June 26th, 2008
03:00 PM ET
6 years ago

Largest labor organization endorses Obama

The AFL-CIO endorsed Obama Thursday.
The AFL-CIO endorsed Obama Thursday.

(CNN)—The AFL-CIO endorsed Sen. Barack Obama Thursday, kicking one of the broadest grassroots mobilizations in recent history into “high gear.”

“In so many ways―on jobs, health care, gas prices and the war in Iraq―our country is headed in the wrong direction,” AFL-CIO President John Sweeney said in a statement announcing the endorsement. “Barack Obama has proven from his days as an organizer, to his time in the Senate and his historic run for the presidency, that he’s leading the fight to turn around America."

The endorsement is expected to help rally support around the presumptive Democratic nominee in the critical swing states of Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota where union voters make up between 25 and 35 percent of the total vote.

With an outreach of more than 13 million registered voters in 24 ‘top-tier’ states, the AFL-CIO will send volunteers to the homes of 300,000 union voters, with the 56 member-unions collectively spending more than $200 million in the 2008 election between the presidential, Senate, and House races nationwide.

“We’ll work our hearts out for Barack Obama,” said AFSCME President and AFL-CIO Political Committee Chair Gerald McEntee. “Our program is going to be worker to worker and neighbor to neighbor. We’re ready to mobilize. We’re ready to rock and roll. This country and our people are ready for change.”

The group has been running an active campaign against presumptive Republican nominee John McCain since early March, aimed at defining the Arizona senator’s stances on jobs, trade and health care among union members. Currently, AFL-CIO volunteers have knocked on 60,000 doors and distributed 1.5 million flyers critical of the Arizona senator’s economic record.


Filed under: AFL-CIO • Candidate Barack Obama • Popular Posts
soundoff (261 Responses)
  1. marty from Indiana

    When the Republicans get to the convention, maybe there need to rethink whether McCain is the right candidate. He is going backwards rather than forwards. It is not too late to select a new candidate at the convention..... one who is electable.

    June 26, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  2. Matilda Bowers, PA

    I'm praying for this young man so hard. I hope it is God's will that he becomes our president.

    God Bess You, Barack.

    June 26, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  3. marty from Indiana

    When the Republicans get to the convention, maybe there need to rethink whether McCain is the right candidate. He is going backwards rather than forwards. It is not too late to select a new candidate at the convention..... one who is electable.

    June 26, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  4. Edwin Portland

    If a voter thought that Hillary was the best option for this country, and that option was removed, it is impossible with any rational mind to think that McCain is now the most appropriate option. It makes more sense that the person that Hillary supporters accused of "change you can xerox", the person with roughly 99% of the same policies, would be the most appropriate option left. LANDSLIDE IS COMING BECAUSE THE AMERICAN PEOPLE ARE SMART ENOUGH TO RESEARCH FOR THEMSELVES AND THINK INDEPENDENTLY!!!

    June 26, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  5. Doris,Memphis,TN

    Barack Obama is the People's President!

    June 26, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  6. xddy4u

    Love it. Obama needs to win and win BIG !!!

    June 26, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  7. Beth - Florida

    We need unions like we need affirmative action...

    Free America Now!

    Go McCain 08

    June 26, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  8. Anne

    The unions and blue collar workers are the back bone of America and are smart to endorse Obama.

    June 26, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  9. Doris,Memphis,TN

    Barack Obama will be the People's President!

    June 26, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  10. ANA G. LOS ANGELES. CA

    BYE BYE JOHN MC CAIN!

    June 26, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  11. sherry

    What union would endorse McCain?

    Dont republicans hate unions
    Their all about big bussiness

    GO OBAMA!!!!!!!!!

    June 26, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  12. MLG

    Not all the union members will be voting for Obama and thats a FACT!!!!

    June 26, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  13. atypical

    Obama is a catalyst for a change that is long overdue, but we have to remember it is THE PEOPLE who are rolling this ball for change.Obama is simply representing what the growing majority want.

    THose that want to keep the same social facades in place will suffer the most because they will be resistant to any kind of change and their fears will loom even larger.

    Those that embrace change without fear can help the fearful make a smoother transition. . in time.

    June 26, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  14. Ilona Proud Canadian

    When I heard about this yesterday, I thought it was sooooooooo great, but to tell you the truth, seeing it TODAY IN PRINT ON CNN, I just think that THIS IS AWESOME!

