October 12th, 2007
10:30 AM ET
15 years ago

Rep. Lewis endorses Clinton

Lewis endorsed Clinton Friday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Rep. John Lewis, D-Georgia, a leading civil rights figure in Congress, endorsed Sen. Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination Friday.

"I have looked at all the candidates, and I believe that Hillary Clinton is the best prepared to lead this country at a time when we are in desperate need of strong leadership," Lewis said in a statement posted on the Clinton campaign's Web site. "She will restore a greater sense of community in America, and reclaim our standing in the world."

Lewis plans to appear with Clinton at an event at noon in Atlanta.

The endorsement could help Clinton, the front-runner, increase support in the African-American community. Sen. Barack Obama, her competitor who is himself African-American, has fought for the support of black voters.

Lewis appeared with both Clinton and Obama during appearances in March marking the anniversary of Bloody Sunday, the famed March for voting rights in Selma, Alabama that helped lead to passage of the Voting Rights Act.

"Barack Obama has great admiration for John Lewis and understands his long relationship with Bill Clinton," Obama spokesman Bill Burton said Friday.

The Obama campaign also emphasized that it has increased its presence in Georgia in recent weeks. And Burton noted that Obama has the support of the Rev. Jesse Jackson, a leading civil rights figure.

However, in a recent conversation with the Los Angeles Times editorial board, Jackson was quoted as saying, "I've said I would vote for Barack because he's my neighbor. I have very strong feelings for Hillary because we've worked together 30 years. I'm not really campaigning for anybody."

Click here to see CNN's new political portal: CNNPolitics.com

- CNN's Steve Brusk, Lauren Kornreich, and Sasha Johnson contributed to this report

Filed under: Hillary Clinton
soundoff (91 Responses)
  1. James, Minneapolis, MN

    This is good for Obama.

    October 12, 2007 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  2. Big'ole Democrat

    Hillary Clinton will run and Hillary Clinton will lose. No matter who supports her. Just like Mr. Al (I burn more energy than the entire state of Tennessee, but still won a Nobel prize for a documentary about Global warming) Gore did. Just like John Kerry did. Sorry liberals.

    October 12, 2007 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  3. Mark. Shreveport, LA

    Barack Obama is HALF African-American.
    Why does the press refuse to recognize this fact? Racism?
    In Louisiana, you were considered "black" if you had 1/16 black ancestry because that meant your "white" blood wasn't pure enough.
    The same thing goes on today apparently. If you're 1/2 white and 1/2 African-American, your "white" blood isn't good enough to make you anything but a black person.

    October 12, 2007 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  4. Jerry, NY

    This was expected. Whom else he can endorse? Hillary cannot get elected just because John Lewis endorsed her. No way....

    October 12, 2007 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  5. Robert, Vivian LA

    Now if Charles Rangel, Kweisi Mfume, Julian Bond, Jesse Jackson, and Al Sharpton get behind her, she'll lock up the African-American vote.

    October 12, 2007 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  6. jecinta,ks, mo

    well, we may start asking him why?
    No more comment!

    October 12, 2007 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |

    Great move Rep. John Lewis. Hillary Clinton despite some minor flaws is best prepared to restore America to civility and to restore constitutional respect. She will restore dignity to the rule of law.

    October 12, 2007 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  8. Steve, Bethesda, MD

    I will support whomever Ben Affleck decides to support. he is so cute and smart. Affleck for President 2016!

    October 12, 2007 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  9. Big-ole Democrat, NY, NY

    It doesn't matter who supports her. Billary will lose to the Republican Candidate just like Gore and Kerry. Sorry Liberals.

    October 12, 2007 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  10. Monte Brown, NY

    As an African American I must say that this endorsement is well deserved. Hillary Clinton certainly understands the needs of black Americans more than Obama does. Obama does not understand the needs of poor blacks. He thinks whites and blacks are treated the same in the American criminal justice system, based on his statement on Jena 6. Hillary cited that it is very unfortunate how blacks are not treated the same as whites in the American criminal justice system. Bill Clinton is blacker than Obama. Black Americans can trust Hillary.

