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. Pete - Eau Claire, WI

    Exciting news! Its encouraging to see the support just pour in for Sen. Obama.

    Obama 08

    June 26, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  2. Super D

    Of couse these socialists would endorse Obama.

    Organized Labor is dead and corrupt, just like Obama

    June 26, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  3. VSMelz

    PUMAlover (and all who think like you)

    I WELCOME your vote! We welcome you and yours aboard. Why waste a vote on Obama when you have a hero like McCain running? I have to admit, we were nervous, but thanx to a backbiting preliminary campaign by the Dems, we have more and more of you switching to our side. Sure, we're losing a few too. But not as many as your (former) side. Again, welcome aboard!!

    June 26, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  4. Core Conservative

    Like this is really news.......................I could have told you the AFL-CIO would support whoever the Democratic candidate was whether it was Hillary or Obama. All the AFL-CIO wants is "less to do, more time to get nothing done, and more pay for not getting it done.

    June 26, 2008 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  5. blaising

    get on the bus folks...it's rollin' now!!

    June 26, 2008 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  6. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    John Sweeney's got it right, yes our country is and has been going in the wrong direction over the past 7 plus years and it doesn't make good sense. Borrowing money from countries like China and India because of a war that is costing trillions to a sinking economy. When you make a telephone call regarding a debt you find yourself talking to someone in India or some other foreign country representative. And our government says our national secuirty is threatened when they've sold us out.

    June 26, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  7. ls

    Wonder if McCriticize is going to comment on this endorsement for Obama.

    Way to go Obama!!
    Obama '08/12

    June 26, 2008 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  8. yns

    Even with the NAFTA WINK they gave him the nod... how sad.... how sad....

    June 26, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  9. Darrel from Denver

    It's a big deal, regardless of whether you believe Unions are not as strong or are 'irrelevant'. Can't see how one could take that stance given the bloc of voters they represent and can sway.

    The Republicans had hoped to bust all the Unions by now. Lord knows they have tried. But, they aren't quite dead, are they?

    What a shame for the GOP that they can no longer fashion the world to meet their needs and world view. They are now in denial and will come to a cold conclusion in November when they are routed in ALL elections.

    Good bye and good riddance to them all.

    June 26, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  10. disgusted

    and did you hear the latest??

    God almighty has not yet endorsed any candidate... still waiting.

    This PUMA party member has, however, endorsed McCain and will be voting for McCain to send a message to the DNC and Obama thugs.

    Go Hillary '12

    June 26, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  11. Debby

    Wait till Sweeney gets that big tax hike if Obama is President. He is sure in that payroll bracket. LOL

    June 26, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  12. Yes, He Can

    Ladies & Gentlemen, the President of the United States....Barack Obama.

    Oh, just wishful thoughts...carry on.

    Obama 08

    June 26, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  13. Ohiovoter

    I am 100% positive Oblahblah is NOT going to win in November. I was 100% and told everyone I knew that Kerry would never win – this country will never vote for a liberal. I can't believe you democrats are that ignorant that you think that we Americans are going to vote for an individual that appeals to Hollywood and every left winger in the country. You people need to have a reality check. You're really not that stupid, are you? Think about it. Nobody wants Gore. Nobody wants Kerry. Nobody wants Edwards. Nobody wants Kucinich (blech!). Nobody wants a left winger. We Republicans put McCain out there because he is neither way right nor way left. Yeah, conservatives have not embraced him yet – I know this as I have conservative friends. When November comes, McCain will get conservative, moderate Democrat and Independent votes. And your left winger will get liberal votes. Do the math, boooobs.

    June 26, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  14. Frantz (Atlanta)

    I smell a landslide victory too!

    June 26, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  15. LifeLongDemocrat

    The cockiness of the Obama supporters bothers me. Remember Dukakis? He was ahead 17% in the polls and went on to lose!

    Keep that in mind and try to get as many voters as you can, including Hillary supporters. The Republicans are good at getting out the vote and McCain appeals to a lot of people who see him as a free spirit.

    Stop being cocky and think!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    June 26, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  16. Heavenly Smiles

    His mom must be smiling right about now.

    June 26, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  17. Republican for OBAMA!


    I think its time you go back on your meds.

    June 26, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  18. Ted

    PUMAlover was kidding.
    Obama 08!

    June 26, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  19. Jim

    Isn't it interesting how all of the big money is behind the new "change"?

    June 26, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  20. Lynn

    It's not over until November 4th when the last vote is counted. Isn't there a saying that goes – don't count your chickens before they hatch.

    June 26, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  21. gina simpson


    Yes We Can!!!! And yes we will.....in November of 2008

    June 26, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  22. Clare from Orlando, FL

    Ready or Not.....here we come! and Yes we will! You guys had better get aboard -the OBAMA express....... :o)

    June 26, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  23. Rj

    GO OBAMA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 100%!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    June 26, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  24. NObama

    Change we've all seen before. Ohio and Michigan can thank the AFL-CIO for the economic conditions they now face.

    June 26, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  25. To "Ohiovoter"

    Thank you for your post. I needed a good laugh and you people yelling at the rising sun are the Best thing since Saturdaynight live!

    Your Bitterness warms me like a Blanket.

    June 26, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
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