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. paul oregon

    talk abount two faced! talk abount aelitist she wants to control people
    to say the very questions she is raising are irrelevantto her . she has to be dumber a mud fence. one of the local t.v. stations was covering
    a speech chelsea gave talking abount the lady that had on insurance
    and the hospital that didnt treat her . some one mentioned at the meeting that wasnt quite right. chelsea comited according the reporter this is what she was told and she was stucking to it . is there
    some thing here that im missing

    April 13, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  2. Daisy, IL

    Clinton dismissed the question about her church attendance because she doesn't lie on Sundays–NOT.

    April 13, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  3. Evan


    So you're claiming Obama is out of touch

    Yet you don't go to church or have real religious views, you make 108 million dollars and donate to your own charity, and you continue a campaign of smear politics. I hate to tell you, Hillary, but he has the community organizer who make $12,000 a year helping people who lost their jobs in steel plants, not you. HE is the one who is in touch with the American people.

    I smell hypocrisy. It smells foul.

    April 13, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  4. Keith

    What a load of crap the Clinton's are selling now - Bill said the exact same thing about "bitter" people when he ran for President in 92. Of course people are bitter, the economy is in the tank.

    Well, politics is politics, but this is over the top. Hillary can not win the nomination, she and her husband can only prevent Obama from winning the White House.

    Is that what they are doing?

    April 13, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  5. Ron R

    "making it clear about church going and gun owning"......WHAT?? the only reason this is even a topic now is because your trying to discredit Obama because of the truth that was coming out of his mouth.......You are the ultimate politician Hillary. If this is what you want America..I say go ahead and vote for her....but be careful of what you wish for.

    April 13, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  6. Bill, Terrace, BC CANADA

    She is such a total phony. I can't believe I used to support her. Lemme see now,,,Obama lives on the Southside of Chicago where he spent the better part of his adult life helping working people better themselves. She lives in hoity toity Chappaqua, NY, where she and Bubba recorded a combined income of...wait for it....$109 million last year. But somehow Barack's an elitist because he noted that working people in PA blue collar communities have been made bitter by being left behind economically by her husband's and Dubya's economic policies and they have fallen back on their religion, their guns, and their xenophobia. She must have PTSD from all that sniper fire she was never under.

    April 13, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  7. FMM - Toronto - Canada

    Senator Clinton is absolutely correct her attendance at church, last usage of a firearm, full financial disclosure by her and President Clinton, full disclosure about the events during President Clinton's tenure in the White House, none of that is relevant, the only relevant issue is that Senator Clinton has and will say anything necessary to win the DNC primary and in the alternative deystroy the winning DNC candidates chances at a victory in November 2008 so that she can run again in 2012.

    April 13, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  8. John, Scotland, United Kingdom

    It is truely fascinating that Obama's comments have given HRC another opportunity to question his judgement. How very clever for her to comment about other good men. Is this the first sign that she tacitly acknowledges Obama will win the nomination. Has a deal been done for a joint ticket ? Very doubtful, but maybe.
    As the head of the Democratic ticket, Obama will be subjected to the kind of scrutiny normally reserved for Cilnton and Bush. The main question is : Can he weather this scrutiny or will he make elementary errors like the 'bitter' comments again and again over the several month general campaign ? Obama fanatics seem incapable of rational thought as his candidacy, which is of enormous historical import, mobilises the young vote tens times as much as Rock the vote ever did and is carried along effortlessly by amorphous goodwill. The wider population will not be transfixed to the same degree.
    Polls now do not matter a jot. The GOP DO NOT deserve to win this forthcoming election, but may just manouevre into a winning position by November. Far from coming across as someone who can cross the aisle, Obama is risking coming across as someone who is casual with his words and simply not grasping the true meaning of what he is saying. America deserves better.
    However, if the choice in November is Obama v McCain then HRC supporters need to get with the program and vote for Obama. A further 4 years of GOP leadership is likely to be disastrous. A vote for McCain is a vote for a bogus war. A vote for Obama or HRC is a vote for Hope and Change you can all believe in.

    April 13, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  9. Karen in Ohio

    Clintons are really out of tounch when they said that Pennsylvania small towners are not "bitter, but proud." Guess what, they do not have millions of dollars to be proud of. That is really a millonaire's out -of-touch talking points.

    April 13, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  10. Michael

    Oh, but Ms. Clinton you claimed to have had extensive experience with guns. So, it is relevant! Or did you just mis-speak again?

    You are seeking to be an elitist and devisive! Is this the big surprise you had waiting in the wings? The big PA surprise.

    What is true is that we – I and the rest of my fellow "common" citizens – are angry with how YOU and your lobby cronies have disenfranchised my citizenship for your own agenda. You can divert and drink a shot and take a shot or two BUT reality is that you are a liar. YOU cannot tell the truth! I will never believe a word you say – ever again.

    YOU say what you can for expediency. What promises did you make to the people of New York to get elected? How many of them have you kept?

    Subtle hint: All questions that the citizens of the USA ask you are relevant! We are deciding the fate of our country. Can you bring us back from the brink of Constitutional destruction?

    I don't think so. YOU are a supporter of NAFTA and the North American Union. YOu voted to support additional expansion of the wars!

    YOU are not here for me – the common citizen! YOU are in it for yourself!

    April 13, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  11. Joebe

    This woman will say anything to win. Even if she damages the party. She is giving the Republicans all the amunition that they will need to derail a change that we really need in Washington.
    I can't believe that people can't see through what she is doing.

    Elitiste, does she really have room to talk. $109 mil in the bank, over $400,000 from NAFTA speaches, and more from Chines internet Co.
    Verses a community organizer. Lets be real.

