April 12th, 2008
07:00 PM ET
15 years ago

Clinton touts her experience with guns

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/04/12/art.hrc2nd0412.ap.jpg caption="Sen. Evan Bayh looks on as Sen. Clinton greets supporters in Valparaiso, Indiana."]
VALPARAISO, Indiana (CNN) - Hillary Clinton appealed to Second Amendment supporters on Saturday by hinting that she has some experience of her own pulling triggers.

“I disagree with Sen. Obama’s assertion that people in our country cling to guns and have certain attitudes about trade and immigration simply out of frustration,” she began, referring to the Obama comments on small-town Americans that set off a political tumult on Friday.

She then introduced a fond memory from her youth.

“You know, my dad took me out behind the cottage that my grandfather built on a little lake called Lake Winola outside of Scranton and taught me how to shoot when I was a little girl,” she said.

“You know, some people now continue to teach their children and their grandchildren. It’s part of culture. It’s part of a way of life. People enjoy hunting and shooting because it’s an important part of who they are. Not because they are bitter.”

Minutes later, in a slightly awkward moment, Clinton faced a question from a woman in the audience whose son had been paralyzed by a gunshot. The woman asked Clinton what she would do about gun control as president.

Clinton touted her husband's record on gun control during his administration, and said "there is not a contradiction between protecting Second Amendment rights" and the effort to reduce crime.

Noting that many hunters and gun collectors want to keep weapons out of the hands of criminals, Clinton referred to her positive childhood experiences with firearms.

"As I told you, my dad taught me how to shoot behind our cottage,” she said. “I have gone hunting. I am not a hunter. But I have gone hunting."

Clinton said she has hunted ducks.

- CNN Political Producer Peter Hamby

soundoff (548 Responses)
  1. Val

    OMG I can not Stand Hillary.

    This is one white woman who will never vote for Hillary.

    I don't want a liar for my president.

    April 12, 2008 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  2. I agree

    Still... that really was not the worst of the implications Obama made by his really dismissive statement.

    What I gathered from it is that Obama thinks people who struggle to build a life for themselves in difficult financial times, tend to find scapegoats for their troubles and project their bitterness as antipathy towards other Americans-especially immigrants, gay people etc.

    And because of this tendency to Cling to the comfort of hate, they are failing to receive his message of hope and change. Another words they are not willing to be saved by him- prefering to cling to God instead.

    Obama thinks these people are too stupid and bitter to vote on the issues like the economy and the war. They just cling to God and guns as they blame others and hate others.

    April 12, 2008 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  3. Jim in Pennsylvania (Undecided No More)

    As a hard-working Pennsylvanian who has been laid off for the past 4 monts, I don't believe that Hilary is anti-trade. I lost my job after 13 years when it was shipped overseas. I used to support the Clintons, but I'm no idiot and I'm not going to be fooled by smoke & mirrors. I don't care what they SAID, I'm looking at what they DID on trade and I don't like it one bit! Clinton said that she opposed NAFTA, but they proved that she promoted it when Bill was President. And how can she be opposed to the Colombian trade deal, if Bill was paid $800,000 to promote it! I am not stupid enough to believe that the Clintons are looking out for me. But guess what–now I AM just bitter enough to vote for Barak O'bama. At least he's not trying to sugarcoat the truth.

    April 12, 2008 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  4. MotherGinSling

    Is that story in the same category as Bosnia sniper fire, or is possibly a true account of her early indoctrination into cold-hearted cruel behavior?

    April 12, 2008 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  5. Alex from IL

    Talk about historical revisionism. During the 1990s, during the Clinton years, restricting firearms was the Democratic Party's big issue. But I suppose she conveniently differers from her husband in this regard, right?

    April 12, 2008 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  6. karen from philly

    I just feel the longer Hillary stays in the primary race the worse it gets for her. She is expecting that something bad would come out of the Obama camp and instead her lies and deceit have been coming out and making her look bad. I guess Karma is finally working.

    April 12, 2008 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  7. ES NYC

    Wow. American politics are a farce!

    Clinton and Mc Cain need to explain themselves for their lies and misspeaks, and Obama need to explain himself because he is speaking thruth.

    If this goes the way Clinton, Mac Cain and their supporter hope the voter will look at it, then i predict that we will have 8 more years and i am sad for those that don't get it.

    April 12, 2008 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  8. ross

    It's obvious Hillary doesn't agree about the peoples' bitter attitudes about trade. She hasn't even fired Penn yet. She's so ridiculous, and the woman with a paralyzed child knows this. That's probably why she asked about gun control.

    April 12, 2008 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  9. Jacqueline, NY

    I have heard a lot of the "bitter" comment controveray and I have a real issue that bothers me. Isn't illegal to record someone without their knowledge? The person who recorded this said that she was disturbed by what he said and turned on her recorder. This could not have happened if she recorded the conversation. She walked there with her tape recorder already on. Smells like a rat.

