June 26th, 2008
03:00 PM ET
15 years ago

Largest labor organization endorses Obama

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/06/04/art.obamacap.ap.jpg caption="The AFL-CIO endorsed Obama Thursday."]
(CNN)—The AFL-CIO endorsed Sen. Barack Obama Thursday, kicking one of the broadest grassroots mobilizations in recent history into “high gear.”

“In so many ways―on jobs, health care, gas prices and the war in Iraq―our country is headed in the wrong direction,” AFL-CIO President John Sweeney said in a statement announcing the endorsement. “Barack Obama has proven from his days as an organizer, to his time in the Senate and his historic run for the presidency, that he’s leading the fight to turn around America."

The endorsement is expected to help rally support around the presumptive Democratic nominee in the critical swing states of Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota where union voters make up between 25 and 35 percent of the total vote.

With an outreach of more than 13 million registered voters in 24 ‘top-tier’ states, the AFL-CIO will send volunteers to the homes of 300,000 union voters, with the 56 member-unions collectively spending more than $200 million in the 2008 election between the presidential, Senate, and House races nationwide.

“We’ll work our hearts out for Barack Obama,” said AFSCME President and AFL-CIO Political Committee Chair Gerald McEntee. “Our program is going to be worker to worker and neighbor to neighbor. We’re ready to mobilize. We’re ready to rock and roll. This country and our people are ready for change.”

The group has been running an active campaign against presumptive Republican nominee John McCain since early March, aimed at defining the Arizona senator’s stances on jobs, trade and health care among union members. Currently, AFL-CIO volunteers have knocked on 60,000 doors and distributed 1.5 million flyers critical of the Arizona senator’s economic record.

Filed under: AFL-CIO • Candidate Barack Obama • Popular Posts
soundoff (261 Responses)
  1. mary cleveland, ohio

    The union endorsed Obama because, contrary to speculation by the media, the working men and women of this country (irregardless of race) are all suffering and have always suffered under Republicans. The unions know this, that is why people fought and died for unions in the first place. To protect the little guy from the big money guy.

    June 26, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  2. Steve

    The tsunami is beginning. The Obama Machine is gaining momentum. The Republicans/neocons whined during the Clinton years (which, by the way, showed an excellent economy, and a return to rational government) that they could do better if only they were in charge. They've had 7 1/2 years to show how well they could do. I give them a "D". It's time to expel them.

    Obama is obviously a very smart, politically savvy man. After all, he beat the Clintons at their own game. But being smart, he will not ignore the Clintons. They still have huge political clout. Obama will no doubt put Hillary in a very key government position. VP is just arm-candy for the President, so it would actually be a disservice to her and the country to put her there. She needs to be the secretary of one of the large and powerful departments of government (Health, or State come to mind).

    And Bill? Send him out on speaking tours. He's got a lot of his wife's bills to pay that PUMA, despite all their outrage, can't quite seem to feel outraged enough to help her pay.

    June 26, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |

    I feel sooooo sorry for McCain.


    June 26, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  4. Lisa

    Who cares!!


    June 26, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  5. He Will Be Obeyed

    Since Obama supporters refer to McCain as McSame, McBush, etc. is it OK if the rest of us refer to his opponent as ObeyMe?

    June 26, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  6. Don't care


    June 26, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  7. Jon

    I'm sure the Republicans were really counting on the endorsement. I never thought I'd live the day to see a labor union endorse a Democrat.

    June 26, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  8. Joe - Chicago, IL

    There's a surprise, labor supporting the democrat. Whats next, the NRA will endorse McCain?

    June 26, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  9. Alex

    Ok union boys, let's see how much your agenda is helped by a candidate who promises to leagalize millions of illegal aliens!!
    You shoot yourself in the foot!!!

    June 26, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  10. No Obama

    I am a Hilalry supporter – I will not get over anything that Obama supporters say I should. Obama will change nothing, ever. He is a fraud who is also a coward who will not debate John McCain at a town hall meeting. He is a "chicken"!! Afraid of the public Obama??

    Your name should be: Obama, fraud, coward, chicken, no change, liar.

    I will vote for McCain.

    June 26, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  11. Rick from Bowie

    AFL-CIO and unions are why a car that is worth and should only cost $12000, costs $28,000.

    Not sure where the value in this is now that the unions want hand outs!

    June 26, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
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