June 26th, 2008
10:30 PM ET
14 years ago

Clinton makes debut as Obama backer

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/06/26/art.clintonnal.ap.jpg caption="Clinton made her debut as an Obama backer Thursday."](CNN) - After 17 months of vigorously promoting her own candidacy, Hillary Clinton made her debut on Thursday as an official backer of Barack Obama.

Clinton appeared before the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials meeting in Washington and forcefully argued the Illinois senator would be a strong advocate of the Latino community if he is elected president.

Related: Unity is theme for Obama, Clinton

Earlier, she told the American Nurses Association that “Anyone who voted for me has little in common with the Republican Party.”

Clinton formally backed her onetime rival nearly three weeks ago, but Thursday's appearances were the first time that the New York senator has advocated for Obama's candidacy publicly in front of voters.

Watch: Obama, Clintons: Hard feelings?

"I know Senator Obama. I have served with him now for nearly four years in the Senate. I campaigned with him for more than 16 months on the campaign trail. I have stood on the stage in 22 debates, but who is counting," Clinton said to laughter.

"Every issue you care about personally, every issue that your constituents care about, every issue that NALEO is fighting for is really at risk," She continued. "We cannot afford four more years of the same. It wont be good for any of us, and therefore we have to be determined to chart a new course, and cannot do that without electing Senator Obama our president."

The NALEO appearance seals Clinton's reentry into the 2008 presidential campaign, 19 days after she called her White House bid quits. It came only hours before Clinton and Obama are set to appear together before powerful Democratic fundraisers that have largely supported Clinton's bid in the Democratic primary. And on Friday, the two senators will head to Unity, New Hampshire, in their first foray on the campaign trail together.

Latino voters overwhelmingly supported Clinton's White House bid throughout the primary season and some Clinton surrogates suggested Obama may have trouble courting the influential voting bloc in the general election.

Specifically, ardent Clinton backer Terry McAuliffe said the New York senator's overwhelming win in Puerto Rico proved Obama had a "problem with the Latino community," and "cannot close in this key core constituency.

But the NALEO audience was all cheers for the Illinois senator Thursday, showing few signs Obama will have difficulty courting the demographic as the general election campaign heats up.

As for Clinton, she told the crowd she "had a lot of fun" campaigning for president, even though there were "some tough times."

"What I remember were all of the faces, all of the people who came out to support me, all of the elected officials who stood by my side, all of the funny things that happened in a campaign that you don't ever predict, but which are memorable," she said.

soundoff (273 Responses)
  1. Ridgeway

    Just proves she really didn't care about America just being President. Liberals smell like bad cheese.

    June 26, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  2. Hillary - go independent

    Sorry Hillary – you have no choice but to endorse him "I guess", but as a voter I do not have to vote for him and I will not under any circumstances. He is an arrogant no nothing snob. How could the democratic party drop you and go for him. I will never understand it. I have not dropped the democratic party. John McCain is not you Hillary, but Obama is a travisity.

    June 26, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  3. enlightenme29

    WILL You all just let it go.. please grow up. I supported both Hillary and Obama for their stance on the issues. remember those??

    HRC supporters saying you are going to vote for McCain.. please just doing it and stop posting your negativity in these blogs. I and Im sure others are really getting tired of it.

    Obama supporters talking about what HRC, its only adding un- needed fuel to the fire.. grow up and stop pushing the win of your candidate in others faces.

    Grow UP!

    June 26, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  4. Debbie

    Clinton or McCain – yeah there's a choice – what a bunch of hypocrites!
    How can suddenly go from Clinton to McCain it defies belief, I hope all you "Clinton" supporters & surrogates are putting your hands in your pockets to save all those local business and vendors she's shafted!
    It must be tough being a multi, multi millionaire! and letting children send you their pockets money?

    June 26, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  5. DB

    Dear "fight the liberal media!"

    The Rasmussen poll where McCain is up by 15 points is in Tennessee. The article adjunct to the poll reads "Though McCain has a strong advantage, his lead has been cut nearly in half since April."

    Not exactly good news for McCain.

    Instead of "fighting the liberal media" you should fight your own ignorance and do a tiny bit of research before you spout off.

    June 26, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  6. boogieman

    This is just like USENET message boards. A very few users incessantly post under fake names/handles, making it look like they have an army of people agreeing with them, when it's really only one or two people.

    The moderation process should include IP checks to see how many of these messages from "different people" are all from one IP address. I wonder just how many of these posters are professionals hired by the Karl Rove wing of the Republican Party?

    If CNN wants to break a REAL story about this campaign, they'll do this type of cross-checking and write articles about the Internet warriors who do this for a living.

    I, for one, know of one person who makes a living ghost-writing letters to the editor and op/eds under other people's names for publication in various media. Works for a Republican-related group and makes a very good living ($2-3,000 per letter, several letters per week).

    June 26, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  7. Patty

    I'm impressed. Never thought she'd do it. I'm eating my words. I apologize to Hillary and thank her for her continued support of Obama and the Democratic party.

    June 26, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  8. Rick from Bowie

    Mary, "The Democratic Party is no longer for intellegent rational people since Obama took over. Sure is a shame she has to support him to pay off her campaign debt. She is a moderate Democrat. He is a very radical socialist."

    Do you even have a clue what you are talking about? You are simply regurgitating crap that some conservative said. I dumber for having read your trash.

    June 26, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  9. Shane


    June 26, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  10. Herman in LA

    This is why Hillary and her campaign should have run a much more positive campaign against Barack Obama it wouldn’t have not been so hard for her to have made this transition. Now all of that negativity will be use against Barack by the republicans in the general.

    The American people are paying attention and the negative untrue crap will not work this time either the stakes are to high.

