April 13th, 2008
05:00 PM ET
13 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. Shelley

    Hillary says Barack can't win if he appears elitist. I don't believe that he does appear elitist. He just refuses to dumb the election down to stereotypes and soundbites. We're smart enough to understand beyond Clinton soundbites. We are smart enough to understand context. Barack may not have chosen the right words to make his point but at least his words reflect reality... He did not mis-speak to the point of creating a fairy tale sniper situation.

    April 13, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  2. Sharon, Seattle

    What's relevant is that the Scranton, Pennsylvania newspaper has backed Obama. So much for her hometown ties. That doesn't appear to be "relevent" either.

    What's relevent is who isn't divisive and opportunistic. The Clintons haven't changed one bit.

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

    I am a Pennsylvanian and for Hillary Clinton to allow Obama's persona/character to go tarnished is uncomprehensible. She was asked at a campaign stop today in Scranton and by the media commentors, "you know Obama, do you believe him to be an elitist and do you believe that he demeans others beliefs and values. (guns and religion)" She responded, "what he said was elitist and demeaning." Society needs to be more persistent to get an response regarding her knowing him personally and whether she knows him to be an elitist and demeanors people's beliefs and values, with a "yes" and "no" answer. Also, with other senators, governors, and mayors who knows him. If she responds with a no, it shows that he did misspoke and may have artfully said it wrong and was rightfully to have apologized to potential supporters for any misunderstanding in what he meant to say with those who are upset. This shows a "spin" put on his words and therefore, we can now rid ourselves of this issue. Hillary will not answer with a no, because it illustrates credibility & trustworthiness issues, judgment in making and addressing this as an campaign issue, questions her true character about doing anything to get elected and shows that she is the one out of touch with Pennsylvanians and other states. This needs to be addressed by the media and other gov't official now, so that, Obama persona is restored before the upcoming primaries. This will reflect an equal treatment in a call for a more responsive answer similiar to Obama being asked to clarify what he meant.

    April 13, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  4. zach

    What an old battle ax......She still cannot answer a direct question....same with her pimped out daughter Chelsea...

    Just answer the question woman!

    April 13, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  5. ANNA

    She has got to be kidding, how can she be in touch with the values and lives of Americans. What percentage of americans made over 100 million dollars. Yes we are bitter, her and husbands have sent our jobs out of the country. Penn stepped down, she did not fire him. She need to give America a break. How can she say we are strong in faith and then in the same breathe say it is not relevant when the last time she went to church. She has such a big problem with Obama because he tells the TRUTH..Something her and her husband no nothing about.

    OBAMA 08

    April 13, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  6. Obama Nation

    Obamatactic 101, defocus, distract, and personal attacks.

    April 13, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  7. Guy Marshall

    I am a Pennsylvanian and for Hillary Clinton to allow Obama's persona/character to go tarnished is uncomprehensible. She was asked at a campaign stop today in Scranton and by the media commentors, "you know Obama, do you believe him to be an elitist and do you believe that he demeans others beliefs and values. (guns and religion)" She responded, "what he said was elitist and demeaning." Society needs to be more persistent to get an response regarding her knowing him personally and whether she knows him to be an elitist and demeanors people's beliefs and values, with a "yes" and "no" answer. Also, with other senators, governors, and mayors who knows him. If she responds with a no, it shows that he did misspoke and may have artfully said it wrong and was rightfully to have apologized to potential supporters for any misunderstanding in what he meant to say with those who are upset. This shows a "spin" put on his words and therefore, we can now rid ourselves of this issue. Hillary will not answer with a no, because it illustrates credibility & trustworthiness issues, judgment in making and addressing this as an campaign issue, questions her true character about doing anything to get elected and shows that she is the one out of touch with Pennsylvanians and other states. This needs to be addressed by the media and other gov't official now, so that, Obama persona is restored before the upcoming primaries. This will reflect an equal treatment in a call for a more responsive answer similiar to Obama being asked to clarify what he meant. I am a Pennsylvanian

    April 13, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  8. cyp

    The last time she whent to church or fired a gun is NOT important.
    What is important is the candidates view on those subjects.
    Because views and opinions will influence their decision making process.

    As far as Obama is concerned, his views and opinions appear to
    be heavily influenced by his pastor of 20 years.

    His vocabulary serves as a window to who he really is.
    It has betrayed his inner thoughts.

    Now, CNN will you be refusing to post this as well ?
    Is anything we say about Obama, became un- postable ?

    April 13, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  9. troubled american

    ...said the woman who lives in a bubble of presidential privilage and who is part of a 109 million dollar fortune. Did she, her husband, and her daughter go to public colleges? Carlyle Group, who's on your roster?

    April 13, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  10. Adam

    Obama's worth $1 million dollars.

    Clinton's worth $109 million.

    YOU are the only "elitist" in this race.

    GET IT?

    April 13, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  11. Sarah

    If Clinton is referring to John Kerry when she talks about "good men running for president" viewed as "elitist and out of touch" doesn't that make her Karl Rove, since she's the one pushing this line of attack? I'm increasingly confused about her party affiliation.

