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. Marine

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

    April 15, 2008 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  2. CANAM

    Lets face it folks the Clinton political machine is very good at turning the spotlight and heat on its opponent and deflecting it from themselves.

    If you look at all the lies (CONFIRMED LIES I MIGHT ADD..let me rephrase that..SHE MISSPOKE) that HRC have told yet the sportlight is quickly taken off her. Or better yet she just laught about it, or claimed she is sleep deprived.
    If Obama should make these kind of excuses I am sure HRC would run to the superdelegates and say see,see, he is not up to the task.

    I am sure we all understand what Obama meant but of course his statement have to be disectted as usual and repeated over and over...

    Are the majority of American that dense?? Tell me it isnt so??

    April 15, 2008 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  3. mitch from ark.

    desperation tactics may help hillary with weak-minded people,but,anyone with 1/2 a brain,will not fall for her negative campaigning.i'm amazed she still thinks she can win.people will not vote for a person ,who has admitted,openly,that they killed a harmless duck.she probably missed,but,managed to scare it to death.

    April 15, 2008 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  4. Patty Don't


    You need to open your eyes. You say that Evolution was created by man and therefore worthless. You say that you believe in EVERYTHING the Bible says, which you conveniently forgot was also created by man. The Bible is written by man and therefore falible in its own right. After all Jesus was a man too.

    What "Good Christians" often seem to foget is that God's greatest gift to mankind was free will. Free will to believe and think and do for ourselves, even if it means denying God. God is a mystery that people only pretend to know. By the very nature of His being God is unknowable to humans. He is beyond our level of comprehension, as is the order of the universe. But i refuse to believe that 1 day Eden started and there was Adam, Eve, a talking snake and a tree of wisdom. That my friend is a lot harder to swallow than evolution.

    Though i don't know what any of this has to do with this article...

    April 15, 2008 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  5. Eric-PA

    The battle is NOT over the word bitter, it's over, "they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations."

    Let's get it right!

    April 15, 2008 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  6. Skipper

    She may be Annie Oakley, but, at least she's not the one that shot herself in the foot with the "bitter" remark.

    "OOPS!!! You mean there was a recorder in the room?"

    April 15, 2008 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  7. April in Texas

    I still strongly support Obama and always will. He clearly could have worded it different thats huge compared to the bold face LIE Hillary did with the Bosnia story, then to laugh about it. Yes I am one of those bitter souls, I tend to pray more during troubled times. Obama GETS IT.

    Obama 08

    April 15, 2008 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  8. Jamaal Kansas

    Hilary Clinton is the Devil and she is trying to take the democratic party to hell with her

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

    it is not about winning many people is about calling a spade a spade

    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 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  10. Cyrus - NY

    What Obama should have said is that many people in PA and neighboring states wouldn't vote for him because they don't like black people. Period. It saddens me to see that many Clintonites vow to vote for McCain if Obama gets the nomination. Goes to show their moral fluidity, and subtle distrust and disliking for Black folks in this country.

    April 15, 2008 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  11. Christian

    Obama Supporter that commented to my posting. Have you noticed that hardly anybody stays on topic in these posts? Also, as a Christian, I feel like it is good to spread the word of God every chance I get to bring others to know Christ. If you question what is in the Bible, than it is harder to be saved. Also, yes, it was mainly Obama supporters that were commenting on my post. Are you trying to throw a religion card now to try to shut me up?

    April 15, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  12. Stephanie, PA

    Bittergate is nothing but spin, spin and more spin. Americans are bitter...bitter about the direction the Bush administration is taking. Sen. Obama was on-point and I, for one, do not think he misspoke at all!

    April 15, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  13. NickNas

    Bittergate??? She gets a BUMP in the Polls??

    What does this tell us.

    Hillary and Bill can do ANYTHING they want in this country THAT IS WHY THEY DO IT!

    5 LEGITIMATE Scandals in as many weeks.
    Laughing off ALL LEGITIMATE Questions of the people.
    The 800K that Proves she lied
    Too many lies to count actually

    And she is UP in the Polls???

    THIS is the new trend in MY country? Lies, deciet ,cheat, deny ,secrecy, renewed open racism?

    I would like a list of every person who back this Team so I can make sure for the rest of my life I do NO business with them.