    I heard the comment and I am still wondering what did Mr. Obama say that was wrong? He told the truth, but, I guess Americans do not like to hear the truth.

    April 12, 2008 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  10. Kevin M

    I don't envy Obama or Clinton. Anything they say is parsed and analyzed so thoroughly and out of context. Hillary and the republican will have a field day with this. Who would even guess that Obama was simply saying that these people deserve economic opportunities to have a more prosperous life.

    April 12, 2008 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  11. Soupy

    She needs to get a grip. The spin is almost out of control.

    April 12, 2008 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  12. GoHillary

    So this is what happens when Obama uses his own words instead of ripping them off somebody else – his true colours become clear.

    Does he think so little of us gun toting, bitter typical white people?

    April 12, 2008 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  13. demo crazy

    she is trying to get attention away from what Billy Boo said about Bosnia, clever, and dirty, but she or her husband will lie before the 4/22 election in PA___ or another goverment will speak about the secret meetings and deals she is making already with such goverments.........these people are liars and will do whatever it takes to get to power, which in turn will give them millions (again)
    mark my words,

    April 12, 2008 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  14. Mikka

    Oh man, the jokes for this one really write themselves!

    April 12, 2008 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  15. Mom Dem

    Exhibit A:
    I realize that there are some well-educated, open-minded, gun-toting, religious citizens out there. SOME. Most citizens fit into only two or three of those categories. People are either enlightened or not. The wealthy can afford enlightenment (college, etc.); the poor that cannot escape the cycle of poverty created by wealthy republicans can only cling to hope–the one hope to which the poor have clung since almost the beginning–religion. Throughout history and at this very moment, more people have been killed for religion than for any other reason.

    April 12, 2008 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  16. Tessa

    Southern Democrat: All three of the candidates have a lot of explaining to do. If you don't believe that people losing their jobs and homes are bitter then you are living a fairy tale (as Bill Clinton likes to say). In fact, you must be living on another planet. If Hillary Clinton can't stand up to the pressure without whining and trying to divert attention from her millions then tell her to get out of the game. The pot needs to stop calling the kettle black – they are both BLACK in case you haven't noticed. It is time someone tell it like it is. No one is looking down on small town America and you know it.

    April 12, 2008 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  17. Barbara-California

    My God, does she ever know how to "milk a story!" She is definitely a "compulsive/obsessive" person. She keeps picking up on everything anyone else says, then puts her own twist to it, to make it sound like her opinion is the only thing that is true and "counts." How "looney" is this woman anyway?

    April 12, 2008 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  18. MCQ

    I just cannot trust hillary's "fond memory " on anything. NAFT, Bosnia, stock market deals, Mr Paul (2000 Senate fundraising). At her age, Bill has admitted she has lost thoughts when commenting on a blast from the past.

    OBAMA 08

    April 12, 2008 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  19. the point

    The point is not feeling bitterness or believing in the right to bear guns... the point is how Obama trivialized an entire group of people- hard working Americans with financial struggles- and claimed that this caused them to become gun-toting, God-clinging racists with antipathy towards others. and blinded them to voting for real issues.

    That is just insulting, condescending and demeaning.

    He feels so superior to his fellow Americans that he can not even see his own smug arrogance and cockyness.

    April 12, 2008 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  20. Lovell Sewell

    I hope the states that or voting would not let the nonsense turn their view on Obama. Hillary Clinton would do anything to win and it shows everyday we in this campaign. How can you think because a person say people or bitter towards the government because they do not understand them mean they or not connected. Hillary Clinton is doing the same thing in Ohio that is to change and lie to fit the people. I am bitter and there are many like me that are bitter due to the economy, the jobs, this war. We need to stand up now if we want change or continue to be lied to.

    Obama 08

    April 12, 2008 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  21. jer

    So she shot a gun. Can we believe this story. After the Bosnia sniper story, the story of the young lady not being admitted to the hospital, and saying she was against NAFTA when records show she attended the meetings for NAFTA. I question her opposing the Columbia trade deal when Bill has received $800,000 making speeches to supporters of the deal and the money goes into their joint account. I will say she is a bull dog campaigner but how will she control Bill when he can't be controlled on the campaign trail. This Country doesn't need an Aristocracy of succession. Bush, Clinton, Bush, and Clinton again. We are better than that. There are other people who can lead us.

    April 12, 2008 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  22. Oliver Crocker

    If Hillary actually knew how to use a gun, I don't believe Bill would be alive today.

    April 12, 2008 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  23. Ken Pontac

    Hillary's comments are making me bitter.

    April 12, 2008 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  24. JOHN


    April 12, 2008 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  25. rick, salt lake city

    Maybe they should have armed her in Bosnia so she could have protected her daughter and the 8 year oid girl from sniper fire, oh wait that wil be her next story. Who can believe anything she says.

    April 12, 2008 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
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