June 16th, 2008
10:49 AM ET
7 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. Georg

    He who sows may harvest.

    June 16, 2008 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  2. Will in Richmond, VA

    Why? Why? Why?

    This is the biggest non-issue yet. The Republicans are scraping the bottom of the barrel. Again we see how the GOP works. Distraction and confusion, instead of the issues, are their tools to win elections. Sadly, this strategy works all to often.

    But not this time.

    The candidates ALL agreed not to campaign there, btw.

    June 16, 2008 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  3. Tjstelten

    Shame on McCain for going to this level of attacks when he said he would not and would run a campaign on the issues. McCain has fadder in his past and Obama will not go there. The bitter comment is un-fair to use because Obama has said what he meant and should have used other words like frustrated and turned to. I hate these attacks and wish they would stay with the issues!

    June 16, 2008 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  4. Dave G

    Obama just followed the rules. If Republicans have a problem with that, they should take it up with the DNC, not Obama.

    June 16, 2008 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  5. Republican guy

    I find it interesting that the Republican party is getting all their attack ad ideas from Hillary. lol...wow.

    To be fair, Obama played by the rules and was told by the DNC that MI broke the rules. My part is just pulling straws on this one.

    June 16, 2008 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  6. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    THE REPUBLICANS ARE SO DESPERATE TO STOP THEIR OWN REPUBLICANS FROM LEAVING THEIR PARTY, REMEMBER THE "OBAMACANS". WHY WOULD DEMOCRATS WANT TO LEAVE THEIR PARTY TO CROSS OVER WHEN REPUBLICANS ARE DESERTING, THAT'S JUST CRAZY. REPUBLICANS ARE JUST SOOO DESPERATE AND MCCAIN IS PATHETIC.

    June 16, 2008 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  7. Jose'

    Funny how any time Obama is criticized, it's headlined as an 'attack'.

    No bias there, huh, CNN?

    LOL

    June 16, 2008 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  8. Nell-LA

    Obama does not deserve Michigan votes. Remember....dissenfranchise,bitter, and cling to gun messages from Obama!!!!

    Michigan, show your vote of protest to the DNC 'sexism' verdict.

    June 16, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  9. Georg

    Rules are more important than citizens in Michigan!

    June 16, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  10. MediaJunkie, Arlington, VA

    You know what's really sad? People will buy this crap.

    June 16, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  11. Small town USA

    This is so silly! I mean get him on something solid! I love how the RNC is ignoring the facts of the Democratic Primary and how the candidates were banned from campaigning... Shame on you RNC!

    The Repubs seem so desparate...LOL!!! Keep it up you will really lose with these tactics...so insulting to the people's intelligence.

    June 16, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  12. Montana is Obama Country

    HRC statement was a NO Brainer... People knew the GOP was going to say that. So what... GOP is going to do whatever they think will give them an advatage including "junk statements"..

    You don't have to be a rocket scientist to "get IT"..!!

    If you didn't think or fail to think the GOP will "NOT" use HRC comments throughout her campaign wash then you are certainly naive.

    HRC made a lot of statements and look where it got her. People want change from same old washington politics..

    Yes...WE..Can...

    June 16, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  13. Felice Judkins

    Really? Is this all the the Repubs can talk about? Average Joe can hardly make it in this society. Gas prices are out of the roof, people are losing their homes, can't pay medical bills, can barely afford groceries and this is the best these folks can come up with. We are not as stupdid and as simple as these Repubs thinks we are. They cannot continue to use smoke and mirrors to detract from the REAL ISSUES facing America. If you disagree with Obama based on his politics and policies then don't vote for him but to fall for a SILLY AD would be absolutely crazy. This ad campaign described in the article is borderline childish!

    June 16, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  14. WestCoast

    The 28% that think GW is doing a good job shouldnt be allowed to vote due to bad judgement.

