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. Teresa (NC)

    It's not "relevant" at this time because she'll need to consult with others to come up with a truthful answer.

    April 13, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  2. Robin, Tennessee

    Hillary,Hillary, whats this I hear about it not being relevant the last time you went to church it is very relevant to us Christians maybe drinking in the bar surrounded by men that are not your husband is whats relevant to you. Barrack Obama is the right man with the right judgement for America . Obama 08

    April 13, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  3. Ed, Santa Fe, NM

    OH HILLARY... evasive again, huh? It's YOU who are not RELEVANT.. Go home and count your millions.

    April 13, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  4. Wow....

    Is Hillary serious? This chick is so funny to me!!! Simply question... When was the last time you went to church or shot a gun? If you are going to speak about religion and not go to church, something is very wrong with this picture! Now that gun incident is another story.... She should avoid all guns comments after her Bosnia mixup!

    Was she taking a swipe at Al Gore with her mention of the 2000 president election? Just asking!

    April 13, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  5. Dan from Ohio

    “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 has a point here, and it seems that she is again trying to convince superdelegates that Obama will be characterized as elitist by the Republican attack dogs. I don't think this argument will work for her though, as she could be characterized the same way (Wal-Mart board member . . .).

    Either way, I think this year, rather than letting the Republican smear artists make our decisions for us based on who we think they would smear more or less, we should pick the candidate WE want and expose them for the frauds they are. The fact that the Swiftboat Veterans for Truth were allowed to have the influence they did, when some of them admitted they lied and others admitted they did not serve with John Kerry, is disgusting.

    Let's stop being afraid of them. It is time for them to be afraid of us.

    April 13, 2008 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  6. Democrats in '08

    Disgusting. At this point Hillary is just trying to make Obama into an unelectable candidate regardless of the consequences to the party. She's perpetuating an image of Democrats that helped seal Kerry's fate (and Gore's) solely because she thinks it will help her short-term goals, and along the way she's reinforcing the image of herself as a unabashed liar. It's time to end this race before she brings down the entire party and gives away not only the presidency, but congressional seats across the country.

    April 13, 2008 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  7. Brian

    Valid points. But I'm tired of Democrats feeling they have to choreograph their remarks so as to not "give ammunition" to the Republicans.

    Isn't there something to be said for a new politics, one where we worry less about "giving ammunition" and more about speaking truth and promoting progress?

    Obama's willing to give it a shot, I think. It's why he just keeps saying things that "smart" politicians don't say. Clinton, on the other hand, doesn't want it.

    It's a legitimate difference of opinion - do we take a risk and hope for something great, or play it safe and hope for another so-so Democratic administration?

    April 13, 2008 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  8. Starxzilla

    So let me get this straight... she and Bill, lie and play double agent on Nafta, 'misspeak', embelish... but the real issue is Obama expressing the valid sentiment of people with whom he's come in contact, and is relaying their ideas... and THATS the scandal??? How does that make sense?

    April 13, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  9. Mark

    Hello Hillary,
    Rather banking on how your opponent (maybe poorly) worded his findings, could you base your campaign on something your own? When something comes our of your own, they are ususally lies, fabrications, and deceitfullness.

    April 13, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  10. John S

    Hillary Clinton- just one of the boys- at $10 a year and a New York Mansion, buying a Senate seat in a state she had to connection with, campaigning for Barry Goldwater, etc. ad nausem- She's no elitist- No her big fund raiser this month was courtesy of a foreign citizen glitter boy g a y popstar who has a British Royalty title- is that even legal? I thought foreign donations were against the law. Now she's just a beer drinking, gun toting guy- Give me a break...

    April 13, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  11. John


    Note to the DLC:

    We refuse to abandon our principles to get elected.

    Clearly Hillary doesn't.

