April 12th, 2008
07:00 PM ET
7 years ago

Clinton touts her experience with guns

Sen. Evan Bayh looks on as Sen. Clinton greets supporters in Valparaiso, Indiana.
Sen. Evan Bayh looks on as Sen. Clinton greets supporters in Valparaiso, Indiana.

VALPARAISO, Indiana (CNN) - Hillary Clinton appealed to Second Amendment supporters on Saturday by hinting that she has some experience of her own pulling triggers.

“I disagree with Sen. Obama’s assertion that people in our country cling to guns and have certain attitudes about trade and immigration simply out of frustration,” she began, referring to the Obama comments on small-town Americans that set off a political tumult on Friday.

She then introduced a fond memory from her youth.

“You know, my dad took me out behind the cottage that my grandfather built on a little lake called Lake Winola outside of Scranton and taught me how to shoot when I was a little girl,” she said.

“You know, some people now continue to teach their children and their grandchildren. It’s part of culture. It’s part of a way of life. People enjoy hunting and shooting because it’s an important part of who they are. Not because they are bitter.”

Minutes later, in a slightly awkward moment, Clinton faced a question from a woman in the audience whose son had been paralyzed by a gunshot. The woman asked Clinton what she would do about gun control as president.

Clinton touted her husband's record on gun control during his administration, and said "there is not a contradiction between protecting Second Amendment rights" and the effort to reduce crime.

Noting that many hunters and gun collectors want to keep weapons out of the hands of criminals, Clinton referred to her positive childhood experiences with firearms.

"As I told you, my dad taught me how to shoot behind our cottage,” she said. “I have gone hunting. I am not a hunter. But I have gone hunting."

Clinton said she has hunted ducks.

– CNN Political Producer Peter Hamby

soundoff (548 Responses)
  1. J

    Christ Hillary...

    April 12, 2008 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  2. Tricia

    I watched Hillary in indiana today, and I am filled with such confidence in her. Her plans for our economy, trade, healthcare crisis and withdrawing troops from a failed exercise in iraq is really what we need right now. We are all human and may mispeak, but her intentions and direction are what should count. I believe her completely when she says she'll turn this mess around. She has the experience, the know-how and the drive to accomplish it. I wish she could be seen by the media that way.

    Go Hillary!

    April 12, 2008 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  3. Mario Uy Streamwood IL

    I wonder if this is another one of those Bosnia sniper stories again. Too bad, it's hard to believe any stories she tells now.

    As for Obama, his true color is showing.

    Both are equally disgusting. It's like choosing between the frying pan and the fire.

    Can we have another Democratic candidate?

    April 12, 2008 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  4. rb from the Peg

    After the snipper thing God help us with you and a gun
    You play the field on every issue don't. You don't even know when poeple are bitter and it has a lot to do with NAFTA Bills pet( and yours )

    POEPLE PLEASE USE YOUR HEADS

    April 12, 2008 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  5. d4obama

    This has got to be the most manipulative person in politics. She will twist and turn and flip and spin anything to try and pursuade people into voting for her. Scary. Thank goodness the average American is smarter than Hillary. Can't wait until Barack is her president.

    April 12, 2008 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  6. Ryan

    Okay, is there ANYTHING that this exaggerator doesn't claims she can do? How are voters supposed to take her seriously when she so conveniently comes up with a new story to relate to whatever demographic voting base is coming up? I, frankly, don't believe anything anymore that spews from her mouth.

    April 12, 2008 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  7. Dave

    I am growing weary of McCain and Hillary jumping on every little nuance of the words tha Obama chooses to use. Obama has an excellent sense of what the people in this country need and want from their politiicans and Hillary McCain are throwing everything they have at him to keep him from winning. (Including the kitchen sink). Go Obama!

    April 12, 2008 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  8. Anonymous

    Thiswoman will say anything to get elected...I bet she wasn't touting her gun experience when she was running for her New York Senate seat.

    April 12, 2008 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  9. jo

    the way ca is opening jail doors to gang member and letting illegal people enter our country our second amendment rights will come in handy,knowing how to use a gun responsibly,and safely,i know from being raised in south,and being in military,,we have a healthy respect for our weapons,guns,obama saying we turn to guns and our beliefs after losing our jobs that he as a senator has helped move out of our country,,,sorry the only thing that makes me bitter is some senator that demeans the great people of my country,with his uppity talk,and no action

    April 12, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  10. chinyere Eze

    If American's dont know when they are being deceived by politicians, then they deserve another eight years of failure. That a candidate spoke from his heart that Americans are "bitter" and angry over what they have suffered is condiscending, then this country and the people must lack sense. If Americans are not bitter by now I am. I amd bitter because my home is almost in foreclosure. I am bitter that I can't get a job. I am bitter that I have to choose between buying gas or food. I am bitter that John Macain and Hillary voted and gave george bush the permision to send our young men and women to Iraq to die while Hillary Clintons husband made 800,000.00 form shiping our jobs out of the country and John Macain made tons of money. American's, have we lost so much confidence in our selfs that we are now letting criminals tell us what to believe. Can you Imagine Hillary Clinton and John Macain whom made millions of dollers call a Man who is not even rich out of touch. Anyway I don't blame them. I blame the American people for what is happening to us. We have let the media tell us what to think and give opportunity for this criminals to rule our lives. Go Obama!. You have done your best. If the American people dont want you, Let them have another eight years of Clinton or Macain. Where ever we find ourselves, our butt put us there.

