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. CM

    Ladies and gentlemen, this is politics. It's not sports. It matters.

    Your mundane "I don't like you 'cause you support the other guy" must stop. This is greater than you, and it's greater than me. This is about us and about our children.

    No one fought the battle harder than the two candidates themselves. They let it go, and now you should too. HC is a fine, skilled politician. She and her campaigned pulled some hard punches. So did BO's. Now it's time to LET GO and unify our party, and unify our country against the corporate candidate.

    And please check your grammar and spelling. If I take the time to read your entry, at least you should have the courtesy to take the time and write properly.

    June 17, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  2. Katrina M - Dallas, TX

    I am so baffled as to why some Hillary supporters act like Obama did something personal to her and in their immature anger are screaming "we will not forget" and "Go McCain."

    I mean, do you really hear yourselves?? Obama did not steal the election, he did not launch hate attacks against Hillary and he never mocked her being a woman. While you can be mad that your candidate did not win, why would you go and vote for the same party that has the country in the current state that its in???

    And in your wisdom, your solution is "Hillary 2012!" Did you forget that means your current aim is 4 MORE YEARS of the Republican party??? Not only are you further damaging the Democratic party with your immaturity, if you get your wishes, Hillary would inherit an even more messed-up economy IF she took office in 2012!

    I mean – THINK! Stop being immature and vindictive and try and think of the country as a whole and changes that need to be made – and not about getting Hillary into office in 2012.

    Ask yourself – you would rather elect another Republican than a Democrat into the White House?? All because your candidate did not win the nomination?? News flash – no one has experience being president UNTIL they ARE president.

    June 17, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  3. JC, Wisconsin

    Quit bickering and unite for change already. We all need to stand together if we hope to repair even half of the damage the current administration has done to this country.

    Those with small minds and petty, unfounded arguments should be ashamed. Your short memories amaze me. Get the facts straight before you criticize Senator Obama or any of the other people who are fighting to make this country as great as it used to be.

    June 17, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  4. Thinking

    The GOP is their for the selected few, the democrats are their for all of us.

    I think Obama is the right person to lead a nation with a high percentage of people that suffer from pessimism and tunnel vision.

    If Obama reach to the presidency of the USA, his tasks will be heavier than they are because of die hard pessimists.

    The kind of hate and pessimism that I find from a lot of bloggers will confirm to outsiders that Americans are stupid dumb a..holes, while I know that's not true.

    June 17, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  5. Adam Smith TX, USA

    Instead of talking about winning 270 without Florida Obama ought to talk inclusive of Hillary when ever possible and bring her into the campaign early on. We ought to be fighting a true UNITY ticket this year.

    Hillary – Barack 2008

    June 17, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  6. Will from NJ

    Ever hear of cutting off your nose to spite your face?

    June 17, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  7. People make no sense

    Helen Cher –

    If you are proud of America's sexist, racist, murderous, stealing white male dominant past – then you are clearly one of those uneducated HRC supporters.

    Reading is good. I wish we could make people vote based on their IQ scores. Helen, sorry, you wouldn't make it!

    June 17, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  8. Sarah

    Those of you stating that Hillary Clinton has never supported Obama and has ruined the party obviously haven't listened to any of her speeches in full, as she has said several times both in speeches as well as in emails to her supporters that we should focus on the party and support Obama if he should win. Check your facts before you make an ignorant comment.

    And to those of you who say you support Hillary and the Democratic party but continuously make racist comments against Obama, say that you're going to vote against him just out of spite, etc. Grow up. This is not a game of Candyland where if you lose you throw a fit by kicking the gameboard.

    Vote for who you believe will do right by the country. If you truly believe that is McCain, then by all means, vote for him, but if you vote for someone out of spite, out of anger, or just plain ignorance (regarldess of who you are voting for), then you are to blame for the problems that lie ahead. Do us all a favor and stay home on Election Day. Let people who actually care do the voting.

    June 17, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  9. get a life

    obama seems to be a honorable man when he speaks. america is not ready for change and we all know that. Obama has not lie about his competiors or tried to discredit facts speaks, hilary would be a find VP so face it,

    June 17, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  10. Diane

    I keep reading how the Clinton supporters won't vote for Obama because his supporters are so hateful to her. How CHILDISH can you get ????????????? Are we voting for supporters or the candidate. I don't know about you , but I will go with the candidate. And for the record–you are the pot calling the kettle black. Have you actually read what the Clinton supporters have written about Obama with An objective–not biased– mind. I think you will see that the name calling is about even. No wonder kids don't know right from wrong anymore–look at their elders.

    June 17, 2008 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  11. 60 year old white female, Mo

    To Hillary Supporter: If you don't want to vote for Obama, that's fine... You just need to choose between Obama and Mccain.... Think about War, Gas price, Taxe... then decide.... After November don't blame anyone else but yourself for your decision today...

    June 17, 2008 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  12. Brad

    Barack Obama has to say nice things about Hillary Clinton. He needs the votes of her supporters.

