June 17th, 2008
02:15 PM ET
14 years ago

Obama defends Clinton at Michigan rally


[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/06/17/art.goreobama.ap.jpg caption="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. T.L. Boyd

    While I admire Senator Obama's poise and charisma, I cannot help but wonder if this will be enough to unite a country which, in my opinion, has not been so divided since the civil rights era of the sixties.

    I also think that he remarks to to crowd about Hilary's contributions to America carry a double meaning and may even be a front to quell her followers and garner more votes in the general election.

    Having a polite, well educated President is a plus. Having an effective world leader is a must. Sorry Senator Obama, I must vote for for the best candidate we have in these trying times. McCain '08

    June 17, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  2. Anonymous

    Hi all Obama versus Hilary (or visa virsa) supporters. I am not an American, but am follow your election process. Boy, some of you guys miss the real importance of your situation. You are suppose to be a super nation, but your fighting about stupid things, make you look weak and indecisive. You have an excellent opportunity to burry the hatchet and stand together and bring about change. The world has their eyes on the democrat’s because we believe you can do something special after a lot of damage. Stop your in-house fighting, stand together and show the world ones again that you can speak with one voice when it matters.
    Karien Uys

    June 17, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  3. DC in AZ

    It makes me feel good to know that on election day all you Barack Obama haters will be eating your words. All the garbage your closed minds repeat in the hope that you'll actually believe yourselves.
    You say you won't forget and he's full of it and you're not going to vote for him. Good, it'll burn even more when he wins and turn's this country around.
    Do us a favor stay home in November...better yet go vote for McCain then you'll truly see how all the delusion talk and mind numbing palaber you spit was a representation of the few when Senator Obama wins nicely in the general election.

    June 17, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  4. Kevin B

    I find it funny that so many Hillary supporters are willing to back McCain. He has basically said that he'll keep nominating conservative Supreme Court judges. I guess Roe v. Wade is worth aboloshing, huh? Go ahead, vote for McCain. Let's see how that works out for you...

    June 17, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  5. Missouri Mule

    We are not only electing a person, you know. We are choosing the path of this country for at least the next four years. For those of you who prefer Clinton to Obama, can you honestly say that Clinton's ideals and policies are more closely aligned to McCain's than Obama's? Is THAT the direction you want our country to go? I had a very hard time deciding between Clinton and Obama for my state's primary but I knew that both candidates eclipse McCain and I would vote for either one in the general election.

    All these hard feelings and hatred being spouted off do no good. In fact, they only help McCain. And let me say this: those of you who do not vote in the general election because you are protesting, do NOT complain in the next four years following the election. If you don't vote, you have lost your right to complain and criticize.

    June 17, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  6. Clinton delegate

    Oh, boo hoo. Obama and his folks could not handle a vigorous campaign. What babies. Apparently plenty of other Democratic candidates did just fine campaigning til June. How cowardly to blame Hillary for his own inadequacies. He barely crawled across the finish line. He obviously doesn't have the strength - without whining - to be President.

    June 17, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  7. H HEIDI

    Fishers, Indiana @ 10:58

    What will say if Sen. Obama is elected? You are quick to say he will never become the president of the USA. But have you imagine if he does? What will you say then?


    June 17, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  8. William Rodd

    I still have my doubts about Obama's background. Is he hiding anything? His muslim beginnings still bother me. Why is there still a question about his birth certificate? Hawaii? Has anyone seen it? He is a very glib person, young and inexperienced in worldly politics.
    The guy will not get my vote. The press should be asking tougher questions about these unknowns. Is any of his campaign money coming from the middle-east and cloaked in questionable disguised local contributors? Why are muslims so happy that this guy could be the next president of OUR country? AMEN!

    June 17, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  9. Walt, Belton,TX

    Actually, she's been on the left side of every battle, Obama, but you've wishy-washed back and forth.

    June 17, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  10. Deb of VA

    Hilliary did everything she could to bring down Obama but it did not work! He is still a gentleman who refuses to stoop to her level - he is a fine politician who will lead this country to the much needed change from the unfaithful Clinton and unmentionable Bush years.

    Many of you Clinton supporters are as devisive, vindictive and dishonable as she is! You'd rather vote for McBush than a Obama. It doesn't matter if you vote for Obama or not - HE WILL WIN without YOU!

    Obama '08

    June 17, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  11. R.I.F.

    Is is just me or are there no republicans on these blogs? My guess is that 95% of these "hillary supporters" are really republicans posing as democrats because they are too embarrased of there own party, plus the only thing they have is to pretend to be Clinton backers and stir the pot. I haven't seen anyone on these blog in months that said that they were a republican.

    June 17, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  12. Monique from NC

    Awwww. Sorry. I'm not buying it. Especially after his appointment of Patti Solis Doyle -seems two-faced to me.

    June 17, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
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