ABC News’ Eloise Harper and Sunlen Miller reports: Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., had to endure cheers for Sen. Barack Obama and boos for the North Carolina governor, who has backed her, at the North Carolina Democratic Party’s Jefferson-Jackson dinner in Raleigh, N.C., Friday evening — where both she and Obama spoke.
Toward the end of her speech, Clinton pointed out to the crowd that she thinks she is tough, saying to the crowd, “I am no shrinking violet.”
Clinton, attempting to show that there will be party unity, said, “If Sen. Obama is the nominee, you better believe I’ll work my heart out for him.”
The crowd erupted into a chant for Obama, leaving Clinton speechless for a few seconds while she waited for them to finish. During her speech, Clinton also mentioned Gov. Mike Easley, who has endorsed her candidacy, and she was momentarily rendered speechless while the crowd booed him.
In his speech, Obama also preached unity, saying that after the nomination process is over, “This party will come together. If Hillary Clinton were the nominee, I would support her in a heartbeat. And I know that if I am the nominee then she will support me.”
But he again criticized Clinton over her support of a national gas tax holiday, suggesting that Clinton is not being honest with the American people about the real savings they would receive under the proposal she backs along with Sen. John McCain, the likely Republican presidential nominee.
"For us to suggest that 30 cents a day for three months is real relief, that that’s a real energy policy, means that we are not tackling the problem that has to be tackled," Obama said. "We are offering gimmicks. When we are offering the same thing that John McCain is offering on the cheap, that means that we’re not presenting a truthful response to the challenges that we face in America.”
Both Democrats also had some words to say about former Sen. John Edwards in his home state.
“Let me say what a great fighter North Carolina and working Americans everywhere have in John Edwards," Clinton said. "John ran with compassion and conviction. And his courageous fight to end poverty is a fight I will see to the finish. I will appoint a cabinet-level position that will be solely and fully devoted to ending poverty as we know it in America. So let¹s take a minute to express our gratitude to your former senator and a great American, John Edwards."
Clinton then pointed out that Edwards’ wife, Elizabeth, supports her health-care plan.
“I want to thank Elizabeth Edwards for her passion for ending discrimination by the insurance companies and for standing up against John McCain’s inadequate and radical health-care plan," she said. "Elizabeth Edwards is a true champion for universal health care.”
Obama also gave a shout out to the Edwards’ on their home turf.
“I say a special thanks to John and Elizabeth Edwards because they really set the tone for this presidential race with their courage, with their ideas, with their passion and their commitment to working people," Obama said, "and to making sure that we focus our attention on not just the ‘haves,’ not even the ‘have littles and want mores,’ but the ‘have nots’ in America.”
Obama said he is grateful for the Edwards’ contributions and looks forward to working with them in the next administration.