    April 13, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  12. judyb

    Obama an elitist? He didn't earn $20 million dollars last year or $109 million over the past 7 years. He isn't supported by a millionaire wife. He did finally earn a million by writing two books that allowed him to pay off the enormous student loan debt that he and Michelle incurred to get an education.

    April 13, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  13. DM. Arlington Texas

    Senator Hillary Clinton,

    She a liar who's sneaking in the confidence of PA's Church goer's and gun owners in her ruthless way using any type of appeal to votes. Once, she get her way she will as she always done just forget about all the broken promises she ever made.

    PA's Voters VS Senator Hillary Clinton

    just like

    Peter Paul VS Hillary Clintion

    Just like Whitewater, Travelgate, Monica Lewinski,

    Well I guess we will never learn from history.

    The Clinton have a history of ruining people lifes PA's will be the Next on there list..

    April 13, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  14. The Media loves Barack

    Haha....this is way too funny. The media still trying to make Hillary look bad- this is good stuff. As a Republican all I can do is sit back and chuckle. The media is in love with Obama....a self proclaimed ELITIST and RACIST to boot.

    As a black woman, I wonder what people are thinking about. Is Barack so important to the black community, and to the media that wants a Dem to win the election sooo bad; that they will turn their heads when the elitist, racist Obama speaks his hate?

    Take a look around folks- the apple never falls too far from the tree. If it looks like a duck, and walks like a duck....well, you get my point.

    I guess if I am really upset about Obama I could go get my gun, and listen to some Black Panthers speak. LOL.

    OBAMA +RACIST+ ELITIST= MEDIA DARLING ????

    April 13, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  15. pjonathan

    Bernstein just said it best about Hillary's guns and God attack on Obama:
    "In A Woman in Charge, I wrote about her ability to evolve, observable especially in the years before she met Bill Clinton and in the Senate: to learn from her mistakes. Events have proven me wrong on that count."

    April 13, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  16. Ade

    Clinton would fail the light detector test!

    April 13, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  17. HOPE IN ALABAMA

    Hilary can't get the hometown paper to back her. Also, how can she bring the country together when her and Bill don't agree on something as important as Nafta? If he took money from China then she enjoyed spending. They are one or should married people be divided?

    April 13, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  18. Margaret

    Oh Hillary.. I cannot stand you and your lies anymore.

    You dont care for common people.

    April 13, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  19. mariann

    Let's hear from the Pennsylvanians themselves – are they cynical? Yes, are they bitter? Yes; are they angry at the govt? Yes; do they feel like they've been screwed over by NAFTA? Yes; does Clinton's tax returns and post presidential income at taxpayers' expense make them feel any better? Hell, no............divide and conquer, the oldest tactic in the book! Shame on Hillary and McCain, shame on them! By the way, Hillary also attended an Ivory league school – Yale, and recently release hers & Bills income of ovre $100 million; how many taxpaying Americans can claim they went to Yale too and earned $100 million (and even more, off the backs of the taxpayers to support post-presidential functions of Bill Clinton?)

    April 13, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  20. bobb

    Hillary going to church is relevant. She slammed Obama over his pastor saying she would have left the guy long ago.....like she is the expert in pastoral affairs. Hillary has no pastor to leave. What a sham artist!!

    April 13, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  21. GO HILLARY

    i completely agree!

    i'm tired of everyone saying that people who use guns or go to church should be republicans!

    it's nice that FINALLY someone is showing that in the democratic party we love god and not all of us are anti-gun. these are the kind of dems that live in indiana and pennsylvania. GOOD JOB HILLARY!

    April 13, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  22. pd4hillary

    Don't forget that the important parts of his comments were that small town people are racist and xenophobic because they don't understand their economic conditions. It that's not elitist and divisive, I don't know what is. Enough with the limosine liberal crowd of the Kennedys, Kerry, and Obama. The Clintons came from nothing and made it to the top. There is absolutely nothing elitist about them; I don't care how much money they make now.

    April 13, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  23. Will in Virginia

    Oh, "Not relevant"! Not relevant because you made a big to-do about nothing over a "word" used by Senator Obama. Now when a direct question related to the statement made concerning your church attendance and gun usage comes up, you find it irrelevant. How ironic you hypocrite!

    April 13, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  24. kmontgomery

    It is absolutely amazing the twist the Clintons and commentators can put on Obama's words. But nothing sets right with Hillary blatantly lieing about being under sniper fire and her husband saying she was to old and tired to get the story straight. But yet she is the same woman that is capable and level headed at 3am to answer the phone. Give me a break and I said last summer that since we still live in a "RACIST" society in AMERICA that John McCain will be our next president. So who cares about how the Clintons spin the situation. The results are already in.

    Tired in KC

    April 13, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  25. Jeanette TN

    WOW!! The last time you went to church is not relevant!! How can you Hillary speak on christian values when you are a non christian, and a boozer to boot. Oh yea, maybe you missed spoke again.

    Obama 08

    April 13, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
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