    October 12, 2007 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  11. lowerpericles

    "She will restore a greater sense of community in America, and reclaim our standing in the world."

    God bless America.

    October 12, 2007 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  12. Dave, Cheverly, ND

    To Robert Vivian, LA

    You named 5 additional people of color. That simply means she will get 5 additional votes from those people only. Surely you are not saying African Americans should just not event show up at the polls just let these five vote by proxy. (For their whole Race) DAH! This means nothing! Heck their spouses will probably vote for some other candidate.

    October 12, 2007 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  13. Bob, Seattle, WA

    Another endorsement to the beauracratic machine that rewards individual bobbing heads of the black minority at the expense of the majority of the black people in the U.S. Which administration has proven through DEED that the black minority deserves positions of high reponsibility. Count the heads of the White House cabinet members and compare this administrations appointees to ANY of the previous Cabinets – Democratic or Republican. Talk is cheap but rewarding – individually. The majority of the black minority that stands up for individual achievement as opposed to government hand outs (thereby keeping the black man on the government 'reservation') recognizes the conservative mantra of the Republican Party works to improve their lives permanently and for generations in the long run much more effectively than the liberal lazy free hand-out mantra of the Democrats. Democrats love to flaunt candy in front of the baby to get the baby to like them. No real substance for the baby when they grow up still looking for the handing out of the candy.

    October 12, 2007 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  14. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Don't forget, Lewis has the right to endorse/vote for whomever he wishes. And I as an African American female reserve the right to vote for the best candidate. I trust we are all intelligent enough to do the same. Listen to the platform of each candidate without bias and we will be able to support the best qualified.

    October 12, 2007 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  15. mary, san antonio, tx

    Doesn't anyone look at her history. Her & the ex-president? She scares the hell out of me and every one I knowl

    October 12, 2007 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  16. Robert

    In this blog there is not a single person coming to learn something or sway his mind but rather to express himself. Myself included. Very few things will make me NOT to vote for Hllary in primaries or to VOTE for Obama in general elections if he, God forbid, the nominee. Why am I saying all that? Because support of antisemitic racist creatures such as "Reverend" Jackson or "Reverend" Sharpton would probably make stop for a second a reconsider if they support Clinton.

    October 12, 2007 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |


    October 12, 2007 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  18. joseph, austin, tx

    the goal of any socialist is to have as many people dependant upon them as possible. she panders the poor(all colors) and tells them its not your fault you arent as successful wanted to be, let me and the govt provide everything for you. if shes elected i guess i wont have to work anymore because she will provide everything for me.

    October 12, 2007 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  19. Mabry, Little Rock, Ar

    Mabry 1:01PM Oct 12th 2007

    I am very disappointed in John Lewis' endorsement of Clinton. If we citizens take the time to read the candidates' positions on the major issues of our country and the world, there is no doubt that Obama is the person for the job. Hillary is a very intelligent person and is more capable than many in Washington in leadership positions but our nation also has an opportunity to elect a person to unify us. Obama is also super intelligent with exceptional leadership ability. What other candidate has 30,000 people coming out to hear and see what they have to say. There is no doubt in my mind that we as citizens of this nation need to look beyond the candidate beauty contests and beyond future individual financial gain/influence and begin to READ and listen critically to what people say and want to do. We need a President that can inspire us to be our very best and to believe in the possibility of the human race to solve national and world issues with dignity. Old politics of the past need to be changed to renew and invigorate this nation. I am encouraged by the young Americans who want different results from our politicians and know that they will make a difference in this Presidential election. I am so disappointed in John Lewis and expected more from him as a person who operated from a historical and intellectual context. I believed him to be his own man but must now change my opinion.

