June 3rd, 2008
08:59 PM ET
12 years ago

Obama looks for Democratic unity against McCain in November

ST. PAUL, Minnesota (CNN) - Barack Obama will take up the reins of the Democratic drive for the White House on Tuesday night, calling on Democrats to come together for a "common effort to chart a new course for America."

"Tonight we mark the end of one historic journey with the beginning of another - a journey that will bring a new and better day to America," the Illinois senator will say, speaking in the city where Republicans will officially nominate his GOP opponent in September.

"Tonight, I can stand before you and say that I will be the Democratic nominee for President of the United States."

Obama went over the top in delegates earlier Tuesday as many of the remaining uncommitted superdelegates flocked to his side, making him the first African-American candidate in U.S. history to lead a major-party ticket.

According to the text of his speech obtained by CNN, Obama will laud his chief Democratic rival, Sen. Hillary Clinton, downplaying divisions sparked within the party by the difficult campaign fight between the two and reaching out to voters who strongly supported the former first lady.

The country and the party "are better off because of her," he will say of Clinton, who he said is driven by "an unyielding desire to improve the lives of ordinary Americans, no matter how difficult the fight may be."

"And you can rest assured that when we finally win the battle for universal health care in this country, she will be central to that victory," he will say. "When we transform our energy policy and lift our children out of poverty, it will be because she worked to help make it happen."

Obama will note millions of new voters who came to the polls in record numbers understanding "that this election isn't just about the party in charge of Washington, it's about the need to change Washington."

Obama will reserve the bulk of his speech, however, for the presumptive GOP nominee, John McCain.

"I respect his many accomplishments, even if he chooses to deny mine," Obama will say of the Arizona senator. "My differences with him are not personal. They are with the policies he has proposed in this campaign. Because while John McCain can legitimately tout moments of independence from his party
in the past, such independence has not been the hallmark of his presidential campaign."

Saying that McCain "decided to stand with George Bush 95 percent of the time" as a senator last year, Obama will say "it is not change" for McCain to back Bush's current economic policies and Iraq strategy.

"So I'll say this," Obama will say. "There are many words to describe John McCain's attempt to pass off his embrace of George Bush's policies as bipartisan and new. But change is not one of them."

Obama will call for a foreign policy that "requires not just our firepower, but the power of our diplomacy" and "an economy that rewards not just wealth, but the work and workers who created it." He will chastise McCain for contrasting his own many trips to Iraq with Obama's single visit during his 3 1/2 years as a senator.

"Maybe if he spent some time taking trips to the cities and towns that have been hardest hit by this economy - cities in Michigan, and Ohio, and right here in Minnesota - he'd understand the kind of change that people are looking for," Obama will say.

Obama also will pledge that his campaign would not be "governed by fear, and innuendo, and division."

"What you won't hear from this campaign or this party is the kind of politics that uses religion as a wedge, and patriotism as a bludgeon - that sees our opponents not as competitors to challenge, but enemies to demonize," he will say. "Because we may call ourselves Democrats and Republicans, but we
are Americans first. We are always Americans first."

soundoff (99 Responses)
  1. JJ-Orlando

    I am an X democrat and will do everything I can to keep people from uniting the party.

    June 3, 2008 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  2. Daniel, NY, NY

    We are doomed!

    June 3, 2008 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  3. New Day

    JJ – how nice...

    CNN – cant we add a ditto-head filter?

    June 3, 2008 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  4. Okela King


    The moment that Black people have been waiting for, dreaming of and dying for has arrived. The never before seen but always dreamt of story is about to become reality. There is just one thing I regret about this moment and that is the ancestors are not here to experience the joy and pride we feel as a race and as a Nation but I know that they are here in spirit. The old girl Harriet Tubman, Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, James Baldwin, Langston Hughes, Claude Mc. Kay, Marcus Garvey, W.E.B Dubois, and so many others have shed their blood and made so many sacrifices for this moment. Cheers to Obama, and much respect to his wife for having the strength to be his rock. Walk this mile Obama because it is your destiny.

