April 13th, 2008
08:30 PM ET
10 years ago

Clinton hits Obama over 'bitter' comments at Compassion Forum

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/04/13/art.hrcforum0413.ap.jpg caption="Sen. Clinton wasted no time Sunday night before again criticizing Sen. Obama for his recent remarks about small town America."]
GRANTHAM, Pennsylvania (CNN) - Minutes after Barack Obama tore into Hillary Clinton for criticizing his comments about some small-town Americans, the New York senator said again Sunday that those remarks about some could be seen as “elitist” and “patronizing.”

"But from my perspective the characterization of people in a way that really seemed to be elitist and out of touch is really something that we have to overcome," Clinton said at the Compassion Forum, airing on CNN.

"The Democratic Party, to be very blunt about it, has been viewed as a party that didn't understand and respect the values and the way of life of many of our fellow Americans," she said, adding that the fact that the comments came at a “closed door fundraiser in San Francisco” helped reinforce that impression.

She said that Obama was a good man, but compared him to unsuccessful Democratic candidates Al Gore and John Kerry.

"We had two very good men, and men of faith, run for president in 2000 and 2004. But large segments of the electorate concluded that they did not really understand, or relate to, or frankly respect their ways of life," said Clinton.

–CNN Associate Political Editor Rebecca Sinderbrand

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Faith • Hillary Clinton • Pennsylvania
soundoff (300 Responses)
  1. Michael G- Ventura, CA

    Hillary needs some R&R. Apparently she is suffering from Post Traumatic Stress that incurred while dodging bullets in Bosnia.
    This is just another example of "win by whatever means".
    I suggest that her R&R begin NOW...
    She is a disgrace to the Democratic Party.
    Shame on you Hillary!

    April 14, 2008 01:00 am at 1:00 am |
  2. Rick / Denver, CO

    Clinton....with this level of stupidity and immaturity that you exhibit in your campain, you're becoming a disgrace to the Dem. party.

    Instead of mainpulating words and speeches of others, answer the question that CNN asked you a few days ago about the $800,000 you pocketed from the trade lobbiests. I thought you'll be someone different...someone with strength and credibility, but you proved me that I had the wrong choice....I thank you for showing your true side...your side of disgrace and being such a low and shallow person...

    What's next for you?....outsourcing NASA and DoD to China? Or moving the Fed. Reserve to Columbia?

    No wonder you never make sense cause you're never sober...not even at 10AM...ooops, hope we are not in Bosina right now....

    April 14, 2008 01:03 am at 1:03 am |
  3. Z, St. Louis

    If anyone knows bitterness it's that cackling shrew.She thought she
    could basicly just walk right into the White House because of
    who she was.She's bitter because not everyone will kow tow to
    her.She's blatently angry with her own party for allowing someone
    to challenger her and now she's even more angry that her party wouldn't
    change the rules to suit her so she could win or at least save face to
    loose less badly.

    For the record, I think political parties are uselss entities and neither
    party is worth voting for..I choose NONE OF THE ABOVE...

    April 14, 2008 01:06 am at 1:06 am |
  4. Kat, PA

    Said the pot to the kettle...

    As a rural northeast PA voter, I can tell you people are bitter here. People claim they want an honest politician, but when they get one the others throw the kitchen sink at him.

    April 14, 2008 01:08 am at 1:08 am |
  5. BNS

    Hillary needs to be quiet and let this issue drop off the radar.

    The Democratic nominee cannot afford to be seen as somebody who cannot take the heat, so why is she turning up the fire?

    The Democratic nominee cannot afford to be criticized in this way, so why is she still talking about it?

    LEAVE OBAMA ALONE!!! Hillary, you are messing up this party by continuously bringing to light this guy's faults! Can't we just move on and elect the man and get it over with?

    If Hillary continues this kind of stuff, then we will see Obama for what he truly is BEFORE the general election in November!


    So - SHUT UP, HILLARY!!!

