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. NickNas

    LOL The GOP is so weak they have to try and re-tread all of Hillarys tricks??? This election is going to be almost comical.

    Are people so ignorant that don't see these Political HACKS are not running for Office on what they can do for them but trying to win by simply making this about " YEA LETS HATE THEM"? Can people REALLY fall for this? Never have to talk about what is wrong in this country just try and turn us all against eachother???

    Only the weakest minds fall for this BS and lets hope they are few.

    June 16, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  2. jj

    BUT HE DIDN'T WANT OUR VOTES TO COUNT BECAUSE THEN HE WOULD HAVE LOST, HE HAD HIS LAWYERS FIND REASONS FOR OUR VOTES NOT TO COUNT AND IT WAS THE DEMS IN MI, WE HAVE A DEM CONGRESS, WHO MOVED OUR DATE. What amazes me is that MI and FL moved their dates because our states are the hardest hit in this economy. They say unemployment is at 5.5 now, oh well, MI has been at over 7 for almost a yearm, which is why we wanted a voice. Look at the FEW who voted in IOWA and the many who voted in MI, tell me, which is fairer?? Fed up completely with this DEM party. if they are going to pick someone and not care about the voters, then do it earlier so we don't have to put up with all this Poop for so long. Independant going from Dem leaning to Rep. leaning this year. I'll vote dem for congress but not for President. I want experience in there now.

    June 16, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  3. Gary in NJ

    rhurst - Hilary won the popular vote? So what. Everyone knows its delegates that count. If you add up the votes that Obama, Edwards, Kucinich, Biden, and the other democratic candidates received, more people voted against her than for her. There were at least four caucuses that Obama won where there was no popular vote to count – just estimates. One of Hillary's bigger wins was from Puerto Rico – a commonwealth that can't vote in the general election. The DNC approved SC, Nevada, and another state moving up their primaries but not Michigan and Florida – and thus they faced the penalty. In January Hillary acknowledged the DNC ruling and regarding Michigan and Florida said "their votes won't count". The states were punished, but Obama still won the pledged delegate count. The superdelegates – a portion of whom are her fellow Congresspeople – backed Obama when its their job to pick the best candidate. Now Hillary voters have three choices: 1) back the candidate who supports Hillary's platform (Obama); 2) back the candidate that opposes Hillary's platform and women's rights (McCain); or 3) vote for an independent candidate/write-in Hillary/stay home.

    June 16, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  4. voter

    you joking. this coming from the RNC who cannot run an election in fl. first, they did not count all of the votes in fl in 2000. this year they illegally moved up the primary which cost fl to strip the delegates by 50%. if the rnc cares so much about voters rights, then why don't they count all of the votes and reinstate fl and mi votes 100%. stop pandering. you disenfranchise voters and then cry wolf on Obama. How dare you? your pandering and lies stop as of now. we will not fall for it this time.

    June 16, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  5. JR

    Rules are Rules. Obama followed the rules. Everyone in Michigan and Florida can only be angry at their own state for silencing their vote. All of the states agreed to the DNC rules regarding when to hold primariers, all of the states knew how they would be affected, yet they still broke the rules anyway.

    For an analogy: There are rules in sports, and if they are broken, you pay the price, all of your whining and complaining does nothign but get you ejected and fined from the game.

    If anything, he is more trustwhorthy than anyone in this situation, since he followed the rules.

    June 16, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  6. Bayousara

    Still waiting for Obama to "speak to me," a 66 yr old retired white woman who voted for Hillary and who is now an Independent.

    He is talking to everyone else about everything else. Just isn't reaching me out here in the river in So. Oregon.

    Think I'll go fishin.

    June 16, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  7. KJ, CA

    Wow, GOP trying to twist and turn the facts here more than just a bit – – – maybe to take attention off of the real issues.

    What happened in Michigan was a decision of the Democratic party of Michigan – Barack Obama had nothing to do with it and was just following the rules laid down by the DNC. The only ones that the voters of Michigan have to be upset with is their local Democratic party, not Barack Obama.

    June 16, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  8. A Democrat in November - No McBush

    Barack Obama isn't to blame for the mess in Michigan. He followed and honored the rules of the DNC.

    As a Michigan voter, I know full well where to put the responsibility for the events in Michigan and they do not fall on Baracks shoulders.

    The RNC seems to forget that they too broke party rules and their candidates followed their rules and didn't campaign here either.

    Stop speaking for me and the people I live with. It is obvious that you have a problem with Barack Obama if this is the only thing you can criticize him for;

    Following the rules.

    Carol Burrow
    Lansing, MI

    June 16, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  9. Not sleeping at the switch

    HEY GOP!!!!

