June 16th, 2008
10:49 AM ET
6 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. jimtranr in Oregon

    The DNC shot itself in the foot over Michigan and Florida, and Obama deserves the heat for pulling himself out of the MI primary. I figure it's because he knew he'd lose to Hillary Clinton there and didn't want that state's result to stick out like a sore thumb demonstrating his vulnerability. As it is, he got delegates there he didn't deserve–what kind of "sticking to the rules" is that?

    June 16, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  2. Will in Holland, MI

    Obama will win across Michigan, not just in Detroit. As for claims Obama somehow disenfranchised voters in this state, that's total BS. Michigan's political leadership disenfranchised its voters, both Democrat & Republican, by breaking party rules. PERIOD. The candidates had nothing to do with this. If people really are upset about the consequences then they should direct their anger at both the GOP & the DNC, and at local politicians. Anywhere else is at best misguided, and at worst a cheap and rather desperate attack that most thinking voters will see through.

    June 16, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  3. Felly

    This is a crap from Mcbush, Inc. with no substance. Obama did not campaign in Michican because he abided by the DNC decision. This will blow up on McSame's face like the gas tax gimmicks. Todays voters are smarter than old grumpy McCain gives them credit for. Obama wins a landslide in November because he is the real deal.

    June 16, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  4. Concerned Citizen, IN

    And Hillary said herself the votes in Michigan would not count before she needed them. For her to hammer Obama on this is completely ridiculous. Unfortunately, the Hillary supporters are still drinking the kool aid.

    As for GOP, I'm pretty sure it is their "work" over Bush's administration that has turned the state into a complete disaster area. American automotives are failing, while Toyota and Honda and other foreign manufacturers continue to dominate. The economy there is a complete disaster as well.

    Don't forget it was a democratic governor that signed the bill into law regarding the primary, knowing full well the DNC was going to strip them of their delegates. If anyone is to blame, blame her. BOTH candidates signed on at the beginning of the primary season and if Hillary really cared, not just because she "won" and needed the votes, she would NOT have signed on in the beginning.

    June 16, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  5. Billy J Austin, TX

    We sure do need somebody with more fire in his belly than this guy, considering the mess the next administration will be inheriting. Oh well. I will vote for the hippie love child and hope for the best. Anything is better for the country than more republican carpet bagging, but I sure hope O doesn't ruin it for the next 10 years of dems, with a lackluster performance as Prez.

    Populist rule, Liberal Effete Drool. and the Repubs?... well.. crooks aren't cool. No more caucuses and elitism in the peoples party!! One man One Vote and all on the same day

    Oh... and EDWARDS!!! for Attorney General

    June 16, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  6. Interesting

    LOL, Republican never talk about issues. If we forget how badly they screwed us, we'll give them another shot. If McCain somehow wins, we get what we deserve.

    June 16, 2008 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  7. NM

    I think Hillary's attacks on Obama have successfully given the GOP more ways to discredit him. This may ensure her presidency.

    June 16, 2008 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  8. FactCheck

    > This is why Obama will lose in November, he told the people of Fl.
    > and MI that they do not matter at all. I

    Wow... and we wonder why the rest of the world thinks we're idiots!!

    June 16, 2008 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  9. OBAMA FOR PRESIDENT

    Why Dont You Take Your Name Off Of The Ballot Mccain?

    June 16, 2008 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  10. Every Wilson

    let me get this straight you republicans.

    If you're Black and criticize Bush and McCain, you're not patriotic.

    If you're Jewish and criticize McCain, you're a Zionist traitor.

    If you're female and criticize McCain, you're a Femnist whose fro abortions.

    If you're African-American and criticize Bush and McCain, you're you
    don't have the experience or intelligience to make that decision .

    If you're Democrat and criticize Bush and McCain, you're a close minded and don't love this country.

    Anyone else who criticizes Bush and McCain is an uneducated illiterate, crazy, appalling, out of touch, dishonest, and delusional.

    Given the rampant Bush and McCain mania, I feel like the sane people in the United States don't know they have been duped, deceived, lied to, overlooked, brainwashed and bushed into our economic problems, dipomacy problems, War problems, Housing problems, National Security problems, Social Security and Medicare problems, Veteran Hospital and benefits problems, National and trade deficit problems, and washington politics as usual problems.

    So, tell me again why do we want another republican in office?

    June 16, 2008 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  11. ccooper

    No Obama, Michigan don't need you nor Flordia.
    We will not vote for Obama

    June 16, 2008 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  12. Miamitoo

    Saturday, the cover of the Ft. Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel reported Obama's legions descending on Florida from other states. Not volunteers or staff from Florida, but his pied piper minions from other states swarming down upon our swamps and our shores to register new voters (to vote forObama) and ramp up his support among our voters.

    Obama, you remember lost the primary vote in Florida and Michigan. His supporters were behind the back-room deals and political chicanery that led to our disenfranchisement spearheaded by Howard Dean (who he just gave another term at the DNC) and he and his Congressional and state supporters also opposed a re-vote in both states.

