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. Jack

    Another Slick Willy "FLIP FLOP".

    Man, can politicians ever stick by their opinions or values.

    Then again, we are talking about Slick Willy.

    I'm also not so sure Obama wants any endorsement from Slick Willy.

    Bill, just go back to romancing the ladies.

    June 24, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  2. AJ

    It's so amusing to read the comments from all of the Clinton haters. In the past 40 years the nation has not been better off than it was when President Clinton was in the White House. It disgusts me that he has lowered himself to endorse Obama, but thats the way politics works.

    June 24, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  3. Susan, PA

    How much does Bill charge to speak for Obama?
    $200,000 a pop?!

    I bet he has to do a lot of talking to pay Hillary's debt now. But who will listen him now?

    June 24, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  4. franco

    yea right, Clinton spent most of his time critical of Obama, now he praises him! Slick Willie has no character!

    June 24, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  5. Robert

    Bill Clinton needs to formally endorse Obama or no-one will believe he is truly supporting him. What's taking so long?

    June 24, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  6. Johnny C.

    All aboard the Slippery Flip-Flop Express!!

    Kool-Aid all around!!

    June 24, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  7. Concerned Citizen of America 08

    I think the Clinton's are working out responses that will surely come from questions on comments they made during the primary season about Obama's readiness to lead from day one. It's going to be tough for them to answer Hillary's comment " Sen McCain will be ready on day one, I'll be ready on day one, and Sen Obama has a speech he gave in 2002".

    June 24, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  8. Jan

    Watch out BO....remember...when you sleep with dogs, you wake up with fleas.

    June 24, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  9. Desiree

    I hope Bill Clinton never endorses or campaigns for Sen. Obama. After the way the Obama camp talked about Bill Clinton bad, accused him of being a racist, talking bad about his presidency and his wife, Bill Clinton should tell Sen. Obama to kiss where the sun don't shine before he supports him. Sen. Obama wishes he was a two term president like Bill Clinton, Bill Clinton owes him nothing.

    June 24, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  10. Messiah complex

    Obama is not what he portrays himself to be.

    He is a slick, evil, dirty politician.

    He panders and uses the race card to advance himself.

    He trashed you and he trashed Bill's presidency.

    I do not understand how you can now support this lying, cheating, hypocrit who is so full of himself that he thinks he is a gift to the world.

    June 24, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  11. Steve

    Please, Bill, stay home. Barack's doing fine by himself. How long would it be before you said something inflammatory to give life to the Republicans?

    It astounds me that after several weeks of peace and quiet and Obama against McCain, now "the Clintons" get back in the news and we have comments like Lisa's above that once again stir the pot.

    As we see today, she is now gone from pandering to panhandling in an effort to get back the vast amount of money spent in the win-at-all-costs primary. And still she has die-hard supporters who would let someone who cannot manage a campaign budget due to being blinded by the light run our country.

    June 24, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  12. suzy

    Some of these comments are what is making it so difficult for Hillary supporters to "get in line" with supporting Obama.
    If it continues this way, then I say – "Obama, you're on your own"

    June 24, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  13. Obama is not for me

    I love you Hillary.

    Bill, you were a great president.

    Obama told me otherwise...

    So I can not vote for Obama.

    He is a filthy, dirty politician who will do anything to eliminate his competition.

    June 24, 2008 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  14. mcCain 08

    We will win this election without the help of the Clintons. Hillary go home and bake more cookies, I'm hungry.

    McCain 08

    June 24, 2008 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  15. sarah

    bill clinton is probably the most politically savvy pol in this country, so he probably knows better than to endorse obama. i mean, obama is not going to win despite what his zealots believe and bill clinton is smart enough to stay away from that political train wreck.

    June 24, 2008 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  16. David

    i like barack obama

    but i dont think americas ready for a president with a brain

    (pun intended)

    June 24, 2008 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  17. who is lying?

    The Obama campaign said that you and Hill are liars.

    So I can not believe that you actually support Obama.

    I will take this as necessary politics for party unity.

    I will never vote for Obama.

    June 24, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  18. Dexter, Houston TX

    HUMMM, Bill has been really off his game lately. Many of comments during the primaries will be used by Republicans during the election.

    The jury is still out on an endoresment from Wild Bill

    Houston TX

    June 24, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  19. Beverly

    Obama ask for the Clinton's help. Please keep up with the news before making comments.

    June 24, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  20. Down with Obama

    Clinton has to support the idiot Obama....millions of Clinton supporters don't have to support Obama and will NOT!!!!!!!!!!!

    Puma PAC Democrat

    June 24, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  21. he cheats on his own just fine

    Obama can steal the election on his own.

    Obviously he does not need ANYone's help to get ahead.

    He just lies and cheats and steals.

    Oh... and uses race as a shield against criticism and as a sword against those who disagree with him.

    June 24, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  22. Ed

    Bill, please don't sell your integrity! Don't endorse this dangerous, lying, race baiting empty suit!

    June 24, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  23. Steve

    And – I really hope the "unity" campaigning does NOT include appearances by the former first daughter and former pres "on behalf of Obama."

    We don't need a Hillary farewell tour to distract us now.

    June 24, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  24. MonaP

    Obama doesn't deserve the endorsement of the two term Democratic President who balanced the budget and left the country in great economic shape – something Obama refused to acknowledge during the primary.

    Obama IS NOT a good Democrat – he's thrown it's leaders and the party under the bus for his own selfish gains. He is a politician of the worst kind.

    Obama is not getting this life-long Democrats vote – my country before my party.

    Mona P PUMA

    June 24, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  25. Molly

    Obama is an ARROGANT FRAUD and is NOT qualified to lead our country. Hillary Clinton is the BEST candidate to win back the white house. Bill Clinton does NOT have to endorse, support or even VOTE for Obama. Hillary will do whatever the party leaders say for the good of the party – then go back to the Senate – until the Convention.
    OBama will never be elected – he is far too Radical and has zero experience!

    June 24, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
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