April 13th, 2008
08:30 PM ET
2 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. Independent

    Haven't we already seen the surveys and polls to show that most people think – as Obama said – that Gore won in 2000?

    Clinton has already over-played her hand on this one. It was a mistake of clumsy words, but the idea was right on target.

    April 13, 2008 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  2. Caroline

    Whoa.....whoa....whoa Hillary.......Al Gore and John Kerry lost the general election because the electorate thought they did not respect their way of life???? whoa lady, get a grip!! The electorate was hoodwinked by dirty Republican campaigning, followed by stolen elections. Did you forget about the Vast RIght Wing Conspiracy??

    April 13, 2008 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  3. bill

    OBAMA was amazing.ironically he was the one being suspected to be a moslem.he seemed.deeper rooted and informed in christianity than hillary.

    April 13, 2008 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  4. Anyone but Obama

    I hate when CNN uses the words ‘lashes out’ or ‘hits.’ None of the candidates did that. They addressed the ‘bitter’ issue, but they didn’t ‘hit’ or ‘lash out.’ This is how the media twists things and makes the democrats fight against one another. And I find it interesting that the questions Hillary was asked were about religion, but with Obama, they asked him questions about policies. So it now seems like Obama won.

    April 13, 2008 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  5. Alimi

    Hillary, go ahead put your foot in your mouth. You have just signed the death of your campaign by demeaning Gore. Watch out for the endorsements start to go the opposite direction.

    April 13, 2008 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  6. Eric

    OK, one point to make....in her own words, "....those remarks about some COULD BE seen as "elitist" and "patronizing". But they WASNT until she started running her mouth about them. It is the TRUTH, it seems as though she has a hard time accepting that.

    And why is she bringing in other people in her own party that will definitely NOT sway her way when the superdelegates' time come to cast their vote because she basically just called them losers. Does she think she can win this election on her own?

    April 13, 2008 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  7. gman

    Hillary…did you go to church on Easter as you claim or did you lie again pandering for votes?

    April 13, 2008 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  8. Trev

    I agree. We have not had an FDR Democrat run since Clinton. FDR and JFK were very wealthy, but also very intouch with the electorate. Obama is a good guy, but he just does not get small town America. Our faith does NOT come from bitterness!

    April 13, 2008 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  9. Ray from CA

    Good job, Hillary that is true.

    Like to explain Obama?

    April 13, 2008 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  10. voice that matters

    Okay why can Hillary answer question directly?
    Her husband made $50,000.00 from speaking alone and in 7 years they both have made over $105,000.00 and she said she understnad how it is for people without source of money lives?

    April 13, 2008 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  11. lodigg

    I don't think Obama meant anything by what he said. He was just trying to show how hurt the people of Pennsylvania were by the Clinton administration. I think he meant the people used their religion and hunting sport to sustain them, which my grandparents did. Hillary is trying to move the focus from her. Do not fall for it

    April 13, 2008 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  12. bill

    Are we ready to accept the consequences of a Hillary Clinton presidency? The old adage "Never underestimate the stupidity of the electorate", comes to mind as the junior Senator from New York continues to lie, make things up, obfuscate, and act as the electorate are so dumb that she can do whatever it takes to win at all costs.
    The sad truth is that she has made it this far...

    April 13, 2008 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  13. Army Officer

    TO ALL CNN TICKER LOVERS,

    OUR PRESIDENT SHOULD BE AN ELITE INDIVIDUAL HE IS THE BEST MAN IN OUR COUNTRY AT THIS TIME. HILLARY LAUGHS WHEN SHE GETS A HARD QUESTIONS...WILL SHE LAUGH AT 3am WHEN THE NATION CALLS UPON HER. ITS LIKE A DIRTY GAME THAT SHE SHOULD STOP PLAYING...SHE CAN'T RECOVER FROM HER DOWNFALLS OR THE 160 DELEGATE LEAD...BILL RICHARDSON CAPPED THE NOMINATION...BEFORE THESE DIRTY POLITICS I WOULD OF VOTED FOR HER BUT IF SHE HUSTLES THENOMINATION AWAY FROM OBAMA I WILL VOTE FOR MCCAIN...(AND I DON'T EVEN LIKE HIM)

    SOLDIERS FOR OBAMA

    D. LOYD
    TIKRIT, IRAQ

    April 13, 2008 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  14. Dinesh

    I think Obama has a right to be annoyed by her painting of his words as "out of touch" and "elitist". Barack Obama chose to become a community organizer and live and work in the South side of Chicago, a choice that few people coming out of Columbia University would make. Barack Obama has acted in a way that contradicts Hillary Clinton's description of him.