    April 14, 2008 01:10 am at 1:10 am |
  6. Tilson Kephas

    In view of the political campaign, I for one see that we can not convince everyone without them knowing what we are made of. We have to learn to earn everyone's trust and respect by delivering the words of truth and doing the acts of truth. The mirror is not our exact image but what's in us is what needs to be revealed.... for talking and acting are two different perspectives. While these two perspectives compliment each other, it discloses the real one.

    Malem, Federated States of Micronesia.

    April 14, 2008 01:13 am at 1:13 am |
  7. Rob

    Do Bill and Hillary go to the same church as Monique Lewinsky?

    April 14, 2008 01:14 am at 1:14 am |
  8. Anonymous

    Obama's "bitter" comment sounded like a clear belief that economic hardtimes tempts us to become gun totting religious anti-immigration bigots. Tonight he "misconstruded" his own words. He wasn't straight with us, and dodged his own prejudices.

    April 14, 2008 01:14 am at 1:14 am |
  9. April in Texas

    I am curious and noticed that first she claimed why do I always get chosen to go first and today she chose to go first, I dont get it. Also it seemed that Obama received much more clapping and where she just walked up to the stage he shook hands on his way down. Her responses seemed to be alot about her though and avoided many subjects where as Obama addressed them as directly as he answers all questions. I hope those in doubt are satisfied as he answered the questions.

    Obama 08

    April 14, 2008 01:15 am at 1:15 am |
  10. Jon, Los Angeles

    No, No, No, Hillary has been twisting what Obama said. This lady can lie to her teeth! I never thought I would dislike this woman called Hillary Clinton.

    I regret ever voting for the Clintons. If I could take my vote back I would. Voters in Pennsylvania should vote wisely unlike me and vote for Obama.
    He is the right person for the highest office of the land.

    April 14, 2008 01:18 am at 1:18 am |
  11. chris

    Bye bye Obama

    Go Hillary Go!

    April 14, 2008 01:18 am at 1:18 am |
  12. Delaware

    What Obama meant is all the lies that Candidates like Hillary is telling us during campaign and when they get elected they forget about us. He was was talking about the old Washington way that people are fed up with. Do not negotiate trade with Columbia and when we find out you tell us you were opposed it. This is what people are bitter against the lies the fake promises. Not because you told us that you were opposed the trade deal with Columbia does not mean we believe you. Hillary is telling us that she is experience has she been president before? No! Neither is McCain and Obama. We need a trustworthy president with good judgment not Hillary. She told us lies about Bosnia and Columbia enough is enough.

    April 14, 2008 01:20 am at 1:20 am |
  13. Same of moaning/

    To listen to her pee and moan about some one else is sickning/ Would rather she talk about why we should vote for her. This would
    be a welcome change on the campain trail. If is all she has is negativeizm, we can't use her to lead any place in this country.
    Time for her to get her carpetbag out again and hit the trail.

    April 14, 2008 01:21 am at 1:21 am |
  14. Kai Tamara Hare

    Our country has benefited from great leadership from both political parties. We have, however, come far afield from our Founding Fathers intent on separation of church and state where candidates for presidency must now take a vivid position on religion. We have forgotten Tocqueville's warning "religions should be more careful to confine themselves to a proper sphere, for if they wish to extend themselves beyond spiritiual matters, they run the risk of not being believed at all" ; we now find ourselve in the tug of war between religious militants which demand and impose their religious convictions on our nation "masquarading political agenda in a veneer of spirituality". We are a spiritual nation but our great strength in government is toleration of many faiths and to keep our religious leaders out of politics: The late Father Robert Drinan stepped down from politics, Former President Richard Nixon appealed to the late Billy Graham to not support any presidential candidate. Just look at Iran if one were to allow clergyman to lead a nation. If there is a direction our country needs to go, that is to renew our country's basic precepts.

    April 14, 2008 01:22 am at 1:22 am |
  15. Tom A

    The amazing thing about this story is the fact that one could actully state that he "mis-spoke." Clinton is such a hypocrite.

    April 14, 2008 01:24 am at 1:24 am |
  16. angel

    I never was so tired in my life listening to Hillary...she sounded so cocky,very calculating not to lose a vote.It doesn't take a genius to know the things behind her lines. WHAT'S ACTUALLY TRUE AND REAL IN THIS WOMAN?

