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. Brian Knoxville, TN

    Yesterday, Al Gore stood in Michigan and said “Take it from me, elections matter.” Well, who better than Michiganders to know that selections matter?

    We watched what happened as a result of George W. Bush being selected president of the United States in 2000, and we’re watching now what is happening as a result of Barack Obama being selected the nominee of the Democratic Party in 2008.

    Elections do matter, Al.

    And so do selections that are imposed on the people.
    You should know that better than anyone.

    Selected leaders turn into tyrants, plain and simple.

    Barack Obama: Selected, not elected.

    We're taking our party back. Count on it.

    Puma Democrat

    June 17, 2008 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  2. LIZ

    Once again from the comments that were placed before me......that is a prime example of why the democratic campaign is falling apart........... too much negativity!!!!

    McCain will have this presidency...all because of the negative supporters........

    June 17, 2008 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  3. Ed, Santa Fe NM

    Ya? Well we still don't want CLINTONS as VP.....

    June 17, 2008 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  4. Joe

    Sorry Barack, I respect you but....Clinton is trash. She is a liar and a theif. She is more of a crook than Nixon.

    June 17, 2008 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  5. America for Obama

    Even in victory, Obama shows more honor and respect for Clinton then she did for him in defeat. Obama truly is the candidate of the future. Who knows, if he does an excellent job from 2008 to 2016, maybe we should consider keeping him as King Obama until about 2040.

    OBAMA 2008!!!

    June 17, 2008 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  6. Ryan

    Oh LIZ, people like you were just looking for a reason to vote against Barack. Did you really want the first women president to be Hilary? I would rather it be a lady who got in on her own, not because of her husband. GO BARACK!

    June 17, 2008 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  7. Chris from San Antonio

    Wow, HM, what are the colors like on your planet?

    June 17, 2008 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  8. former Democrat

    I have never heard anyone so full of it in my life. That man doesn't mean a word he says. It's truly sickening to witness this hypocrisy.

    June 17, 2008 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  9. Daniel

    Really? The people of Detroit booed Hillary Clinton? The same people who elected the scandal-ridden Kwame Kilpatrick as mayor, not once but twice, booed Hillary Clinton? I think that Hillary Clinton can probably add that to her list of accomplishments.

    The people of Detroit couldn't pick a worthwhile leader if their jobs depended on it...of course, they don't have jobs, so maybe that point is moot, but you get my drift...

    June 17, 2008 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  10. Billy from NJ

    Every McCain supporter should also have to register to go fight for their country in Iraq. Stand by your candidate and his policy. I for one would love to see all of these armchair keyboard warriors put some substance in their vote!

    June 17, 2008 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  11. judi in NJ

    Let's all just cool it here. Women will soon enough know that voting for McCain is so NOT in their interests. I am a woman, over 60 and a strong supporter of Obama. I also had moments of furiously saying I would not vote for Hillary, but knew in my heart that I just could not turn my back on my VALUES (which are her values) as well as his.
    Soon enough she will come out and support the Democratic ticket. Let's give her some time to relax and get her wind. She has had a long, hard 17 months and is, human, afterall. IF our candidate can give her respect and room to refresh, it's the least we can do.

    June 17, 2008 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  12. Webster 208

    These Obama supporters booing Clinton are acting like they can win the election single-handedly. Let us see if they will still be booing in November. I hope that Hillary would stay home and not campaign for Obama.

    June 17, 2008 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  13. John from LA

    I thought Obama and his bots are supposed to be ABOVE the old time politics-sounds like the same old stuff-if he's such a role model than do as your savoir is doing-play nice

    Liz is right-you bots keep pushing and more and more HRC supporters are going to go the other way-orsome may not even vote-and if we've learned anything from the last 2 pres. elections is that "every vote counts!"

    Why the anger bots???? Let go and let the chips fall where they may. Fester, Fester, Fester-rot, rot, rot!

    June 17, 2008 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  14. Fred TN

    Obama makes me proud to be an American because of the high road he's taken in this election process. It's even more inspiring when others in foreign countries are rooting for him because he'll change the landscape that the Bush administration has managed to wreck. Even though Hilary threw the kitchen sink at him, McCain will do the same even though he "claims" he'll not run a negative campaign; although we've seen the ground work laid for one! It not only looks like America is ready for CHANGE; but the WORLD in general! Go OBAMA!l

    June 17, 2008 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  15. Bigger man

    Hillary never stopped anyone from booing Obama...

    Hey, I thought she was going to campaign for Obama just as hard as she would herself? Isnt that what she said?

    WHERE IS HILLARY?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    she was lying the whole time.

    Obama/anyone but Hillary 08

    June 17, 2008 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  16. Lisa smith

    Obama supporters: Get over it! If you insult Clinton supporters they may well stay home in November. Obama knows this, which is why he is going out of his way to praise Sen. Clinton. You are undermining his efforts to unify the party! GET OVER IT.

    June 17, 2008 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  17. MacNY

    I think it's admirable of Obama to applaud Clinton's run. At the same time, the ball is in his court, so why not?

    June 17, 2008 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  18. sherrie50

    FYI: Obama threw the kitchen sink at HC, also. Where were you during the primary? Oh, you probably had your head in the sand who heard or saw no evil regarding OB's tactics. Agree! I have never witness such mean bloggers as the Obama's bloggers. I have been in total shock at their behavior.

    June 17, 2008 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  19. Trevor

    So humble and yet so powerful.

    June 17, 2008 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  20. james

    Clinton supporters STAND united...
    We know what happened... the bullies, the thugs and they still show their leftist extreme bahavior.

    UNITE... McCain '08 for Clinton '12

    June 17, 2008 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  21. Hillary Democrat

    If Mr. Obama can completment Senator Clinton, why can't his followers do the same? Now we know who REALLY is dividing the democratic party

    June 17, 2008 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  22. Karen T, Cedar Hill, Texas

    Barack Obama is the role model and visionary leader this country has needed for years! He remained positive towards Clinton throughout the primaries.... only a true leader can take the "road less traveled"!

    Obama 2008-2016!

    June 17, 2008 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  23. Nicole in NE

    There have definaltey been negative supporters on both sides – it's really time to move on people.

    Our country is going down the tubes quick and all people can think about is who said what to whom....it's sad.


    June 17, 2008 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  24. Shawn T

    I'm waiting to watch how embittered Clinton supporters spin this to be 'condescdending' from Barack the 'elitist'.

    Those bitter people...nothing will satisfy them...nothing!

    June 17, 2008 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  25. No way!

    This is a joke, right? The idea that Obama defended Clinton? I watched the speech and all I got from it was Obama giving himself strokes for having *killed the beast*, as is his true impression of Clinton.

    Obama is *NOT* praising Clinton. You're fooling yourself if that is what you think. Obama is saying "Look people, see how powerful and knowledgeable Clinton is, but see how I won, and it doesn't matter how I won! That makes *ME* all the more powerful! Praise *ME*!"

    Wake up from the smoke and mirrors. Quit the Koolaid!

    June 17, 2008 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
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