January 13th, 2008
03:45 PM ET
2 years ago

Clinton: Obama 'distorting' my remarks

Hillary Clinton said Sunday the Obama campaign is distorting recent comments made by her and her husband.
Hillary Clinton said Sunday the Obama campaign is distorting recent comments made by her and her husband.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Sen. Hillary Clinton accused Sen. Barack Obama's presidential campaign Sunday of distorting remarks that she and her husband have made in recent days which touched off concerns among some African-American voters.

Clinton and Obama are in a heated fight for the support of black voters, particularly in the South Carolina Democratic primary on Jan. 26.

Speaking to NBC's "Meet the Press," Clinton accused the Obama camp of "putting out talking points" about the recent remarks.

Obama rejected Clinton's complaints as "ludicrous."

Sen. John Edwards, also in the running for the Democratic nomination, stepped in with his own fresh criticism of Clinton. Speaking at a church in South Carolina, he accused Clinton of suggesting "that real change came not through the Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, but through a Washington politician."

In an interview with Fox News last week, Clinton said, "Dr. King's dream began to be realized when President Lyndon Johnson passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964. It took a president to get it done." She has argued repeatedly that her experience shows she can get more done as president than Obama.

Some African-American leaders criticized the remarks as denigrating the civil rights movement and Dr. King. Both Clintons have long been popular among African-American leaders, and have extolled the civil rights movement. On "Meet the Press" Sunday, Clinton referred to King as "one of the people I admire most in the world."

Full story

– CNN's Josh Levs

soundoff (530 Responses)
  1. Beth

    Obama is now proving to be an awful leader, should of known this would happen becasue Jesse Jackson Jr is his Campain Manager. To use the race card is the dirtiest trick! Why is it all the time White Amercians are considered the racists, I think in this day and age its the other way around.

    January 13, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  2. Karl

    After reading this article, i was offended all on my own. I do not think distortion is the problem here. She sticks her foot in her own mouth then blames it on her opponent. It might just be me but I cant see how this might help her in a possible war situation...

    January 13, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  3. Ayyub, Richmond, Va

    In an attempt to win SC, that has a high percentage of Black voters, Obama begins the worst campaign smear in history: accusing Bill and Hillary Clinton of racism. And Edwards, in his attempt to remain relevant, joins in the pile on.

    Clinton has a history of working for civil rights, including rights for minorites and women. Obama knows he would loose on the merits–so he sinks to a new low in American politics. I am profoundly offended at Obama and his campaign staff.

    And, Obama: tell Mr. Jackson to knock off the sexism. It isn't pretty either.

    EmmyG.

    EmmyG. you make no sense. Hillary is bring us sexism. Saying "Women for Hillary and tooting your sex will bring it up" Obama doen't even bring us is race as much as Hillary, every second of every day, brings up ger gender. Plus, WHAT, WHAT, WHAT has Obama done Emmy, explain please. Hillary and her campaign are bringing this up not Obama or his campaign so place your blame on your candidate and the campaign you support. It's sad that Hillary's trying to say she and Barack are in a fight but it's only her.

    Tell Hillary to stop pandering to women and talk to the whole nation men and women.

    January 13, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  4. whatsitToyou

    and the drama continues...dun dun dun stay tuned next week for more of Hilary being emotional more of Obama critisizing Bill Clintion! While Bill Clintion tries to decide who he wants to win! Oooh what fun!

    January 13, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  5. Courtney S.

    How is stating what SHE said destorting her record? It is amazing... I watched her on Russert ( Meet the Press) and she is NEVER wrong. Always taken out of context, always on the attack yet can't handle being attacked.

    I vote in Washington State where our primary is Feb 9th. and I urge all to vote for Obama...

    As a Black Woman, in her early 30's, I'm so sick of hearing how much the Clintons did for Blacks... Please, they did what they needed to do in order to get elected. They have taken advantage of many to get into office and have their agenda put in place.

    I love how people have said she has changed because she cried, this woman has been in some form of politics all her life, she is playing us all. And that moment... embarrased me. What in order to show you have a heart you must weap. Really?

    As for Clinton and her supporter saying..."shame on Obama for playing the race card". Whatever... he hasn't played any cards...if she and her supporters hadn't said the things they've said no one could attack her WORDS. And it has been proven in History in all countires, that change comes from the bottom up. That elected officers respond to what the people want or heads will roll. That LBJ had no choice but to sign the voting rights act because THE PEOPLE demanded it, and the peoples demand was inspired by MLK and many others before.

    So I say this with all my liberal heart.... I am ready for change and I want it. I don't believe that being an insider will make change.

