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

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

CNN

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. R. Churchill, Pennsylvania

    . . . .Hillary is making sure she gets her lies straight first, then she
    will answer question.

    April 13, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  2. molly

    REV UNCLE WRIGHT
    SUPERDELEGATES
    FL & MI VOTERS
    BITTER PA PEOPLE

    OBAMA
    CLINTON

    SADDLE UP!!

    April 13, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  3. Lucy

    Somebody explain how it is that Senator Obama's use of the word "bitter" could, in any way, be worse than Senator Clinton's repeated lies about being shot at while in "service to her country"?
    I would rather support a candidate who may have used a descriptive word – regardless if I agree with the description – than consider support of a candidate who repeatedly tells a self serving lie to aggrandize her case in this election. Someone should ask her how this could possibly be compared to anything Senator Obama has either said or done.

    April 13, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  4. C, in PA

    Can i ask a very silly question please. Is Hillary Clinton a republican? The reason i am asking is, she is determined to destroy Obama and shred every integrity that man has. I hope she when she loses the nomination, she should run as an independent because the stigma she is leaving is unrepairable. And to all her supporters, i hope you all follow her and Bill, because to me, if you support her lack of morals and her divisive personality, then i dont think you will be of any help to a united future. I understand you have to try and win a contest, but this tactics is just shy of comparison to a vicious virus. I need to go take a shower before i get infected by Clintonitis.

    April 13, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  5. Rosa

    So your last gun usage is irrelevant, your last church attendance is irrelevant and HEY so is your campaign if you continue to play childish game and not address REAL issues.

    April 13, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  6. prcleburne

    I want to know , when's the last time you fired a gun in church.

    April 13, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  7. Bebble

    The Obamas I found out are more than elitist... this is how Michelle Obama stages her speeches:

    Michelle Obama
    Get me more white people

    Michelle coordinator moves Asians to make it "look so pretty"

    While the crowd was indeed diverse, some students at the event questioned the practices of Mrs. Obama’s event coordinators, who handpicked the crowd sitting behind Mrs. Obama. The Tartan’s correspondents observed one event coordinator say to another, “Get me more white people, we need more white people.” To an Asian girl sitting in the back row, one coordinator said, “We’re moving you, sorry. It’s going to look so pretty, though.”

    “I didn’t know they would say, ‘We need a white person here,’” said attendee and senior psychology major Shayna Watson, who sat in the crowd behind Mrs. Obama. “I understood they would want a show of diversity, but to pick up people and to reseat them, I didn’t know it would be so outright.”

    Well, Shayna Watson, that's the blatant racism we see over and over again from the Obamas.

    CNN PLEASE POST THIS AS THE PEOPLE NEED TO KNOW HOW DEEP PASTOR WRIGHT INFLUENCED THE OBAMAS.

    April 13, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  8. Mark, Vancouver WA

    Hilary 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.”
    And how much ammunition has Hillary given to the Republicans to use against Obama??? She is the one on record saying that McCain would make a better commander-in-chief than Obama...

    April 13, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  9. Ivan

    Not relevant? One week she's Rocky Balboa, now she's Elmer Fudd. The pandering is so obvious.

    April 13, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  10. Suzan Buyck

    Why is everything Obama says a controversy?
    Why wasn't the outright lie Clinton told about Bosnia considered a controversy?
    Why wasn't the continued error about Suni and Shiite from McCain a controversy?

    Why does Obama have to dance around white America?

    Why is most of white America acting like they're BRAND NEW with regards to racial injustice in America? Let me tell you, it's alive and well in America.

    Perhaps it would have been better had Obama said that this demographic (blue collar white men) didn't warm up to him simply because he's black and they don't like blacks.

    I am an American who has seen my city and state go from prosperity to utter dismay. I AM ANGRY, BITTER, and downright PISSED OFF at those who run our government and I cannot and will not get angry at anyone telling me that I am just that.

    If Clinton sees in these hard strapped areas of Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Illinois, happy people, content people, then perhaps she's had too many shots with beer backs.

    April 13, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  11. Erik Reppen

    I applauded Chelsea for drawing a line when people stepped outside the bounds of taste but I don't think it's the person answering the questions who gets determine whether questions are relevant.

    Hillary's campaign is run by imbeciles.

    By framing the issue as whether Americans are bitter, when the issue was whether Obama made an overly broad generalization about small town America, they appeared to be denying that Americans are frustrated by the outrageous events of the last eight years.

    Now they're trying to portray Hillary as closer to the very issues Obama has supposedly made the mistake of saying these people cling to.

    April 13, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  12. Louisiana Ed

    For all of you democrats that say you will vote for McCain if Hillary doesn't get the nomination I have these few simple words, "You can't fix STUPID".

    April 13, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  13. K.Celina IL for Hillary

    Poor Americans, Obama's supporters !!!!!!
    How Obama could be the next President, if he makes speaches out of order !!!!!
    I can't imagin that, educated person will speak as Obama, hallo!!!!!! future President . NOOOOOOOOOO !!!!!!! Way !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! he is OUT !!!!!!!!!!!!!! of that competition !!!!!!!!!
    OUT!!!!!!!!, PERIOD !!!!!!!!!!

