Chicago, IL - Today, Former United States Senator Don Riegle endorsed Barack Obama, citing his ability to unite Americans and bring real change for middle class families and workers.
Former Senator Riegle said, "Barack Obama has the vision, intellect, and strength of character to best unite and lead our country at this critical time. This means ending the war in Iraq - and turning our major attention and resources to the many urgent human problems here at home.
"With 81% of the American people saying our country is on the "wrong track," it is time for a major change - especially here in Michigan. An Obama Presidency will bring together Democrats, Republicans and Independents into a new governing coalition that will refocus American strength and purpose -- and get our country moving forward again. It will put our government back to work for all the people -- and not just the favored few. By bringing into power new ideas, new talents, and new leadership, we can make a fresh start and turn the page on the failed politics of division and distortion.
"Barack understands that we need a vigorous new economic strategy for America, one that can rebuild our shrinking middle class, provide health insurance for all, create new job growth, and stop unfair trade practices. An Obama Presidency will unite our people behind urgent new goals that can strengthen our country and our people and regain America's respect and moral authority around the world."
Senator Obama said, "I'm grateful today to have the support of former Senator Riegle, who for decades served the people of Michigan and fought to make life better for working families across the state. He opposed policies that stood in the way of progress for our economy, and worked to give our veterans the respect and fair treatment they deserve. I'm proud to have his support today as we continue to build our movement for change and unite people from all walks of life in this campaign."
Riegle represented Michigan in the United States Senate for 18 years (1977 - 1994) and as a Member of the United States House of Representatives for ten years (1967 to 1976). In the United States Senate he was the lead sponsor of the Chrysler Loan Guarantees, the leading opponent of the NAFTA Trade Agreement, and was a leader in the efforts to enact health care reform as Chairman of the Finance Subcommittee for Families and the Uninsured. He also led the major Senate investigation uncovering the causes of Gulf War Syndrome affecting sick veterans and served for six years as Chairman of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, where he led to enactment several major reforms of the US banking and financial system.
In the US House he was elected as both a Republican and a Democrat, where he helped lead efforts to end the Vietnam War. He changed his party affiliation from Republican to Democrat in 1973.