April 13th, 2008
08:30 PM ET
6 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. The Indiana Voter

    Funny how yesterday she is taking a shot to show "US" Indiana people that she is one of us...then she is talking about God Today.. So I guess you think that Indiana and Pennsylvania people are drinkers, so we then are suppose to support you cause you toss back a Canadian drink.. Weak, I am bitter over about this article and your spin on Baracks words seem rather undemocratic!

    April 13, 2008 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  2. The truth

    We have a president who became bitter after 911, embraced his religion and when to war. We had a Senator, who voted for the war, because of bitterness and had our country pull out the big guns.

    April 13, 2008 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  3. Ifeanyi Azubike Houston Texas

    I don't know about John Kerry, but Al Gore was the fall guy for the Clintons. Al Gore would have been president if he had not been tainted by Bill Clinton. For Hillary to get him mixed up in Hillary's Kitchen sink insults the sensibilities of those of us who believe that Al Gore paid the prize for Bill and Hillary's many scandals, simply because he did not distance himself from them when it was expedient to do so. I think Hillary should appologize for dragging Al Gore once again into her thing.

    April 13, 2008 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  4. J Johns

    Go Hillary! Barack can't win the big states and he's about to lose another.

    April 13, 2008 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  5. D.D.

    If Senator Clinton had verbally been as aggressive with her husband as she is seeking this Presidency ,history would had been written differently in the Clinton's White House historical papers. .

    April 13, 2008 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  6. Bob G.

    Barry needs to stop playing games with HRC – need to protect the lead and not let HRC rabbit punch Barry to submission. Always be weary/leery of the 'underdog' – they're biting for survival!

    John looking better and better all the time!

    April 13, 2008 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  7. toldyouso

    What a vile, despicable shameless human being Clinton is.

    April 13, 2008 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |

    The truth to be told !

    OBAMA'08 !

    April 13, 2008 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  9. aware

    You are right on Hillary and well said!

    But, Obama used the attack mode when he was asked about his unexplainable comments and put the blame on Mame. No one should criticize his (ill advised) words – they should be lifting up America.

    Poor Obama has a defensive streak a mile wide. He needs to just apologize for his bad judgment behind closed doors. 😦

    Hillary or McCain 08 🙂

    April 13, 2008 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  10. CY from a non democratic country

    I am a Clinton supporter but at this time I am truly sick of her negativity towards a fellow democrat and I am beginning to despise them….are you kidding me..this story just friday night and they are already running to the superdelegates to hold this against him…this is the last straw for me…they’ve sunk so low that I cannot in good conscience vote for someone that is this vicious. Her husband and chief strategist are taking money for free trade and the Obama camp hasn’t said that much about..Obama’s camp has mostly stayed out of this huge betrayal…For them to go to the superdelegate already about what Obama said that is justifiable correct is beyond belief…And yes, I and everyone else that I know is BITTER about the way the government has betrayed us. The Clintons has not only lost my vote…they’ve lost my respect…They are the most divisive people in this world and they would rather burn down the whole democratic party than lose this nomination. I’ve given them the benefit of the doubt till now but I am done with them. Just for the record I am extremely BITTER with them now. She is truly the nastiest presidentail candidate that I have ever come across…I mean John McCentury who is a republican hasn’t berated or slammed Obama as much as she has..and she calls herself a democrat. I believe at this time she is throwing all this kitchen sink at Obama because she wants him to lose the GE if he is the nominee so she can run again in 2012 or she is a closet republican. I just can’t stand her and I am ashamed that I ever entertained the idea of voting for her.

    April 13, 2008 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  11. fred

    now look people she is great in comparing people. i wounder if we should compare her to her husband . i never done anything with that woman. he lied and so does she.

    April 13, 2008 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  12. Mannings Alexander

    I think Obama did a poor job in defending his statement about "bitter" remarks. How on God's earth could Hillary Clinton say that Obama is Elitis when she is receiving 1.9 Millon dollar Plus income. Come on CNN you guys are doing a poor job is bringing us the facts. Come their incomes and bring us the facts.

