April 12th, 2008
05:07 PM ET
15 years ago

Obama: If I offended, I deeply regret that

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/04/12/art.bo04122nd.ap.jpg caption="In an interview with a North Carolina paper Saturday, Sen. Obama tried to quell the controversy around his recent remarks."]
CHICAGO, Illinois (CNN) - Barack Obama said Saturday that if he has offended people with comments he made almost a week ago where he labeled small town Pennsylvanians "bitter" and that they "cling to guns and religion" then he regrets it.

"Obviously, if I worded things in a way that made people offended, I deeply regret that," Obama said in an interview with the Winston-Salem Journal, according to a transcript provided by his campaign.

"The underlying truth of what I said remains, which is simply that people who have seen their way of life upended because of economic distress are frustrated and rightfully so," he told the North Carolina newspaper. "And I hear it all the time when I visit these communities."

Earlier in the day, Obama told an audience at a town hall meeting in Muncie, Indiana that he didn't word his comments "as well as he should have," but did not go as far as using the word "regret."

Obama first made the comments Sunday at a closed-press fundraiser in San Francisco.

Update with statement from McCain spokesperson Tucker Bounds:

“Voters will reject his so-called truths that he still stands by. His remarks were false. The importance of our Second Amendment and our country’s longstanding history with faith and spirituality are born in history, not bitterness and frustration. His view is absolutely restricted by elitism.”

- CNN Political Producer Chris Welch

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (216 Responses)
  1. Ldn

    The problem for Tucker and McCain is they still don't get it. All those years in the Beltway have done his head in

    April 12, 2008 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  2. tom haris

    I believe obama said anything wrong. its pathatic that the clinton supporters are making noise over nothing.. clinton , u should get out now. Plz stop this nonsense..

    April 12, 2008 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  3. mjaber

    It takes some consideration to say sorry if you're a polition.
    Obama '08

    April 12, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  4. Lance

    Hillary for Pres
    We need Hillary in the house.
    Go Hillary Go

    April 12, 2008 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  5. Anyone but Obama

    Obama is probably going to say a speech on race and then people are going to forget all about what he said. Obama supporters are so gullible.

    April 12, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  6. Nanc, MN

    Well if this isn't a Bush like moment I don't know what is. Yeah Obama, we get it, you never apologize either.

    April 12, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  7. Mk

    Obama could do and say ANYTHING and it would PALE in comparison to the disgust the american voters feel towards Bush and his clone McBush.

    April 12, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  8. Karl Marx

    Karl Marx – "Religion is used by oppressors to make people feel better about the distress they experience due to being poor and exploited"

    April 12, 2008 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  9. Karen

    I'm a disabled, 60 year old woman who is Bitter. Yes, I go to my church for spiritual comfort. Got rid of my car, couldn't afford it. My cousin died in Iraq. My son-in-law will be going on his 3rd tour. I'm buying less food and have to walk (not easy) to the local store. My brother has lost his home. My home is worth less than I owe. My daughter, a single mom with three children, one who is special needs, works 2 jobs to keep a roof over their heads.

    Obama's only error was to limit his bitterness remark to certain areas. His remark only tells me that he is the only candidate who is not out of touch with the struggles of everyday Americans.

    Vote for Obama. He knows what we are going through. He's the only one who does and still offers hope.

    Karen in Peoria, Illinois

    April 12, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  10. gloria "Hussein" and Proud

    He's right. I am bitter that with the way the counrty is going to hell in a hand basket, that this is what is going for news these days. Stick yo your guns Obama, you're right. We're bitter as hell and we see right through the crap we being sold. Kinda like the Iraq was was a good thing: the press and Bush.

    April 12, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  11. Monica, Texas

    No matter what Obama just keep speaking the truth...Maybe someone besides you will hear our cries!!!!!!!!!

    April 12, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  12. Mandy, California

    Well, McCain is trying to turn things around. Seems to come across as bitter himself.

    April 12, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  13. LP

    I found it particularly troublesome that Obama lumped religion together with guns and antipathy for others. Does Obama truly believe that religion, along with guns and antipathy toward people, is simply an opiate mainly for those who are bitter with life?

    If so, he is more out of touch with people and with sound judgment than I had first imagined.

    April 12, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  14. Former supporter of McCain...current supporter of OBAMA

    As much coverage as Obama is getting over the other candidates...you would think the media has already crowned him the President of The United States of America. Who cares about what Clinton and McCain do....their irrelevant about now....

    OBAMA '08

    April 12, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  15. Jim

    He's a jerk!!! Enough said.

    April 12, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  16. Don

    Wait a second, I’m confused, how can the great charismatic orator not mean what he says?

    April 12, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
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