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. Soupy

    Clinton must be pretty out of touch if she thinks anyone will be convinced by this stuff.

    April 13, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  2. Michelle, Indiana

    Are you kidding me?? Answer the questions please! They are valid if you are trying to spew these as points for which people should vote for you over your opponent. Comparing him to the presidential elections of 2000 and 2004 is a truly low blow. He's telling it exactly how it is because my own Mother lost her job and is furious at you and McCain for your immediate tacky responses. Obama is absolutely NOT elitist but you are HiLlARy. The old saying in the bitter rural town I come from is a skunk smells it's own hole first.

    April 13, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  3. Meredith

    I think Hillary has some serious explaining to do if she only goes to church on Easter. That doesn't sound like someone who has much faith.

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

    Clinton is the one who's elists. Anyone notice how she accusses her opponent of what she is in fact truly guilty of? She's worth over 109 million dollars and has been a quasi-celebrity since the 80's – who's elitist?

    And the last time she has gone to church or fired a gun is relevant. She tries to dodge the issue time and time again.

    Hilary Clinton only cares about Hillary Clinton. She does not care about you. Don't trust her smile – her eyes never are.

    Obama 08!

    April 13, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  5. Terry

    You'reright Hillary. Republicans were successful at portraying the last two Democratic nominees as "elitist." So did you think you would help the situation by beating them to the punch? As far as the "divise" label is concerned – Hillary has the market cornered on that issue.
    No matter who wins the Democratic nomination, the opposing party will do their best to divert the American public from the real issues and paint the Democrats as socially unacceptable. The Superdelegates should ask themselves which of these two Democratic nominees have done a better job at handling negative attacks. Based on the poll ratings (favorable vs unfavorable ratings), I think the answer is clearly Obama.

    April 13, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  6. Renee St.Louis

    I hate you Sen. Clinton

    April 13, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  7. APS in Hawaii

    Only the news media and Obama supporters could ask a stupid question. What does this have to do with what Obama said? Leave it tot he press to look for any way to twist this story and shift the negative from Obama to Hillary. Why can't the news media focus on the issues, IT'S The economy stupid.

    April 13, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  8. Kim

    It's truly funny that Senator Clinton would call Barack Obama an elitist. What's really funny is the attempt to make this the next controversy before the April 22nd vote. What he said was not elitist or condescending, it is the truth. Americans do turn to what they know or believe will protect them, their faith and their guns. Fortunately, everyone is tired of the hype and just ready to vote and move on. People for the most part have made up their minds. Some will take the liberty of voting their conscience when they enter into the privacy of the voting booth. That is the beauty of the secret ballot. Then we can move on to the national election. Barack Obama will be the next President of the United States. No amount of hype will change that. If you believe in the power of prayer go ahead and start praying for the people who he will bring along side of him to help bring about the change needed for (all) of the citizens of this country. For all of the frustrated citizens.

    April 13, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  9. Go away Obama.

    I think we are all tired of Obama's grand pontificating... and then defending... and then clarifying...and then retracting... and then clarifying one more time.

    Meanwhile, behind the scenes- never covered by the biased media- Hillary is giving voters an idea of her positions and platforms at every meeting and talk she gives.

    On the campaign trail she is tackling the issues... while the media is creating the drama circus as a distraction- and it is working: The Obama folks are all attacking the distraction while they are addicted to the show...

    Meanwhile, in another part of town- where the media do not care to go-not as exciting as the rock star Obama rallies-the Hillary people are listening to what she has to say.

    We will vote on her position on the issues... not on the media hype. That is our advantage, we have substance obscured by media hype. Obama supporters have media hype that obscures more media hype.

    April 13, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  10. wondering in rural PA

    I think it's relevant, Mrs. Clinton. I think it's relevant the same way it's relevant when reporters asked you if you used any of the $800,000 your husband earned by speaking on behalf of free trade with Colombia. I think that you laughed instead of answering that question is very relevant.

    Since you've made such a huge deal depicting Mr. Obama as elitest, I think it is relevant for you to let us know about those very things you say you do. Duck hunting? Church attendance? You say those are things that people should be proud of. . .why then, Mrs. Clinton will you not answer those questions?

    It couldn't possibly be because you are not one of us but rather using us for your own political gain, could it?

    April 13, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  11. Sue

    She should go to church more often. Then she'd more scruples.

    Is she not elitist? Do we not recall fondly Whitewater, Filegate, Travelgate, Cattlegate and Billgate? Some of us do remember. Let's add Bittergate to the pile and be done with it. Enough with the mud-wrestling already. Go away Hillary, and take your baggage with you.

