May 24th, 2008
02:03 PM ET
2 years ago

Clinton apologizes for RFK assassination comment

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Sen. Clinton listens during a Senate hearing on Capitol Hill Thursday.
Sen. Clinton listens during a Senate hearing on Capitol Hill Thursday.

BRANDON, South Dakota (CNN) – Sen. Hillary Clinton said Friday that she regretted comments that evoked the June 1968 assassination of Robert Kennedy as part of her explanation for why she was staying in the presidential race late into the primary season.

Earlier Friday afternoon, she told the editorial board of the Sioux Falls Argus Leader that "My husband did not wrap up the nomination in 1992 until he won the California primary somewhere in the middle of June, right? We all remember Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June in California. I don't understand it," she said.

Clinton complained that "people have been trying to push me out of this ever since Iowa" and said that position "historically ... makes no sense."

Later at an event in Brandon, South Dakota, she said, "earlier today, I was discussing the Democratic primary history and in the course of that discussion mentioned the campaigns that both my husband and Sen. Kennedy waged in California in June in 1992 and 1968, and I was referencing those to make the point that we have had nominating primary contests that go into June. That's an historic fact.

Update: During an interview with Radio Isla Puerto Rico on Saturday, Barack Obama reacted to the Clinton RFK comment.

According to a quote released by the campaign, he said, “I have learned that when you are campaigning for as many months as Senator Clinton and I have been campaigning, sometimes you get careless in terms of the statements that you make and I think that is what happened here. Senator Clinton says that she did not intend any offense by it and I will take her at her word on that.”

Full story

Related video: Watch Sen. Clinton's comments to a SD newspaper's editorial board

Related video: Watch Brian Todd's report on Sen. Clinton's remarks Friday.


Filed under: Hillary Clinton
soundoff (937 Responses)
  1. Candy West Virginia

    The bitter comments do not compare in any way to this people, don't even compare so don't you dare try and minimize her remarks. SHE IS TALKING ABOUT DEATH, Obama was talking about beliefs.I wonder did she have Obama in mind? She is un...bloody...believable.

    May 23, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  2. martin

    apology accepted.now drop out before you say anymore stupid remarks.it's the proper thing to do.we are tired of you,and your imaginary attempt at being president.you are drawing attention away from the issues,like you did with your negative campaign tactics.

    May 23, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  3. peter just

    mrs.clinton in no way was offensive to the kennedy family..what she said was a historical fact..cnn and the majority of its viewers/readers dont get it..again...

    May 23, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  4. Terri

    I am with you Hillary all the way their is no way I will vote Obama

    May 23, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  5. independent voter

    DISGUSTING is the word to describe all the nasty, evil-minded obama supporters.

    You evil-minded supporters are the ones who are dividing the democratic party with your mean, uncalled for comments

    You all need to get a life. You all relate with obama with being weak, inexperienced, put down women who are smarter than you, devious, etc.

    May 23, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  6. kww

    There was NO reason to bring up Bobby Kennedy. Her apology is disingenuous. She said it-she meant it-it's out there. She just planted the seed in some idiot's mind.

    Thanks a lot, Hillary.If anything happens to Obama, you should be held responsible.

    FOR SHAME!

    May 23, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  7. Cindi South Carolina

    Superdelegates vote to get her out of there. She is destroying the party. That is sad and very low down of her. Hillary clearly understands what she is saying and doing to this race. Low down dirty shame.

    May 23, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  8. Mary

    This is a dirty low blow. This whatever is so low i bet she can look up at her feet. Now everybody knows why she is still running. These are her true thoughts and if she digs a ditch for someone she best be careful not to fall in it. Now who would want this for a Vice President?

    May 23, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  9. Shirley

    She'll do and say anything to get to that oval office, even walk over his cold dead body. She disgusts me!!!!

    May 23, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  10. sandy

    concerned canadian...please shut up..you are more disgusting than hillary!

