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. TamTam

    Whatever
    People need to get over it. So she mis spoke, big figgin deal. LIke nobody else ever has.
    Id rather have Hilary running the country, rather than Obama.
    I dont know why people make this such a huge issue, Obama has mis spoke and he hasnt been condemned.
    So come on guys, give it a break.

    May 23, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  2. Diane, MD

    So, in other words, she's hoping something physical will happen to Barack? So she's going to hang onto this campaign, like a leach, so she can be the next in line? She will probably push him down some stairs or something, anything to win, huh Hill?

    I've watched a lot of soap operas in my day, but those shows don't have anything on Hillary. Erica Kane watch out.

    Tick tock already, when is Hillary getting out?

    Obama 08

    May 23, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  3. tony

    Obama does not have to be a martyr for us. You have a beautiful wife and children, you don't need to put up with these Klansmen (and women) who are disguised in business attire.

    May 23, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  4. Rus in St. Paul, MN

    her claim that her husband didn't clinch the nomination until june is politically false: April 28, 1992 - Clinton wins Pennsylvania primary, having earned 1,466 of the 2,145 delegates needed to win. Brown has 316 delegates.

    While he didn't have the delegates, and is factually true, there wasn't much of a race.

    May 23, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  5. Jay

    Just another reason why this country is not ready for a black president: They (some white folks) will murder him...

    May 23, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  6. democrat

    i don't have a problem with hillarious clinton because she is just doing anything to win a lost battle, the people I have a problem with are the so called SUPER DELEGATES !!!!!!!! This race would have been over yesterday if they would all just come out and end this madness. The democrats are so good at screwing things up for themselves, it's like a curse.

    This is their only chance to EVER get into the white house and if they blow it then THEY ARE DONE FOREVER.

    I can't remember when race ever put food on my table or put gas in my car !!! So if americans have not suffered enough, then pls let's continue with the madness !!!!

    May 23, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  7. Waiting for her to blink

    She just blinked. Ballgame.

    May 23, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  8. Sharon

    These comments by Hilary Clinton were done purposely. Hilary is a seasoned political attorney and Democratic Presidential candidate. Everyone don't forget Mike Huckabee just make a comment two weeks ago, "aiming a gun at Barack Obama". This is 2008 and no one has any business meaning comments referencing bodily harm to any Presidential candidate. Both Mike Huckabee and Hilary Clinton say "whoops" didn't mean. Everyone these are too close for not noticing the repetition. Repeated suggestive comments made public to large viewer audiences and how people receive and react can be different. Remember the mentally ill react to suggestive information. Look at all the school shooting that we now have. Repetitive information to public and how they may react has been studied extensively.

    Two comments inferring "bodily harm" to a Presidential Candidate in short period of time should be taken quite serious.

    May 23, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  9. Phil

    I should have proofed that before sending, lol but u get my point

    May 23, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  10. midora

    If Obama puts her on the ticket,after these evil remarks, he's lost his mind!

    May 23, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  11. WISDOM

    Just remember! This is just an accidental expose of her sub-conscience which is hidden very deep within her mind. I really hope those of you die hard Hillary supporters are not like her. Otherwise, the racial bias will never end.

    I know those of who said "Hillary or vote for McCaine" are typical racist. Otherwise, I can't understand how they can say that because both Obama and Hillary's issues and plans are about 95% identical. How can you say that you're a life time DEMs when you can't even vote for when DEMs need your vote? That proves that you are a racist! Period! God bless you all.

    May 23, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  12. Dave

    This is beyond the pale. Shocking, even from someone who has uttered so many outrageously insidious remarks in the last five months. She does not deserve another single vote.

    May 23, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  13. LaLa in KCMO

    She's totally lost it. She is a terrible person and I feel extremely sorry for those Hillary supporters who are buying into all of her crap. She would stab you in the back if it meant she would get the nomination.

    Obama 2008 and 2012
    Yes We Can. Si Se Puede.

    May 23, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  14. Thomas

    To what levels will she stoop? I am really saden by this comment.

    May 23, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  15. linda in illinois

    SHE IS DELUSIONAL. SHE IS BECOMING CHARLES MASON. LET HER FOLLOWERS DON HER DIRTY WORK SHE STILL WINS!!!!

    THAT WHY SHE IS COURTING THE UNEDUCATED, POOR WHITE
    VOTERS. IF YOU THINK SHE LIKES THEM GO TO TAMMY BRUCE.COM AND READ WHAT SHE REALLY THINKS.

    OBAMA AS YOUR SUPPORTER ,KEEP HER OUT OF THE WHITE HOUSE. NO MATTER IF SHE GOES TO DENVER DON'T MAKE HER VICE PRESIDENT. HER SUGGESTION IS SICK.....SHE NEEDS THERAPY QUICK. HOW DARE SHE BRING THIS UP WITH THE KENNEDY FAMILY FIGHTING FOR SURVIVAL OF TED.SHE NEEDS TO GET OUT OF ROBERT KENNEDY SENATE SEAT

    May 23, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  16. BJG

    Hillary does not have the intelligence nor the moral fiber to be running for the presidency. She is reprehensible.

    May 23, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  17. Rob

    this person wants to be POTUS? this is the judgement you want in the whitehouse? oops sorry hit the red button ... didn;t mean it.

    May 23, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  18. Hans-Erik Iken

    For a smart woman this was an extremely dumb thing to say.

    Having said that: I doubt she meant it the way it was interpreted.

    I still don't like her very much, but this was just too dumb for her to be intentional.

    Lets get beyond this and move on to uniting the democrats for november.

    May 23, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  19. lilly

    I will never never never vote for Obama you will lose in Nov. period.

    May 23, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  20. Eric

    Hillary supporters! You can't complain about the blowing out of proportion of her statements. Do you remember the bitter coments that Obama made. So, this is fair game.

    May 23, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  21. Linda

    How can anyone come to her defense. Her remark was cruel and uncalled for. I don't see how CNN can dismiss this.

    May 23, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  22. Darcy

    Hillary,

    APOLOGY NOT ACCEPTED! from this Obama supporter.

    I've thought all along that this was your reason for staying in the race, I just didn't expect you to articulate it.

    May 23, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  23. Sam

    This candidate needs a break. Maybe she should rest for a couple of years.

    May 23, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  24. Hillary? Are you kidding?

    Apparently an attempt to add Barack Obama to their mantle of awards: Ron Brown and Vince Foster.

    May 23, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  25. Holden Litgo

    First, know that I am an Obama supporter since the beginning. Now, to the point: Senator Clinton made an unfortunate historical reference given the subject matter but in no way meant to invoke anything more than a calendaric reference to other extended primary campaigns and the fact that nothing can be taken for granted. These vitriolic attacks among Democrats must stop in order to defeat McSame. See these feelings you're experiencing for what they are: transference of anger from nearly 8 unbearable and morally unacceptable years of the ineptitude of Bush and Co. The woman is running hard for the most important position in the world. While I don't see her being the best suited emotionally for the job, I hope we would try to understand the pressures of fighting for the opportunity to serve as President. She's not the enemy. The ignorance of the Republican party is the enemy. We must be united to defeat it and get the country back on track. In this case, given the gravity of the subject matter and its consequences, I take her at her word that the Kennedy family is on her mind. That's how minds work. Hers is a good one. Yes, she's ambitious. You have to be to want to run for president. But she's not evil. Cut her some slack and start to heal the wounds caused by this campaign so we can defeat the true enemies of all that is good and right with our country; The Republican Party.

    May 23, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
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