    April 13, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  12. Jllian Kent

    Its 2008 lets just face it people this country is not ready for a black President . That's a pathetic shame when Barack Obama could be one of the best presidents we could ever have but we are just to ignorant and predjudice. I am a 45 year old white woman.

    April 13, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  13. Jerry

    Somebody should give Hillary a loaded gun so we can see her shoot herself.

    April 13, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  14. Kristin Keating

    Its 2008 lets just face it people this country is not ready for a black President . That's a pathetic shame when Barack Obama could be one of the best presidents we could ever have but we are just to ignorant and predjudice. I am a 42 year old white woman.

    April 13, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  15. B

    The Clintons made over $109 million, the taxpapyer paying them milliions, and They made money from NAFTA . They are so out of touch.
    Obama was right, people are upset because the NAFTA (which Hillary Clinton Support) took our jobs, Washington really out of touch, spend Billions on Iraq and Not helping U S Citizens in need, bailout Multi billion dollar company, When we pay taxes, we expect representation. Clinton, America citizen are bitter and tied of the Washington game. We are tired of being looked over. We need a law a that limit Congress term limits. Politicians are not in Washington to get rich.

    April 13, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  16. Noble


    April 13, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  17. Neta

    Hillary picks and chooses what to answer and what to dissmiss.
    She is taking the opportunity to shift gear and change the subject from her unaccounted $15 millions, the sniper of bosnia , Columbia, Nafta...
    Hillary will stop at nothing, the sky is the limit. She found a tiny crack and took off her glove to rip it open.
    She will slice and tear endlessly at what Obama says. One thing is sure, what he said is factual truth. He didn't lie. Compare what Obama said with Hillary lies about Bosnia. She still has some explaining to do.
    Do not change the subject on us Hillary. We are well aware of your tactics.

    April 13, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  18. Hunt Helm

    Sen. Clinton is clearly in desperation attack mode. What Obama said is true and not demeaning in the least. We ARE bitter. And we ARE clinging to what's familiar and recoiling from what is not familiar at a time in world history when things don't look good for our great nation. Obama at least is talking about solutions and not just throwing mud. This "bitter" battle will backfire on Sen. Clinton. The papers in Scranton and Allentown endorsed Obama today - not fooled by Clinton's most recent desperate attack.

    April 13, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  19. justobserve

    "... our own Democrats, give any ammunition to Republicans because what happens then is Republicans take advantage of the situation.”
    It sounds like she talked about herself! Whenever she talks out of both sides of her mouth, it reminds me of her face when she recounted her running under snipers' fire.

    April 13, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  20. Lisa from VA

    This woman makes me physically ill. She is so quick to judge other people. She doesn't care how much it hurts the party as long as she can try and make herself somehow look superior. Talk about being elitist. It is hard to imagine that someone is that full of themself. Sickening. Apalling. She can dodge her sniper fire, refuse to answer questions about the $800,00 from the columbians, say its not important when or if she goes to church, make up her stupid little sob stories about learning to fire a gun. Lies, all lies and I am just sick of her and her lies.

    April 13, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  21. Kim

    I would like for Hillary Clinton to explain why it is okay to blatantly lie on numerous occasions about Tuzla - and then her husband LIES to cover up her lies. THIS is what we want in the White House? The Clintons are making much ado about nothing with this "bitter" issue - God forbid someone speak the truth while running for President.

    Obama '08

    April 13, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  22. Jack

    The best of Barry O's comments (and surrogates):

    "typical white person"
    "punished w/ a baby"
    "that's my cell phone in my pocket...I'm not being fresh"
    "for the first time in my adult life, I'm really proud of my country"
    "I have foreign policy experience b/c I lived overseas"
    "I'd bomb Pakistan"
    "direct talks w/ our enemies"
    "she's a monster"
    "won't really pull troops out of Iraq"
    "won't really back out of NAFTA"
    "JUST WORDS???"
    "I didn't have time to hold a hearing b/c I began running for President"
    "I didn't hear those things said by Rev. Wright"
    "I heard controversial remarks from Rev. Wright, but I don't agree w/ them"

    April 13, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  23. Nakae

    "And we are tired of having Republicans, or frankly our own Democrats, give any ammunition to Republicans "

    Isn't that what Hillary is doing exactly?

    April 13, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  24. Shirley

    Senator Obama's 'bitter' comment has made your front page for 3 days. While the issue of Hillary's support of NAFTA and her compromising position on the Columbia Trade Deal was reported once. CNN's bias in this campaign is actually working to suppress news which impact this election.

    April 13, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  25. Eb-free

    I think that Hillary's refusal to address the question on the last time she went to church or fired a gun is answer enough for me. Maybe she needs to revisit that institution to remind herself on the consequences of lying, even if for a great cause.

    April 13, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
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