    October 12, 2007 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  20. Ron, TX

    Would you rather vote for someone who was -misled- by Republicans, as Hillary claims, or someone who can see past the Republican charades and make the correct decision.

    Everyone needs to remember what Barack Obama said in a speech in October of *2002*:
    "I know that even a successful war against Iraq will require a US occupation of undetermined length, at undetermined cost, with undetermined consequences. I know that an invasion of Iraq without a clear rationale and without strong international support will only fan the flames of the Middle East, and encourage the worst, rather than best, impulses of the Arab world, and strengthen the recruitment arm of al-Qaeda.

    I am not opposed to all wars. I’m opposed to dumb wars."

    Would you rather have someone who gets misled by Republicans, or someone who got it ONE HUNDRED PERCENT correct??

    Some goes for Iran. Obama stressed that diplomacy and meeting with foreign leaders is VITAL. Hillary called him naive and inexperienced. Now, Hillary says that diplomacy and meeting with Iran is VITAL. Strange that someone with so much experience would then copy an inexperienced politicians ideas.

    October 12, 2007 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  21. Robert, Cleveland, OH


    Well, Calvin, if this is not a clear cut racism then tell me what is it?! How about looking at the candidate position, experience, proposals, even personality instead of race and sex? Or doing this would be signs of the past, Washinghton bureacracy and son on?

    CNN, I'm really suprised – you edit certain comments (like mine recent one about Jackson and Sharpton and their obvious antisemitism) and don't other ones.

    October 12, 2007 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  22. Jeremiah Nathaniel, Charlton, SC

    Quid pro quo politics!
    This endorsement doesn't help Hillary; it hurts Lewis. Because, as a bi-racial African-American with a white mother, I feel betrayed by people like Rep. Lewis who seem to have so quickly forgotten how Bill Clinton helped put more African-American to jail and now he needs our support to illegally gain a third term as President. If a black American is going to endorse a white candidate, he should endorse a genuine one like John Edwards.

    But then again, Lewis and Hillary herself are Democrats of the past. We're heading towards a Democratic Party of the future and Barack Obama is the future of the Party. So I'm not bulging. Even if every civil rights icon or influential African-American endorses her, nothing will shake my support for Obama. Actually, it will be nice if Al Sharpton will endorse Hillary.

    October 12, 2007 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  23. A. Thomas, New York, NY

    To Robert of Vivina LA:

    Charles Rangel has already endorsed Hlllary because he said Obama is not electable.

    With regard to black votes, hillary gets at least equal, if not more, than obama. Nearly 3 times more black women have indicated to vote for hillary.

    It is no surprise that hillary outpace obama in civil right fronts. It starts with her husband, bill clinton, who arguably did more for blacks than any other american presidents. Meanwhile, Hillary herself has networked with black churches, civil right leaders, congressional black caucus, etc.

    More importantly, polls consistently show that hillary is light yrs ahead of obama in her experience, qualification and campaign machine, which translate into electability. The blacks hate George Bush so much that they want Hillary to get back the White House, as inexperienced obama cannot be relied upon to do this task.

    There are whites and blacks in several swing states like florida and louisiana that will vote hillary, but will not vote a black candidate (obama).

    The republicans hate hillary, but she has much better chance than obama to fight back the republican attacks. The blacks simply trust her more to get back the White House.

    October 12, 2007 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  24. robert, Cleveland, OH

    Doesn't anyone look at her history. Her & the ex-president? She scares the hell out of me and every one I knowl Posted By mary, san antonio, tx :

    Sure, Mary, proficit of the budget and bunch of friends in the world and spouse cheating as the main source for blogging – that scarry as hell, doesn't it? Like a Halloween... Sounds like you sure thing know every single republican down in Texas

    October 12, 2007 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  25. Seam, Philly PA

    Lewis, Sharpton, and Jackson are all followers. They have an opportunity to bring about real change, but they prefer to settle on the same tired politics. Our past black leaders would stand up and back Obama.

    October 12, 2007 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
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