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. Charles

    Barack Obama doesn't deserve the Clinton's suypport in any way. He allowed his supporters to tar and feather Bill as a racist. THE OBAMA CAMP was the only ones to play the race card... and for that, I will NEVER support Barack Obama.

    June 24, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |

    Just as long as Barack pays off my wife's debt.

    June 24, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  3. Linda of Atlanta

    Bill Clinton can keep his support for himself. He is the one who needs to repair the presidential legacy he so recklessly ruined by being hateful. Most Americans thought he, above all others, was beyond race baiting. He showed us that he wasn't and he blamed Obama "for playing the race card on me"! Nobody gives a hoot if he stays behind his desk and keeps his mouth closed. In fact, that is my preference.
    His support is disingenuous anyway. If he is sincere, why didn’t he issue his own statement? He has never resisted opening his own mouth before. I am over him!

    June 24, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  4. Phantom of the Oprah

    You are a far better woman than I am.

    Obama gutted and eviscerated you with his lies and his race baiting.

    The DNC swiftboated you.

    The nastiness, meanness, bias and filthy vulagr attacks were painful for this life long democrat to watch.

    So I left the party after 35 years.

    I will vote against the Media MYTH of Obama.

    June 24, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  5. Democrat

    Why does everyone act like Obama is a God? He hasn't done anything that spectacular in his life. In fact if he does not pick Hillary Clinton as his VP I may well be voting for McCain in the fall. I am sick and tired of all the nastiness from the Obama supporters for anyone that does not think he walks on water. If they were smart they would be looking for allies and not allienating people.

    June 24, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  6. JB from NH

    He should be committed!

    June 24, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  7. Tony, Powell, OH


    Actually, I'm not a religious nut, nor am I corporate elitist, and my IQ is actually significantly higher than pig iron. I think your naive, pathetically arrogant comment speaks for what people detest about Obama supporters...misplaced arrogance and...well...just not being that smart.

    By the way, you forgot to also include racist in your ridiculous little rant. Don't forget that for next time, Maggie!

    June 24, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  8. Swiss in Canada

    Lisa??? Wow, what a good, well informed and loyal Democrat you are...Just what America needs....

    June 24, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  9. George

    anyway these are all democrats. they will not support Mccain. so we poor republicans have to stop singing Clinton songs.

    June 24, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  10. 2Nurselady

    I have so much respect for the Clintons. They have always done right by this country.

    As for the election, the actual nominee will not be decided fully until the Convention in Denver. I hope the pledged delegates who have become disillusioned with Barack Obama and his demonstration of arrogance and self-agrandizement, his already beginning to break promises to the American people, and his failure to come up with any real solutions to the problems of this country outside of those he's "adopted" from Hillary Clinton, will change their votes to Hillary Clinton on the Convention floor which is their right to do.

    June 24, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  11. Kenneth M


    June 24, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  12. hypocrit

    I have Obama fatigue.

    He is a myth created by the media and a cult following.

    I will not vote for this typical, lying, hypocritical politician who uses race as both a shield and a weapon.

    All the while pretending he represents hope and change and unity.

    June 24, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  13. Andrew

    The question is how effective is Bill ? He was not that effective in his wife"s campaign otherwise she would have won. Barack was fighting both Bill and Hillary at the same time and towards the end Mccain too. All by himself and won. He has the support which he needs from Hillary for party unity. Bill is overrated and is only effecive in the Latin vote. One Clinton is enough. I do think that maybe Barack should let her be VP because of the strong fight which she put up and forgive her for trying to strong arm him.However, right now he is doing quite well with the women voters on his own with alittle help from his wife. she could be an effective factor later.

    June 24, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  14. Matt, Canoga Park

    Talk about an endorsement you don't want. All the negative things he said, how he helped bring down Hillary's campaign. And now his stink and corruption will be on Obama. You are better off without them near you Barak.

    No Bill go tell that scheming deadbeat wife of your to PAY HER OWN DEBTS BY HERSELF. We all saw your tax returns so you have the money yourself. Stop exploiting the naive fools that followed you and pay your bills.

    June 24, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  15. hillarysupporter

    welcome back Pres. Clinton, but the debt is yours alone with Hillary. You misled us all through by not facing the fact that you had lost the race. It could have been better if you had quit after NC and IN primary!

    June 24, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  16. The Lady

    Glad to have you aboard.

    June 24, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  17. Dems are stuck in the fix they rigged

    If only Obama was what and who he pretends to be.

    Unfortunately the dirty campaign of racial division and hatred that he waged against Hillary Clinton, proved otherwise.

    Obama smiles as he spins lies about his opponent and boasts of his own perfection.


    June 24, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  18. Earl

    On my God.....he sank Billary's campaign and now he's loading up the torpedoes for Barak.....Bill Bill Bill......please go away and do your speeches in foreign countries where they don't understand english..

    Keep as far away from Obama and you can.....and by the way....take that one you call your wife with you.....Ooops...on second thought...

    That will interfere with you having a good time with those swinging girls you enjoy when you're out of the country without her around .

    Plan B ...keep her in the kitchen baking cookies, that should keep her occupied and away from Obama's campaign.

    June 24, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  19. 1 of the 18 million who voted for Obama

    Don't trust the Clintons. Keep your friends near and your enemies nearer.

    June 24, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  20. Joyce in Florida

    I am still a Hillary Clinton supporter and will wait until the convention. Barack is the presumptive nominee; he hasn't won yet. STILL HOPING THAT HILLARY CLINTON WILL BE OUR NEXT PRESIDENT!!!!!

    June 24, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  21. Toni

    The first time he says the wrong thing about Obama I want the O Team to yank him off the stage.

    And no, Hill still does not get my money. When she pays her own debt, I will support Barack with more money.

    June 24, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  22. Mcshame

    go Bill we need your help. Bill was the best president we had of our time and i love this guy. I see a lot of similar things between Bill and Obama. Bills influence will make Obama a great president. Obama 08!!!!!!!!!!!! Mccians camp made a remarks to creat another terror attack to benefit their camp lol thats what i call McSHAME/McBush. Obama 08/12!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1 go democrats

    June 24, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  23. Michelle

    IMO Bill and Hillary are just saying what they have to say to stay
    in the good graces of the party.

    Individual voters will make up their own minds. Many Democrats will still vote for McCain.

    Maggie, that is a really ignorant comment. and reflects upon your own IQ.

    June 24, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  24. Bridgette-PA

    I couldn't have said it better James! and for "Lisa", it is official. Stop hatin' and with your "Go Hillary" mentality, do you plan on sending her $18 mill? Yeah, I think NOT.


    June 24, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  25. Claire

    Bill has a large ego and is envious and resentful of Obama's success. This campaign was all about the Clintons winning.

    It will take some time for Bill to deflate, and to humble himself to a point where he can genuinely accept Obama's nomination. In the meantime, it will be endorsements through intermediaries or his own superficial statements without his heart in it.

    June 24, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
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