April 13th, 2008
05:00 PM ET
14 years ago

Clinton: 'Not relevant' last time I went to church, fired gun


Watch a clip of Sen. Clinton's Sunday press conference.

SCRANTON, Pennsylvania (CNN) – After a weekend spent making direct appeals to gun owners and church goers, Hillary Clinton said Sunday a query about the last time she fired a gun or attended church services "is not a relevant question in this debate” over Barack Obama’s recent comments on small town Americans.

“We can answer that some other time,” Clinton said at a press conference held in a working class neighborhood here. “This is about what people feel is being said about them. I went to church on Easter. I mean, so?”

Clinton described the furor surrounding Obama’s remarks as “about how people look at the Democratic Party and the Democratic Party leadership.”

“We have been working very hard to make it clear that we have millions of Democrats who are church going and gun-owning,” she said. “And we are tired of having Republicans, or frankly our own Democrats, give any ammunition to Republicans because what happens then is Republicans take advantage of the situation.”

She called the current imbroglio “an important moment for Democrats” and challenged Obama to further explain what he meant by his comments, which she reiterated were “elitist and divisive.”

Pressed on whether she truly believes Obama is an elitist, Clinton called him “a good man,” but recalled the narratives of the 2000 and 2004 president election.

“You don’t have to think back too far to remember that good men running for president were viewed as being elitist and out of touch with the values and lives of millions of Americans,” she said.

- CNN Political Producer Peter Hamby

soundoff (475 Responses)
  1. J

    Why not. She deserves some relaxation like the rest of us. At least she knows good whiskey!

    April 13, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  2. Hillary 08


    April 13, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  3. Robert

    Wake up voters in Indiana;North Carolina;Pennsylvania.Obama's remark about people in rural areas being wrong about their concepts on religon;economic views can not go unnoticed.Do you want someone like this to be President?Us ruraal people still have strong faith in God and America.Our ministers don't use the Lord's name in vain;curse America in their sermons like Obama's minister. l

    April 13, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  4. nadeem

    Hillary is two faced, and totally out of touch with Americans.

    Obama comes from a single mother home, lived on food stamps, grow up in part in the third world. Give me a break!

    He gets the frustrations of rural american because he is close to them, not because he is looking down on them.

    Folks in PA will judge for themselves.

    April 13, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  5. Cami

    “And we are tired of having Republicans, or frankly our own Democrats, give any ammunition to Republicans because what happens then is Republicans take advantage of the situation.”
    Never in my life have I seen such a hypocrite.

    April 13, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  6. RU Kidding?

    So, Obama is actually NOT elitist, even though I like to say he is in every stump speech I make, and the problem actually is the view propagated by the opponent that "good men running for president were viewed as being elitist and out of touch with values and lives of millions of Americans." This is the most pathetic double-speak any candidate has produced to date. She's either a coward, and won't say what she really thinks about him, or the truth doesn't matter when it stands in the way of political expediency and making points with superdelegates. If she's such a fighter, why not fight the inevitable Republican maneuvers instead of providing them with more video clips of her agreeing with them!

    April 13, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  7. bill in pa

    The only furor about these remarks is coming from her fat mouth. Let's see, she's drinking whiskey and claims to have shot a gun. What's next is she going to buy a pickup truck?? This is one country boy that knows when someone is trying to claim something she isn't for votes. And you think Obama is wrong???

    April 13, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  8. andrea, Illinois

    Maybe she should go more often to church..... then she would remember "YOU SHALL NOT LIE"

    When ever she is getting asked a question that's uncomfortable for her to answer she either laughs stupidly or it's an irrelevant one.

    I honor Obama's way of not using the same dirty tactics as the Clinton war machine, but at some point he should hit her back hard. There is plenty of stuff to be said about her

    April 13, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  9. OlvrWhit

    I watched this press conferance, that CNN did not even cover live. Out of all the questions asked, they use this as a headline....I find that strange since Clinton spoke clearly on many topics. Is this CNN's attempt to take the heat off Obama? I think so..

    Why not shed some light on Obama's real comments made behind closed doors. Or say, look into his connection to three terrorist, Bill Ayers, Bernadine Dohrun, and Rashid Khaldi and how they are still close friends to the Obama's.

    If you explore those relationships it may shed light on why Obama feels that middle american rural voters are bigots.

    April 13, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  10. Alex knows it all

    A word of advise to Sen. Obama. please move on. Do not keep talking about the issue. Follow Sen. Clinton on this. How she moved on after revelations that she lied on Bosnia issue and the hospital issue. He evasive demeanor on her tax returns and Columbia trade deal.
    If you stop talking about, others will also.

    We all knows that Sen. Clinton is a divisive opportunist and very shroud politician. She will sell her mother if it gets her to a better place

    April 13, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  11. Obamabot :P

    Waaaah. I want Obama to win. Waaaaah. Hillary is a big meany. Waaaah Waaaah. Hillary is better than Obama. Waaaaah. Hillary or McCain. Waaah. Vote for Hillary!

