June 24th, 2008
02:50 PM ET
15 years ago

Bill Clinton 'committed' to Obama, spokesman says

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/06/24/art.clintonsob.gi.jpg caption="Bill Clinton has not formally endorsed Obama yet."](CNN) - Former President Bill Clinton is committed to helping Sen. Barack Obama get elected to the Oval Office, a Clinton spokesman said Tuesday.

The comments are the first from Bill Clinton's office to offer support to the presumptive Democratic nominee since the party's prolonged primary race ended two weeks ago.

Watch: Where is Bill Clinton?

"President Clinton is obviously committed to doing whatever he can and is asked to do to ensure Senator Obama is the next president of the United States," Clinton spokesman Matt McKenna said.

The former president was sharply critical of Obama on the campaign trail earlier this year, and has yet to publicly endorse the Illinois senator, even though his wife officially pulled out of the race June 7.

The comments come three days before both Obama and Hillary Clinton are set to appear together in Unity, New Hampshire, to show their support of a unified Democratic Party. The former president is not slated to attend that event.

Watch: Should Bill stump for Obama?

UPDATE: Responding to the statement, the Republican National Committee notes the former president has been highly critical of Obama, specifically in an interview with PBS' Charlie Rose shortly before the Iowa caucuses when he suggested voting for Obama is a "roll of the dice."

"I mean when is the last time we elected a president based on one year of service in the Senate before he started running?" Clinton said then. "He would have been a senator longer by the time he’s inaugurated, but essentially once you start running for president full-time you don’t have time to do much else.”

soundoff (282 Responses)
  1. maryland

    I honestly believe that Bill Clinton will do whatever it takes to help obama. These people are politicans, and Obama is going to be the president.

    June 24, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  2. marion Colbert

    Yes. Take all the help[ available, especially from a former President. Must win. No options. Understandable that he was negative, his wife and he wanted to get back in that office. If you remember, he was extremely reluctant to leave Washingtion and took quite a while, more than is customarily required, to get out of town and television coverage could progress on the existing President until he left. He really didn't want to leave.

    June 24, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  3. Only Bill Clinton

    What a wind bag old Billy Boy has become and does anyone really care anymore? Didn't think so. He is so jealous of Obama's appeal he can't even be civil...what a sleeze.

    June 24, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  4. Clinton Supporter

    I admire Bill Clinton enormously. He is a loyal Democrat and will support the Party's choice. Nowhere is it required that former presidents personally endorse any political figure.

    Certainly contributors to this blog hate the Clintons more than the devil, so presumably Obama supporters would cringe at the very thought of any help from either Clinton. They forget that HRC won the popular vote, even though the DNC likes to pretend that only "DNC authorized" votes count. Fortunately, the DNC doesn't get to count the ballots in November.

    With any luck, Obama will roundly reject any help from Bill, who is loved around the world and here in America. Americans will note that in making their decision. But even Obama is not so stupid as to reject help from Hillary.

    Obama gets the Lightweight of the Year Award in 2008.

    A freeing experience for Bill if he is rejected by these clowns.

    June 24, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  5. Val, Atlanta, Ga

    President Clinton will endorse Sen Obama because he knows thats the right thing to do and he does not want his party turning there nose up at him, He knows that polictics is a game you win some and lose some. So good for you President Clinton this was a fair and hard fight, and you know Sen Obama will need your expertise while in the White House.

    June 24, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  6. Aga

    Obama is supposed to be the stronger candidate, and after 8 years of Bush policies, you'd think that Dems have an easy sweep to take over the mess we are in..... as it turns out Obama needs a lot of endorsement and support, to convince people to vote for him..... so where is his strength?
    good speeches along the way, but now he actually has to deliver the work.... and I have no faith he ever will, nor that he has a chance to win

    June 24, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
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