    Attach Obama's record all you will... yeah its light because he just got started, BUT if you look at his life record as a WHOLE, he cares about the PEOPLE and he believes you can make change the power and will of the people. Let us NOT forget that Hillary was leading in NH the entire time until the last days. And she only won by 3pts... so be afraid OLD LADY...be Afraid wicked witch!

    January 13, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  6. Xavier, Washington DC

    Will somebody please show me where it's the Obama campaign that pushing this story? Hillary accuses Obama but gives not evidence and everyone is accepting it as gospel. None of the people I've heard comment on this story are affiliated with Obama. I personally got ticked about her comments about MLK before I heard anyone else criticizing her about it. I think it is Clinton who is playing the race card by blaming Obama for this, knowing that white people will be turned off. It's so shady, so underhanded, so ... Clintonesque.

    January 13, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  7. ANYONE BUY A CLINTON

    MAKE HILLARY WORK FOR IT JUST AS YOU EXPECT OBAMA TO. HILLARY IS GETTING A FREE RIDE. HER EXPERIENCE IS BASED ON PILLOW TALK.

    January 13, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  8. Ayyub, Richmond, Va

    artseafartsea January 13, 2008 3:17 pm ET

    To Obama: Never underestimate the power of a woman. Go Hillary!

    That's so so so sad, Hillary has sent back the power of a woman you the power of a cheat and a liar. She is a disgrace and I hope America see this really soon. She should be the first female president, the first one should be responsible and truthful and also know how to fight the right enemy.

    January 13, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  9. brian bustos

    THIS RACE THING IS OUTLANDISH,HILLARY HAS FOUGHT FOR CIVIL RIGHTS WOMENS RIGHTS,CHLIDRENS RIGHTS ECT...ECT...OBAMAS CAMP IS DISTORTING THIS OR ELSE THEY WOULD STOP IT DEAD IN ITS TRACKS,THEY KNOW ITS WRONG.BUT ITS KEEPS HIMFROM TALKING SUBSTANCE WHICH HE HAS NONE TO OFFER.WHERE WAS HE THE LAST TWO YEARS STANDING UP FOR THE WAR TO END LIKE OTHER ANTI WAR DEMS...HE WAS PLOTTING A WHITE HOUSE RUN AND PLAYING IT SAFE...NO COURAGE OR LEADERSHIP SKILLS THERE IF YOU ASK ME...GO HILLARY DONT LET THE GOOG OLD BOYS CLUB GET TO YOU

    January 13, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  10. Denise

    Yay Beth....
    This reminds me of the OJ trial....except with politics.
    My new phrase for Oh blah blah in this campaign is:
    " When in doubt...pull the race card out "

    January 13, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  11. Louise

    This is just ridiculous...the Clinton's are obviously not racist. Any fool with a working brain could figure that out!!!

    And was ANY other candidate on Meet the Press about their biggest public adversity??? I don't think so...this just seemed to me like another attempt of the mainstream media to humilate Hillary...why can't they just get over it?? She is the best candidate and she is going to win...you got it wrong guys...face up to it...you don't have the say...the people do...and Thank God for that. Keep going Hillary.

    January 13, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  12. Eric, California

    You might as well face it. It is obvious that John Edwards will be the nominee, and he is the best chance to take the white house back and make America a better place to live.

    Edwards 2008

    January 13, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  13. Amazing

    Can somebody post the link where Obama said "the clintons were racist".....

    January 13, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  14. Hispanic Point of view

    All you white and black people can continue to argue about this nonsense... This election has to be on who is more experienced, more notable, more able... I can tell you that I can go to a movie and be inspired by what some actor says, but those are only words... I like Barack Hussein Obama, but I dont think he has the experienced needed. Come on, if you had a multi=million dollar business, would you hire experience over someone that makes you feel good or a freshmen out of college? I dont think so...

    Ultimately this primary race will be determined by Hispanic/Latinos americans.. and who do you think we will vote for? TO BE CONTINUED>>>>>

    January 13, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  15. JCole

    Regardless of what you think about Hillary's comments (and they were her comments – no one made her say them) – the point is, is that Obama never made a big deal about it. It was the media and various African American leaders who said that her comments were insensitive and perhaps racist . Obama has not made a comment about the remarks, until after MTP aired today. Unfortunately, he was forced to take time out of this important election campaign to address the false accusation that HE was the one who was making this a race issue. And then after spending almost an hour attacking Obama on Meet the Press (man, it would have been nice to learn about what she would do if elected, not about how someone else shouldn't be) she has the nerve to go out campaigning saying how much she respects Obama?!?! Clinton is right on one thing – actions do speak louder than words and right now her actions are making her look pretty bad!!!

