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. therealist

    The Obama's are the ones that are bitter.

    Bitter at America that is.., because America continues to victimizing their family due to it's racial makeup.., exactly like they have been advised of for the last 20yrs.

    April 15, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  2. Independent-woman-voter-for-Obama

    BITTERGATE!!!! Are you kidding CNN?! Talk about BLOWING THINGS OUT OF PROPORTION! Dear God, can we move on?!!!! Sen. Obama gets just dragged through the mud each time something happens. Do people actually think that politicians are perfect?!

    SHAME ON YOU CNN! Keep it up, and you will destroy a decent man. I am disgusted with how the "bitter" comment is being played over and over, just like the Wright-greatest-hits. Hillary supporters have accused CNN of being biased but really the bias is against Obama!

    What kind of news reporting is this? We ALREADY know about the "bitter" comment. Can we get back to reporting on the ISSUES????

    WHAT ABOUT IRAQ, 10 TRILLION IN DEBT, CHILDREN GOING HUNGRY IN THE RICHEST NATION ON EARTH, FOLKS LOSING THEIR JOBS, TEENS DROPPING OUT OF SCHOOL, FUEL PRICES CLIMBING.

    April 15, 2008 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  3. Happy

    we will be better off in the world the moment when we start acepting the truth otherwise 100 more year of suffering and living in denial. I could not have said it any better Obama you do not have to appologise you are a sharp shooter you got it right the first time. Let them say and think whatever they want you are right 100%.

    April 15, 2008 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  4. White, young, good looking, woman against Obama

    I am so glad I am not a DEMOCRAT! What a bunch of losers! Hope your party gets trounced up in November, you deserve it. Your Obama is tainted. You people have really scraped the bottom of the barrel as far as your candidates are concerned.

    April 15, 2008 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  5. Wayne, Greenville TX

    Christian April 15th, 2008 9:42 am ET

    A Christian shouldn't believe in evolution. God created Adam and Eve and they weren't monkeys or tad poles. I take everything in the Bible literally. It is God's Word. Evolution is a theory created by a man, Charles Darwin. It has been forced into our Science text books and teachers were required to teach it even if they didn't believe it themselves. I am amazed at how much damage this theory has done to the Christian faith. But, all that matters is that you except Jesus as your savior. I still find it hard to believe that you can be a Christian and then believe that humans were once monkeys or tad poles. So many Obama supporters didn't like me pointing that out yesterday. I worship God. I don't worship Obama and believe all that he says like a lot of people do.

    Christian, you have a right to believe whatever you wish to believe. But the rest of us also have a right to believe what WE wish to believe – or to believe in nothing at all. Please respect our rights. Thank you.

    PS – You're not gonna win many people over to your way of thinking with that attitude.....

    April 15, 2008 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  6. Ilona Proud Canadian for Obama

    Democrats, Democrats, Democrats.

    Go to Huffington Post and read Frank Schaeffer's article "Good News for Democrats" It is absolutely worth reading. The article is quite lengthy, but please make sure you get to the bottom, you will be surprised.

    April 15, 2008 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  7. Wazntme

    Why don't you bloggers put the blame where it belongs, with the news media. Doesn't the news media have anything worth while to report. If they didn't answer Hillary's blackberry messages they probably wouldn't even have picked up on this ridiculous story. Why isn't the media checking into where Bill is receiving all his money and who is it really from? The Forum on Faith, blew my mind. Hillary didn't know one thing about the Bible, so what church does she go to? We haven't heard about that now have we? Esther is not a parable, but maybe the media doesn't know the Bible either. Why haven't they checked into her stories of hunting, did she really shake hands with Martin Luther King? And tell the real truth about her being behind Bill to get NAFTA through? This is the kind of stuff they should be reporting on instead of these ridulous plagerizim remarks, the meaning of bitter, etc. In other words, Hillary is not believable anymore. I use to admire her but my faith in her is gone.......

