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. Jen

    Obama fans who are in 'awe' of what an amazing man this is.... obviously have no clue about politics. Of COURSE he is going to praise Hil now, to try and appease her supporters... He's got a big election coming up, and needs all the votes he can get.

    And of course she is NOT going to do anything to appease her supporters just yet. She still has some power to sway things, because she knows that Obama can't win without her supporters too. I'm sure you'll see her praise him eventually too, when there is something in it for her.

    It's nothing personal, just politics.

    June 17, 2008 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  2. Myst

    gee whiz Barry Thanks!

    June 17, 2008 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  3. Brian Knowxville TN

    Ok that's it! I can't do it any longer. I CANT KEEP SELLING MY SOUL TO THE GOP!

    I admit it. The McCain campaign has been paying me to regularly post derogatory messages on the ticker. If you don't believe me, look at my post history. Do you really think anyone would spend so much of their time making hundreds of posts day-in, day-out if they weren't getting paid?

    I can't do it any more. You may not believe me anymore, but I value by integrity and my nation too much to be a so called PUMA. I am truly sorry for being a traitor. I hope you Dems will find it in you to forgive and embrace me.

    One last thing...I have repented, but the GOP snakes never will. You will probably see more hateful posts from Brian Knoxville TN. Just know that its not me.

    DEMS '08!

    June 17, 2008 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  4. David Snyder

    Remember, during an election the only focus is to prove that you are the best candidate available. Obama did not his endorsements to Clinton’s life’s work during the first months of his campaign because it would promote Clinton’s candidacy for president, not Obama‘s.

    No, I believe that Obama is true when he honors Clinton's name and her achievements. It is time to be loyal to a cause, not to any one individual! Let's elect Obama on behalf of everything Clinton and the rest of the Democratic party stands for... a brighter future.

    June 17, 2008 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  5. Gwen

    To all the idiots who say they will vote for McCain because Hillary didn't get the nomination I can only say this: Your unreasonable reaction to Hillary's loss makes you look like a bunch of whiny cry-babies. If you would vote against your own best interests because you've got your panties in a wad over your loss then you deserve what you get. I just hate that you take the rest of us down with you.

    June 17, 2008 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  6. The Common Man

    Wow Kathleen, could you be any more racist? Now I am starting to question if these posts are coming from HRC supporters or Karl Rove, because there doesn't seem to be much difference between the two.

    June 17, 2008 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  7. Fitz

    Kathleen, is there a reason you mentioned O.J Simpson in your post? Obama is O.J and Hillary is Nicole? is that where you tried to take it? You really need to get a life, crawl back into your hole.

    June 17, 2008 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  8. Tony

    What a true Statesman! To all the Hillary Supporters...Please note How Obama defended Hillary and confronted the booos from the audience...Unlike Hillary, who allowed the boos to go on during her too little too late concession speech...Also she has done unimaginable damage to his campaign...During her "fight" for the White House she proved one thing...She's a tough fighter for her own selfish ambitious race for the White House...It wasn't about the little people..it was about the Clinton ego, and that was obvious! Now Obama is left to regroup, try to unite a party divided by her and on top of all of that ..they want him to pay off her campaign debt...Unbelievable!! Obama 08!!!

    June 17, 2008 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  9. Jam One

    Jon, you are so out of line to compare Obama to Hitler.

    June 17, 2008 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  10. mary

    Hillary's a crook. I thought you werent going to play the game, Obama. I just lost some respect for you.

    June 17, 2008 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  11. rachel

    Of course the booed they were all HIS supporters. Yet people talk about Hillary's supporters.

    June 17, 2008 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  12. McSameMcCain on myspace

    Any one who will vote for a candidate based on what a supporter says is rather silly. You can vote for a candidate or against a candidate, but to say "Because the Obama supporters are so mean, I'm voting for McCain" is so childish that one would wonder if you could even find the voting booth in the first place.

    The fact is that Hillary went negative early and often. Hillary caused this division in the party and probably cost herself politically for a long time, no matter what the outcome of this coming election holds.

    For what it is worth, when the choice was Obama or Clinton, I was strait up a Obama fan, but if the choice had been Clinton vs McCain, I don't know how anyone could vote for that angry, petty, old man. His anger reputation gives Bill Clinton a serious run for his money.