    May 23, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  11. Hillary Supporter

    Oh my gosh, the self righteous holier-than-thou BHO supporters get on my last nerve! You and your holier-than-thou candidate sound like screaming brats. You and BHO think you are so superior - no wonder he will never get my vote!!

    May 23, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  12. Sillary

    words can't explain the shame this woman has brought upon herself.

    May 23, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  13. Dave

    I'm not a Hillary supporter, but what she said is not THAT bad. She makes the point that anything could happen between now and the convention, including Obama getting killed. Pretty dumb and tasteless thing for her to say, but it is also true.

    May 23, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  14. Oga Mazi from Sacramento, California

    Some body please help her, she certainly needs help. When they say I certainly had no intention of that whatsoever, you better watch out. I think desperation has set in.

    May 23, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  15. Rico

    Wow. I mean wow. How much lower can she go? How desperate can an individual get? I mean would she want herself as President if she was us, seeing this steady stream of dishonesty and hypocrisy? I have lost all respect for her.

    May 23, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  16. A, Austin

    Wow, this is a new low! How low can it go?

    May 23, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  17. Paul

    Make no mistake. This is Hillary making a threat. Animal.

    May 23, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  18. Luncheon Ladies

    Hillary,
    We supported you all along –BUT--this is it.!- Your recent comment for staying in the race-- suggesting the demise of Obama - IS THE LOWEST YOU HAVE STOOPED. !– As of today you have "LOST" many thousand more of your previous suporters.
    It is now showing how "burnt out and desperate" you have become.
    Enjoy the Memorial Day week end with a few "gin & tonics"–That usually helps us when things are going bad.
    You ran a good fight–but it's just not your time.

    Luncheon ladies.

    May 23, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  19. Lizette

    OMG! This is very disturbing. DNC, DO SOMETHING!!

    May 23, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  20. Vic

    Concerned Canadian~

    I suggest you read Bernstein's excellent biography on Hillary Clinton to understand exactly why this was not merely her misspeaking. And then provide the proof of the things "Obama has said things 10 times worse".

    Por favor?

    May 23, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  21. sherrie50

    If Obama blogers misconstrue her statement, you again proven that you are rather illiterate. For sure, you are the rudest and most mean-spirited people I have seen.

    May 23, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  22. courtney

    Hillary is sitting in the middle of south beach with a tequilla in both hands and wearing nothing but a thong, translation:
    she is WILDING OUT!!!

    May 23, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  23. Rick

    Hilary Clinton makes me sick. I think that she is a evil woman and I would never never never never support her especially after her dumb comment about RFK being the reason why she is staying in this race. Now that she has said it, if something were to happen to Obama it would tear this country apart. Where is former Vice President Gore and former President Carter? The two should join other party leaders and call on Clinton to bow out now and take a vacation. She needs to have a heart to heart talk with herself and with God. She has lost it big time with this remark. I am so upset by this woman and all of those who have been supporting her need to take a hard look at the reality of this situation.

    May 23, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  24. Philadelphian Trapped in Texas

    Oh, for crying out loud. This Obama supporter doesn't think Hillary intended anything by her comment, and no Kennedy family or Obama supportyers should think she did. She means simply that the campaign doesn't need to be over by any magical date in June.

    Indeed, the 1992 campaign did run long, and Bill Clinton emerged as the winner only after all of the primaries. And the 1968 campaign ran into June with Hubert Humphrey in the lead, Robert Kennedy's star rising after his very late entry, and Eugene McCarthy dropping but still in the race. But let's remember ... we lost that one.

    Let it go. Yes, it was a thoughtless comment. Now let it go.

    May 23, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  25. Jeff in Saint Paul

    /yawn

    Obama can try and blow this up into a big deal, but the truth is she just stated facts. You don't have to like history, but their is no sense getting all twisted up when somebody states the obvious.

    May 23, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
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