    Hillary actually said " I will show who gave to our foundation and Library AFTER I get the nomination"

    These Clinton bots have VERY LOW standards and expectations. Do you people also ask your BABYSITTERS to prove they are NOT child molesters AFTER you leave them with them for the WEEKEND???? ( Hint it is JUST as stupid for those who don't get it)

    April 15, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  14. ml

    I was asked today to take a 6000 dollar cut in my job working with people with disabilities. I did my taxes and after paying HR block I am in the hole. I keep trying to to move forward, but can't seem to do it.
    I am bitter, annoyed, angry, jaded and any other word you want to use.
    I cling to my family and hope.

    April 15, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  15. Mike from Calgary

    If the Clinton and Bush Administrations have policies that caused factories and jobs overseas and to Mexico (certainly not to Canada with its high cost environmental and labour regulations) and blue collars workers are laid off or thrown overboard by government and leaders more interested in self service than public service (see Clinton's tax returns), what life preserver would you CLING to? At least Obama offers a lifeline. A change would do you good, as Sheryl Crow sang.

    April 15, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  16. Dan , TX

    People who support Obama looked at what he meant. People who don't support Obama looked at interpreting his words in the most negative light. Undecided voters don't care about this.

    It is amusing that Clinton has a campaign ad on this. When she "misspoke" about Bosnia, I didn't see Obama put out campaign ads about it. When Obama misspoke – he's unelectable. Very funny! 🙂

    April 15, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  17. sharrell, dc

    Celia – you and your husband can vote for that stupid Hillary Clinton, who cares. It just shows how ignorant you are as well as the other supporters of Billary. Wise up and pay attention. If you pay attention, the choice is obvious,, OBAMA 08 FOR PRESIDENT. Who wants a liar and manipulator like her. I can't believe so many people are fooled by her. Wake up and smell the coffee.

    April 15, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  18. KM

    It's reality check time. Since everyone feels that Obama nor Hillary can say these things because they have to be politically correct then I will say them because I am not running for office. If you agree with any one of these statements, then guess what, you are bitter about that particular issue:

    1) Politicians will do and say anything to get elected no matter how good their intentions might be.
    2) Guns might be used as a hobby or protection for an outdoorsman in Montana but it might be viewed as the sole weapon of choice for the majority of murders in Philadelphia in 2007.
    3) Racism still exist in this country no matter how much we pretend it does not. Just because we only say bad things around our families and friends doesn't mean that we're not prejudice against another person whether it is because they are another race, another sex, gay, poor, etc.
    4) Racism is not something you're born with, it's learned. Notice that I did not say taught, kids pick up what they see.

    April 15, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  19. Tanya

    Senator Obama just spent a whole week defending few words he said rushly, unable to move forward.
    Well, he just got a tiny taste of what is to come once he is nominated. That was nothing! Swift Boats are revving up, just wait until they really get out in an open.

    April 15, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  20. JAB

    The 'bitter' battle is the media's battle. They keep it going. We face so many things–a huge deficit, a crippling war in Iraq (60 killed today you all say), millions without health care, the houses of working people being foreclosed while large banks are bailed out, Iraq sitting on billions of oil dollars they don't use for their people while we send billions to 'help' them, racism (a congressman calling Obama 'boy'), sexism, high gasoline prices, increasing world starvation because of high food prices, China and all its abuse and economic control in the world–, and what do the media keep harping on? 'Bitter.'

    Your own poll shows that 'bitter' has made, at best, about two points difference in Pennsylvania. The people get it. Bitter is the truth. Imprudent wording, maybe, but the truth. It is the media that don't get it.

    April 15, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  21. NELSON Colorado Springs, Co

    If you learn anything thing about politics GUNS,RELIGION and Race are things no matter what you say someone will always get mad for you say. GO OBAMA

    April 15, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  22. denise

    As a midwesterner, ohioan to be exact, I found nothing wrong with Obamas coments, as a past auto worker who had 29 years of service with the bankrupt company of Delphi, i watched corporate greed take mine and hundreds more auto workers jobs to Mexico, yes I am bitter, frustrated and made at this govt. for there nafta agreement, the agreement Hillary clinton's husband signed, sealed and delivered, there are millions of bitter people not only in small towns but big towns too, like Columbus, ohio

    April 15, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  23. Jed in Texas

    The media made sure the best man for the job was ignored early on in the race because he wouldnt sell papers and air time like the fight Hillary and Obama are still having.The best candidate was Joe Biden.

    April 15, 2008 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  24. ***AMERICAN***

    Write-in Vote: Angus in 08

    April 15, 2008 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  25. Jeanne

    Clinton is just plain bitter and Obama isn't looking as interesting as he once did. Obama is doing for Clinton what she can't do for herself and that is, gain in the polls. I'm no longer sure that either will be worth voting for in the general election.

    April 15, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
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