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. Ken

    At least Obama is likeable. If you think Bush is divisive, just wait until Hillary is elected. There will be gridlock like you have never seen and we will rue the day. I will be driving around with a bumper sticker that reads "Don't Blame Me, I Didn't Vote For Her." I like Ron Paul. He isn't an establishment or a special interest politician like some of those other fakes.

    January 13, 2008 11:50 pm at 11:50 pm |
  2. Anthony Fraser

    The Clintons and their supporters are clearly using a bait and switch routine to bring Obama intoa divisive and killing debate about race. Killing debate because as soon as white America hears Obama make a response to their subtle racial statements it will herald the end of his campaign. It will be: "now the black radical is coming out...he's another Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton."

    What a predicament for a country where the racial issue is so much at the core of its soul.

    How can their supporter Mr. Johnson even suggest that he was not talking about Obama's drug use.? How can they use "the best defense is a good offence" strategy to defend Hilary's thoughtless statement about MLK and Bill's "fairy tale" statement by putting the onus on Obama to defend his response to their statements?.

    This campaign is becoming a sickening exercise in dirty politics!
    The Clintons are pulling the wool over the media's eyes!

    January 13, 2008 11:55 pm at 11:55 pm |
  3. Carole CA

    I can't believe what I'm reading here. How can so many people react so vehemently to a statement taken out of context? If you read the article and the paragraph where she says "I am so proud of Obama", it was part of a larger point she was making. If I read that article and reacted as so many bloggers did here, I would feel like a fool for deliberately distorting what Hillary said and then jumping up and down on a soapbox, denouncing her for it. My God! Get a grip. You are doing nothing to help support your candidate when you attack other candidates so mindlessly. Your comments come across as stupid, dim-witted, and desperate.

    January 14, 2008 12:05 am at 12:05 am |
  4. Issues is what matter

    It's a shame that Sen. Clinton can't say anything at all without having her words tristed and disected. But at least we are getting information on the issues from her. That is what is important to me. The issues, not this petty stuff that is being reported..He said, she said. Give me a break.

    The MLK quotes circulating...It did take Johnson to sign it into law. He by-passed the Senate Judiciary Committee because James Eastland wanted to hold it there indefinitely. If that had happened it would never have reached the senate to pass. So there was nothing wrong with what she said.

    Why can't she be proud of him? It's not against the law. I can be proud of someone and still object to things that person says or does. At least she wasn't rude and condensending when she said it..He was both during the NH debate with his "YOUR LIKABLE ENOUGH " comment. That was a defining moment for me and I think alot of people in NH. I just sat there staring at the TV, totally shocked that he would say it like that. It was insulting to me as a woman and I'd venture to guess to others.

    I'm disappointed that Sen. Obama is going against the very thing MLK fought so hard for: Equality for all by playing the race card. What are we going to do when he pulls that in the WH. You know what we will be able to do? Nothing!

    Piece of advise for Hilary: Let him dig himself into a hole. He's already heading there in my opinion. If he does get the nomination the Republicans are going to eat him alive with his previous drug use issue and Tony Rezko connection. I don't see anyone commenting on those things....Right racist card...

    January 14, 2008 12:23 am at 12:23 am |
  5. Ron

    As a true blue democrat, I have come to grips with the fact that I just don't trust or like Hillary. I suspect there are thousands of us out there that if forced to, will vote for her in the general, but want a different choice. She will energize the right like no other democrat. I"m bothered that we see a new way to sell Hillary to the electorate every few weeks. At least Obama's message and campaign themes have stayed constant throughout. The latest flab puzzles me. She says something stupid and its somehow Obama's fault that people are asking her about it? Typical victim mentality, which by the way is why she cried last week.

    January 14, 2008 12:24 am at 12:24 am |
  6. Ann

    I can imagine how much fun Republicans have reading some of these stupid posts. Nothing substantive, just gossip, rumors, impressions..

