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. tess

    Why is there a double standard here. When Senator Obama speaks and uses his words not the way he intended, yet truthfully, he is this elistist and he is turning his nose up or looking down on people. He is painted as a man that cannot win this race and shouldn't win. It's played over and over and over again and he is slamed constantly. The MSM is never satisfied with his honest answers, He has to explain more. Why? It will never be enough

    When Hillary out right lies to us she is treated so timidly. Oh she misspoke. That is okay for everyone! Senator Obama truly misspoke and everyone is treating him as if he committed a crime.

    The reporter ask her about accepting that $800,000.00 and Senator H. Clinton laughed and crabed her head and nothing is said any more. Why isn't she asked and MSM treating her the same way as they are treating Senator Obama about the NAFTA and Crafta deals they know she is heavliy involved in. Is the treatment of Senator Clinton's imperfections okay because she is a Clinton. This makes her more of a credible candidate? I don't understand, will someone explain this to me .

    April 13, 2008 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  2. SB

    Did she really just slam Gore? Okay about Kerry, but Gore? Isn't it Democrat dogma that he won that election. And to say that voters concluded that he didn't "frankly" respect the American way of life??!!! This is big news. Forget the manufactured Bitter-gate.

    April 13, 2008 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  3. David

    On what grounds can she critisize Obama for being an elitist? She acts like a spoiled brat. She supported NAFTA. Her husband and chief strategist support a trade pact with Columbia. She's made $109 million. She had a more than comfortable childhood with a summer home in Scranton. She's the least credible candid since George W. Bush. Add to this the whole sniper fire story and the fact that she planted a question at one of her own rallies, and it makes no sense why anyone would vote for her. Plus, Obama was right. People are bitter and upset and cling to things that they can count on, like guns and religion. This is a historical fact.

    April 13, 2008 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  4. Observer from Canada

    Give me a break....you don't think Sen.Clinton has baggage that the republican can use against her if she wins the nomination?!?!?!!!!!!

    April 13, 2008 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  5. Kathy

    Clinton wishes she could say that she's the better candidate and be able to believe it...but she knows she's just out to win at all cost. It is time in this country that we actually look to change things in positive ways and take responsiblity for ourselves. Stop the blame game...stop blaming teachers for all things that go wrong with children our children...stop blaming each other for our own mistakes....Let's face it...we as a generation and country have failed our children and our country. Greed and power need to be replaced with a true vision, with all of America working together for a better America. Barack Obama is the person for the job. He's the only one with vision, who can put the right people in the right places and who inspires Americans to think beyond themselves and begin to care for each other once again. Obama '08 and America for ever!

    April 13, 2008 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  6. Bitter Allen Hussein, Visalia CA

    Todays quiz:

    Candiaite A campaigns hard in all 50 states.

    Candidiate B just focuses on a few large "important" states and says the rest of the country "doesn't matter."

    According to Billary logic, Candidate A is elitist.

    April 13, 2008 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  7. spyturtle

    1. Gore won the election.

    2. Kerry was beaten by a man descended from New England aristocrats.

    3. Go Obama! Watch out for sniper fire!

    April 13, 2008 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  8. narcis

    Why did nobody ask them there views on the dead penalty in relation to faith,and why is the USA is the only western country in the world how hold such judgment.

    April 13, 2008 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  9. joyce

    i am a white lady in arkansas, and i was in mo, last night, watching the local news channel, and HILLARY was boosing it up with a lot of men in a bar, drinking crown royal and i must agree with the news people she held her licqure very well like some one who doen a lot of it. i wish she could run a desent campaign, she has totally turned a lot of people against her, me included. hillary if you must drink do it in private but you can't hide it from god, he is watching you drink, lie, run down your fellow democrat, SHAME ON YOU, and how about yor preacher going to prison for child abuse,
    hillary get in church and get cleaned up

    April 13, 2008 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  10. KE

    Elite and elitism is different.

    Obama is just not well informed.

    Hillary is right. Democrats need to live up to their name.

    April 13, 2008 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  11. peter

    oooo taking a shot at al gore? i wonder how mr. gore will take that....maybe cause him to endore obama? we already know that he felt the clintons cost him the election in 2000 but no reason to take shots at that man.

    April 13, 2008 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  12. Ed from Pa

    "Clinton has told interviewers that she has felt the presence of the Holy Spirit on many occasions, and that she believes the resurrection of Christ is a historical fact..."

    A historical fact?! You know who else thinks this – and has consistantly brought it into his policies?

    George W. Bush.