    April 12, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  11. basia

    what experience? she drives in the middle of New York city and there is sniper fire. ha ha

    April 12, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  12. Ursula Hultgren

    Obama didn't mean anything by his remarks. They were true observations and nothing more. I do NOT intend to vote for either democrats, but Obama's remarks were true. Give it up Hilary – you are making the whole process ugly and more people will not vote in November if you keep this type of stuff up.

    We are all tired of remarks being made into something they are not. Let it go!!

    Please do not keep repeating this story over and over. I like to be a news junky at election time but am already tired of this type of attack.

    April 12, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  13. elaine

    THATS HILLIARY FOR YOU...LETS SUPPORT KILLING DEFENSELESS ANIMALS...AFTER ALL...THATS THE AMERICAN WAY.

    April 12, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  14. cathys

    Hey Hill,,,Is that the cottage with no heat? Boy next we will hear of how you had to hunt for your food. But quess what we are bitter! We are bitter that we lose jobs while some people can make $800,000 due to free trade.
    Some of us live in houses with no heat- and not just in the summer!

    April 12, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  15. David Kolva, MD

    Please go back to the news archives when Hillary was running against Rick Lazio for Senate in 2000:
    "Mrs. Clinton supports licensing new guns and registering new gun owners. Mr. Lazio opposes those measures, arguing that the nation should first enforce existing gun laws before considering national registration." New York Times 11/5/2000.

    Now she is touting a new gun policy because she will say anything to win. Do you see the pandering to rural Pennsylvania?

    Is Hillary now running for the GOP nomination?

    April 12, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  16. OpinionatedProf

    Yea, whatever. Grab onto anything Obama says that you think is an opportunity to get to the White House again. This time, when you are ex-president you can then earn as much as Bill does on the circuit and then you can not "stand by your man" – or whatever.

    It does not take a village, since you will burn the village to get whatever you want.

    April 12, 2008 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  17. Norm

    Oh sure, her dad taught her hw to shoot and she hunted ducks... how can you believe her? Even IF its true, what difference does this make to anyone? Maybe she should get photographed hunting or riding in a tank...

    I guess when you can't win on the issues or your "advantages" you try whatever you can. This is a nothing issue that the media and the Clintons are trying to turn into something. If Clinton thinks she can be President, then she should act like it. She and her campaign are pathetic!

    April 12, 2008 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  18. rb from the Peg

    Why don't you ask your Paster if you have one why poeple in problems revert to God and churches. That is the reason they are there.

    April 12, 2008 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  19. This woman make me nervous

    It will not be easy, Barack... Too many idiots... Good luck, my friend.
    McCain from Arizona.

    April 12, 2008 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  20. Sam

    Did he teach her to shoot a sniper rifle? Wonder if there's any tape on this one …

    April 12, 2008 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  21. joe

    Wow finally She has a campaign 'THEME'. What a pity?

    April 12, 2008 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  22. shelly beck

    If Hillary had a well rounded education, she would understand that Obama's comments are correct. He has had, obviously, more education and experience in the realm of sociology, psychology and cultural anthropology. Senator Clinton sounds like a red-neck. Since when, in America, is education and knowledge something we denegrate or lampoon.? It is obvious to me that Sen. Clinton and her supporters contribute much to the "dumbing down" of America, and frankly I have had enough of that with George and friends!! Anyone who has suffered an unexpected "reversal of fortune" whether it's losing a job or a loved one knows the persuant bitterness and frustration. Feeling abandoned in our agony, it is not unusual to substitute another issue which is easier to defend if not understand.

    April 12, 2008 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  23. PJ Yost

    Grandpa taught her to shoot. And chew tobacco. Cant git more small town than that. Shes a complete fraud. There isnt anyones vote she wont sell out for.

    April 12, 2008 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  24. Ursula Hultgren

    I consider myself an Independent. I have never had any desire to own a gun, but support those who do. Small town America loves their guns for hunting and keeping their homes safe.

    As a former Pennsylvanian, Small town people not just there but everywhere tend to be more religious. Yes they love their Religions and Guns, and Hate loosing Jobs etc.

    It's a good thing Hillary, not something to be taken and made into something it isn't.

    April 12, 2008 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  25. Tom

    For God's sake, don't challenge Cheney to a "shoot off"!!! She's right though, it's been a part of our culture since this country began. Maybe it's not an intellectual enough pursuit for Mr. Obama, but I've heard that, given the opportunity to vote, even folks in Michigan and Florida would go for this without even being "bitter"!

    It's difficult to tell at this point whether Mr. Obama is trying to fool more people than he's making angry or the other way around (cause let's be honest, he's fooled a WHOLE BUNCH so far!) but either way, he's not going to be our next President.

    April 12, 2008 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
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