Obama Courts GOP Defectors

New initiative targets traditional Republican voters
By Dustin Lushing,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 12, 2008 4:32 PM CDT
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., right, walks with Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., as they tour the citadel in Amman, Jordan, Tuesday, July 22, 2008. The Obama camp is reaching out...   (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
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(Newser) – The Obama campaign is reaching out to traditional GOP voters with a “Republicans for Obama” initiative launched today, CBS News reports. Touting support from Iowa Congressman Jim Leach and ex-Bush adviser Rita Hauser, the Obama camp said it will launch a new website aimed at persuading Republicans to switch sides in November.

"People are getting together, ordinary Republicans," Hauser said. "It is those people we hope to attract in the next period in large numbers." The effort isn't a fundraising push so much as a support group. Said ex-Senator Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island, an early Obama booster: "It will give comfort to Republicans such as us."