    April 13, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  12. Ron

    Hillary is showing EXACTLY what is wrong in American politics. SHE KNOWS Barack is not an Elitist, and yet she will try to make it sound like he MAY BE because of his poor choice of words a week ago. This is very much like the way she answered the question as to whether or not Barack was a muslim...Her answer..AS FAR AS A KNOW HE IS NOT. What doe that imply?? Only ONE thing..I am not ABSOLUTELY sure...WINK>>WINK>> America. She surely would not have said that about Senator McCain...There is NO SHAME to her GAME..She uses the OLD SCHOOL word games and America needs to move on to the next level and Hillary just isn't it...

    April 13, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  13. Alex H

    She needs to have a meeting with her advisers to see how she can best avoid getting caught before she can answer that question.

    Wait... so you're sick of giving ammunition to Republicans... wow... is she completely oblivious or a complete liar... or... I'm so mentally twisted by that spin.

    Wow, just wow... she'll slam him and then say 'there's nothing wrong with it'. That's like saying 'there's nothing wrong with being a Nazi, racist, bigot' ... gee thanks for saying nothing's wrong with it but you're still calling that person a Nazi, racist, and bigot! It's underhanded and a backhanded apology/complement/repentance(I don't know any more...) How do we let her off saying these things??

    April 13, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  14. Grif

    Anybody who goes and worships, another idiot stood on a Dias need their Heads Examined. There is no God. But, there is a freeloader who calls themselves a Reverend, Vicar, Priest,. Even Popi the Pope is an Idiot. Freeloader.. What world do you people live in?

    April 13, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  15. Mary - Independent

    Too much time is being wasted on petty comments between the Democratic candidates. It is a disgrace! Why can't these candidates focus on critical issues that are hurting America. With all of this nonsense that is going on that is dividing the Democratic party, how can the voters know who will take care of this country?

    April 13, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  16. William

    Hey Hillary, it is relevant. I'm not into guns and don't go to church, but others think that kind of thing is important.

    Why is it so hard for you to answer a question with a direct answer? What are you trying to hide? If someone asks me when I last went to church or shot a gun, I can answer. Directly.

    Why can't you? You dodge far more questions than sniper bullets in Bosnia. Far more. Why is that? People can't trust someone who always hides who they really are.

    April 13, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  17. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Hillary needs do something to stop the division that is being created in the democrat party which is giving the republicans ammunition. She needs to stop accusations that some democrats are helping republicans. I think Hillary is way off course with those kind of remarks.

    April 13, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  18. Ian

    So she's one of those annoying people that only go on Easter and Christmas and take up all the seats. The last time she fired a gun was probably when she was under attack from the snipers in Bosnia.

    April 13, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  19. Jon

    Keep proving Obama's comments apt Hillary. Keep making his point for him. His point was basically politicans use "wedge issues" like guns and religion because they know people aren't going to believe politicians will do anything about the important issues.

    And what are you doing? Jumping on this because many people don't believe you about anything anymore. You're already commencing with the weaseling by trying to call him evil elitist and good man at the same time. Say what you really mean or shut up Hillary.

    April 13, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  20. Tym

    It isn't relevant. The issue isn't about whether people SHOULD go to church or have guns but how to TREAT those who do.

    No matter who you are, you should be respectful of the views of OTHERS.

    I'm surprised that Obama doesn't know this yet.

    April 13, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  21. canuck

    I think if she really wants the Dems to win, she should stop siding with the Repubs and defend Obama. These ongoing attacks are a direct result of hurt pride. I personally like her, but i don't think she would make a good President. All I'm saying is "Hillary, who's side are you on?"

    cnn, please post my comment.

    April 13, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  22. Interesting

    She is right. It is an issue of perception of the Democratic party being out of touch with the heartland. Obama is Kerry and Gore revisited. Obama like Kerry and Gore need to take his butt back to his Rezko house and not try to run for President.

    You thought the democrats learned that after 2006 Congressional election. Obviously not.

    April 13, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  23. Janel, St. Paul, MN

    It is ridiculous for Senator Clinton to describe Senator Obama as an elitist. He is the only candidate in touch with the American people. He is the only candidate with a solid vision of our future. He is the only candidate who is ethical and honest in his speaking.

    Okay, I admit he may have used the wrong words to describe his view of Americans. . .but he admitted this and explained, I believe, very eloquently his views.

    Senators Clinton and McCain are "elitist" in their lifestyles and their out-of-touch relationship with the average American.

    April 13, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  24. Anonymous

    Can you say "Clintonspeak?"

    April 13, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  25. Kate in A2

    *YAWN* Why is Hillary still harping on about this? Oh, that's right: anything to keep the focus off of CAFTA, Penn and the $800,000 on the Clinton's joint tax return.

    I'm bitter, many are bitter – Obama just is telling it like it is and people recognize it.

    April 13, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
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