January 13th, 2008
02:30 PM ET
2 years ago

Clinton: 'I am so proud of Obama'

 Clinton mingles with church-goers after services at the Northminster Presbyterian Church.
Clinton mingles with church-goers after services at the Northminster Presbyterian Church.

COLUMBIA, South Carolina (CNN) – Hours after Democrat Hillary Clinton was sharply critical of rival Barack Obama in an interview on NBC's Meet The Press, the New York senator struck a different tone on his candidacy in a predominantly African-American church in South Carolina.

"Probably many of us thought we would never see the day when an African-American and a woman were competing for the presidency of the United States," Clinton said at the Northminster Presbyterian Church in Columbia. "I am so proud of my party I am so proud of my country and I am so proud of Sen. Barack Obama, because together we have presented our cases to the people."

"I am standing here, Senator Obama stands before you as a result of the generations of men and women who protested and picketed, faced dogs and tear gas," she continued. "Who were beaten and jailed who had night sticks crush their skulls. Some who lost their very lives. They risked their lives because they looked into the eyes of their children and saw the promise of a better future. We stand here today because of their sacrifice."

Clinton's comments followed her hour-long appearance on Meet The Press, in which she accused Obama's campaign of distorting remarks that she and her husband have made in recent days which touched off concerns among some African-American voters. Obama later rejected Clinton's complaints as "ludicrous."

Both Democrats are in a heated fight for the support of black voters, particularly in the South Carolina Democratic primary on January 26.

– CNN's Sasha Johnson and Alexander Mooney

soundoff (289 Responses)
  1. Jen Cedar Falls, IA

    OOOOHHHHHH! Back pedaling again, Hillary?

    January 13, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  2. jackie

    I'm not Senator Clinton!

    Obama Trinity United Church of Christ, an African-American mega-church unorthodox pastor Reverend Jeremiah Wright describing the September 11 attacks as a “wake-up call” to America for ignoring the concerns of “people of colour”, and for claiming that Americans “believe in white supremacy and black inferiority . . . more than we believe in God”. Wright travelled to meet Muammar Gadaffi, the Libyan leader, in the 1980s with Louis Farrakhan, the black supremacist leader of the Nation of Islam, and subscribes to the “Black Values System”, which preaches self-reliance but claims “middle-classness” is ensnaring blacks. Reverend Jeremiah Wright went to Tripoli to visit Colonel Gadaffi with Farrakhan., The arguement that Obama offers white voters a chance to free themselves from white guilt, is continuing to create a negative race issue..

    January 13, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  3. Chief

    Here we go again, Mrs Clinton trying to win votes.

    January 13, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  4. Charles in Salt Lake City, UT

    Hillary, your patronizing is showing.

    January 13, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  5. Ivan

    She absolutely disgusts me. If it ends up being Clinton v. McCain, I will vote Republican for the first time in my life.

    January 13, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  6. FV, Tampa, FL

    Obama is pathetic for playing the "Victim black" race card.

    Simply put, the man is NOT qualified to be President..... Maybe in the future, but he will CERTAINLY never again be taken seriously if he continues to resort to these 'base' whinny complants. America is tired of it.

    WE WANT SOMEONE WHO KNOW'S WHAT THEY ARE DOING!!!

    ..... and Obama, DOESN'T!

    January 13, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  7. Denis, NJ

    Now that's the attitude we want to see. Keep the discussion out of the gender/race realm, move past this, and let's refocus on what you can do for the country.

    January 13, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  8. Mike, Conway, AR

    She is the very definition of "two-faced". She pretends to be this poor woman being attacked by all the men, but then turns around and throws out the harshest and most misleading attacks of all. How could anyone trust her? Is it just because they're not paying attention?

    January 13, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  9. JS, California

    Pander, pander, pander...

    Most blatantly disingenuous politician ever.

    January 13, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  10. Mati

    I am happy Hillary took this position. Nobody denies Mr. Obama's qualities, but now, lets get some real discussion on issues. Otherwise, many Democrats will turn to McCain in the general election.

    January 13, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  11. David

    It’s unbelievable that Jesse Jackson Jr. said in a radio station that the media should stop Bill Clinton It’s from advocating for his wife. When the Obama campaign or Edward attacks Hillary he doesn’t go on a radio station and ask Edward’s to stop, or does he say any thing to his campaign associates. The media was treating Obama like the second coming. No body was saying anything about him. Bill was only saying what the media should have been saying for a long time. If Obama wasn’t black they would be all over him for many reason. This is not fair to the Hispanics, Asians, and White population of this country.

    January 13, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  12. Thomas

    She is so proud of Obama? Nice way to make him subservient. I guess at least she didn't say he was "clean".

    January 13, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  13. David

    This morning I was watching meet the press, Hillary Clinton was being interviewed. The commentator spent 25% of the time discussing if the Clinton’s were being discriminating against a black candidate. This was outrageous with all the advocating the Clinton’s have done for blacks. They even call Bill Clinton the first black president. This is the reason why the media doesn’t attack Obama, he black. It’s ok to attack Hillary because she’s white. Look I’m a black Hispanic; I know what it is to fight for education, a job, and just for a position in life. We Hispanic also fought hard for all these thing and still fight for equal rights. Why do the blacks have the right to use this race card all the time. They discriminate against everybody that’s not black.

