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. Helen Cher

    Mrs Obama said it all when she said that she was proud of America for the first time. For the first time in our glorious history she was proud?! And her husband will be a good president of US? The one that didn't take care of looking who is a president of Iraq? Come on, guys! I understand that he is black – but it is not enough to be a president of US.

    He is full of empty words – like he will "do everything" not to permit Iran to obtain nuclear weapons. A good public servant says – I will do this, this and this not to make it happen! He MUST know what to do! Everything means nothing!

    June 17, 2008 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  2. Tuoyo, pikesville md

    I have mixed feeling about Hilary that i will keep to my self

    June 17, 2008 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  3. awg

    The numbers are now clearly showing that it is a myth that many Clinton supporters are going to vote for McCain. Sure there will be some and many will keep posting in BOLD TYPE with lots of exclamation points!!!! on comment sections like this but overall, the numbers are in normal range for a general election. And many of these postings are GOP supporters masking as Clinton supporters...

    Obama supporters, don't reply in kind to the attacks from Clinton supporters. Just let them vent. No point and no need. Obama is on his way to being elected. And in 8 years, countless Obama supporters will be working alongside countless Clinton supporters to help get another excellent candidate for president elected.

    June 17, 2008 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  4. sanger, tx /Hillary supprter

    obama will say anything to win the american people over. he is a liar, a
    phony and a cheat.

    He only wants to sound positive about hillary to win her supporters over. I will never surrender to him. He will not have my vote or my family's. hispanics for MCCAIN!!!!............GO MCCAIN!!!!!!!!

    June 17, 2008 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  5. Concerned INDEPENDENT CT voter

    What Bothers me is some people saying "He (Obama) better pick this person (Clinton)...." or i'm not voting.... Seriously? Have you considered the alternative... If you are not going to Participate in the the election at all... as "protest" that is the dumbest thing in then world...

    Just get out of this country then... To be AMERICAN is to VOTE... Don't be spiteful... Stop the hate and ignorance...

    No One is perfect... let the man do his best... you can't control everyone all the time... I mean Sometimes People from Obama's camp are going to say & do some things that you don't agree with, but most things reported have nothing to do with Obama himself...

    Also Please stop saying that he STEALS idea's from Clinton...or Gore or anyone in the DEm party.... He's new & if he can bring together the best ideas of those that influence him.... how is that a bad thing? They all should have similar plans considering they represent the same type of American Citizens. I can't see where obama has excluded anyone but the Super Rich.... he has reached out to everyone. Hate some of the media.. Ok... Hate some of the loud-mouth supporters... OK... But don't hate the man... especially if you were/Are a Hillary Supporter...


    June 17, 2008 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  6. atypical

    Obama supporters blame HRC supporters for their mood.
    HRC supporters blame Obama supporters for their mood.
    Blame, blame, blame, blame, blame.

    Quit giving your power away to others.

    One other thing: I wish we'd refrain from referring to Obama as a messiah. For one, it's inaccurate and for another, you're likely to make him even more of a target.

    It's going to take a hell of a lot more than one person–even one administration to turn things around and upside down.

    Remember that word they used a lot on Sesame Street?
    COOPERATION: Change will occur as a result of a collective unifying force–not a messiah, not a savior.

    Sending heart energy to all.

    June 17, 2008 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  7. Michelle

    Bigger man. Have you run for President? Did you campaign for 16 hard months. It was just last week that she lost. Give the woman a break. She deserves to kick up her feet and relax for a while. Maybe even knock back a couple of shots.


    June 17, 2008 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  8. Quick Question

    Was Michigan the right state for Gore to endorse Obama? Is this endoresment a luttle too late? I'm just wondering why now?

    I think Clinton ran a good race, but we need to move to the general election. CNN has tones of missed opportunities and can learn from FOX how coverage is meant to unfold.

    June 17, 2008 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  9. Scott of Sydney

    Hillary Clinton and Barak Obama admire each other. Both Want a Democrat in the White House. So if you support Hillary Clinton you must follow her lead. Vote for Barak Obama. Any comments otherwise are just a McCain Supporter no matter how they try to dress it up.

    June 17, 2008 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  10. Asian4Obama

    Lirn to spel LIZ!

    June 17, 2008 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  11. Cory in Little Rock

    Maybe we all need to stop blogging so we can stop focusing on each other and focus on the presidential nominees and the issues at hand.

    It would be a shame to let bloggers keep you from choosing the right man for the job.

    June 17, 2008 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  12. Max (Miami)

    I'm sick of all the negative comments regarding Clinton and/or Obama.

    First of all, THIS IS POLITICS and this is what politics is all about...
    It's DOWN AND DIRTY and you have to know how to play the game.

    If you can't stomach it, then don't get involved....

    Not one politician is squeaky clean....
    Even Senator Obama has something hidden in his closet, it just hasn't come out yet....

