Watch Sen. Obama speak about the controversy Saturday morning in Indiana.
MUNCIE, Indiana (CNN) - Barack Obama said Saturday that he didn't word his recent comments at a fundraiser "as well as he should have" but added that the back and forth that developed between Obama and fellow White House hopefuls Hillary Clinton and John McCain is "typical."
At a closed-press event in California Sunday Obama referred to some jobless Pennsylvanians as "bitter" who "cling to guns or religion." Saturday, the Illinois senator sought to douse any further firestorm over the comments.
"I didn't say it as well as I should have," Obama told an audience in Muncie, Indiana, the day after he first defended his comments, "because the truth is is that these traditions that are passed on from generation to generation–those are important."
The campaign added that the "traditions" Obama referred to are those of gun ownership and religion. Obama said those traditions are "what sustains us."
He also labeled the dust up that's developed as "a little typical sort of political flare up" because, as he contends, he said something that "everybody knows is true."
The Democratic candidate maintained–as he had Friday night after the story first broke–that people are frustrated because Washington isn't listening to the average American.
"There are a whole bunch of folks in small towns in Pennsylvania, in towns right here in Indiana, in my home town in Illinois who are bitter. They are angry."
"When you're bitter, you turn to what you can count on," Obama said, adding they then turn to voting "about guns" and "taking comfort" in their faith and family.
"That's a natural response."
UPDATE: McCain campaign spokesman Tucker Bounds responded in a statement and said, "Barack Obama’s elitism allows him to believe that the American traditions that have contributed to the identity and greatness of this country are actually just frustrations and bitterness. What ‘everyone knows’ is that the Constitution’s Second Amendment and our country’s strong roots in faith are cornerstone customs in this country, and Barack Obama’s dismissal of those values is revealing."
–CNN Political Producer Chris Welch
Fair enough and well justified...
The two millionaires both Sen. Clinton and Sen. McCain have been sitting in Washington for years and this happened to us on their watch. Do you trust the same person to get you out of a situation when it's the same people who placed you in the situation?
Obama is very arrogant and immature. I cannot stand even looking at anymore. We need leadership in the White House.
Hilliary 08 or McCain 08
How many times can he put his foot in his mouth and get away with it? Stop being ignorant, people. Just be glad the mask is coming off now before it's too late.
As I reminded by Hillary – just words, just words.
Funny now she takes them so seriously.
Another thing he says that he has to explain and his supporters will turn a blind eye to it. Hypocrits.
Why don't you get this story in perspective, such as Wolf Blitzer did in the CNN Situation Room with discussion panel of Jeffrey Toobin, Jack Cafferty and Gloria Borger. Watching that and reading this story gives two completely different impressions.
I was there, he did not backtrack. Things are taken kinda out of context here. I can see now how things can be "spun". He said that Americans do get bitter when they lose jobs sometimes, period.
gas prices are out of control, home foreclosures are at all time high,
home values are going down, stock market is unstable, unemployment is going up, job security is at best not secured..who is not mad & bitter?
Those of you who are defending Sen. Obama should be ashamed of yourselves. His recent comments are so condescending, and show that he thinks that Americans living in the Heartland and in small town America are idiots. It's sad that he's a leading contender for President of the United States!
Projection: Obama Wins Pennsylvania!
I agree... Every week he is forced to apologize for something. The sad part is, he shouldn't. McClinton finds something "wrong" with the wording, and he is forced into a Political corner trying to defend something that doesn't need defending. People are bitter, and for Hillary to say that nobody is just shows how unreasonable and out of touch she is. He says "some people are bitter" and she responds with "no they're not". It's getting old. Really...
Truth is painful , but is true. People are fed-up.
100 mil McBush & 109 mil HillyBilly are in touch with small town peple???
Wait after November to see their real faces.
Hillary keeps getting more desperate and has to make a stink about everything. It's bush-league politics. She would be better off controling her husband. He's the one with a big mouth.
...and, so could have the Rev. Wright. But, both of you did not.
Are we really making such a big deal about the word "bitter"? I would be bitter too if I lost my job. What's wrong with that? To think otherwise as Clinton and McCain said shows just how out of touch they are.
He is starting to show how inexperienced he is.
Honestly, I am tired of his excuses every week for something dumb he said... and it is ALWAYS "out of context" or "just being honest" – these are the top 2 most used excuses from Obama himself and his supporters.
exonerated again by his followers–perhaps he would prefer small-town americans to sniff cocaine for a hobby instead of legal hunting. it was not so much the bitter comment as the insult to american intelligence. ps–the only people who were not prosperous in the clinton years were those who had no intention of working!
I'm a Republican and I agree with what Obama said. I will be voting Democrat. I'm bitter and angry. The mortgage industry lied to me. McSham does not want to help me, and guess what, i can't file for bankruptcy because of a law that the $109 million dollar a year Clinton signed off on. We all have our own opinion and interpretation but anyone who accepts Obama's comments as nothing short of the truth, are people who needed a reason or did not want a reason to vote for him anyway.
THE TRUTH WILL SET YOU FREE.
It's sad to see the division in these comments and the obvious "politicizing" of comments. As a democrat I hope we can all come together and stop fighting one another. We need to win in November. Another four years of a republican in the white house will be a disaster. Senator Obama was trying to make a truthful statement, maybe he didn't say it as artfully as he could, but try giving speeches 24/7 and see if everything you say comes out perfectly. People are frustrated, angry, and bitter about the economy, healthcare, the war, and so many other things that create stress in our lives. Let's act like democrats, americans, human beings, and not be brought down into gutter politics. We're better than that.
No the reason people own guns is because our country is not safe. We have people who have a chip on the shoulder trying to take things that belong to hard working people!! So the hard working people are trying to protect their families and their homes! There you go Obama
It is difficult for me to understand how one whos spouse is worth millions and another who has gained 109 million in the past six years can call Obama an elitest. Woe is me.
Obama ....please....please....go away.....for the good of the American people!
When Clinton and McCain hear any bitter truths, they have a hard time swallowing it – but, American people don't. Truth has become something that gets swept under the rug, these days.
Bitter? You betcha I am! Thank you, Obama, for recognizing that!
Shouldn't have said it. Too late to back track