    April 13, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  12. Joyce in Florida

    Who cares when the last time she ever fired a gun or went to church? It has nothing to do with her campaigning. Senator Clinton is the best-qualified candidate for our presidency. Please keep fighting Senator Clinton. When you get the nomination, it was well worth the fight. GO HILLARY 08!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 13, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  13. Doris, ME

    Poor Hillary, Obama is making her work so hard, even on Sundays. Remember she said this race would be over after February 5th, Super Tuesday.

    Today she has to hurry and spin this story, and she's a pro at lying. The only problem is it won't work, you will never get my country.

    Sorry Hill, Barack still has my vote. He is the only in the Democratic race with integrity.

    April 13, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  14. Jahmil, Claremont, CA

    I can't believe full of it she is...her gun toting and christian upbringing was so important before...she could hardly talk enough about hunting and church before now it's irrelevant?...what's irrelevant is how many whiskey shots she threw back and WHAT IS RELEVANT is how MSM feel it necessary to broadcast that and NOT info on how her top advisor and husband supported the very same trade deals and ideologies that have these people in the mess they are in. WHAT's relevant is the fact that Bill is tied and made miilions from a company that supported CHINA's mistreatment of Tibet. WHAT's relevant is whether Obama spoke the truth when he said that republicans use issues like gay marriage, illegal aliens, and gun rights to distract voters from real issues like economic reform that are affecting their lives. Republicans create a firm base out of the very people they exploit and ignore( whenever their isn't an election going on...) Let's talk about the real issues and (let's see if the moderator will deem my comment acceptable because it seems my comments never get the nod of approval)

    April 13, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  15. Felly

    Hillary is a hypocrite.

    April 13, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  16. maricusa

    Bitter Hillary, than Barack, think twice America! the truth is she is a liar!!!

    April 13, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  17. Murf

    Barack Obama shouldn't apologize for anything! The only mistake he made was speaking truth. The problem with Hillary Clinton and John McCain is that they've been on the political inside for so long, they've forgotten and fallen out of touch with how regular people feel. This is another desperate attempt by the Clinton and McCain camps to knock Obama out of the race. Quite frankly, the fact that they both agree, lets me know he's doing the right thing.

    Jobs are drying up, the economy is on the brink of collapse and our military is stretched so thin we couldn't defend ourselves if we had to. What do long term old school politicians like Hillary and McCain do? They play the old D.C. shell game of talking about everything but what's wrong in the Country. Saying that people who are justifiably bitter and angry are bitter and angry is smart. He's letting everyday people know that he understands, not only, their frustrations but the source of their frustrations. Why can't Sen. Clinton focus on what she brings to the table and not what's wrong with Sen. Obama? Because she has nothing to offer, that's why.

    April 13, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  18. Sam, Muncie, Ind.

    So she's going to call Obama out and claim her father taught her to fire guns when she was little – I wonder if there's footage – but then it's irrelevant if she actually does the things she claims have been so offended.

    She says Republicans will make something of this, but it's she and her lapdog Evan Bayh who are trumpeting the Republican horns.

    At this point, Hillary, YOU are irrelevant.

    April 13, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  19. Denice, VA

    This is a non issue, it won't work for Hillary and it definitely won't work for McBush.

    Obama 08

    April 13, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  20. Jon, Los Angeles

    Clinton is scary! Obama's comment is right on! People are ANGRY about job losses. This is the central piece of Obama's comment. Then Hillary, being desperate, took it to another level.

    Obama hit the nail on the head and I hope people will see through Hillary's tricks. Remember, she and Bill earned $109 million in 7 years so she has not known to being having hard time paying any bill.


    April 13, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  21. Wayne Smith

    I believe Senator Clinton is totaling ignoring the underline meaning of Senator Obama coments. Which was that because of being overlooked by the past presidents due to trade agreement and global economy , they have forgoten about Samall town america. I would of thought that Senator Clinton, which has so many mis-statement that Senator Obama did not comment on, i.e., dodging bullets in Boznia, giving a statement that did not happen from a woman who lost her health insurance and other that this is politics as ususal.

    Senator Clinton jumping on this right away appearsto be the politics of old, i.e., tear someone down because you have not had a message that resonate with a majority of votoer across the US. It also both help her ailing campaign and help the republican. This is one of the reason that if the Democratic Party steal the nomination away from Senator Obama.

    I will be encouraging my friends and neighbors to either not vote for a democratic presidental nominne or look at other possible candiates, i.e. John McCain. Even though I do not like his IRAQ policy nor his economic policy. John McCain stands up and takes his lumps and truly has charcter. Just as Senator Obama does.

    April 13, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  22. Marc

    Typical. Her experience with guns is irrelevant today when she doesn't want to answer a question, but relevant yesterday when she wanted to tell a warm and fuzzy story that may yet turn out to be another lie. Lies and hypocrisy. How, exactly, is she supposed to be different from the current president?

    Anyone want to place bets on how many days it'll take before we see a warm and fuzzy story about a church visit of hers? Because, y'know, her visits to church aren't relevant today, but they will be suddenly some other day when there's an opportunity to pander.

    April 13, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  23. God Bless America

    Hillary Do You Remember These: 1) Remember the Sabboth and keep it Holy

    April 13, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  24. Spirit of America

    Obama has a nasty habit of saying what he really believes in private and what he believes will get him votes in public. That is called hypocrisy and dishonesty.

    Not only does this elitist politician think "bitter" Americans deal with their "bitterness" by being pro-gun, pro-religion and anti-immigrant, but also anti-trade!

    In other words, this elitist politician is in favor of the free trade agreements. That is exactly what his campaign told foreign officials about his real stance on NAFTA.

    If you love NAFTA, you'll love Barack.

    April 13, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  25. ann

    good for hillary...after all the press shots she has had to endure.. she deserves her own shot....go hillary go.....ann

    April 13, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
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