    CREDIBILITY is now the true and real issue with H....Leave now Hillary,please....Move on,will you?

    April 14, 2008 01:25 am at 1:25 am |
  17. Lisa

    Geez, she sounds bitter....

    April 14, 2008 01:26 am at 1:26 am |
  18. fanObama,ok

    after mouthing words all weekend about the bitter comment, when hilliary was asked she said "sen. Obama gonna have to explain that for himself". this woman is always playing unfair politics. she is so pathetic. i appreciate Campbell Brown for forcing her to speak about. Obama always takes the high road. when they blundered last week he never spoke about.

    April 14, 2008 01:26 am at 1:26 am |
  19. Ray Ito

    Hillary's casting Al Gore in a negative light is it because she and her husband unsuccessfully tried to woo him to endorse her but he refused?

    This "bitter" comment that she's blowing out of proportion will backfire. If she's wise she'll quickly drop it. Campaign environments are very dynamic – they change so fast.

    April 14, 2008 01:27 am at 1:27 am |
  20. linda in illinois

    please OBAMA an elitist??? Are you kidding. Obama grandmother
    was poor on food stamps,depended on the church and friends at one time in her life. She worked hard and instilled MORALS AND VALUES
    in her grandson. He worked hard to get into HARVARD. That should be something to be PROUD of. How DARE CLINTON try to demean
    that. CLINTONS MADE MILLIONS off of us white catholic union workers. CLINTON IS THE ELITIST.... now she's drinking with "the common people" She has millions but STILL has NOT PAID those
    common workers ACROSS this country that she used for her campaign.....SHE MAKES ME SICK

    April 14, 2008 01:32 am at 1:32 am |
  21. Doreen Adams

    Why is religion being discussed at all? Is everyone forgetting there is supposed to be Separation of church & state. I prefer to have a friend who did not believe in the supernatural, but if a president is capable of keeping his or her supernatural beliefs out of the presidency, that's fine. Why are both of these candidates talking about the biblical character of god as though it were a good doer? Are they forgetting that the bible contains more violence than any other book written – even "In Cold Blood"? Come on, people! The biblical god wanted to kill everyone in the floods, kill the firstborn, and it goes on and on! This is the same biblical character whom people like Hillary and Obama believe in and claim the character as loving them unconditionally! Richard Dawkins has more sense than any of the candidates. Richard, wanna run!?

    April 14, 2008 01:33 am at 1:33 am |
  22. DSG, Lakeland

    HRC gives a new definition to the word "SPINSTER". Hilliary, please stop with the diversions from your campaigns spinning. You know exactly what Sen. Barack was talking about when he spoke about people being bitter about the way the government has things going. You will do anything to be the first woman president, so you can make history. I used to think that you would be a good president back in the day, but now I see that you aren't even a good person, with all the lies and spinining, etc. You are just a rich old lady who enjoys power and want to make history. Oh, and by the way, tell Bill to sit his ole butt down somewhere and take your partner McSame with him.

    April 14, 2008 01:37 am at 1:37 am |
  23. mitch from ark.


    April 14, 2008 01:40 am at 1:40 am |
  24. Lyz in Maryland

    Obama: People are angry ("bitter") and they have good reason to be.
    Clinton: How dare you call them angry ("bitter")?!

    The whole thing is ridiculous. Why are you treating this obviously desperate ploy like it's a real story?

    April 14, 2008 01:40 am at 1:40 am |
  25. joe

    Hillary according to Edward Kein's book , THE TRUTH ABOUT HILLARY needs to turn to page 442-43 and read I MADE MY SPEECH AT GOUCHER'S WINTER CONVOCATION from her biography Clinton, LIVING HISTORY. Part of her speech said ....we have a choice how to react. We can be pulled down by these disappointments, or we can be made BITTER and angry. But then , we are the losers..... Hillary has taken her own choice of words and turned them on Obama. Obama may of called us bitter but he never called us losers.

    April 14, 2008 01:41 am at 1:41 am |
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