    April 13, 2008 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  15. Pete, Pa frustated and bitter

    Hillary attacking Obama on a Sunday. God don't like ugly.

    Obama 08!!!!

    April 13, 2008 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  16. Manuel Navarro

    Please someone send this 2 to "sunday school" again, if they need to go to summer school, just do it, and without AC.

    Obama don't have a clue what is God's Master Plan?????? give me a brake!!!! that why we get baptize, because we understand Gods plan.
    Clinton? she should be teach by Obamas mentor...
    I very sick of this ignorant candidates.
    M.

    April 13, 2008 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  17. Juanita

    Obama is correct. Go Obama!

    April 13, 2008 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  18. Coal Queen

    It's not important if Hillary goes to church. She tithes: gave millions to the William J. Clinton Foundation.

    Way to go, elitist. Oh, I forgot the shot and beer. Nice try. We know you have a hunting license and have used it.

    April 13, 2008 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  19. bakersfield

    now hillary is a grown up compared to obama

    April 13, 2008 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  20. lou

    I know Hillary. You and your Lying crooked husband are the ones who can relate to us... You and your ill got Millions should just shut up and go home....

    April 13, 2008 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  21. Tim, Texas

    Amen, GOD don't like ugly on a Sunday Hillary.

    You go Obama!!!

    April 13, 2008 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  22. matt

    shes right the republicans will tear him up on this among many other things.

    April 13, 2008 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  23. Kenneth M.

    Hillary is purposely misunderstanding Obama because she is getting desperate. She knows his real point was that section of the country has been left behind during Bush 1, Clinton, and Bush 3 presidencies. Instead of fighting he on the truth of the matter by saying Clinton worked hard for that section and here is what he did, she is trying to focus on the word bitter and use it against him. Same thing with McCain; why does he not list the things the Rep party has done for small town America as that is the real point. No mater, only those who would not have voted for him in the first place will have an issue with this. Last, is there any way to research if her granddad built that cabin? I bet that is a lie and he bought it or even rented it. I use to think people were being hard and unfair to her calling her Billary and Hiliery, but she is getting as pathetic as others have made her out to be. There is no having a civil discord with her.

    April 13, 2008 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  24. Bayou Joe

    Obama is a n Attorney. Attorneys know how to use words or at least they should. They use words to convey their clients position and use words that are unambiguous in written documents. At least the good attorneys do this. I am one of those that knows exactly what he said and what he was trying to convey.

    All the media focused on the word "bitter" which is a little stronger than angry or disillusioned. The problem is the words after that which the media and the academic community will not examine.

    Words are used to convey a message. What he said in plain English,
    Is that people in Rural America either use Religon or resort to their guns to relief their anger against Society. They also blame others in this case immigrants for their problems.

    This is the same logic and rehetoric that brought Hitler into Power in 1936. Hitler used the anger of the German people and channeled that anger towards the Jewish people and other foreignors in Germany, so that they would elect him as their leader. Hitler played on people's worst fears.

    Barak and his Church use the same tactics and blame White people and Jews for their social and financial problems. That he used the same tactic with White Rural America does not suprise me.

    This is the essence of Marxist=leninist philosophy which eventually leads from Socialism to Communism. Turning the anger towards Washington and the Republcan party is his goal.

    WE as Americans of all races and creeds need to reject this leader of the left wing of the Democratic party. WE do not dare go down this road. Although many of us believe we are more than half way there.

    April 13, 2008 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  25. DM. Arlington Texas

    rs. Clinton, during her efforts to revolutionize the health care industry, said 1993 that under her plan, abortion services "would be widely available." This prompted anxieties over the prospect of taxpayer-funded abortions, sparking the Coates Amendment, which sought to strip abortion funding from the plan.
    The first lady allowed for a "conscience exemption" in which doctors and hospitals would not be forced to perform abortions. Pro-lifers were relieved; still, they could not fathom that their tax dollars might be used to find what they saw as the deliberate destruction of innocent human life.
    Mrs. Clinton's words also ignited fears among moderate and conservative Christians over the availability of the abortion pill, RU-486, under her health care plan. One of her husband's first acts in office was to push the pill to market through an expedited FDA approval process that was criticized by pro-lifers as allegedly too quick for the safety of the women who would take the pill.

    April 13, 2008 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
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