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. Yawdie

    Art – Obama does not need his help.
    Lisa – Sorry. No show down in Denver. Are you living in the real world?
    All other faithful HRC supporters – Help her out of debt... I am just saying.

    June 24, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |


    June 24, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  3. Paquito el Mexicano

    Hey Farrell of Houston,

    Not so fast! Of course Obama needs THE CLINTONS, but McCain will be OUR NEXT PRESIDENT.

    So you and "LET IT GO" shouldn't LOL just yet, McCain will have the last laugh in November.

    Trust vs. Questionable...

    June 24, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  4. Jack

    Maggie Muggins from Selwyn how dare you? So anyone who doesn't support Obama has the IQ of pig iron? Talk about arrogant and elitist. The more I hear from Obama supporters, the harder it is to join them.

    June 24, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  5. Lois Kidd

    Maaggie, you are a great example of a dem idiot.

    June 24, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  6. Karen

    Together we can!

    June 24, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  7. don't do it Bill

    To those who are still confused:

    The HRC supporters who will not back Obama are not racist, stupid, vindictive nor spiteful.

    We are protesting an injustice with our vote.

    Perhaps you don't agree with us. Perhaps you failed to perceive the injustice.

    But we did and we will no longer support the democratic party or the DNC or the democratic candidates until the democratic party returns to its own ideals of fair campaigns and justice and equality.

    The fact the Obama is not worth voting for to begin with… makes our decision all that much easier.

    June 24, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  8. JIM

    Thank goodness Bill is going to help Obama,now he will lose for sure!!!!!! McCAIN 08!!!!!!

    June 24, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  9. McCain=the draft

    Why does he need a spokesperson to say this?

    June 24, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  10. rw in ct

    Bill, stay away, Obama is political poison.
    Clinton's political stature is lightyears above Obama. PUMA.

    June 24, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  11. laura, CA

    Curious indeed, Bill Clinton is a clever politican, with his flaws of course, but the Clintons didn't save the Democratic party by being idiots.
    So, yes, what's Bill up to??

    June 24, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  12. Brian from Texas

    Of course slick Willie is going to support Obama. Doing so is how Hill is going to get out of debt. It is too bad that the Clintons feel the need to prostitute themselves in this shameful way.

    June 24, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  13. California Voter

    The Clintons are loyal democrats and support Obama. But that doesn't mean others who supported Clinton will follow. Obama may have the speeches and charisma, but it takes more than that to be president . . experience for one.

    June 24, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  14. Obamarama

    After the "amazing" job he did campaigning for his own wife im scared of what he might do for Obama. Maybe you should just sit this one out Billy.

    June 24, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  15. Stan

    Bill Clinton is a liability on the campaign trail, who said Sen. Obama wants him "committed" to the campaign? Hey Bill, please don't do us any favors.

    Dumfries, VA

    June 24, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  16. Evelyn

    This is just what the GOP wants, a divided DNC. Let's pull it together for 4 months and try to win this thing. Yes we have differences, but a US lead by John McCain would not be pleasant, especially with his temperament.

    I was for Hillary, but now I'm onboard with Barack. The GOP is great at getting their act together for the big prize (the presidency) and we haven't been able to do the same. Stop fighting the primaries are over.

    Was For Clinton, Now Obama 08= A Better America

    June 24, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  17. tiger2471

    Bill Clinton, deep down inside, really doesn't like Obama and it's pretty obvious to the naked eye. He resents Obama for the defection by some of his colleagues (Richardson, Reich) that worked within his administration, he resents the fact that Obama out campaigned he, his daughter and his wife, he resents the fact that a black man stole (not really) a significant voting block of his administration (the black vote), and he resents the media for crowning Obama a media darling and what he believes was an attack and unfair coverage of Hillary. God forbid he uses the word sexism, he surely is guilty of this himself. But for Clinton not to endorse the presumptive nominee is a slap in the face, PERIOD, and nothing Bill Clinton does will surprise me.

    June 24, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  18. Lois

    I'm a Democrat, which means I'll be voting for Barack to win this election. Bill is a Democrat, which means he'll be voting for Barack to win the election. Enough said.

    June 24, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  19. Sean

    It's good to see that the Clintons are willing to put the good of the country ahead of their personal frustrations over the nomination race. Hopefully this helps set another example for those out there who are selfishly willing to send our young soldiers to their deaths in Iraq, put people out of their homes by continuing Bush's economic policies, and allow the Supreme Court to be dominated by conservative judges...all for no better reason than to satisfy their own personal frustration.

    June 24, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  20. Democrats Unite!!!

    No worries about Bill... He'll come around, even if he doesn't really want to. Who knows how to put on a good "show" better than bubba?

    June 24, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  21. Independent

    Bill Clinton's endorsement will mean a LOT for Obama's campaign – watch and see! He has spent the past year endorsing his wife – of course!!! – and there HAD to be a "grieving process" following her loss.

    However, "the show must go on"~~~~ and being a loyal Democrat, it naturally follows that he'd be adamant about wanting the Democrats to win, and would throw his support to Obama.

    June 24, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  22. Jennifer


    Have helped her, am helping her, will continue to help her.

    June 24, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  23. Harvey in Va

    The president is doing this in support of Hillary (not to let her down) We all know after the way that Obama campaign and his supporters treated him, how could in his heart feel to support him..

    If Not Hillary then McCain PERIOD

    June 24, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  24. bsr-houston

    Lesson to the Clintons-Don't count your chickens before they hatch.

    Be good sports!

    June 24, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  25. Adeleine

    Bill fought a bruising battle for his wife and lost. Give the man some credit, he needs a little more time.

    June 24, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
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