January 13th, 2008
03:45 PM ET
10 years ago

Clinton: Obama 'distorting' my remarks

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/images/01/13/art.clintons.ap.jpg caption="Hillary Clinton said Sunday the Obama campaign is distorting recent comments made by her and her husband."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Sen. Hillary Clinton accused Sen. Barack Obama's presidential campaign Sunday of distorting remarks that she and her husband have made in recent days which touched off concerns among some African-American voters.

Clinton and Obama are in a heated fight for the support of black voters, particularly in the South Carolina Democratic primary on Jan. 26.

Speaking to NBC's "Meet the Press," Clinton accused the Obama camp of "putting out talking points" about the recent remarks.

Obama rejected Clinton's complaints as "ludicrous."

Sen. John Edwards, also in the running for the Democratic nomination, stepped in with his own fresh criticism of Clinton. Speaking at a church in South Carolina, he accused Clinton of suggesting "that real change came not through the Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, but through a Washington politician."

In an interview with Fox News last week, Clinton said, "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." She has argued repeatedly that her experience shows she can get more done as president than Obama.

Some African-American leaders criticized the remarks as denigrating the civil rights movement and Dr. King. Both Clintons have long been popular among African-American leaders, and have extolled the civil rights movement. On "Meet the Press" Sunday, Clinton referred to King as "one of the people I admire most in the world."

Full story

- CNN's Josh Levs

soundoff (530 Responses)
  1. DeVone

    Hillary was asked, was Obama ready to be President? her answer was let
    the voters choose. I can respect that answer after all she is running herself
    then she was asked was Obama ready to be Vise President her answer was
    let the voters choose. maybe I am wrong but the presidentel canidate choose
    a running mate. This tell alot about Hillary and change, Hillary and Bill is not change, "I just do not want to see our country go backwards" she said.

    January 13, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  2. Don

    I think everyone needs to sit back and take a deep breath. Its a shame that most don't realize that Obama and Clinton are on the SAME SIDE. All of this is being stirred up by outside influences for thier own gain. Corporate media come to mind. Are we going to let cable news and pundits tell us how to feel and think. I guess so if you read the post here.

    The Clintons are not racist. History is history. As for the "attacks". They seem to go both ways, even though most of them have anything to do with the issues that we should be focused on. You all are waisting time by fighting among yourselves when both canidates are actually similar on their plans for our country. The big question is who can get it done.

    As for the "drug" issues. Obama put that out. If he did not think people would mention it, talk about it, debate it, then he has a lot to learn. he should not get angry every time someone mentions it. You have to really ask yourselves is this productive. We react to every small thing, without taking the effort to find out all the facts. Who is doing what debate has become stupid. People call themselves informed, but are they? I see lots of attacks on Hillary, but have yet to see anyone able to actually have a valid reason for that hate. Remember i the phrase "its the economy stupid". Well this election is quickly becoming "its the media spin stupid". Don't believe the hate. Obama and Clinton want the same thing. We are the ones who are making this a division, and why? So the news networks and blogs have something to talk about. SAD.

    January 13, 2008 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  3. JACK, NY, NY

    It was reported today that HIllary always stopped bill from coloring his hair to black or brown.

    My god she is racist. She is actually saying that she doesn't like black or brown people. She must apologise for this. How dare she not like black/brown hair color for bill.


    Doesn't matter what she says or does Obama camp will do everything in their power to divide the country.
    Some people do buy this B.S.

    January 13, 2008 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  4. AJ, IL

    This is just simply silly. The Obama camp didn't put these words in the Clintons' mouths.

    January 13, 2008 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  5. Steve

    Democrats are self-destructing, as usual.

    Keep this up, and you'll end up with 2 un-electable potential candidates before long.

    January 13, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  6. Soren, Mn.

    What has Hillary said that is untrue? It is not belittling the civil rights movement to say that without the political will power nothing gets changed.

    Look at Bush Jrn.'s term, a lot of us would have liked to have equal rights for same-sex couples, and there are many movements working for precisely that, but no matter how hard we march, or how proud we are, there will be no change unless there is a president willing to make a change.

    Isn't that all Clinton said? I mean how much does it reflect on those who find her comments "ill-advised" to advance a negative interpretation of her comments?

    January 13, 2008 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  7. fernando


    January 13, 2008 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  8. lesleyduckworth

    I have always know that this race is sadly going to turn into a black/white thing and sure enough, it is going that way and fast. How sad. I just hope that the people of the United States don't reap the percussions of the whole thing but I have a feeling that we will.

    January 13, 2008 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  9. Aaron M.

    Obama hasn't made race an issue at all. She just tries to portray him as an evil mastermind, controlling all people that speak up against her (of course people can't just have minds of their own or their own opinions, it must be Obama behind it all).

    Obama is trying to stay away from the race issue as much as possible because it is divisive (which is exactly why the Clintons are trying portray him as a race peddler).

