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. Rose

    It is obvious by Obama's remarks that he needs the Clinton supporters to pave his way to the White House. I am one, of many, Clinton supporters who do not endorse and will not vote for Obama in November. He didn't have the experience or knowledge to be President a few weeks ago so why would he suddenly acquire what it takes to lead our country. I was and still am a strong Hillary supporter because I knew she was the best candidate to be President.
    If I can't vote for Hillary, then I will vote for the next best qualified, and that is McCain. Obama isn't even on the radar. He hasn't even proved himself in the Senate so why would anyone vote for him to be President. Nice speech Obama, but I am not buying the phoniness you are selling.

    June 17, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  2. Down with Obama

    I wouldn't vote for Obama/Clinton. Hillary wouldn't lower herself to get on a ticket with Obama!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Go Hillary...lets raise some hell at the convention. Get ready Howard Dean!!!

    June 17, 2008 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  3. People make no sense

    John from LA –

    He is a role model, but so am I. I don't follow behind anyone and I can say and do as I please. I have the money and intelligence to backup how I feel. It does not matter to me who becomes president because I'll do well regardless. I just continue to laugh at you dumb HRC supporters who spew hate which is reflective of how your leader leads. Watching her campaign was the best comedy show that I've ever watched, and the excuses are like a (hopefully you know the rest), everybody has one. That's not a leader making excuses. She couldn't even convince 5 of her supporters on the DNC board to give in to her stupid, divisive and cheating request. There were 13 supporters on the board and she lost the vote 19-8. Her campaign team members were on the board that voted to penalize Florida & Michigan last year and she has you dummies thinking that its Obama's fault. She has a whole bunch of supporters thinking their votes did not count. How stupid are you people?

    Then you dumb people claim that you are not voting because of what some bloggers say. How stupid is that? You vote based on your own interest. You claim Obama has no experience on issues but what does that matter if you are not voting on the issues. McCain doesn't even support anything Hillary believes in. You have a rockstar mentality about someone you NEVER even met, or had dinner with. Can you call her and talk to her on the phone? Do you have her direct number? No. You people are stupid.

    She has you dummies thinking the media, Obama, sexism, rules, the DNC, and everybody else was against her, and you buy that just like you fell for her winning the popular vote. 18 million strong supporters, but she is 20 million in debt. Help her out if you support her so much. I guess you don't support her that much after all. Obama won the popular vote so that means he has 18 million plus...stronger supporters because he won, and still has enough resources for the next phase.

    You dummies and your master let Bush outsmart you throughtout his tenure.

    June 17, 2008 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  4. Independent in IA

    Thank you, Obama. Now if the haters on this forum would truly hear your message.

    June 17, 2008 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  5. shio

    As a democrat my vote will go for McCain. I refuse to vote for Obama... McCain you got another vote.

    June 17, 2008 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  6. Linda Esen

    Becky, KS June 17th, 2008 10:22 am ET ,sanger, tx /Hillary supprter June 17th, 2008 10:33 am ET :



    June 17, 2008 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  7. Independent-woman-4-Obama

    AMEN! I agree with Tim Stevens, I am disheartened by "so-called-Hillary-supporters" who bash and disdain Sen. Obama! I suspect that they are NOT Democrats, just "the ditto-heads" that voted for Hillary to create chaos in the primaries. TRUE, Clinton supporters know what's at stake in this election and will respect her by supporting the Democratic candidate. Sure, some will go to McCain or even not vote but MOST will vote Obama.

    I was DELIGHTED by Al Gore's speech last night, and a bit sad, knowing the kind of president he would have been! The U.S. missed out on having a great man lead our nation....... let's hope & pray we don't repeat the 2000 disaster!

    June 17, 2008 10:53 am at 10:53 am |

    Why do poeple keep accusing Barack Obama for disenfranchising them or tearing down the Clintons?

    MI and FL POLITICAL LEADERS DISENFRANCHISED YOU, Not the DNC, NOT Barack Obama or the party! Your leaders did it to ya themselves. Dont re-elect them!

    It is time to heal the wounds...

    Hillary supporters you are important and your thoughts are aswell. We understand that it will take time but... yes you can.



    June 17, 2008 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  9. Rena

    HM – Stay off this blog you are not one of us we no you are a republican. Secondly, Obama did nothing to Hillary she discredited herself; he never attacked her.

    Secondly, Hillary supporters when will you guys grow up? Why I ask are people blaming Obama for Hillary's bad campaign she ran? He ran his and she ran hers; he had nothing to do with what was going on in her camp. Obama didn't attack Hillary any time in this race. It’s sad that our country is still so divided among race and gender. Bottom line inexperienced or experienced our country just doesn’t want to accept this man. Their policies are too similar for you all to be acting so out of control about. Do you people really want change for this country or is it about your candidate and her lost? I mean really this is just absolutely pathetic how we are destroying a chance at winning over the white house because we are going nuts over someone losing. Get a grip and realize the American people are suffering financially; while grown adults are acting like spoiled children over a losing candidate.

    I'm voting for the one who is interested in everyone's welfare and especially our soldiers and their families.