    Democrats 08/12 President/Vice President/Senators/Reps/Govs/all the way down to dog catchers.

    It is time to throw any political candidate with an R behind their name onto the trash heap

    June 17, 2008 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  13. Concerned INDEPENDENT CT voter

    People: please give me some REAL hypotheticals to what bad may happen to you and or this country if OBAMA is elected....

    what FEARS do you have?

    Which one of the people running for this job have run a Country before?

    June 17, 2008 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  14. Thank You, Senator Obama

    Thank you, Senator Obama for your kind words about Senator Clinton. It really saddens me that some of the crowd booed, but we are all entitled to our opinions and I certainly respect everyone's opinion. As a Hillary supporter from the beginning, I have been listening and watching your campaign to get a better understanding of your ideas and policies. As a life long Democrat, I am really upset with the DNC right now, but I am still a Democrat.

    Thanks again for your kind words about Hillary and I will continue to watch, look and listen. Keep The Faith.......

    A Hillary Supporter

    June 17, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  15. Marilyn from Ohio

    And, Joe, just what do you base your remarks about Clinton on? You Hillary haters have vicous remarks but you never give specifics. Rumors, that's all!

    June 17, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  16. Rose

    Good for Senator Obama, now if his supporters will take his lead and really see that Senator Clinton has made a positive difference, than maybe her supporters will back Senator Obama.

    June 17, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  17. bridgette

    Republicans everyone knows it is you all on these blogs trying to act as if Hilary supporters hate Obama. Please stop it it just makes you look desperate and foolish. Grow-up already.

    June 17, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  18. Seth

    McCain = America's Continued Econmic downturn
    McCain = loss of clout and respect in the internalional community
    McCain = Abolishing a woman's right to choose
    McCain = Tax Breaks for the Rich
    McCain = More War

    Moderate? Hardly.

    June 17, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  19. Frank

    Barak spilled out a few interesting differences from his past quotes that show he is a typical politician and already changing direction right in the face of his congregation. I guess this is the kind of 'change' he speaks of....a chance to 'change' his mind mid-stream. Also, Al Gore is a hypocrite and a snake oil salesman. He lives a life of waste yet he will call on every other person to change their ways. The Democrat Party is spiraling out of control.

    June 17, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  20. Brian Knoxville, TN

    You too, Al? Are there no leaders left over at the undemocratic Democratic Party? Not one who remembers our principles of equality and equal treatment, of full democratic participation and of fair reflection? Not one who will stand up to these weasels who sleazed off with power that they didn't earn and don't deserve?

    Not one?

    Well, fortunately, we decide who our leaders will be over at the true Democratic Party. And we will be heard. And when we have our party back, all the failed leaders will be returned to their places as citizens with no more power over our party than the power of a vote on election day. Your days calling yourselves leaders are numbered.

    Barack Obama: Selected, not elected.

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


    June 17, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  21. Shame

    Some of these entries are filled with hate. OMG give me a break. Keep it up and you too will feel the wrath!!! Such anger – this is why we are in the fix we are in. Come on Americans!! Unite. Stop the hate or you too will feel God's wrath. NO WEAPONS FORMED AGAINST US SHALL PROSPER!!!

    June 17, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  22. Carlie

    It's so sad to see Clinton supporters so hateful. Why are you so ugly?


    June 17, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  23. kim

    Denise P. Quinton is what's wrong with this nation– Google her name and all sorts of ill-informed man-hating comments appear. You, madame, need to have your head examined. If nothing else, be cynical– do you really think the DNC would let someone rise to the heights Obama has if he had any real ties to Islam or black power? No, because then ignorant trash like yourself would never consider voting for him.

    June 17, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  24. M.S. Indiana

    HM, Obama ran a campaign, if you wanna blame somebody do it to yourself, people like you did not give her money nor the support she needed.. More people voted for Obama, the have more delegates and won more states... Some body else who may have ruined her campaign more then you is Bill Clinton...

    So what education is there for becoming president ?? non you fools, it is about the persons and what they stand for... thats how Obama won, new ideas, better ideas and a new time in America and the rest of the world..

    June 17, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  25. HRC3655

    Too little too late Sweetie. Barry will never win over a large majority of Hillary supporters. I will stay home rather than vote Obama.

    June 17, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
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