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. mike d

    insert foot in mouth now Hillary

    January 13, 2008 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  2. stan pitts pa

    folks once again our country is not a monarchy, its a democracy, im tired of the bush-clinton-bush dynasty, the white house does not belong to the clintons or the bushes, lets send them a message, its our white house not theirs!

    January 13, 2008 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  3. Sick of all this

    I was a Hillary supporter until I started counting the number of times she has blamed others for her mistakes. This is a typical Clinton campaign machine tactic from Bill's first run.

    Buried in her stilted verbage, she had a minor point, but not only did she blow it by bringing up MLK, she was also insulting Mr. Obama's track record of involvement in the causes he has fought for, by insinuating he was only giving speeches about change instead of taking action.

    Quit pointing fingers and just admit you could have phrased it better, and move on. Maybe have a cry about it.

    I'm also fed up with the claim of "35 years of experience." What experience? Being an attorney? Being married to a politician with dubious character and judgment?

    My vote has long since left Ms. Clinton.

    January 13, 2008 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  4. DemDivide

    Brilliant strategy, Hillary. First alienate African Americans, and then alienate Obama supporters. That will be a sure fire way to win the White House. Everything you have done to get the Dem nod will be forgotten, and those alienated by your camp will surely get temporary amnesia and vote for YOU in the general election. Sounds perfectly logical doesn't it. Hmmm...always wondered why she didn't run in '04, now I am beginning to understand. She is a closeted republican sent to divide the democratic party. Well, give credit well credit is due, she is now successful at this if nothing else.

    January 13, 2008 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  5. Anthony

    Obama doesn't look so pretty and hopeful when he plays the usual political game.

    January 13, 2008 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  6. Ken

    In a sense, both Obama and Clinton are quite arrogant when trumpeting the respective icons of the civil rights movement that support their own campaigns. No one would deny the immense impact that both Martin Luther King Jr. and the Kennedy-Johnson administration had in the progression towards racial equality. Yet, without the rank and file – the countless, nameless people who stood up, fought, and were repressed for this – there would have been no "movement". Change doesn't come from one person alone, though one person may have a significant impact. Change comes from all of the choices that people at any given moment make to act, or not, on what they believe is right.

    January 13, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  7. Jayne

    hillary going to shed A tear over this? No one can hurt this woman's feelings. Notice how she keeps bringing the subject up, will her plan is to keep it out in the media to make people think she is being picked and will get more sympathy. She and Bill are pathetic Not clever, just pathetic. There are no lengths or words she would go to to win the president position. She has bashed Bush for all of his term, now all of a sudden she wants to work with him on economic plan, another ploy to look like the fairy godmother. If she has cared about this country she would have extended the olive branch long before she wasn't looking for votes. Young voters need to look at this woman's past record, she will tell each group what they want to hear when she is with them then in turn do the opposite. Hillary will ruin this country.

    January 13, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  8. Joe

    What distortion? MLK was merely a divisive leader that helped provoke militant activities among African Americans. The Great Socialist (probably Hillary's hero) signed the Civil Rights Act, along with creating many of the "Great Society" handouts that are still abused today.

    January 13, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  9. S Carey, Sacramento, CA

    It surely seems that Hillary and Bill simply are incapable of thinking before they speak - and that is hardly a "good thing" in a Presidential family. Let's get real - Obama and Edwards have been, are and continue to be exceptionally credible and the VERY BEST THING that could come of all of this nonsense would be for the two of them to emerge as our ticket in the 2008 election. Hillary, I am sorry, babe - I wanted like the dickens to be able to support you - unfortunately, I just can't trust you, your instincts or or your judgment.

    January 13, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  10. Laz

    What truly is distorted is the fact that Bill, an immoral ex-president, who now takes the liberty to twist words and divising the black community.

    Black Americans know that the Clintons are now trust worthy, power mongers and shame to race relations.

    Black Americans are for Obama and we know affirm our support for Obama !!!!!!!!!

    January 13, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  11. Linda, Chandler AZ

    Hillary Clinton put her foot in her mouth, big time and is trying to blame Obama for the backlash. Obama has said NOTHING about this, nor has any of his advisers. SHE did this to HERSELF. And it's not the first time she's said something she either later tried to blame on someone else or has had to apologize for. Could we please end this childish, school-yard ranting we call politics in this country and finally elect a leader, who will unite instead of divide us?

    Obama '08

    January 13, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  12. Charles

    Sen. Clinton is so unoriginal; she changed her position on giving drivers licenses to illegal immigrants when the polls were unfavorable of her position...what a PHONY! She portrayed herself as the best qualified and toughtest candidate to be president until she lost Iowa and the New Hampshire polls indicated the same outcome. Suddently, Hillary's not so tough...she can publicly get all teary eyed. Would she have done the same if the polls were in her favor? One answer...NOPE; what a PHONY! Last week she spat out that by Sen. Obama using analogies from Dr. King and JFK in his speeches to substantiate the power of hope, he was in some way attacking her and giving Americans false hopes. Now today...she's using the same analogies that she criticized Sen. Obama about in her rallies...WHAT A PHONY! She's running a campaign that will say or do whatever works, you just can't tell who she is! America, do not elect this fictitious clone of a leader!

