January 13th, 2008
02:30 PM ET
1 year 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. Kevin in Oklahoma

    Some of you people disgust me. Why do you have to twist something that was clear, when Hillary said, ""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." She may not agree with him, or the fact that he, and his campain, are distorting her words, but, that doesn't mean she can't be proud of him, as a black man, running for president. One thing that is clear is that Hillary is proud of the Democratic party, and those candidates who represent it. She has said this, time and time again.

    This crap about twisting her words is ridiculous. People need to quit making this about race, and get down to the facts. The facts of the matter are that Hillary Clinton is the best person for the job. If people would stop looking at skin color, gender, and political associations, and look at the record, the facts, and the issues, people would see that Hillary Clinton is the ONLY choice!

    January 13, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  2. Jeff Spangler, Arlington, VA

    I am so _disgusted_ with my party, which offers these pathetic feel-good-about-diversity it-takes-a-village unelectables to lose an election which is all but certain to go my way– unless this radical death wish for a black or a woman prevails.

    January 13, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  3. Don't just read the headlines

    Headlines have to be catchy to grab your attention. And what better way to grab them than to pander to Hillary-haters everywhere? Please read the whole article before you start throwing stones. I have not seen senator Obama make such statements about Hillary Clinton. After all, they are the key players in this historic election: Hillary as a woman and Obama as an African-American.

    " '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.' "

    January 13, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  4. Kokou

    Barack Obama does not need Hillary Clinton compliment. Her compliment won't change her heart toward Obama. She underestimates him running against her. This is the time that the American people need to come out and say no to the old Washington game. It is time for change America. If you can believe America, we can.

    Obama 08,

    Kokou

    January 13, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  5. Amy

    Did she pander in her fake "southern" accent?

    January 13, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  6. Di

    The Clintons are either very confused or think Black people are idiots. They insult black history and then blame Obama for their distorting their utterances. Next thing she says she is proud of Obama and then. Its tiem for a new beginning in America.

    Its time to end the Bush – Clinton Monarchy. Vote Obama people

    January 13, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  7. Don't just read the headlines

    Headlines are meant to be catchy. And what better way to attract readers than to pander to Hillary-haters everywhere? Please read the whole article before you start hurling the stones. I have not heard Senator Obama make similar statements about Hillary Clinton at anytime during this election. After all, they are both key figures in this historic election: Clinton as a woman, and Obama as an African-American.

    " '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.' "

    January 13, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  8. Bryan

    Is Hillary Clinton endorsing Obama now?

    What experience is she talking about anyway? Years of being the First Lady of the US and the First Lady of Arkansas? She was simply an observer. Her experience is simply that of a person with season tickets to the Yankees. She's smart and capable, but her experience is simply one term and change in the Senate.

    If the Democrats were really looking for experience, they would have considered Bide, Dodd, or Richardson. They had far more experience than Clinton, Edwards, or Obama. Instead, people are looking for a break from the past.

    January 13, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  9. JACKIE SINIUS

    I can't believe that Hillary & Bill blame the Obama's campaign of distorting their own statements, which a million people, "American People", heard it on air. Obama didn't have to make a statement, I heard what both of them said in New Hampshire with my own two ears. Bill Clinton stated that the media was giving Obama a free ride, and Hillary stating that L B Johnson made the civil right, not M L King were wondering where did this all come from. If I recall L B Johnson signed the Civil Rights Bill, but their wouldn't have been a bill to sign if it wasn't for M L King doing all the marches through Selmer, Alabama or the march on Washington, and all the peaceful movements he did. I think she needs to regroup and check her history books. I'm 56 years old women who struggled as a widowed, single mom. I raised my two biological kids and took on one of my sons friends. I worked full time with a second job just to put my kids through college. I want to know does Hillary know anything about hard times. I was undecided, but with what I heard and saw in New Hampshire, and now blaming someone for the statements that came out of her and Bills mouth, just lost my vote. The statements they made only caused racial tensions by them, and only them.

    Jackie Sinius
    Garland, Texas

    January 13, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  10. Natasha B

    You can't believe a word that comes out of Hillary's mouth. Spin and pandering...that's all she's about.

    January 13, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  11. Robin

    It appears to me that the Clinton's are "DOUBLE TEAMING" Senator Obama. When Hillary starts something Bill is there to attact in a totally different area. Is there a Hill and Bill team for Presidency?
    I voted for "Bill", I won't vote for "Hill".

    January 13, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  12. JACKIE SINIUS

    Time to turn the page.

    I think we all had enough and Bill and Hillary in the White House. 35 years of who her and Bill. They are again the old Washington. It's time to turn the page to a new chapter.

    New Life in the White House

    January 13, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  13. Vladimir Wolfe, Seattle WA

    For one thing...Obama does not need Hillary to be proud of him. She is saying this as if she is superior to him....which she is not.

    January 13, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  14. Ellie, Ca

    No, Devyani, When Hillary smiled and said, "I think Senator Obama is very likeable," Obama, never lifting his head from some notes he was taking, dismissively said, "You're likeable enough, Hillary". It was a condescending and arrogant response, not overlooked by the audience and tv viewers of that particular debate.

    January 13, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  15. Tommy, Orlando, FL

    Obama, the self-proclaimed "Mr Unity", is trying to to DIVIDE this country by RACE.... What a Great way to destroy his own Campaign.

