GRANTHAM, Pennsylvania (CNN) - Minutes after Barack Obama tore into Hillary Clinton for criticizing his comments about some small-town Americans, the New York senator said again Sunday that those remarks about some could be seen as “elitist” and “patronizing.”
"But from my perspective the characterization of people in a way that really seemed to be elitist and out of touch is really something that we have to overcome," Clinton said at the Compassion Forum, airing on CNN.
"The Democratic Party, to be very blunt about it, has been viewed as a party that didn't understand and respect the values and the way of life of many of our fellow Americans," she said, adding that the fact that the comments came at a “closed door fundraiser in San Francisco” helped reinforce that impression.
She said that Obama was a good man, but compared him to unsuccessful Democratic candidates Al Gore and John Kerry.
"We had two very good men, and men of faith, run for president in 2000 and 2004. But large segments of the electorate concluded that they did not really understand, or relate to, or frankly respect their ways of life," said Clinton.
–CNN Associate Political Editor Rebecca Sinderbrand
Watch a clip of Sen. Clinton's Sunday press conference.
SCRANTON, Pennsylvania (CNN) – After a weekend spent making direct appeals to gun owners and church goers, Hillary Clinton said Sunday a query about the last time she fired a gun or attended church services "is not a relevant question in this debate” over Barack Obama’s recent comments on small town Americans.
“We can answer that some other time,” Clinton said at a press conference held in a working class neighborhood here. “This is about what people feel is being said about them. I went to church on Easter. I mean, so?”
Clinton described the furor surrounding Obama’s remarks as “about how people look at the Democratic Party and the Democratic Party leadership.”
“We have been working very hard to make it clear that we have millions of Democrats who are church going and gun-owning,” she said. “And we are tired of having Republicans, or frankly our own Democrats, give any ammunition to Republicans because what happens then is Republicans take advantage of the situation.”
(CNN) - Which Democrat is winning the battle for religious voters? God only knows.
So far this year, Hillary Clinton has maintained an edge among Roman Catholics, many of them the Hispanic and working-class white voters who have been among the most loyal members of her base.
Thanks in large part to that support, many surveys had also given her a slight edge over Barack Obama among white Democratic voters who attended church of any kind regularly.
But in exit polls, the category of regular church-goers - those who attend services at least once a month or more - were more likely to choose Obama. That category in many states was dominated by African-Americans, who have overwhelmingly backed the Illinois senator's candidacy.
GRANTHAM, Pennsylvania (CNN) – Sen. Hillary Clinton won the coin toss conducted by the organizers of Sunday night’s Compassion Forum. The New York senator elected to go first at the forum and will be followed by Sen. Barack Obama.
Clinton and Obama will field questions in back-to-back interviews conducted by CNN’s Campbell Brown, Newsweek's Jon Meacham and prominent members from the faith community who will be in the audience. The Democratic presidential rivals are expected to address topics that include religious faith, poverty, human rights, and the worldwide AIDS crisis.
Programming note: CNN will broadcast the Compassion Forum exclusively and live beginning at 8 p.m. E.T. on Sunday night.
Watch former President Clinton Sunday in Bloomsbury, Pennsylvania.
(CNN) – Former President Bill Clinton finally spoke up Sunday about the controversy swirling around Sen. Barack Obama’s recent comments after being uncharacteristically silent just a day before.
“Folks, I was shaking hands and taking a few pictures backstage. This fellow looked at me and he said, ‘I just want you to know, the people you’re about to see are not bitter. They’re proud,’” Bill Clinton said at a campaign event for his wife, Sen. Hillary Clinton, in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania.
The former president also took the opportunity to respond to Obama’s assertions that small town America was not made better off economically during the eight years of the Clinton administration.
“Do you agree with that?,” he asked.
“No,” the crowd shouted in response.
“I just thought I’d get a few witnesses here. You know, I’m a Baptist. On Sunday, we look for witnesses,” replied Clinton.
