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. ***AMERICAN***

    At least he speaks his mind.

    I am now on board...Angus in 08

    April 15, 2008 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  2. Jared

    I love how people throw the elitist word around like it is a slur. We should want our president to be an elite person. We had 8 years of W being as far from elite as possible and look what happened.

    Hillary tries so hard to be a regular person and it just makes her look worse and worse. She is so negative with everything dealing with Obama. Hillary probably doesn't even know which end of a gun is which and has long voted for gun control. Now she tries to pretend to be a gun person. She is worse than Kerry in terms of flip flopping because she knows what she's doing as opposed to Kerry's bumbling style of flip flopping.

    April 15, 2008 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  3. K. Bridgeport, Pennsylvania

    . . .Hillary goes to one part of Pennsylvania, and says she is against guns, then goes to another part, and says she loves guns. She was for gun legislation in the 90's. Do we really need a two faced president?

    April 15, 2008 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  4. Rosa 61 from connecticut

    Hillary keeps talking about buyers remorse; how about her voters? I voted for her in Connecticut but if she is by some miracle nominated I'm not going to vote for again. She can "misspeak" about Bosnia but Obama shows his true colors with one sentence? Really? And now she is against gun control? Come on. Who is showing their true colors?
    Obama 08

    April 15, 2008 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  5. demwit

    Obama has already left a bitter taste in my mouth.., REVOTE!!

    April 15, 2008 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  6. shirley

    The news media and Hillary's campaign are making a lot of the word 'bitter' and yes, some people are bitter when they see their jobs going overseas; Hillary supported NAFTA , her husband and campaign manager are being paid to push the Columbian Trade Deal through Congress and the news media thinks Senator Obama saying some voter's are bitter is a big political blunder? CNN your bias is showing, 5 days of front page news on the word 'bitter'.

    April 15, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  7. Adam

    Hilary straight up lied here, she's an enemy of freedom minded folk.

    Obama lost my vote....

    April 15, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  8. T

    I don't think we should be so concerned on converting non-christians to christians in the world of politics. If Hillary wants to take a shot of the devil's drink, then we shouldn't be critical. In my view, politicians have failed miserably. I have been disapointed in many of them lately. For example, Gov. Spitzer's recent downfall is just one example.

    I admit they have a difficult task but if that is their calling they ought to set a good example and try to be the best they can.

    April 15, 2008 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  9. Saad from NJ

    I am not an Obama supporter but for God, heaven, and earthly sake, everyone stop blowing sh** out of proportion and creating a conflict.

    Conflict can be good but it can be bad as well. When people try to instigate conflict based on things that are blown out of proportion, like in this case, it is a bad conflict. We have much more and rather important things to worry about.

    All said and done, Obama will pay as little or as much attention to the 'little town Pennsylvanians' than any of his other two opponents will.

    April 15, 2008 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  10. Alex H

    SNOBama – At least he doesn't laugh his way out of questions.

    "Would this be a conflict of interests?"

    "HAHAHAHAHAH... bah buh... ha...phhhffff ahhhh I mean... "


    April 15, 2008 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  11. Yankee Dog

    I have found the above posts very interesting and they continue to show how divided the country is over guns/politics, etc. Two things I am sure of, however, is that McCain is not the right person for the USA at this time and Hillary can't be trusted with the truth. Iraq is pulling this country down into a financial and geo political mess, and McCain will continue Bush's folly. Hillary continues to show how much a divisive person she is, and frankly, she is a liar - just like her husband. So there you have it folks, three choices - 1. perpetual war and financial ruin, 2. a liar that cant be trusted, or 3. someone who speaks truth to power and will tell us with what we don't want to hear. I think that is real leadership, and we need a change from what we have experienced over the past 16 years! He is not perfect, and he'll need a strong an experienced VP, but he is our best shot a future we can believe in.

    April 15, 2008 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  12. Goldie

    And while Clinton is ranting over two mispoken words of Obama, we find that Bill Clinton has taken money from every questionable foreign company and government he can find. Dubai, Saudi Arabia, Columbian trade organizations and Chinese internet companies that have helped with the crackdown on Tibet... and of course he made nice with that dictator in Khazakstan to help his Candadian friend. All while Hillary claims to disagree with her own husband. Of course she gets to share in the money as well. These companies/countries are either paying Bill to speak or donating to his family foundation/library. Seems Hillary is getting too much benefit from these questionable sources to make me comfortable that she is telling us the truth about what she really believes. Money talks and she has been getting plenty of it from places that I don't like.

    April 15, 2008 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  13. Ed K.

    If we could go back to Super Tuesday and the media had did it's job where everyone new about Reverend Wright, Obama's wife's comment and this Bitter remark Obama would not be in the race. Obama is not electable and everyone knows this but his blind fans and the media.

