March 24th, 2008
09:22 PM ET
15 years ago

Murtha debuts on campaign trail for Clinton

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Murtha campaigned with Clinton in his home district in Pennsylvania."]
LATROBE, Pennsylvania (CNN) - Rep. John Murtha's endorsement of Hillary Clinton on March 18 came at a welcome moment for the Democratic candidate: it was only her second endorsement from a superdelegate over the course of several weeks.

On Monday evening in his home district, the anti-war champion and 17-term congressman campaigned with Clinton for the first time and explained his presidential pick.

"Let me tell you something," Murtha said, taking the microphone from Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell. "I have served with seven presidents, and they all got gray hair except for Reagan. Anybody that’s been in the White House for eight years knows how tough it is, understands, has the experience that you need to be president of the United States."

Murtha said he is "convinced that we are in one of the worst situations that I have seen in the 35 years I have been in Congress," but argued that Clinton is “a person that understands the policy" who can restore "our credibility worldwide."

Rendell praised him for vocalizing his opposition to the Iraq war in 2005 and joked that "Jack Murtha is so important to Pennsylvania and has done so much for us that I almost considered having the historic commission put up one of those markers outside his house."

Clinton said she was honored to have Murtha's endorsement.

- CNN Political Producer Peter Hamby

Filed under: Hillary Clinton • John Murtha • Pennsylvania
soundoff (89 Responses)
  1. maya

    Several of these comments show what political newbs the Obama supporters are. Rep. Murtha is a huge deal. Very respected. Anti-war- actively stood up against it. In fact, some Obama people thought he'd go that way because of that...

    I don't want the Democratic party taken over by a bunch of unpredictable newbies.....we can't afford to lose this election...

    March 24, 2008 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  2. Chris

    Oh brother..Murtha knows that if Obama takes power, he is out of job. Murtha is not willing to change. Please leave the political business. This country needs progressive individuals and not go backwards.

    Barack Obama – President of United States of America

    Murtha – Saudi Scam (Abscam investigation)

    John Murtha with Governor Robert P. Casey.
    In 1980, during his third term as a Congressman, Murtha became embroiled in the Abscam investigation, which targeted dozens of congressmen. The investigation entailed FBI operatives posing as intermediaries for Saudi nationals hoping to bribe their way through the immigration process into the United States. Murtha met with these operatives and was videotaped; ultimately, he was named an "unindicted co-conspirator"[3] but he was never indicted or charged. He did agree to testify against Frank Thompson (D-NJ) and John Murphy (D-NY), the two Congressmen mentioned as participants in the deal at the same meeting and who were later video taped placing the cash bribes in their trousers. The FBI videotaped Murtha responding to an offer of $50,000, with Murtha saying, "I'm not interested... at this point. [If] we do business for a while, maybe I'll be interested, maybe I won't", right after Murtha had offered to provide names of businesses and banks in his district where money could be invested legally.[5] The U.S. Attorneys Office reasoned that Murtha's intent was to obtain investment in his district. Full length viewing of the tape shows Murtha citing prospective investment opportunities that could return "500 or 1000" miners to work.

    March 24, 2008 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  3. near phoenix

    In phoenix – you are right on the money. Obama is playing smoke and mirrors. How can he fingerpoint at the same people he will need to build coalitions with to get things done?
    When will the press wake up (especially CNN!) and realize that Obama is another Jimmy Carter – maybe potential greatness as a statesman, but not as president. HOPE alone won't get things done, but will lead to another gas crisis, inflation and lack of reality in dealing with foreign policy.
    The truth is he ran too soon and will make a great VP. Wake up America – this isn't the time to be hip and try the latest fad, your future is on the line! Hillary 2008; Barack 2016.

    March 24, 2008 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  4. liberty speaks

    leaving my comment in this little white box... for the next white house resident is growing tiresome.

    i do not understand any obama-fans, and it was clear to me ON DAY ONE, that Hillary should get the nomination.

    we've heard slander, pulpit prize-winning speeches by quacko-pastors and baby wannabe politicians, now obama is at the beach with his flip flops kicked off.....

    please, someone.... END THIS and get HILLARY in the WHITE house where she belongssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss.