    The Obama campaign stresses the unity of Americans. There could never be unity when we have a double standard. The blacks are asking you to vote for Obama because he’s black not because he’s the best candidate. What would happen if the Clinton’s started to ask white voters to vote for her because she’s white. They would be called racist, they would be dividing the country. The media would go crazy in denouncing the Clinton’s. Why doesn’t the media make that distinction about the Obama campaign? These blacks who question the resolve of the Clinton’s to support them should be shame of themselves. Let’s back Hillary who will support all American, and is the best candidate at this time for the jobs.

    January 13, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  14. "Give Me A Break"...Bill Clinton

    So, Clinton goes on a national show and accuses Obama of "distorting" the truth and then goes before a black crowd and states she "is proud of Obama". Does this woman have no shame in her quest for the presidency???

    January 13, 2008 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  15. jackie

    Clinton focuses on economy in Presidential race Obama focuses on RACE!Obama Trinity United Church of Christ, an African-American mega-church unorthodox pastor Reverend Jeremiah Wright describing the September 11 attacks as a “wake-up call” to America for ignoring the concerns of “people of colour”, and for claiming that Americans “believe in white supremacy and black inferiority . . . more than we believe in God”. Wright travelled to meet Muammar Gadaffi, the Libyan leader, in the 1980s with Louis Farrakhan, the black supremacist leader of the Nation of Islam, and subscribes to the “Black Values System”, which preaches self-reliance but claims “middle-classness” is ensnaring blacks. Reverend Jeremiah Wright went to Tripoli to visit Colonel Gadaffi with Farrakhan., The arguement that Obama offers white voters a chance to free themselves from white guilt, is continuing to create a negative race issue..
    Billionaire Clinton backer Bob Johnson, who founded Black Entertainment Television, said he’s “a little bit insulted, if you will, by Senator Obama letting his campaign imply that Hillary Clinton does not revere what Martin Luther King did for African Americans.”“I think that’s taking it way too far,” he said while campaigning with Clinton in South Carolina. “I think Barack understands clearly what the senator was saying.” “Nobody believes either Hillary Clinton or Bill Clinton would say anything that would denigrate either Barack Obama or Martin Luther King. And to me, what may happen is a backlash may occur when people see that Barack Obama is allowing his PR people to let out the notion that Hillary Clinton did not respect everything that Dr. Martin Luther King or any other person who faced the problems and the threats of being a part of the civil rights movement faced. ““And to me, Barack knows better than that.

    January 13, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  16. Devyani

    I think Hillary is brilliant and she knows to react rightly at right time.

    January 13, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  17. BR

    "I am so proud of Sen. Barack Obama."

    This statement is so utterly hypocritical and patronizing. It makes me want to puke.

    January 13, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  18. Cathy

    Which Hillary is it.... the one who praises Obama in a black church or the one who goes on the Meet the Press and bad mouths his campaign?!?!? Typical Clinton trying to have it both ways. This white middle aged woman is voting Obama and the politics of hope!

    January 13, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  19. Polticien

    So which is it? He is a liar or someone you are proud of. Don't you think African-Americans watch "Meet the Press." A typical politician who on TV show where clips will be replayed over and over again while trying to con church going members by praising the man.

    Despicable.

    January 13, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  20. "Give Me A Break"...

    So Clinton goes on a national show watched by a cross section of voters and accuses Obama of "distorting" the truth.and his campaign of playing the race card ..then she stands in front of a majorily black crowd of voters and states she "is proud of Obama"...Does this woman have no shame in her quest for the presidency?

    January 13, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  21. Bill in Montgomery, AL

    News flash: It's just been revealed that there was no Rosa Parks; that it was actually Hillary Clinton that started the Montgomery Bus Boycott in 1955. That was because Hillary had found out she was actually a decendent of Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings and was thus considered Black. She just wanted the African American community to know that fact about her. She also participated in the Selma to Montgomery March and was beaten severely by the police.

    January 13, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  22. Army Officer

    Yes it is good that she took this position. It would be even better if it was an honest position she was taking though. I still find it hard to trust Mrs. Clinton. I admit she is a smart woman and would is a capable candidate but one minute she's blasting the man and saying he's done something bad to her on "Meet Teh Press" and the next minute she PROUD of HIM? That's just like one minute she's crying and a few seconds later she's full of joy and back on target. Sure, Mr. Obama is not a "SEASONED" as she is but along with all the seasoning she has throughout her years in congress comes some coorporate hands that are deep in her pockets. I like the fact that Mr. Obama hasn't had all that time to allow big business influence so many of his decisions. I do think Mr. Obama represents the change we need as a country.

    January 13, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  23. Bill in Montgomery, AL

    Hillary, it's about time we heard that many of your best friends are Black!!!

    January 13, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  24. Robin, L.A.

    Once again, CNN, you are distorting stories with misleading headlines. I've started tuning your network out because reporting straight news is clearly not your priority.

    January 13, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  25. Mark C. Eades

    In the bipartisan battle of "experience" vs. "change," one thing seems clear: There is no shortage of experience in Washington. If Washington experience came in dozens, it would be a dime a dozen. Washington experience is what led us into the foreign and domestic mess we're in today. What we are short of in Washington is fresh ideas and unifying vision. Put a president with these in the White House, and all that Washington experience can be put to work taking America in a new direction. This is why I support Barack Obama for president.

    January 13, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
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