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. Dale Arnold

    yeah kerry didn't understand and gore well he just understood tree's
    but hillary God yes she understands all of america.
    what a phony! pleazeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

    April 13, 2008 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  2. Democrat From Mandeville, LA

    Obama will expose himself for who he really is. This statement about the PA blue collar workers, his relationship with Obama, the statements from Michelle and his goings on with Ayers and Rezko provide us with a window to his soul. Obama did this all by himself dispite the media's failure to scrutinize him at the same level that Hillary's been scrutinized.

    I will continue to have faith in Hillary to be our next President.

    April 13, 2008 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  3. Ericka

    I think Clinton had started playing politics way before this "bitter" comment. I hope that the American people are intelligent enough to realize the idea of a man raise in a single parent home with an average income could be an elitest. Now someone who makes 109 million dollars in ten years,has a normal childhood, and have already lived 8 years of her life in the white house . . . is a different story!

    April 13, 2008 11:31 pm at 11:31 pm |
  4. Sue

    She was not comfortable during this performance. That is because she knows all the lies she has told, and to do it infront of a faith based former made her seem snobby and derisive . This woman is not the right candidate. She will be torn to shred by the Republicans like a duck on those duck blinds she been shhoting on! Give it break lady, you are a fraud

    April 13, 2008 11:32 pm at 11:32 pm |
  5. honkey white guy from cali

    she is so out of touch go home Hillary

    April 13, 2008 11:37 pm at 11:37 pm |
  6. Darrell

    I have recently viewed commentary from CNN guests discussing Barack Obama's upbringing in a single-family home, essentially portraying his condition as disadvantaged. How can anyone honestly develop this view while overlooking the fact that he attended an elite private school in Honolulu, Punahou, where tuition has historically been very costly?

    This is hardly a kid from the projects. Furthermore, why did Obama choose Hawaii over Indonesia? Honolulu isn't Newark, New Jersey.
    It is one of the more desirable cities in the US and one of the most tolerant of mixed-race families.

    April 13, 2008 11:37 pm at 11:37 pm |
  7. Pooh496

    It wasn't just his offensive comments that were wrong, but also the reaction he got from his well connected crowd of rich donors.

    They were laughing at all of his insensitive remarks like it was all a big joke. Small town people are proud and should not become the punch line in order to drum up money!!

    SHAME on you Barack Obama, SHAME on you!!!!!

    April 13, 2008 11:39 pm at 11:39 pm |
  8. Mark

    Does she think people are STUPID?

    He was talking about how people VOTE during economic crises in America.


    April 13, 2008 11:39 pm at 11:39 pm |
  9. Avis, Richton Park, IL

    The sad thing is, some people will still vote for Hillary Clinton. Even though she's the elitist! Barack barely made $1,000,000, however the Clinton's made $190,000,000. She should be ashamed! Some people still will not vote for Barack Obama because they never were going to vote for him in the first place. He's a lot more honorable than the Clintons. She can't tell the truth about anything and she has the nerve to call Obama on it, come on people.

    April 13, 2008 11:40 pm at 11:40 pm |
  10. Life goes on...

    Can we say milking this for what it is worth? She speaks of Obama dividing the party but clearly her mission is to severely divide the party if she is not successful in becoming the nominee. The things she is bring up will only add to the Republicans benefit. Hopefully, someone in Hillary's camp is aware of this!

    April 13, 2008 11:40 pm at 11:40 pm |
  11. Bridget

    To have Hillary Clinton and John McCain saying almost the exact same response verbatim is actually rather frightening. If we democrats are to believe Clinton herself is not elitist, then we would have to believe the same thing about McCain. Haha!

    April 13, 2008 11:41 pm at 11:41 pm |
  12. Brittany Stamps, MO

    What world is Clinton living in? Many Americans are loosing their houses, jobs, and loved ones in the war and cant afford gas, healthcare, and education. Naturally, people are not going to act patriotic and proud of their government while dealing with these hardships. Instead people turn to God and sometimes react in a negative way.

    April 13, 2008 11:41 pm at 11:41 pm |
  13. sharon

    So now she's not only trying to take down Barack with her Republican talking points, she's dissing Gore and Kerry too. This woman is just too unbelievable for words.

