May 25th, 2008
05:40 PM ET
7 years ago

Clinton upbeat on Puerto Rico campaign swing

ALT TEXT

PENUELAS, Puerto Rico (CNN) – Campaigning in Puerto Rico on Sunday, Hillary Clinton was a great distance from Sioux Falls, South Dakota, the scene of her comment about Robert F. Kennedy’s assassination that sparked a media furor.

Her swing through sunny Puerto Rico was a vacation from the many political distractions on the mainland - questions not only about the assassination remark but also her dwindling chances to secure the Democratic nomination. Morning talk shows discussed the fallout from Friday's controversy and pored over a New York Daily News op-ed written by Clinton outlining her reasons for staying the race, but the candidate was far away, soaking up sunlight and adoration from hundreds of supporters in towns on the western part of the island.

In Puerto Rico, her speeches have been abbreviated but cheery, devoid of political sniping. Clinton herself has been upbeat.

At an evangelical church in the town of Hormigueros, Clinton took her place Sunday morning among the congregation and gently swayed to music as dancers waved ribbons in the air. It was the beginning of a marathon day featuring five separate campaign stops.

“It is in the spirit of our Lord and Savior that I come today to thank you for letting me spend this time with you,” she told the church-goers. “To feel the spirit in this beautiful church. And to see a worship service that includes the whole person, making joyful noises and dancing in praise. I feel blessed.”

Her speech at the church was tailored purely to Puerto Rican issues, as she pledged to clean up former Navy testing ranges in Vieques and promised to resolve the question of the island’s “status” by the end of her first term.

She then changed into a pink floral-patterned shirt and traveled southward to the immaculate seaside in the town of Boqueron, jammed with beach-going families who swarmed the senator as she walked along the beach, camera crews trailing. There were handshakes and embraces for shirtless men and bikini-clad women alike.

After that, it was on to the small town of Penuelas, where Clinton ate a leisurely lunch of rice and beans in the shade at Boquamar Restaurant, perched on a breezy blue bay. Clinton dined with staffers and New York Rep. Anthony Weiner, who had accompanied the campaign to Puerto Rico.

She gave remarks after lunch (still in the floral shirt) to a small crowd gathered in a dirt road outside the restaurant, using a translator throughout. Though she has avoided doing so during this trip, Clinton ventured gingerly into horserace politics, challenging Barack Obama to a debate sponsored by Univision.

“I accept that invitation, anytime, anywhere,” she declared. “That is the best way for the people of Puerto Rico to have their questions asked and answered and for the rest of the United States to learn more about Puerto Rico.”

Clinton soon departed and her motorcade headed east through the mountains in the direction of greater San Juan, where she had two more events planned for Sunday evening. She will also spend Memorial Day in Puerto Rico with three campaign stops, before returning to the mainland on Monday night.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, she makes return visits to Montana and South Dakota.

(Photo credit: Peter Hamby/CNN)


Filed under: Hillary Clinton
soundoff (202 Responses)
  1. Ascardo

    Well Well Well! See who's brightened up! Hillary certainly looks good in tis bright outfit.
    Nevertheless, she ought to recognise the fact that Clintons do not brighten/win all the time and acknowledge Obama's win.

    May 25, 2008 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  2. A, Austin

    Hilary is not smart as I thought or she way too smart. She made dark comment, then did not understand to apologize for it (she did not understand the real problem!). Now she says she did not mean the dark comment.

    We need a woman president soon, but not Hillary. She is not very smart or too dark. Either is not a good sign.

    May 25, 2008 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  3. Abu

    is she stil running?!

    May 25, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  4. McCAIN THREW MEN OF GOD UNDER THE BUS!

    You all need to think before you waste your vote on her what did her husband do for you? All the promises she is making, why didn't her husband fore fill any of these things when he had the chance and why didn't she, she had an opportunity to make a big impact when she was first lady with health care, but she couldn't get along with even the people that were working with her.

    May 25, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  5. Tom, ALBUQUERQUE, NM

    HILLARY PLEASE DON'T QUIT UNTIL ALL OPTIONS ARE EXHAUSTED. IF OBAMA IS THE NOMINEE AND WHEN HE LOSES IN NOVEMBER YOU CAN REST PEACEFULLY KNOWING THAT YOU GAVE THE DEMS A CHOICE TO THE VERY END. THESE ULTRA LIBERALS , STUFFY SOPHOMORIC YOUNG VOTERS , AND DISLOYAL AFRICAN AMERICAN VOTERS ARE IN FOR BIG NOVEMBER DEFEAT.

