June 26th, 2008
03:00 PM ET
14 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. KMAN

    Too bad that baby masquerading as a former president isn't as concerned for America's future as he is for his own 'legacy'" Bill, you need to get over your childish behavior and endorse the better man for the Country's future!! Your immaturity at this stage of your life... is simply sickening ... GROW UP!!

    June 26, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  2. Quinn


    In Obama's own words, his bias against NAFTA was just RHETORIC to get the primary nomination. They all do it, it's called old politics!
    Let me know when we hit the part about change!

    Union member's do not have to vote for Obama, unfortunately they don't have a choice when it comes to the union dues & who get's the money.

    June 26, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  3. Bobby, Triangle, VA

    Welcome AFL-CIO, just goes to show you americans want a change we can believe in!

    June 26, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  4. Joe M

    Too little, too late. About four decades too late. Unions continue to represent fewer and fewer American workers as the jobs go elsewhere. Sad, but true.

    June 26, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  5. A Tsunami

    It feels like a tsunami is coming. A tidal wave of the best kind–the people lifting their voices and speaking at last.

    Don't be on the wrong side of history when America finally lifts the veil of secrecy and deception (like the secret meeting McCain had today).

    Vote for Barack Obama.

    June 26, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  6. Vote Nader

    It's amazing that many of you think this is some big thing, that the AFL-CIO endorsed the Democratic candidate. They've probably endorsed every Democratic candidate since they've been around. It's kind of a given, and apparently doesn't help at all.

    Anyway, unions are pointless in the 21st century. They do more harm for corporations than good, which in turn harms consumers. Look no further than the auto industry.

    I realize I am speaking against one of Nader's positions, but that is bound to happen. Nobody aligns exactly with any one candidate. That's something the blind Sen. Obama supporters can't/won't/don't realize. They just applaud every position he takes.


    ** Nader/Gonzalez 2008 **

    June 26, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  7. BJE

    Its time we all get behind Barry Obama

    Barry Obama '08

    June 26, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  8. brice, greenville, south carolina

    HEY PUMA! you're an idiot. hillary didn't betray you, she stayed loyal to her party/america. you are not at the center what this country is about. you are one voice. and if that voice is selfish then you can just stay at home on november 4th and stay quiet until then.

    June 26, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  9. Mike

    Maybe if we get more unions into the game since wacko Ronald Regan really got this whole union bustin, gun totin, bible thumpin, rich peoples tax coddlin, war mongerin "conservative" snowball rolling down the 30 year hill, we can bring some sanity into the picture.....

    June 26, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  10. Philly Guy

    Change we can believe in:

    A change came over Russia 90 years ago.
    A change came over Eastern Europe 63 years ago
    A change came over China 60 years ago

    The same change is coming over the U.S. And it has been coming for years.

    So, do I have to start calling CNN readers "comrade"?

    June 26, 2008 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  11. CW4Barak

    Way to go.....while the GOP attack Barack....he leads in the polls and get endorsements and support....yeaaahhh.

    BTW with the Supreme Courts gun law ruling we are going to see a LOT more Columbines and Virginia Tech, you wait and see and a lot of people who are singing about the 2nd ammendment won't be so chirpie when one of their family members get shot.

    June 26, 2008 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  12. $$$$$$$$$

    OBAMA 2008 and 2012 !!!

    OBAMA 2008 and 2012 !!!

    OBAMA 2008 and 2012 !!!

    OBAMA 2008 and 2012 !!!

    OBAMA 2008 and 2012 !!!

    June 26, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  13. Annette

    This is a significant endorsement and support that will be needed for the long haul ahead. Cheers!

    June 26, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  14. Method Man


    June 26, 2008 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  15. Typical White Person

    This was news yesterday, why is it news again today???

    June 26, 2008 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  16. maricon

    HEY PUMAlover be realistic stop dreaming my friend you don't seem to have a head on shoulders. it is over for you guys.

    June 26, 2008 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  17. Jack

    Are we supposed to be surprised by this? I mean, when was the last time they endorsed a Republican, and Independant, or a Libertarian?

    The media in America really like to try and run the show, don't they?

    June 26, 2008 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  18. Hispanic For McCain

    whaaa! whaaa! whaaa!

    seriously, let's move on and get McCAIN nominated!!!

    This country knows who is the best person to protect this country and that is McCain!!!!

    So whaaa!! whaaa!!! whaaa!!! get over it McCain all the way you morons

    Hispanic for McCain!!!!

    June 26, 2008 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  19. Clemson 4 Obama

    Okay Generation X where are you when I need you to help me out with the TUNA People ooops I meant the PUMA People.
    As Soon As Possible

    As Soon As Possible

    To help Hillary with her debt, We need everyone to give us their 2 quarters and 10 dimes PLEASE If the only thing you have is 5 dollars don't worry we have CHANGE.

    June 26, 2008 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  20. Casey in CA.

    Not surprised. Republicans hate labor unions or anyone with power they think the Republicans should control.

    June 26, 2008 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  21. Patrick Henry, Ft. Myers

    For Mr. Sweeney:

    Your endorsement of a non-capitalist, marxist leaning candidate may hurt your members more than help them.

    Time will tell. The rich white men (in Obama's fairy tale world) won't worry though. No matter how bad the economy is we've got everything rigged so we make out.

    June 26, 2008 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  22. Mike in Newport, Kentucky

    You all realize that Obama's name was the only one on the ballot, don't you?

    Woo-Hoo I won a contest wher I was the only candidate.

    I am amazed by how LITTLE some of you know.

    June 26, 2008 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  23. Peggy - Tx

    re: Nova from NV- Seems that you can not find a REAL issue with the policies that Obama supports so you rant about make believe positions. Also you may want to learn to spell and learn basic English syntax before you send out your next comment b/c your comment makes you sound like an idiot.

    June 26, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  24. CMS

    Ummmm, this is a surprise? More like a hollow, rubber stamp endorsement. Unions are just about finished in this country anyway. Good thing too. I loved seeing a rusty old station wagon several years ago with a "Live better, work union" sticker on it. I think its irony couldnt be more fitting.

    June 26, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  25. Frank

    Unions are snakes just like Obama and the Democrats. I trust not a single one! Go John McCain! Fight these evil doers! Slam! Bam! Pow! Umph!

    June 26, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
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