    Stop being selfish and stroking your ego; please realize people are dying at the hands of foolish people who are making foolish decisions. I hope Hillary supporters want become fools like many that are running the white house right now.

    June 17, 2008 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  10. kathy

    Obama you got it right for a change. Clinton has been one person that has for many years been on the side of the people, not big business or big government. It is my hope and pray that she will be your running mate. Obama / Clinton will get my vote and the only way I will vote in November.

    June 17, 2008 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  11. After further review,Texas.

    Obama a lion among wimps.McSame and his neocons love the saying "just put that 10 trillion on my credit card",we will let the kids and grandkids pay the bill.You call that fiscally responsible?

    June 17, 2008 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  12. Character Content Examination

    CNN – edit the Obamanation using your own standard:

    "You may not post any unlawful, threatening, libelous, defamatory..."

    "...remain respectful of other authors and commenters."

    June 17, 2008 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  13. Wood

    Obama is far to generous to that woman and her supporters.

    June 17, 2008 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  14. No longer A Republican

    Democrats Unite. Support an Obama Clinton ticket. They are our last hope for a better America. Our economy has gone to shambles and it will only get worse if McCain is elected! Old, young, black, white get to the polls and vote for Obama.

    Republicans have left this country in shambles and now we must put our trust to Obama to mend our economy. McCain has stated himself that he does not know much about the economy. All he has is war experience!

    Obama Clinton 08

    June 17, 2008 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  15. Mike in Scranton, PA

    Too little, too late.

    Obama should have stood up months ago to the vitriolic comments his supporters, surrogates, and media constantly spewed througout the primary.

    I am totally unimpressed that now that he has been crowned as the presumptive nominee, he finds it within himself to preach this sort of empty rhetoric.

    Nice try, but Nobama for this Puma.

    McCain '08

    June 17, 2008 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  16. Michael

    awg wrote on June 17th, 2008 10:33 am ET

    The numbers are now clearly showing that it is a myth that many Clinton supporters are going to vote for McCain.
    awg: Don't count on it. If McCain wins and the Democrats vote to insure they have a hefty majority in both the House and Senate, the Democrats will be running our country.

    June 17, 2008 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  17. Emma

    Hillary is the only possible, plausible, sensible, intelligent choice for vice president. If Obama chooses a man for that office we're back to a men-only government. When is America going to give women equal rights? HILLARY FOR VP!

    June 17, 2008 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  18. To Tim

    Obama is at the heart of special interest groups... liberal special interest groups... he's pro abortion, anti gun, anti free market, and his voting record and donations all support these areas.

    It is NOT America's job to lead anymore. We have had 4 unwanted wars because we were the world leader... well times are changing and the playing field is more level now than ever before in modern history....

    It is not our job to lead anymore.

    June 17, 2008 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  19. Rick

    Kennedy's inexperience botched the Bay of Pigs. Kennedy laid the groundwork for 57,000 deaths in Vietnam. Some inspiration.

    June 17, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  20. Natasha/Supporter of Democrats

    All will not see what is truly good. To you that are blind, I pray for you. It's very likely you are not a person who have a mind to know and want what's best for your future or your kids. All that matter is you hate him for no legit reason. Hillary dealt with sexism, Barack dealt with racism. DO you truly believe that one is great than the other? So what does that make you?

    Let's start with change. Change your attitude, or you will be a bitter person with problems.

    June 17, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  21. Mauri

    Boo Senator Clinton all you want, but how soon we forget! Had it not been for her, there would not have been a vote to reconsider the voters of Michigan nor Florida.

    Also, what's so important about getting Al Gore's endorsement of Obama. Waiting out the primaries before acting, what did we expect him to do - support McCain? What his endorsement does do, however, is to once more realize how empty Obama's embracing of "CHANGE" really is. I've always supported Al Gore, and especially so in 2000 when he was robbed by our illustrious Supreme Court. But even that support is diluted with this latest love fest between him and Obama.

    June 17, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  22. Laura

    What an egotist!!!! She has done so much more than he has, including showing up to vote on issues put before her as a senator. I'm writing in HIllary on my ballot. He's a crook totally involved with Rezko and getting million-dollar properties for less than $250K. His wife was involved too.

    June 17, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  23. carrie bama

    i like the line up
    hillary?no way
    congress woman from arkansas.good enuff for her

    June 17, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  24. Daughters over party

    As a Hillary supporter, now and always, i dont like Obama..never have BUT: i will vote for him gladly this November because under McCain reign, my daughters will not know what it means to recieve equal pay for the same work as a man!. I dont believe in abortion one bit, but i believe that if the time ever came my daughters should have the CHOICE to decide what THEY want to do with their bodies..For all the hooplah i have looked at BOTH men's voting records(the gov. makes this alvailable to us via website) and McCain DID vote about 95% with Bush last year and his women's issue votes are ridiculous! With Hillary.. i knew my daughters would become blossomed women.. Under McCain they will go back to stone age! Mr. Obama's voting record is far better and his stances on issues for me and my girls outweigh McCain heavily.. I will vote for him and i hope other will consider their children when casting their ballots instead of casting hate. Thank you

    Cnn please post this,,

    June 17, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  25. Patty

    Just another example of how Obama cannot control his own supporters....

    June 17, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
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