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. Kodjo

    I certainly agree with David. The Clintons have always embraced and done more for the blacks than any other U.S president . Bill Clinton even established his office in black Harlem in New York City so he can get closer to the black community. Please note that this presidency should not be about history making. It should be about who has the experience to get the job done. Like balancing the budget, creating millions of new jobs,health care social security etc. I believe our national debt is over 9 trillion and there is no end in site. I think this is in itself history in the making. Think twice. Vote wisely.

    January 13, 2008 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  2. Pope

    And Hillary wonders why people just DISLIKE HER.

    Hillary will never be President. WE LOVE NANCY PELOSI BUT NOT INHUMANE HILLARY

    January 13, 2008 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  3. BIOYA

    Keeping this brief. Both Hillary and Obama are are pretty sorry duo. Neither has a clue as to what makes our economy grow (except tax, tax and tax). Both have real electibility problems in the South; without the South they'll both lose in the general election.

    I'm not in love with their opposition, but they are better by default.

    January 13, 2008 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  4. J. Rae Niles

    Both Obama and Hillary have raised imortant issues as have others and these issues of unity and hope are crucial to the healing of this nation, and ultimately to the healing of the world in which we engage. However, Hillary has also the heart, mind, vision and the experience to make these dreams real and to offer hope a better chance of manifesting into reality. She has the experience in both uniting when called for and doing battle when called for. She, as a woman is changing the course of the American male dominated Presidency, she, as a woman is changing the future, before the future's arrival.

    She is and always has been a supporter of the African American Community and has championed the causes of those whose voice has been silenced by prejudice, classicism racism, sexism etc. She has endured and triumphed as a woman. She has the ability and experience to lead this nation, she knows, she sees, she understands foreign and domestic policy.

    Obama is young and bright, but he has not the experience to bring us headlong as a nation into change. We have no time for one who is inexperienced, to wait while he learns how to truly bring about a change. He needs to grow and learn how to lead a nation.
    Beyond poetics, the Presidency calls for oh so much more; it calls for experience and the ability to deal with the 21st century global crisis, which only one skilled and prepared can truly take on. Hillary has all of the qualities and all the experience an American President Needs to lead us into change.

    In time, the Presidency will hold a seat for Obama, but his time as a President has not yet come, he must grown and learn the international relations mechanism to negotiate and deal with crisis, this takes more than poetics and quick mind, it takes experience.

    Ask yourself would you let a 1st year medical intern do heart surgery on your mother? America is our Mother. The intern needs time to learn more, all his best intentions, are not enough to lead America in this time of economic, social and international crisis. His time will come. In the meantime let he and Hillary stand on the mountaintop together in harmony. Let him raise awareness and when he is matured, he then will lead this nation. But now, here in this moment, we MUST have one with experience.

    Hillary can heal this nation with all of us along side of her. Its time, to allow, her, to heal this magnificent nation and lead us into the light of change.

    Hillary, your country calls upon you to lead.

    Obama, your country honors your message of hope.

    We Need Hillary to lead us and all of us need to march this one together.

    January 13, 2008 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  5. J. Rae Niles

    Both Obama and Hillary have raised imortant issues as have others and these issues of unity and hope are crucial to the healing of this nation, and ultimately to the healing of the world in which we engage. However, Hillary has also the heart, mind, vision and the experience to make these dreams real and to offer hope a better chance of manifesting into reality. She has the experience in both uniting when called for and doing battle when called for. She, as a woman is changing the course of the American male dominated Presidency, she, as a woman is changing the future, before the future's arrival.

    She is and always has been a supporter of the African American Community and has championed the causes of those whose voice has been silenced by prejudice, classicism racism, sexism etc. She has endured and triumphed as a woman. She has the ability and experience to lead this nation, she knows, she sees, she understands foreign and domestic policy.

    Obama is young and bright, but he has not the experience to bring us headlong as a nation into change. We have no time for one who is inexperienced, to wait while he learns how to truly bring about a change. He needs to grow and learn how to lead a nation.
    Beyond poetics, the Presidency calls for oh so much more; it calls for experience and the ability to deal with the 21st century global crisis, which only one skilled and prepared can truly take on. Hillary has all of the qualities and all the experience an American President Needs to lead us into change.

    In time, the Presidency will hold a seat for Obama, but his time as a President has not yet come, he must grown and learn the international relations mechanism to negotiate and deal with crisis, this takes more than poetics and quick mind, it takes experience.

    Ask yourself would you let a 1st year medical intern do heart surgery on your mother? America is our Mother. The intern needs time to learn more, all his best intentions, are not enough to lead America in this time of economic, social and international crisis. His time will come. In the meantime let he and Hillary stand on the mountaintop together in harmony. Let him raise awareness and when he is matured, he then will lead this nation. But now, here in this moment, we MUST have one with Experience.

    Hillary can heal this nation with all of us along side of her. Its time, to allow, her, to heal this magnificent nation and lead us into the light of change.

