(CNN) - Democrat Hillary Clinton said news reports that a key black lawmaker in the early-voting state of South Carolina had criticized her campaign for recent comments were inaccurate – and blamed the stories and much of the recent controversy on rival Barack Obama’s campaign.
"Well you'll have to look at the sources of some of it, but it is something I was disturbed by… I think it clearly came from Sen. Obama's campaign, and I don't think that it's the kind of debate we should be having in our campaign," Clinton told reporters Saturday after a campaign stop.
Clinton had faced criticism over comments she made in Fox News interview in which she tried to make a point about presidential leadership by comparing the legacies of President John Kennedy and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
“Dr. King’s dream began to be realized when President Lyndon Johnson passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964. It took a president to get it done,” Clinton said, in a claim that her experience was more important than Obama’s soaring rhetoric.
Several African-American leaders objected to the comparison. On Friday, Democrat Rep. Jim Clyburn, a powerful member of congressional leadership, signaled his displeasure with her remarks in comments published in the New York Times.
“We have to be very, very careful about how we speak about that era in American politics. It is one thing to run a campaign and be respectful of everyone’s motives and actions, and it is something else to denigrate those. That bothered me a great deal,” said Clyburn.
Clyburn, who has not made an endorsement in the Democratic presidential primary, later released a statement signaling his intent to remain neutral and encouraging White House hopefuls “to be sensitive about the words they use.”
African-American voters make up roughly half of the Democratic electorate in Clyburn's key early-voting home state of South Carolina, where Obama now holds a double-digit edge over Clinton in most recent polls. The Democratic primary there is scheduled for January 26.
Clinton and Obama have spent the past few days locked in a heated back-and-forth over the issue, culminating in a Friday Politico report in which Obama spokeswoman Candice Tolliver said “a cross-section of voters are alarmed at the tenor of some of these statements,” and that the New York senator would have decide whether apologies were in order.
“There’s a groundswell of reaction to these comments — and not just these latest comments but really a pattern, or a series of comments that we’ve heard for several months… Folks are beginning to wonder: Is this really an isolated situation, or is there something bigger behind all of this?” said Tolliver.
Clinton tried to defuse the issue when asked how big of a factor race would be during the primary season. "I hope none you know I don't think either Sen. Obama or myself want to see the injection of race or gender into this campaign. We're each running as individuals."
–CNN's Sasha Johnson and Rebecca Sinderbrand
Earnestly, I believe that Hillary meant to make an innocent none insulting point here that unless government or the president agrees to any movement or cause, it would be hard for the people behind it to succeed.
I don't think she meant to belittle Dr. King's efforts. BUT sadly for her the statement has many ways of being read so yes, I can see why it would upset a lot of folks.
I am an Obama support and will always be but I feel bad for her!
According to accounts I have read, she used to go support Dr. King's causes when she was at Wesley College. She was mad at the time when she her about his assassination .
I believe she was trying to score a political point by doubling up on the Dr. King association and her 35years of experience but it just happened to come out bad!
Isn't this article filed under "Obama" the same one CNN wrote under "Clinton"? Seems like CNN is wiked biased toward Clinton and this is their way of saying "we gave coverage to Obama too". Perhaps it is time for CNN to adopt the "Fair and Balanced" moniker too.
Well the Clintons are getting and have gotten villified,so I guess they're ahead? The Obama supporters are idiots for joining in with the republicans in attacking the Clintons. Those people aren't going to vote for a black guy anyway.
Ha, another double negative:
"I hope none you know I don't think either Sen. Obama or myself want to see the injection of race or gender into this campaign."
"I don't think either Sen. Obama or myself want to see the injection of race or gender into this campaign. We're each running as individuals."
Except when Bill says "the boys are ganging up on Hillary" or when she tears up about how tough it is....
Mrs. Clinton claims that "her experience was more important --" etc. Regarding her other "experiences" as a Senator, your readers should know that her productivity relative to those of us who live in upstate New York pales compared to the activities of her fellow Senator, Chuck Schumer. He, by far, has been more productive in "getting something done" for our beleaguered economy. Her claims of real experience do not meet her claims.
Hillary is (What) needs to change in Washington.
It was her and Bills Mouth that said it.
Just like the War vote and her Vote for war with Iran.
Enough is enough
Let us move on with a uniter and not a divider.
The divider has been blaming GOP for all her doubts.
During this election, we have 20 different Hilary faces and messages.
This does not seem like a Leader who will steady the Americas' Ship in the face of instability.
The Clintons’ time has past, with all the attacks on her own party and splitting the Vote.
Time to Move on as Bill said in 1992.
Her experience is old and retired today.
Obama have the support of a growing Think-tank for change.
Now is the time to clean House, to bring in the new
The Change we all hope for
We have the power
If not Obama / someone – but definitely not more of the Washington Status Quo old School.
