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. Joe

    It about time for a change, I mean real change, NO TRICKS, NO HEAD GAMES, NO MIND GAME, NO RACE GAME , NO RED GAME , NO BLUE GAME.
    I am sick and Tired of all the lies, PRO and special interest blood suckers. FOR MANKIND , FOR PEACE AND PROGRESS WE MUST RISE UP TO THE CALL
    YES WE CAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!OBAMA 4 EVER

    June 26, 2008 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  2. Also Lisa

    Mike in Kentucky,

    How about how Shrillary was claiming to have won in MI where Obama's name wasn't on the ballot?


    June 26, 2008 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  3. Marble

    How on earth in this computer literate age – one of information technology can any presumptive Presidental candidate have the audacity to plainly admit that he cannot use the computer? What the hell has John McCain been doing all these years? – simply pushing the firewood of everlasting war? He doesn't evn know how to "Google for simple info. on the internet? That's really absurd and just goes to shoe how 'out of touch' McCain is with modern reality.

    Are Americans this stupid to elect such 'Computer novice' to be our next president? We'll see.

    June 26, 2008 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  4. moe

    go obama !!! :d

    June 26, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  5. independent chris

    Come November, gas will be pushing 6 bucks a gallon, food up another 20%, millions more foreclosures, dollar steadily dropping, unemployment up another 2%, hundreds more GI's dead in Iraq (and tens of thousands of Iraqis), while McCain, Bush, Cheney, Rove and friends rape us to the tune of a hundred billion.

    Now we hear, "Oh, but Obama is inexperienced and a muslim to boot!"

    While vast swathes of our population may be willfully ignorant fools, they will not choose guaranteed suicide when it becomes ever-increasingly obvious.

    June 26, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  6. Onlooker, WA

    @Nova from NV

    UH...WAKE UP! For the past 8 years numerous companies have moved there business over seas and caused great job loss. That's part of the CURRENT problem that needs fixing. Made in the USA needs to return to our labels if we're to survive.

    June 26, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |


    June 26, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  8. NC Voter

    Yet another rabbit pulled out of Obama's bag of trix.
    Yeesh! Get us a real candidate not this gimmicky phoney.

    June 26, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  9. corin

    get on the O train!!!!

    June 26, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  10. Didine - Maryland

    I am not surprise . Welcome on board AFL-CIO, we are one people and one nation. It is time for us to unite. Bravooooooooooooooo AFL-CIO!

    June 26, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  11. R.I.F.


    For three days straight the front page of your politcal ticker has showcased some quack who has said something stupid about Obama. First Dobson, then Nader, and now Rove. If you keep giving this quacks so much attention we will continue to see these "where's my 2 mintues of fame" guys ome out and make ridiculous claims about Obama. Get a clue CNN.

    June 26, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  12. Marc PDX

    On Energy Plans....

    I already know what I'm going to be writing two years from now when Obama is president and blaming "years of Republican failed energy policies" for $6/gal gasoline. And stating it will take some time for his own new initiatives to start bearing fruit (mandated higher gas mileage in new cars, $150 billion in grants to further develop wind, solar and biodiesel power). I'll say, "I told you so". Conservation is good. Wind, solar and biodiesel are good. But they will not make any kind of major impact on our energy problems for years to come and they will never be the primary solution to our problems. In the meantime we need a "bridge solution" for the short and medium term. And that's what McCain's plans will directly address. But, then, we'll end up with Obama, $6 gasoline in two years (worse later) and a bucketfull of excuses and finger pointing back in time.

    If you can't govern, ... DON'T! I can't wait to start printing "I told you so!". You better believe a lot of us will be – despite Dems trying to blame George Bush for years to come.

    NObama N'08

    June 26, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  13. Ken

    I don't believe that Obama even has the same view as the Union, so I am wondering why the union would endorse Obama.

    Also, Obama is going to lose the election and John McCain will be our next President.

    June 26, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  14. CitizenAJ

    Hey Sue, Governor Rendell is a politician and as a politician he said what he said about Senator Obama in support of the candidate he was backing. Now, the primaries are over and Governor Rendell also said that he would back Senator Obama if he won the nomination. He did and he is keeping his word. I know, an anomoly with politicians.

    Any way, yeah, no surprise here and I would not get caught up in the polling right now. Lot of space between now and November though I do like the numbers as a supporter of positive "change" and "hope"! Get my drift?

    June 26, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  15. NELSON Colorado Springs, Co

    Close the the door. Go Obama

    June 26, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  16. ERICA, Ohio


    June 26, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  17. park more

    Yeh, like kerry was a head on Bush. Nooooooooooooooooooooooo michelle and Obama, nooooooooooooooooooooo. McCain this time and Hillary on 2012

    June 26, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  18. Chicano

    I dropped my union membership after only 1 year because, though they offered some attractive benefits, in each case I found better deals elsewhere. The local was a bunch of lazy do-nothings that ensured that dues were collected but little else. The endorsement by the AFL-CIO of Obama carries about as much weight with me and an endorsement from either of the Clintons.

    June 26, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  19. Hillary stole my heart

    My vote is Hillary. She is the only one capable. Obama stink. McCain Stink. Hillary only one deserve a vote.

    June 26, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  20. NK, Ottawa

    Change is a demand of time. Change always comes through someone. Let's see the change in America. Change is coming, change will come and change will be coming. Welcome change.

    June 26, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  21. Bill From Florida


    Typical Obama supporter, a nut case just like OBAMA.

    June 26, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  22. Big Bill from Brooklyn

    Good news, indeed.

    June 26, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  23. Rudy NYC

    Obama picks another endorsement, which means the next line of GOP attack will be to go after Obama's endorsers as anti-American, anti-Semitic, etc., because Hamas endorsed Obama.

    Here's the logic behind so many GOP attacks, most recently Romney.

    England is an island.
    I am standing on the island of Puerto Rico.
    That means I must be in England.

    June 26, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  24. Ralph

    This is news? When was the last time the AFL-CIO endorsed someone besides the Democratic party candidate?

    June 26, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  25. Val, Atlanta, Ga

    It amazes me that some Hispanics try to be Republicans when they could care less about Hispanics, I work with smart Hispanics they know that Republicans could care less about them and they said to me, McCaine would NEVER get there vote. Republicans only care about the Wealthy why do u think there taxes are better than us hard working people so to all Hispanics that really want to be apart of a party that really don't care anything about you, WAKE UP AND SMELL THE COFFEE.

    June 26, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
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