    Hillary, your country calls upon you to lead.

    Obama, your country honors your message of hope.

    We Need Hillary to lead us and all of us need to march this one together.

    J. Rae Niles

    January 13, 2008 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  6. Benny Lava

    It is the height of arrogance to believe the electorate are that dumb that they cannot see past this and look at the real issues such as the integrity of the candidate.

    The Clintons with their lies and deceit represent the past in American politics

    January 13, 2008 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  7. Jeff G

    Hearing that she praised Obama just hours after attacking him is consistent, as Hillary will say anything to anyone if she thinks it will get her ahead. Her "experience" is nothing as the "35 years" is 7-years as Senator without any leading legislation. There is nothing from her that is beneficial as head of the Dems or as President, she is polarizing and will not unite the country.

    January 13, 2008 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  8. dan p

    We are on to something here. I think there is a segment of white Liberal voters who will never vote for a black man. These are closet Liberal Bigots who are Hillary supporters. Most democrats with half a brain fear the Clintons will lose the general election and return congress to the republicans. She is the most divisive person on this planet. When 50% of voters say they will never vote for you no matter what thats a hard sell in the general election. How can she say Obama is behind the condemnations about her LBJ and husbands fairy Tail comments. Its her who is using gender to get sympathy. Dont beleive me? Look at Maureen Odowds Op Ed in the NY Times. Remember the idiots who had signs saying gigoted things like iron my shirt at her rally? They were paid by the clinton machine folks. These people had power for 8 years and they want it back so they will do and say anything to get elected. Poor Obama he has to fend off attacks by her and Bill its like hes running against a dual candidate... I think thats why Most prominent democrats endorse Obama. I think the ticket of Obama and the Arizona Governer would be unstopable. When are people going to wake up and see the Clintons are only in it for the power. Just listen to her speak its always I.I.I.I.I and not we.

    January 13, 2008 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  9. steve michael

    Really disgusting for Obama camp, and anyone else for that matter, to be race baiting by insinuating that the Clintons are bigoted. They were on the front lines with African Americans while BO was doing blow.

    January 13, 2008 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  10. MT

    Attack...backpedal...pander...attack...

    Hillary needs to go.

    January 13, 2008 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  11. the mill

    Obama is not what America needs right now. Hillary is the best qualified . We just cant afford anymore Republicans . Trillions in debt over the war and opening the borders to whoever wants to cross and now we are in a recession. Whats next?

    January 13, 2008 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  12. Maris

    Agreed Daniel. Obama needs to stop rushing, be patient, and gain the experience needed to hold such an important position as the presidency. He needs to earn the public's trust, and not demand it because he says so.

    January 13, 2008 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  13. Mike

    I am a registered Democrat. If Hillary Clinton is the Democratic candidate, I WILL vote Republican.

    January 13, 2008 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  14. biff

    I've missed something...is Hillary Clinton a person of color? How patronizing can you get. Her comments make me want to puke. She is a product of and has benefitted from white priviledge all of her life. Is there nothing this woman will not do or say to get elected. The answer is no.
    I'm a republican who is more than willing and ready to cross party lines and I like what I see in Senator Obama. I like his idealism. I like the fact that he inspires my own dreams for America. You have to inspire people to bring about change. You can't just mandate it and make it so. Mrs. Clinton doesn't inspire me in the least.
    By the way, would someone please document for me these 35 years of "making change" experience that Hillary claims. The only thing I can recall is her miserably failed attempt to federalize health care during her husband's administration.

    January 13, 2008 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  15. Daniel Thomas

    proud of Obama. So why vote for her. Vote Obama

    January 13, 2008 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  16. Shelly

    I can see you don't want anything good said about Hillary to out weigh the strutter. you are as closed minded as some of the people sending in their comment.

    January 13, 2008 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  17. Bob, Florida - RFO

    Barack Obama did not raise this as an issue. Bill and Hillary started this as I am sure they never expected Barack to actually challenge what they perceived as being their destiny!

    Go Barack '08

    "I once was lost but now am found, Was blind, but now I see!"

    January 13, 2008 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  18. Tom Davie

    I think senator obama WILL be president one day.

    Lets say Hillary wins the nomination, and I think she should and will.

    Barrack is 47 years old by election time.

    Even if hillary wins the election and then runs for re election Obama will only be 55 by time she is out of office.

    So he has a long political future ahead of him.

    I am a democrat. So I also look forward to Hillary and THEN Obama being president.

    January 13, 2008 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  19. Patrick M.

    This is a truly sad day in our country. It seems as if the Obama people aren't stepping in and helping to quash the racial tension the very supporters of his "movement" are trying to insinuate. This is very sick and sad. I had problems with Obama's candidacy before because of his lack of experience and his ability to go through speeches without actually saying specifically what he wants to do for America to bring about change, but now I find flaws run much deeper in the "Change wagon."

