June 17th, 2008
02:15 PM ET
10 years ago

Obama defends Clinton at Michigan rally

Gore endorsed Obama Monday night in Michigan.

Gore endorsed Obama Monday night in Michigan.

DETROIT, Michigan (CNN) - Barack Obama defended Hillary Clinton at a Michigan unity rally Monday night that featured former Vice President Al Gore - and some off-message audience booing at the mention of the New York senator's name.

After joking about the extended Democratic primary season – “I was planning to run for the '08 election, not the 2012 election!" – Obama responded to some vocal Clinton critics in the crowd, who had reacted to praise for the senator from both the presumptive Democratic nominee and Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm, a longtime Clinton supporter.

"I want everybody here to be absolutely clear - I want everybody here to be absolutely clear - Senator Clinton is one of the finest public servants we have in American life today," said Obama, noting her work on behalf of children's rights and universal health care.

"She has been on the right side of just about every battle that we have fought - she has, in her own words, shattered a glass ceiling into 18 million pieces. ….She is worthy of our respect, she is worthy of our honor.

“…And she's tough! That's why this race took so long. She's a fighter and we need fighters in the Democratic Party. Because we've got a lot to fight for. There's a lot worth fighting for.”

Gore, who remained neutral throughout the primary season, made his first campaign appearance for Obama at the Detroit rally. "Take it from me, elections matter," said the 2000 Democratic presidential nominee. "After the last eight years, even our dogs and cats have learned that elections matter."

He compared Republican criticism that Obama is unexperienced and naïve to Nixon's attacks on John Kennedy in 1960. "I know what [Kennedy's] inspiration meant to my generation, and I feel that same spirit in this auditorium here tonight, building all over this country this year," said Gore.

Filed under: Al Gore • Candidate Barack Obama • Popular Posts
soundoff (412 Responses)
  1. MD

    Al Gore. No brains, no courage, no backbone. He endorsement is meaningless, as was his time as VP.

    Obama has NO CLUE as to what he is doing. I find it amazing that people have become so irate at Bush that they are willing to flush the nation down the toilet by voting for someone so unqualified for the office.

    Truely a sad time for America.

    June 17, 2008 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  2. Denise P Quinton

    How dare any American citizen have the audacity to boo the experience and expetise of Hillary Clinton and the authority she holds on Capitol Hill! Let them support OBAMA and we will end up with a worse mess than what President Bush has created and all these uninformed, unintellectual supporters will live to regreat the day they gave our country away to Muslim, black power nation supporters

    June 17, 2008 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  3. David

    Thank you barack.

    June 17, 2008 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  4. Tom

    And she's worthy of becoming President of the United States.

    June 17, 2008 10:18 am at 10:18 am |

    Obama you are too generous over HRC. Thats is why God is shining his light on you.


    some people on the blogs are so hateful, unbeleivable. You need to take it easy. All these politicians are friends, they will settle just like dust and what happens to hate filled bloggers? You may develop sickness from so much hate.

    take it Easy its politics!

    June 17, 2008 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  6. mike k

    The problem is that Clinton threw the 'kitchen sink' @ Obama and his followers are going to have a hard time forgiving her. She didn't care about the damage it would do to him or the party and now she is despised by all except for Obama who has been publicly gracious in spite of the fact that she deserves to be a political exile.

    June 17, 2008 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  7. awg

    This is another example of why Senator Obama will be our President.

    June 17, 2008 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  8. karuna bertam

    So let them show their displeasure. We all should still be upset with Granholm for being part of the group, including Levin for disenfranchising us in Michigan. While I support the party, and will vote for any democratic nominee, I will never support Granholm even if she's eligible for another term. Such poor judgement and partisanship does not deserve loyalty.

    June 17, 2008 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  9. Phil, FL

    It's a shame the praise isn't reciprocated from the Clinton Camp to the Obama Camp.

    I'm seeing Hillary in Republican ads and they are NOT the kind of support one would expect from a Democrat.

    She needs to say something to let folks know how she really feels, and it's time NOW.