    Well, I don't. I don't like Hillary Clinton, I don't trust her and I don't believe her. ..and if she ever runs for the Presidency again, I won't vote for her. Part of Barack Obama's support...especially his early support...was a popular revolt by voters who were disgusted by he idea of another Clinton in the White House. It's past time for the Clintons to just go away.

    June 17, 2008 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  13. Character Content Examination

    To hear black ministers rant that my color is the reason I'm where I am today and that I am keeping "them" down is insulting.

    June 17, 2008 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  14. Dan Harper

    Denise P Quinton:

    I think before we make any public statement that we should make sure we have facts to back up our statements. Do you have any facts to backup that Obama as you put it is a "muslim"? And further more, a "black power nation supporter".

    My question to you is this? Do "muslims" worship in "churches"? Please think hard about this question before you respond.

    Atlanta, GA

    June 17, 2008 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  15. kay

    Haiti applauds Obama.

    June 17, 2008 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  16. Chief

    Hillary and her 18 million is so not true. 18 million independent voters not Hillary slaves.

    June 17, 2008 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  17. S

    I know now that there are a lot of Koolaid drinkers out there. Seriously. I have never seem so much hate spew out of the mouths of voters as supporters for Obama. So much yelling! Wow! That is the travesty. I do not vote for a party, I vote for the candidate.

    June 17, 2008 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  18. Brian Knoxville, TN


    Please allow me to quote our letter to Dr. Dean that we sent from over 26 states yesterday:

    "During the nomination process, Senator Obama and his campaign did not support counting all the votes in Michigan and Florida, did not accept a compromise plan that would have allowed new primaries in those states, and completely ignored the voters in states like Kentucky and West Virginia.

    At the same time, the DNC and other powerful committees of the party did not investigate evidence of fraud or alleged disenfranchisement of entire groups in states that used caucuses to choose their delegates, did not apportion Michigan’s delegates appropriately as called for by the party’s rules (indeed, the RBC took four delegates from one candidate and gave them to another), and did not protest the many instances of media bias against and belittling of Senator Hillary Clinton until after the part of the nomination process involving primaries and caucuses had been completed and after many automatic delegates endorsed Senator Obama based on the results of those primaries and caucuses."

    Thank you for reading this quote. The rest of it is up on our website.

    Puma PAC

    June 17, 2008 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  19. Darryl Miller, Arlington TX

    He's right Senator Clinton is a honorable person to who has done a lot for the children and universal healthcare. She has sound the alarm early and often. However, she has also voted to authorize the war in IRAQ where we lost over 4000+ severvice members and that I can not forget.. Whe need to preserve life and take care of the servicemen and women.

    I can not respect the any one who authorized a senseless war that cause the Death!!!!!! of so many.. She said her vote was not to authorize War!!!!!

    June 17, 2008 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  20. JfromNC

    LIZ – Here are the facts:

    1 – The primary was about DELEGATES
    2 – Obama put a strategy in place to win DELEGATES
    3 – Mighigan and FL were penalized before the primary started and all candidates agreed to the rules
    4 – Obama won the most DELEGATES

    If this were a primary based on popular vote, Obama would have spent much more time in the larger states – But the primary was about DELEGATES.

    Hillary said often that the superdelegates should vote their conscience. Hillary and Obama were virtually tied in superdelegates until the end of the primary. Can you even consider that maybe, just maybe, the superdelegates know the real Clintons much better than the voters do. Obama won this race fair and square by getting the most DELEGATES. No one "selected" him. We ELECTED him.

    June 17, 2008 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  21. tony, Princeton, NJ

    Obama did the right thing by condeming the insensitive reaction regarding Clinton. She did run a nasty campaign, but we should all get over it. She will not be on the ticket as VP because she would undermine Obama's presidency. For those hatemongers, get over it and get over yourselves. In fact, if those Clinton supporters votes for McCain and they get another Bush term, they would have only themselves to blame when this country starts another war which we cannot afford, unless we continue to ask China to underwrite our debts. Go Democrat.

    June 17, 2008 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  22. Rave

    Mr. Obama once again proved that he is decent and doesn't have any ego's. No matter what he says, Hillary was / is desperate and tried every way possible for the nomination.
    I have been Chanting in my posts for last few months.. OBAMA / AL GORE.... I hope it becomes true. There was also a news article about it. Mr. Gore should be on the ticket with Obama. They will be the " UNTOUCHABLES "
    OBAMA / AL GORE (2008)

    June 17, 2008 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  23. joe







    June 17, 2008 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  24. NW Dem

    You Clinton supporters need to get over yourselves. She is a phony and you guys need to get on the wagon with a real candidate!

    June 17, 2008 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  25. CHERYL

    It doesn't matter what she did to him during the election, she tried to distroy him not the other way around and the Hillary supporters need to stop pouting, if you think McCain would make a better president than Obama you sadly mistaken, this man can't even think straight for more that 3 minutes. Obama is a gentleman and will make a fine president, grow up Hillary supporters

    June 17, 2008 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
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