwin in 2012. That's the stupidiest thing I've heard not to mention that she wouldneed Obama's 18 million plus supporters in 2012 just like he needs hers this year. Anyway. 15 million of her voters are now backing Obama because he is a democrat that shares her views. Its the 2 million or so idiots that are going to cut off their noses to spite there face. I'm sure by November that number will be far less.

    June 16, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
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