    May the Ancestors continue to watch over us. Ase

    June 3, 2008 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  5. Alex B.

    Keep looking for it.

    June 3, 2008 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  6. tblno

    Anyone voting for McCain rememebr these numbers 18-25. Why those numbers..........with our thin military . That is the first age bracket they always use in the draft.

    June 3, 2008 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  7. Republican posing as Democrat

    I am an REPUBLICAN posing as democrat and will do everything I can to keep people from uniting the party.

    June 3, 2008 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  8. SoCal

    How tacky to proffer the text of a speech-to-be! Is that a CNN or an Obama? I think it's a CNN and the next obvious question is how exactly was this information obtained?

    Hel-looooo! What if the man detours from the planned speech? I mean, this just gives me the creeps.

    June 3, 2008 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  9. Frank

    This is totally unbelievable! The media gave the nomiation basically in a silver platter to a guy that is clearly not ready for the job and has a ton of baggage with him! I am a Democrat but I am ashamed of what my Party has done in this election and will fully support McCain since I am not willing, as many other people, to leave our great country in the hands of this racist inexperienced candidate. And it doesn't matter if Clinton is or is not the VP; we cann't afford another disaster for a President after Bush! Good luck to all you Democrats who think you have done so well by errecting this guy to be your nominee! I will do what ever it takes to make sure that people I know don't vote for him.

    June 3, 2008 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  10. rachel

    I am one depressed clinton supporters. None of his backers ever acknowledge the way Obama and michelle treated Hillary.. the ever so cleaver scratching chin with the middle finger the childish brushing off of the shoulders the take care of her own house. Only when Obama admits that he is the typical politican will he get my vote with some honesty. POST

    June 3, 2008 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  11. Jay


    June 3, 2008 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  12. vic nashville,Tn

    Hillary supporter for Mc Cain

    June 3, 2008 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |


    June 3, 2008 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  14. Will Never Happen!

    REAL Democrats are outta here!

    June 3, 2008 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  15. JC

    Obama/Clinton = THE Nightmare TIcket.

    Obama/Hillary = the Nightmare Ticket.

    June 3, 2008 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  16. Tim from Ohio

    Lord Help Us!!! I will do everything in my power to make sure Hillary supporters vote for McCain.

    June 3, 2008 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  17. Patrick

    If Clitnon isnt on the ticket McCain 08!!!!!!

    June 3, 2008 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  18. Jay

    Why did he loose North Dakota!

    June 3, 2008 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  19. dennis

    To SoCal, it's custom and expected to give texts of your speeches to the media. Even before you make them. The President does this all the time. I'm hopeful that Obama will never get to do so as the President however. Be afraid of that!

    June 3, 2008 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  20. E.L.S.- NY

    Its about Time For A Change! Go Obama!

    June 3, 2008 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  21. Marie in California

    What unity? It ain't gonna happen! Not even if Hillary becomes VP.

    Formerly.....Hillary – 2008

    Now......McCain – 2008

    June 3, 2008 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  22. Jay

    Good luck Tim..Never gonna happen

    June 3, 2008 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  23. Brad

    Headline should be "Obama looks for unity with CNN against McCain"

    You cut away from McCain's speech to let your talking heads worship Obama even though it's been known for weeks that he would be the nominee?!?!

    June 3, 2008 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  24. Jan

    Any hope of uniting the Democratic party will have to come from Hillary. Senator Clinton knows the intensity of her supporters and she's going to have to convince us to turn away from her. I don't listen to a word Obama says as I feel he's silver-tongued, insincere, a flip-flopper, and I don't trust him in the least. I will never vote for him.

    June 3, 2008 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  25. Tracy

    I guess it's Hello, McCain.

    June 3, 2008 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
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