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. Dan

    The Clinton spin machine at it's best or maybe worse! Typically trying to make the other guy look bad and pay for their mistakes.

    January 13, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  2. Pope

    Billary Clinton will say and do anything to get back in power, I'm not surprised, it just scares the crap out of me.

    and to blame her gaffes on Obama's campaign, is out right disingenous

    January 13, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  3. Annie

    One of the most important things that we can teach our children is to take responsibility for the own actions or words. Hillary needs to take responsibility for the fact that she indeed tried to deminish the accomplishments of Martin Luther King Jr. in the debate. It not only offended the African American citizens of this nation, but also offended many of the rest of us that lived through those times as well.

    I think it would be apporpriate to place on CNN.com and the Political Ticker the comments that Senator Durbin made yesterday about this issue that is posted on Politco.com and CNN often relies on as a source. There are many caucasian Democrats both in Washington and around this nation that feel the way Senator Durbin feels.

    January 13, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  4. Christian, Tampa FL

    Hillary can really get into an argumentative hole with this. King was undeniably the driving force of the civil rights movement, and yes it is true that various Presidents had to implement the actual legislation.

    We have in Barack Obama a skilled politician who can be both the driving force and the executive force for a new era in American politics. If we follow the historical correlations being made, we might say that Obama can bring the community organization of King AND the executive power of Johnson in one leader. And that is very compelling.

    January 13, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  5. FACTS

    OBAMA GOES DIRTY NOW.....

    January 13, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  6. ANew

    Never have I witnessed such foolishness in a presidential campaign. The candidates need to present their plans for addressing the pressing issues which threaten us as a nation. We the people, will then decide who will get the opportunity to enact their plan!

    January 13, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  7. darrell

    Yes, America is beyond your time.

    roll the dice, dream, MLK

    Why say it?

    Is winning that important?

    Yes, define the yes as Bill has done in the 90's.

    The comments were not needed by a former President our own party.

    when you Judge, you are held to the same standard.

    Obama and you are in the same party.
    You attacked and what he represents.

    Take a higher view of all, then maybe then you will be that change agent.

    Not now!

    Change will not be by You because you and Bill are (Old School politics)

    January 13, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  8. EE

    Its luducrios for Sen Clinton to really try drag Obama into race arguments. She was criticized by some black leaders. How come turns around and play politics by suggesting Sen Obama was pushing that storyline.

    I see this as a delibrate attempt to drag Obama into a race argument. Divide and conquer.

    Americans are too smart to fall for this Mrs Clinton. Here is Obama's message. ONE NATION ONE PEOPLE, THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

    January 13, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  9. Alex

    "it took a president to get it done..."

    January 13, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  10. Once again

    When the media is categorically against bush its OK. When the media is categoriclly against the Clintons something is wrong?

    January 13, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  11. Dan

    I just heard the CNN reporter, a woman, embedded with the Clinton campaign talk about this issue. She was so thoroughly ill-informed, ignorant and mischaracterizing that she should immediately be pulled from her position. She clearly doesn't know anything about the issue with her reference to JFK Jr. And suggesting that Clinton was defending MLK against Obama's suggestion that King was not important in the Civil Rights vote. Inept and incompetent. Get her off the air.

    January 13, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  12. Walker

    Hillary clearly indicates that she has more "political power" than Obama and therefor will get more done. Correct on the first part, irrevelent on the second, when it comes to the results the people are looking for. What has she gotten done in her short term as junior senator? Most campaigns generously flaunt the achievements of the candidates. All we hear from the Clinton camp are weak efforts to tie her to the acheivements of others and blame slinging. Based on efforts to improve the lives of the less-fortunate, Obama comes out ahead in experience. Consider his willingness to change the way congress does business with corporations and her openly defending it. Consider the desparity of the outcome in N.H. between the hand counted versus machine counted vote. Consider the major recession that looms at our door and enormous tax increases necessary to finance her agenda. It seems clear to me that she is the polar opposite of what we so desperately need. Bush & the Republicans have done a horrible job representing the people; for America's sake let's not elect worse. If your basing your vote on emotion or gender-preference, then you have no idea how serious & important this election is. We are running out of time as nation. We screw this up and there may be no hope left for our children's future. Find the time to do some research of the facts for yourself and don't just follow others advise. No, the next four years will not be enough time to fix our country no matter who gets elected. But electing one more defender of the problems may just doom us for good.

    January 13, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  13. stan pitts pa

    the only distortions i read off come directly from hrc campaign.

    January 13, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  14. C.Lo

    To both Clintons, after dividing the country, now your are on a good start to divide the Democratic Party. You do not have to be President to help your country.

    Obama 08!

    January 13, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  15. LOL

    Liar hillary, you're a liar.

    January 13, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  16. jojo

    Sheer Clintonian Genius!!! Make statements that piss off the black community leaders, then attack the black candidate becuz the black community is upset!! Did the drunk consultant advise them on this?

