September 1st, 2008
02:15 PM ET
14 years ago

Obama cuts short speech to put focus on Gulf Coast


Watch as Gustav moves into the Gulf.

DETROIT (CNN) – Barack Obama cut short his Labor Day remarks at what was billed as a workers’ rally to focus on Gulf Coast residents in the path of Hurricane Gustav. He asked for a moment of silence and said “today is not a day for political speeches.”

“I have to tell you, that as we meet today, I have to change my plans a little bit,” said Obama. “Our neighbors and our fellow citizens in Louisiana and across the Gulf Coast are once again under siege from a terrible storm.”

“Although we are prayerful that this will not be the same kind of situation that we saw three years ago, today is not a day for political speeches. I hope you’ll forgive me – I hope you don’t mind,” he continued. “Today is a day for all of us to come together as Americans and send our thoughts and prayers to our brothers and sisters who are worrying at this very hour about their homes and their loved ones.”

Obama asked that his supporters give what they can to the Red Cross and other relief organizations. The campaign also sent out an e-mail and text message to their network soliciting donations.

Obama intertwined his planned pro-labor message with the day’s news, saying “that when we show solidarity with those folks in Louisiana and Mississippi and Texas and Alabama that we are expressing the true spirit of the labor movement. Because the idea behind the labor movement is that you don’t walk alone, you’re not by yourself…”

After a moment of silence, Obama asked that people remember the day’s spirit of unity going forward because “there are lot of people out there suffering silent storms.”

Obama will continue with day’s schedule, delivering speeches in Monroe, Michigan and Milwaukee, Wisconsin, but they will be shorter than usual and – like here in Detroit – focus on the Gulf Coast.

The remainder of the week, however, is up in the air. He will return home to Chicago Monday night to closely monitor the hurricane, the campaign says.

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. McWho?

    got your text Mr. President (Obama) to donate $5.00 to the Red Cross, i just donated in support of you and i donated yesterday in honor of the people...Obama, thanks for texting your supporters...oh, i also donated to HRC to retire her honor of both of you...thanks for being such a great example and a great Obama Nov. 4

    September 1, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  2. Omar C. Baez

    This is what a President is and how he behaves!!!

    My god can't people in this country see that there is no choice between Obama and McCain?!

    Obama is the person who can bring about the change we need in direction of this country.

    September 1, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  3. Oxigen

    Barack has nothing to do with this. CNN does because they are the one who brought that nonsense out. Get a live CNN! But Palin did use her power the wrong way to try to fire her ex brother in law.

    September 1, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  4. GOP for OBAMA

    Palin's husband got a DUI "in his youth" AND
    President Bush was arrested "in his youth" AND
    McSame was a P.O.W. "in his youth"

    It's it odd that moral shortcomings are to be ignored by some?????

    In ONE election it *matters* that a spouse is rich.
    In THE VERY NEXT election it doesn't matter at all that a spouse is rich.

    The word HYPOCRITE is soooooooooooo appropriate here.

    September 1, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  5. Tony

    This country needs to wake the hell up!

    In 3-days we have found out Palin, who cannot even run her own household, let alone the country, is about to be a grandmother to her unmarried 17-yeard old daughter's baby, her husband has been arrested for drinking and driving, that she is a flip-flopper regarding the Bridge to Nowhere in Alaska *she was for it before she ewas against.

    All of this in only 3-days. No wonder McCain wanted to cut the announcement as close to the election as possible. Who knows what else is going to come out. Perhaps Palin should spend more time with her family than putting her political career first.

    September 1, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  6. Donald from SC

    Thank you President Obama for looking out for us!

    September 1, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  7. .griffith

    go obama go .

    September 1, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  8. SAT

    I'm glad Barack asked his supporters to give to the relief efforts. The affected famiies will need the help.

    Don't know what to make of all the news swirling around Palin's family. My goodness, was she really vetted? This seems alot of information to take in all of once. What more is to come? Wow....

    September 1, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |