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. Nanger

    First of all, Hillary Clinton brought up the race card. She is the one who brought up the MLK's and the LBJ"s situation. Its clearly now that she is trying to play the victim again. Why are the clintons so twisted, they take something and make something bad out of it. The only thing that Obama did is he replied to her comments and now she's blaming Obama for something that she brought up in the fist place... THATS HOW DISGUSTING the CLINTONS ARE!!!! How do you start to trust someone like that as president!!??

    OBAMA '08'

    January 13, 2008 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  2. erik

    I am a obama supporter, and I have HAD no problem with Senator Clinton but as of recent i don't like her campain plan, she keeps attacking Obama. The comments made by Clinton where not good ones, and they deserve to be brought to the people. I really don't mind Cliton to much but i would much rather have Obama's change to hers.

    January 13, 2008 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  3. leon adams

    mrs.clinton isnt ready for change if your an african american you would be nuts to disagree with facts!the fact are, we as a group of u.s citizins need a divine leader who will secure us a nation of equal human beings.mr.obama gives us that energy to belive that a chage of the american people is worth DYING for...........
    Listen to your absent minds, who would make up such degrading statements if not true.Something was said and has been uncovered. hillary has experience, and has a nice heart, yet we do not know her thoughts and wishes for us ,and our ones to come.You cant win my vote with sympathy, yet you stand a greater chance with empathy. THINK ABOUT IT

    January 13, 2008 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  4. Hillarylover in Texas

    Obama campaign has turned sour. They are not getting the support they thought they would from african americans. Which speaks volumes. They are not voting for him because of this – they are voting for who they think can do the job.

    You know we hear alot about experience not being important. But it truly is. Would you take your car to get a brake job with someone who has no experience. You need someone who can get into the meat. That is Clinton.

    No matter what is being written on these blogs – Hillary has so much support out there. From every race to men and women.

    January 13, 2008 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  5. Mike, California

    Cant everyone see that Bob Johnson means more harm to America than anoyone else? He has that BET station that encourages young people to be gangsters and especially to USE AND ABUSE BLACK WOMEN in their music videos? At least Obama is trying to hep us get united not!
    I am utterly surprise that Hillary will allow a person like Bob Johnson to come close to her!

    January 13, 2008 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  6. Casey

    A lot of African Americans who originally supported Obama, and now turned off by him by playing victim. He really needs to stop and campaign on his strengths – which isn't spanish or his terrible attempts at evoking Dr. Kings innotations in his speeches.

    January 13, 2008 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  7. joe

    Hillary and Bill make me sick spin lie spin lie devide and conquer !

    Stand up to this America !

    Lets Change it all

    Obama/Edwards 08 please !!

    And maybe pass a law banning any Clinton and Bush realative from ever holding office because really they are the same monster !

    January 13, 2008 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  8. Uma, mpls, MN

    Obma is a power hunger guy and can use any remarks if he think that can use to gain power. He has to understand that when he was looking for drug on the street Hillary was working for African American Community.

    Barack and your campaign staffers, shame on you for pulling Bill's and Hillary's statement for political gain. I am democrat and i feel i want to throw- up when i hear Obama's s empty speeches.

    January 13, 2008 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  9. PA Guy

    Your safe Huck.....He only goes after Dems
    Edwards is up to no good already. On CNN, he claims how he and Obama are so much alike on issues. LOL....I can see how this next debate is going to go! The guy is really scratching. I am looking forward to the next debate. My only hope is that the debate with Tim Russert is a REAL DEBATE! Not like the love fest we saw last time between Obama and Edwards. Russert should "NOT" allow this to happen. Stick to issues. Obama and Edwards truly displayed their weakness after that fine display of debating.

    January 13, 2008 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  10. Tom Whitcum

    Obama has a lot to worry about.
    Clinton did a good job on Meet the Press.

    What's next? Inspirational Leadership.

    I believe that the American people will finally realize that Hillary is a very powerful force never seen in politics before.

    Hillary is capable of producing tremendous progress. She already has! But when progress is made within herself AND the people of this country, then real change occurs. All in the spirit of progress, and progress means progress for all.

    The generator behind all this is Hillary’s natural talent of Inspirational Leadership, that can lift all kinds of people out of the ashes and into the future era of fulfilling their dreams, not just at home but worldwide.

    Obama has little to offer that is workable, besides promises; he has a very long and difficult road ahead.

    For Hillary, this time, it’s more than change, it’s hard work, and it’s real progress,
    and it’s time to feel good again!

    January 13, 2008 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  11. James D

    The media is so subtle, and push their agendas in such subliminal fashions... enough to lure people who don't understand the game (like tina, ny... and many others here) to suggest that Obama has taken a racial stand in his campaign. How absurd is that? One can at least give a Lawyer enough credit to understand that Blacks are only 12% of this population – and that it would not be beneficial to stand for that minute percentage alone? All of you folks implying this must not be THINKING, or surely must think the man is stupid.

