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. Election Watcher

    Obama supporters booing Clinton??
    I've heard of sore losers before, but sore WINNERS??
    Give me a break!!

    June 17, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  2. Lars Larson

    Gee, a nobel-prize winning, academy award winning former vice-president doesn't know what he's talking about. That amazes me. He was vice-president for 8 years of a very successful America. Golly gee, he probably knows nothing about what it takes for America to succeed.

    Tell me what experience in foreign relations George Bush had before becoming president? We elected that fool for 2 terms. John McCain talks about Obama not being in Iraq; that's fine, but when was the last time John McCain visited a water-logged state like Wisconsin or Iowa and filled a sand-bag? When was the last time John McCain went to New Orleans and helped with the relief efforts? When was the last time John McCain visited a homeless shelter?

    Those are what matter. Spending time in OUR country, rather than jetting all over the world for photo opportunities. Spending taxpayers dollars to do so. That's a good way to help our economy.

    June 17, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  3. Shawn T

    Becky, KS:

    Thank you! For living up to the stereotype of dumb, illiterate, american redneck. The nation is proud of you!

    June 17, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  4. LTX

    Sounds like it was staged. Just like Obama.

    June 17, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  5. BR

    Oh, how cute. The Obamaphiles are on here trying to get everyone to drink the kool-aid. Thou shall not worship false prophets. Oh well, guess some missed that part.

    June 17, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  6. Marc in Virginia

    I think ultimately this is why Obama will lose the GE. Not necessarily because of the man himself, although he's very flawed, but moreso by the way he usurped the nomination. The DNC and media railroaded Sen. Clinton. This wasn't a fair fight, folks. Obama's camp was allowed to criticize Hillary, distort facts, use sexist language, bully voters, etc.., while being treated with kid gloves by the press. Now, even after she has left the race, his supporters continue to insult the intellect of her camp and downgrade her accomplishments. Their failure to reach out to Hillary Clinton's supporters will doom Barack come November. What could've been, eh?

    June 17, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  7. Don Hunt

    As a Canadian who watched John Kennedy as a 9 year old I still remember the inspirition I felt from across the border. I really see Barack as giving this generation American and others the kind of leadership we have been lacking for so long. I hope a Canadian leader will emerge who can do the same for us.

    June 17, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  8. Bill from ALabama


    June 17, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  9. Obama/Edwards '08

    The respect Sen. Obama can show to this woman after she blatantly tried to rob him of the nomination he so fairly won is beyond what most Americans can fathom. Mr. Gore is absolutely right – there is a charge in the atmosphere for change, and it will happen through President Obama!!!

    Thank you, Sen. Obama, for not stooping to the "kitchen sink" tactics of Sen. Clinton's campaign! And for supposed Clinton supporters who say they'll now vote for McCain...they're no more Democrats than she was running for the American people.

    June 17, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  10. Beth from Virginia

    I applaud Mr. Obama. We need to pull this party back together, and he's certainly doing his part. I can see from some comments here that there is much work yet to do. I can't believe that someone would think that staying away from the polls in November is the right thing to do. Remember – if you don't vote, you have no right to complain.

    June 17, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  11. Chris

    Woohoo for party Unity! All you Obamabots, stop trashing Hillary. All you Hillarybots, stop trashing Obama. UNITED WE STAND. Divided we fail our nation, our economy, our education, our healthcare, our supreme court, and ourselves. YES WE WILL!!!

    Obama '08!!!

    June 17, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  12. Proud Democrat

    I am and have been an Obama supporter since hearing him speak at the 2004 DNC and truly believe that he is the visionary leader that this country needs. As an Obama supporter I have a great deal of respect for Hillary Clinton and believe that the work that she has done for this country is truly admirable. To those Clinton supporters who are unwilling to vote for Obama, I must admit that I find this hard to believe because if you were voting based on the issues, you could never vote for McCain as he is one who stands on the opposite side of what we as Democrats truly believe. To those Obama supporters who are angry at Hillary Clinton, get over it! This election is not about personality, it is about changing the course of this nation! Let's unite in November or we'll all be angry...not at Bush, McCain, Clintor, nor Obama...but at ourselves!

    June 17, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  13. Cory in Little Rock

    HRC supporters ask how Obama supporters can be soooooo bitter and mean?...

    Our candidate is still in the race!

    And yet You all still have to spread the lies of how BHO is evil, sexist, muslim, racist, and everything and anything that jumps to ya'll's deranged minds!

    Why don't ya'll take a queue from HRC and take some down time.

    June 17, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  14. WA

    All of those pouting like spoil brats because Clinton didn't win and vow to vote for McCain....well, that's your choice. You are probably republicans anyway.

    Clinton supporters have booed Obama. Seems like he has stepped up to the plate. Sure Clinton has done alot for women, but she wasn't the first and she surely will not be the last. Look at other women before her, Shirley Chisolm, Barbara Jordan, strong black women...they fail to mention these women done alot for black women.

