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. The Prophet

    First of all, to Lisa–Hillary pulled herself out. It's over.

    Second of all, Bill Clinton will very soon join the campaign trail, and this statement–though not from his own mouth–still signifies the strength of Obama's campaign, and the fact that Hillary is officially out...sorry Lisa.

    If Obama does pick Hillary for vice, it would be an extremely poor political decision. Not only would it be a disservice to the thousands who chose Obama instead of Hillary, but it would also be a disgrace to Hillary's supporters, who would then feel that the appointment would be out of sympathy...sorry Lisa.

    It should be noted that the presumptive winners of the primaries/caucuses that CNN had chose are always the winners. I'll trust CNN's judgement here, Obama is more then just a presumptive nominee, he is the Democratic Presidential Nominee...sorry Lisa.

    Either Hillary supporters embrace this new leader, or not vote at all. Their childish threat to vote for the GOP come November will only backfire on them, will only cost more of their dollars at the gas pump, more of their sons and daughters in the worst foreign policy blunder in our lifetime...think about it Lisa.

    Just think about it.

    June 24, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  2. Democrate is the only way

    Well McCain does not stand a chance anyways. I'm not worried a bit.

    June 24, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  3. Brian W.

    What happen to the endorsement after the ending of the race?
    Now bill wants to support obama? Give me a break? Bill wants and still wants a piece of the white house? A JOB?


    June 24, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  4. DON'T MESS with BILL!

    Art ............ DONT DO IT BILL. Obama dosent deserve your help.........
    WE DONIT need your help ........you are an BIG TIME IDIOT!!!!!


    June 24, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  5. Fairy tales can come true!!

    Bill and Hillary have done nothing but insult Obama and his supporters and treating all of us as a joke.

    They never took the time to understand why SO MANY PEOPLE SUPPORT OBAMA!!!

    Many of us don't trust that man, if we did, she would be the nominee.

    But, I do plan to give Hillary some money. I am a Democrat, I AM PROUD TO GIVE!!

    June 24, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  6. Bobby, Triangle, VA

    Bill Clinton is a good guy and he'll do the right thing in due time to support Obama. He will endorse him officially in due time also.

    June 24, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  7. Barbara-California

    Bill and Hillary Clinton both will say and do anything to stay at the "fore front of the feeding trough" all of these Washington Politicans feed from; they don't want to let go of what they thought as their next chance for feeding at the very front.

    I wish people could see them for what they are......just very good actor and actress....they have playing the game for so long......they are experts.....give them an oscar for "Let's Pretend!"

    June 24, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  8. I dont care

    it will not make a bit of differance to us, obama is anti-America,


    June 24, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  9. Phil-Little Rock

    Hillary is not going to get the VP slot. Remember this life lesson people: be careful how you treat people. The toes you step on today might be connected to the (behind) you have to kiss tomorrow!! Now that Patti Solis Doyle is on board with Obama's team, Hillary is all but done for that VP slot. Do you really think Doyle's forgotten how Hillary and Mark Penn and all the Clintonistas threw her under the bus after she stepped down earlier in the primary? I guarantee she hasn't.

    If Bill says he's gonna help, mark my words, it'll be 1) begrudgingly so, and 2) it's only so he can get something out of it (like a job to keep Hillary busy while he's off boinking Hollywood actresses and models).


    June 24, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  10. Jim in FL

    Lemmings ... LOL

    June 24, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  11. Asheville

    McCain is just another republican puppet and Obama is too much of an unknown and inexperienced....there is no good choice. I'd vote for Bill again or Lou Dobbs....how about it Lou?

    June 24, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  12. lorraine

    I am a big Bill Clinton supporter and wish that people would leave him alone, so what if he doesn't feel like kissing Obamas' feet – I feel the same way and I bet lots of other people do too, Obama is not my cup of tea and so lay off of Bill and as he has more brains than most politicians – he was a good President and deserves some credit.

    June 24, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  13. Martin Agnew

    Here we go again. The press desperately tries to force its view of what is appropriate onto others. Clinton is a private citizen and should do exactly what he chooses rather than what CNN thinks would be best.

    June 24, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  14. Jackson

    I think Hillary & Bill are doing what they are doing for the Party ..not Obama ... and I think most people will understand this.

    June 24, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  15. Roger

    Maggie from above has the best comment so far!

    June 24, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  16. Donna

    Bill has SEVERAL committments already in place..he can't drop what he is doing and show up at events with Barack...this event on Friday is for Hillary and Barack...not Hillary, Bill and Barack...

    I am sure he will come out and STOMP for him soon enough...I'm not sure what people expect Bill to say about his support of Barack..being bitter/ugly now will serve no purpose..and NO ONE should expect to see warm and fuzzy relations between ANY of them!!!!

    June 24, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  17. Rick FL

    Thank you Clintons. I will send what I can to help your financial situation.

    Obama '08
    Si se puede!

    June 24, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  18. Don"t Do It!

    After how the Democrats threw Hillary under the bus, Bill and Hillary owe this party nothing.

    Americans watched and saw how longtime friends and colleagues will turn on you.

    How soon some Americans forgot about all the Clintons did for Civil and Human Rights.

    June 24, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  19. dems be dopes

    The Clinton's endorse Obama.

    McCain will win

    Baggage, baggage, baggage......

    June 24, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  20. Trilateral Com. Mission

    Clinton only cares about $$$$$$ and Power for his two secret groups.

    June 24, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  21. Erik S.

    Please, former president Clinton cares about himself and the Clinton name, that is all. He doesn't care about democrqcy, he dosent care about his own party, he doesn't care about America, he cares about how much money he can get from getting his next speech. He's proven to be more of a minus then a plus. He's not going out and doing anything for Obama in the future, which will be good for Obama.
    The rue Clinton has been exposed, and it's not pretty.

    June 24, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  22. Ken

    Who wants or needs the support of that 2-bit, lying, scam artist.

    Put him and his power-crazy wife in jail where they belong.

    June 24, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  23. Carl B from Indialantic

    Hillary was the most qualified candidate in the race. No one has an obligation to support an unqualified candidate; we have that as president in the current administration.

    June 24, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  24. pam Eugene OR

    If you go directly to the Clinton web site you can donate money to her only. None of it will go to the DNC or Obama.
    I support Obama but in the interest of party unity I contribute to both of them .Let's not be mean and nasty. That only benefits McCain.
    Hillary supporters have all kinds of informed reasons for not helping her. Think people. YOU CAN DONATE DIRECTLY TO HRC so stop making stupid comments why you are not helping your candidate.
    Bill, go help your wife out with her debt.

    June 24, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  25. Anonymous

    Are you kinding with presumptive nominee crap.......Hillary is out. The problem with clintons and "lisa" is that you people are in denial.

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