April 13th, 2008
08:30 PM ET
3 years ago

Clinton hits Obama over 'bitter' comments at Compassion Forum

Sen. Clinton wasted no time Sunday night before again criticizing Sen. Obama for his recent remarks about small town America.
Sen. Clinton wasted no time Sunday night before again criticizing Sen. Obama for his recent remarks about small town America.

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


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Faith • Hillary Clinton • Pennsylvania
soundoff (300 Responses)
  1. spyturtle

    HIllary went duck hunting. Watch out for Bosnian snipers!

    April 13, 2008 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  2. Billie Jelks-Hood

    I am amazed at Sentor Clinton, comments about Obama, being an "elistist" and "patronizing",especially after releasing her tax returns, last week end. Obama, grew up without a father figure, raised by a single mother who had to secure food stamps for her family ,even his grand parents where very limited in monies. Here again she is throwing the kitchen sink ,and they do not stick. Senator,
    Clinton is showing despration, listen to all the cheers for Obama as he enter the stage compared to Hillary Clinton. The Clinton, machine is working overtime to win the election and she is turning more people of than on.
    I was an avid supporter of Senator Clinton, being a female of 64 years old but, she has lost my vote finally.

    April 13, 2008 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  3. Jim

    with Hillary Clinton there's the biggest hurdle to overcome for Democrats: LACK OF TRUST IN HER WORDS.

    Of course she never sees her own shortcomings. She's a Clinton!!

    April 13, 2008 11:58 pm at 11:58 pm |
  4. Tom

    Talk about elitist ,Sen. Clinton can declare aillion dollar income over 7 years , not go to church and does"nt shoot a gun, what a liar Sen. Cliunton is along with her story of Boseina and a lady being refused healthcare., along with her other mis-spoken statements. I want Sen. Obama to be our next President .......NOT A ELITIST Sen. Clinton that gets caught in all her fairy Tales.

    April 13, 2008 11:58 pm at 11:58 pm |
  5. Unshrub

    She hasn't won yet either. She may not even make it as far as they have. It's a little presumptuous for her to think she is going to even get the nomination.

    April 13, 2008 11:59 pm at 11:59 pm |
  6. Debby

    Kudos to John McCain for not attending this farce of a forum. I wish Sen. Clinton did the same. This was nothing more than CNN again propping up their Golden Boy because of the Wright controversy. What a waste of 3 hours.

    April 13, 2008 11:59 pm at 11:59 pm |
  7. Kc,Atlanta

    I strongly believe that Obama's comment on blue collars across small
    town in Us is miss-spoke,it did not come out quite as good as it meant,though the critics might have legitimate claims,but the under-line truth on the "Bitter" word in question remain undeniable.

    April 14, 2008 12:01 am at 12:01 am |
  8. Observer

    Give it up, Hillary! You have done more than anything else to destroy the Democratic Party, all just to support your HUGE ego. You act like you are entitled to be president; but guess what: you have to EARN it. Your "anything goes" strategy is sickening! You don't care one wit about the future of the party, otherwise you'd step aside and let a true leader take the nomination. I was once one of your biggest supporters, but that's a thing of the past.

    April 14, 2008 12:02 am at 12:02 am |
  9. Elizabeth

    A man who came from a single mother on food stamps, had everything against him in life, just paid off his school loans at 46 years old is somehow an elitiest. On the other hand we have Billary making 109 million dollars and I forget the 800,000 they got in their bank account for Bills talks in Columbia. When was the last time she went to shoprite? John McCain's is comes from a very rich family in the beer business. Need I say anymore. Billary represent the power elite make no mistake.

    April 14, 2008 12:02 am at 12:02 am |
  10. Fire Alarm

    Ok! One Day HRC speaks of wining big states, and how that most qualifies her for the nomination. The claim days ago was that Obama has won small middle American states; and by that he is intrinsically un-electable. Now today (according to HRC) senator Obama is out of touch with the same people in their small towns and states where he has held impressive leads over her. Furthermore, if any individual rakes in over 109 million; can they seriously infer that they know the struggles of the family who for generations have worked with great pride in steel mills and plants throughout middle America. And if this so how come HRC's message has not resonated more with these Americans? Doubt and more Doubt I say when candidates will do and say anything to be elected. More And More lies and misleadings underscore what appears to be a personality disorder on the part of HRC.

    April 14, 2008 12:03 am at 12:03 am |
  11. dj

    What a piece of work she is.

    April 14, 2008 12:04 am at 12:04 am |
  12. nazirmo

    Both candidates took a little turn away from the topic of faith forum and at times where possible turned it into a political debate or perhaps a political forum. Obama towards the end of his session at one point to a question from the audience just went on and on for a long period of time talking about every possible political issues he would take care of as President. The list was endless. I thought when will he stop. It was a faith forum I thought not a political forum. He spoke of the economy , the poverty and you name it. I know that Kerry is backing Obama but did Hillary lost Al Gore's support by her comment as to why she thought he and Kerry were defeated.

    April 14, 2008 12:04 am at 12:04 am |
  13. Shrimp Barnicles, NY

    Oh my goodness Hillary. She is behaving like a child. It is very apparent that this woman will do anything, say anything to get elected. This whole "bitter" issue is stupid and irrelevant. The Clinton campaign is trying to get milk out of a brick. She thinks the American voters are stupid and can't sort through her silly tricks. See how Obama surges in the polls in Pennsylvania this week leading into next week. Just wait and see.

