April 11th, 2008
05:57 PM ET
15 years ago

Clinton hits Obama over 'bitter' comment

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/04/11/art.clintoncomment.ap.jpg caption="Clinton is seizing on a recently reported Obama comment."]

(CNN) - Democrat Hillary Clinton is seizing on comments Barack Obama recently made in which he said some Pennsylvanians who have lost their jobs are "bitter."

"It's being reported that my opponent said that the people of Pennsylvania who face hard times are bitter," Clinton said during a campaign event in Philadelphia. "Well that's not my experience. As I travel around Pennsylvania. I meet people who are resilient, optimist positive who are rolling up their sleeves."

"Pennsylvanians don't need a president who looks down on them," she said. "They need a president who stands up for them, who fights hard for your future, your jobs, your families."

Obama's comments were reported earlier Friday by the Web site Huffingtonpost.com. The Web site says he made them at a fundraising event in San Francisco last Sunday. On Friday evening, it posted audio of the comments that verified their accuracy.

"You go into these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing's replaced them...And they fell through the Clinton administration, and the Bush administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not," he said.

"And it's not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations," he also said.

McCain's campaign also criticized the comment Friday. "It shows an elitism and condescension towards hardworking Americans that is nothing short of breathtaking," said Steve Schmidt, a senior advisor to McCain. "It is hard to imagine someone running for president who is more out of touch with average Americans."

(UPDATE: The Obama campaign responds after the jump)

Obama campaign spokeswoman Jen Psaki would not confirm Obama made the comments.

"No one from our press office was there - we don't have a campaign recording–we are neither confirming nor refuting."

UPDATE: The Obama campaign released a statement in response to the criticism: "Senator Obama has said many times in this campaign that Americans are understandably upset with their leaders in Washington for saying anything to win elections while failing to stand up to the special interests and fight for an economic agenda that will bring jobs and opportunity back to struggling communities," said Obama spokesman Tommy Vietor.

"And if John McCain wants a debate about who's out of touch with the American people, we can start by talking about the tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans that he once said offended his conscience but now wants to make permanent.”

Filed under: Hillary Clinton
soundoff (658 Responses)
  1. Ratgurl

    Is it me, or does Hillary's campaign sound more childish each day?

    April 11, 2008 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  2. Edith Stafford

    Hillary Clinton needs to stop the nit picking at Barack Obama, here she goes again as soon as she is threatened by losing she starts this dirty pool attacks on Obama demostrating that she is a sorely sour grapes poor looser. Hillary you can't always have it your way. Stop whinning!!!
    OBAMA 08

    April 11, 2008 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  3. Carolyn


    April 11, 2008 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  4. Brett

    Haha. Look at all you scared Obama supporters. You know that there's no coming back now!

    April 11, 2008 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  5. Debo

    Now who are the ones calling Obama an elitist? You mean the woman who became wealthy because her husband is selling American jobs to foreign countries or is it the man who supports tax cuts for the wealthiest 1% of Americans. Obama, the elitist? I think not. More like he is the people's candidate who's tired of the special interests and lobbyists running this country.

    Clinton and McCain, go back to your wealth and leave governing to the people.

    April 11, 2008 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  6. BluecolorworkerinPA

    She is not talking for me. She is full of lobbyist and her husband is a liar not forgetting how she has lied of recent. I rather have Obama who has less ties to lobbyists. It is high time Hlllary to drop out of this race!

    April 11, 2008 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  7. Yeshi

    The sake of the Democratic party and this beautiful country and its wonderful people, please show the exit for Hillary. She is becoming self distractive, please, do her a favor; save her from her self .

    April 11, 2008 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  8. L. Patton, Martha's Vineyard

    . . . .Is Hillary the type of person anyone wants for president? She lies
    with such a straight face. This is disrespect to the American people.
    You would have to have a low IQ to fall for anything she says. No wonder
    more educated voters are for Obama. One would have to be dishonest like her to vote for her.

    April 11, 2008 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
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