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

Obama defends Clinton at Michigan rally

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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. Russel

    Obama is a great guy and honest. He will unite the democrats and will win in November. That's for sure!!

    June 17, 2008 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  2. Dar

    As a Hillary R. Clinton supporter, I ENCOURAGE THE MANY HILLARY SUPPORTERS TO GETBEHIND MCCAIN. obama is like, totall LACKS THE EXPERIENCE AND KNOWLEDGE to lead the nation. I have already sent a response back to Hillary's web site indicating that I am now in full support of McCain. I just don't trust obama with his inexperience.

    June 17, 2008 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  3. Rainmaker

    What a Joke!

    After destroying the Party and the best candidate we have had run in a long time, someone who was really in touch with all the people.

    This is all he has to say.....

    I'll let you know how I feel about you this November!

    June 17, 2008 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  4. Tjstelten

    I respect Obama for his words of praise for Clinton,however she gets none from me! I still resent the tactics she used to smear Obama and it was her spys like the one who got the bitter comment! Clinton has no ethics! Obama still needs to watch his back–Clinton's don't know how to loose! They are scarey people!

    June 17, 2008 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  5. Mani, NJ

    I am glad he is finally admitting it to the public. If it wasnt for his big bucks Hillary would have been the nominee. At least he is giving her the credit and respect she deserves. So now Barack needs to quit playing games and pick Hillary as his VP.

    June 17, 2008 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  6. The Common Man

    To those who want Clinton on the ticket – if you were Obama, would you really want to be the only thing standing between a Clinton and the Presidency?!? That's like putting yourself between a mother lion and her cub or Rush Limbaugh and chicken fried steak. Well, you get the point that it would be a very uncomfortable place in which to find yourself...

    June 17, 2008 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  7. LIZ

    To those of you who are commenting on my impression of this ticker....I am not making this stuff up. My spelling is alittle off b/c I am in a hurry. ( just another example of immatuiry on here)

    But Obama supporters are making this whole debate for presidency negative, even when Obama is trying to bring everyone together!!!

    We all need to come together as one...let go of the past .....and look towards the future for a better America!!!!

    I don't understand why that is being so hard for others to grasp.

    June 17, 2008 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  8. HELEN

    Forgive us if we are not as forgiving as you are Sen. Obama. However, Hillary and her campaign's behavior this primary season was unnecessary and quit cruel.

    So give us time...maybe we can forgive...but right now its too early to forget.

    I believe whatever is in you will eventually come out of you. I believe Hillary meant every thing she said and did on the campaign trail this season. I think she is fighting for her future right now. Hillary still believes it all about her and her ambitions. NEWS FLASH: ITS NOT!!

    June 17, 2008 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  9. joan collins

    well well well....looks like Obama may need Hillary after all...She ran against the news media and Obama so what can I say...If Obama"s camp says WOO again i am gonna be sick......I would hate to think Obama is president and he hires cabinet members without experience...maybe he should go home to Michelle.....She is gonna be some first lady....but not by my vote...Always a democrat until now..

    June 17, 2008 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  10. Lilarose

    Keep it up, Obamaphiles, YOU are the reason I won't vote for Obama! Your nasty comments and total disrespect for Hillary Clinton, the BEST presidential candidate we have had in decades, is driving many of her supporters in directions other than Obama.

    Obama cooked his goose with me yesterday when he hired Hillary's former "helper" as his new chief of staff for his not-yet-chosen VP.

    Why doesn't the new VP candidate choose his/her OWN chief of stuff????? Why is Obama doing it?????

    June 17, 2008 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  11. Jonathan

    I think clinton supporters who'll vote McCain or stay home in november are doing the absolute wrong thing. Politics isn't about personality, it's about programs. Hillary and Obama have almost exactly the same opinion on all issues. They want the same future for america. McCain has an opposite opinion on all major issues. Ok, the primaries were long and sometimes heated. But they were pretty fair to me. It's hard do awknowledge that your candidate lost, but voting for a republican just to bug the other democrate candadite is foolish, childish and dangerous. What's worse? Obama in the white house making clintons program happen, or four more years of war, debts and what else?

    Think about it, and do the right thing. It's not a personal matter, it's a moral one.

    June 17, 2008 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  12. David

    As a McCain supporter I love the way you children are fighting. Keep it up. We love every minute of it. LOL

    June 17, 2008 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  13. REPUBLICANS KILLED THE ECONOMY

    ALRIGHT OBAMA SUPPORTERS U HAVE TO THINK THESE PEOPLE ACTING LIKE THEY ARE CLINTON SUPPORTERS ARE ACTUALLY FAKE DEMOCRATS THEY ARE FROM THE NEOCON RIGHT POSIN AS HILLARY SUPPORTER. THE POLLS SHOW MOST HILLARY SUPPORTERS ALREADY SUPPORT OBAMA SO REPUBLICANS COME WITH A DIFFERENT TALKING POINT

    June 17, 2008 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  14. George

    Obama has been more than gracious in his treatment of Hillary. Far more than she deserves, given how demeaning and mean spirited she oftentimes was towards him. The die-hard Clinton followers should remember that she lost the nomination fair and square, she was not cheated. Stop using your support for Hillary to hide your obvious prejudices.