I WOULD VOTE FOR A REPUBLICAN BEFORE I WOULD LET ANOTHER CLINTON TAKE OVER THIS COUNTRY. WHEN WILL WE LEARN. BILL JUST BARELY MADE IT THROUGH WITHOUT IMPEACHMENT. I DON'T THINK BILL HAS ANY CREDIBILITY NOT DOES HILLARY HAVE THE EXPERIENCE.
SINCE WHEN DOES "PILLOW TALK" QUALIFY AS 35 YEARS EXPERIENCE. GIVE ME A BREAK. THE CLINITONS ARE THE ONES SPINNING A FAIRYTALE.
I THINK IT'S FUNNY THAT BLACK PEOPLE ARE JUST FIGURING OUT THE TRUE CLINTONS. THEY DON'T CARE ABOUT BLACKS OR WHITES. THEIR NAME AND DYNASTY AND EGOS ARE ON THE LINE. THIS IS ABOUT DOING WHATEVER IT TAKES TO STAY ON TOP. IF YOU PUT THEM IN THE WHITE HOUSE, "ON TOP" IS WHAT BILL WILL BE.... "ON TOP" OF EVERY INTERN THAT IS. HAVEN'T WE BEEN THERE, DONE THAT!
WHY DOES EVERYONE HAVE THEIR HOPES SET ON SOMEONE NAMED BUSH OR CLINTON. I THOUGHT AMERICA WAS MELTING POT AND FULL OF CULTURE AND DIVERSITY. OH YEAH, I GUESS HILLARY BEING A WOMAN IS DIVERSE. GIVE ME A BREAK!
As a woman of color, I am not happy with the way everything Senator Clinton says is taken out of context or twisted. Her and former President Clinton have the utmost respest for people of all races.
When Michele Obama said if she lived in Iowa, she may have to buy a gun, I did not hear one person of color critize her. I think there is a double standard here.
Senator Clinton is prepared to be President from day one. Obama does not have the insight for such a global job as President of the United States.
He is a young handsome guy with little experience. He is inspiring, but that will not get the job done.
I hope all americans will vote for the individual of their choice on their own.
The people who vote will decide who the next President will be
Obama not brought up on any religion, his African grandfather and Indonesian stepfather were Muslim. He joined the Trinity United Church of Christ, an African-American mega-church with an unorthodox pastor Reverend Jeremiah Wright already attracting attention on right-wing websites for describing the September 11 attacks as a “wake-up call” to America for ignoring the concerns of “people of colour”, and for claiming that Americans “believe in white supremacy and black inferiority . . . more than we believe in God”. Wright travelled to meet Muammar Gadaffi, the Libyan leader, in the 1980s with Louis Farrakhan, the black supremacist leader of the Nation of Islam, and subscribes to the “Black Values System”, which preaches self-reliance but claims “middle-classness” is ensnaring blacks. Reverend Jeremiah Wright went to Tripoli to visit Colonel Gadaffi with Farrakhan., The arguement that Obama offers white voters a chance to free themselves from white guilt, is continuing to create a negative race issue..
Also Indictment of one obamas leading donors, Tony” Rezko, a Syrian-born property developer in Chicago, who is accused of extortion. Rezko has been indicted by Patrick Fitzgerald – the prosecutor who brought down Lewis “Scooter” Libby and the press magnate Conrad Black – for seeking millions of dollars in kickbacks from companies bidding for state business in Illinois. Obama has admitted that the deal was bone-headed. Rezko’s indictment can seriously damage Obama’s appeal to primary voters.
The Obama campaign and supporters are blowing this issue way out of proportion. Hillary Clinton's remarks were not dismissing MLK's accomplishments at all. Frankly, I don't understand how anybody could interpret her remarks in that way. It seems to me that it's the Obama campaign that is raising the race card and trying to inject controversy where none should exist.
Yep... Hilary Clinton is squandering whatever good will she had from New Hampshire, and is jeopardizing the important African-American vote that is so important to the any democratic candidate; is she TRYING to lose South Carolina?
In any case, this can only hurt Clinton's chances of beating Obama, and in a tight race like this one, anything that hurts one side and gives the other side a slight advantage can prove fatal.
Excuse me, but who was the one who made the comments?
Rather than apologizing, and moving on, the Clinton's are pointing the blame at Obama?
A simple example of their corrupt brand of politics.
You disgust me Mrs. Clinton.
Here we go again; take a small part of a statement leave out part of it & turn it into something all togeather different People are going to belive what suits them, I saw this movie in 2004.did'nt like it then don't like it now.
Hillary is a joke, as was her interview this morning on Meet the Press. I cannot believe that someone who won't give an answer to any question until she tests it with the polls for political purposes, had the audacity to say that Barack's answers are 'political'. She showed her true self this morning, defensive and either you're with her or against her...hmmm...sounds like George W. Bush to me. And that fact that she implied that Barack is playing the race card is ridiculous. He wouldn't have the overall support that he has if he was doing that. Oh, and she referred to Barack's message of hope as 'rhetoric'; that is not only insulting to Senator Obama, but also to the millions of people who believe in that message. Same Hillary, different day. She's so much like George Bush until its scary. This country cannot afford 8 more years of division and dictatorship.