    January 13, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  17. pam Eugene OR

    Why on earth would she blame Obama for remarks she made? Typical Clinton tactic.
    CNN
    This is my 4th comment that is not pro Hillary and you have deleted ALLthe others. I can only guess it is because they are anti Clinton as my spelling and grammar were correct. I also did not use foul language. What's up? Is it pro Hillary day?

    January 13, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  18. len

    I don't think it is a distortion to say that Clinton's campaign machinery should not be trying to stop casino workers, many minority and female, from voting in the caucus. Her supporters are suing to stop casino caucuses. Clinton should denounce this, but she won't. She will let the courts decide, she says, because if she stops them from voting it will help her win. The Cullinary Union endorsed Obama and then suddenly yesterday, there is a lawsuit. How transparent. There is no excuse for Clinton allowing this suit to go forward if she really cares about Hispanics and African Americans.

    January 13, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  19. The Great Unwashed Masses

    Hillary crying like a little girl is what tipped the scales in her direction in NH. Nothing else. She saw her huge investment and career going down in flames and started crying because of that. Don't be fooled, she is part of the elitist contigent that runs the country and if elected nothing will change. She will say anything that will keep in the her news and in office. Her promise is the promise of MORE OF THE SAME FROM THE SAME RICH ELITE. She only cares about number one, and number one ain't you. You arn't even number two. Her win in NH has been described as a landslide victory but last time I checked a 2% win is hardly a landslide. Demand term limits, demand campaign finace reform, DEMAND A PAPER TRAIL AT THE POLLS, DEMAND BETTER REPRESENTATION, DEMAND THE ELIMINATION OF THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE.

    January 13, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  20. Brent

    It is amazing how Hillary turns her own racially charged gaffe into more fodder for her political mudslinging. Instead of owning up to the true marginalizing nature of her MLK comment, she tries to shift blame elsewhere.

    January 13, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  21. Jimenez

    Why isn't Obama speaking out about this? Because he is banking on it. He doesn't have alot of african american support. So he is now once again playing dirty. Go ahead Obama say something.

    January 13, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  22. Mark, Chicago, IL

    Any intelligent person understands what Hillary meant... The fact that Obama would use this against her when ALL Democrats have stood for civil rights for the past 5 decades shows that he doesn't understand how the political process works... it takes many people as Hillary suggested. Dr King was a leader as was President Johnson. One person could not have accomplished that which collectively was accomplished... THAT'S WHAT SHE MEANT... THIS IS THE POLITICAL PROCESS. Obama's self-righteousness (and yes, fairy land thinking – yes, I said it!) is really starting to annoy me. He clearly does not have my vote.

    January 13, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  23. J, Ca

    This angry man Edwards never seems to learn his lessons.
    I wonder when he's going to realize that he is a loser.
    Only man enthusiastically standing behind him now is that plumber from desperate housewives.
    Just go home Edwards, and take care of your wife.

    January 13, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  24. ANYONE BUY A CLINTON

    HILLARY AND BILL ARE TRYING TO DO DAMAGE CONTROL. IF THEY FEEL THAT THEIR COMMENTS WERE NOT OFFENSIVE, WHY WASTE TIME GOING ON BLACK RADIO SHOWS TO DEFEND THEIR COMMENTS.

    I HAVE BEEN A DEMOCRAT FOREVER, BUT IF WE HAVE TO PUT UP WITH ANOTHER CLINTON, I WILL VOTE REPUBLICAN.

    BY THE WAY, HILLARY AND BILL ACCUSE OBAMA OF GETTING A FREE RIDE FROM THE PRESS, WHAT ABOUT HILLARY ASSUMING SHE WOULD GET A FREE RIDE BECAUSE SHE WAS THE FORMER FIRST LADY. TAKE AWAY THE PILLOW TALK, AND WHAT DO YOU HAVE??? DEFINITELY NOT 35 YEARS OF EXPERIENCE.

    BILL SAID, "GIVE ME A BREAK. THIS WHOLE THING IS A FAIRYTALE." IF HE WAS ONLY SPEAKING OF THE WAR, HE WOULD HAVE BEEN MORE SPECIFIC. I AM NOT BUYING IT, BUT I NEVER HAVE BOUGHT IINTO THE WHOLE "CLINTON COUNTRY/CLINTON DYANSTY-EGO" ERA.

    January 13, 2008 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  25. charlotte

    This is exactly what I've been saying. It takes a president to get the job done. The law must be signed by the President. A president who will listen to the people, is the key to equal rights for all people. When I heard Oprah mention, MARTIN LUTHER KING, while speaking for OBAMA, I knew the race card was played. He, Obama, is the one with a race issue. His church, Trinity United Church of Christ, has the outline of Africa as a logo. Check it out, I had heard things so I checked it out for myself, it will open your EYES. I check rumors out for myself before I pass judgement. People are quick to react with little or no research on the issue. We need a President who knows the law, better still how it becomes LAW.

    January 13, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
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