Corzine supports Barack Obama

June 5, 2008 8:15:29 AM PDT
New Jersey Gov. Jon S. Corzine said Thursday he is "absolutely" behind Barack Obama's presidential campaign. Corzine endorsed Hillary Clinton and has been a staunch supporter, campaigning for her in several states.

But with Clinton expected to suspend her campaign on Saturday, and with Obama having garnered enough delegates to become the party's presumptive nominee, Corzine predicted Democrats will coalesce behind Obama.

"We're going to be graceful about making sure Sen. Clinton comes out, makes her statement, and we're all going to get behind Barack Obama and go full throttle," Corzine said on MSNBC Thursday morning.

Corzine is among nearly 800 superdelegates - party activists and elected officials who aren't bound by any vote when choosing a nominee at the convention. Though he expressed support for Obama, he didn't say Thursday whether he will change his vote to Obama.

"The governor has not formally endorsed Obama and out of courtesy won't do so until Sen. Clinton makes a public decision on her future," Corzine's office said in a statement. "However, he has said that he will support the Democratic nominee and it's clear from the current delegate counts that the nominee will be Obama."

Corzine said it's especially important for Democrats to converge because Republican presidential candidate John McCain is "an independent fella" who can attract such voters.

"Now is the time for Democrats to unite around Barack Obama and move forward so we get this country out of the problems and challenges that we have, and it's not that McCain is a bad guy," Corzine said. "That's just not a good argument to make, but there is a change in policy that has to be done on every major single item that we're about."

He said people want the Iraq war ended and something done about energy prices, health care and the economy.

"People are upset," Corzine said. "Whoever is in office they're not happy with, and so they're more than prepared to say we want a change and I think Democrats are going to get behind Barack."

But McCain, Corzine said, won't be an easy opponent.

"You have to admire what he has done with his life, so you know it's not a walk in the park," Corzine said. "That's why we have to make sure we are defining the issues, because there are dramatic differences between Barack Obama and John on a whole host of issues."