Pro-Abortion Ex-Presidential Candidate John Edwards Backs Barack Obama

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 15, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Pro-Abortion Ex-Presidential Candidate John Edwards Backs Barack Obama

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by Steven Ertelt Editor
May 15
, 2008

Washington, DC ( — Former Democratic presidential candidate and abortion advocate John Edwards backed Barack Obama on Wednesday hours after Obama received the support of one of the nation’s leading pro-abortion groups. Edwards’ endorsement adds to the momentum for Obama, who appears more likely to be the nominee.

NARAL endorsed Obama earlier in the day and, yesterday afternoon, Edwards appeared with Obama at a Michigan event to lend him his support.

"The Democratic voters in America have made their choice and so have I," Edwards said. "There is one man who knows and understands that this is a time for bold leadership … and that man is Barack Obama."

Political observers say the endorsement was timed to put Obama over the top and to start putting the party back together in advance of the general election.

The endorsement also steered some attention away from Clinton’s landslide victory in West Virginia, a battleground state Obama will need to win the presidential election and one that shows his limited outreach to pro-life voters.

Hillary Clinton’s campaign team played down the endorsement and said it wouldn’t stop the New York senator from pushing forward to Kentucky and Oregon, where Democrats head to the polls on Tuesday to vote.
"We respect John Edwards, but as the voters of West Virginia showed on Tuesday night, this thing is far from over," Clinton’s campaign chairman, Terry McAuliffe, said in a statement.

According to AP figures, Obama currently leads the overall delegate race with 1,885 delegates compared to 1,718 for Clinton. Obama also leads Clinton 286-272 among superdelegates.

Unless Clinton’s team can get the Democratic Party to seat delegates from Florida and Michigan later this month or can convince superdelegates to return to her camp, it appears Obama will likely represent the party against eventual Republican nominee John McCain in November.

Oregon, Kentucky, Puerto Rico, Montana and South Dakota are the only states that remain on the primary calendar.