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. People make no sense

    RNC following the HRC playbook. What a great person she is! I know why these type of ads work from reading the blogs. American citizens are pathetic. No one knows the issues or even cares to speak about them. They are filled with hate and bitterness. We will never be united on anything, accept being unGodly. When I read the bible these things are not taught, however man/woman taints everything we touch and turn it into a sin.

    This is why you can ask a politician a question and they can b.s. their way through it and never answer the question, and we accept that.

    The politicians lie daily we brush it off.

    June 16, 2008 11:07 am at 11:07 am |

    I am a white female and this article illustrates exactly why I cannot stand Hillary. She set the stage for republican attacks because of her self-absorbed need to be the democratic candidate. I hope she's happy now that her stupid comments are coming back to haunt our party.

    Asa woman, I am ashamed at how she conducted herself.

    Hillary and her supporters – simple said, you suck!

    June 16, 2008 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  3. LIL LO



    June 16, 2008 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  4. Bob

    It amazing how the post man gets blamed for the message! Michigan/Florida have only themselves to blame for what happened in their primarys. They know it and Gods knows it. This is one of the reasons why change is needed. Too many of their leaders have been in position too long and now believe they can do anything they want to do. Their leaders are likened to haveing the ability to bridle a horse and ride it, but when it gives out, they want to change horses, and blame the horse for giving out. I suggest these folks pay attention to the task at hand rather than liston to republicans beating the drum for democrats on who stiffed them.

    June 16, 2008 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  5. Foreign observer

    Why so many GOP people where hiding behind the back of Hillary. Hillarys choice is glas clear, it is OBAMA.

    June 16, 2008 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  6. Lolu

    I think only the uneducated voters in Michigan would take this ad seriously, because the fcat are ther for eveyrone to see. When the state decided to hold it's primary early, they were fully aware of what would happen. Admittedly, the rule is a dumb one, considering the fact that Michigan would be important in the general election. But still they state was aware of the rule, Hillary Clinton was aware of the rule (AND AGREED TO IT AT THE TIME), so why Obama is being blamed for it now, defies belief. Had Hillary Clinton won the nomination, the RNC would have had even a bigger field day, cos she agreed to the rule, did not campaign in the state and when she saw the nomination was slipping away from her, she started to fight for them to be seated. So when she starts making silly comments like the ones in this article and the RNC comes up with the garbage that they have and people take it seriously, then it's a really sad situation

    June 16, 2008 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  7. Foreign observer

    Why so many GOP people were hiding behind the back of Hillary. Hillarys choice is glas clear, it is OBAMA.

    June 16, 2008 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  8. robert ga

    so much for talking about the issues and fair campaign. Mccain's campaign will be high jacked by Rovian's. And then we will be back in the Gutters again, looking for buttom feeders, if you know what i mean.

    Straight talk express, how is your pudge going with lobbyist. Or wait they paid so you cannot get rid of them.

    Go Dems

    June 16, 2008 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  9. Gerry

    I guess Obama is winning in Michigan. If he wasnt the GOP wouldnt care

    June 16, 2008 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  10. Alexander

    The GOP halved the votes of those who had early primaries. Both Michigan and Florida were warned that if they went ahead with early primaries, they'd be penalized. In the case of the Democrats, they were told all the votes wouldn't count. It wasn't a secret. It wasn't a surprise. Nobody thumbed their nose at you just because you went out to the polls after you were told it wouldn't matter. Hillary agreed to this arrangement as well.

    What's terrible is that people seem to think Obama had some sort of say in it. He really didn't.

    June 16, 2008 11:08 am at 11:08 am |

    Mccain Is A Bad Choice For President And This Article Proves It!

    June 16, 2008 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  12. New Day

    What about the 2000 Presidential Elections? The GOP should do life in prison for that robbery. Obama stood back and let the DNC handle Michigan as it saw fit.

    I think that we need to focus more on the 7 years of failed policies and not on how the opposing party handles its internal primaries.

    June 16, 2008 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  13. arc, Lugano CH

    If the GOP needs a successful attack strategy in Michigan or anywhere else; all they need to do is call Hillary Clinton. The Clinton campaign & friends did better a job than McCain and the GOP will ever have to do.

    The face of 'empowerment' in America.

    June 16, 2008 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  14. Mr Fix it (fixmaster33@yahoo.com)

    I bet you Fox News sponsored the ad and McShame surrogates like Sean Hannity of Fox News may have provided the attach idea.