    You could listen to Clinton's and McCain's speeches today and find something of interest to discuss. But no, you still feel offended that this time, Hillary said something positive about Obama. If its negative is bad, if its positive is also bad.

    This guy has certainly some flavor, but he promoted the non-issue dialogue to cover his inexperience.

    Just watch MaCain and try to imagine how he would make Obama look like a 8th grader .. it will be fun to ask McCain about the Iraq war Mr. Obama, you, a man who had never served in the army.

    January 14, 2008 12:40 am at 12:40 am |
  7. te

    Remember people Hillary Clinton is running for President–not Bill Clinton. Don't get it twisted.

    People are most likely thinking that if Hillary gets into office-it will be like the good old days when Bill was President–but think again.

    Also..Barack is not dividing the country-the media is doing a great job of that by infusing all of this negativity. Barack never said that he was MLK, JFK or any other great orator–those sentiments were made by the media.

    January 14, 2008 12:47 am at 12:47 am |
  8. TK, Dallas, TX

    Slick Hillary is not the best candidtae for the job. Maybe she should have clarified what she and Slick Willie meant when they were making those comments. On the other hand perhaps they made those comments on purpose so that the race card did become a part of this campaign. Who do you think would win if race became a big issue in this campaign? Back peddling for votes and pander, pander, pander. If Obama gets the nomination I am voting him if not well...........................but certainly not Slick Hillary.

    January 14, 2008 12:58 am at 12:58 am |
  9. PulSamsara

    Clinton is a symbol of the past.
    She represents divisiveness.
    Her 'experience' is based upon her husband being President.
    On the most important policy decision of our time she voted WRONG.

    Enough is Enough.

    End the Bush-Clinton Years... Let America move forward ! Now !

    January 14, 2008 12:58 am at 12:58 am |
  10. e harrison

    I am puzzled. I hear alot of talk about experience, who has it and who doesn't.
    I also look back on the past few years and find that even though there were those with experience, out country is in the worst shape ever. So, I guess my question is: What's experience got to do with it?

    It appears that all experience has gotten us has been inept leaders. Next question: What experience has Hilary had? Other than campaigning, which she is extremely experienced, what credentials does she bring to the table–remember voters, her husband's credentials cannot be copied to her resume)–

    She's tremendously experienced in denial, and re-inventing the truth and history, for that matter. I don't know who will get my vote, but I can assure you that for me this is now a 2way race between Barack Obama and John Edwards (perhaps the best man for the job)
    ....

    January 14, 2008 01:10 am at 1:10 am |
  11. Not a normal blogger

    The fact of the matter is that Hilary said something that sparked a negative discussion across America about her. What did she do, she blamed the discussions on Obama. Obama has given several speeches (both planned and not planned) that have been hailed as motivate and inclusive. It seems that many of us have opinions on what qualifications a president should have but I think that we all can agree that a president should be mindful of what they say(should not need others to clean up their words) and inspire and motivate others to believe in and work toward their vision(the vision should come from the people). As a result, we should elect someone who will be able to convey the vision of America to not only Americans but to foreign nations as well without having someone clean up their statements.

    January 14, 2008 01:18 am at 1:18 am |
  12. Murphy

    We watched all the coverage. We saw the debates. We saw all the speeches. When exactly did Obama play the race card? I don't think we've ever once heard him mention anything about being the first black president. It is everyone else (media and bloggers) that has been doing this.

    Hillary mentioned in every debate that she would be the first woman president as a statement of change. Change? We are looking for new direction and don't care at all what gender or race the candidate is.

    My gut tells me that Hillary and Bill will do anything to get back into the white house. If Bill and Hill want it that badly then to say ANYTHING, well they deserve to get back in the white house.

    As a Psychologist I've studied human behavior for many years and research show that if you keep telling people the same thing over again they will eventually believe it. So, I know for a fact that Hillary's message will take Obama down. It's a shame though because he would have made a fine president. When Hillary was voting for the war, he spoke out and clearly predicted the outcome. Almost like he had a crystal ball. That kind of judgment is a true gift.

