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. p davis

    I once worked for John Sweeney and I am proud to see this endorsement of Obama, great direction.

    June 26, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  2. Dee Tee Gee Arlington, TX

    You think if John McCain or Hillary Clinton had scored the AFL-CIO during their campaigns it would be considered a major victory for them? Amazing how those same people are trying to minimize it because Obama won their support. Barring a major mistake by Obama's camp, the fat lady is singing. I opened the oven & stuck a toothpick into the cake & it came out clean. I poked a hole in the chicken and the juice is running clear. What do I mean by all of this? IT'S DONE!!! When one candidate has to depend on the other candidate to lose the election rather than that candidate go take it, IT"S DONE!! When you stoop to smear tactics rather than stand on your party's record during its administration, IT"S DONE!! When your candidate knows he's the underdog & can't do anything to change that, HE"S DONE!! Face it Republicans, you blew it. It's time to give someone else a chance to blow it.

    June 26, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  3. kim hussein taylor portland, oregon

    ohiovoter, thankfully you are part of a small group of people these days. McCON will not win, his unexplainable flip-flopping and love of bush's deregualtion and FAILED policies will sink him! america is smartening up after 8 years of neoCON repubs!

    but you'll be happy b/c your life will be TONS better with obama as POTUS, you'll see!

    June 26, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  4. Mike

    Well surprise, surprise. NOT

    The surprise would have been if they didn't support him.

    They support him like they have supported every other democrat since the beginning of time. No big deal.

    June 26, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  5. Mary WA

    Obama has not said or wrote he was anti-trade. He wants NAFTA to be a fair trade agreement. This country has had trade for many many years before NAFTA and trade is good. Making it fair and evironmentally sane is what is needed. That is what Obama has and still does support.

    June 26, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  6. Low

    I bet all of the McCain supporters do not have relatives in Iraq, because if they did, I do not understand why they do not want them to come home.

    June 26, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  7. Keep On Truckin'

    As Marvin Gay would say, "Keep on truckin'...."

    Obama 08

    June 26, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  8. tina

    Hey Ohiovoter...want to put some money on it? Obama will be moving in on January 20th! I wish I could be there to help him out.

    June 26, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  9. Marc PDX

    Well I am stunned! Labor supporting the Democratic candidate! That's almost as surprising as Al Gore endorsing the Dem candidate. The world is just turning inside out! LOL!

    June 26, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  10. joe smith

    Bill clinton is a wiley politician, he didn't come from obsquirity to the presidency by accident; ed rendell couldn't shine Bills' shoes in that regard, so he should be the one to get over it, now, labour backing Mr. O, no surprise there, Chicagos' just around the corner, if you get my drift..

    June 26, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  11. David from Ohio

    Ohio Republicans aren't calling the shots this fall. We kicked you out of the Governor's mansion two years ago and we'll help kick you out of the White House this fall. Then we'll bury the conservative movement and dance on its grave.

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

    Change you can believe in? Or no change at all is more like it! Meet the old (labor) boss... same as the old boss...


    June 26, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  13. Peter E

    Laughing my head off!
    Yes, THAT will givew him the presidency. Along with the endorsements of Michael Moore, Bill Clinton, and moveon.org, just like they put Kerry in the White House in 2004...

    June 26, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  14. Ilona Proud Canadian

    Ohio Voter

    You had better hope that McCain does not wait until November to try to get the Conservative support!

    By the way, I cannot understand why American Voters keep referring to the good old days....THAT WAS THEN AND THIS IS NOW. It is a completely different ball game today, comparing the good old days with the situation in America TODAY is like comparing APPLES TO ORANGES. A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT MINDSET IS ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL IF AMERICA IS GOING TO PULL OUT OF THE MESS THAT IT IS IN TODAY, and that Ohio Voter is a FACT!

    June 26, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  15. Theresa in Georgia

    Matilda Bowers, PA June 26th, 2008 1:35 pm ET

    I'm praying for this young man so hard. I hope it is God's will that he becomes our president.

    God Bess You, Barack.
    To Matilda: I too am praying for Senator Obama. After reading some of the messages from CNN bloggers, I know now for a fact that racism is still alive and is rearing its ugly head (REPUBLICANS)!

    To CNN: Why do you post some of the racist comments that are sent to you?? There really comes a time when you have to stop allowing bloggers to submit their racist comments.

    June 26, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  16. curtis


    June 26, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  17. Jaime

    Jimmy Hoffa would have endorsed Obama.

    June 26, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  18. obamerican canada






    "ONE LOVE"

    Please if you dont know this music,go get them and so many more so you can understand how joyfull my heart is,i can see a big 'WAVE' of 'LOVE' coming down from above to the american people,if you are with us be in the line and hold on to somebody(play by the rules)if you are not with us–ADVISE- stay in your basement come november cause the wind will be stronger than -huricane- those who have ear let them hear,thanks by for now.



    June 26, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  19. Rise American Rise

    Lets face it, the most important quality for a president is the ability to get the American people behind him, get people engaged, and get people excited and working together towards the future. Obama is clearly doing that. Even on the blogs there are less and less anti's with their voices being drowned out by the excited and enthusiastic supporters that want a better future. Together we will succeed!!!!

    I'm sure everyone finds some points where they disagree with Barack, you can't please all the people all the time, but they are willing to support him anyway. People are surprised when they get to know him, like his stance on the death penalty ... he really does have a rational thought process. Look at all the people that said they didn't agree with his position on the death penalty but will still vote for him .. the sign of a true leader.

    Rise America Rise!!!!

    June 26, 2008 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  20. Raymond Duke

    For all you people who think america is not free now. Wait until you get Obama to take more of your paycheck to support all those people who don't like to work. But I may be wrong. It sounds like most of you have never served your country or worked for a living ,just want handouts. Fortunatet or Unfortunate for me . I can't figure out which. I have had the pleasure of both serving this country for twenty years, working after retirement and help putting my wife and two kids through college without grants or handouts and never drawing a welfare check or drawing food stamps. Just think I managed all this with just a high school education and coming from parents who were day labors "for people who don't know what day labors or they are uneducated people who worked the fields" . It is amazing what can happen in america when you are raised by good hard working parents and know and have responsibility taught to you.

    June 26, 2008 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  21. Kiah

    Wonder how the haters will view this move as well.

    Obama '08!

    June 26, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  22. Chip D

    I love how you all think this is a big deal. The back EVERY liberal canadite EVERY year. They're there last hope to keep there over paid, under-worked, un-needed jobs!

    June 26, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  23. NoMcSame

    America woks best when they say union YES. No crossing over whith them thats for sure.

    PUMA PAC people I hope that you are happy with your choise in this election. Hillary will not be voting with you this time. You all look so stupid in the eyes of all the world that I miss you guys on here sometimes. Your leader was on tv and he sounded about as stupid as you all do. Vote Mcsame what a shame. Give up and stop kicking against that stone and come on back home people. Help save our kids from McWAR. He loves the sound of body counts on the news every day. Don't be like him. Stand up to him. It's time to move on and put our house back in order. We must ALL stand behind Obama and change what is going on in Washington.

    June 26, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  24. Sujith,NE

    Good going Mr.President !
    wooooooooooooohoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo !
    You inspire me !

    Obama 08 !

    June 26, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  25. The Ultimate Alpha Male

    Yes, he is.

    June 26, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
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