April 15th, 2008
08:14 AM ET
6 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. Alex H

    What Obama said was completely correct. In this country, we lean towards electing people who are most similar to us. We all have values and principles about abortion and religion and gun control and if a candidate doesn't have those same values then we tend not to vote for them. Romney was destroyed in the primaries because he's a Mormon. We have states (Arkansas, Maryland, N. Carolina, Pennsylvania, S. Carolina, Tennesse, Texas) in this country that make it illegal for atheists to hold public offices. We erupted in outrage when a man was sworn into office on the Quran instead of the Bible. People bomb and burn down abortion clinics (sanctity of life? oh no... not those people, they don't count) because they think it's murder. So when the economy starts frustrating people and, yes, makes people bitter, people are going to stop trusting promises of economic salvation and go back to things they value most like religion, abortion, gun rights, etc. The word "antipathy" does not mean racist, it means a naturally aversion towards people unlike themselves. If you can believe that there aren't antipathetic feelings governing our votes, then you're beyond saving.

    April 15, 2008 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  2. Andre

    Ah yes, the first post, and its a bunch of rubbish. Thanks SNOBama. If we were to take your line of argument, and realize that Hillary;s Bosnia gaff, was well... in 3 scripted speeches?

    To quote you 'This is what happens when the "Great Orator" doesn't have a script!'. Or is this what happens when your great candidate forgets there is Youtube?

    April 15, 2008 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  3. Gary

    The Obama's seems to share the same affliction, FOOT-IN-THE-MOUTH DISEASE. While he is trying to cover his behind this time after making the most thoughless comments an American man running for the presidency of this nation on the last of true Americans : THE RURAL POPULATIONS OF OUR GREAT COUNTRY! we can still see his behind and it is not a pretty sight no matter how he tries to backtrack on his ELITISTS comments! I live in a small town of this great country and the people here are the very best representives of what America is all about! While Obama and wife insult the intelligence of the fellow citizens the other two candidates are talking about issues and not putting people down. SHAME ON OBAMA!

    April 15, 2008 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  4. HYPOCRACY 08

    I like guns... just a tool with a purpose... as far as any type of banning or whatever... won't work anyway... heck, drugs are illegal and not hard to get so weapons would be just another way for the criminals to make money... and then the only people without guns would be the law abiding citizen...

    April 15, 2008 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  5. kmiller

    Read YOUR Constitution people.....
    YOU have the right to bear arms.
    Just as you have the right to any religion.

    Im guessing that the gun safety is practiced more in the country than the city.

    As for dinking shots........just plain tacky.

    Is this really what we want for Our world leader to act like??

    April 15, 2008 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  6. Gene Edochie

    I DONT HAVE MUCH TO SAY, JUST THAT ITS A BIG SHAME ON HILARY. SHE SPENDS ALL HER TIME ATTACKING A MAN WHO NEVER MAKES OUT THAT MUCH TIME TO DO THE SAME TO HER.
    SHE TOLD A BIG LIE OVER THE BOSNIAN INCIDENT WHICH NEVER HAPPENED AND .....'OBAMA NEVER HELD ONTO IT.......SHE SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF HERSELF FOR PICKING ON SOMEONE THAT DOESNT HAVE TIME HER.

    OBAMA 08

    April 15, 2008 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  7. That's Reality

    "Obama is always having to re-state everything he says or explain what he "really meant". Why doesn't he just say what he means to begin with?"

    He did say what he meant to begin with; that's the problem.

    April 15, 2008 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  8. For the love of this independent

    All you need to do is have gun laws based on crime rate. This will allow the disarming of high crime areas but still allow for hunting. Why make things so hard.

    This is a good issue to discuss herer if we can get off of this petty nonsense. Please remember people who does not share you view does not mean they are anti american. Their values are just rooted in different foundations than yours. We should try to understand one another

    April 15, 2008 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  9. teresa from Canada

    This is Obama – a snob!
    We don't know much about his attitudes because the press have done a terrible job at uncovering anything about him! When he slips we see the real thing.
    Without his speech writers he is just another big mouth eletist like Ted Kennedy.
    Too late Obama you can't unring that bell – you have just offended half of America and you will fall to the same fate as AL Gore.
    You can't handle the heat now – the Republicans will rip him to shreds with this issue!

    April 15, 2008 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  10. Nick

    Barack did not criticize Hillary for having a beer with whomever...

    But that she pretends to be the average American's candidate when on election night she would be toasting with members of every lobby group imaginable rather than with us, the people of America...

    Barack Obama is the only president of the people!

    PENNSYLVANIE VOTE OBAMA

    April 15, 2008 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  11. mary-NH

    First of all, I don't believe she has ever hunted...Secondly, I got what Obama was saying and those of you who didn't, or would rather listen to the Clinton spew, need to get a grip. Take a moment to stop hating him and actually listen to what he has to say instead of grabbing on to what you want to hear because he is the only one who will make a difference in this country. The ONLY one. Give him a chance.

    April 15, 2008 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  12. Angus McDugan

    ***AMERICAN*** – Thanks. Your round up the cash and I'll go as an independent.

    Angus in 08!

    April 15, 2008 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  13. Jim gregory

    It is sad that Obama has to apologize for being honest. Many of these
    people are bitter and rightfully so. However many of them vote exclusively on gun rights and opposing abortion despite the fact that many of the candidates touting both generally are candidates who have the economic interests of corporations in mind and not the interests of the common folk like myself. It doesn't make sense. There is a good book out called "What's the matter with Kansas". It speaks well to this issue.

