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. MAB

    Obama, H. Clinton, and McCain are to all appearances honorable people. It is both necessary and correct that Obama should praise Clinton and even McCain. They all have some political baggage as well. Remember Whitewater, HM? One need only to pay attention to the issues in the upcoming election. In my opinion McCain would be better than Bush, but it is critical to elect a democrat, as we need to make sure the courts don't become even more conservative, to avoid getting involved in any more stupid wars, and to change national priorities concerning the environment. Finally, it appears (based on B Clinton) that it is the democrats that are better equipped to get the economy back on track and to balance the budget.

    June 17, 2008 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  2. nc

    Come on Hillary supporters. Let's hand the White House to McCain. Hillary can win in 2012!!!

    June 17, 2008 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  3. California Voter

    Senator Obama is a politician - make no mistake about it. Look who was running his campaign – old time Chicago politico David Axelrod - who supported him initially - old time democrats Kennedy and Kerry - don't be naive Washington, D.C. does not change overnight. Our forefathers did not want dramatic change.

    As a Clinton supporter, I cannot support a candidate who was a 20 year member of a black liberation church, whose pastor preached hatred and racism, and who 10 point value system has a "non-negotiable commitment with Africa". Even Oprah heard the inflammatory rhetoric of the Rev. Wright and left the church! This church did not just preach the gospel - check out what black liberation is all about. Obama's judgement, honesty and core values are of great concern and he has never openly discussed why he stayed with a church that brought out anger and hatred. Perhaps that is where Michelle's "proud" statement came from????

    June 17, 2008 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  4. Mike

    Dear MD,

    Al Gore, as Vice President, was responsible for pushing the following-
    -Promotion of high technology in government
    -GLOBE Program
    -Pointman on NAFTA
    -Digital Earth

    I guess those not nearly as large accomplishments as shooting someone in the face while bird hunting, though, right?

    June 17, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  5. Charlotte

    June 17th, 2008 10:36 am ET
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    Believe me, he will start running for re-election on January 21st, if he wins. He started running for the US Senate the day he was sworn in as a State Senator. The Presidency, the day after the oath for US Senator. Anyone who doesn't believe that is very naive. He has done nothing but run for election since he started! No resume at all. I will write Hillary on my ballot in November, be it wasted or not. We have had more Republican Presidents then we have had democrats and Roe v Wade is still there? I'm not worried about that ever being overturned. I am worried about a President who will tax and spend us to death. How does Obama plan to pay for the Great American give away? If we bring all the troops home, where are they going to work? The overseas bases provide jobs. With the all volunteer military, we have dedicated military. Just imagine 350 thousand more people looking for a job!

    June 17, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  6. Linda from Prescott

    Good job! Now can everyone just act respectfully? Just read some of these comments; all the negativity is not good for the Party!

    Get over it and enjoy the energy.

    June 17, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  7. k

    Please be clear, Obama NEVER disrespected either Clinton, though they each disrespected him. As Iowa floods, New Orleans still falling far short than what it once was, two failing wars, failed foreign policy, a fall in Global respect, and last but definitely not least, a collapsing economy, the fact that some Clinton supporters will either vote for McCain or not vote at all is RIDICULOUS! As Gore so eloquently pointed out, the same message of inexperience was also thrown at John F. Kennedy. IF this country fails to rise to the heights it once held, it will be YOUR fault and NOT those that support Obama.

    June 17, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  8. Xavier

    People really need to think about what they are saying. I find it crazy how they say they will vote for MCcain because Hillary isnt the nominee. Do you really want somebody in office who is against pro-choice, equal pay for women? Also, those fools who say they will vote for MCcain so that Hillary can run in 2012 had best remeber that Obama supporters can play the same silly game you all are trying to play. WHhts to keep us from sabotaging Hillaries 2012 run so as to return the favor?

    June 17, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  9. jbm

    Anybody, anybody that will stay at home and not vote are not only doing spitting on the graves of everyone who died for this right and they are acting childlike, not responsible adults. Responsible
    adults, vote.

    June 17, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  10. Not So Delusional

    For all of you that believe Obama supporters are ruining the unity push and Clinton supporters are doing the same; here's an ideal for you.

    Stop reading. Of course CNN, is going to continue to post ticklers that will get you guys steamed up. They want and need viewership online just as much as they need it on tv.

    Look at it like this: who really cares about what happens (besides VP selections) between now and let's say late September, early October.
    NO ONE.. So all CNN has is "news" that will stimulate you guys. And unfortunately, you guys are falling for it.

    June 17, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  11. B - NYC

    Obama will NEVER get our vote.

