Hugo Chavez: 'I'd vote for Obama'
October 1st, 2012
12:57 PM ET
2 years ago

Hugo Chavez: 'I'd vote for Obama'

(CNN) – President Barack Obama received one endorsement he definitely did not ask for Monday: Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

The leftist leader and strong man, who has used strong anti-United States language in his political rallies and official speeches, told state-owned VTV, "In the point of view of his politics, if I were voting, I would vote for Obama and I believe that if Obama was from Caracas, he would vote for Chavez, I am positive."

– Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

– Check out the CNN Electoral Map and Calculator and game out your own strategy for November.

"Obama is a good guy," continued the Venezuelan president, who has led his country since 1999 but is facing his strongest challenge in years.

Chavez became well known for using strong anti-American rhetoric against former President George W. Bush, whom he called a "devil" and also referred to as a drunk.

Things seemed to be changing in 2009, when Chavez and Obama met during the Summit of the Americas. The two leaders shook hands and Chavez presented Obama with the book "Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent."

Chavez spoke highly of a newly elected Obama during a rambling speech at the U.N. General Assembly, calling Obama an "intelligent man" and compared him to President John F. Kennedy.

Since then, however, Chavez has largely backed off his kinder approach to the American president, calling Obama a "great disappointment" in an interview with CNN en Español's Juan Carlos Lopez in 2010.

The issue of Venezuela arose on the campaign trail in July, when the president told a local Miami television station that Chavez has had little impact on the U.S. of late, but the South American country requires continued attention particularly when it comes to Iranian influence.

"We're always concerned about Iran engaging in destabilizing activity around the globe," Obama said. "But overall my sense is that what Mr. Chavez has done over the last several years has not had a serious national security impact on us.

"We have to be vigilant," he continued. "My main concern when it comes to Venezuela is having the Venezuelan people have a voice in their affairs, and that you end up ultimately having fair and free elections, which we don't always see."

Romney called the comments "stunning and shocking," writing "as president, I will speak clearly and resolutely on the challenges we face so that both our allies and our adversaries will know where we stand."

Latino voters, who are particularly concerned about Chavez's rule of Venezuela, make up a voting bloc seen as crucial this year.

CNN's Marilia Brocchetto and Kevin Liptak contributed to this report.

Also see:

– Getting ready for Wednesday's showdown

– Ann Romney to rally while Obama preps for debate across town

– Obama to hit trail after debate

– Romney hits Obama on foreign policy in weekly podcast

– Obama talks housing market in weekly address


Filed under: 2012 • Hugo Chavez • President Obama
soundoff (73 Responses)
  1. truth hurts

    The leftist leader and strong man, who has used strong anti-United States language in his political rallies and official speeches, told state-owned VTV, "In the point of view of his politics, if I were voting, I would vote for Obama and I believe that if Obama was from Caracas, he would vote for Chavez."
    ============================================================================================
    I rest my case on the whole is Obama a socialist or not question. The Supreme Court of Socialists has rendered its decision!

    October 1, 2012 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  2. Hammerer

    What makes you think he did not ask for Chaves' endorsment?
    They have the same goals.

    October 1, 2012 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  3. Jan

    Yes, let's see...how do you get voters to turn against the president you don't want...the president who's been huge in foreign affairs?!! YOU ENDORSE HIM!!!!

    October 1, 2012 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  4. Dar

    HEY, Birds of a feather flock together.

    October 1, 2012 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  5. vc

    this is a grain of salt, nothing more.

    Chavez's thoughts on Obama does not change who our president is or will be.

    October 1, 2012 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  6. Sniffit

    "I will speak clearly and resolutely on the challenges we face so that both our allies and our adversaries will know where we stand."

    Translation: "I will pander to the fearful and underinformed by thumping my chest, talking like a spaghetti western cowboy, being overly confrontational, insulting and bombastic and just generally making a good show of standing up to every straw man I can transform into a boogeyman that can be demagogued in order to manipulate the public."

    October 1, 2012 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  7. oreo

    Sounds about right. Obama is a muppet.

    October 1, 2012 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  8. Talmonis

    Well this certainly looks like an attempt to get the Republicans back into office so he has a nice Boogeyman to scream about.

    October 1, 2012 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  9. TparTpatriot

    If you needed any more proof that Obama is a communist, here it is!

    October 1, 2012 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  10. gt

    birds of a feather flock together...

    October 1, 2012 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  11. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Not only would Chavez vote for Obama but all the citizens of Venezuela would vote for Obama because it is known around the World many countries who would love having Obama as their President, in fact they consider Obama as a gifted leader of the free World and he is.

    October 1, 2012 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  12. Don't expect "Zinger"...

    Team Obama does not expect Pres Obama to produce any zingers in the Presidential debates...Three Strikes and Obama is out....It seem that Venezuelan Pres Hugo Chavez is offering to vote Obama..."Why" does Chavez have in mind to vacate his Presidency in favor of Obama......?..."Adios Obama"...!

    October 1, 2012 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  13. jsmoulder

    Of coarse he would vote for Obama, their politics match.

    October 1, 2012 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  14. Ancient Texan

    If Obama read the book that Chavez gave him a few years ago, they may have a lot more in common than Socialism.

    October 1, 2012 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  15. Ed1

    Another one of Obama's buddies just like the Unions and the people on Welfare with eight kids and no father at least not married but living together.

    All government workers will vote for Obama they don't want their free ride to leave yet.

    Take the Unions out of the public sector I don't want my taxes paying for the Union and shouldn't either. Let their job performance get their raises not the no account Union thugs.

    October 1, 2012 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  16. usa

    What has Obama promised Chavez? Not good. Best news of the day for the Romney campaign.

    October 1, 2012 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  17. Mikey

    Great! Just what the President needs – an unwanted endorsement from Chavez. We have to assume the either Chavez is an idiot and doesn't understand that his endorsement won't help the President or he actually likes Romney better. Either way, it won't change my vote. If Ebinezer Scrooge postumously endorsed Romney, it wouldn't change my vote either.

    Obama 2012

    October 1, 2012 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  18. Ready

    Oh good, Obama has the communist seal of approval. Now i know i'm right for not voting for him.

    October 1, 2012 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  19. They ought to change from the elephant to the hippo...

    Even this Chavez clown has more sense than Republicans and can make the obvious call.

    Obama 2012!

    October 1, 2012 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  20. truth hurts

    Obama wealth redistribution, Chavez wealth redistribution, no difference.
    Obama takes over car companies, Chavez takes over oil companies, no difference.
    Obama socialized healthcare, Chavez socialized healthcare, no difference.

    Obama, Chavez, no difference.

    October 1, 2012 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  21. Task Force

    Did this really surprise anyone? The policies are basically the same.

    tfconservative on Facebook

    October 1, 2012 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  22. Phil in KC

    So how much did the Republicans pay him to say that? All those oil guys hang together, you know.

    October 1, 2012 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  23. Fair is Fair

    "I would vote for Obama and I believe that if Obama was from Caracas, he would vote for Chavez."
    -----
    If Obama was from Moscow, he would have voted for Stalin.
    If Obama was from Beijing, he would have forted for Mao Tse-Tung.
    If Obama was from Cuba, Obama would have been torn between Castro and Che Guevara.

    So... this is really no shock.

    October 1, 2012 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  24. Dean

    He could go to Chicago and vote twice for Obama.

    October 1, 2012 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  25. FedUp

    Of course he would. He is a Communist. Obama is also the nominee for the Connumist Party.

    October 1, 2012 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
1 2 3