    April 15, 2008 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  14. Allison R.

    What I don't understand is, since when is Hillary Clinton pro-gun? She's always spoken out and voted against this topic. Go to ontheissues.org and check it out.
    This is what I am personally sick of in politics. Pandering. Because unfortunately, the majority of Americans buy into the lies–and then they can't understand what they are left bitter and angry after their politician of choice doesn't follow through.
    STOP PANDERING!

    April 15, 2008 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  15. Johnny Boy

    All I can say here is that I am BITTER. I want my country to set a new course and it is not anywhere near Iraq. Our bridges are falling over, our jobs are gone, even if you get some hourly wage, will there be health benfits? Sure there WON'T, Remember, this is America, every man/woman/child for themselves, right? I am from a small town and he said NOTHING to upset me. What he said was right on mark, he just used a bad example, which he admitted to. When I vote for Obama, that is me and my vote sending wasington the middle finger and how I feel about those courpt people. Every last one of them is corrupt. That's what I am bitter about. They think they are there to RULE us and not GOVEREN us. There is a big differenance. Peace out!

    April 15, 2008 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  16. That's Reality

    To CHANGE 1, McCain is one candidate who knows what it is like to lose your home and everything else, at least for a time. Don't throw him into the same heap as the other candidates

    April 15, 2008 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  17. Jack K, Fort Myers

    There's a big difference in an automatic weapon and a grenade or explosive device.

    Besides–if we're to protect ourselves form our government–we need large clips of ammunition.

    Also great for hers of small game.

    April 15, 2008 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  18. suzanne

    Oh come on ... the Clinton camp has reached new lows. This is all so negative and frankly just rediculous that it is now just getting really depressing.....they are shameless.

    April 15, 2008 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  19. Marilyn from Ohio

    I am not an Obama supporter; however I am a Democrat and if he gets the nomination I will have a hard decisision to make to vote for him, not because he is bi-racial, but inexperienced. I have read about his childhood and I feel he has not really experienced the "real world." His recent remarks were elitist but I do want someone in the White House who is intelligent. After all, we have had eight years of a "Decider" who failed at every other day job he had and John McCain has been running for president so long he can't make up his mind who he really is or what he really believes- I'm waiting for him to become a Catholic next. Obama aligned himself with Rev. Wright for votes, plain and simple. His wife is the one who really worries me and I would not be proud to have her as First Lady. Our choices show what a sad state of affairs our country is in. The challenges are enormous. China may rule us in the near future.

    April 15, 2008 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  20. For the love of this independent

    Christian, you are correct. But if you think hillary has a clue of what the holy ghost is or john mccain is such a devout christian and this is what you are basing your vote on, then you will be highly disappointed. Separate church and state and vote on the issues that are most important to you

    April 15, 2008 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  21. AnnaMarie

    Barack may have misspoke......... BUT.. HILLARY LIES............

    I do NOT TRUST HIllary and I want a president I can trust.. She will never get my vote...

    This is not a two family whitehouse...

    I am voting for Barack to the end.....

    YES WE CAN................

    April 15, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  22. Estelle

    all CLINTON and OBAMA supporters who are planning on voting for McCAIN if their candidate is not the nominee will have to explain this to the troops in irak, the spouse and children of those who died...

    and also to the ones who ARE GOING TO DIE becuz of your decision.

    After you vote for MCCAIN, you ll be acomplice to GW BUSH.

    ELECTION IS NOT ABOUT EMOTION. THAT IS WHY IT IS AN ADULT RIGHT. IT IS ABOUT THINKING AND MAKING MATURE DECISIONS. NOT EMOTIONAL, IMMATURE, IMPULSIVE DECISION.

    April 15, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  23. Annamica, OH

    I think its hilarious how Obama supporters dare to complain the media is giving Obama a hard time....for once! Geez, it took a week for this story to break, it took months for "wrightgate" to break. CNN would spare their golden boy at any chance, until another non mainstream outlet breaks it, they wouldn't bother. Talk about late!

    April 15, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  24. stacey

    I see a lot of comments about Sen. Obama being anti-gun. However, didn't the Brady Bill (gun control regulation) become enacted during the Clinton White House.
    None of the current candidates are more elitist than Hillary. For years she has been telling everyone what to think and say. Her own campaign people have said time and again its either her way or the highway. THATS ELITIST!!!
    I'm tired of everyone jumping on Sen. Obama for speaking and saying what most people in America think or say even if they don't want to admit it. I was raised in a small east Texas town with a a large Mexican immigrant community and a population of only 15,000 people. It rarely gets more rural than that. I still have friends and family there. I know for a FACT that most of the people in that area think and act EXACTLY like Sen. Obama said. That doesn't mean I'm elitist. It means I'm a realist. You all may not want to hear the truth, but I for one am glad to finally have a politician thats not afraid of ripping off the band-aid and exposing America's dirty truths. For too long we have had the attitude that if you don't talk about it and sweep it under the rug, it doesn't exist. The bottom line is that it does exist. WAKE UP AMERICA AND FACE THE COLD HARD TRUTH!!!!

    April 15, 2008 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  25. Char, NC

    Hey Obama....I'm bitter alright...however, I haven't turned to guns, become a religious fanatic and developed a hatred for trade and immigrants. I have however, decided not to vote for you! Perhaps now I do fit nicely in your stereotypical views of people!

    April 15, 2008 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
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