    The media says they don't know much about Obama, well neither will the public if they keep reporting stupid stories like this. They are grasping for straws to find out something about him that they can use against him at the request of Hilliary and Bill. She doesn't have much respect left and what little she had she has lost. The DNC needs to get this over with and pick a candidate fair and square. Hillary won't quit until she wrecks the party.... If obama was behind I think he would have used good judgement to get out and save the party. She is just confusing the voters by taking a Republican approach to bash her opponent. This should show voters what side she really is on. The Republican's side......

    April 15, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  8. Dem for Hillary

    Oh come on. Obama said it, it can't be explained away. Every time Hillary says something it is run into the ground. This guy cannot be untouchable. If he says something sooo wrong, then he is going to get bad publicity. Geez it would seem that you people think he is untouchable. I don't see anything special about him. I don't watch him speak because I don't want to be hypnotized like the rest of you. It is really scary to see the posts for him on here. SNAP (fingers). You will wake up after you see what you have done.

    April 15, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  9. OBAMA YES CLINTON NO

    WHEN IS THE MEDIA GOING TO STOP MAKING MOUNTAINS OUT OF MOLE HILLS FOR BOTH CANDIDATES? WE SHOULD NOT BE DECIDING WHO WE VOTE FOR BASED ON CONTEXTUAL STATEMENTS. GUN CONTROL IS NOT PRIMARILY UNDER THE DIRECT CONTROL OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES. LOOK AT THE BIG PICTURE PEOPLE. ECONOMY, WAR, HEALTH CARE.
    HILLARY IS JUST AS MUCH THE ELITIST. $109 MILLION IS NOT CHUMP CHANGE. THE CLINTON DYNASTY IS POWERFUL AND SHE TOO HAS MADE VERBAL BLUNDERS AND SHE IS A PATHOLOGIC PREVARICATOR (LIAR). ITS POLITICS FOLKS. OBAMA IS STILL THE BETTER CANDIDATE.

    April 15, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  10. Patty

    It is getting boring to hear Obama supporters try and excuse his comments about other people being "bitter" when he did say the wrong thing in the wrong place to the wrong people. And to see people try and excuse it by saying that Bill CLinton said something similar back in 92 about people being "scared" are too totally different things. Being scared of your future when you lose your job is an accurate statement for anyone, but saying you are bitter and turn to guns, religion, and hating anyone not looking like you or become anti immigrant is an elitist statement and an uncomplimentary one as well. And in all your standing up for Obama, the one who can do no wrong in your mind, can you at least think of those who indeed live in small or rural towns who are religious or like to hunt etc., and at least consider that what he said they could find offensive? Or do those of us who live in urban centres find we can think for them and tell them how to feel better than they can themselves?

    April 15, 2008 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  11. WIll

    Aren't you bitter? I sure as hell am. Only thing I wish was different was that Obama hadn't backed off this comment. Everyone knows he was telling the truth.

    April 15, 2008 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  12. PA voter

    I am for more gun control

    HOWEVER

    what obama said was BEHIND CLOSED DOORS and now he is trying to SPIN SPIN SPIN his words...

    PA voters are not that stupid...we know what mr. righteous meant!

    April 15, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  13. former hillary supporter

    For all of you people who think hillary will do something for you, take note of a couple in new york who begged hillary to help them get a child they had adopted in another country into the US. Hillary and her staff did nothing but blame the couple (sound familiar). The senior senator from new york got the job done instead of hillary who was mia (missing in action). However, after everything was done, her office sent the couple a letter saying that they were glad they could help them and to feel free to call on them again. This is what you will get with Hillary! They take credit for doing absolutely nothing!

    April 15, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  14. PoliTrickery

    i guess she'll do anything to distract us from the Fact that she lied (misspoke) about all that crazy sniper fire in bosnia. I wonder what else she's lying (misspeaking) about? ?