    April 15, 2008 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  14. CNE

    Obama run at the white house is raising talks about things we tend to avoid talking about in politics like guns, religion and race and this the
    reason why we it would be good for the county if we wins.He can bring us together and face the issue that we normally try to avoid

    April 15, 2008 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  15. Brad

    This contest is not all about race. I would vote for a African American if there was one out there who worth voting for. I like Collin Powell but he is a Republican. I would still consider voting for him if he were running. Obama has just as much baggage as Hillary, lies just as much, but she does have more political experiance . She would be better because she is a fighter and will not take any prisoner's . With all his knowledge ( Obama ) of gangs and drug use , he hasn't done much if anything for his own area or state. What will he accomplish for the Country, Nothing. All talk and no results is his whole campaign and his career. Need Hillary For President in 2009

    April 15, 2008 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  16. Cammi317

    Hello......The Governor of PA (A Hillary Supporter) said last night that Obama IS electible and IS NOT an elitist... Also, two PA Clinton supporting congressmen expressed the same sentiment last night and added that she needs to careful of overplaying the "bitter" comment. Additionally, the Mayor of Scranton (where she claims is home) is endorsing OBAMA! To be exact he said "she owns a cottage here, but this is not her home". Lastly, the owner of the bar where she took the now "infamous shot" was on Star 94 this morning (local Atlanta station) and he doesn't even support her....LOL.)

    April 15, 2008 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  17. k. Littleton, PA

    . . . Let Hillary have her fun now. Because at Wednesday night's debate,
    Senator Obama will show her up to be the liar that she is anyway. He
    always does.

    April 15, 2008 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  18. DEM Voter

    At least he is not LYING or MISPEAKING.

    April 15, 2008 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  19. CHANGE 1

    If Bill, Hilary and Mccain say that the people are not "bitter" but "proud" its just a shame that their hypocrisy is at it again. They are too wealthy to understand what it is to lose your home, lose your job, struggle to raise your children, when they can't feel your pain and only want your vote. In a nutshell they are saying people are proud to lose their homes and jobs??? lets be real, the economy is bad and people are frustarted and angry and wel of course bitter when washington has no solution, but a dynasty of the wealthy!

    April 15, 2008 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  20. ltd1974

    People don't like to hear the truth, and when the truth hurts people like Hillary will blow it up just to get votes. Then we have posters who post non- common sense response about Obama because of the need to re-state his wording. I agree! people do cling on to guns and faith, because we all know or heard of people who fell on hard times and made decision that they leter regret. How many of you felt bitter to find out that, almost everything Hillary said turned out to be lies???

    April 15, 2008 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  21. SDunn

    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."

    Militiaman is that a threat??? Are you psycho?

    April 15, 2008 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  22. Christi from Canada

    In Canada, I'm proud to say we have good laws here on gun control. If someone gets shot, especially if that person is a child or a youth, it often makes the national news. Gun crimes are very low here. Its safe to walk almost anywhere in this country.

    April 15, 2008 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  23. mary, Dallas, Tx

    Not only are small towns bitter, everyone, except people who make 110 million in income are bitter. I bitter that a liar is running for president and we have people like Lou Dobbs and CNN trying to sell her to the American people. I am bitter that Americans allow the media to shape their minds without thinking for themselves. I bitter because we no longer have press that report the news, but people who try to control the news and try to become king makers. I bitter that people are so stupid that they make mountains out of mole hills. I am bitter that people called themselves Christians and don't have a clue how to be Christ like. I am bitter that in 2008, you still have white people calling a black man, boy. I cling to my religion so that I wont end up hating them, the way they hate me.

    April 15, 2008 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  24. An Agnostic Democrat

    Bittergate, the new perfume designed for Hillary and all her amnesic Clinton cocktail drinking supporters to accompany her new line of lipstick called Hilly's Lyin' Luminescence for your lips by Duck and Cover Girl.

    April 15, 2008 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  25. Wolf

    Alex in San Antonio.....Senator Obama's latest mess up without his teleprompter why the 30% of Clinton supporters find it inconceivable to vote for Senator Obama if he gets the nomination. By the way...they aren't all women. That would be like asking the 28% of Obama supporters who will not vote for Clinton to please do so because we know they are black and Clinton is white. Are you crazy?

    Just taking a candidate at their ability to talk in well formulated sentences and logical thinking seems to be a pre-requisite for being President of the United States. Senator Obama failed on this test. It is NOT what he said, it is HOW he said it people....get a grip.

    Senator Obama without a teleprompter or script has gret difficulty speaking in coherent thouhts. That was seen again at the conference the other night. Perhaps his cocaine use has had a long term effect, but what ever it is, he is not skilled for the Offfice of President. Unelectability comes to mind.

    So, a vote for Obama is a vote for McCain, a vote for Clinton is a vote for the Democratic White House.

    April 15, 2008 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
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