April 12th, 2008
11:25 AM ET
15 years ago

Clinton backer: Superdelegates need to consider 'bitter' remark


Watch Sen. Bayh talk with reporters Saturday.

INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana (CNN) -– Sen. Evan Bayh, Hillary Clinton’s top backer in the May 6 primary state of Indiana, argued Saturday that superdelegates need to evaluate Barack Obama’s “bitter” remarks when deciding who to back for the Democratic nomination.

“I think it’s a real potential political problem and it’s something for superdelegates and voters to think about,” said Bayh, who was made available to reporters by the Clinton campaign to speak about the controversy.

“The far right wing has a very good track record of using things like this relentlessly against our candidates, whether its Al Gore or John Kerry,” Bayh said, “I’m afraid this is the kind of fodder they might use to harm him.”

The popular Indiana senator said Republicans were able to tarnish Kerry’s war record and turn Gore into a “serial fibber,” and predicted they will “use this to damage Barack, the Democratic party, and ultimately frustrate the change that we need in this country.”

Asked if there was some truth to Obama’s remarks, made at a San Francisco fundraiser last Sunday, Bayh acknowledged there is “frustration and some justifiable anger” in America because of economic hard times.

But Bayh disagreed with Obama’s depiction of economically downtrodden Pennsylvanians, a characterization Clinton called “elitist and out of touch" in her own remarks earlier in the day.

“I think you’re on dangerous ground when you morph that into suggesting that people’s cultural values, whether its religion or hunting and fishing or concerns about trade, are premised solely upon those of kind of anxieties and don’t have a legitimate foundation independent of them,” Bayh said.

- CNN Political Producer Peter Hamby

soundoff (122 Responses)
  1. Nick

    wow, just like that?

    April 12, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  2. Meg

    And who is Bayh?

    April 12, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  3. Tom Lee

    Hillary is so far behind she'll do anything to trash Barack Obama

    April 12, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  4. dan

    Hi All,

    Yes, I'm a voter from Pennsylvania.

    I AM frustrated that politicians have been ineffective in helping the populace.

    I AM angry that entrenched politicians like Gov Rendell are more interested in playing political games than in effecting change.

    I AM BITTER that the fools who run for office say whatever they need to to get elected, and do nothing after the election.

    It is time for a change.

    Don't harangue Obama for speaking the TRUTH as he sees it. That will certainly NOT get you my vote.

    April 12, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  5. Over it

    Really? The Super delegates should throw out the national contests because he described jobless frustrated people as bitter?

    I am bitter, he's right.

    This campaign is getting silly and my respect for Hillary has taken a nose dive these past few months.

    April 12, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  6. Wow...

    you have got to be joking...

    April 12, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  7. Joe Green

    This is all they have on Obama, one remark that unemployed people might be bitter.

    Meanwhile, Hilary tells outright lies and her Husband takes $50 million in bribes and.....

    ...we're not supposed to notice?

    This country is messed up...

    April 12, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  8. Rick

    All I would have to say to that is – Don't you think the Republican's would have a field day with the "serial fibber" Clinton? There is more than enough ammo out there already, and that is just what we know!

    April 12, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  9. Glenn; Bakersville, NC.

    As a former Pennsylvanian I lost my job, filed bankruptcy, was foreclosed on, and had to appeal for my unemployment to finally get it 4 months after I initially filed.

    To say I was bitter is an understatement to the magnitude of “When Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans it sure was wet outside!” I’m just glad there’s a presidential candidate who is not afraid to tell it straight. To have someone like Clinton or McCain blowing smoke up my butt and tell me it’s a cloud with a silver lining just stokes fuel to my fire.

    People cling to their guns partly in anger because of facts like the 2nd amendment is repeatedly threatened by people like them, cling to their religion and go to their churches to pray partly in anger because the cries to their government have repeatedly fallen of deaf ears. These are facts that grownups tell to other grown ups. I used my gun to put meat on the table while there was no income coming in, and prayed for work when I didn’t think there was any coming. I was angry about jobs going overseas, and illegal immigrants taking jobs from starving Americans. McCain and Clinton just don’t get it, and now she is so desperate to win, she sets this thing up with the blogger and tape recorder. Then McCain jumps right on the Clinton Sunshine bandwagon. It sickens me to see for opposing parties how much alike they can be!

    People are pissed off, and there’s plenty of blame to go around. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve heard “The snipers shouldn’t have missed in Bosnia!” or “Can’t Cheney take Bush on a hunting trip sometime?!” or “The Zuni rocket hit the wrong plane on the Forrestal!” or “An American hating Black man won’t last a day in the White House!” There’s a lot of anger in America today, and job losses, record oil prices, record gas prices, a recession, and a stock market being supported by the US Government’s main bank is doing nothing but throwing gas on the fire.

    On the positive side, I’ve heard more people say that at least there is one candidate who is willing to inspire while being realistic without flip-flopping. That man is Senator Obama. He has sparked hope, and hit the issues head on. That is what grown up Americans are looking for, a refreshing change from a realist not an elitist. So he had to explain it to “Latte sipping elitists” in a manner that they can fathom. Does that make him less of a candidate or more??? I say more!

