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. Randy, Austin TX

    Shouldn't blacks be supporting pro-gun Republicans?

    October 12, 2007 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  2. Mark, Gettysburg PA

    Hillary is amazing and this is another plus for her campaign. The only way she'll lose to any Republican is if the Republicans once again steal votes like they did in 2000 and 2004.

    October 12, 2007 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  3. Edward, TX

    Monte I hate to tell you, but she is not going to be focused on the needs of black Americans. She's more concerned about finding a way to help those who are here illegally remain here legally. The programs set up to get people off welfare was a move to save money. It was not to 'help' black Americans. The Clintons care about us, lol. They are politicians. They care about political power, and the issues that affect their ability to seize and hang onto that power.

    October 12, 2007 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |

    To Calvin and all who weighed in on my comment. I think that our biggest problems as black Americans is pride and lack of unity. When last I checked 28 million of our people are dying of HIV or AIDS. What president jumped on this issue? Bill Clinton. Twenty-four percent of our people in America live in poverty. Which president got FMLA passed and made policies to end welfare? Bill Clinton. Which president has always been honest and forthright about equal opportunity in education and in the work force? Bill Clinton. Which candidate stated that if AIDS effected white women as it did black women there would be an alarm ringing? Hillary Clinton.....BLAH BLAH BLAH...


    October 12, 2007 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  5. AJ; Montpelier, VT

    How can you lead a country, when 50% of the country DESPISES you… is absolutely DISGUSTED by you?

    Well Ron in Texas, your wonderboy George W. Bush managed to get re-elected when a good percentage of people in the nation LOATHE him. You can keep Georgie and what ever hate filled Bible banging bogot the GOP decides to nominate, I'll take Hillary any day. What are the Republicans so afraid of? Competence?

    October 12, 2007 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  6. Sonja, Marietta GA

    I personally attended the event at Pascals Restaurant today. It was very positive and upbeat. I saw first hand Americans coming together in unity. There was no negativity. Let us all be proud of our individual heritage, be proud of our diversity, and MOVE FORWARD TOGETHER as UNIFIED Americans. Hillary and Mr. Lewis represented hope for a nation of unity. Let's all try to be positive for a change!

    October 12, 2007 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  7. Chad, Springfield, MO

    WOW the republicans really are full of themselves today . They must be happy with the state of our country now! I know I'm not. Although Hillary isnt my first choice at least she is better than Fred or Rudy or Mitt, Mike and who are those other guys? But I will say this much is anyone else wandering if Bloomberg will run with Ron Paul as his running mate could happen.

    October 12, 2007 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  8. Jamal

    How can Hillary Clinton know more about Black American than Obama himself? That is not logical in all cases.

    Tell me what Hillary Clinton has done for the African american Community since she was a senator and even a first lady. The answer is nothing.

    Obama dedicate all his life serving them, yet the so called selfish black leaders decided to sell him out for a white woman. I expect that happen. I expect the so called congresional black leaders to back Hillary because they owe every of their sit to Clinton.

    I guess they sold an entire race out. Shame on you John Lewis.

    October 12, 2007 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  9. Bee

    As an African American, i take my vote very seriously. For the records, I'll no longer vote for any of this old head again. The black leadership in the congress have sold us into another slavery.

    I still plan to vote for Obama in Jannuary and i am sure he's going to put all this old head to shame. However, if Clinton win the nomination, i'll definitely switch to Republican party for life. Clinton doesn't have anything to offer me than talking point.

    October 12, 2007 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  10. Chris, Middletown, CT

    "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" – translation – Hillary will try to fund every entitlement program out there – and pander to unions and civil rights groups....

    October 12, 2007 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  11. Mr. Coffey, Raleigh, NC

    Hillary only needs black americans for south carolina and michigan. If she wins, how would black americans hold her feet to the fire? If Jackson, Lewis, Sharpton and co. complained to "Mrs. President Clinton", would anyone listen? No. She is using everyone as a stepping stone. Obama passed a bill in IL to stop racial profiling by police. Hillary did....what? Nothing but show up to black functions and clap her hands and sing. Thank Bill for the crime bill that is responsible for putting the most blacks in jail. Opposite ends of the spectrum....GO Clintons.


    October 12, 2007 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  12. Dave, Evergreen CO

    Not many people I repect more than John Lewis but I won't follow his lead on this one.

    October 12, 2007 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  13. laurinda,ny

    Well at least Hillary is using stepping stones she didn't go crying to daddy saying I want to be the president, daddy make Jeb fix things for me in Florida so I can win, pleaseeee. Okay my wonderful son, I'll tell him.

    October 12, 2007 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  14. a.thomas, new york, NY

    Hillary is WINNING, and the republicans & obama supporters are WHINNING!