    April 15, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  15. juan

    Obama DOES say what he means. The problem is that the media and Hillary interprets his words they way they choose WITHOUT first asking what he meant before deciding for him what he meant.

    April 15, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  16. ukd

    People should see in Hillary that she is the best candidate for Presidencey. She is smart, intelligent, and will bring positive changes that everyone is looking for. We cannot afford to scale back our American dreams and ship it to overseas...

    Hillary, a smart choice for 08!!!

    April 15, 2008 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  17. kl

    Obama 08

    April 15, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  18. very concern

    If Obama does not know how to choose the correct words when making a speech, what makes you think he will know what and how to choose the right words when dealing with major issues concerning this country. People need to wake up and understand that Obama is not the man we need to run this country.

    April 15, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  19. Tammy - KCMO

    Eric – "I don't think you are in the right to imply that people who support Hillary are racist and that they "would rather go with a pathological liar that they know, instead of confronting the fears seated deep inside their soul at the idea of giving power to an african american."

    I think Eric knows exactly what he's saying and I agree. I've noticed it in the comments on these blogs as well and find it very disturbing to think that many people still think like that. I have never seen so many close minded hypocritical SCARED people. Yes, a lot of you are afraid of change which is why America is where it is today. This 50 year old white woman will vote for Obama even if I have to write him in.

    April 15, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  20. Robert Barnett

    As always the media do the best job they can to stir the pot to create the most sensational thirty second sound bite they can. Obama's comment in SF was part of a much longer answer to a question on how a volunteer should position him to the people of PA. Rather than just say "hey you've got your stump talking points" – he went into a much longer discussion, addressing many issues. Although he did use the words reported, they have been taken completely out of the original context. This is why he has to restate what he says – any small sound bite can be spun any way. If you are really interested in what he said – look at a news outlet that will do some more decent in depth reporting; the BBC or NPR.

    April 15, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  21. Denise, Nebraska

    How many of you people have ever actually been to a small town? Frankly, I'm totally over the gun and religion thing. Small towns and rural areas have been slammed over and over again because we go to church and own a .22. What really, truly, hurt the most is that we're all characterized as "anti-immigrant". Obama stepped up to the podium and threw white sheets over the entire midwest. What happened Barack??? You came to Omaha, swept Nebraska in the caucus, you went to Wyoming, the people of Kansas LOVE you! Did we serve your purpose and now your done? Yes, there are divides in our population, but we are working TOGETHER to make things better. We're upset, we're struggling, we're rolling up our sleeves and ready to get to work. Thats not "bitter", thats America sweetheart!

    April 15, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  22. Old White Guy

    The Republicans love these comments!

    I'm always amazed at Democrats' ability to shoot themselves in the foot. (Or is that "feet"?) While we get all blustery and hateful over next to nothing, we lose cohesion and end up handing the White House to an extremely conservative, pro-war, anti-choice, free-market Republican who gives us eight more years of the Bush administration...which we managed to help elect by splitting our votes between Gore and Nader!

    If Democrats can't get together on a candidate (after the primaries and convention are over) and unite behind either Obama or Clinton despite all this primary brouhaha, we don't deserve to elect a President. The Democratic party might as well go extinct and let a fitter creature dominate the land.

    April 15, 2008 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  23. OR for Obama

    To Angus Mc Dugan....you are right on. If all she can pull out of her hat of tricks is trying to make a mountain out of a mole hill, that is sad. And all her supporters should be ashamed to make such a deal of this while trying to ignore all her lies and deceptions.

    April 15, 2008 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  24. Black,young good looking woman against Obama

    Isn't he holding on to the bitterness of Rev. Wright? I really don't need to ask because the answer is yes!

    He wants to twist everything someone says about him when challenge and is not good at handling controversy. I am a black female who will not vote for Obama and I'm not bitter but can see through his charade.

    April 15, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  25. Marine

    This just keeps getting funnier every day reading all the ranting going on between the Dems. I love it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11111

    April 15, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
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