    June 17, 2008 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  10. Greg, NY

    Hmm... Obama defends Clinton when his supporters boo her. That's
    more than you can say about when her supporters booed him at her endorsement speech, and on the night of the final primaries...

    June 17, 2008 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  11. People make no sense

    What a true leader? Respect and Honor. Spoken like a true role model.

    June 17, 2008 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  12. LIZ

    About time!! And b/c of Obama supporters being so negative....They are pushing Clinton supprters the other way. Negative obama supperters are ruining the democratic debate for presidency!!!!!!

    Hope you all are happy now!

    June 17, 2008 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  13. Marilyn

    It doesn't matter who endorses Obama or how many "unity rallies" he has. There are millions of us moderate Democrats out there who will NOT vote for him.

    June 17, 2008 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  14. Independent for Obama

    I'm sure there is some way the Obama haters will spin this as disrespectful to Hillary Clinton, somehow. *sigh*

    June 17, 2008 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  15. Kris

    This is so pathetic. The media has been going on about how the Clinton supporters are poor losers and look at this crowd. It just proves once more the kind of support Obama has. Clinton should have been our nominee anyway. It is not like she lost by much. Anyway, Obama's supporters at this rally are disrespectful at best and jerks at their worse.

    June 17, 2008 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  16. Venus

    Funny... Hillary is still getting boos! And, from MI... go figure!

    Go Obama! Thanks Al Gore and welcome to the team!

    June 17, 2008 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  17. Jack

    I have a whole new respect for Senator Obama. His defense of Senator Clinton is what I call true integrity....and I am a Clinton supporter.

    June 17, 2008 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  18. MLG

    Your just trying to get people to vote for you. McCain 08

    June 17, 2008 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  19. Andy J, NY

    Who cares about Obama's experience?

    While engulfed in his campaign of "Change", people failed to notice that this guy's whole team is full of washington insiders. Blah blah blah, its all more of the same.

    The main point should be, Obama is a socialist who wants to tax the rich and redistribute that wealth to the poor, lazy people who need the government because they won't man up and do things for themselves. They are too busy being a "victim".

    He wants to destroy our economy to save the fricken polar bears (by the way, do you know that the polar bears would rip you limb from limb and eat you?... it would be one big red polar bear when it was finished with you)

    Obama is a bolshevik and he will never get my vote.

    June 17, 2008 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  20. Roxanne NY

    Senator Clinton does not need defending by Obama or anyone else. Her record stand for itself.

    Let them keep on booing and disrespecting her as they did us, that's a fine way to keep us stewing until D-day in November when we will stay at home.

    Gore does not get him my vote.

    June 17, 2008 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  21. Only Obama

    Sounds like a Red Sox and Yankees rivarly. But the numbers don't show it. Clinton supporters are for Obama

    June 17, 2008 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  22. dz in Austin

    He is absolutely right. He'd be smart to add her to the team. Let's see how big his ego really is.

    June 17, 2008 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  23. Kenneth

    There are hard feelings on all sides .The trick here is how to handle the message OBAMA DID IT IN THE RIGHT WAY.

    June 17, 2008 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  24. Becky, KS

    Oh, Mr. Obama – you are so transparent.

    Let me be perfectly clear, PERFECTLY CLEAR. You want all the Clinton supporters to support you! Isn't that what you meant to say? Forget it buddy. You treated her like crap, and then questioned her motives for questioning you. This is one Clinton supporter who won't be supporting you. You are too green, too naive, too inexperienced to handle the mess that Mr. Bush is leaving. Move over! The DNC and media have rammed you down our throats and I won't stand for it. McCain? Is that you knocking? I hear you!

    June 17, 2008 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  25. DJ in TX

    People need to stop all this bickering. Booing does nothing to help to Senator Obama nor the Democrats. The Michagan governor is a Clinton supporter. Senator Obama won the nomination and now she's working to ensure her state stays blue.

    Democrats need to come together. If you didn't support Senator Clinton, that's fine and your right. But as Senator Obama stated, she deserves respect for what she has accomplished. It is time to move on and stop all this craziness.

    June 17, 2008 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
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