Thu, Sep 6, 2012 11:38 AM EDT

Congressman Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.), chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, ditched his prepared DNC remarks half way through his speech on Wednesday night and urged Obama to "hope on!" "There is something essential in the human spirit that searches for hope. We are driven by hope," said Cleaver. "President Barack Obama has been lampooned for speaking of hope; hope for a better America. I want to encourage our president and all of us to continue to hope for an America that remembers, recognizes, and fervently protects its greatness." "Yes, Mr. President, hope on. Continue to hope, Mr. President," Cleaver, who is also a United Methodist pastor, went on to say.