–CNN's Steve Brusk and Martina Stewart
Watch Sen. Casey's interview with Wolf Blitzer.
WASHINGTON (CNN) -– Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey, Jr., a supporter of Sen. Barack Obama, is defending the Illinois senator and front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination in the middle of a controversy that has the potential to effect the outcome in Pennsylvania's April 22 primary. (Related video: Watch John King on the potential impact of the controversy.)
“Ridiculous,” is how Casey responded to suggestions that Obama is an elitist. “Anyone who knows Barack Obama, knows his life story, knows that that’s not true,” Casey added.
“Here’s the larger point,” Casey told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on Late Edition Sunday. “He was trying to express the frustration that people feel not only with this economy but with what’s been happening in Washington where the special interests have had a stranglehold on the process in Washington.”
Casey also took a shot at Sen. John McCain, the Republican Party’s presumptive nominee, saying “the McCain campaign is about a third Bush term.” “I don’t think people are going to vote for that. I think they’re going to vote for change,” said Casey.
The Pennsylvania senator also told Blitzer that people in his state are not going to judge Obama on the basis of a single comment.
Related video: Bayh on Obama
–CNN Associate Producer Martina Stewart
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Jimmy Carter reiterated the sentiments of many Democratic Party leaders on Sunday by saying that it would be a “serious mistake” for superdelegates to choose the candidate with fewer total delegates.
“I think it would be a very serious mistake for the Democratic Party…if a candidate had the majority of popular votes, the majority of delegates and a majority of states - all three - were the superdelegates to vote contrary to that, I think it would be very difficult to explain,” the former president told George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s “This Week.”
Carter is the latest in a series of prominent Democrats to say that nullifying the popular vote would be a flawed approach. He said that he “basically agreed” with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who on March 15 stated "if the votes of the superdelegates overturn what's happened in the elections, it would be harmful to the Democratic party.”
Heading into the key Pennsylvania primary on April 22, Hillary Clinton trails Barack Obama by 171 pledged delegates. Even well-known supporters of Clinton have declared publicly that she needs to come first in the popular vote to win the nomination.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – With this week’s headlines focused on the congressional testimony of U.S. Commander in Iraq Gen. David Petraeus and U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker, the Sunday morning talk show circuit showcased some of the top political players in the next steps for the United States in Iraq:
On CNN’s Late Edition, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Joe Biden and Republican Ranking Member Richard Lugar gave their assessments following the week of testimony. Biden told host Wolf Blitzer that it’s not the presidential election that will change the Iraqi government, but rather “reality on the ground will change the politics in Iraq.” Lugar expressed some disappointment in the current Iraq strategy, telling Blitzer “The hearing demonstrated that we don't have still a definition of success or victory.”
Also on Late Edition, Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari asserted that the Iraqi government is doing its part to stabilize the country. “We are shouldering the main burden on looking after our people,” Zebari said. “We are not standing by. This is our country.”
Sen. Clinton enjoyed a shot of whiskey Saturday night in Indiana. (Photo Credit: AP)
CROWN POINT, Indiana – After a day of taking shots at rival Sen. Barack Obama over his "bitter" remarks, Sen. Hillary Clinton relaxed in Crown Point, Indiana and took a shot of a different kind – Crown Royal whiskey.
Clinton was at Bronko’s Restaurant having a beer when the bartender asked, “You want a shot with that Hillary?” After some deliberation, Clinton settled on a shot of Crown Royal, a Canadian whiskey.
Later in the evening, the Democratic presidential hopeful also sat down and had some pizza.
Related video: Watch Clinton have some whiskey on Saturday night
(CNN) - In a new commentary on the AC360 blog, Carl Bernstein says he was wrong in his previous views on Hillary Clinton's potential to change and evolve as a political figure. He writes:
In A Woman in Charge, I wrote about her ability to evolve, observable especially in the years before she met Bill Clinton and in the Senate: to learn from her mistakes. Events have proven me wrong on that count.
Click here to read more at the AC360 blog