    Get over it, enough of the Hillary bashing and GET A LIFE....
    Grow up, people!!!!

    June 17, 2008 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  13. Sweetie

    Naturally the Great Puppet stayed above the fray!

    We know what your camp did to destroy the stronger Candidate!

    Payback will be a Landslide victory for McCain!

    McCain 08

    June 17, 2008 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  14. Rhonda

    LIZ; Don't criticize negative Obama supporters until you clean up and can insure negative Clinton supporters will turn positive. A point made was that there were negative Clinton supporters at her endorsement speech who were not told to adjust their attitude by Clinton, as Obama told his supporters to do.

    June 17, 2008 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  15. Jon, Pittsburgh, PA

    The crowd that was booing doesn't realize that they are the biggest problem for their savior Mr. Obama. They are the reason many Clinton supporters will not vote for Obama. He created this mess. He is right to try to clean it up. Too bad he ran the negative campaign that he did.

    Remember, he and his campaign turned the best President this nation has seen in the past 30+ years into a racist in the eyes of the black community. When at a rest stop on the PA Turnpike a few weeks ago before the nomination was over, a black family walked in and when they heard and saw on the TV above the commentators saying that Hillary was open to being VP – they showed utter disdain towards her. The older woman, made some negative comment regarding Hillary and was extremely disrespectful. She doesn't realize, Mr. Obama can't win without the votes of all Democrats, including me. The attitude I saw was outrageous and not appreciated. People should stop and think and believe the facts – not what they want to believe because it fits their agenda.

    June 17, 2008 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  16. John

    I wonder when Hillary will start her unstinting campaign to put Obama in the white house.It is now two weeks since the primary season ended, I sincerely hope Hillary will come forward and support the Democrat who will be confirmed as the Presidential candidate.
    America has to ask herself do you really want to be fighting a war on another front ! Iran? do you want oil to hit 200 plus dollars a barrel do you want to se a further errosion of the value of the dollar then Vote John McCain if the above is not what you are looking for then only Barack Obama can bring the change and results you seek.
    The greatest priority now is to bolster the election monitors so that the Republicans cannot through any tampering with the voting machines or the disenfranchisement schemes we have seen in that past can skew another election. If there is any doubt about the voting machine integrity then the management of Diabold and S-ES should be arrested and charged with treason this time around, I simply do not trust these two companies to be honest participants in the November election.

    June 17, 2008 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  17. Lauren

    Good for him. He needs to defend her as much as possible with all the criticism she put up with from the media over the course of this election. Hopefully by respecting her and what she has done, he will slowly win the respect of her supporters.

    Oh, and by the way... thanks, Al Gore. As we learned from JFK, youth and inexperience doesn't mean we won't see results. While JFK's life was tragically cut short, I'm sure we could have seen a lot more from him. What I see in Barack Obama is a man with a vision who, despite criticism from skeptics, will work his tail off to achieve whatever he sets out to do. Thomas Edison once said, "Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration." Obama has done his part to inspire us, so I think it's reasonable to expect that he will follow through and give 100%.

    Democrats unite! Obama '08!

    June 17, 2008 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  18. DoubleOKool

    Senator Obama is just awesome. He will make a Great President. I have always liked Hillary as well. I feel confident that she will be on the ticket to make it a true "Dream Ticket". Let's move forward together and get back the White House in November.

    June 17, 2008 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  19. Proud American

    Lets Go Dems!!!

    June 17, 2008 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  20. PCM 01

    The intoxication with the Clinton's is not a good thing for the country.
    Populist politics are very succesful in other lands but it has no place in the U.S.A.

    Juan Domingo Peron and Evita Peron are an example that we do not need in our neighbourhood.

    Life does not circulate around the Clinton's or their supporters. Too much honey is not good...let's move on.

    June 17, 2008 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  21. Tom, St. Paul

    Denise P Quinton: They weren't booing her experience and expertise, they were booing her TACTICS, and the sense of entitlement she displayed.

    HM: Go troll somewhere else, you have no credibility here.

    June 17, 2008 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  22. Andy J, NY

    How come nobody talks about Bob Barr?

    Its a sad day when a man who wants to govern according to the Constitution is considered a radical.

    Fall in line behind you respective Democrat or Republican masters. Silly sheep.

    June 17, 2008 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  23. Think

    Leadership personified. Thank you Obama.

    Those who believe Obama is too inexperienced consider this:
    JFK was 43 and had less- it takes more than being a Washington insider to be a great president

    June 17, 2008 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  24. Brandon

    It's the negative Obama supporters who will cost him this election if they're not careful. As a Clinton supporter who is now supporting Obama I see this first hand.

    Take a lesson from our candidate and show some respect! Yes, even if you feel Hillary has not done the same. We should be focused on one goal, electing a democratic president. To do so we will need all the support we can get.

    No McCain!

    Obama '08

    June 17, 2008 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  25. Charlotte

    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 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
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