    How can one even suggest that Hillary could be racist. Come on, Hillary Clinton? Her comments were meant to show that it took a Democrat in the White House to do what was right for our country. If Dr. King marched, preached, and was jailed under a Republican, the Civil Rights Act would not have been passed. I think that's fair to say. Dr. King moved Senator Clinton as a child and help to mold her into the woman that she is today.

    President Clinton is a completely different story. There's not an ounce of prejudice in his body. He was clearly speaking about Senator Obama's voting record being the exact same as Senator Clinton's. This is a bunch of crap that the Obama campaign needs to step up and quash. But instead of doing what's right, he's playing the racial divide in an attempt to win. Hillary stepped up today in church and said that she was proud that a woman and a black man actually being taken seriously.

    I don't understand why so many people hate Senator Clinton. I still don't understand why people consider her a polarizing figure. Anytime she shows that she's tough on the issue, people try and degrade her. It's not fair. Treat Senator Obama the same way you treat Senator Clinton. She's a great person, and as an African American, I'd be more proud to call her President than I would ever if Obama wins.

    Patrick M. of Detroit, Michigan.

    January 13, 2008 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  20. carlo

    You know what her comment reminds me of? Remember the movie "Glory Road" when the white coach of the all African-American starting team of Texas Western met Adolph Ruff before the championship game? He looked at him and looked at his black players and said, "you must be thrilled to be here."

    That is the equivalent of what Hillary said about Obama. After passing little inuendo and getting the blaxploitation king Johnson to outright insult Obama, she turns around and condescendingly says, "I'm proud of him" like he should just be "happy to be here." It sounded bad when Adolph Ruff said it, and it sounds even worse over 40 years later when Hillary says it.

    January 13, 2008 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  21. tressa

    As someone who lives in this country and not able to vote yet , I believe its important for me to have say . I must bluntly say I think Hillary and Bill Clinton are hipocrites very self centered this is where you would see what they are really made of. America can do without them. Obama doesnt have experience but he dares you to believe. He will be a great president give him a chance. As a woman what I see is that Hillary is so afraid of being defeated I am not sure she would be able to handle being defeated by Obama.

    January 13, 2008 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  22. Christian, Tampa FL

    I want to hear more of this tone from all the candidates. It would be better to debate the issues but work for the same goal, which is to unite the country and build a better future. The historical nature of this election is incredible and a bit hard to comprehend, and I'd rather see the two history-making candidates on the Democratic side be cordial to each other.

    January 13, 2008 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |
  23. Albert Brake, St. Albert, Alberta, Canada

    Hello Again Everyone.

    This is Albert Brake From St. Albert, Alberta, Canada. I hope that everyones has had a great start to the new year–May all the hardest of times be past you, so that your dreams, and hopes my brighten your futures.

    Sen. Clinton, aside from the whole speech, did bring up a good point. Dr. King was a great voice for change, he along with many others fought for many years to bring about a great positive change in his country.

    However, it wasn't until A "Government insider" with decades of service behind him came along and put mouth to paper and then signed the bill that change started to take shape.

    So all in all, maybe a little Government know how, with a passion for change, a record of at least working hard towards the kinds of change that the majority wants may not be a bad thing after all?

    Clinton and Mr. Dobbs should sit down and have a conversation or two after the primary has ran its course, that could in fact be the tick that your whole country can agree on?

    Albert James Edward Brake.

    January 13, 2008 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  24. Audrey in Alexandria, Virginia

    one more thing. . . .

    Inspiration is a powerful thing. And it is what makes a great leader. How often in our lifetime do we witness a candidate like Obama that inspires us?

    Hillary complains that Obama speaks, great speeches but sees little action, but Hillary, - it is how he speaks that can move mountains. Words are key in negotiations and Hillary discounts Obama by complaining he speaks well but she sees no action. Hillary does not get it. Obama's skill at speaking should not be discounted by Hillary.

    Hillary has yet to learn the lesson. I cannot imagine with her education she discounts the power of inspiration that Obama has. Hillary does not get it.

    January 13, 2008 11:36 pm at 11:36 pm |
  25. Sue, Michigan

    I love it when Republican posters call Hillary to task for her morals. Where are you in regards to the lack of morals in the White House, or does it only matter when it's a personal issue, not something as dull as our future lives in a free land? As far as I can tell, Hillary has a good moral core, and she obviously can play the political games. Of course, she gets blasted no matter what she does...there is a lot of venom out there, but not a lot of reasonable discourse.
    The fact is, she IS female, so get over it. We do tear up when we're vehement, we do change our minds when we have new facts, and we do tend to love unconditionally. I think her forgiveness of her husband is something women all over this country do every day. I'm starting to believe that she is threatening to a lot of men, and as she gets closer to the nomination, these guys can't stand the thought of a woman in charge.
    Hopefully as the campaign drags on, we will learn the truth about what Obama really believes and plans to do if elected "Yes We Can" do what?), and the press will stop making mountains out of molehills with every word out of Hillary's mouth. Only then will we be able to choose the right person to win the White House.

    January 13, 2008 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm |
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