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. Belle1

    Unfortunately, after reading the Vicious remarks about Senator Clinton NOT paying her debt...I am NOT voting for Obama.

    Why? It is NOT unusual to help a losing Democrat pay off the campaign debt. Clinton helped raise the money to pay off the debt of her competition in the NY Senate Race.

    Had ANY of you went to Clinton's website, she is NOT asking for help in repaying HER personal loans to the campaign...she is asking for help in paying off the vendors of her campaign.

    As long as you continue your hatred to Clinton, I no longer consider myself a Democrat. I have given the max I am allowed, and certainly will NOT donate to Obama's campaign. After all, he does not need my money. Especially according to the remarks by ardent Obama supporters... neither does the DNC since it is also under Obama's control at this point.

    June 24, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  2. mayahh

    President Clinton, knows the importance of DEMOCRACY In the WHITE HOUSE we can remember the REAGAN administrations and all the I DON"T RECALLS , IN ALL OF THE norths, mr. mc shame is definately in the early stage of forgetfullness, his term in office is useless, time for RECOVERY, PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON DID A FINE JOB AS PRESIDENT , he has earned my respect,, thanks sir.

    June 24, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  3. joe from NY

    It's better to have Bill with you, rather than against you. But honestly, after the debacles he caused for his wife's campaign, he should sit on the bench in this final quarter in the race for president. His political capital is diminishing, and the wounds between him and Obama may be even deeper than the wounds between HRC and Obama. Any support would be seen as coming through clenched teeth. Thanks but no thanks.

    Obama '08

    June 24, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  4. Seeking Asylum

    Yes, one would have to be committed.

    June 24, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  5. Voter from Minnesota

    I just made a modest contribution to help payoff your debt. I am sending this comment, so that the Clinton campaign and the DNC understand that under no circumstances will I be voting for Barak Obama unless you are his running mate. I will say this one more time, I am thoroughly disappointed and disgusted with the way the DNC and their committee conducted themselves during your run. All the gushing and accolades with respect to Ms. Clinton from Obama and his surrogates, at this point, only sound patronizing. His arrogance and lecturing style I do not find acceptable (almost the extreme opposite of Bush); my husband views him the same way. My hope is that Obama will lose and you will run again in 2012; there is no other woman at this time or in the near future that can compare to your expertise, commitment and capabilities; and this goes for VP as well.

    In addition, Obama and his surrogates’ inability to acknowledge what Bill Clinton did, i.e., the legacy he left, is very disappointing. I find John McCain more credible and believable. All the arguments put forth by the DNC, i.e., Roe V Wade, healthcare and etc. are not going to sway me to vote for him. Yes, I feel that strongly about the conduct of all the aforementioned.

    My best to Ms. Clinton, her husband and their daughter.

    June 24, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  6. mt, ct

    Please, do not. Can you develop other party, decent, honorable, Dems disappointed me this year a lot. I am still for Hillary, but I cannot go for Obama. His latest thing with logo did it.

    As much as I admire Mr. president Clinton, I cannot maybe even vote this year. I am really sad of the choices people have to vote for. Maybe Nader than, if not Hillary.

    June 24, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  7. Concerned Citizen

    ...How does Sen. Barack Obama not deserve Clinton's support?

    Clinton lied under oath to the people, his credibility...null, void. In an attempt to rebuild his reputation he should be fully embracing the movement that will better the lives of Americans...the Obama movement.

    ...if anything Clinton should be admitting that he secretly admires Obama as a worthy presidential candidate who represents everything this country needs right now, change. It is apparent that what we have going on currently isn't working. And McLame is definitely not the answer.

    June 24, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  8. PWilliams

    Bill Clinton's support is a good thing for any campaign. He is one of the best campaigners of our time and he too is from humble beginnings.

    June 24, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  9. Spike

    Bill –

    Your legacy will be determined by how well you "unring" the bell you rang while campaigning in rural & Appalachian areas.

    If you go to bat in West VA, Western VA, Georgia, southern Ohio, western PA and southern Indiana, history will forgive your campaign snafus.

    Be a big man and always Do The Right Thing.

    June 24, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  10. Proud American

    Lets Go Dems!!!!!

    June 24, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  11. Danny in Chicago

    The nail already IS in McCain's coffin!!! Just LOOK AT HIM! HOW many ailments does he have again? I've lost count.

    Sure, it's nice to have the Clinton support, but at this point we all already know deep in our hearts who our next president is. It's just a matter of HOW we are dealing with it.

    Whatever stage you are in – it's okay.

    I had a lot of problems dealing with Bush being president, I know how it is, but acceptance is the only direction to go, so let the process begin.

    President Obama!!!

    June 24, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  12. Carl PA

    Sure he will. When McCain elected in 08 vows to serve only one term the doors swing open for Hillary in 2012.

    June 24, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  13. Terry in New York

    Yea right, just like I want the plague. He's just manuvering to get some of his 20m back!

    June 24, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  14. Chut Pata

    Come on Obama supporters, get over the primary mindset. He is an ally now. Tomorrow when Obama becomes prez, McCain will cease to be an opponent and will become an ally. Get over it, forget what happened during the primaries becuase after November you need to forget what happened during the GE.

    It is natural that the country's "First Black President" support the country's "First Half Black President" (pun intended).

    June 24, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  15. Go Hillary

    If Obama wants to win he NEEDS HILLARY !!

    June 24, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  16. Greg

    Further proof that Bill Clinton should be committed (to a sanitarium).

    June 24, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  17. Loretta from California


    We Dems Unite out of Necessity and our commonality.


    June 24, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  18. The wrong nominee

    HILLARY!!!!!!! You are the best.

    Obama is nothing but a racebaiting imposter who stole the nomination from you

    June 24, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  19. Denise P Quinton

    I commend you Bill, after being raked over the coals by the DNC, the Obama team, and the news media in general, I am impressed you would consider supporting him. I personally would love to see a McCain/Hillary team, as a lifelond Democrat I will never cast a vote for OBAMA, NO OBAMA for my wonderful country!

    June 24, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  20. Tom, Flagstaff AZ

    Bill Clinton, whom I once admired, has fallen too far. I will never trust him again. He is way too wrapped up in himself. Obama could win without Bill Clinton. President Obama–I love it!

    June 24, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  21. Sharon Minnesota

    Sorry, but I just have to get my two cents worth in here on the Obama/Clinton reunion. Bill, Hillary stop this madness before you totally ruin your credibility among people who have loved the Clinton's. I'm afraid it will be impossible for me to watch this train wreck happen all over again. Hopefully, it won't go viral on utube!

    From an ex-democrat who is now firing up for John McCain!

    June 24, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  22. puff


    June 24, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  23. Beverly, NYC

    I will believe it when Bill says it not a "spokesman."

    June 24, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  24. for fair play

    And I am committed to fair campaigns and justice and equality.

    The democratic primary betrayed all those principles and ideals when they trashed one of their own candidates just to advance and advantage the other, lesser candidate.

    I left the party and won't be back until they return to fair play and honest elections.

    June 24, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  25. Susie B.Smiley

    We have some of the stupidest people in American writing about hating Senator Obama and judging him. Stop being so ignorant. You need to grow up and be an example to the young people in this country. Hating someone without a cause is a sin. You people who are hatemongers will have to give an account of your ways. You are not God. You are no better than Senator Obama and some of you are worst than Senator Obama. God is no respecter of person. We were all created by God. Being so-called white is nothing spectacular. You are fooling yourselves. Senator Obama is being used by God to bring change to America. Get over it. No weapon formed against him shall prosper and God being for him is more than the whole world against him.

    June 24, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12