    June 16, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  15. Linda Esen

    Raymond Duke; get your facts straight: IT WASN'T OBAMA WHO MADE MI AND FL MOVE THEIR PRMARIES RELSULTED IN THE DNC RULES COMMITTEE DENYING THEM THEIR VOTE. HILARY WAS OK WITH IT UNTIL SHE KNEW SHE WAS LOOSING. RULES ARE RULES OR DO THEY ONLY APPLY WHEN ITS CONVENIANT....GET YOUR FACTS STRAIGHT ...SURELY IGNORANCE ISN'T THAT BLISSFUL

    TO LEARN MORE ABOUT JUST HOW BARACK OBABA AND THE DEMS WILL HELP THIS COUNTRY; DO YOURSELF A FAVOUR AND LOOK UP HIS POLICIES ON BARACKOBAMA.COM

    June 16, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  16. DJ

    If Obama isn't president then America is full of stupid people. How could anyone vote republican. The GOP is a party full of lobbyist, money hungry, can't wait to take over another country so we can put a wal-mart there fools.

    You republicans make me sick

    June 16, 2008 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  17. A recovering Republican

    Where was the GOP when Mi decided to vioalte the DNC rules and hold the pimary early? Where was the GOP when everyone (including HilBilly) was saying that MI doesn't count? Where was the GOP when this was first unfolding? Why is the GOP interfering with the interal rules and opeations of another Party?

    I was saying way back that if HilBilly won, I'd vote for McCain without a second of hesitation - but that if Obama won, I'd have a hard choice - McCain and the GOP is making that choice easier every day.

    A recovering Republican

    June 16, 2008 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  18. Nicolletto in Ch

    CNN, you post some of the craziest things! Is this a news or a bad gossip blog? (They said this about you and you said this about them, so what will happen next.), my goodness!

    June 16, 2008 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  19. OBAMA FOR PRESIDENT

    Nice Try Republicans! We Already Know Why Obama Took His Name Off Of The Ballot! Dont You Wish He Would Take His Name Off Of The November Ballot?

    June 16, 2008 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  20. Michael Lorton, Virginia

    It is amazing. Michigan and Florida, knowlingly and willingly, held their primaries eariler in violation of the DNC rules. That is a given and a fact. Hillary Clinton elected to let her name reamin on the ballot, violating her agreement with the Obama campaign, and now Obama is the brunt of the blame for ignoring the Michigan voters. What a crock of crap. Michigan and Florida voters need to support the presumptive nominee.....otherwise, they will commit another blunder and that blunder will surely enhance McCain's chances of being elected. What part of common sense don't these voters understand.

    June 16, 2008 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  21. karen

    What is wrong with the Republicans? Is this all they can write about!! Obama played by the rules!!!!! He is our nominee and he will be great for Michigan. He wants to energize the auto industry with inovations which far more than McCain said. McCain just said the jobs were NOT coming back to Michigan. Obama wants wind, solar and new auto industries in Michigan. The republicans are really getting desperate!!!!

    June 16, 2008 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  22. Jerry Lee

    Anything but REAL issues.....charcater, wife, reverands, what he eats for dinner, lapel pins....PATHETIC....shows you how little the GOP has going for them.

    June 16, 2008 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  23. Scooter

    I will never understand how such a fuss could be made about a candidate FOLLOWING THE RULES! I know it is strange that somebody could do the right thing as a politician, but trying to turn it against him as Hillary and GOP have repeatedly done is just shameless. He hardly "turned up his nose" at Michigan voters. It was a tight primary and he had to focus on the state where the next primary or caucus was coming up. I think Michigan voters realize this and won't buy the bull being shoveled.

    June 16, 2008 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  24. Sue/PA

    I always felt in my gut, that Hillary and John McCain were working from the same page......esp her comment to Larry King...."There will be a spot for John McCain in my White House, I value his opinion" That after her.." I am qualified on day one to lead this country and so is John McCain" remember that??? Hmmmmmmm makes ya wonder.

    But, alas, it didnt work for her, it wont work for the repugs either.

    June 16, 2008 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  25. martin

    thank you sen. clinton for your party unity.not.republicans stripped michigan of half their votes ,too.obama didnt campaign there,because of the rules,that originally stripped all delegates.why does obama get the blame for the state governments' mistakes,and the party's decision,to change the rules, to suit mrs. clinton's tirade.her campaign has hurt the dems chances,in the fall,but,again,it was not obama's fault.all he did was follow the rules.attack all you want,repugs,but ,you are martyring the man you are trying to hurt.obama will win by a landslide,in the fall,because americans do not believe in the right- wing lies ,that have damaged our nation ,so much.thanks again sen. clinton ,and your supporters.now,would be a good time to undo the damage you've all done.

    June 16, 2008 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
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