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. FreeThinker

    I do not know how anyone in there right mind could defend this woman. People are putting identity politics over common sense. Come on people this lady can not even lead herself let alone lead this country.

    May 23, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  2. Neil

    I thought we started this campaign with two great candidates. Hillary has been such a disappointment as to her integrity. They can spin anything into how she desires. She is so self centered and I am quite tired of hearing how her actions are for concern of democratic process. It is all about her. Her logic totally disgusts me.

    May 23, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  3. Lisa

    Hillary you said words don't have meaning? I beginning to beleive you truly believe that! WOW! So sad- That hurt me!

    May 23, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  4. WELMA

    THIS IS NOT NORMALL!!!!!!!!

    May 23, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  5. Diane Panama City Fl

    Quoting from another comment about Clinton's statements today posted on another site, "she has just given some redneck, bigot Manchurian candidate out there the green light".

    May 23, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  6. Stefny

    Clearly, the folks opposed to Hilary are thinking into things too much for their own good. Facts are Facts people....

    May 23, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  7. Mike Oliver

    Hillary and her unfaithful husband will say and do anything to get back in the Whitehouse. Obama should increase his security and keep and eye over his shoulder. The Clintons now want John McCain to win the election so Hillary can run again in 2012.

    May 23, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  8. Venus

    Obama and camp.............

    Let her sqim on this one! She blew up Obama's bitter comments!

    I want to see the meida give this 24/7 til June 3, 2008!

    May 23, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  9. 58 old white ladies for OBAMA

    MINDLESS & HEARTLESS

    OUR GROUP WILL NOT HAVE ANY OTHER COMMENT ON HILLBILLI.

    May 23, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  10. Ratgurl

    Obama, watch your back... that sounded like a (not so subtle) threat.

    May 23, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  11. NoHillaryOnVpTicket

    The Superdelegates are now playing games... all of a sudden OBAMA is not getting those daily endorsements. What's up with that. Well they better get with the program.... Hillary will definately loose to MCBush. She is hoping for an Bad things to happen to OBAMA in June. She can not explain this... and I am tired of the Supers giving her special treatment because of her name and race. Get her out of this race!

    May 23, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  12. Kevin, Little Rock

    OK THAT'S IT! I am REALLY embarrased to be from the same state where:

    1. After the support he had during his time as governor and president from blacks, Bill accuses Obama of playing the race card.

    2. Mike Huckabee embarrasing himself because he don't when to drop out and making a BAD joke about someone aiming a gun at Obama.

    3. HRC, just like Huckabee, don't know when to drop, playing the gender card, and NOW hoping that a tragedy that happend to RFK be the same to Obama so she can become President.

    I am really PISSED OFF! No more will I go to the Clinton Library here in Little Rock unless Obama is there.

    May 23, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  13. J. McKinney

    WHY ARE YOU NOT POSTING MY COMMENTS?
    IS IT BECAUSE I AM SAYING SOMETHING IN DEFENSE OF HILLARY?
    ARE YOU ONLY POSTING THE NUTS HERE WHO CAN'T UNDERSTAND A SENSIBLE COMMENT FROM HILLARY–THAT RFK WAS STILL CAMPAIGNING IN JUNE, SO THIS CAMPAIGN WS NOT GOING ON ANY LONGER THAN OTHERS HAVE. GET A GRIP, PEOPLE!

    May 23, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  14. TKSmith

    Wow! And Bill Clintons response... I did not have sexual relations with Monica uh sorry! totally different issue that is all.

    May 23, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  15. Bill

    Hillary's problem solving capability:
    1. Press the button,
    2. Obliteration,
    3. Problem solved!

    May 23, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  16. Cindy

    And is JFK/LBJ the justification for seeking the veep position?

    Freudian slip. There goes the veep job, too...

    May 23, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  17. Allie in Seattle

    Superdelegates: Get some guts!

    May 23, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  18. Rolanda From Memphis

    I'm just dumb founded. I'm african american and I spend enough time convincing people not to worry about Obama being killed and to support/vote him. Now this..........

    Please go away Hillary!

    May 23, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  19. Canadian Observer

    Hillary's RFK remarks are appalling!

    Her comments are, unfortunately, as dangerous as Mike Huckabee's joke gone wrong a few days ago.

    May 23, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  20. FORMER Hillary Supporter

    Ok, ok ok. I see it now. Hillary IS a monster!

    May 23, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  21. PA Voter 2008

    For heaven's sake, don't you get tired making mountains out of molehills everyone? From the news reports I heard you would have thought that she threatened him. Then I heard the clip. Nothing as usual, but drama drama drama from obama and the media. It was nothing more than a historic reference.

    You morons.

    May 23, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  22. Keep it in mind

    Uhhhh....Hillary? Please remember, as you play fast and loose with the rules in the Democratic Party, that plotting the demise of your opponent isn't an option....... You got away with it in the Vince Foster case (suicide..yeah, right). You won't get away with it this time. Keep your hands where we can see 'em pardner.

    May 23, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  23. White Guy for Obama

    Barack increase your security. This evil heifer may make good on this threat for political gain. I can see her following through with this.

    Mark my word! If anything happens to Obama, look to the Clinton's. Look at the list of people that have died just knowing them.

    If something happens to Obama, the DNC should not look to HRC as a replacement.

    Obama/ Edwards '08, '12

    May 23, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  24. Carl TX

    You people are absolutely shameless for intentionally blowing Hillary's comments out of context. It is very clear what she meant and only the wild-eyed Obamamaniacs would try to twist it into something evil. Either that or you are all too stupid to comprehend simple English. YOU are the ones who are disgusting!! (I know, I know, CNN will probably refuse to post this because it is not along their line of bias.)

    May 23, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  25. ANG/Houston

    PEOPLE PRAY....PLEASE PRAY OVER BARACK AND HIS FAMILY...
    PEOPLE PRAY...PLEASE, PLEASE PRAY1

    They are up to something, don't dismiss what she said – there is a underlining meaning here – if you listen to her apology – she NEVER said she was not implying any harm to come upon Barack – she only aplogized to the Kennedys.

    Read between the lines and PRAY PEOPLE!!

    May 23, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
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