    April 14, 2008 12:07 am at 12:07 am |
  14. Larry from LA

    Hillary put down Al Gore and John Kerry. Do I hear an Al Gore endorsement for Obama coming soon? Hillary the elitist calling Obama an elitist is very funny. Hillary could care less about the American people because it isall about her. Wake up America. Hillary has been giving nothing but clues along the way about what a lying flip flopper she really is.

    April 14, 2008 12:07 am at 12:07 am |
  15. SC for Hillary

    Every time Obama open his mouth, he put his foot in it, the same for his wife Michelle, I bet Rev. Wright, Bill Ayers, and Tony Rezsko was at that Fundraiser in California where he down right stereotyped those people in Penn., If he really felt that what he was saying was not stereotyping those people, why didn't he say it to their face. Obama is an opportunist who has been in the senate for one hour and think he is ready for prime time, he is far from ready, look who he surrounds himself with, corrupted Rezsko, Terriost Bill Ayers, and married to terriost Michelle who has never been proud of this country,
    YES HE WILL not win the general election in November, THE CHICKENS WILL NOT COME HOME TO ROOST FOR HIM IN NOVEMBER.

    April 14, 2008 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
  16. CL

    Obama is a good man. I appreciate his faith, words, whatever experience he has, and his intentions. I believe that Hillary is right on on all counts and if I could I'd cast my vote to her. This is not about adamant and rabid bloggers needing so badly to cut their opponents until they bleed profusely.

    April 14, 2008 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
  17. Juan Grain

    She knows better.

    April 14, 2008 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
  18. yaw

    so this guy wants to call American voters Bigots due to bitterness and Hillary shouldn't defend the american people what nerve on this guys part. If he was just stating the plight of rural America why is it that this comment came out the way it did at a forum where only rich people were? Obama is insulting you to the same rich people that run the companies that sent your jobs overseas. And once again you have biased CNN say silly things like hillary pounced on it. John King pls act like a journalist not a groupie for Obama and i heard Roland Martin say he was an independent (lmfao) personally i thought he was Obama's blood brother. Sad but now i need to double check ur reportings with u know who b4 cause this medium has become sooo groupie esk.
    WHY DO STORIES WITH NEGATIVE COMMENTS ABOUT HILLARY ALLOWED TO REACH ABOUT 600 BUT WHEN PEOPLE CRITIZIZE OBAMA COMMENTS ARE CUT OFF SOMETIME AT ONLY 50. CNN CNN CNN WHY? TOOOO OBVIOUS!!!!!

    April 14, 2008 12:13 am at 12:13 am |
  19. Shrimp Barnicles, NY

    And that silly and foolish talk of the media going against Hillary and giving Obama a free ride should stop today. The media has no respect for anyone. They don't care who you are. They just want to improve their ratings. Right CNN? See I told you. Fox News seem to have been incoporated to run against Obama on the same day he announced his decision to run for president.

    April 14, 2008 12:14 am at 12:14 am |
  20. Matt

    Good grief. He was trying to say that the people, not just in PA, but across the country are frustrated and unhappy with the economy and what the government has done. Hillary, you are being so picky it is not even funny. You are rediculous!

    April 14, 2008 12:15 am at 12:15 am |
  21. Delaware

    Columbian trade deal, Bosnia what is next for Clinton trade deal? May be Cuba, Iran, Lybia, Syria, Sudan, Or communist Korea.

    April 14, 2008 12:17 am at 12:17 am |
  22. Jen in Harrisburg

    Okay I just finished watching this whole thing and I may have been on the fence before, but I'm not anymore.

    Hillary Clinton's answers were outstanding. She was so detailed and thoughtful in each one of her answers.

    She spoke from both the heart and the mind and carefully weighing both sides.

    I have never seen Senator Clinton this insightful or thoughtful before and I really, really liked her.

    I thought Senator Obama was very good too – but his answers were far more on the surface – far more political.

    Senator Clinton went far more in depth, more spiritual in her answers.

    I would be very proud to see Senator Clinton become President. I have confidence that she will be able to make a difference.

    April 14, 2008 12:19 am at 12:19 am |
  23. vli

    In the Debate tonight.... did Obama just say that the reverend is NOT his Spiritual Advisor....I could of swore he has said in the past that the Reverend was his spiritual advisor?????

    April 14, 2008 12:19 am at 12:19 am |
  24. freddie

    HRC claims she does not talk down to voters...but she will lie to them til she's blue in the face. I hope she keeps running her mouth on this issue because it will come back to bite her. Talk about an elitist. She has been living in a bubble the last 25 years. She and her husband are so out of touch with what the American people are looking for. Obama was great in the Forum tonight and notice he got a standing ovation when he came out and way...way more applause. This country will be missing out on a one in a lifetime opportunity if this man is not our next president. Go Barack. Annie Oakley...ha ha! Love it!

    April 14, 2008 12:20 am at 12:20 am |
  25. Incredible

    Barack Obama is, unfortunately, an ultra double face politician.
    He attended a church with a racist, hatefilled pastor who "introduced" him to Christianity, marry him, baptized his children and lectured him about faith and religion for 20 YEARS!
    Now while in a closed fund raiser in San Francisco, he uttered the words, "they cling.....to", "they" he says.....I can just see picture him, so suave, looking above people and using his finger as he usually does, perhaps not to that audience, but I can just picture him.
    BO and his wife are the biggest opportunists. They are not for real. They are not what AMerica needs. Please America WAKE UP!!!

    April 14, 2008 12:22 am at 12:22 am |
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