    Quote: "Hillary Clinton she and John McCain are more experienced than Barack Obama" end quote.

    We can't look back on what happen but there is an old saying that sometime it's what comes out of that little red tongue that really can hurt you.

    June 26, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  11. Mimi De La Cruz for OBAMA







    June 26, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  12. Obama 08 And Beyond

    Good job, Hillary. I never cared for you, but your star is rising.

    Obama 08

    June 26, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  13. psal

    the whole situation is pathetic. she was robbed of the nomination and an inexperienced, self centered, egotistical man who puts himself and his career before the genuine needs of the american people will never get my vote. in fact, i just won't vote – because neither presumptive nominee is capable. it should have been hillary...mccain is befuddled, confused man equally ill prepared to be the commander in chief.

    June 26, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  14. Madison, WI

    Sen. Clinton has been a great candidate. Sen. Obama has been too.

    I hope he lives up to what we are looking for. And I hope that all the Obama supporters will realize why so many of us wanted her to be our candidate.

    I'm sure he knows (I think he already said so) that he needs her on his campaign. I don't know if he'll pick her for VP, but if he doesn't I hope he keeps in touch with her.

    June 26, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  15. A CANUCK

    I don't understand how Hillary can publicly back Obama after all the nasty things both she and Bill said about him.......I can't believe a word she says............it's going to be interesting !!!!!!!!!

    June 26, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  16. Obama--08

    Bayou Joe is an Anti-American idiot.

    June 26, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  17. Mary (Texas)

    I love you Hillary but I can NOT and will NOT vote for OBAMA!! Also, after reading the comments being left by OBAMA supporters – they seem to think they can win the election without "US" – your supporters. I saw a lot of angry & vicious comments left on the topic of Obama helping with your campaign debt and let me tell you – I was thinking for a brief moment that I would vote for Obama – NOT now . OBAMA supporters – we will see if you can win without Clinton supporters!!!

    Hillary 2012

    June 26, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  18. 58 old white ladies for OBAMA


    June 26, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  19. Shahid

    This site allows only BO supporters? My messages never showed up!!! How do they know I'm not an Obama fanatic follower?

    June 26, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  20. No Fear

    fight the liberal media! June 26th, 2008 5:06 pm ET

    McCain continues to lynch Obama in major polls and it gets no press!
    Rasmussen McCain 51, Obama 36 McCain +15.0

    I just checked Rasmussen's website and those numbers you're talking about are in Nebraska only. In the nationwide poll Obama leads 46% to McCain's 41%. So, Obama isn't getting "lynched" in the overall poll, like the way you're making it sound.

    June 26, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  21. Jo

    I was and am a Senator Hillary Clinton supporter. I will be voting for Barack Obama in November. I will vote for him regardless of who is the vice-presidential candidate. I am still convinced that Senator Clinton was the best candidate but I will support the democratic nominees.

    Senator Obama should choose Senator Clinton to be the vp candidate because she brings to the table a diverse support group which Obama has failed to connect with significantly. He should pick her because she has proven that she is a very capable leader and also that she could be a good president. He should pick her because she is strong and determined and not afraid to face controversy which is exactly what you need in a candidate and a vp. He should pick her because she immediately gives him more gravitas and because she can give him some inroads in some of the swing states. He should pick her because women make up more than half of the electorate and she has the message and staff to mobilize them.

    She should accept if offered because although it is not what she was aiming for, she would be the first woman vice-president of the United States. She should accept if offered because it would give her the platform to advance the programs she believes in like achieving true universal health care. She should accept if offered because she will be blamed if he loses the election no matter what, but less if she is on the ticket. She should accept if offered because she will continue to be an inspiration to the next generation of women who try to achieve their dreams.

    I am convinced that everyone on this blog who makes derogatory remarks toward Obama or Clinton would not have voted for either one anyway and is just trying to upset democrats. If you support Obama then you will vote for him no matter who he picks for vp and if you are a Clinton supporter you will vote for Obama whether she is on the ticket or not. The only difference is how enthusiastic you will be doing it.

    June 26, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  22. Ant928

    PUMAs UNITED!!!!! GIve me a break.

    "I didn't get what I wanted so I'm voting for McCain just to spite the Democratic Party and its nominee!!"

    It's obviously you have the same legacy Billary does...entitled crybabies.

    I'd say for you to all get on a boat and ceceed but where would we put you all? No country would want you.

    June 26, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  23. Louis

    If you say you value Hillory Clinton's political positions and then vote for McCain, the following are true:

    1-You are a moron
    2-You have no knowledge of current events
    3-You have no standards for your beliefs
    4-You voted for Hillory based on non-issues, ie., you like her personality, she is a woman, etc.

    Please, no more Hillory supporters who claim she was the best candidate and then say they will vote for McCain. You sound stupid.

    June 26, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  24. Noah

    Can people stop grouping Obama supporters and Clinton supporters in rival groups. This is silly. I am 100% dedicated to Hillary. If she would have fought to the convention, I would have been right there. I now support her decision and her choice. I am tired of the name calling. I think Clinton would make a better President, but I will support Obama and follow Hillary's lead. Stop all the fighting, by the way, a lot of this is republicans disguised to cause chaos in the democratic party. Don't be fooled.

    June 26, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  25. Shahid

    Maybe I have to split my message into multiple chunks. So here is Part 1:

    Dear Obama supporters, I'd like to share with you a story. Make sure you click the link at the bottom too. Enjoy.
    While suturing a cut on the hand of a
    Texas rancher whose hand was caught in a
    gate while working cattle, the doctor
    struck up a conversation with the old man.
    Eventually the topic got around to
    Obama and his bid to be our President.

    June 26, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
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