    I can't stand all of the lies in politics.

    January 13, 2008 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  10. Francisco Berole

    I have never seen, nor heard such a nasting "n" disgusting personality like
    Clinton (of course – Hill.)
    She knows how to manipulate, use tears, gullible women and feminism in order to achieve votes. This is not fair.
    She is definitely not the candidate who would govern a country like America. If so, America is doomed to become like sodoma and gomorrah – let alone the dirty agenda pro-abortion, gay marriage, etc. Think wise America. Wake up!!!!!!!!

    January 13, 2008 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  11. Scott, Royal Oak, MI

    When did Obama call Hillary racist?

    Oh that's right, he hasn't. Obama has not, and does not, use the race card. It is OBNOXIOUS to see Hillary supporters trying to suggest otherwise. Obama's views/feelings on race are complex, intelligent, and very well constructed (see Dreams From My Father and The Audacity of Hope ), and he does not resort to the type of filthy tricks and propaganda that the Clintons are attempting to utilize.

    January 13, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  12. Emmanuel

    When a country makes a mistake in choosing a candidate who they thought was
    the right one, and suddenly he's not ,fine. It will be forgivable. However, if America should choose Hillary to be the president of the United States, there is no forgiveness. Everybody knows her tricks, lies and deception to demagogize her ideas on the bais of manipulation – especially simple women to vote for her. She is already a divisive character in two things; race and gender. She's got some gender complex. Please, conrades, don't make this drastic mistakes. Away with Hill.

    January 13, 2008 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  13. Elaine

    Why doesn't anyone talk about Obama's lies? When running for senator, he raised his hand and swore to the people of Illinois that he would not run for president, but would serve out his term as senator. Umm, I think he's declared himself a candidate for president without serving even one term. More importantly, he has missed 85% of the time the senate has been in session. Tell me, would anyone reading this get a promoition at their job if they missed that much time? I doubt they'd even HAVE a job, let alone get a promotion to the highest position!
    While I voted for Obama once, I won't make the mistake again. I would suggest to eveyone reading this to get all the facts before they vote for him!

    January 13, 2008 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  14. Bugarin

    Please, correct the statement above, "stands for abortion and human life." The correct statement should read, "people who stands for abortion and against human life (millions of innocent babies killed before they were even born) should be punished and brought to justice. Sometimes they are more for pets and dogs than for man who was created in God's image.

    January 13, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  15. Michael Graham

    Presidential election is not a joke nor a game,choosing a president for the most influential nation on this planet is not a light task ,that is why we need to be very careful who we vote for.we need to use good judgement and common sense on who we entrust the destiny of this great nation to ,cuz some people choose according to their basic instinct when it comes to choosing a Leader,we saw that same situation in the case of Jesus,some people chose to follow the pharisees,and still some chose to follow the great freedomfighter.you know some people will always choose darkness when some others will always have the wisdom to choose light and truth,i do not mean that such presidential candidate represents light and such other one represents darkness,you know what i mean is we make choices in life and we are held accountable for the consequences of the choices and decisions we do make,as simple as this.

    January 13, 2008 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  16. Milka

    I certainly don't want liars in the white house. Enough with this!

    January 13, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  17. Mary, Boston, MA

    I agree with many of the posted comments on this issue: Enough already!! Let's not reduce this great race to the lone issue of race. I started out with democratic leanings but had not made up my mind about which candidate to support. Here's what I've noticed:

    1) Sen. Obama came in a close second in the NH primary, but there was a knee-jerk response to his loss - many suggested that race was a factor in that loss, despite the fact that poll numbers had correctly predicted his percentage of the votes, and simply understimated Sen. Clinton's. But when Sen. Clinton lost in Iowa, there was no suggestion of misogyny or sexism among Iowan voters. One win for each candidate, one loss each, fair and square. And I don't see Sen. Clinton looking for excuses, or making any.

    2) Now, Sen. Clinton, who with her husband has a proven track record of supporting and helping the African-American community, is getting flack for suggesting that the Civil Rights Act was the culmination of actions by many (black, white, layperson, politician), not just a few, with all due respect to the defining vision of Rev. King. Sen. Obama called her statement "ill-advised." What a lot of media attention to all of this!! Yet when Sen. Clinton was heckled in NH (a man yelled out to her, "Go iron your husband's shirts," or something to that effect), it barely registered as a blip on the media radar. That's a double standard. Is sexism or misogyny somehow "OK?"

    I'm a woman of color, and I find that Sen. Clinton doesn't look for excuses, fights hard and fair, speaks substantively about the issues, and seeks to rise above the issue of her gender. Now that's a president.

    January 13, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  18. Steve

    "Please, conrades [sp], don't make this drastic mistakes. Away with Hill."

    Comrades? Showing your true colors?

