April 15th, 2008
08:14 AM ET
10 years ago

'Bittergate' sparks new look at candidates and guns

 Guns are on display at Ace Guns in Washington, Pennsylvania.

Guns are on display at Ace Guns in Washington, Pennsylvania.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - The battle over the word "bitter" between Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton has sparked a new look at the candidates and their stance on the Second Amendment.

At a closed-door fundraiser just over a week ago, the Illinois senator referred to some small-town Pennsylvanians as "bitter" people who "cling to guns and religion."

"I didn't say it as well as I should have," Obama admitted in Muncie, Indiana, on Saturday, the day after he first defended his comments, "because the truth is that these traditions that are passed on from generation to generation - those are important."

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Filed under: Political
soundoff (263 Responses)
  1. Hanging Chad


    First, Bloomberg is a JERK! Individuals buying and selling firearms
    at a gunshow is NOT a "loophole". The Second Amendment to the US Constitution is not something that should be nitpicked into oblivion.
    Both Obama and Clinton have made their positions clear regarding the Right of a free people to posess arms and defend their homes and families. The first thing a tyrant must do to subjugate the people is to disarm them. The Communists and Nazis knew this. So does Clinton and Obama.


    April 15, 2008 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  2. 43 year old white man

    Obama in the man 4 the job

    i had a vision that Obama became president

    and it was the happiest time in america...

    Obama 08

    April 15, 2008 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  3. zona

    We need to get past the semantics of the word "bitter" and move on. Clinton's team is continuing to focus on this as a way to avoid taking center stage for the Bosnia bombing attack, the poor girl denied treatment at the hospital, NAFTA and the fact that Clinton's are $800,000 richer because of NAFTA speeches, the Paul case and several other issues they want to avoid.

    As a Democrat, it seems like it is time to move past this and center on issues at hand, like the war, poverty, healthcare, abortion, gun control, the economy, global warming, education, the elderly...

    April 15, 2008 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  4. Praetorian, Fort Myers

    "Bitter people who turn to guns and religion"-

    Hmm...sounds like he's banking on the economic misery of historically conservative and religious right folks–and independants who may be feeling desperation and seeking a redeemer.

    I don't believe the his target audience–those who are committed to freedom and liberty of gun ownership, and return to judao-christian values–will be that easily swayed by a man with such a liberal background–and literally no resume as an executive. He won't be their redeemer I'm afraid.

    April 15, 2008 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  5. Nancy



    April 15, 2008 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  6. Alex in San Antonio

    Based on all the comments I've seen and reports about Hillary supporters refusing to support Obama in greater numbers than the reverse, it seems that the democratic women will be handing the election to McCain.

    Please ladies, I understand you want a woman president, I wouldn't mind one either...but not this one. Her willingness to say whater it takes to get elected indicates lack of true leadership. Let's rally around the democratic nominee in November.

    Anyone but McCain in 08!

    April 15, 2008 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  7. a BITTER Ohioan

    What Obama said is true. Tough times do tend to make people bitter and angry.

    I'm bitter when I see the price of groceries inching up every week.

    I'm bitter when I see my hard-earned paycheck going into my gas tank just so I can drive to work.

    I'm bitter when I hear about the war in Iraq dragging on without end, knowing that my brother is stuck over there in the middle of it and knowing that the war is the main reason our economy is in the toilet.

    As far as guns go, I don't give a rat's behind about that. There's more important things to worry about. I'm fed up. It's time take the country back. It's a matter of survival now. And a gun isn't going to help us one bit.

    April 15, 2008 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  8. Jed in Texas

    Time for the hipboots,here come all the wedge issues that are meant to divide the american people more than they already are,while they drive a truck through your living room and steal your furniture.

    April 15, 2008 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  9. Tim From Orlnado

    Of course small town America is bitter; they see their opportunities being taken away, and nothing is being done to replace those opportunities. These concerns have been the main point of Obama's run for the Presidency. He's been listening and he wants to help.

    April 15, 2008 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  10. NIC

    Hillary was made to apologize for her words and told to watch what she said. Now its Baracks turn to apologize and watch what he said. Everyone knows, whats fair is fair. Even McCain has mispoken and apolgized and now watches his words.
    At a fundimental level, and years of certain, specific important political service (some call it expertice or experience), Hillary is best to server this country as President, and will surround herself with the best qualified and equiped to lead this country foward. That means, recover first, then progress. Anyone that denies this country at the current moment is NOT in bad shape is lost and not in touch with reality. As I see it, Hillary will win the nomantion. I cant see how Barack can win this, she will have the lead in Super Delegates after the primaries are over in June. How do people not see this?! And for all you Clinton Haters out there, let it go.

    April 15, 2008 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  11. lol

    when obama's racist reverend and "mentor" spewed racism, BO lectured the country on race. the only racism was from the reverend. now that obama arrogantly dissed small town pa as a bunch of bible thumping, gun toting, bigots, he'll lecture us about our second amendment right. the rhetoric and platitudes are getting old. we want a president who respects all of america. someone who talks to us, not at us. his snobishness is really showing.