    Nobama 2008

    June 17, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  12. sk

    Hillary on the ticket or McKain. There is not other way folks. Actually Brian up front said she might be a good Secretary of State. Not a bad idea.

    June 17, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  13. Obama man fron NJ

    Hillary supporters and anti Obamanots....When you cast your vote for McSame or not vote do you think that when Hillary stands up in the congress and asks president McCain and his buddies for support on an issue he will say Of course my Democrat friend????
    Get real and stand by your party!

    June 17, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  14. Obamanation


    June 17, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  15. Character Content Examination

    So when I vote in November, I won't be voting for anyone. I'll be voting against Obama. I cannot condone the election of a person who not only tolerates racism but actively supports it, funds it and then makes it a spiritual advisor. I believe in sending a message that all people (even white people) deserve to be judged not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character and the fruits of their labors.

    June 17, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  16. Peter in NY

    Although I will vote for Obama in November, unless Clinton runs as an Independent, I have to say this.

    It is easy to give very generous praise to Hillary, now that he knows that he is the Democratic nominee. I'm sure he would not have been that generous and gracious, if he had lost.

    Why people are still beating up on Hillary is beyond me. In case you were not told before, she is no longer running folks. Let it go now. Isn't your precious Barack all about peace and unity. In that case, where is yours, angry Barack supporters? Practice what he supposedly stands for. Leave Hillary alone already and move on.

    June 17, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  17. Andrew

    What is going on here? How did Obama "destroy" either the Clintons or their reputation? And where did the idea that the ones booing mention of Hillary are the same people who still believe that O. J. Simpson was innocent? Do I smell racism here? For God's sake! I thought the country had evolved more since 1948.

    June 17, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  18. Unshrub

    If is interesting, those who don't like Obama will find any little detail and read into it what they want to see. They end up trying to project what it "really means," even when they haven't a clue. They aren't correct but in their own mind they think they are. This doesn't just happen with those people agaist Obama; it happens with any candidatem but more so against Obama.

    June 17, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  19. Marilyn

    Some of you bloggers are hateful to mankind. This is only politics. Some of you act like children when someone takes the candy from you. Obama is a good man will make a great President. He has his hand full and has a lot to do to straighten out this mess the Republicans put is in. It can't be done overnight and it won't be all done in 4 years. Bush tore up this Country in 8 years. I hope you don't expect any President to clean up after Bush in a few months and a few years. It doesn't matter what race or sex the President may be. It is a lot the American people have to do to help instead of criticizing Obama and Hillary. Democrats we are suppose to be pulling together not apart. If you want the gas prices to go down, housing market cleaned up, better health care, education for our children, end the war that Bush started; let's pray and put this Country back together and we can be happy and hope that our children and their children will have a better life.

    June 17, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  20. Dan Harper


    Another situation...you stated that, "BARACK OBAMA SAYS THIS NOW BUT HE HELPED TO TRY AND DESTROY US."

    Could you please elaborate? How did Obama help to try and destroy us? Who is "US".

    You know, we are all learning. I am sure if you can elaborate more with verifiable "facts", I am sure we will learn from you. If not, you could apologize to the readers for an attempt to misguide us or misrepresent the facts...Thank you.

    Dan Harper
    Atlanta, GA

    June 17, 2008 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  21. Jan in the 'live free or die' state

    Defending HRC? That take guts in MI. NAFTA killed so many jobs there. The Dems best unite, or McCain will take over. Do women really want a Roe V Wade overturn? There should be age limits to the presidency; minimums and maximums. Not sure why McCain wants to run for president, you would think he already served his country long enough. It's about time he relaxed a bit. Why take on the most stressful job on the planet? Doesn't the job age you so much more??? What the country needs is a leader who can handle the stress, deal with the important issues, both foreign and domestic, end the War in Iraq, and get USA out of the fiscal disaster the Bush Administration placed everyone in.

    June 17, 2008 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  22. sensi johnson

    Once again, I will like to remind democrats that there are those republicans who will attend events and create this sort of situation inorder to stir up controversies. Beware! because republicans are going to do anything and everything to ensure that there is a dis-united democratic party. I know both Hillary and Barack means a lot to some people, but it is time to move forward.

    June 17, 2008 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  23. Michele

    To "Concerned INDEPENDENT CT voter" ... thank-you for a little common sense!!

    June 17, 2008 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  24. Crush Rush

    Troublemaking dittoheads and Republicans should start looking for a nice high bridge.Obama in a landslide.

    June 17, 2008 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  25. seth, minnesota

    Hillary who?

    June 17, 2008 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
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