    January 13, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  16. Ayyub, Richmond, Va

    Dot January 13, 2008 4:27 pm ET

    I am so tired of hearing who is black and who is white. This has turned into a war against race not a vote for president.
    I am also tired of hearing everyone blast Hillary because she is a woman. This also seem to be sexist.
    I will vote for Hillary because i believe she is genuine and she has a great man by her side that has done a lot for this country when he was president. His personal affairs are not mine and that is between him and his spouse and it she can forgive him then she is stronger than most men i know.
    I will say Hillary keep on working for the country you love and wish for change and i feel you can do the job as well as any man.
    Obama there is a mystery that surrounds you and i do not trust the feeling i have when i see you speaking.
    I would like to see Americans unite, and race does not matter to anyone but as long as you keep race in the pictures it will never disappear.
    As long as Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson keep race alive it will remain with us for the rest of our lives.

    Dot! No one has ever blast Hillary for being a woman just a hypocrite and irresponsible. Hillary is starting all of this mess and you're fooled by it.

    January 13, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  17. Ed, NC

    Is Hillary going to cry in the White House when things don't go to suit her?

    January 13, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  18. JD, WI

    Obama just released an economy plan, which is a total copycat of the Clinton plan released last week. This is shockingly embarrassing that has never seen in political history. Even his economic advisor admits it’s similar to Clinton plan. Is this how Obama bring about change? By changing numbers of an opponent’s plan?
    If you can’t even come up with an original idea how can you be a change agent?
    Of course, Clinton camp has been asked for meat all this time.
    But it is unthinkable that Obama will produce meat stolen right from the Clinton’s refrigerator. This is real armature stuff.

    January 13, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  19. Al

    When I look at Hillary Clinton on stage with Obama during any debate, when Obama speaks, it so looks like Hillary wants to spew the n-word all over national TV. I'm not saying that she is a racist, but I would bet money that she would move her purse if a black male was walking down the same side of the street. Bill Clinton did some things for the black community. Bill Clinton. Hillary let Bill do things in front of a nation that no wife should have to put up with. Was it because of love for Bill? I doubt it.

    I'm not saying that Obama is the candidate for everybody, but I know that Hillary is not the one for anybody. Unless you are Republican. If Hillary gets the Democratic nod, we will have a Republican President.

    I vote for Hillary is as good as a vote for McCain. The oil companies are licking their lips at that thought!

    January 13, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  20. anonymous

    VOTE OBAMA!!!

    He is willing to be your president.

    VOTE OBAMA! VOTE OBAMA! VOTE OBAMA! VOTE OBAMA!

    January 13, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  21. jack, Fl.

    I can't believe some of the dribble that I read here! People, analyze what has been said,"MLK had a dream he was a great mover of people and an extremely gifted speaker" but could he have instituted the civil rights laws by himself, NO ! He caused the country to think but LBJ is the person who pushed for the laws. Each needed each other. So, after a good look at what was said the only conclusion you can come to is that what Hillary said was true. By the way I am an independent .

    January 13, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  22. The Gardener

    um, what good old boys are you refering to? Obama isn't a good old boy anymore than Hillary is a "soul sister".

    as for the "never underestimate the power of a woman" comment, do you mean "white woman"? there are many women of color, different colors, in this country. She doesn't seem to be speaking for them, but for one type: the well to do, know it all, wealthy types who are further to the right than they want to admit.

    The rest of the world laughs at how she is supposed to be a "centrist democrat". She hasnt done a thing for anyone's rights.

    There wont be a health care system under her presidency, just more of a police state that kicked in with her husband's administration after Waco. Not to mention the number of pot smokers who DID inhale and are still rotting away in prison.

    And the way she changes the way she speaks, whether the rhetoric or the fake "southern twang", just sickens me. At least Obama, Edwards, and Kucinich are all consistent.

    January 13, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  23. ME

    How can Hillary say that Obama is distorting the comments that she made about MLK? Those words were not uttered by Obama. Those words came right out of the horse’s mouth, and that horse is Hillary Clinton. It appears to me that Obama is busy Campaigning. The words uttered by Hillary are being translated by the Public. I am part of the public. I must say, Hillary is making Obama's job a bit easier. Maybe she should just put a muzzle on. It seems like her and her husband make ill advised comments. Her husband states that the whole idea in regards to Obama is a fairy tale.

    LBJ did not bring about the change. He did sign it into Law, but only after years of sacrifice made by MLK and his supporters. The fact is, MLK and his supporters demanded change. MLK efforts and support brought about the change by fighting for it, to the degree that he sacrificed his own life. LBJ had no other option, but to give in to the whim of the public support that was accumulated thought the years. Why did MLK have to negotiate with Politicians for equality, desegration, etc? That is a matter that should not need to be negotiated for. It should have been automatic thing.