    April 13, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  14. steve

    This is only an issue because HRC has made it an issue. Who cares about his comment. It's true! Do you want someone is is going to lie to you or be honest?

    April 13, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  15. Lisa in Cincy

    Whatever Hillary!

    April 13, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  16. Funny

    I find it funny how Senator Clinton will discard certain questions that are relevant to her true character. When she began this race, she said her faith has brought her through tough trials, and she says that she has experience using a gun; however, she will not comment on either. When are we going to see the Clintons for who they really are chameleons of the worst kind. They will be what ever you need them to be at that moment, and then turn around and change into something/one else when your back is turned. We have had enough Politicians do this to the American people, when will it end?

    Moreover, yes, there are many bitter people in America. Those that have lost their jobs and homes have a right to be bitter. I just hope we are bitter enough to change our ways. When Hillary explains what happened to the jobs in NY, I will vote for her until then I am backing the other horse in the race.

    CNN, please post this. I have notice my comments are never posted, even when I am the first person.

    April 13, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  17. Katie

    Sorry Hil-LIAR-y C-LIE-nton, Obama is not an elitist. Stop trying to portray him as one. YOU are the one who is disconnected from the average American, and your attempts at trying to relate are FAILING!

    April 13, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  18. Go Away Hillary

    Hillary is such a hypocrite. She is whining about how much damage Obama's comments are doing to the party all the while she is doing everything possible to stir the pot & get as much mileage as possible from this. Truly despicable.

    April 13, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  19. Brain

    Let's see how long this will push you and how many days you will captalize on it. I just think think this is non story. If you will PA doesn't mean we buy your argument the rest of the country!

    April 13, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  20. Ryan

    Pandering.

    This woman is so transparent. For her or McCain to call Obama an elitist is the funniest thing I've heard all week...like her and McCain are "common folk". Ha!

    April 13, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  21. Answer the Questions

    Answer the questions, Hillary.

    April 13, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  22. Trang, Fremont, CA

    Oh, Hillary, how can I trust you w/ the 3AM phone call? You definitely have no clue the intention coming from another. You have poor listening skills. Leave you to interpret things, America would be in trouble. Yes, you do have a tendency to misinterpret things, exaggerate things., ie. the Bosnia fire. You are too emotionally unstable to handle this job.

    Oh yes, your new theme of 'all Americans', and yet, your campaign often says, only big states matter, and you often only campaign there. Barack goes to every states. Who do you think demonstrate this better?

    I think Barack's intention originally was to get the community reengaged in their community – nationwide, because he feels this is what is ill w/ America – people becoming disengaged in their community. He didn't realize the amount of support that shows up for him – nationwide – and I think this is what Michelle means when she talks about 'hope' for America, because Americans get reengaged, but somehow that message was turned into 'unpatriotic' for some reasons.

    Barack has patience to try to explain things to you. I don't have that patience. Your interpretation of his comment speaks volumes about you.

    April 13, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  23. Jeff

    It is not relevant to us wheter she shot a gun or went to church but it is important Nafta from small towns that lost jobs to Nafta . If Hillary wants to rise above then why accept money from spouses work for Columbia give the 800,000 back? If I ran on platform now not willing to agree with husband on Nafta but should be able to refund there money. I can't believe all the decept and lies spread it is every week something. Do they have a few more relatives need pardoned or want to give million dollar speechs after presidency again. Nafta, Lewinsky, walmart board, Paula Jones, Pardons, White water, Bosnia, Columbia, Mark Penn, media coverage, Can't ask questions of Chelsea but she can campaign. I don't know of anybody in small town america that made 110 million in 7 years how can she relate to small town america get real. She could buy most small towns in rural america. I would say that the whole campaign of hers has been handled like most attorneys would handle it decept and let enough time go by so can distort reality and everybody will buy into story problem is to many stories coming at once but if anybody with a common amount of intelligence can look back even a little can percieve what they are trying to do.

    April 13, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  24. Maxwell - BITTER AMERICAN

    Nobody forgot that SHE is the ELITIST LIAR about NAFTA and Colombian trade deals that line the Clinton Family Treasury, which caused millions of Americans to lose thier jobs. Heck yes, I'm bitter!!! And I don't want a HRC in office telling me to eat cake!!!

    April 13, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  25. Kimy

    Na ha ha I am going duck hunting na ha ha. Hillary Fudd must be a lunatic to kill innocent ducks. Can't she see how cute they are?
    Are you sure you shot the ducks Hillary or could it have been the Bosnian Snipers? She tries to be all things to all people but she is just a farce. She called Obama an Elitist because of a minor verbal gaffe but thinks we can not see that the 109 Million Dollars of Sleazy lobby money the Clintons raked in make them the Elitists crooks enslaved to their Corporate masters.

    April 13, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
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