    13 million strong, WOW!! On behalf of Barack, we BARACK SUPPORTERS THANK YOU FROM THE DEPTHS OF OUR HEARTS! Now if we can only get the MAJORITY OF THE EVANGELICAN COMMUNITY to endorse Barack, this WILL BE A CAKEWALK IN NOVEMBER!

    HILLARY SUPPORTERS ARE YOU COMING ABOARD? WE BARACK SUPPORTERS DON'T HOLD GRUDGES!

    June 26, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  15. NoMcSame

    PUMA PAC people I hope that you are happy with your choise in this election. Hillary will not be voting with you this time. You all look so stupid in the eyes of all the world that I miss you guys on here sometimes. Your leader was on tv and he sounded about as stupid as you all do. Vote Mcsame what a shame. Give up and stop kicking against that stone and come on back home people. Help save our kids from McWAR. He loves the sound of body counts on the news every day. Don't be like him. Stand up to him. It's time to move on and put our house back in order. We must ALL stand behind Obama and change what is going on in Washington.
    Obama08

    June 26, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  16. Anonymous

    Angus McDugan:

    The labor movement also brought us the five-day work week, employer-provided heath care, retirement benefits, paid vacation, child labor laws, workplace safety, FMLA, etc., but you probably refuse to take advantage of any of those.

    June 26, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  17. Sue

    Right! This is the same union that has run up our workers' wages so high that corporations have to move overseas to stay in business. We should think this union is smart??? All they can understand is power for themselves through striking and suing in courts. Then they complain the corporations move overseas to get away from them. Obama will fit in with this kind of thought very well.

    June 26, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  18. Justice League

    Can you smell what Barack is cookin'? Smells like change.

    June 26, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  19. Obama = Overrated

    Did they help him before..NO

    June 26, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  20. Mimi De La Cruz for OBAMA

    OBAMA -98% HAS SUPPORTED WORKING FOLKS.

    MCSAME-16%

    THE AFL-CIO KEEPS TRACK OF THAT. MY DAD WAS A MEMBER,

    UNTIL HIS DEATH. AND SENT 4 CHILDREN TO COLLEGE, AND

    GRADUATE SCHOOL, WITH THAT JOB.

    June 26, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  21. Darlene, CA

    This is a done deal. The wheels of fate are turning and this election has proven to be bigger than Barack.

    I believe the secret prayers of our soldiers are finally being heard. The family prayers that their loved ones be returned are also being heard. The tide is turning and the soldiers will be home soon.

    Barack's campaign has been phenomenal for a reason. There's no turning back now.

    June 26, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  22. Marla, FL

    We will
    We will
    BARACK you.

    June 26, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  23. Ryan

    PUMAlover-and that's why you are called that. It's sad you're poor. But you just definitely showed how uneducated and miserable you are. hahaha

    June 26, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  24. Jake

    Unions are corrupt and unethical. No surprise they want to get onboard with Obama and the Democrats. I don't agree with any Democrat philosophy on the table today. If you fools can't see the problems with the Democrat philosophy then you are politically uneducated.

    June 26, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  25. jimmy velman

    THINGS ARE REALLY LOOKING GOOD FOR OBAMA AND HE IS ON TRACK TO BECOME THE NEXT U.S. PRESIDENT.
    HE MAY YET PROVE TO BE RIGHT IN HIS PLAN TO ENGAGE IRAN
    DIRECTLY. AND WE MAY ALL BE SURPRISED THAT HE WILL BE TOUGHER ON OUR ENEMIES THAN MCCAIN.
    WE HAVE ALL HEARD COMMENTS ABOUT HIS BEING TOO YOUNG
    AND INEXPERIENCED AND YET THAT MAY BE PRECISELY WHAT WE NEED ...HE IS NOT TAINTED BY WASHINGTON INSIDERS.
    ONE THING WE DO KNOW HE IS VERY INTELLIGENT. PEOPLE LIKE HIM KNOW WHERE TO GO AND WHERE TO LOOK FOR THINGS (PEOPLE) TO GIVE HIM THE KNOWLEDGE HE NEEDS TO MAKE DECISIONS. BOTTOM LINE: AMERICA WILL GO ON A DIFFERENT DIRECTION AND A FRESH START.

    June 26, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
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