    You folks are being victims of the politics of the media coupled with a character-degrading campaign and, reacting exactly the way they 'calculated' that you would! Obama has never raised any racial static, he knows better than that. And I can guarantee all of you here that out of respect/love for his mother he knows he is not just Black, he knows he is standing for the White part of his being as well. This is a man who was raised by his White mother. All of you guys here know that he is not just Black.

    The man has run a positive campaign, does his best to dismiss and ignore any political/racial trap set for him – because he knows the little chance he has is to work with everybody, THE LITTLE CHANCE HE HAS, THE VERY LITTLE CHANCE HE HAS – yet you folks don't see that! Don't mess it up for him, play it fair!

    Obama is a different being, and many in their human-like thinking just can’t see that. Can he administer the country? Yes; fairly, he can! But alas, I don't even know why he's running because he could never pass! He could never pass because he has to fight too many adversaries, too many who don't credit him, too many who are competing racially, and ultimately deal with a world that refers to a child of a White and a Black simply as Black – and puts him/her in a category!

    Oh no, he could never pass! And it's sad!

    PS. It was a matter of time until it comes to this.

    January 13, 2008 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  12. Carol

    Both Hillary and Bill's comments were taken out of content and there is no doubt about it. Democrats cannot let race and gender tear the party apart. Both black and white democrats need to stick together in order to beat the Republicans this November. Bottom line Hillary needs African Americans and men to vote for her and Obama needs Caucasians and women to vote for him in order to win this election. Lets let them debate the issues and try not to read into every word they say turning it into a race or gender issue. We have an opportunity to elect the first African American or female President but that will not happen if we divide the party up because of race and gender. If we keep this civil we may even have the ultimate Presidential ticket with both of them running on the same ticket for President and Vice President.

    January 13, 2008 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  13. Anonymous

    Quit your whineing Hillary....get over it! You are responsible for your remarks....

    January 13, 2008 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  14. Sad to Say

    Just stop calling the Clintons racist because they are not. But their supporters sure are listen to the anger behind the comments. You all need to stop attacking Senator Obama with your lies he is not and I hope he will not engage in the race card. Race issues have come from Hilliary and Bill. I know because I have heard what they said and got offended myself. This is not somethig I read I actually heard and understood what they both said and I am not stupid either.

    January 13, 2008 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  15. Nicolas Smith

    No wonder Mrs Clinton won the non educated and old women vote in New Hampshire. But the young educated individuals and middle class who are behind Obhama have the sociological, philosophical knowledge to read behind the lines of their comments. The Clinton's along with the Bush's know what it takes to stay in power which are fear and illiteracy.

    Oh ! I have to go to work in the morning in Harlem close to Bill Clinton's office which has addicts and hustlers on every corner; is that the work the Clinton"s did for Black New Yorkers? Surrounding yourself in a black neighborhood and doing nothing to help the poor and destitute.

    It is time for actvisism and change in America. The experience of Senator Clinton help Bush to lead America into war and now that we are almost in a recession she proposes a 70 billion handout. That is old party politics. Thanks to Mr and Mrs Clinton the political pundits can now sell newspapers and air time because race and gender has raised its ugly head. Remember Mr Obhama has yet to personally comment on any race and gender issues agianst the Clinton's.
    Ignorance and progangda will not give you victory Mrs Hillary.

    January 13, 2008 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  16. Mario

    No noby distorted anything, Clinton's lying again, when will you people learn!

    Go Mitt!

    January 13, 2008 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  17. Erin D.

    Obama did not make these statements, you did Hilary. However, it is just like a politician to turn bad statements they have made around for their benefit. In Hilary's case, she is once again making herself out to be the victim as she did to narrowly win the NH primary. I don't think it is going to work this time. The MLK jr. statements were a low blow to the African American community.

    Vote Barack Obama if you want change. Being a young American today, I am focused on my future and the future of generations to come. Obama is the man to take us to a new frontier. America can be so much more. We need to regain good relationships with our foriegn neighbors, we need to get out of trillions of dollars worth of debt, and we need to get our troops out of Iraq and back to their families.

    Obama 08'!!!

    January 13, 2008 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  18. B Smith

    I honestly don't see a connection to race based on what was said. I REALLY think Obama wants this to be a "race" issue. All you have to do is study the Clintons and their decades of work in respect to African American issues. They have a legacy that shouldn't be tainted by a novice candidate who is attempting to gain some votes. Obama should be ashamed of himself!

    January 13, 2008 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  19. Tom Davie

    Amazing writes

    ...........Can somebody post the link where Obama said "the clintons were racist...


    Ever heard of the concept of getting your opponent labelled as a racist by a back door way of using a plant so not having to take RESPONSIBILTY for it?