    ...A historical fact?! It's a question of FAITH, not FACT, you idiot! By saying the resurrection is historical fact YOU are being ELITIST – that implies that Christ is the savior and every other religion is WRONG!

    I really hate double talk... we've never heard Hillary speak of guns or religion and now that they've come up, she suddenly has a story about learning to shoot guns as a young child and feeling the presence of the Holy Spirit on multiple occasions?

    ...Hello?! Is anybody HOME??

    April 13, 2008 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  13. alice2

    I watched the whole thing and Barack was JUST MARVELOUS –
    Hillary NOT IMPRESSIVE. You can tell Barack is spiritual. I like his explanation of the issues he was asked. Could not have been better.

    April 13, 2008 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  14. lori Iowa

    It is evident that Obama does not respect the small town way of life and that is pathetic. The longer he refused to apologize and states that his thinking is WRONG then the longer this issue will linger.... Now it is being reported that the crowd was laughing when he made the "bitter" comments and he was stating this as a joke and then he said more insulting stuff. He is racist!

    I'm sorry but he has insulted not only people in Pennsylvania, but small town america everywhere. We hunt, we fish, we go to church and guess what we are not bitter.....though I will say, when he goes to his church.....those "typical" black people that he is listening with sound kind of bitter. The problem with all of these misstatements is that time and time again they sound like he thinks he is better then everyone else.....and then "his wife is just recently proud of america" It sounds to me like they don't even like America and who americans really are!!

    April 13, 2008 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  15. Shirley

    Hillary and Bill have made 109 million dollars since they left the White House, Hillary's husband and campaign manager were both lobbying for the Columbian Trade Deal. Who's out of touch? Oh, and Hillary did support NAFTA, she called it a 'great achievement'. I heard her.

    April 13, 2008 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  16. Jonze

    And it really seemed canned and out of place. Sort of like her jokes during the debates – preplanned and forced.

    Also drawing connections between Obama and Gore might not be the best idea as most Democrats highly respect Al Gore and he is a respected party elderstatesman. Kerry on the other hand, I could see that as an insult in that even Dems were turned off by his stuffiness and held their nose to vote for him.

    April 13, 2008 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  17. A CANUCK

    Hillary never gives a straight answer......she dances around the question and goes completely off topic......you start to think... what the heck is she talking about???.......On the other hand Obama was straightforward, concise and very informative. There is no doubt he will be an honest and hard working president for all the people.

    April 13, 2008 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  18. sophia nyc

    Is the DNC listening? She's insulting ALL OF US!

    April 13, 2008 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  19. Shirley, Silicon Valley, CA

    Hillary acted like she knew her days are numbered! It was so obvious she looked and talked so uncomfortable during the whole time! Hillary is such a divisive and deceitful person.

    Hillary is UNELECTABLE! The Clintons will for sure drive out people to vote against her!

    April 13, 2008 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  20. Pat M Canada

    I believe Obama came away as the most credible and fomidable opponent tonight. He unveiled a bit of himself tonight and actually gave the audience a peek of what lies beneath. I think it would be beneficial to his campaign if he would uncover the veil a bit further.

    April 13, 2008 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  21. Jane

    She's a pig.

    April 13, 2008 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  22. gabriel

    hurray! more distractions from actual issues! you go hillary!

    April 13, 2008 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  23. Chris

    Hillary would probably say the same things that Obama said if she had a chance....Right now she is just trying to gain election points.

    I'm not fooled.

    April 13, 2008 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  24. Concerned Democrat

    This woman, Hillary Clinton, is so petty. It's just so pathetic. She makes me sick , honestly. Obama never hammered her on her Bosnia lies and her top most advisor meeting with the Columbians on trade aggreements she claims to oppose and support by her husband(even made thousands of dollars out of it) , even though they were issues that Obama could have exploited to his advantage.

    What Obama said is a reality and human nature. You take consolation in what you know wont disapoint you. When Bill was in crisis for the Lewinsky saga. What did he do? He invited religious leaders to help him. In other words he(Bill Clinton) turn to his faith.
    It's the same analogy that can be drawn from Obama's comments. When people lost their jobs because of these trade aggreements and feel like the Governments is not listening to them, they take consolation in what they know wont dissapoint them...pets, faith, hobbies etc. May be the word "cling" is what he shouldn't have used.

    April 13, 2008 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  25. James from SC

    She who is without sins cast to first stone!

    How quickly we forget our lies and cheat of the public trust.

    How do we remember the suffrage we suffered as we vacationed at our lodge by the lake.

    How do we remember what we suffered by eating the most expensive of foods and drank the best of wines. Nay, this is not elitism but the example of an everyday American life.

    April 13, 2008 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
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