    January 14, 2008 01:20 am at 1:20 am |
  13. Mrs. America

    All I read into that was that Sen. Clinton was proud of Sen. Obama, just like she is proud of herself, for being two minorities with the first real chance to take the Oval Office. I don't understand the big deal, and I sure can't figure out how Bill Clinton's "fairy tale" comment was racial. Sounds like everybody is messing with words and interpretation.

    January 14, 2008 01:21 am at 1:21 am |
  14. Pam of Rock Hill

    They said that this would happen. Everything would truly get very disgusting. The Republicans will not even have to research their playbook. They will just replay the one we are making for them. Meanwhile, the issues are being missed. Oh yes the reason you are running is lost.

    I want hear more about the economy, jobs, education, war in Iraq, foreign affairs, energy, gun control, immigration reform, trade agreements with foregih countries, plans to lower crime. Are there plans to close Guamtomima Bay? What every happened to discussing, race relations, taxes, big government, healthcare, insurance for medicare, and dare I say social security. Finally, if a hurricane Katrina happens again perhaps in Harlem, are we ready, or does it has to be in Bethesda, MD? Please let me know where do we stand on all of these issues!

    p.s. Let's get rid of "Don't as don't tell for Gays in the Military?" Isn't that another form of discrimination? Perhaps we should check our consitituion? Do you have plans to even examine stem cell research, too many people are dieing of cancer each day.

    These are the things I want to here Candidates focus on uniting people around, Mrs. Clinton, let's not pick fights. Obama, if you or your staffers read this, I don't mind if you quote me. Please use the affirmiative and speak with conviction when you debate;no one is your judge but God. No one is the competion. The people will decide, not a poll, not even me!

    January 14, 2008 01:22 am at 1:22 am |
  15. Bethy

    Hillary keeps "stealing" Obama's words/ideas and making them her own. Obama gave a speech in Selma almost a year ago (it is on his website) where he stated that the reason he was where he was, was a direct result of MLK and CR movement. And he has said it again and again. Now, Hillary seems to be taking his speeches (or at least the themes) and using the ideas as her own. She also adopted Obama's change platform (if you look back at her initial campaign it was "experience" not "change").

    I'm voting for McCain, but I am very impressed with Obama and very disappointed and disgusted with Hillary blaming the Obama campaign for her own mistakes and misrepresentations. Shame on you Hillary.

    January 14, 2008 01:22 am at 1:22 am |
  16. brady

    Can anyone confirm this endorsement I just heard on the CBC network?
    MAYA ANGELOU for Hillary Clinton. Maya is one of the most respected, intelligent people I am aware of.

    January 14, 2008 01:41 am at 1:41 am |
  17. amazed

    I just can't believe people can't see through all of this. Obama is not feeling the wrath of the news media because they are saving him for the general election. No experience + a troubled past= they will lay him out like an old rug, and the republicans will hold the office again. Major news media owned and opperated by big time republicans. Yeah, I'm sure the Murdocks want a Dem to win. You want change??? There is no bigger change in this country than having a woman as President!! Hell, I'm a male, and I'll even admitt that men have been screwing this up long enough, might as well give a woman a shot. I wouldn't mind seeing Obama as the Vice President to gain the experience and then be the President in the future. In that scenario the Dems have the chance to hold that office for the next 16 years! Lets get back to reality here though, this isn't a contest for the next American Idol that we are voting on, this is for the President of the United States. If thats the case, hell, lets vote in Tom Cruise, John Travolta, Wesley Snipes, or Justin Timberlake....etc.....I hope you get my point. Voting for someone because of looks and because "l like the way he talks" does not cut it for President of the most powerful country in the world.