    May 25, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  6. John Smith

    President Carter has the "guts" that most superDs and Hillary supporters lack: that sense of loyalty to "party." Rather, Hillary and co-sponsors are interested in their personal agendas, such as (a) gender issues, (b) racism, (c) up-keeping the dynasty and so on.

    This woman, Hillary, has given this 50 year-old man a lot to think about "some" (I mean, some) women who are driven by power and revenge!

    I have and will continue to respect women, not this one- Hillary

    May 25, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  7. McCAIN THREW MEN OF GOD UNDER THE BUS!

    Hillary get the heck out of the race! Enough with this already there is no way that she can win this without the SDs stealing it from Obama and America and that just ain't gonna cut it.

    The longer she stays the more she divide the party.Hilllary is a SPOILER!

    May 25, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  8. Tony, Miami

    She should stay with her husband for a week and have some sun. These last days time started to get a toll on them. Bill and her are losing their looks making them even look ugly and to more or less stop the aging process she should definitely bow out.

    May 25, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  9. jim t

    STILL GOIN TO LOSE THERE BILLARY

    May 25, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  10. ccflo

    Let Hillary continue the drive. She is doing it for the US and herself, just like the other candidates. Barack and John are doing it for themselves too.

    May 25, 2008 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  11. L MIAMI FLORIDA

    GO HILLARY !

    HILLARY OR NOTHING, NADA , ZERO VOTES !

    COUNT OUR FLORIDA VOTES !

    May 25, 2008 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  12. calif

    only losers vote for her.

    May 25, 2008 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  13. Donna

    It is nice to see her in something other than a pantsuit...shows a more "comfortable, relaxed" Hillary....

    May 25, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  14. Pablo

    Last night Hillary cried to an interviewer that the media is sexist and that she is upset because the American prople do not stop it. This is the so called tough woman who will nuke Iran? This is the Clintons who told Obama not to put on the uniform if he can not play rough?
    Todo la jente dicen, Congratulationes El Presidente Obama!

    May 25, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  15. energy

    We pray for you, Hillary. May God Bless you and your husband, Bill!! Stay in there and don't let DEAN, Ted Kennedy, PeloSIN, and James Carter have their way against America!!

    Vote Clinton/Bayh 2008

    May 25, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  16. Paul

    She can have her "bright spot".. they are a rare commodity for
    her these days!!
    Which is due entirely to her own pandering, hypocricy, and her desperate attepmts to salvage what was once an "inevitable" nomination!

    What did happen to H.R. Clinton...?

    May 25, 2008 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  17. Jim

    We all support you Hillary! Keep it up and you will win!

    Hillary 2008, 2012.

    May 25, 2008 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  18. El Máximo Gutierrez

    Gee, that's great.

    GIVE IT UP ALREADY WILL YA!?!?!?!?!?!

    OBAMA '08 & '12

    JES WE CAN jes we can JES WE CAN jes we can JES WE CAN

    May 25, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  19. Hillary 2 Victory

    VIVA LA NUESTRA HILLARY !!!!!!!!!! :)

    May 25, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  20. me

    I do not trust her. I do not trust her. Not at all. HRC is a liar, a cheater, a racist. She looks like a smiling snake. One second she smiles and next second she bites.

    May 25, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  21. la dictadora

    Por favor esta vieja es peor k los dictadores y latifundistas y militares en latinoamerica,...

    preguntele cuantos latinos ella y su esposo asistieron mientras ellos estaban en la presidencia

    No mas clintons por favor,

    May 25, 2008 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  22. same ppl=same idea. new folks = change

    havent you raise enough monies to pay off your campaign loan yet? pls be fast about it and leave so that the dnc can start making effective plan to eradicate the reps.

    May 25, 2008 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  23. KE

    Looking good, Sen. Clinton.

    May 25, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  24. BJ

    STAY THE COURSE HILLARY!

    If this needs to go to the Convention, So be it! If the superdelegates really want Obama as the nominee, WHY are they holding out their endorsements?

    If Obama gets to 2026, then he is the nominee... otherwise, this is a signal that the supers are not as convinced that Obama has been fully vetted, and are waiting to see if there are any "hidden treasures" in his past that have still not been discovered.

    May 25, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  25. John, FL

    Enjoy the warm Puerto Rican sun Hillary. Then, on June 3, come back home to reality and endorse the democratic candidate for president, Barack Obama.

    May 25, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
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