    The Dems in that state have already settled this issue , don't you watch the news?? LOL

    D_I_S_T_R_A_C_T_I_O_N T_A_C_T_I_C_S

    If the Dem Candidate walked and talked like Frankenstien and had MULTIPLE GAFFS per week we would want to change the subject too.

    June 16, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  10. Ted

    To all those people who attack Obama because their woman lost-relax! He's not McCain, and any self-respecting Hillary backer will realize that the right to choose and the improvement of the economy is more important than petty revenge. Of course he's getting attacked, but in the RCP average he's up by 3% against McCain. Flawed candidate?

    Give it a rest. Seriously. In the end, I hope you come round and vote Obama.

    June 16, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  11. Phil Newton Murphy, Oregon

    Amazing. The G.O.P. , the Party of vote suppression, pathetically tries to paint Obama as ignoring Michigan voters. Sick and desperate.

    GOP = Get Out of the Polls

    June 16, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  12. pc

    MCCain claims he wants to take the high road in this campaign but look at this nasty ad. The Republicans will glom on to any non-issue they can find in order to smear Obama. Republicans know they can't win on the issues, so they resort to petty little atracks like this.

    June 16, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  13. tj

    This is just the beginning of the wave of goofups that the GOP have to use against Obama. Obama did turn his back on MI voters and he did everything possible to block their re-vote. Obama is arrogant and don't deserve MI votes because the way he treated them.

    June 16, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  14. martin

    this is all hillarys fault.she'll never have a place in obama's administration,and we dont need her ,so hillary supporters can vote mcsame if they want.nobody likes them,anyway.

    June 16, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  15. Jackie

    I'm with you rhurst.

    June 16, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  16. Erica of GA

    Let all of the "bitter" Hillary voters keep talking about how the DNC and Barack Obama disinfrancised Mi and Fl voters. It was Mi and Fl leaders that CHOOSE to break the rules and hold primaries early. I am so sick of hearing the same mess over and over. How about Mi and Fl voters direct their anger at those who actually caused all of this chaos, their own elected officials. I've never heard so many "adults" complain about someone following the rules. And to the one saying that it was stolen from Hillary, then he should have disinfrancised the whole country because wasn't she suppose to win all states from the beginning?

    June 16, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  17. NickSanDiego

    Since when is it the GOPs Business how WE Choose our Candidate?? Just because they didn't get to run against the one they were prepared for and thought they could beat now they whine about this so they can try to divide our Party??

    From what I Read The GOP has MUCH more to woory about since so many of ITS members are refusing to support McBush!!

    June 16, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  18. Unshrub

    Pathetic. WHy would anyone want to vote for someone getting that desperate?

    June 16, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  19. Ed, Santa Fe NM

    It was the DNC, not Obama.... the GOP is a shameless, lying group and specializes in innuendo and smear....

    I hope I never see another GOP president (even one actually elected) in my lifetime. Does the GOP really want to bring up the topic of election irregularities after the cheating Florida 2000 vote?

    June 16, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  20. Greg


    June 16, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  21. The elephant in the room

    America deserves McCain and I am sure he'll deliver twice the damage as Bush. Thats what we did with Bush when he hit us upside our head. Thank you may I have another. This country is in no way ready to elevate their minds and change the world for the better with Barack. I dont want to hear anyone crying when things continue to get worse because they definitely will.

    June 16, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  22. Bitter - New Orleans, LA

    You do realise that the RNC moving up its date has absolutely nothing to do with the DNC...they are separate entities and many states have different voting dates between the two parties.

    June 16, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  23. BirdyBee

    You people are all ridiculous. Give me a break. Michigan broke the rules, they knew the consequences, they asked for it. You are truly grasping at straws trying to blame their bad decisions, leading to a FLAWED primary, on Obama. He is a much better person than any of you will ever be.

    June 16, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  24. New Yorker

    I'll make this real simple, the intelligence was wrong. Bush followed the rules of UN Resolution. 1441
    The democrats in Congress who had the same intelligence approved the war.

    Obama can talk to Osama or anyone else he wants, but not as President. The President of the US can't be an apologist.

    We don't want another empty negotiation like the one between Clinton and Kim Jong-il in 1994. Terrorists are like that- their BIG LIARS.

    I hope that was simple enough for YOU.

    McCain 08

    June 16, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  25. NELSON Colorado Springs, Co

    Sen Obama knows every American vote count. Remember the Domocrat Primary date in Michigan and Florida was move up in violation of the Domocrat Party rule and was penalized Sen Hillary agreed at the start but at the end the president race, only then, (when she was losing, the people vote in Michigan and Florida she needed to stay in the race). Please give it a break. SHE LOST get over it move on. (Remember every vote count came from Mr Huckabee a good man), Sen Clinton only started saying this, only she was losing ,move on.

    June 16, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
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