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. berinde, san francisco

    What a pathetic creature is Hillary Clinton! She is ready now to sell all her principles (if any) for votes... Stay ou of polictcs! You "bitter" it...

    April 13, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  2. Cody MacCabe

    She says that the last time she went to church isn't relevant, maybe it isn't relevant because she can't remember the last time she went to church.

    April 13, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  3. Sarah

    I can't believe some of the people who are now calling Hillary a drunk and pro-NAFTA, because she had a shot of very good Canadian whiskey. They screamed for her tax returns, and now are jealous because of how much they made in 8 years. They call her "gun-toting" because she has learned to shoot a gun.
    There is nothing she can do to make some of these people happy, I would like to see their justification if the tables were turned and it were their candidate that were in her shoes.
    We need to get it together and realize that all of these candidates are people just like the rest of us.

    April 13, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  4. Ridgeway

    She's familiar with guns? I would imagine then she know what type of rifle the sniper was using in Bosnia when she came under fire.
    It's of great comfort to know a potential Commander in Chief would know their weaponry.

    April 13, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  5. Herman LA, CA

    This just goes to show what her motives are and any one who can't see through the eye of this woman is either blind or wearing a mask over their eyes.

    What a shame that American politics with these darn Clintons have stoop to this level and her supporters should really be questioning her and how she would govern this great country of ours.

    Obama 08!!!

    April 13, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  6. Gayle in NYC

    Obama an elitist? There's a new photo of the senator serving hamburgers to his staff. He is using tongs. I rest my case.

    April 13, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  7. Alex

    Its amazing to me that she would state Obama is "elitist" and then turn around and say she's only saying it because the Republicans will say it in the Fall. So Hillary has joined the Republican attack machine?? I guess it doesn't surprise me from someone who cashed in on her husbands presidency for 109 million bucks...that's what I call "elitist".

    April 13, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  8. Jermaine

    Hillary Clinton knows fully well what Barack OBAMA meant, she is the one being division and she follow the Republican line of attack on OBAMA in calling him elitist. The fact is he is neither elitist, nor anti-religious. Hillary Clinton went on to say it didn't matter if she went to church, well when she inject herself on this issue it does. Her comment of "SO", sounds every bit like Dick Cheney and it proves again that Hillary is very much a Republican in Democrats clothing. The question is and should be "WHO IS THE REAL HILLARY". Hillary believe because she can dish out dirt against the Republican's she can win the Presidency, I beg to differ. Hillary she be very careful, because in the end what she will face is a "BLACK" ELECTORATE who will not support her candidacy should she cripple OBAMA as she is intent on doing!

    OBAMA-CASEY 2008

    April 13, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |

    She just doesn't get it. As a rural white male. I'm bitter as hell at the current state of our country. She is part of the problem in Washington. The lies that spew from her mouth makes one sick and tired of the current Washington political games that are played.

    Obama 08

    April 13, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  10. Joyce

    I believe most Americans are smart enough to know that Obama does not look down on them and he was making a point as to how we feel when we are bitter about what is happening in this country. The Clinton campaign thinks making a big thing out of the way he said it will get a win for them but I hope it backfires on them.

    April 13, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  11. Hillary08

    questions of some importance would be nice..................jeezzzz!

    April 13, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  12. RWL

    HAA HAA HAA HAAA!! Um.. so it doesn't matter when the last time YOU went to church or when hunting!??!!

    Way to be one with the people! You are sooo in touch.

    This is just pathetic.

    April 13, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  13. Pat Texas

    “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.”

    So when you say you are ready to run the country & McCain is ready to run the country is this not giving the Republicians ammunition when Obama wins the primary. Double standards Hillary, Double standards

    April 13, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  14. Charles from PA

    Hey Hillary, if you are going to make a point of making it part of your campaign, then it is most definitely relevant.

    Obama '08

    April 13, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  15. Kyra


    I am really curious to know how she thinks she will win if she degrades Obama and his supporters like this.

    I do not see this from Obama anyway...

    Anyway...everybody..Democrats are gone. They are gone.

    McCain 2008

    April 13, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  16. Ilona Proud Canadian

    When will this candidate stop putting her foot in her mouth!!!

    Just like daughter "chelsea's" answer to the students, here is Sen. Clinton, telling people who came to hear her speak, that their question as to when was the last time she went to Church, and when was the last time she used a gun?? These questions are "not relevant"

    April 13, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  17. Election Observer from Germany

    Sorry but this hole debate about Obamas (true) "bitter" statement is just laughable.

    If this debate has a negative turnout on Obamas polls then i think the brainless took over the country.

    April 13, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  18. Nicholas A. Rhoades

    So now, not more than 24 hours after Mrs. Clinton refered to Obama as an elitist, is she saying that he is not an elitist? This is just another example of Mrs. Clinton engaging in political opportunism. Without even waiting to consider what Mr. Obama meant by his words, to seek clarification, she immediately went into attack mode, in every effort to gain an advantage over her opponent, regardless of the truth of the matter; and the press, eager to garner ratings is inadvertantly allowing her (and Mr. McCain) to fan the flames of this issue without stopping to consider what Mr. Obama meant when he made those statemnts, and whether or not there is any validity in them. Is this really what we want in a leader?

    April 13, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  19. Ken, LA California

    Do people in PA want jobs or guns, this is the fundamental question. Do they want to vote for Republicans because of Gun rights or they want jobs.

    April 13, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  20. John - Maryland

    BTW – He is so very presidential......"Sen. Obama told a North Carolina newspaper if he offended anyone, he deeply regrets it." and the other one is " I didn't say it well as I should have"

    Folks he did not even blame HRC. He owned up to it even though I think we was telling the truth. Now that is the president I want.

    April 13, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  21. Steve, Eugene, OR

    Obama is the only candidate left who did not grow up privileged. He is the only candidate running who has lived among the world's poorest people. He is the only candidate who grew up poor, and worked directly with marginalized communities and stood up for their interests. Obama's comments, when examined in their entirety, in fact show a great deal of empathy for rural Americans, and reflect what voters have been telling him as he interacts with people in these economically distressed communities. The fact that Clinton and McCain, and their supporters, just like Bush did before them, have taken his remarks out of context, and spun them in the worst possible way. It also amazes me that Obama has not used this controversy as a rallying cry to change the way we do politics in the United States. There is no way that I will vote for either Clinton or McCain in the general election. They are both no different from Bushco. Please print this CNN!

    April 13, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  22. ariel

    I get it, Sen. Clinton: you don't believe Obama is electable.But Americans realize that you are even less electable. So you lose.

    April 13, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  23. Fred

    Clintons Bought and paid for by Columbia and NAFTA.

    April 13, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  24. pbj

    Translation: "Anything that shows I'm a liar or that I am being deceptive is not relevant." By the way, what WAS your answer to that question about the conflict of interest arising out of your husband getting money from that group that supports the Columbian trade legislation you oppose? Oh, yeah, I guess that's not relevant either. She's becoming a caricature of herself.

    April 13, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  25. Kimberly in Texas

    And Hillary, you are not only an elitist yourself, you are also a liar and a fraud!

    April 13, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
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