    For reasons mentioned by me in earlier message, Hillary has more black supports than obama, she is much more electable than obama, and the whites and hispanics in swing states like florida loiusiana will not vote for a black man (obama) – ask jessee jackson andal sharpton re the votes they got in these two states when they were candidates.

    October 12, 2007 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  15. Save from Clinton

    I believe when time comes, Obama will get support from African American voters on substance and leadership. He is highly qualified and he is very inspiring. When Obama will enter a class room in a school, African American kids will look at themselves differently. White kids will also look at AA kids differently that the kid sitting next to him could become the president of the US. The nation will look at itself differently with Obama in white house and the world will look at America differently, with much more respect.

    Mid level politicians, some AA leaders and local leaders are not endorsing Clinton for the sake of the country. They are looking at polls, making their own political calculation for future and siding with the one that they think will be beneficial for themselves.

    Also AA politicians like Sharpton or Charles or John just might be jealous. They never enjoyed this much broad support from all walks of American life. Using Obama's word, if American people always did what is easy over what is right, if American people never chose to do what is ambitious over what is cautious then Charles and John would still live in the days of slavery. SO DON'T TELL OBAMA IS UNELECTABLE. In a predominantly white state, IL, Obama won with highest margin in US senate's history. These folks don't beleive in their own appeal or capability. That's why they can't believe in other's as well.

    October 12, 2007 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  16. Jackie Brown

    i find it profoundly interesting that everyone thus far has had the audacity to speak for or against an entire group of people. Even pollsters can't contain the dynamic of the black voice. The concerns are so vast and pollsters only ask about 300 to 1000 of them.

    October 12, 2007 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  17. Dave, Alpharetta GA

    I am looking forward to President-Elect Hillary Clinton in Nov. 2008. There is hope for America yet!

    October 12, 2007 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  18. james dukes griffin georgia

    Wow can we wait another year? yesterday I saw a picture of this kid she was a navy person or was a navy person she died in iraq she was 18 I think I saw her at the end of the news hour there were two maybe three girls young cute; so can we wait another year? this is what I would like to hear from someone who wants to be president-will any of them make cash payments to the veterans alive or dead who were hurt and killed in iraq? fathers have lost little girls mothers thier sons a flag can not replace those kids. Thers has to be some way to make this right for these families this was all about lies and greed look at the pole numbers only 33% of americans are harden bigots like bush&cheney some-thing has to be done for the lost youth of america; Also I would like to hear as to what will be done to the people whom this liar bush has defamed and ruin about this terrorist crap when he knows that he went home for a month it was bush who told the terrorist HEY GUYS I GO HOME THUS LEAVING THE EAST COAST OPEN FOR PRATICE RUNS ON THE WTC AND DC. how will these people be cleared? So can we really wait another year?

    October 12, 2007 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  19. dukesjames griffin georgia.

    say if you were rich and wanted to hire a live in nanny who would you hire a person who never drank smoked did druge held a gun of sais a bad word and was of a clean mind heart and spirit or would you hire someone that was a complete opposite of the first a person who was of a mean nature but totally trust-worthy and honest? a former boss of mine hired both he hired a girl from germany as his kids nanny and he hired me to watch over everyone in his house Obama is not a black american as those of us who were once negroes understand a black american is to be. there is something that obama does not have he can not get that from his wife he can never have it. It is OK for Sen. Obama to run for president but why play the race card? Nelson Mandella thought that Rosa Parks was a big deal Mandella has it Omaba will never have it, because he obama is as his wife said special. he is special. Mandella is not special nor lewis nor Parks, it is great to want to be the president of the united states still I am sorry but no true black american male would want that job. there are only a few like the senator, sharpton, jackson and condi rice she was once considered a well a future president by a lot of people. Obama is not ready, he never will be ready

    October 12, 2007 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  20. Feb M

    Harriet Tubman
    "I would have saved a lot more if only they knew they were slaves"

    October 12, 2007 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  21. Dawn, Jax, NC

    Vote Ron Paul!!!

    October 12, 2007 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  22. Feb M

    "Clinton argued the United States does not really understand how Iran works and suggested talks with Tehran would be useful."

    If YOU don't understand how Iran works some of us do,
    This is so yesterday standards
    Where is Obama and the next generation to lead AMerica

    October 12, 2007 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  23. Topeka, KS

    Come on Mr. Coffey. If Jackson, Lewis, Sharpton and co. complain to Mr President Obama, do you really believe he's gonna jump through hoops?

    October 12, 2007 11:22 pm at 11:22 pm |
  24. daily d. , cleveland oh

    Surprise ! a Democrat endorses Hillary Clinton.

    October 12, 2007 11:36 pm at 11:36 pm |
  25. LAB,

    Please-–Don't forget to think for yourself!

    October 13, 2007 12:20 am at 12:20 am |
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