    Hannity admitted himself on his TV show that he is a McShame surrogate who will be attacking Obama. Check the Fox News archive videos of Shown interviewing Juliani, where Juliani indicated that McShame surrogates will be attacking Obama directly and Sean said "yea people like me"

    Now why should anyone seat and listen to 60 minutes of Sean noise?

    WE MISS TIM RUSSET. The only Journalist who really cared about the issues and pressed the politician to accountability.

    Rest in peace Tim.

    June 16, 2008 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  15. Susan, PA


    These are things we need to talk about and these issues do make me BITTER. If anybody is not bitter, she is not paying any attention.

    June 16, 2008 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  16. Justin -NC

    I tell you, the Republicans are so weak this election cycle its completely ridiculous. You'd think that this election wouldn't be about "CHANGE" had not George Bush screwed up so badly. I hope Michigan and Florida voters consider that their economic hard times came from the "Republican President" before voting about trivial "unsanctioned contests" and DNC Rules. Not to mention Florida in which the Republicans were directly involved in the problem. And Hillary Clinton needs to come off vacation and get back out there on the campaign trail to undo the damage she did trying to "change the rules" so she could get the nomination. It's funny, "EVERY VOTE MUST COUNT, EXCEPT THOSE FROM CAUCUSES (that were only undemocratic when she started running), EVERY VOTE MUST COUNT, EXCEPT THE PEOPLE WHO VOTED UNCOMMITTED WHICH WAS WIDELY KNOWN AS A WAY TO VOTE FOR OBAMA/EDWARDS (who endorsed OBAMA)."


    OBAMA O8

    June 16, 2008 11:10 am at 11:10 am |


    June 16, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  18. Ambrose Smith, Borrego Springs, California

    Awwwww. Hunters and churchgoers. What a slice of Americana.

    Makes me feel all warm inside. I can just imagine the warm and fuzzy (yet concerned) voiceover.

    What a joke.

    June 16, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  19. Kristine

    It's simply amazing! Obama followed the rules of the DNC; Michigan wasn't going to count, so he took his name off the ballot and did not campaign here.

    Hillary, who never follows anyone's rules except her own, left her name on the ticket and did campaign.

    If Michigan voters want to be angry with someone, start with Jennifer Granholm, who moved the primary up, knowing that the state would be penalized or not counted at all!!!

    June 16, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  20. jsg

    Dear Sen Obama, it is wonderful that you feel connected to and care about black fathers but what about white fathers? I think that as a public figure and one who will hopefully be the President of the US, that you should not make comments of this type. They are private and you are no longer a private person. My low regard for Pres Bush does not allow me to call him to task for making comments about white fathers – which he well could have.

    Obama 08

    June 16, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  21. Kim, Charlotte, NC

    The republicans find it so hard to stick to the issues.McCain just said that is doesn't matter how long the troops stay in Iraq....

    They only know how to smear their opposition with strectched lies, and hope that it is enough to scare Americans.

    So pitiful...............

    June 16, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  22. batman

    HRC did so much damage the Flordia and Michigan issue that it might be so messed up that Obama cant fix it. THX Hillary for messing this up for the Dems.

    Hillery ask for my vote in 2016 and and Ill say NO!

    June 16, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  23. Harry C

    Typical Republican TRASH; Apparently they think like Clinton that playing by the rules means nothing; apparently 40% of the people in MI knew why Obama was not on the ballot...GO OBAMA! the only MAN OF HIS WORD in this campaign.

    June 16, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  24. Sam

    bring it on!

    Let the Republicans begin with their diversionary tactics. Problem is, it's been tried once too many times. Economy is going to hell, The rich have gotten much, much richer; Iraq is still a messy quagmire (4,000 lives and still counting) after a war founded on a LIE; and on and on.

    How many Michigan residents do NOT have health insurance?
    How many Michigan residents feel confident about the economy?
    How many resident have lost relatives in Iraq?

    Republicans can try their lying ways but it wont work this time around. Why? Because This is OUR time!

    People are not interested in the false choice attacks. We want a discussions on the issues!

    June 16, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  25. Eames

    For people who are supposedly the backbone of the United States these "churchgoers" and "hunters" sure are sensitive to comments made by a liberal, arugula eating, elite, extremist-Christian, Muslim. Who's probably gay. And obviously sans soul.

    What are the Republican strategists even doing anymore? Is there a cave somewhere in Utah where they've all flocked together? Perhaps playing a game of Pictionary, or pin the slander on the black guy?

    June 16, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
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