    Hillary says that she has 35 years of experience, but her experience has not changed the favors extended to Lobbyist. She says that we need a president who know how things work behind the walls of the White House to be successful.

    We need somebody who does not have the Tradition 35 years of Washington Experience. Because as much "As much as Things Change, They stay the same". Her 35 years has changed nothing. Her husband’s years did nothing but conceal and provide a false mirage to the public that all was alright, while inwardly, Washing was still the same old place- An Immense influence by Lobbyist. If Hillary did not influence her Husband to put an end to the choke hold of Lobbyist and PAC groups THEN, what make us think that she is the candidate who will bring about that change now? After, Lobbyist are the "Root of the Problem". They are the reasons why cost in Healthcare, mortgage, Banking, Schooling, Outsourcing have led to the struggles that Americans face today.

    So far, I have only seen one candidate who can see all of that, and has seen it from the Beginning. His judgment, Trumps her experience. By the way, Look at Hillary’s website, it is update monthly. Obama's website is Dynamic. It is update daily. We need somebody who is not lazy. We need somebody who knows how to organize, stay abreast of the changes, innovate, renovate, and create. We need someone who knows how to use resources. Obama does not know it all, but I tell you what his judgment has helped him build the most successful and innovate team/staff. We need that type of Innovation to translate into the UNITED STATES of America. Not just Red state or Blue states, or certain states, or for certain classes of society.

    To see that we need somebody who knows how to analyze, and be proactive not reactive. Hillary reacts when it is too late. Example, she ignored students in the beginning, Obama realized the significance of students, now she is going after students 1 year later (reactive). Obama's Judgment, analysis, cleverness, and staff are Superior.

    January 13, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  24. Ma

    How can Hillary say that Obama is distorting the comments that she made about MLK? Those words were not uttered by Obama. Those words came right out of the horse’s mouth, and that horse is Hillary Clinton. It appears to me that Obama is busy Campaigning. The words uttered by Hillary are being translated by the Public. I am part of the public. I must say, Hillary is making Obama's job a bit easier. Maybe she should just put a muzzle on. It seems like her and her husband make ill advised comments. Her husband states that the whole idea in regards to Obama is a fairy tale.

    LBJ did not bring about the change. He did sign it into Law, but only after years of sacrifice made by MLK and his supporters. The fact is, MLK and his supporters demanded change. MLK efforts and support brought about the change by fighting for it, to the degree that he sacrificed his own life. LBJ had no other option, but to give in to the whim of the public support that was accumulated thought the years. Why did MLK have to negotiate with Politicians for equality, desegration, etc? That is a matter that should not need to be negotiated for. It should have been automatic thing.

    Hillary says that she has 35 years of experience, but her experience has not changed the favors extended to Lobbyist. She says that we need a president who know how things work behind the walls of the White House to be successful.

    We need somebody who does not have the Tradition 35 years of Washington Experience. Because as much "As much as Things Change, They stay the same". Her 35 years has changed nothing. Her husband’s years did nothing but conceal and provide a false mirage to the public that all was alright, while inwardly, Washing was still the same old place- An Immense influence by Lobbyist. If Hillary did not influence her Husband to put an end to the choke hold of Lobbyist and PAC groups THEN, what make us think that she is the candidate who will bring about that change now? After, Lobbyist are the "Root of the Problem". They are the reasons why cost in Healthcare, mortgage, Banking, Schooling, Outsourcing have led to the struggles that Americans face today.

    So far, I have only seen one candidate who can see all of that, and has seen it from the Beginning. His judgment, Trumps her experience. By the way, Look at Hillary’s website, it is update monthly. Obama's website is Dynamic. It is update daily. We need somebody who is not lazy. We need somebody who knows how to organize, stay abreast of the changes, innovate, renovate, and create. We need someone who knows how to use resources. Obama does not know it all, but I tell you what his judgment has helped him build the most successful and innovate team/staff. We need that type of Innovation to translate into the UNITED STATES of America. Not just Red state or Blue states, or certain states, or for certain classes of society.

    To see that we need somebody who knows how to analyze, and be proactive not reactive. Hillary reacts when it is too late. Example, she ignored students in the beginning, Obama realized the significance of students, now she is going after students 1 year later (reactive). Obama's Judgment, analysis, cleverness, and staff are Superior.

    January 13, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  25. Victoria Wells

    Everyone I talked to, all has said they love Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton regardless what press media say!

    Everyone in this nation has a question for that muslim "Are you trying to transform USA into an Islamic nation? Is it the change you are talking about??"

    The muslim is very good in harassing people and distorting people's records to his advantage! He finish 2nd...

    God is watching us from above and is very fair.

    January 13, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22