Hillary will not take responsibility for anything she does even the words coming out of her own mouth, like most American I was totally surprise to hear the comment she made in the Fox interview about LBJ and the Cival Rights Act of 1964. Perhaps she misspoke in which case she should admit it, but to blame Obama's camp for her inaccuracy represent a character flaw that has come to define politices in Washington.
You sound like a wise person who must also know that Rev MLK would have never compared himself to a prior positive icon for any political gain, also he would have never suggested that another man vote for a person based strickly on the color of his skin.
Obama might win South Carolina by playing this race card.
But it will be short-lived.
It will come back to haunt him on Feb 5th .
Obama’s so-called attraction supposed to be that he is appealing for both blacks and whites.
When people like Jesse Jackson and Oprah get into his bandwagon, and all these African American media people spread racism, that’s going to alienate other ethnicities.
If I were in Obama camp I'd be really worried in handling these volatile extreme elements.
Jesse Jackson has already made fun at Hillary's emotional moment in NH, which is disgusting thing for a preacher to do.
As Oprah said, "HE IS THE ONE". Vote Obama. He is our future.
Hillary said in this article that it is not about race or gender and yet in a previous article she addresses an all black church and says how wonderful it is to be in a race for the Presidency as a woman and with an African American.
She needs to think before she opens her big mouth.
No – we do not want more of this in the White House.
WAKE UP AMERICA – VOTE OBAMA
I don't believe anything of her comments were distorted by Obama. However, I have seen her and Bill distort many comments made by Obama since Iowa.
Indeed , when God is with someone , the evil deeds of people against him or her must surely be revealed. Clinton is against Obama and also against his race.
Mrs clinton and her husband has belittled black Americans for so long but this time I believe that Clinton"s cup is full.
Obama did nothing but rather we listeners or readers understood your bad and racist remarks throughout your campaigns. . where were you when you were busy attacking and punching Obama and all African Americans with ...."Obama is a kid, fair tale, Obama a risks. and now degrading our lord Rev Martin Luther King junior".
The evil that men do live after them before but now it goes and pursue them.
Mrs Clinton , you have gone so long in your divide and rule but this time your cup is full.Democrats and indeed they big political giants have already turn their back against you.
Remember what you people did to Al Gore , I hope you do not expect Al Gore endorsement this time around.
Stop fooling and playing politics with a whole race because they turned to be innocent victims to a system that was wrong, sinful and wicked.
Thanks be to God the black community has seem that you can go at any level to destroy people because of your personal political interest.They American people have seem what the great democratic giants saw that made them not to endorse you..Something is wrong with your candidature and I believ its high time you stop messing Obama up.
One wonders if you ever won N:H, one wonders if you know exactly what it takes to be president, one wonders if you understand American and indeed Americans.one wonders if you can withstand strong leaders in time of difficulties. Remember how you cried during question. They world is a looking glass and today things has change.
There is no color American , blue or red states but there is simple the United states of America. one people, one God and one color.. Obama represents change, which you were unable to bring in your 35 years of service which you claimed you have been doing . Your train ran late and the owner has come .
Obama is the president and family Clinton"s political divisions, hate, knife -cutting-strategy can never stop him.
Obama is God appointed leader and the American people of all colors have embraced him.Do yourself a favor by withdrawing your candidature before they vote you out.
Believe me you can never win Obama again..
Obama , a leader, Obama, an American running for all Americans of all ages, color, race, religion, natives and indeed he is the peoples president that will finally bring back American lost glory .
Sen. Clinton: You basically said "King was a dreamer, but it was LBJ that got it done" comparing that to "Obama is a dreamer, but I can get it done."
If that's not the point you were trying to make, then why bring it up?
My advice to you and Bill is to stop now and quit trying to make these comparison and analogies. Really. Talk policy instead. You claim to have the substance that Obama lacks, so why not just talk about that?
So let's get this straight: Rep. Jim Clyburn of South Carolina can't come to his own conclusion on Hilary Clinton's misrepresentation Martin Luther King legacy?
Obama/campaign has to be the one to interpret Clinton's OBVIOUS misstatement and belittling of Martin Luther Kings legacy for the Congressman? LOL
If the self-absorbed Clintons were not so consumed by personal ambitions and 'win at any cost', they would have said something like, "I apologize for any misinterpretation".
It's like with the war, Hilary Clinton can't just apologize for her support of the UNPROVOKED & ILLEGAL invasion of Iraq, which destroyed so many lives and limbs!
It seems that Obama's campainers are sitting 24/7 here 😉
hrc made the statement, go head and defend it dont drag others into your mess! what a weak politician, obviously afraid of the backlash!