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. typical voter...

    WOW....Every Pundit and News Media outlet is Really letting Barack Have it! I would have to say that for all of the HRC supporters this is really exciting!

    I also wonder if the Obama supporters are feeling as if HRC has gotten a "Free Ride" with her recent gaffes and of message remarks? Bosnia....The Last time she fired a gun? How she can be a true voice of BLue Collar Folk (With that 109 million in the bank and all)......

    You know I do feel Bitter.......

    April 13, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  2. deeh

    Good for Hilary on her answer concerning last time she went to church or carried a gun. I'm a praying person and everytime I pray at home or where ever I maybe, I feel like I've been to church. I don't like guns personally, but if I am to have my traditional food, I support the need for guns.

    You don't have to carry a gun or go to church to prove your personal values.

    As an outsider who is completely immersed in this democratic run for candidacy, I am just wondering how this blunder is going to be explained away.

    April 13, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  3. jason

    It's a shame that she can't say anything without people thinking that she's either pandering or lying. The fatal flaw in her campaign, I suspect ...

    April 13, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  4. Bademus

    Some poorly chosen words by a candidate who is sympathizing with struggling Americans does not show someone who is out of touch. Saying the struggling people are optimistic rather than angry minimizes the economic realities that some are facing and distorting her opponents words for political gain. She is the one who gives the ammunition to the Republicans. She is doing it right now.

    April 13, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  5. Arkansan in Little Rock

    Once again, this flap will show how Clinton is just another political opportunist. An avid gun control advocate herself, Clinton now has become a gun lover. Likewise, her background is about as elitist as one can get - Wellesly undergrad, Yale Law School, silk-stocking Rose Law Firm (oldest west of the Mississippi), board positions on big corporations that treat their employees poorly, and so on.

    When this all shakes out, she will end up with egg on her face. She is the Great Pretender. Obama will weather this and get back to his message of change. OBAMA 08

    April 13, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  6. David, New Castle. PA

    Hillary Clinton is just a rank politician in the worst sense. She will say anything to get votes. Guns? The strictest gun laws we have came under her husband's term and she was a cheerleader for those laws (Brady Bill, etc). Who is she trying to kid? She has no scruples when it comes to memory (Bosnia sniping incident that did not happen) and is the real 'elitist' who thinks everyone is too dumb or short-sighted to catch her in her deceptions. She is a liar and that is not a moral person. Recently she has pretended to be against trade agreements like Nafta while the record shows she spoke in favor of it back when it was crafted by another Clinton. Further she says she's against trade deals with Columbia while one of her top aides works on behalf on the supporters of it (Mark Penn). She has no morality except what serves her at the moment.

    April 13, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  7. 2008 for Obama


    April 13, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  8. Nick

    Hillary Clinton has handeled issues on guns, religion, and Barrack Obama's "bitter" comments in a very polished way. The media once again makes her sound like bad person. Her comments of Obama being divisive are true, as he tells the rich folks one thing, and the poor folks another. Shame on Barrack for the wink-wink politics.

    April 13, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  9. Craig in Texas Democrat and supporter for Obama

    She has officially destroyed the Democratic Party

    April 13, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  10. John

    Such questions are not relevant–except when a candidate makes an issue of them. Hillary has made going to church and shooting a gun campaign issues, and she is using them to attack Obama. Therefore, they are relevant, and she should have to answer for them.

    April 13, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  11. Kevin

    Of course she's used a gun. Wasn't she a sniper in Bosnia?

    April 13, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  12. Bernie Moore-Knowles


    Oh dear, HRC! How about listening? How much ammo have you given the Republican party with your constant attacks on Obama? Are you for real? I honestly believe you have gone off the edge. Honestly. I find it hard to believe that there are folks that support you. Are you really who you represent yourself to be? If so? Sad state of American politics, indeed. Indeed.

    Bernie Moore-Knowles
    Papa'aloa, Hawai'i

    April 13, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  13. Indy for Obama

    If you think Obama is out of touch with why people trust their gun and their religion more than their government, and yet you cannot be in touch with guns and religion yourself, it is very relevant.

