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. BirdyBee

    Obama never "infringed" upon anyone's "right to vote"–get a clue before you post inane comments. Anyone who claims they will vote for McCain because Hillary lost is one thing and one thing only, A TOTAL RACIST.

    June 16, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  2. Rudy NYC

    Genuine Clinton supporters should know that it was Clinton political supporters who engineered the date change. They were all super delegates. Recall Sen. Levin at that Saturday meeting?

    Artificial Clinton supporters should know that the GOP has the same rules as the DNC, and applied the same penalty to Michigan, and Florida, in 2007. You will not see one GOP add faulting the DNC for their decision to grant half votes to a full delegation.

    June 16, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  3. CitizenAJ

    The GOP attack machine. Instead of focusing on a message to address the countries ills, they focus on slandering and throwing mud at their opponent. The sad part about it is that people fall for it. This is how this once great republic got a George Bush twice.

    The state of Michigan violated rules that had been worked out over a year and now it is the candidates fault for not campaigning in a state who's primary did not count initially.

    Hey GOP, campaign on the issues. What is your stance on healthcare, the environment, oil dependence, education, affordable higher education, affordable housing, and the economy. I hear you talking about everything else, Iraq, flag pins, and misinterpreted statements but what about the issues facing regular, average, hard working Americans?

    June 16, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |

    How low will you go, can you go down low, all the way to the floor. All this negative campagining did not help Hillary and it will not help John McCane, if anything, it is going to hurt him. You cares about anything but the issues. Stay on issue. What will you do to change America? No body cares who campagined where it is just a bunch of same old politics that people are soooooooooooooooooo tired of. America is smarter than these smear campagines, they do not fall for them anymore. Get a lift Republican Party because apparenty you do not have one.

    June 16, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  5. Mary

    GOP = FEAR Card!!! LOL!!!!

    June 16, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  6. Chris

    This is the kind of thing the GOP has to do. They have no chance with the American people if the discussion is about their record or ideas for the future.

    Obama represents so much more than just himself. We have a chance to come together and strengthen our nation. John McCain motivates no one. We continue the downward spiral if he is elected president.

    Obama08!, but not for him for us.

    June 16, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  7. carol

    why do you always blame Barack on everything that happens.You all just dont want a black man as president. I dont understand.... You want people to abide by the rules and when they do you still have something to complain about . Cindy Lou and McCain too needs to get a rocking chair and chill out give someone who know what he is doing to make a impact on this country

    June 16, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  8. Ding, Washington, DC

    Gop are either far remove from the reality that is facing the nation or are uterly ignorant. How soon GOP forgot that it was due to the rule of law that made mr. Bush president in the first place. Now, GOP thinks obeying the rules that gave them the White House is a bad idea. Couldn't be more pathetic, desperate, and naive. Unless GOP stop relying on high school drop out such as K. Rove, Sean Hannity, and several other idiots for ideas, it is not going to be same as 2000 or 2004 for that matter. Why didn't GOP seat all FL delegates? Talk about a double standard!.

    June 16, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  9. Ron, Knoxville, TN

    One thing is emerging in this campaign, thus far. That is, the fact that John McCain's campaign will be focused on what Sen. Obama is doing wrong. Instead of what he (Sen. McCain) can do right. It is obvious to me that the only way John McCain can win is to "trash" talk his opponent. If Sen. McCain wants my vote he will have to step up and give us something that he believes in. Not just condemn Sen. Obama's actions, I hope that Americans are more intelligent than that.

    June 16, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  10. debra

    Any reasonable Democrate should have cared if the Michigan and Florida votes were counted. It is too late to change anything now. Obama will just have to live with his poor judgement now. The Republicans have a valid point.

    June 16, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  11. David Goldman for OBAMA










    June 16, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  12. like Hitler youth

    Obama inspires blind loyalty in his worshippers without any objective scrutiny or rational thinking – just like all the great dictators before him.

    The youth view Obama as God's gift... and forget to evaluate him by the same measures as they judge any other man.

    Too scary for a vote.

    Never Obama.

    June 16, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |

    Way to go Abby.

