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. Charlie, PA

    HILLARY CALLING OBAMA AN ELITIST IS JOKE!!!!!!!!! Last time I checked she was worth $109,000,000 and Obama just finished paying his student loans.

    How can someone who has lived in the Governor's House, White House or Chapaqua/Senate for the past 20+ years claim to be in touch with the common man? She i sonly in touch when it is politically convenient for her.

    My guess is that this will come back to bite her just like every other time she tries to attack him (quoting other politcal speaches, having her representatives speaking to other foreign governments counter to her messages.....)

    April 13, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  2. Dan J

    There are a lot of people that don't go to Church or fire guns, and they are appalled by Obama's candor. It's because while they have different social practices, they know that others go to Church or go hunting for other reasons than "clinging" or "bitterness."

    A candidate can do what they want, but it's insulting to criticize what the motivation is for people to go to Church.

    April 13, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  3. bill

    Hillary is absolutely right.

    HILLARY 08

    April 13, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  4. Debbie

    Hillary is spewing her political pandering. I find it insulting coming from a liar who has the nerve to call someone an elitist. All of this is about nothing. She nor Obama can create jobs but a can create a tone of confidence in the world. Clinton supporters believe she will bring the good times back like they were with her husband. She is a divider and will not.

    April 13, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  5. ??

    That is relevant. She always make up stories. Hillary said that her father taught her to shoot guns and hunting ducks. Her refusal to answer the question is an indication that she is lying again. This woman keeps giving and giving lies. The republicans are going to use all these lies if she won the nomination.
    The fundamental questions are whether she was old enough to learn how to shoot a gun and whether she had a license while hunting ducks.

    April 13, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  6. North Carolina

    The comments recorded by Sen. Obama occurred in the mansion of Pakistani millionaire Sohaib Abbasi. They also include the remarks: “When people tell me they’ve all stressed about racial discord, well, you know, try slavery for a while,” which were interestingly not published along with the "bitter' remarks. One might note that Sen. Obama's father came from Kenya and attended Harvard University.

    April 13, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  7. @americans

    this woman is FRAUD!

    a vote for Billary is a flush of the tissue down the toilet!

    April 13, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  8. Colin Royal

    If Clinton is going to dog Obama about his comments, which he admits was not up to par, then she should answer the people's questions. Senator Clinton has been far to secretive since day 1, and from what I have seen Senator Obama has been more open and has had better communication with the people.

    April 13, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  9. spyturtle

    Is the Bosnian sniper fire, Bill's cashing in on the Colombian free trade, Bill again taking money, this time helping China target Tibetians and monitoring internet users, voting for the war, Whiterwater, lying to the public all not relevant? Hillary has been reduced to the lowest level appealing to fear and splitting apart this country even further. Get back to the issues. We need change. No more Clintons and their unfettered greed and ambition. They are not entitled.

    April 13, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  10. NRA member

    A real all American girl I'll bet ! Would't know the muzzle from the breech! Oh well , anything for a few gullible votes!

    April 13, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  11. Adriene, NC

    Sen. Obama's comments were truthful. I think that Sen. Clinton has loss touch with the American people if she doesn't believe in the truth of his words. The American's are tired of all the lies from politicans these days. We see no end to the war, no solution to the economic down fall, and we deserve to know the truth. At least Sen. Obama is trying to be truthful to the American people, and acknowledging that these problems do exsit.

    April 13, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  12. I need an Answer

    We need someone honest in the Balck house.... sorry i meant White House

    April 13, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  13. hillary 08

    oh yes, im worth over 100 million but i'm not elitist. my colleague grew up in a single household, lived in one of the poorest countries in the world, but he is elitist. vote for me, i'm clearly in touch with the people whos jobs have been shipped overseas due to a trade deal i supported. who are you to say they are bitter, they are happy and they love me for lying to them continuously

    go hillary!!!

    April 13, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  14. Jan

    Clinton is a very smart lady, if it were the other shoe Obama
    certainly wouldn't be so kind. Obama has so much baggage the
    the republicans will tear him up in the election. If Obama is the
    canadate GUARANTEED the democrats will loose. The american
    people have to take a good hard long look at Obama and everything
    he may still have in his closet that could come out in the election.

    April 13, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  15. mary

    HILLARY, WHAT NEXT WILL YOU TRY, ANOTHER WHISKEY OR MAYBE A SNORT OF COCAINE. Remember when your husband was governor of AR. Wake up prople know who you are backing for president of the United States. Read the Clinton Chroniciles.

