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. Daniel Stevens

    These are the things that make it hard for me to post rationally and not just "fire off an angry post." These are the things that make me just beside myself with angst directed at the Clinton camp. I watched the form and thought that Senator Obama was genuine and explained in perfect clarity this statement. But if you watch the 15 second sound bite they played at the end you would have thought all he said was 'oh sorry'. We the people MUST find a way to kick the media out of this debate so long as they are going to construct the message to keep a controversy going. There really should be a site something like "nosoundbitesuckers.com" that is non partisan and posts the entire statements that the sound bites come from. I know you can almost always find them but it would be nice to have a single place to go.

    April 14, 2008 12:23 am at 12:23 am |
  2. From Canada

    I watched the forum and your article isn't quite right, Senator Clinton when asked about Obama's statement answered that she will let Obama speak for himself but she was forced by bias Cambell (she's obviously pro-Obama) to said something about it. Senator Clinton was very professional all the way and stick to the topic. I find Cambell a bit rude and unprofessional.

    April 14, 2008 12:24 am at 12:24 am |
  3. Sol

    "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" .

    .....This lady has some issues ...... if she refering to Gore (an undeclared superdelegate) and Kerry both leaders of her own Dem. party.

    April 14, 2008 12:24 am at 12:24 am |
  4. Josh, Charlotte, NC

    WAY TO GO HILLARY, MADAME PRESIDENT!!! I AM SO PROUD OF YOU!!! I can't wait to vote for you in the North Carolina primary. You WILL WIN this election!

    HILLARY '08!

    April 14, 2008 12:26 am at 12:26 am |
  5. Amrk

    ouch! well we know who Gore is going to support. What was she thinking?

    April 14, 2008 12:33 am at 12:33 am |
  6. T. Michael Cullen

    Barack is the one who has recently "misspoke", Hillary flat out lies about many things. Most people at least wait until they are President to start lieing to us.

    April 14, 2008 12:34 am at 12:34 am |
  7. Dorothy

    I believe Barack and his family are praying for Hillary and Bill. Her elitest comments were far from appropriate at the forum and showed exactly where her spiritual beliefs rest.

    What she sees and hears are clear indicators as to what needs to be healed in her.

    Dorothy/white/57yr/Alabama

    April 14, 2008 12:38 am at 12:38 am |
  8. Chantel

    I must say, that Hilliary clinton character is so "Bitter" about...
    Her lack in support over the US,
    Her inability to keep up with her lies and stories correctly
    Her inablilty to keep her husbands mouth shut...or something else,
    Her inablity to appeal to young voters like Barack,
    Her inability to be the Democratic Presidnetial Nominee.

    Since these things are not in her control, I can say that she is very much Bitter, an not just upset!!!

    April 14, 2008 12:39 am at 12:39 am |
  9. Cris

    Wow! Is this a sign that Al Gore has given the Clintons a piece of his mind and told them he is gonna support Obama? Else, I don't think her answer would appease Gore in any way now, is there?

    April 14, 2008 12:40 am at 12:40 am |
  10. dave

    well fair is fair....saint barack complains that MS HRC is taking his <> comment out of context and should accept his correction,,,but when mccain says his <>comment was taken out of context, obama does not accept the correction given by mccain,,, so why should anyone accept saint obama"s so-called corection for his very stupid comment???
    mccain/condi08!!!

    April 14, 2008 12:41 am at 12:41 am |
  11. Prab

    She is really desperate right now, she knows that it's impossible for her to win the election, uncless the SD all go to her.

    April 14, 2008 12:41 am at 12:41 am |
  12. Nicha

    CNN stop playing into this so called "bitter" issue with Hillary Clinton. I am a CNN fan and will no longer be if you, CNN, continue to harp on this issue. It's no issue. It's the truth!! People are bitter and upset and if it doesn't apply to you or anyone else, keep on moving.

    April 14, 2008 12:42 am at 12:42 am |
  13. dee rathersome

    Hillary Clinton is again grasping at straws regarding her so-called concern for americans and their way of life. She taunts the validity of Obama by pointing out a "comment" she said, and yet, she misspoke,
    missjudged, and out right lied about many things in and concerning her political life and aspirations. I find it hard to believe that no one has mentioned the suit Peter Paul filed against Hillary Clinton, in April 2006, regarding the largest election fraud case in the U.S. This case is proceeding in a Clalfornia court. Facts and accusations have been reported about the charges on MSNBC, Fox News and the Washington News. John Arman, a Constitutional Law Specialist, stated that this case directed showed the extent the Clintons will go to undermind the case presented against them . However, FEC laws deem it a felony it exceeded 1.2 million in campaign contibutions.
    Peter Paul further explains his charges on youtube. The shocking Video Hillary Does Not Want you to See Part 1 & 2. Again, I cannot understand why the public has not been appraised about this case.