    April 13, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  14. Jeff

    Hillary is despicable! Just few days ago she had the Bosnia flap, Mark Penn-Colombia, and Obama did not attack her! She is an animal ready to do anything. It has to be Hillary or nobody. Also, I don't understand when she claims that republican won't attack her! TRAVELGATE, PETER PAUL, WHITEWATER, BOSNIA, BILL CLITON PARDONS..It's a very very long list. I hate her

    April 13, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  15. Sheryl

    If memory serves me right, Bill Clinton back in 1991, was quoted in the LA Times as saying the economically insecure white people were scared to death. If Obama's bitter comments were directed towards Inner City Voters, would the media be equally concerned?

    Born in PA

    April 13, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  16. Pat Carpenter

    I believe that the so called "Christian Right Wing" members are not going to vote for Clinton or Obama, regarless of the Republican nominee, so whether Hillary goes to church or not is probably not relevent. However, it says something about her ability to reach out and change things. That, Obama has wired, regardless of relevency.

    April 13, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  17. Ilona Proud Canadian

    Sen. Clinton refuses to answer tough questions. No, it is much better to keep the voters focused on the claim that Sen. Obama is "elitist".
    Well I don't think Sen. Obama is the one who made $109million recently. Sen. Obama is not the one who lined his pockets with $800,000, from a speech given to promote free trade and Sen. Obama is not the one who is power hungry. Now tell me truthfully, who is the "elitist"

    Sen. Clinton is the one who boasted about her lessons in shooting.
    She is the one who jumped on Rev. Wright 's band-wagon non stop. But now that she is being questioned on the topics of guns and church. "THESE QUESTIONS ARE NOT RELEVANT".

    I hope that CNN will do some reporting on this issue, just as they are on Sen. Obama's "bitter" issue!!!!!

    The honest to goodness truth is that Sen. Clinton is the true "elitist"

    April 13, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  18. Raponikoff

    I think this is extremely relevant. Mrs Clinton has gone out of her way to sound more like McCain in the past few days than that he has. If you are going to start campaigning as a Republican, you should have the decency to back up your claims with actual proof!

    Go Obama 2008!

    April 13, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  19. Bryan

    “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.

    Right – the Clintons made over 109 Million over nine years and they are "in touch" with Americans and not elitist – I don't thing so.

    April 13, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  20. dEMABRAT

    She's right.

    April 13, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  21. JN

    Interesting that she brings this gun fact up when she's out on the STUMP but when asked about it, she says it isn't relevent....then why bring it up.....to kiss the a*s of the super-delegates...JUST FOR ONCE HILLARY, WHEN ASKED A DIRECT QUESTION, ANSWER IT ONCE AND FOR ALL...stop flip-flopping on the issues.. It's relevant..it's not relevant...make up your mind. Barack Obama is a GOOD man compared to the one you're married too

    April 13, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  22. S. Moody Columbia, SC

    I'd hardly think that a woman who couldn't recognize the truth if it ran over her should be the last one telling someone else they need to explain themselves we are still trying to figure out why she lied about being under sniper fire and why her husband a week later came behing her and told more lies to try to cover up the lies she had already told. There seems to be a common theme going in the Clinton campaign and it sounds a lot like that them is centered around "lies".

    April 13, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  23. carol

    She ought to be ashamed of herself. Drinking the night before and going to talk about church. She is a hypocrit.

    April 13, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  24. BV

    So maybe you shouldn't have opened your big mouth about being a gun loving church going every-girl if you didn't want the record examined, Hillary!
    Its a fair question, considering the direction she wants to take this debate, and one she should answer. After all, if there's one thing Americans hate more than elitism, its hypocrisy.

    April 13, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  25. jer

    Hillary $109 million dollars earned since 2001 and you are calling Obama an elitist. Everything I've seen him talk about and his community service he performed for the steel workers is the complete opposite. Obama has talked more about personal obligation and getting involved. He is a Christian and is not scared to be. Everyone I have heard talk about his fund raising speech are people that are rich and would like to put him back in his place. Give regular people a little credit of being smarter than falling for the same old political tricks.
    Obama didn't say it just right but it was the elites from Washington that jumped on it and said we got him now.
    We are smarter than that out her in Indiana and know Obama is our only hope of making real change by bringing people together. If we let people pick apart what is said then nothing will ever change.
    As for me I know that all these politicians are elites. And Hillary's $109 million dollars is more evidence than a few words that were twisted as a gotcha

    April 13, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
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