    January 13, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  19. Michael Graham

    Who are we going to vote into the White House?
    we'd better be careful who we vote for cuz it has to do with someone inthe hands of whom we will put the future of this great nation at a certain degree.are we going to vote for Obama or are we going to vote for Hillary Clinton?
    voters,always "look before you leap".

    January 13, 2008 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  20. JCole

    This is in response to the post of JD, Wi

    Obama did not JUST release his economic plan – it was released 4 months ago long before the economy became the #1 issue of the campaign!!!

    I agree with you that it is "shockingly embarrassing" that a candidate would copy a plan off of another candidate – but once you look at the facts, it's clear to see that it is Hillary Clinton who is doing the copying. She changes her campaign to fit whatever she thinks will get her elected. Obama has been talking about change long before it was the term used by all candidates. Obama released a detailed economic plan long before the recent media attention on the economy.

    If you don't agree with Obama on the issues, then by all means don't vote for him – but most of the negative stuff I hear about him is false:

    He was/is a Muslim – FALSE (read the recent Newsweek article that talks about these false accusations

    He doesn't have experience – He has more elected experience than Hillary

    He distorted Hillary's comments – HE never said anything about these comments, it was the media and various others who voiced their concern.

    I just hope that we don't put our country's future in jeopardy because people believe whatever they hear and are too lazy to try to find out the facts for themselves!!!

    January 13, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  21. wyane

    My friends volunteered so much for Hillary in S.Carolina. After they heard what she said in NH, they stopped and they are not going to vote for her. This shows how serious those remarks were to be taken lightly or better yet vote for this woman in the white house. I am glad they expressed their feeling by doing what is right.
    I am was for a woman as a woman who have been so much for a woman president but I need some dignigty and respect especially when it come to Dr. King. Enough with Clintons!

    January 13, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |


    This was your comment:

    January 13, 2008 1:29 pm ET

    I sure hope people begin to see the light. Obama understands english I hope, he needs to come out in public and tell Bill Clinton that I was not makinf a Fairy Tale racist remark. Shoud he not then why would we want a president who allows his camp to go around and spread untrue remarks. Obama is sure not ready to be prsident of the United States I think, don't you we need a president who understands english. I wonder why so many blacks do not understank english.

    I think the majority of Blacks would be able to correct you on the following:

    1) "that I was not makinf " – It's spelled MAKING
    2) "Shoud he not then why would we want a president " – NOT A SENTENCE
    3)"Obama is sure not ready " – INCORRECT GRAMMAR
    4)"prsident " – IT'S SPELLED PRESIDENT
    5)"I think, don't you we need a president " – NOT A SENTENCE/INCORRECT GRAMMAR
    6)"understank " – IT'S SPELLED UNDERSTAND

    Perhaps you should learn how to speak and spell english correctly before you accuse black America of not being able to understand the english language!

    OBAMA 08

    January 13, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  23. Amelie

    Everyone knows Obama would sooner or later try to turn this campaign into a racial issue for lack of substance to further fuel his campaign. Sooner or later, people will realize that motherhood rhetorics is nice and comforting, but it is not the rhetorics that will change things for Americans.

    Its sad that Obama is running for Presidency so soon, when he could stand back and be a better president in the next election.

    Voting for Hillary now could be a turning point in American history when finally, a woman of exceptional intelligence and experience can show how capable she can be to effect real and lasting change.

    Hillar is my woman!!

    January 13, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  24. ken

    Elaine January 13, 2008 6:41 pm ET

    Why doesn't anyone talk about Obama's lies? When running for senator, he raised his hand and swore to the people of Illinois that he would not run for president, but would serve out his term as senator. Umm, I think he's declared himself a candidate for president without serving even one term. More importantly, he has missed 85% of the time the senate has been in session. Tell me, would anyone reading this get a promoition at their job if they missed that much time? I doubt they'd even HAVE a job, let alone get a promotion to the highest position!
    While I voted for Obama once, I won't make the mistake again. I would suggest to eveyone reading this to get all the facts before they vote for him!

    We know you are a Hillary supporter and you have no shame to say anything for people to jump into your bandwagon but nobody would fall for this. Obama is respectable and he doesn't distort other people's records like Hillary does.

    Go Obama!

    January 13, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  25. Dina hernandez

    Honestly whom is running the politic in this country ? THE MEDIA or THE POLITICIANS wether we like or not this is HISTORICAL ELECTION in
    America history Since That IN GOD WE TRUST let's hope for the BEST PICK
    I still like Hillary with her up and downs a least we know her history of public service as well her privates life. she is a woman after all she speak as she feels
    and takes a Woman to Lift a nother Woman

    OBAMA is OK well spoken person new face in politic Magical for atracting
    big crows but he worried me because he sound like those products
    AS YOU SEE ON TV promising mirecles and after you buy and try it
    Booom wrong no as spected . Can we afford that another intraining in the job!!!

    GOD Please bless us, one of each of us open our minds to pick what is best
    for this beloved country and open our hearth to new out come

    January 13, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
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