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. Micah

    Yeah, Obama supporters ruin everything. Like the Clinton campaign, for example.

    Well, I'll laugh when Obama gets defeated in the general... then cry when I realize it means another four years of Bush politics.

    June 17, 2008 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  2. kathleen

    After destroying both Senator Clinton and President Clinton's reputations in the 2008 primary campaign, Obama's campaign machine is suddenly praising Senator Clinton?

    All of the boos in his audience came from the same people who still believe OJ Simpson is innocent.

    I don't care what happens between now and November. For the first time in my life, I will vote for a Republican: John McCain.

    June 17, 2008 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  3. Rational thoughts

    "He compared Republican criticism that Obama is unexperienced and naïve to Nixon's attacks on John Kennedy in 1960."

    – Funny, the same criticism of inexperience was leveled at Bush eight years ago. And I think Kennedy was used in defense then too.

    I guess the more things change, the more they stay the same

    June 17, 2008 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  4. Jay, FL

    Clearly Obama was raised in a household that valued respect and honor.

    June 17, 2008 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  5. Obama by default

    It doesn't surprise me that Obama supporters react this way. Take a look at the comments on CNN. Obama supports claim to want unity in the party yet do nothing but absolutely hate bash Hillary with every word out of their mouth. The division in this race comes down to the supporters of the candidates. NO, voting for a republican to teach a lesson isn't right, and I certainly hope people are smarter than that, but to constantly bash everything Hillary does, when so many of us are better off for what she has done in her life simply turns me off of Obama. Obama, please keep on preaching your respect for Hillary. Your divisive supporters need some help on the issue of respect.

    June 17, 2008 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  6. d

    Good for Obama to call-out those who were booing. I only wish Hillary Clinton would do the same when she speaks Obamas name and hears boos. Several times watching her speak, this has happened and she never calls them out, only smiles and continues her speech. C'mon Hillary where are you!!?? You need to do some damage control and get your down with Obama supporters back on the Democratic bandwagon.

    June 17, 2008 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  7. Fred C Dobbs

    Another clear reason why a Hillary Clinton supporter like myself and others will not be voting for Barack Obama.

    The concession speech was ten days ago and they are still trashing her. These people are just sick, no other word describes their behavior.

    Goodbye Obama and the far left, hello John McCain – a moderate like myself.

    June 17, 2008 10:23 am at 10:23 am |



    June 17, 2008 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  9. Joe, Chicago

    Obama has consistently taken the high road with respect to Clinton this entire Election season– I hope the Hillary die-hards who sometimes post so outrageously will see this clearer.

    We are a stronger party (and country) when United– and everybody needs to be involved. We need every vote this Fall! - Let's turn this country around together with a landslide victory, and bury John McCain and George W. Bush where they belong– in the Past.

    June 17, 2008 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  10. Chad Conner, Dallas TX

    Thank you Obama.

    BO supporters need to realize that they've only one the first round. Without the 18 million Hillary supporters behind him, the fall is going to be much tougher. If they, BO supporters, continue to vilify Hillary it will turn many of her supporters to McCain.

    June 17, 2008 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  11. Kenneth

    There are hard feelings on all sides .The trick here is how to handle the message OBAMA DID IT IN THE RIGHT WAY.

    June 17, 2008 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  12. Andy J, NY

    More rude behavior from nasty obama supporters. You people can't even get behind your candidates message to stop attacking hillary and her supporters.

    Change? I think not.

    Submit to Obama and his nutty followers, or else you are a racist, uneducated bigot.

    Please. Take that commie garbage to the curb, along with all your disrespectful followers.


    June 17, 2008 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  13. Didine - Maryland

    This is why I love Barack Obama, he always speaks so highly about Hillary Clinton, everywhere he goes. He is such a fine and smart man .

    Obama '08

    June 17, 2008 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  14. Nicole in NE

    That's awesome, I really wish people on these blogs could unite as well.

    Our country has gone to crap and people will vote for McCain – who has no plans to get us out of this mess.

    McCain votes twice against the Hurricane Katrina probe to see how it was handled.

    McCain votes against equal pay for women and supports overturning roe vs. wade

    McCain votes against the new GI bill to support troops returning home.

    How can we say this man fights for most Americans? I can't!
    Obama 08'

    June 17, 2008 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  15. Chuck

    Obama acts like a seasoned statesman. I think Hillary supporters need to take a strong look at him even though I understand they are still a little hurt.

    I think if you look past the rethoric on both sides, you will see a man that can truly bring about change.

    Independently minded

    June 17, 2008 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  16. Midwest for Obama

    Get serious, Liz. Look at all the comments above yours and realize just how horrible the Clinton supporters have been. Check out Hillaryis44.org for more info...need I say more?


    June 17, 2008 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  17. Melinda Charlotte, NC

    Typical of Obama supporters and the reason that a new ABC poll shows that 25% of Clinton supporters will vote McCain while 13% will vote other or stay home. That tallies to 38% of Clinton supporters, at least, who do not support Obama. I am one of that 38%.

    June 17, 2008 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  18. Terri

    Please, it's called pandering. Only now is saying anything nice about Hillary because he is trying to get her 18 million votes. He's going to have to work a little harder than that!

    June 17, 2008 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  19. DClaire

    The Ticket should be Obama – Hillary

    June 17, 2008 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  20. Dominique- MD

    Obama is right to defend Clinton she did break down a huge barrier for women. But can we just stop mentioning her name that way there will be no booing, thus no defense necessary. We all respect what she did but this election is not about her so moving on….Al Gore was great last night. Hope to see him stumping for Obama.

    June 17, 2008 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  21. Sabrina

    A little to late, and he is no JFK, his wife is certainly no Jackie. Put Hillary on the ticket and I might believe you. even tho she has cracked the ceiling but women are still under it. So thanks for nothing. McCain 08 and Clinton 2012.

    June 17, 2008 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  22. Tom St. Louis

    Maybe all of you Obama supporters should start taking a cue from your leader. Divisiveness and mean-spiritedness is not the way to bring everybody together. Just because you don't like the way Clinton supporters treated Obama doesn't mean you should act the same way. I thought Obama supporters were supposed to be above the usual politics...

    June 17, 2008 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  23. Deb in MA

    He's not stupid! He understands that it is important that he defend her if he wants our votes (her supporters). All I need to hear is one negative word about her from him or one of his supporters to cast my vote elsewhere or not at all.

    June 17, 2008 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  24. Bob/NH

    Ever gracious...Too bad the Clintons didn't show the same graciousness when it came to referring to Obama.

    June 17, 2008 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  25. Jon

    People want change so badly that they are will to believe the stadium oratory of a man (OBAMA) who does not know how to govern, is a closet racist, and blames all our woes on specific groups of people. I remember learning in school about a leader who was a great stadium orator, who didn't know how to govern, who was an open raciist, and who blamed all his countries woes on a specific group of people. His name was Hitler.

    June 17, 2008 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
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