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)

    HILIBOTS–Do NOT threaten Barak. Although we have freedom of speech–a lot of what you are espousing borders on criminal. Be careful–be VERY careful. CNN know how to get your true identity–so why wouldn't the CIA/FBI. Watch what you spew!

    June 17, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  2. trish in milwaukee

    How could the world respect the US any less after W?
    I would have voted for Hillary simple because she would have things up and running a lot faster than Barak. However, I have no problem voting for him, and like what Brian said. Hillary won't be VP, but I sure hope she is defense or state.

    June 17, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  3. Wayne Thornton

    I really think Hillary and Obama need each other. I hope Obama supporters will allow Obama to choose Hillary. If they continue to berate Hillary, it will serve McCain's and his cranky criticism of Obama.

    June 17, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  4. wthwah

    Why are all the democrats so afraid to speak the truth about HRC? She has proven herself to be wrong and divisive on almost every issue. Iraq, Health care, morals, ethics, etc.

    She is not nor ever will be one of the finest politicians, now, before or ever.

    Senator Obama, we trust you to be different from the same-old-same-old in Washington. This includes speaking the truth, and not caving into pressure or pure politics.

    Your honor is on the line. If you align yourself with HRC, you have sacraficed your message. This is what has taken you this far. If you abandon that path, you will loose the election. Your offer of hope is what overshadows your lack of experience. Take that away, and you're just another inexperieced candidate, and McCain will appear the better choice.

    I rarely get my messages posted for some reason, but I keep hoping that the comizars at CNN will eventually let one squeak thru 🙂


    June 17, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  5. Gene from Georgia

    I'm still waiting to hear from Hillary.

    June 17, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  6. jg

    HM – you need to look back at all that happened in the primaries. I don't recall any "hate", but "lies" came from every direction, even more so in the HC campaign.
    It's such a shame, and so sad, how embittered some of my fellow Americans have become.

    June 17, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  7. Kelby from Houston, TX

    Obama is right to defend Hillary. I don't know why people hate her so much.
    She has indeed been a great public servant.
    I wish she would be VP.
    I wish her supporters were not so petty bitter angry contrary racist and hateful.
    I wish I could see her stump of Obama and I mean soon

    June 17, 2008 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  8. Anne

    I am shocked at some of the responses on here. Obama acted like a true gentleman. For anyone out there voting for Mccain simply because the "queen" Hillary did not receive her crown, then any deaths in Iraq on your hands now. Personally, I could care less about Hillary supporters switching over because there's just as many, if not more, independents and Republicans switching over for Obama. Hillary is one of the most divisive figures in politics today, there's a reason she's not the nominee.

    June 17, 2008 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  9. Paige

    Obama has just alienated 18 million of us Democratic voters by giving Patti Solis Doyle a position as Chief of Staff for his upcoming VP selection. The fact that he tried to slide her under the radar in a mix of other appointments and selections just speaks to his very calculated way of doing everything. There is no way on God's green earth I would vote for him now. No way! None! Nada!

    June 17, 2008 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  10. Democrat for Life

    How can you say that Obama treated Clinton like crap when everything that the republicans are using to attack Obama with came from Clinton herself. He was in a contest with HRC. People voted and he won. Why get mad at the person who wins. Are you really mad at us for voting for him? I'm not upset or saying terrible things for the way you voted. Everyone voted... Give it a rest!!

    Democrat 08

    June 17, 2008 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  11. Sha


    I have the power as a woman to make my vote count.

    If Hillary Clinton is not choosen as VP....

    I will vote for McCain!

    Sha, NYC

    June 17, 2008 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  12. Down with Obama

    Hillary is a hell of a lot more worthy of our respect and worthy of our honor than you are BO!!!!

    Does something smell????

    June 17, 2008 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  13. John

    What did his minister/spiritual advisor say – something like "He'll say what he has to say as a politician." I'll take his sincerity with a grain of salt.

    Bet I won't see this posted....

    June 17, 2008 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  14. Anonymous

    Cough .. bologna ... cough. Everything you hear Osama say about Clinton from here on is a complete setup. Every word has been planned out days ahead of time. He will only defend Clinton if the cameras are going. He needs her voters. If you find yourself believing the garbage you really need to consider you are being naive.

    June 17, 2008 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  15. Obama/Edwards '08

    LOL @ the comment referring Obama to Hitler. That's nothing short of hatred, and I can't believe CNN let that one slip!!! REALLY!