    April 15, 2008 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  12. Tired of Idots

    Ok enough already. This is becoming way to trivial. How come Hillary suppoters are quick to call Obama a liar as if they didn't hear "Bosnia", "Pregnant Lady without insurance", "Mark Penn". And how dare she call Obama an arrogant elitist when every time she opens her mouth it is as if she is talking down on her audience. Hillary you don't have to shout for me to hear you. I'm just not listening to you any more. We all know that there is no chance of her winning the nomination without the super-delegates and they are not going to commit political suicide by going against their constituency and voting for her. SO what she is doing is playing the "if I can't have it you can't either"game. And this is who you want for president. Let's remeber John McCain wants to stand back and let the economy correct itself. Hillary wants to help struggling families AND GUESS WHAT so does OBAMA. And all I hear is if Hillary doesn't win I'm going to vote for McCain. THAT IS ABOUT AS BRIGHT AS THE CANDIDATE YOU SUPPORT. Instead of talking about the issues respectively and HONESTLY that would attract republicans and independents to the democratic party and give a choice to choose between 4 more years of Bush or a step in the right direction, she would rather try to break him down over trivial non-sense and push independents and undecided republicans away. REAL SMART. AND I AM BITTER AND MAD AS HELL at the way Bush has given away the American dream to the highest bidder and if you are fed up with the money hungry politics that is costing the lives and well being of American citizens then you should be too. BUT INSTEAD YOU WANT TO ARGUE OVER SIMANTICS. BITTER SHMITTER WHO CARES. This country need to turn around and a republican is not going to do it.


    OBAMA '08' '12'

    April 15, 2008 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  13. Grif

    They are not just Guns, on display! They are Weapons. Of a High Calibre. Automatics There is no place for those in a Family setting..

    April 15, 2008 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  14. L.Bowie

    I find it disheartening and unfair how the media and Hillary Clinton will pick apart every word that Obama states and turn it around in order to question his integrity. On the other hand, I find it hilarious how Lou Dobbs can perpetuate this foolishness and not hold Senator Clinton accountable for the blatant lies she have told the American public. It is appalling how the media allows her off with a cackle when she is questioned about these lies or the conflict in interest that has plagued her campaign when it comes to the Columbian trade ordeal.

    I am ashamed that America can stoop so low as to call Mr. Obama and his wife a racist or a hater of America. Right at this moment, I am not proud of my country. Does that make me a hater of America? I love my country. Let me ask you a question. If your child was constantly in trouble and always disappointed you, would you love them any less?... Come on America. We need to show the world that we are better than this. The ugliness needs to stop and we need to focus on the important issues like the economy, health care, gas prices, etc.

    April 15, 2008 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  15. Foreign observer

    Nothing about sportshooting – great sport when under control but war weapons like they┬┤re shown at the Ace Guns in Washington, civilians shouldn┬┤t be allowed to own. Same as handgranates and dynamite-belts.........

    April 15, 2008 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  16. elsie kutch

    The guy is an elitist. Better to find out now than later. Hillary 08

    April 15, 2008 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  17. BCarlisle, San Ramon CA

    I Think Barak is the Bitter one, Hillary and Bill earned $109,000,000 during 00-07 and poor Obama did not, well get over it. You will never have the legacy of the Clintons, as much as your fans try to put them down, most of them benifited from the Clinton's to bad they are so quick to forget. Anyway Clinton Fan Here forever...Gun or no gun

    April 15, 2008 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  18. Wayne, Greenville TX

    militiaman April 15th, 2008 9:32 am ET

    Hey barack ,just try and take my guns i dare you,as a matter of fact i beg that you try and take it.

    It sounds like someone SHOULD take away your guns, militiaman. You don't sound mentally balanced enough to be trusted with anything sharper than a crayon.....

    April 15, 2008 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  19. Grif

    Maybe Obama thinks he would, have proved his point more, if he had fired a few rounds....

    April 15, 2008 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  20. Dave

    Those small town Pennsylvanians also happen to be white. If someone were to say that inner city people in philadelphia are bitter people who cling to guns and crack cocaine how would it go over?

    April 15, 2008 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  21. Roger

    Obama had a beer at a club in front of a camera and he criticizes Hillary for doing the same thing. Desperado.

    April 15, 2008 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  22. cnn rocks

    new quinnipac poll,HRC 50,BHO 44,after bittergate poll still unchanged.haha,give it up folks

    April 15, 2008 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  23. Mathilda , Sweden

    And to think Obama then want all these "bitter people" to vote for him..
    If this is how Obama holds up under attack, we all better hope he doesn't make it to the White House!!

    April 15, 2008 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  24. James Nelson

    Yeah, that Hillary's a real saint.

    When she isn't lying through her teeth or trying to pad her resume.

    April 15, 2008 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  25. carmen

    Gun fire, sniper fire. pick a weapon of your choice and give it to Hillary. She'll spin and twirl and shoot them with one hand tied behind her back and with a blindfold on.

    April 15, 2008 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
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