    March 24, 2008 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  5. suzanne

    It looks like a lot of young Obama supporters have nothing but contempt for the older generation. You think experience doesn't matter and that people who have worked for so many years to make America a better place should be ridiculed and marginalized. I guess we'll have the last laugh in November when McCain wins in a landslide over Obama.

    March 24, 2008 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  6. Independent Voter from Texas

    Uhhh...Murtha already endorsed Hillary so I don't get the DEBUT. Oh that's right, she doesn't have anyone to counter Richardson's endorsement so she just "parades" him out again. Ok I get it now.

    Really Hillary, you didn't have to create such a whopping BIG lie about your Bosnia trip. We all knew you were lying about your experience. But that Bosnia FAIRY TALE is so disgusting even for you. You even knew Chelsea was there with you for goodness sakes. Again, you really think we voters are that think the press couldn't check it out?

    Shame on YOU Hillary Clinton. Well maybe the real shame here is for the idiots who really believed you.

    March 24, 2008 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  7. C.Y.

    Does it have to be so hatred and nasty??? I don't think that this is helpful for dems.

    Doc Jerome March 24th, 2008 9:37 pm ET

    Some old dogs just refuse to learn new tricks. Murtha is one of those, with even less courage.

    March 24, 2008 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  8. Maryann

    Not long ago I was very open minded and undecided about this election. Needless to say, thngs have changed.
    There are a few questions I have for the news media.
    Why is it Hillary Rodham Clinton and Not Barrach Hussein Obama?
    Could it be you are afraid of an unjustified slant with using his name?
    What about the way the media has been reporting the news with quite a slant towards getting Obama elected?
    I don't believe a clergyman who preached with such hate and said "GOD DAM AMERICA" never before talked to Obama before like that. That is a bunch of garbage!!! I don't trust Obama now, I believe he is a liar. The only thing he has going in his favor is a golden tongue to preach. I wish more AMERICANS would wake up and see exactly what is happening.
    I do no believe we have ever had an election where the media is so prejeduced against a candidate before (Sen. Clinton). It is wrong people and lets wake up. The only thing Obama has proven is that he knows what to say to get people rallying. Please look at the reporting and reconsider what is going on!!!
    NEWS MEDIA: Why don't you do a story or some good reporting on how we are being threatened with a race riot if Obama is not elected? That really changed my mind on Obama. I do not believe he is neutral of this race issure. Maybe the news media is afraid of the Imus effect? He was wrong, but are we going to constantly live in fear of discussing it especially with the threat of a race riot if Obama is not nominated?

    March 24, 2008 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  9. Slap Stick, Florida

    If I was in his district I would wonder when does he plan on doing any REAL work as oppose to hanging out with Hill and Bill. Give me a Break. And he (Murtha) is the SAVIOR. LOL Joke of the night.

    March 24, 2008 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  10. Joan

    Woo Hoo!!

    March 24, 2008 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  11. Patrick

    Some people in here can't even spell correctly,you can't think that they read either. Some comments made in here are absolutely stupid.
    I read everynight on issues of this country ,what is going on, and who is good at covering his/her steps. I see a lot of mud on Obamas shoes lately.
    Give this country what it needs, not what some of you WANT.
    Hillary for Pres.

    March 24, 2008 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  12. Bayou Joe

    Yes Mr. Murtha, we are in a bad situation because the Democratic Congress has done absolutely zilch since taking over Congress 2 years ago. They are too busy questioning professional atheletes about steroids to bother with the real problems facing our country.
    And you, Hillary, and Obama are part of the problem. Get Hillary the nomination so this Obama cult followers will go away in November.

    March 24, 2008 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  13. priscilla

    I keep reading Hillary supports saying they will not vote for Obama if he is the choice.. than dont!!! you are fake Dems! for all the old folks and uneducated voters who will not we will be able to register and get new folks to the polls to take you place... Every time Obama wins a state Hillary comes out like s soar loser... every someone Endorses Obama.. it does not really matter or they are called traitors... GIVE ME A BREAK! and you Hillary supporters have the nerves to attack us.. Well guess what I think Hillary and are supporters have shown us loud and clear who the real danger to the Dem party would be... HER!