    April 13, 2008 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  13. Blu Bastian

    Anybody else hear Roland Martin's claim that Obama's daddy left him when he was two and his mom had to get food stamps and then she died and Obama had to go live with his grandmother? From what I've read, Obama's mother had a degree in antropology and she died after Obama got his law degree. So why the lies from Roland?

    April 13, 2008 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  14. Dave

    Clinton came across as ingenuine and hesitant to be open about her faith beliefs. Obama was much more genuine and forthcoming about his beliefs. Clinton was too busy trying to cater to certain voters groups, namely women, blue collar voters, and the Jewish community and less interested in giving genuine responses to the questions asked of her.

    April 13, 2008 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  15. am, portland

    Go Obama 08!

    April 13, 2008 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  16. kheard

    Well Clinton Supporters,
    You can have her. If she is what you truly believe in I feel sorry for you too. She is so conniving, and self-centered, it is a waste to even allow her to run for President of the United States of America. She will never represent me on true values and morals. She does'nt have any to impart to anyone. She only wants to get the Clinton family back into the WhiteHouse. Nothing else matters to her. Not Me. Not You.

    April 13, 2008 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  17. B in Fl

    Obama is a wanna be elitist. His wife has pressured him to run for president because she has benefited financially and socially from his political ventures. He is really just a confused white boy trying to embrace the black culture so that he can fit in somewhere. unfortunately, the citizens of America have already sampled the chaos caused by "elitist" trying to fit in where they don't belong. Obama and his wife, as well as his pastor have wrecked havoc on America and destroyed the Democratic party.If this is allowed to continue our country will be torn apart at the seams. Withdraw Obama. Go buy a pack of smokes and call it a day.

    April 13, 2008 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  18. Gina

    Did you notice that throughout the interview while Hillary Clinton was speaking about the "bitter" fiasco, Campbell Brown kept nodding in agreement with Hillary ( notice her head bobbing up and down) while she sat stone faced when Obama was speaking about the topic. Just watch the clips. Cnn is very biased.

    April 13, 2008 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  19. MM

    Please do compare him with Al Gore. A person that should have won except for dirty politics. mmmm, didn't Al Gore win some sort of a prize?

    April 13, 2008 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  20. Dorothy (PA)

    The reason Al Gore did not win was -your husband sex scandal that painted the clean Demo party with stains (blue and dark). Al Gore and Kerry suffered unfairly. Baggages do matter for electability.

    April 13, 2008 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  21. lodigg

    Hilalry–What about the reference to fearing youth in Pennsylvania and calling them "el gangsta." That was a negative connotation to African Americans and Whites as well.

    April 13, 2008 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  22. TERRI

    This woman is rediculous, what Barack said was the truth and not just for people in Pennsylvania for people all over the USA its not like he lied about being Shot at, but of course Barack could always say he was just sleep deprived when he made those statements or maybe Michelle will come out and say old age is catching up to Barack.

    April 13, 2008 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  23. Sally

    You know what ? This story is becoming very old. I knocked on doors in Pennsylvania for Obama yesterday and you know what ? Out of the 500 voters we spoke to, NOT ONE PERSON brought "Bittergate" up.

    Give it a rest, CNN. You're out of control and overheated .

    April 13, 2008 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  24. Arnold J. Meagher

    In tonight's forum Barack Obama did not satisfactorily explain his statement behind closed doors in San Francisco. He said that people in small towns across America suffering economic hardships and feeling that government is not listening to them cling to guns, religion, and immigration as palliatives or some kind of remedy for their situation. He attempted to address the matter of religion, but where do guns and immigration fit into the picture? In his statement, guns, religion and immigration are all presented as palliatives to those who feel bitter. Obama has to address the entire statement and what he was truly trying to impart to his listeners. So far he has not done so.

    April 13, 2008 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  25. JN

    Maybe Al Gore would have had a chance at the Presidency in 2004...How could you expect him to win with what Bill left behind....Monica Lewinski and the impeachment trial, losing congress to the republicans, not going after Bin Laden when the Trade Towers were hit the first time, etc.. Hillary, do you think he really had a chance to win the nominee with all the excapades your husband was enjoyin??? The last line was a good one...Like your husband had any respect for anything...even you!!!!!

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