    Obama does not deserve our votes in the general election. He did not earn our support and does not deserve the support of Democrats or of Independents or Republicans in our states.

    Send the PIed Piper and his minions back to college and vote for John McCain.

    June 16, 2008 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  13. FACTS only

    Just like Michigan voters, I lost my vote in Florida. But unlike people who pretend that obeying rules is something bad, I understand why the DNC did what they did. You can bet no Democratic states will try to push the primaries even further back into December in the future. We need some sanity about how long and how incredibly expensive the primaries are becoming. Republicans will eventually figure this out.

    "Michigan doesn't count" Hillary said on National Public Radio. Then she pretended she never said it and some blind supporters have chosen to ignor it since then. Trying to trash Obama for following the rules that EVERYONE agreed to is nothing but HYPOCRISY.

    June 16, 2008 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  14. sdmackey

    FL checking in. Everyone was penalized the same Democrats and Republicans. The state elected officals caused this mess. Remember them come election time.

    June 16, 2008 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  15. Richard

    Go Obama! he will take the white house easily!

    Mclame is a WEAK candidate and will have his hat handed to him during the debates!

    June 16, 2008 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  16. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    I have to say that if the GOP are solely relying on the primary and kick Obama for following the rules set down by the party, then what are they trying to say? Don't follow the rules just to get votes? Has Obama not been in the state since the primary? I believe he has. This is nonsense given that there is a difference between the primary system which is run (for the most part) by the party and the general election run by the federal government. I guess the GOP can't notice the difference.

    June 16, 2008 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  17. Randy La Botte

    The comments above are not change. I hope we can one day stop fighting and create a society where health care is a right, education is a right, nutrition is a right, peace and love for each other is normal and the many, many isims we suffer are on the decline. I wish for the day that ending poverty excites us with the same emotion that chasing dollars does today. I wish change in us as people.

    June 16, 2008 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  18. Nick

    This is jut the beginning. Now you know that your candidate is not the best one...

    June 16, 2008 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  19. al

    ********************************
    PEOPLE PLEASE DONT GET MISLEAD OF THE ISSUES

    1. ECONOMY

    2. IRAQ

    MICHIGAN BEING TREATED UNFAIRLY IS NON-SENSE. STOP THE MADNESS. VOTE OBAMA.

    June 16, 2008 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  20. The Truth Shall Set You Free

    I can't blame the Republicans for trying every desperate attack they can come up with. The more the public gets to know what a low-life McLame is, the more Obama is going to continue to pull away from him in the polls.

    Not enough people remember that McLame was one of the Keating Five, or even know about him cheating on his disabled first wife and about Cindy McLame stealing drugs from her own charity.

    Once the Dems show how he has flip-flopped on so many issues that he makes Romney look like a stalwart, he'll continue to sink, sink sink.

    Obama '08

    June 16, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  21. D.C.

    Unlike Senator McCain, I doubt it ever crosses Senator Obama's mind to thumb his nose at ANYONE. This is the big difference between the Democratic nominee and the GOP nominee - they still think the old way of politics; the old way of fear-mongering; the old way of agitating and enraging groups to divide and conquer will still work. It's the OLD way.

    John McCain is the OLD candidate. It's time for a change. Michigan voters know better than anyone how the Republicans have managed our economy - they are hurting as much or more than all of us regular folks. Michigan voters know how Bush has managed to embroil this country in war and deplete the economy and put us in hock for generations - and they know that John McCain is Bush's THIRD TERM.

    So GOP – do your thing. Pull out the hate, the fear, the divisiveness, the same tired OLD way of being. Nobody's buying it anymore.

    America will be better without these tired old men who don't want to lose what they've stolen from us.

    June 16, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  22. Bob Indianapolis, IN

    When you've wasted a trillion dollars on a failed war in Iraq when the War on Terror should have been fought and won in Afghanistan and when you've allowed the once mighty dollar to go into an eight year freefall so that it takes a lot more of them to buy a gallon of gas, I guess pathetic attempts at swift-boating you opposition is all you have left...Good luck with that you sad Reptilicans!

    June 16, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  23. hugues

    another dirty tactic from gop,this time is not working and work in november.
    obama o8-12

    June 16, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  24. Kenneth

    To all Repubilcans who went along with the stripping of the US
    Consititution the Primary in Mi. was decided .It was the Bush who made a mess of things. We went from surplus to debt faster than at anytime in history. And by the way REP'S people now can read and watch tv and listen to radio and there is the internet better stick to real issues.

    June 16, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  25. Brian, NJ

    Hillary will NEVER get the nomination in 2012 if Obama loses folks...NEVER. The over 18 million who voted for Obama will make sure of that. You supporters of hers need to realize her only way of being President is if Obama wins and she runs in 2016.

    McCain has constantly voted against women's rights in the Senate, and cheated on his crippled wife who stood by him when he was a POW. That's who you Hillary supporters want...get a life.

    June 16, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
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