Obama picks up endorsement of Colo. superdelegate Roy Romer
DENVER ” Sen. Barack Obama picked up the endorsement Tuesday of superdelegate Roy Romer, a former Colorado governor who later served as superintendent of Los Angeles public schools.
Romer said the Democratic front-runner has demonstrated leadership qualities with his coolness under fire.
“He’s a steady hand,” Romer told The Associated Press. “He’s been under some great pressure in the past two months, but he’s been cool and steady.”
Romer also said it was important for the candidates to know where the superdelegates stand so the party can decided how to handle convention delegates from Michigan and Florida, which were denied their delegates for violating party rules.
The Democratic convention will be in Denver in August.
Romer was the third superdelegate to throw his support to Romer on Tuesday, after New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin and Indiana congressman Joe Donnelly.
Romer was Colorado governor from 1986 to 1998 and Los Angeles schools superintendent from 2001 to 2006.
He said he was impressed with the way Obama has handled the fallout from controversial sermons and statements by his former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright of Chicago.
Romer said Obama has also dealt with backlash from his own statements, such as his remark that some small-town residents were clinging to guns and religion because of bitterness about their economic well-being.
Romer said he was impressed with Obama’s opposition to the idea of a gasoline-tax holiday to help people deal with rising fuel prices.
The proposal has support from voters but is widely panned by economist and government leaders.
“I was caught off-guard that (Republican John) McCain grabbed it so quickly and (Democrat Hillary Rodham) Clinton jumped on the bandwagon,” Romer said. “I’m a former governor. I’ve lived with that issue. I know that you’re are going to have bridges falling down if you don’t have a gas tax.
“Obama stood his ground and understood how doing that would hurt the infrastructure in the U.S. and he resisted,” he said.
Obama and Romer have met several times on the campaign trail and spoke on the phone recently. Romer said he believes Obama can bring depth to the debate on key issues.
“In the issues of race, education, and the economy he will bring a deep dimension to the discussion America needs to have on these issues,” he said.
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