    April 14, 2008 12:43 am at 12:43 am |
  14. melisa

    she right things and just patien okay cnn

    April 14, 2008 12:43 am at 12:43 am |
  15. Ken

    For Hillary to infer that Al Gore wasn't elected because Americans viewed him as elitist is unfathomable. Al Gore would be President today if Bill Clinton hadn't perjured himself–torpedoing the Democrats election chances in the process. Her husband owns the Democrats failure to maintain the White House–just like Hillary owns the Clintons' failure to deliver on their health care promise during his two terms and now she wants people to believe she can deliver when she's President–what she failed to do when her husband placed her in charge of solving the problem under his administration. The result will be the same the second time around if Americans are naive enough to trust her to solve our health crisis.

    April 14, 2008 12:44 am at 12:44 am |
  16. Fred

    She and Bill are bought and paid for by Columbia for NAFTA.

    April 14, 2008 12:44 am at 12:44 am |
  17. Zak

    Hillary Clinton will deliver just the same thing others have done. If America wants to CHANGE then Hillary is NOT the candidate. She seems to me a "me too" person.

    April 14, 2008 12:44 am at 12:44 am |
  18. frank O

    Dear Hillary, American people are more worried about your comments rather than Obama's characterization of a group of people in PA.
    Let us just break down some of the things you have said Hillary:

    Hillary: " I am against NAFTA". Lie
    Hillary: "I ducked snapper fire in Bosnia". Lie
    Hillary: "I met a pregnant women who died for lack of treatment". Lie
    Hillary: " I am against Columbian trade deal". Lie

    Obama, characterized a certain group of people which is actually true in many ways. He did not lie. No, unlike the Clintons, Obama did NOT lie.

    April 14, 2008 12:45 am at 12:45 am |
  19. dee rathersome

    Hillary should stop using her constant victim angle and present her politics in a true and effective manner. No wonder she'll never be the front runner. The american people are not as gullible as she thinks.

    Don't forget, check out youtube, the shocking video hillary clinton doesn't want anyone to see. It's very informative.

    April 14, 2008 12:45 am at 12:45 am |
  20. JANE--FLORIDA

    HRC is wicked. How dare she make the statement about the feeling of the Holy Spirit. I'm glad God is forgiving and merciful because she should have been struck down for that lie. God also says that we are to love our brothers and sisters. He says how can we say that we love him when we have not seen him but can't love our brothers/sisters who we can see?

    Obviously, no one from that school had Bible versus 101. I would have loved to have seen her face if someone had posed that question? Talk about cat who swallowed the canary look!!!

    April 14, 2008 12:46 am at 12:46 am |
  21. Edith Stafford

    Hillary Clinton is a sore loser she needs to lay off on Barack Obama especially on the "bitter issue" she is trying to distract attention from her elitis sniper fire lie and the tons of money her husband Bill has made from speeches promoting NAFTA . Pennslyvanian should vote for Barack Obama he feel and understand what pain and suffering they are going through from what NAFTA has brought to them. Hillary and Bill feel the riches from NAFTA. GO OBAMA 08

    April 14, 2008 12:46 am at 12:46 am |
  22. larry

    Oh, how the truth hurts,Obama shows his true colors!!!!
    HILLARY 08

    April 14, 2008 12:47 am at 12:47 am |
  23. George from Minneapolis

    It was very refreshing to watch the forum. Obama was brillant. He did not take the easy way out like Hillary. He gave answers that may have not been the safest answers. I appreciate a person who is honest. It was VERY OBVIOUS that Obama was speaking from the heart while Hillary was very measured, making sure she gave the safe answer.

    Obama looked and sounded like the next president of the united states.

    If you ask Obama a direct question you get a direct answer. If you ask Hillary a direct question you get a response that insults my intelligence. blah, blah, blah.

    Obama is the most HONEST politician I have ever seen.. Just what America needs. If you want someone to tell you what you want to hear, what may make you feel good, vote for Hillary. If you want someone to be honest with you, regardless of how it makes you feel, vote for Obama.

    ITS VERY SIMPLE

    April 14, 2008 12:48 am at 12:48 am |
  24. Christian

    Hillary has already lost this election. She will not go into the convention with more votes, states, or delegates and as such Obama will take the majority of the superdelegates and win the nomination.

    All this is doing is hurting the party's chances in November. Read Obama's comment and think about what he's saying. It's neither controversial or false; it's the truth. Hillary's petty politics are a shame.

    April 14, 2008 12:53 am at 12:53 am |
  25. Jose Francisco

    I'm sorry but Mrs. Clinton seems disingenuous, elitist, dull, lame, condescending, and unabashedly pandering when she speaks to groups in more natural free flowing setting whether in CA, TX, OH, PA, etc. And this is to all U.S.A.er of any and all skin colors.

    Too many of her attacks and so called issues contrasts and campaign statements have sour and bitter as main ingredients. She's simply too petty and maniacally opportunistic.

    April 14, 2008 12:55 am at 12:55 am |
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