    January 14, 2008 02:16 am at 2:16 am |
  18. Lucky ,atl

    Can anybody tell me what Hillary forget in the white house ? what is driving her to the white house ? is she the best qualify candidate or woman in our country to be president NO. I am a hardcore democrat,but let me tell country people, if after all this divide,breaking family,pushing brother against brother that she is doing, i promised you i will vote republican. okay,she is good but Not betterthan senator Barack Obama,and that is why Obama is out shining the extablishment Hillary, what senatoe Joh Edward called celebrity candidate. America wake up and vote your conscience ,vote for the best out there and not name recongnition,vote for the change that will overhaul pur system .WE HAVE DEMOCRACY AND NOT THEOCRACY

    January 14, 2008 02:25 am at 2:25 am |
  19. caywen

    She's going to be even more proud of Senator Obama when he wins the nomination.

    January 14, 2008 02:50 am at 2:50 am |
  20. aware

    It is an historic moment to have an African American and a woman running for the highest office in the USA. There has been a very long struggle involving many to get this far for both gender and race issues. This is what Hillary has pointed out. It is arrogant and ignorant not to recognize this and simply ridiculous for Obama to attempt to surrepticiously label it racism.

    January 14, 2008 03:06 am at 3:06 am |
  21. GEORGES

    nice try hillary nice try really....
    you still think someone will believe you ?!!!

    January 14, 2008 03:42 am at 3:42 am |
  22. Jackie

    Well Clinton to much baggage for the Whitehouse, Obma, thai is like sending a plumber in to do surgery.Just does not have the experience right now. I also wonder about , just who he will pledge his allegence to, since putting his hand over his hard was to hard to do.

    Then there is Mcain between him and Kenndey we will have open borders. Julina, former mayor. He has had his 15 min of fame , give it up.

    Lets face it all the politicans all do the same thing bash each other and maybe all us voters will forget to ask the real hard question, like just what do you think you can do fro our country???. I have yet to hear any real plans or answers to the problems, and remeber the president can only do what congress lets him and visa versa.

    Everyone needs to take a look at what each persons really stands for and not how much garbbage their team can throw out.

    Just a thought

    January 14, 2008 04:59 am at 4:59 am |
  23. mark wilkes barre pa

    It's just you don,,, every one is bashing every one

    January 14, 2008 05:12 am at 5:12 am |
  24. Trang, Fremont, CA

    Let's just say Hillary is not gifted with her speech.

    I've been embarrassed w/ Bush.

    I don't want to be embarrassed with you, Hillary. The new you hasn't really improved. You seem to gain energy, but then you turned for the worse. Statements that you make really embarrass me. Maybe you are smart, but just work in the background and avoid embarrasing us.

    I don't live during the MLK and JFK period, but I know they affected many people. MLK challenged the status quo. He is an inspirational speaker who moved many people to join his cause. Of course, it requires Congress and President to pass laws and bring it to reality, but it doesn't diminish what MLK means to these people. By belittling MLK's contribution to the cause, you are offending many people. It's by your words that you offend people. Obama has nothing to do w/ people's reaction to your comments. And when things don't go your way, your turn around and blame it on Obama. This is what I mean by not trusting you. Obama is a nice person in your own party and you are treat him like this. I can only imagine your gaffe in your foreign policy by saying the wrong thing that offend people. Right now, we might be upset at you, but in the latter case, we might have war.

    Obama, on the other hand, I don't mind seeing him on my TV set representing this country, speaking honestly and intelligently, lifting the people's spirits up.

    January 14, 2008 05:14 am at 5:14 am |
  25. Maeve

    The Obama camp plays the race card over and over and over again – finds insults behind every corner and every word – and yet Clinton gets blamed for saying she's proud of what they are both doing in breaking barriers through the very act of running for president?!

    What is wrong with you people??? Don't be such tools!

    It's embarrassing to watch you all in such a frenzied rush for the opportunity to fall into irrational fits of Obama-hysteria.

    January 14, 2008 05:24 am at 5:24 am |
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