    June 16, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  14. ME

    This is such a non-issue. Why waste your time? Why am I wasting my time? The GOP are fighting windmills because they can't find real issues to go after.

    June 16, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  15. Anonymous

    If I were in MI I would be more worried about my job and this wonderful economy. Nah, go ahead and tell me how you got cheated. Go ahead and vote for 4 more years of the same. Don't forget to oil your bike chain.

    June 16, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  16. RRO

    The Candidates agreed not to campaign in Michigan, but the simple fact is Hillary realized that it would seriously hurt them in the general. Especially when Mitt Romney went and campaigned there so strongly on the economy.

    Michigan is a perfect example of how Hillary could help Obama in the election. She could go to Michigan and say, I did not ignor you, I care about your future and I will share those views with President Obama.

    Obama needed to snub Florida and Michigan in order to keep there votes from giving Hillary the momentum she needed. But now he has to pay a price for political expediency.

    The simple fact is though with a little bit of work Obama will win Michigan because they know what they have gotten after 8 years of Republican rule....nothing.

    June 16, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  17. leon

    What Obama was supposed to do was to allow a revote which he blocked as part of his strategy to prevent Hillary from gaining the votes and delegates again in a second primary. By blocking the revote Obama showed that he did not care for the will of the people in FL and MI that is the real story.

    Obama has proven to be an agent of change but the only things he changes is his positions. he says one thing today and tomorrow he changes his positions based on the audience.

    he is one more corrupted politician from the school of Chicago.

    June 16, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  18. Who is What?

    Obama's not campained in Michigan due to practicalities only. He had to secure victory in states whose delegates would vote in the D meeting. Having made that, he'll dedicate quality time for Michigan, of course.

    June 16, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  19. Sherri

    Such sad nonesense. It is almost laughable. All the major Democratic candidates agreed to NOT campaign in Michigan after they brazenly broke the rules. Hillary broke her word and now the GOP is just plainly pandering. The Republicans pushed to break the rules of the primary season in the first place.

    Do you value a woman's right to reproductive choice? Vote Obama
    Do you want the war to end? Vote Obama
    Do you want clear economic analysis and plan? Vote Obama
    Do you want health care for all Americans? Vote Obama
    Do you want to repair the education system? Vote Obama

    June 16, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  20. Hillary Supporter

    Michigan for Obama June 16th, 2008 10:59 am ET

    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 McShame tell Michigan how he will restore our economy. Let McBush tell us how he will fund the 100 years war since we know Cindy has only 100 mil and we need 10 billion a month.

    June 16, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  21. Cheryl

    Obama was correct. He was not trying to use Michigan or Florida to win the election. He was right to allow the states to decide what they wanted to do themselves

    June 16, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  22. CitizenAJ

    Hey forever for Hilary,

    Question, which of the two candidates remaining is closer to Senator Clinton's stance on issues and vision for the country? Senator McCain or Senator Obama. When you answer this question honestly, tell me why you are going against what she stands for and fought hard for? I would really like to know that from all of the former Senator Clinton supporters but not Senator McCain supporters.

    As a wise man told me once, you often regret decisions based on emotional not fact and sound judgment.

    June 16, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  23. No McBush

    Voters should be made at there State officials for breaking the rules. My mom always taught me to play by the rules, and if you break them, that is cheating!!!

    This is the UNITED!!! STATES OF AMERICA, not MI or FL UNITED!!!

    June 16, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  24. David, AZ

    Shocking that good ol' Hillary and her surrogates gave the republicans all of there amunition and talking points.............she broke the Jeramia Wright story, the "bitter" comments, the Obama is snubbing Michigan comments, her surrogates spread the Obama is a muslim rumor, the rumor that his wife used the word "whitey" in a speech..........everything the RNC has is curtesy of HRC. They should throw her and her husband out with the dirty laundry.

    June 16, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  25. ladymary

    RHURST..Give it up already. Hillary LOST in everything..nothing was stolen from her. Her popular vote count disenfranchises all those voters in cacus states yet she screams about voters in MI & FL and we must count all their votes. When will you Clinton supporters stop believing the excuses and realize she ran a bad campaign and she LOST!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    June 16, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
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