    April 13, 2008 11:42 pm at 11:42 pm |
  14. Realistic

    So a former Wal-Mart director for 6-years who is worth more than $100 million dollars and who can't raise money from the little people but instead is financed only by big-dollar donors from Wal-Street is complaining about Obama being an "elitist"?

    Yes, it certainly is Silly Season in politics . . . . . . I wonder how many little people from small towns got to use the Lincoln Bedroom when the Clintons were last on the throne?

    April 13, 2008 11:42 pm at 11:42 pm |
  15. Sniper fire

    Hillary, You are out of touch and very toxic to the democrats.
    I understands you have no chance of winning and you are just staying to divide the democrats and help McCain.
    Obama needs to fight back and bring all NAFTA, Colombia and her financial records and the millions of dollars they gained by supporting other governments have trade deals with the US.

    April 13, 2008 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
  16. D

    Wow...Al Gore and Kerry....

    April 13, 2008 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm |
  17. Dan, TX

    Wow, still talking about this. ok, keep talking.

    I just want the democrats to come together around the nominee whoever it is. I'm not really a very strong democrat. I understand appreciate republican philosophy and democratic philosophy. There are times, economic, social, foreign policy, when republican philosophy seems better, and other times when democratic phiilosophy seems better.

    This is definitely a time where democrats need to win. Republicans were given power and they abused it and lost their way. They need a break to re-examine their values. We need to elect a democrat this year. Either one is fine. I'm voting for Obama, because I think he is vastly superior in many ways to Clinton. But I will hold my nose and vote for Clinton if I have to. I expect Clinton supporters to vote for Obama if he is the nominee, or take personal responsibility for the consequences of electing McCain.

    April 13, 2008 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm |
  18. Charles

    The last time you used a gun Billary, was to kill the Democratic party.

    Obama '08!

    April 13, 2008 11:47 pm at 11:47 pm |
  19. rudy andl

    What a hypocrit. She must be feeling the heat. How about her hubby and his financial interests, Now we find out the the Chinese goverment if financing the Clinton clan. Who is out of touch? Get out Hillary while you still have a reputation in some quarters.

    April 13, 2008 11:47 pm at 11:47 pm |
  20. Sarah Smith

    WHO believes THIS statement: ??

    "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,

    The Democratic party has been down in the pits & dungeons of the american way of life for generations..


    Don't tell me the Democrats are ELITISTS! 'OUT OF TOUCH!!"

    Hillary! your mental capacities are diminishing at


    and the COUNTRY wants to OGLE YOUR DOWNFALL! boo hiss!

    April 13, 2008 11:48 pm at 11:48 pm |
  21. Scott C

    Clinton is coming off badly for this attack.

    She is a very negative campaigner... and since she is most definitely going to lose she is just trying to destroy the winner.


    April 13, 2008 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |
  22. Elizabeth

    Personally I think her attacks are shameful. It shows she will do anything to get this nomination. Anything......She thumbs her nose at Howard Dean and the party leaders who have repeatedly asked for the candidates to not do exactly what she is doing.

    April 13, 2008 11:50 pm at 11:50 pm |
  23. Dee

    Very Strange response from Obama. No control on his emotions. Acts like a kid???

    April 13, 2008 11:51 pm at 11:51 pm |
  24. Cindy in California

    I really can't believe Senator Clinton's desperate spin on Senator Obama's words. I truly think she knew that he was not demeanig anyone when he made his comment. But she saw that as an opportunity to take the heat off of her and her husband's support for the Columbian Free Trade Deal, and the $800,000 he was paid.

    Obama's comments sounded more like empathy for what people were feeling and what they are going through.

    I also am amazed that she would expect us to believe that a person who spent most of his political early years on the south side of Chicago as a community activist and helping people who lived in the projects and is an elitist.

    She is the one who earned $110 million dollars over the past ten years, and gave a large percentage of her charitable contributions to her own foundation, The Clinton Library, so who is the elitist. Give me a break.

    April 13, 2008 11:52 pm at 11:52 pm |
  25. Allan

    Um, yeah, Hillary, we remember 2000 and 2004 very well.

    Then it was the REPUBLICANS who smeared the best candidate as "elitist." I never imagined that a Democrat would stoop so incredibly low.

    The Clinton legacy is finally dead.

    April 13, 2008 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
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