President Barack Obama asked loyalists at the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday to carry Hillary Clinton through the general election like they did for him in 2008.
“Time and again, you’ve picked me up. I hope, sometimes, I picked you up, too,” Obama said. “Tonight, I ask you to do for Hillary Clinton what you did for me. I ask you to carry her the same way you carried me. Because you’re who I was talking about 12 years ago, when I talked about hope.”
Obama also complimented Clinton’s work ethic and pointed to the primary contest against her, saying he was “worn out” and every time that he had thought he had won, Clinton “just came back stronger.”
“But after it was all over, I asked Hillary to join my team. She was a little surprised, some of my staff was surprised, but ultimately said yes – because she knew that what was at stake was bigger than either of us,” Obama said.
He went on to detail some of Clinton’s experience serving as his secretary of state, including being in the control room advocating for the mission that took out Osama Bin Laden.
Obama’s message of banding together came after delegates who had been supportive of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) protested inside the convention hall during earlier speeches Wednesday night. Obama, later in his speech, praised Sanders’ supporters for their commitment to the Vermont senator.
“So if you agree that there’s too much inequality in our economy, and too much money in our politics, we all need to be as vocal and as organized and as persistent as Bernie Sanders’ supporters have been during this election,” he said.
Obama said the “timid souls who criticize from the sidelines” weren’t citizens the nation could count on, quoting Teddy Roosevelt when he said it instead was the one “who is actually in the arena.”
“Hillary Clinton is that woman in the arena. She’s been there for us – even if we haven’t always noticed,” Obama said, adding that even if voters didn’t agree with her on every issue, it’s important to get out and vote.
“You’ve got to get in the arena with her, because democracy isn’t a spectator sport. America isn’t about ‘yes he will.’ It’s about ‘yes we can.’ And we’re going to carry Hillary to victory this fall, because that’s what the moment demands,” Obama said.
Clinton joined Obama on stage after his speech:
— ABC News (@ABC) July 28, 2016
This post has been updated.