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. JDC // Ohio

    Hiullary, Obama and McCain...political animals ARE what is wrong with America. We don't need any of them!!!

    June 17, 2008 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  2. park more

    No Obama, this time is for McCain and 2012 will be for Hillary. We will not vote for Obama no matter what and we will speack for McCain.... Hillary people please vote for McCain and show to the DNC that we do not like their politics and we can decide not them..... Sham on then

    June 17, 2008 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  3. W Spivey

    That's the mark of a good President

    June 17, 2008 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  4. Angel Blaize

    Imagine .....he still speaks highly of Clinton. The lord said fogive and forget please spporters lets all unit.

    June 17, 2008 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  5. 4obama

    I congratulate you Senator Obama and take your time choosing your VP.

    June 17, 2008 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  6. Rhonda

    HM; What are you talking about?? I got the message that Clinton, with the help of her husband, tried really hard to destroy Obama!! Open your eyes.

    June 17, 2008 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  7. DeBoth

    Obama and Algore are both goons.

    Of course there would be boos there, those are Obama supporters,

    Clinton is the best qualified and the most trustworthy of all however
    myself and about 10 million other Clinton supporters all pledge to vote for John McCain – NOOBAMA for us.
    There is going to be a million women March in Denver,
    The Un Democratic party is in for a rude awakening.

    June 17, 2008 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  8. j gannon

    As usual, this shows Obama is the superior candidate!

    June 17, 2008 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  9. Can we unite please!

    Oh my god. I have a hard time getting CNN to post my comments, but you get some real racist leaving some real stupid comments. People say they don't care about skin color. Read some of these negative comments and you please tell me. And America is telling other countries how to treat there poeple. How can we and we are the most racist nation in the world.

    June 17, 2008 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  10. Obama-Junkie, IL

    Obama supporters are not ruining the democratic debate...LIZ. It is simple to see the blind loyalty and severe negativity of Clinton surrogates and many of her supporters. Just today, Lanny Davis is joining FOX news as a political analyst. Why would FOX news (a.k.a. Republican channel) hire an ardent Hillary supporter to join their team? In Lanny's ignorance and bitterness, he will strongly promote Hillary as a VP and dimiss Obama as an inadequate candidate in the general election. This is one of those perfect FOX new channel scenarios to continue to try to cause chaos and division in Democratic Party Presidential politics!

    Most of the ardent Hillary supporters on TV are not discussing issues important to Americans that all Democrats support.

    June 17, 2008 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  11. PaulT

    I believe that Obama would make a promising leader of the US, if not just by making history to be the first colored in the White House he might prove to be a leader to leave a great legacy. He came from the backstreet and knows what Americans are going through right now and not someone who has been enjoying their lives in grandeur while watching others suffer. Enough bickering, its about time to move on forward for a change.

    June 17, 2008 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  12. xddy4u

    Obama said the right thing about Hillary. Their battle is over, it's McCain he's after. Unity among democrats is the game now.
    About Florida and Ohio. Sure Obama needs those states, and he know that. But what he was saying is that he is not going to let those states take his campaign hostage. He is not going to sell the farm trying to win them. My saying, there are twelve roads to Pennsylvania Ave. All of them doesn't run through Florida or Ohio. Florida and Ohio, Obama need you, it would make things easier, but he is not going to empty the war chest to get you. If you are truly interested in "change", then he won't have to. Florida being a tourist state difinitely need a booming economy, and all of Wall Street is saying that Obama would be good for the country. So my friends in Florida, wise up and play the odds, vote for Obama. It would be good for the State, it would be good for you. Likewise Ohio voters.

    June 17, 2008 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  13. Yes.We.Can.

    So magnanimous, so gracious, so generous…try to be objective, people. If you would just erase the cloud of hate from your eyes, you will see not only someone who is capable of doing the work but also someone who will represent us well all over the world.

    June 17, 2008 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  14. Jeff

    Hey LIZ (and other HRC supporters), if you're willing to vote for McCain because you feel disrespected by Obama supporters, then I'm not really sure what to tell you. You do realize you're voting for the candidate, not the supporters...right? Who gives a crap about rude supporters who are apparently incapable of an objective thought. Clinton had/has tons of rude supporters, too. Do I like them? God, no. But am I going to let them determine who I vote for? Absolutely not...ridiculous irrational people won't play a role in who I cast my ballot for.

    June 17, 2008 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  15. Kenneth

    Where is Hillary Clinton? What happened to the support from her team to unify the party? What happened during the "secret meeting" ? It seems that she is truly showing her colors and biding her time. Mr. Obama has been and continues to be gracious and supportive of her campaign yet it seems that the onus of unification now rests on his shoulders even though the divisiveness originated from the Clinton campaign. Mr. Obama will be President and it would be "nice" for Hillary's supporters to get onboard and I believe that a majority of them will. To the ones who do not then all I can offer is my condolences and hope that you make the right choice to end the war, improve our economy, and build a more patient friendly healthcare system. We need to rise above the petty disagreements and name calling to reach the next level.

    June 17, 2008 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  16. Whatever

    Hazel June 17th, 2008 10:30 am ET

    Obama's rabid supporters are his worst enemies. They do more to hurt him than the right wing political attack machine ever could. There will be no unity without respect– that's a fact. Get hold of yourselves Obamaphiles, if you care at all about your candidate.

    HAZEL, do you seem to forget how Clinton supporters were being disrespectful at the FL/MI DNC meeting? Or how they were booing Senator Obama at Hillary's concession speech? It's amazing how you seem to forget how Senator Obama was treated by Hillary supporters and Hillary herself during this primary. It's like you remember what you want to remember in order to defend your weak arguments.

    June 17, 2008 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  17. RC

    Don't be fooled by the negative bloggers and those who claim to be Hillary supports that will not back Obama! These are most likely McCain political strategiest trying to get you not to vote for Obama. This is business as usual for the Republicans!

    June 17, 2008 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  18. Tired of the Hate

    Obama supporters and the media have consistently maligned a great democratic family. While Bill Clinton was president, this country prospered and was respected throughout the world. Chelsea supported her mother, as anyone would. Hillary has consistently defended and fought for all Americans rights. I'm tired of hearing the disrespectful rantings of the Obama supporters. As long as the Obama supporters continue this hatefulness, the Clinton supporters will have a hard time supporting Obama. This has to stop, if the Democratic party is truly going to unite and defeat McCain. My vote for Obama is pending his showing us that he can control his supporters and start showing true leadership. After all, if he can't properly lead his campaign, how in the world can he lead this country.

    June 17, 2008 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  19. The Bush Twins : George and John

    After all the negativity from the Clinton side, Obama still takes the high road. This is one of the qualities I like to see in a president.

    June 17, 2008 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  20. rw in ct

    What a hypocritical, despicable sorry example of a politician. HRC does not need Obama's judas defense. She is leagues above Obama in political stature, in dedication and in intelligence. The fact is, she best not go near Obama even with a ten foot political pole, he is political poison.

    country before party. Vote McCain.

    June 17, 2008 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  21. park more

    For more information, read Obma' wife Thesis, you will change your mind........ She will destroy everything

    June 17, 2008 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  22. Eric

    If anyone thinks that Obama threw the kitchen sink at Hillary Clinton, then you must have forgotten everything from 1992-2007. Did Obama ever mention Whitewater, Monica Lewinsky, Jennifer Flowers, Impeachment, shady cattle deals in Arkansas, Vince Foster, Travelgate, Selling time in the Lincoln bedroom, millions of dollars from the Saudis, Norman Hsu, Mark Rich, etc.? No he did not "as far as I know". Those are the reasons the Republicans wanted Hillary nominated. They would not have been so kind.

    June 17, 2008 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  23. jane


    June 17, 2008 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  24. Nice try

    HM said,


    For your next comment, try to sound a little more believable. Nobody's buying it. You have been, and always will be, a Republican. Stop pretending Hillary supporters are angry enough to reverse their points of view and just support your candidate, John McCain, like a reasonable adult.

    June 17, 2008 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  25. Henry

    The more Obama supporters trash us Clinton folk, the more I'm inclined to stay at home. I've never like Obama (and I'm a black male age 47) but I can't vote for McCain. Has anyone noticed how terrible borring the campaign is without Mrs. Clinton. McCain and Obama-yarn!!

    June 17, 2008 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
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