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. Cecilia

    Sorry - just because Bill Clinton 'is committed' to Obama - that doesn't necessarily mean he endorses Obama. Guess he's doing what 'he thinks is politically correct' for the party.
    Personally, I can't wait until 2012! Go Hillary!

    June 24, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  2. the truth

    To those who are still confused by the lack of support for Obama from many HRC supporters:

    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 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  3. tj

    Bill, please don't do this – don't endorse and support him.
    You perfectly knows that he absolutely does not fit this position and we former Clintorn supporters will not vote him anyway.
    Remember you owe this party nothing.
    They betrayed you and Hillary and we are dropping it switching to independents.
    We hoped you and Hillary will do the same thing.
    Remeber you were the best president in modern history.

    June 24, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  4. proud army and navy mom

    The way Bill sabotaged and disrespected his own wife suggests that maybe he needs to stay away from the election, or we will be having to start making excuses for him again.

    We need to stay focused on defeating the warmonger, Mccain and not babysitting Bill.

    June 24, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  5. Raymond Duke

    I hope this is just a line of B.S. I would lose all respect for Bill Clinton if he helped Obama in any way. Obama is a socialist sleaze ball and anti- american. Bill needs to back up and re-think that is the plan. Obama is going to lose the general and the clintons will still be blamed by the democrat leadership even though they are at fault for running a man and his wife who have made anti- american statements., friends that are terriost and reverends and church memebers who hate america. He is just losing face. He should not allow the Obama campagin to call him and label him a racist. He needs to encourage Hillary to run as an indepedent. She would win. As far as Obama, I am a yellow dog democrat but I will hold my nose and vote for John McCain no matter who backs Obama including Bill and Hillary.

    June 24, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  6. Phil, FL

    You are lowly scum Karl Marx. Keep your filthy mind and mouth shut !!!!

    June 24, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  7. Gareth CA

    Best president EVER , THE Obama-Nation needs Bill and Hill its just a fact!

    June 24, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  8. hemnebob


    "Go Hillary?"

    have you been living under a rock or maybe just a bit in denial?

    June 24, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  9. sandy cole

    well, bill and hillary i never thought you would stoop this low as to support obama. i'm voting for john mccain. the whole world has gone crazy.

    June 24, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  10. Michele

    The only people who play the race card are Obama and his supporters. I hope if Bill does stump for Obama he does a terrible job. McCain 08/ Hillary 12

    McCain nominated by the Republican Voters.

    Obama selected by the Democratic Leaders.

    November 4, 2008:

    McCain elected President by American Voters.

    June 24, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  11. Phil, FL

    CNN – why do you allow remarks like the one from Karl Marx?

    Want to stir the pot? Get your ratings?

    Gossip – filthy gossip.

    June 24, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  12. Eric

    Support Obama or watch your party go down in flames for the next 12 -20 years. If Obama loses this election because you refuse to vote for him, we will hold the whole democratic party as example. You think that you hate Republicans now. They will be owning you all for the next twenty years. African-Americans have been voting for white candidates for the longest even if we do not agree with their policies or qualifications. You need to suck it in and take like man or woman!

    June 24, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  13. Pat

    "Now that's whats up!"

    June 24, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  14. Lisa

    Come on Dems and Miss Lisa there is not going to be a showdown in Denver. I don't think Obama or any true Dem will not accept Bill or Hillary and doesn't think they won't work hard for him. I would really like to see a post where there is unity. I know that willnever be because of all the fanatic Hillary & Pro- John McCain crap floating around. We will kick butt in November.

    June 24, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  15. Nia - AZ

    I'm not going to belive it until the Hill – Billy's get both there egotistical selfs out in the spot light and campaigning vigoraosly. Although I'm not so sure they should have Bill doing anything.

    June 24, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  16. Ken

    Clinton needs to hold fundraisers and write a couple of books to pay off his wifes debt. We do not need his support and we certainly do not need his money!!!!!

    June 24, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  17. georgia

    With "friends" like the Clintons,who needs enemies.
    Things are going just fine without the bitter,sore loser(s) !!
    Art, you're right ! Obama deserves & gets much better & more sincere support. The Clintons should just focus on some value & soul searching as well as paying off her debt resulting from vote buying !!!

    June 24, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  18. Enlightened Voter

    Stop people! Wake up and face reality! She ran a lousy campaign (later admitted by her own staffers), ran up a HUGE debt (can't blame that on Obama as much as you'd like to) and although she has some fanatics out there, more people voted for Barack. Oh and le'ts not forget about her lies and her wanting to break the agreement she signed about MI & FL and then conned you all into believing she was being shafted. She lost because of her undoing, not the DNC or Obama, it was her fault.

    June 24, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  19. CW4Barak

    Welcome aboard the winning team Bill! BTW Lisa, the Clintons have moved on and so should you and all the other racist Hillary supporters, because we all know that the only reason you all don't want to support Obama is because he is black.....you would all rather vote for McSame, whose views are completely opposite and contrary to what Sen. Clinton stand for....her voting record and her policies are about 98% similar to Obama's....but even with that, and with him winning the nomination and with you all saying you are Democrats, you still refuse to support the candidate of your party....just goes to show, you are all racist rats!

    June 24, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  20. Lisa

    Like I said before Obama is the presumptive nominee!!!

    June 24, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  21. Carol

    Now what do you think a representative is going to say? Bill Clinton hasn’t said anything yet. Someone saying it FOR him means bupkis in my book.

    June 24, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  22. Denny Sangiovanni

    Why don't you leave the Clintons alone?.. Why always the Clintons, Clintons. Leave these people alone..

    June 24, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  23. Phil, FL

    Bet Tim Russert and Tom Brokaw wouldn't allow Karl Marx in the same city. Not news – gossip – filthy gossip.

    June 24, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  24. LET IT GO


    June 24, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  25. Let's Unite

    Thank you Clintons!

    Democrats '08!

    June 24, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
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