    March 24, 2008 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  14. Joel

    I'm a minor, but I'm smart enough to realize that wisdom comes with age. I don't was this so called "new wing" of the Democratic party to be lead by an untested, inexperienced president. Praise to Murtha for endorsing the better candidate. Note to Obama, come back in 8 years.

    In the meantime, I will support McCain if Obama is the nominee.

    March 24, 2008 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  15. Walt, Belton,TX

    Another wonderful example of why NOT to vote for Hillary. More trash for the political compost pile He can join Carville and share some cheese.

    March 24, 2008 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  16. Mary

    Bill Richardson saying, I have so much respect for the Clintons.

    Bill Richardson, You can't betray your friends and not be thought of as a JUDAS. I thought of that the minute I heard you had endorsed Obama. Couldn't help myself.

    SUGGESTION: John McCain get over being mad at Mitt Rodney you need him on your ticket so many of us democrats can vote for your ticket in November. Hillary or McCain is the choice, understand.

    March 24, 2008 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |

    I agree with Murtha. WE ARE in one of the worst possible situations
    ever, but I believe that "wrong kind of experience" got us here. If
    this is what "experience" does to a person like Hillary, I want no
    part in voting for a lying, personality smasher, pitiful, power seeker, egotistical person such as Hillary. I cannot stand Hillary or Bill.
    Hillary has a lot of people that do not, do not like her in the least.
    Our world needs better.

    Hillary has already promised Rendall job as Sec. of Energy. Is that
    Legal? I hope PA. votes for Obama.

    March 24, 2008 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  18. Cannot-trust AA

    Fight Hillary Fight!!

    Obama "the Joke" Barack

    He is a no winner in general election

    HIllary is the only one for Latin Americans..

    Latin Americans for Hillary 08

    March 24, 2008 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  19. David Boston Ma

    OK, LEMME SEE, the younger generation wants change, Hill supporters scream hooray for a guy that Makes McCain look 20, and you think we are worried? This guy only endorsed Clinton because he is obviously on his way out and needs his pension.

    Somebody give him his walking cane when Obama gets the nomination! Some change agent the Clintons are!

    March 24, 2008 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  20. LATINOS 4 Hillary

    People visit your local Prison or Ghetto..

    Observe the NON-interaction between Latinos and African Americans.

    There isn't any..

    Latinos will not vote for an African Americans..

    March 24, 2008 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  21. Bridget

    Murtha's a good guy but he unfortunately just invalidated all the statements he's made in the past year by deciding to back a pro-war hawk. What was he thinking? Or was he afraid of the unpleasantness that everyone else who has picked Senator Obama over Senator Clinton has said they had to endure when telling Clinton of their decision not to endorse her?

    March 24, 2008 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  22. Edgar

    Obama pastor said that America deserved 9-11 and that our goverment placed the Aid virus to kill black people. Americans how can we vote for Barak. Wake up and listen to Murtha and vote for Hillary. She is patriotic and will put America above all else.

    March 24, 2008 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  23. dwnlal

    Rep Murtha is an important endorsement for Clinton. I just hope the media would give this endorsement as much air time as Obama's. Congratulations to Hillary and like Murtha says, Hillary is a person that understands the policy and who can restore our credibility worldwide. Go Hillary!

    March 24, 2008 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  24. Eddie P.

    Keep on trucking Hillary . It aint over till the( - )lady sings. Thank you Rep. JOHN MURTHA for your support of Hillary. I thought all the superdelegates had lost their mind. You know!!! kinda like Kennedy ,- Richardson- ,and- BUG EYED PELOSI among others. Obama is no candidate of change, and has anyone asked Richardson if Obama has promissed to make him his running mate if and that's a big IF he wins the nomination. Please someone ask him. Let's see how good Richardson can tell a lie. And if the DNC does not decide on a revote in Florida and Michigan the republicans will have 4 more years in the white house.

    March 24, 2008 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  25. Max

    She can't restore her own credibility here at home after her Bosnia flap, I'm supposed to believe she can restore our nation's credibility worldwide? Sorry Jack we have a better option and I'm taking it.

    March 24, 2008 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
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