    June 17, 2008 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  15. Maksim Tsionskiy

    ANDY ARE YOU STUPID OR JUST PRETEND TO BE? HE IS NOT SOCIALIST AND IF H E IS THEN ITS NO MORE THEN HRC. STOP BASHING HIM, HE WON FAIR . CLINTON DID BAD JOB CAMPAIGNING. WHAT SHE THOUGHT SHE ENTITLED FOR NOMINATIONS, YOU HAVE TO WORK FOR IT. WE NEED TO COME TOGETHER. THE REAL ENEMY IS MCCAIN. IF YOU WANT CLINTONS POLICIES COME TRUE THEN VOTE FOR OBAMA BECAUSE HIS POLICES ARE ALMOST IDENTICAL AND IF YOU VOTE FOR MCCAIN, THEN YOU JUST IGNORANT AND RACIST AND YOUR EGO IS BIGGER THEN CAUSE AND YOU BE GOING AGAINST WHAT WAS CLINTON WAS STANDING UP FOR ANYWAY.

    June 17, 2008 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  16. Renatti in Ohio

    Wow, now Barack Obama said that Hillary Clinton is "one of the finest public servant in the country." How come he did not say that on the primary campaign? Is that the kind of hypocrosy change he has been talking about? He tried to destroy us in the primary battle, but of course, now he needs our support. Unfortunately, my entire family and myself will not be supporting Obama in November. We have already change party affiliation, we haven been contributing to McCain, and we are doing whatever we can to get McCain elected in November.

    Obama, why are you now campaining in Michigan? I thought you did not want the Michigan primary votes to count. You did not even want to have a re-vote in Michigan. And after the DNC's Rules and Bylaws Committee you end up with the uncommitteed delegates PLUS 4 Clinton delegates. That is disgraceful. Please stop talking about Hillary Clinton, you will fail in November....

    June 17, 2008 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  17. carolflowery

    i find the whole Obama thing boring without Hillary, besides, he now has no one to bounce off from, he was always copying her every move, i hope Hillary takes a long vacation ...I honestly do believe he would tell Republicans what they wanted to hear if they were his audience he will tell anyone anything

    June 17, 2008 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  18. CTran

    Obama has proven he says anything to get elected. He is a slick politician, has an answer for any question thrown at him. It is always easy to say CHANGE like a parrot. His defending HRC is for one reason and one reason only; to get her supporters vote. I am one Dem who will soon register as a Republican to protest the treatment HRC received and vote MC Cain this time.

    June 17, 2008 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  19. joe in VA

    BHO continues to say anything anyone wants to hear, including praising Clinton. I don't believe him at all.

    The man will flame out and do even more damage to the Democratic party in the process. Obamaniacs will get what they asked for: good sounding words with no action/substance to back it up.

    June 17, 2008 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  20. vic

    Why are Clinton supporters filled with so much hatred for Obama? Get over it already. You guys are ridiculous. show some dignity and stop the hatred. He hasn't done anything any different than any other politician has done to win the nomination, the same goes for clinton. Although she's the one that's been caught lying most of the time throughout her campaign. But of course, clinton supporters will always have excuses for her.

    June 17, 2008 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  21. shannon

    set up by Obama's people...have his people boooooo Clinton so he can defend her...hope that her supporters will come back over.

    I wonder if they are stupid enough to fall for it.

    June 17, 2008 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  22. Foreign observer

    Building bridges instead of fighting a nonlegitimate war. End the retrograde view of the world of being only a cold war place.
    Mc Cain = Retrograde view and lack of judgement and understanding towards the present world.

    June 17, 2008 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  23. Theresa in Minneapolis

    What did Hillary do when her supporters boo-ed Obama?
    Nothing! She didn't say a word!

    June 17, 2008 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  24. thegoreyears

    NWindependent, if McCain wins, you'll have no country in 2012. You'll be voting in a school made of rubble, destroyed by a dying nation's economy.

    June 17, 2008 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  25. JIM WHITTAKER, Hemet, CA

    WOW!

    All these Hillary supporters are sure, angry, bitter old people.

    I'd sure hate to be them, and thank god I'm not. It must be a
    miserable lonely life they lead. And now their Queen has
    been vanquished, they have absolutely nothing.

    How sad and pathetic...

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