    The facts are, Hillary may have 'stepped' into it, but these OBAMA FOOLS reacted like good little puppets . Mistake by the Obama camp.

    Obama came out to make a statement suggesting that the MLK thing with president Johnson was 'misguided' but he has no official response ????

    That is kind of like having your cake and eat it too.

    Here is the formula

    1) get some disassociated person to sling mud at your opponents comments.

    2) keep quiet about it so you can deny having anything to do with it.

    3) come up with the scam that your OPPONENT said all this to antagonize.

    4) come out of the closet and now point fingers at your opponent suggesting they made it all up to antagonize you.

    Whoopie. Aint life grand ?

    January 13, 2008 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  20. Richard Larson

    The lady is right. As much as Dr. King did to bring about civil rights for people of color, nothing really concrete would have happened if LBJ hadn't signed on and forced a Civil Rights Act through the congress. Many who think rationally about the events of the mid 1960's understand only too well that there were two major reasons behind Johnson's decision to not run for re-election in 1968. The primary, and most public reason was the war in Vietnam. A very real second reason was the fact that the political backlash against the Civil Rights Act, from not only republicans, but his own fellow democrats, many of whom were still in bed with the Klan and other segregationists, would have invited a republican landslide of epic proportions. Nixon's subsequent win was based entirely on his pandering to the White Power leaders of the South. The depth of his win was also based upon, and a direct result of, Johnson's heroic decisions in terms of the entire civil rights message. Why? Well, an additional reason which evolved from the civil rights decision was the "War on Poverty" and the massive growth of programs based on need in terms of education, health, and overall welfare. Dr. King provided great impetus and guidance for the movement, but it would have languished without the acts of President Johnson.

    January 13, 2008 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  21. 1000Steps

    I am a 37 year old who has voted Republican 90% of my life. Obama is not all he is cracked up to (who is?), but I do consider myself an Independent voter and I believe that Obama is someone who I can behind. Convictions and honesty mean the world to me. Unfortunately, Obama and McCain are the only 2 serious candidates that prove that.

    Being that I vote Republican in a strictly fiscal base and the fact that our current administration has gutted us with spending and that whomever takes control will be burdened with a recession from day one, I stand behind Obama as a leader.

    January 13, 2008 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  22. Noans

    I just watched, and carefully listened to, Senator Hillary Clinton on " Meet the Press" today and couldn't believe how she, not only attempted to back-peddle and justify her offense remark about Martin Luther King and her vote for the war, but is now twisting her own record in the process. She's beginning to sound and act like Karl Rove. Senator Clinton's remarks and record are why we need new faces and change in Washington.

    Where was Senator Clinton's concern for the economy and working class when her husband passed NAFTA? She knew full well passing NAFTA, would only benefit corporations and the wealthiest Americans, not American workers, who have, literally, been left out in the cold to fend for themselves. Her concern for the working class and economy, is way too little and way too late. Senator Clinton can't have it both ways. Regarding her judgment and experience, as then Governor, Bill Clinton said, when running for President, "Experience doesn't always count. "

    BTW, it was Senator Obama, not Senator Clinton, who proposed a bill that would put the voting records of all of our Senators and Congressmen and women online. I guess when you've already played the gender and victim cards, you sadly turn to Karl Rove politics. If Senator Clinton wanted to clarify her remarks to the African American community, as well as other communities who found her remarks offensive, she should have begun with how racist and offensive Karl Rove's remarks about Obama were. There's Senator Clinton's experience and judgment, again.

    Her own words have made my decision to support Obama an easy one.

    January 13, 2008 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  23. Staff

    While Barack Obama is campaining in Nevada, The Clintons are coming up with dirty tricks, I can't believe what i'm hearing from this women.. By the way if it wasn't for the hard work of MLK, LBJ's wouldn't have signed that bill into law. She is the one who is bringing us back into the race card, and now she is blaming Obama for it. THE CLINTONS ARE SOO DIRTY!!

    January 13, 2008 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  24. Kim, Dallas, TX

    It amazes me that we have people that would fall for all of this nonsense. When I say something that offends someone else, I apologize; especially if I didn't mean what I said to come off as it did. When Hillary says something offensive, she blames someone else for it. She is really working all of you to make Obama look like trash. Not to mention Bill's own abuse of presence and slanderous remarks. I simply am amazed that we have people falling for it. When will you all get enough of the Clinton's and their slime machine at work. Stop being sheep lead over the edge, it affects all of us when you fall for this kind of garbage.

    January 13, 2008 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  25. John Davidson, San Diego, California

    The Clinton News Network (CNN) with a wolf spinner rides again! Race helps Hillary so build it up! Obama never said what Clinton LIED to Russert about him stating he was a Dr. King or JFK to justify her remarks. Lies, Spin and dirty politics is her only chance ajong with her corporate pals as Time-Warner and Fox! I doubt I will see this comment again!

    January 13, 2008 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
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