    I appreciate him keeping it real, and I hope he doesn’t cave in and apologize for anything he said. As one of the small town Americans that fit into his description, I say “Tell it like it is!”

    OBAMA ‘08

    April 12, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  10. Reality Check

    Superdelegates must take note of this slur by Sen. Obama. He has insulted the very people Democrats need in order to win in Nov. While people are bitter about the economy, that does not make them drug-using, gun toting bigots who use religion in a negative way. It is shocking that a mainstream candidate would make such an outrageous comment. Obama is unelectable in Nov.

    April 12, 2008 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  11. Perplexed

    Ah, so this is what it boils down to, Superdelegates. Hillary is so, so sick. Pennsylvanians, please send her away with her head between her legs crying. She does not deserve your votes!

    April 12, 2008 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  12. demo crazy

    Hillary and her followers: blah blah blah

    April 12, 2008 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  13. Sean

    OMG i am so sick of the Clinton campaign pouncing at every single thing you guys are like a pack of hungry wolves enough already

    April 12, 2008 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  14. Andrew

    Yeah and the Bosnia lies arent going to be used. And the NAFTA flip-flop isnt going to be used. If Al Gore was a serial fibber, we're gonna have to come up with new language to be able to describe how often Hillary lies.

    April 12, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  15. Misty

    Hillary Clinton– we are sick of you and your twisted words.

    April 12, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  16. Corey, Maryland

    Sorry that Obama is speaking the truth, which is something Hillary doesn't do to often. There is absolutely NOTHING wrong with what he said, you are just trying to get some media coverage of your sinking campaign!! YOU CANT WIN HILLARY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Obama Richardson 08!!!

    April 12, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  17. Jeff

    They should also consider Bosnia, Mark Penn, Bill Clinton suspicious businesses, Peter Paul, Travel gate, pastor wright, and everything...

    April 12, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  18. Cheryl

    I think it's very disingenious to suggest that the Republicans have so much they can use against an Obama candidancy and nothing against a Clinton candidancy. Who has more baggage and fodder than the Clintons. Let's stop this "win at any cost" doctrine.

    The reality of the situation is people ARE frustrated. People ARE angry. And anyone that doesn't believe and recognize that is just plain ignorant. Stop the political bull. Enough is enough!

    I wish the Clinton campaign would stop trying to muddy the waters every chance they can get. They can try to worsen Obama's chances for election, but he will be the Democratic nominee, and he will win!!!

    Accept it, people are ready for change.

    April 12, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  19. hrao

    I think every one should cool it. Let voters decide if Obama offended them.

    April 12, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  20. Dan , TX

    So Bayh basically agrees with Obama, but if you take a certain (mis)interpretation of Obama's words it can sound as though it is not completely accurate. Huh?

    What's clear is that Bayh agrees with Obama but can't say it because he's a Hillary supporter.

    April 12, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  21. gary

    America will wake up someday. They will find out who O.B. really is. He dont care about us ,just our votes. He showed that when New Orleans took a back seat. Hrc is our only true canidate that has shown time after time how much she cared for us. She fights hard to keep making things right for us.O.B. is just in this race for himself ,and making history.

    April 12, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  22. IveyLeague

    Where was this Media and Public outrage concerning Mark Penn. This is unbelievable.

    Yes, I AM.... bitter. Yes, I AM... frustrated. Yes, I AM voting for Obama.

    Thanks for being the voice of ALL Americans. How do you describe your feeling on the economy.

    Optimistic... Positive... This is the kind of media spin that leave the USA year after year and decade after decade in complacency.

    April 12, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  23. Todd In farmcountry Pennsylvania

    Todd In farmcountry Pennsylvania April 12th, 2008 12:38 pm ET
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    What Obama is saying, is that Pennsylvanians, similar to myself, who group up in central PA have seen a generation of legislators claim there support for us during election cycles, and go to Washington only to throw those promises out the window. Do we get bitter at that … YES .. The second half of the comment is very true as well. When you take economic agendas off the table, what is there. Well, you fall back on your sense of religious values to determine your voting alignment. I am An Evangelical Christian who grew up in the NRA. So by default, I am a Republican.. RIGHT?! (scratching head at this logic) I actually had a so-called friend of mine call my wife a baby killer, because we dared to mention that we were listening to Obama, and were going to start suppporting him. ONE ISSUE defined his political makeup.. nothing else. OBAMA IS DEAD ON.. and as for the Clinton's yes they are part of that same generation of leaders (and no I don't mean age I mean a time frame in politics) that supported big business over "WE THE PEOPLE" … hopefully people aren't offended by my caps, but they were thoughtfully placed…

    May God bless Obama's campaign!

    April 12, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  24. Average Joe

    “The far right wing has a very good track record of using things like this relentlessly against our candidates".

    I guest Hillary is to the far right. Need I say more.

    Dare to publish CNN.

    April 12, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  25. marie

    I cant believe Hillary, she will say or do anything to take the focus off of herself. He was telling the truth, but you will never know because you have 109 million

    April 12, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
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