    I am glad Hillary points him OUT.... VOTE SMART, VOTE Hillary '08!!!! :)

    January 13, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  16. Glenn

    Hey Clintons (Bill & Hill),
    I know this always works for you in the MY community (I'm Black), when ever someone does not agree with you it's time to attack them. Most of the time you have been on the mark. This time you are wrong. I know that you can't see it but all of your views come from your world not ours. You both come across as if you know what it is to be Black in America. You seam to think that only you can speak for Blacks. That a Black man can't speak unless he has been beaten, gassed, arrested or treated like crap by whites. You are off the mark.
    Want to know what its like to be Black in America try this.
    Pick any Black male, put him in a $2500.00 suite in downtown New York (your turf), then you or Bill stand 10 yards past him with jeans and shirt on. Both signal for a cab. See who gets one. You can also try this in any city in America and get the same results.
    If I'm wrong I will go back to supporting you. Thats the other thing until the past week I was for you 100% but after seeing what you both have had to say of late not now or ever.
    You can think you know us and feel our pain but you don't and never can. I'm not changing because of race but because both of you come across as if Blacks owe you something, we don't.
    Obama may be only half Black, may have been raised under in a different environment than most Blacks but he still has a better understanding of what Blacks and all minorities (by color or class) have to go through each day in this country.
    That cab would pass him by 9 out of 10 times. Not so for you or Bill.

    January 13, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  17. Dawit

    Why wouldn't this woman stop running her mouth. I am getting sick of her as each day passes.

    After throwing all that dirt on Barack, now she starts "complementing" him?

    She is nothing but a FAKE, power hungry person. How come many people don't see this?

    January 13, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  18. La'Kitgum, NH

    Obama's drug abuse should not go unchallenged. We already know what an alcholic president called Bush did to our country and friends. We can't continue to elect prsidents who have abused substances because sooner or later – as we experienced with Bush – they will abuse the country at large through misplaced and misdirected policies.

    January 13, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  19. Anonymous, Somewhere, MI

    Great, she's proud of him. What next, are we going to hear about how he's so well-spoken?

    January 13, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  20. Jymnast79

    Me being a black male, i am proud that she can stand up and say how proud she is of Obama. She is also correct as to say that she has been criticized on things said. I think Obama uses his color more then his politics to get this far. Also lucky for him he has a mans genitalia also. I would like to see Obama actually "finish" one of his terms to see if he keeps his promise to his state before he moves onto leading our country.

    January 13, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  21. Kellie

    Does the Billary campaign think black folks are just plain stupid!? In 24 hours they have attacked Dr. MLK and Obama and then she goes to a black church and says she is proud of Obama. What a joke! she is trying to make it seem like she is taking the high road. I can see right through them. The Clintons will stop at nothing to win! If they nominate this woman, I am going to start a blog and ask African-Americans to sit out of the general election and leave the Democratic Party. They have taken us for granted for too long!

    January 13, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  22. jules

    I'm a new male voter and I'm listening to Hillary more convincigly than Obama. Yes, I'd like to hang out with Obama since he is likeable, but when it comes to serious issues and managing our country and keep America from becoming a third world country then i will vote for Hillary. I'm appalled how much negative press Hillary is obtaining and being a male and a minority myself i'm disgusted by it. This is not a mr. conginiality race and we better stop having this hollywood vision of who is more likeable to run a country. Our country as we know it is in serious jeopardy and we need to put it in the hand of a smart, sound, highly intelligent person. Obama would do a decent VP, but not quite ready to be the president. Hillary, I believe in you and respect your drive and vision.

    January 13, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  23. mike

    she is fake...................................................................................................................period

    January 13, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  24. Tim Valentine

    I have several things to say, but I'll try to make them very brief regarding Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.

    The reason why I'm voting for Senator Obama and not Hillary has nothing to do with race (because I'm a Black), gender (because I'm a man) or if one is more likable than the other. You learn more about a person by watching what they do instead of what they say. I've watched both for a few years now and Hillary is a typical politican. She's going to play to her audience. Example, in NH she gets misty eyed in a room filled with older white women. Ofcourse they're going to respond to that. In SC she says that I'm proud of Obama.Ofcourse they're going to respond to that. If she was in front of college students she'll probably mention that she listens to Jay-Z or Green Day. She's a typical politican. She's the 50 Cents of Politics, instead of "Get Rich or Die Trying" her slogan should be, "Get the Nomination and Slander anyone else who gets in your way". (No disrespect to 50 Cents)

    What makes not only Hillary, her supporters, some Black people and some republicans scared is that they see that Obama would actually make a good President, but they didn't anticipate the change coming in from a well educated, diverse background and sincere Black man. The change that Obama speaks of is the Promise and The Dream of America becoming a reality. Some are not ready for that, but its coming.

    Sidenote: Obama did not compare himself to MLK, JFK or RFK. People in the Media has made that characterization.

    January 13, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  25. Angie

    Hillary you will not get my vote! You are too polarizing. Are we going to get 4 more years of fighting with the Republicans? As a Democrat I am sick of it. Lets elect Obama in 08!!! I saw the interview on Meet the Press with Tim Russert. All she wants to do is win so she can fight the Republicans. If you want 4 more years of this nonsense than vote for her. I for one and sick an tired of polarizing politicians and will not vote for her if she wins.

    January 13, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
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