    It's all about what Clinton has done. But to take anything away from her would be ludacris. The point of the matter is, there is both fault on both sides. When one fails to recognize that, you only show what true character you are.

    It's your right/choice to vote for whomever. Don't think cause you make those statement, will "hurt" Obama. Think long and hard, for it doesn't make sense to make a decision in haste, because you can't accept the fact a black man has won the democratic nomination. Give him a chance. I'm sure you want others to give you a chance and accept you.

    June 17, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  15. Marine

    Al Gore is a pundit. Everyone needs to remember his contribution to society – "He invented the internet" LOL

    June 17, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  16. P, CA

    "sherrie50 June 17th, 2008 10:28 am ET
    FYI: Obama threw the kitchen sink at HC, also."

    HAHAHAHAHA. Oh man. That was too much.

    Look, I'm not trying to bash Hillary or her supporters here, just this person.

    sherrie50, I'm sorry, but you have no clue what you are talking about. Bring up ONE skeleton from Hillary's closet that Obama used. There were so many to choose from, and he didn't use a single one.

    Hillary and her supporters, on the other hand, used practically every last thing they could on the man. If you don't believe me, go back and watch that ABC debate. It's a simple fact, not an attack.

    If you and people like you can't understand the language, don't try to talk it. A lot of people on both sides are extremely negative, and it's evident that hate is driving their actions. Pure and simple.

    Look inside (if you have the ability to introspect) and see if hate is driving you. If it is, set it aside. Reflection and rationality have never been more necessary. Please.

    June 17, 2008 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  17. heath

    People here are crazy. We MAYBE know 10% of what goes on in politics, and look at all your opinions. so black and white. Calm down and stop being extreme. Everyone running for office wants to make a positive impact on the country... and the difference between a Republican and Democrat in this country is negligible. It's like the difference between the letter 'N' and 'M'. Stop hating people who have the guts to run for office and have their lives scrutinized, and please better your own.

    Wonder why we all love Obama? It's because of people like you who hate - experience or not (and Bill Clinton had not) he does give us a hope for a younger, smarter caring leader. I'll give my vote for that.

    Heath Clendenning

    June 17, 2008 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  18. Lyle

    It is shocking that you would even speak Mrs. Clinton’s name. Your disingenuous praise is truly disgusting and it is beyond the pale that you would use her name to further your failing campaign. After you, your campaign and your vile supporters have misrepresented every aspect of her record and fabricated lie after lie about her, referencing her and using her good reputation and achievements to your benefit is wrong and reveals just how desperate you have become.

    The DNC chose you and now they have to live with their choice but for any Democrat who values America over the Democratic Party, you are simply a non-starter. You are wrong for this country and no amount of pandering will change that.

    June 17, 2008 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  19. Linda Esen

    MD June 17th, 2008 10:18 am ET :

    Why dont you elaborate on just how unqualified he is -but before that visit BarackObama.com to refresh you obiosuly inept knowled of his policies..then make a valuable argument.

    He is a noble leader- one eho will proabably make YOUR life better.

    June 17, 2008 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  20. Michael

    Clinton's record speaks for itself? Ha! Being a sore loser & whiner?
    Obama and Gore are both jokes.

    Vote Bob Barr 08!

    June 17, 2008 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  21. girlscoutnut

    Canda should support Obama as opening up trade as he will but claims not to do will benefit our brothers and sisters up above.

    June 17, 2008 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  22. Turner

    Hillary Supporters,

    There is an old saying about someone who would 'cut of their nose to spite their face'. The Dem nomination is OVER. Anyone who would support McCain and vote against your own self interest and everything we stand for should go ahead and vote for him then. We Americans are truly a 'spoiled rotten' bunch. Hillary supporters, you did not get your way, you did not win, so you attempt to inflict pain on the person that did win even when Barack and Hillary share 90% of the same goals, as opposed to McSame. I am tired of the threats and stupidity...If you are stupid enough to vote for McCain and 8 more years of this mess, then by all means do so. You will deserve everything you get as a result.

    June 17, 2008 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  23. Donna

    She is also worthy of the vice presidential slot.

    June 17, 2008 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  24. michael tampa

    Everyone needs to chill, stop the hate, and vote for the issues not the people. It does not matter which candidate is running, what matters is not to let the republicans hold on to the white house. To those of you who insist you will vote for mccain or stay home, you are just showing the world how STUPID you are...get a clue.

    I also see some obviously racist comments here, thank god most of us aren't that ignorant...believe what you want, I choose to judge people based on what they do, not what color they are. You folks are a disgrace to this counrty and its to bad we cant ship you somewhere where you can't do damage with your hate!

    June 17, 2008 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  25. Coloradoan


    It is over for you. Your time was wasted to begin with and now it is over.

    Your Idiot will go down with Nixon as tied for the worst president in history.

    The Republican Party is in shambles.

    Tricks like pretending you are 'irate Clinton supporters" will not work.

    Your lies show your sickness.

    It is over for you. Barack H. Obama will be the next president of the United States of America.

    June 17, 2008 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
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