    I am a white waman in my 60's and I think Obama will make a wonderful president.

    April 13, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  16. Mike

    b e a u t i f u l!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 13, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  17. Ed

    Not relevant. Hmm....I wonder why when she is asked to explain
    something she has said it is not relevant...or cackled off....or made
    into some kind of joke...but somehow Obama needs to explain his
    remarks!!!???Maybe he "misspoke"...or maybe he was just exhausted late at night...or maybe he is not remembering the facts clearly...The fact is Hillary is becoming "NOT RELEVANT!!"

    April 13, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  18. O holy Cow...

    Hhmmm... So NOW she supports Guns and "Religion" – but it is not relevant ... How does that work?

    I guess this is just like her daughter saying we the American public do not deserve an answer to the character questions.... Even though this was all done in the OVAL OFFICE... On OUR dime... Hmmm...

    I am surprised Hillary did not say it was none of our business...

    April 13, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  19. Uncle Sam

    In light of his recent remarks about small town America, more pieces of the puzzle emerge, providing a window into Barack Obama's character. While Sen. Obama's impressive rhetoric continues to be that of change and unity, his underlying attitude is undeniably elitist and condescending, resulting in greater division, not less. The more Americans have an opportunity to see the "man behind the campaign," the more they will realize that appearances can be deceiving. It turns out that unity is not a matter of rhetoric or manner but character and courage.

    Americans for McCain '08

    April 13, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  20. rodolfo acuna

    I am sure that the cause of truth has been advanced. The fear mongering that Bill Clinton admonished in 1992 is being encouraged by his wife who can now belt them down with the old old boys who must be over joyed that she has shot ducks. Bill Clinton and Obama were right when they said that fear overcomes self interest and insecurity leads to taking strength from carrying a gun. Go ask any gang kid why they want to carry a gun and they will tell you "for protection." When people don't have power they turn to enhancers. Hillary instead of improving understanding panders to this element.

    April 13, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  21. Janice-TN

    What do you mean Hillary that it is not relevant the last time you went to church? Who cares about the last time you shot a gun?How can you speak about Christians values if you are not on yourself? How can you speak about whether or not people in rural America are bitter or not if you are not willing to listen, hear and then understand? How can you paint yourself as a role model, a leader when our children can see you in a bar surronded by men drinking? You need to remember that the person who is able to answer that ringing phone at 3 a.m. will be the one who is sober.

    Obama08

    April 13, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  22. Sharon Minnesota

    Hillary is the only democratic candidate that makes any sense at all. I love the way she handles the press and their stupid questions.

    April 13, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  23. Democratic party

    Hahaha wow Hillary never ceases to amaze me! Look who's talking about providing amunition to the Republican party?!! HRC, you have already done that by that unintelligent statament you made a about the "commander and chief threshold" when you clearly endorsed John Mccain. Stating to epople that if they don't vote for you they should vote for MCcain, this statement is CROSSING THE LINE! You are weakening the democratic base Hillary so please take off your running shoes for this race is over!
    Mrs. do anything, say anything (sniper fire, shot a gun when i was a child) to win votes!! We don't want you!!!

    OBAMA 08

    April 13, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  24. Steve from New Jersey

    I think Hillary is handling this situation perfectly. It's time America takes a step back to take a second look at Obama. It's funny how biased the media is when a scandal comes around Obama and how they blow it off. Hillary and Obama have both said they "misspoke". And look at how much it hurt Hillary's campaign, and she didn't even offend Americans directly, like Obama did! It's amazing. I think Obama needs a scandal to show his true colors; it would be a good test for him. I'm a Hillary supporter, but i am impressed at how Obama handles himself when these scandals crop up. He needs to be in the direct line of fire for this, because it was offending what he said. This could kill the democratic party in November. It's make or break for Obama, or else Hillary is walking away with the nomination and the Presidency. Good luck guys...

    HC '08

    April 13, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  25. christopher

    let me get this right. it is "elitist" for obama to have said what he did regarding guns, religion, etc, but it isn't elitist of clintion to think that the voters are dumb enough to believe her when she says that she opposes that colombian trade deal that both a high ranking member of her campaign and her own husband(and therefore herself) have profited from ? she obviously thinks that people are stupid to believe all of her misrememberances, misstatements, and shock that people she is involved with could be doing these things. please.

    April 13, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
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