    June 17, 2008 10:51 am at 10:51 am |

    I'm alway seeing comments on this board of how Obama treated Hillary. I saw during the primaries that he treated her with respect. Hillary on the other had, well. Had he throw the tool box at her, then people would have been talking. do you see how he is treating a women, well.

    If Hillary would have gotten the nominee. All the Obama supporters would be saying the same thing you Hillary supporters are saying. In any contest there is always going to be a loser. So suck it up and move on. Have you people won everything in your life? NO! Life is not always fair, but it is time to move past all this anger. Have you ever quit your job because someone received a promotion over you. NO!. You just moved on. Hillary is moving on and it's really time for her supporters to move on. Hillary has been vacationing for the past two weeks and all that has been posted on these boards is betterness one after another. After 911 the whole country was able to come together. Hillary lost is no way equal to 911, but as Dems. We still can't seem to get it together. You probably don't even defend/protect your kids the way you voice your opinions for Hillary. Vote for whom you wish but stop trying to induce others into your idiocy. May GOD have mercy on us all!

    Cnn post my comments, I'm tried of staying in moderations all the time.

    June 17, 2008 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  17. R.

    I love it when Obama-supporters boo Hillary. It's like watching someone cut off their nose to spite their face. It's stupid but it sure is fun to watch...keep it up everybody!

    June 17, 2008 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  18. bill in Oklahoma

    I am a fan of hillary and I am deciding whether I would stay home in november or vote for obama. I do appreciate that obama defended her in front of his crowd. I think he is showing leadership qualities with this and his wayward father speech.

    June 17, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  19. Joe in Maryland

    Denise P Quinton, you are disgusting.

    June 17, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  20. Jan

    Now go ahead and finish what you started B.O., what you did defending her like that was great , She has earned a spot as v.p. Both of you are similar on views and its going to take TWO stong people to clean up this mess. She will HELP us ,including BO to win this election. With out her its up for grabs.

    June 17, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  21. Barry of Seattle

    Okay, here's what gets me upset at these Clinton supporters who are still bashing Obama and are going to support McCain. You have no idea what's going on in this country.

    Record decificits and spending
    2 wars
    A depleted health care and education system with no accountability
    A social agenda designed to keep homosexuals from marrying and stem cell research from finding cures to many diseases

    That's just a few of the things wrong. Most of you seem to vote for McCain out of hatred of Obama, but if you vote to make this country a better place (which is what it should be), then why vote for someone like McCain who won't fix many of these problems? Sure, Obama will spend, but he will re-establish the U.S. as a foreign DIPLOMAT. He'll also create accountability in many of our social programs.

    It bothers me when Hillary supporters will vote for McCain out of spite. Grow up. Why were you going to support Hillary? You liked what she would do to the country. Well... Obama is much more similar in his views on what to change than McCain is.

    Again... grow up. It's sad.

    June 17, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  22. mark

    What I don't get from all the Hillary supporters saying they would never support Obama is what they truly believe in? It must not be what Hillary believes in. There was/is not a lot difference in their policies. So if you truly supported Hillary why would you not want universal health care? Why would you not want out of Iraq? I think you people all need to sit back and think about why you really supported Hillary and what is in the country's best interest. The same old thing with McCain or a shot at some new ideas and something so important like universal health care with Obama.

    June 17, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  23. UNITY 08

    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!!!!!! LIZ............. Please speak for yourself amd stopping try to take everyone down that one way street (ENOUGH ALREADY)

    June 17, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  24. Ken

    Some of these fanatical Clinton supporters are so idiotic when they allow their feelings and bitterness to get a hold of their better judgement!. Seriously. If you look at policies, Clinton and Obama are very close! Why vote for McCain? This is coming from a former Clinton employee so please, this election, use your judgement and do what's best for the country. Not for you. Not for your pride. Not for anyone else's ambitions. But for the United States. Look at their policies and see what suits you but please, don't be idiotic and throw your vote away by using your bitter whims instead of thinking rationally. Because in the end, your vote MATTERS!

    June 17, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  25. Theresa in Minneapolis

    To the Hillary supporters who say that "he tried to destroy us"... There was much more divisive behavior on Hillary's side. I personally believe that is why she lost. She took on the Rovian tactics and in the end it hurt her.

    Obama fought back but never ever did he throw any of the old Clinton Scandals in her face! Remember that!

    June 17, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17