    January 13, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  13. Sue, Michigan

    The Clintons are right on this one. This is being use as a devisive issue to gain Obama black support. You have to be suspect whenever Jesse Jackson wants to add his two cents of commentary.
    Let the people listen to the comments and decide. I don't think we need things reinterpreted for us constantly by Edwards and Obama, and even Clinton on some issues. We need to decide for ourselves, and when other voices start telling us what THEY think someone said, it just muddies the playing field.
    Tell me what YOU will do, not what someone else WON'T do, please.

    January 13, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  14. Jose Card - Independent

    At least, Hillary has learned not to let Bill explain anything for her before she is elected.

    January 13, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  15. Duane

    Bill & Hillary both made mistakes in their choice of words. Their emotions got the best of them. Only when they can admit what they said was wrong, no amount of spin or finger pointing is going to make it better for either one of them.

    January 13, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  16. Mark

    The Obama campaign and the media has taken portions of the Clinton speeches and distorted them into a racial frenzy. This election does not need to be about race, gender, or religion, but about who will represent this country with experience. Hillary is the candidate ready for day one. There is no time in the presidential term for learning. The president must be experienced and ready on day one. Shame on the media and Obama campaign for distorting these speeches and making them something they are not.

    January 13, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  17. Jared

    I am a life long Democrat.

    If these two win the primaries.

    I will vote Republican.

    No question about it.

    January 13, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  18. Richard Van Barriger

    Hilary is the one who's distorting the facts. The Civil Rights Act passed because of President Kennedy, whose friendship with MLK is well known. Lyndon Johnson was no champion of civil rights until he took up the cause after Kennedy's asassination, when public support for the bill had grown tremendously. Obama wins this one, are you kidding me.

    January 13, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  19. Richard Marlia

    I have noticed tha Barack Obama has thrown the name of Martin Luther King into his speeches and even imitates his style of speech.
    I think that the Clintons are merely trying to point this out if it was not already obvous to most people..

    I believe that it is disrespectful and that he is obviously trying to use it as a ploy to sway black voters.

    Martin Luther King did not change course like Obama did on the war.
    Mr. Obama is setting himself up for a "Senator you are no Martin Luther King" remark .

    I hope that people will begin to analyze the opponents records and that they will be questioned bout the votes they have cast and decisions they have made.

    January 13, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  20. aj

    Did i miss the memo???? WHEN DID BILL CLINTON BECOME THE "BLACK JESUS AND SAVIOR" TO BLACK PEOPLE. I am black and I have never felt the Clintons came in and pulled me up by my boot straps. Please! Stop giving these people the power. That's why they are so arrogant and think they rule the world.

    I would love to make history with the first female President, but it is NOT HILLARY CLINTON. I hope my comments don't make the Hillary supporters cry. Afterall, you want to play the "female" card when it's convenient.

    The Clintons are not liked by the media, not because they are being hard on poor Hillary. The Clintons have made enemies over the years, and I think it's payback. They are rude, arrogant, and treated their staff in the White House like hired hands. STOP THE HILLARY PITTY PARTY!

    January 13, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  21. Bruce, San Francisco,CA

    I think Bill Clinton 'might win' this election..........................and whats this talk about a woman president??

    January 13, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  22. Afroz-ME

    Oh camp Clinton, when will you learn?
    This doesn't help you look better in the publics eye, it just makes you sound more elitist. Dr. King was a great man and every person, including your rivals in the primary have the right to interpret his words as they please, so please stop your complaining no one cares.......I mean unless you start shedding some tears again.

    January 13, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  23. Jake, California

    Why does Hillary believe that she has to be the president before Obama's dreams and ideas can be realized...this in it self is degrading!

    When Obama is president he will get his own 'things done' you don't need to be the one to do it.

    Movement leader Obama's dreams will begin to be realized when President Obama passes Acts to de-polarize America and re-engineer Washington politics. It does not require a President Clinton!

    January 13, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  24. Jen Cedar Falls, IA

    Bill Clinton message was as clear as a bell: Obama's ability to become President of the United States of America is the biggest Fairy Tale he's ever heard of.
    Now he has to back pedal------AGAIN! You could tell Hillary was MIFFED at him the next day by

    January 13, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  25. Chief

    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."

    I don't see were the Obama camp could be distoring any remarks. Your statement speaks for its self. Bill and Hillary will say anything to get a vote. HRC, you cried in NH to get votes, I cannot wait to see your next "soft" moment.

    January 13, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22