    April 13, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  12. gene

    You go girl. It is about time someone has been able to expose the real nature of this person. He is an elitiest, who has never done a real day's work in his life, but talks about his great love for the working people, but before the well healed liberal left wing (where he is appealing to them for their money), he demeans the many people he wants to vote for him. The anti Hillary bashers will be all over this in short order. Many of these bashers are no more then paid volunteers, who have scripts to work from. Many unions employee these tactics. The SEIU claims to have 250,000 members in Pennsylvania. This is also the same union that was fielding all those volunteers in Nevada and California.

    April 13, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  13. Greg in Canada

    McCain and Clinton FIRST attack Obama because he is a church-going Christian and NOW they attack him as being anti-religion?
    Talk about serious inconsistencies...

    April 13, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  14. Ravi

    Hillary Clinton is hardly one to talk of elitism with her high powered fund raisers and $109 million in income. I find it rich that she even attempt to project herself as so populist when her campaign has approached this Democratic nomination race with a snobbish attitude of entitlement.

    She is clearly trying to deflect attention from her many ineptitudes and the underlying thrust of Barack Obama's message – on the economy. She lied about holding reservations to NAFTA (as her White House records clearly indicate), and both her husband and Mark Penn have benefited greatly from lobbying initiatives for the US-Colombia FTA.

    The truth is Hillary Clinton will grab at anything to lower Barack Obama – if he should ever have the misfortune of sneezing in public, she'll probably have her campaign spin that as an issue about the frailty of his health or some such nonsense. Thankfully she doesn't appeal to voters with a brain – who form the majority of voters.

    April 13, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  15. Monroe

    Hillary and Barack have different views of what politics should be about. Hillary's strategy for years has been to hover as close as possible to the "center" and pander to as many people as possible. In contrast, Barack wants to appeal to our better angels, transcend the divisive issues and bring people together around common purposes. Instead of operating within the partitions created by wedge issues, he wants to unite us around more significant concerns like economic fairness. Meanwhile, Hillary is still thinking inside the box.

    April 13, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  16. Bob

    I am a 62 years old, southern white male, independent voter. For the past 37 years of my life, I have been seeing the same politicians around who are more concerned about their interests. This year, I thought a change would be made at the white house, reason I am supporting Obama.
    The more I see Clinton, the "bitter" I become to know that she wants the White House so bad. Sorry! if she is the democratic nominee, I will make sure Mccain gets my vote.

    April 13, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  17. Jack the Dog

    She claims to have gone duck hunting, too. Perhaps in Bosnia?

    Obama's remarks may have been unartful. But I'd rather have an occasionally unartful Obama in the White House than a lying, wacky, sleazy Clinton.

    Obama or McCain in '08.

    April 13, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  18. Marcia

    She's a snake oil saleperson, and only goes to church when it will get her more votes.

    Pander, pander, pander. It won't work.

    April 13, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  19. WY

    Hmm ... "not relevant" ...

    It's interesting how when the questions are directed towards her, the issue(s) is(are) suddenly "not relevant."

    And finishing an answer with "I mean, so?" is completely disrespectful, not to mention arrogant, and oh yeah, elitist.

    April 13, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  20. carrie

    if u went to church,you would know that u are not supposed to lie,backstab,point fingers,decieve,take advantage of people and best of all,you should not RUN FOR PRESIDENT,WHEN U KNOW YOU CANT WIN.

    April 13, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  21. Pittsburgh Native

    I was born and raised in the Pittsburgh area and I know a lot of people who have been hit hard by the failures of the Bush and Clinton administrations. However, the Bush Administration is the worst.

    I did not get the insult from Senator Obama. I knew what he was saying and I know how my friends and relatives feel about the economy and the shaft we have been getting.

    I agree with Sam from Indiana who wrote: "If you have lost your job and are going into foreclosure, you are bitter. PA people should be very mad. And they should never forget that the Clintons were the ones who supported NAFTA. And what about Columbia and Bill Clinton and their $800,000 gained from it?"

    It is laughable that Senator Clinton would call Obama an elitist when she is worth over a hundred million dollars and he is worth less that $900,000 dollars including book royalties. McCain is also worth over a hundred million dollars with his wife.

    Billary and McWarMongerer have a lot of nerve, don't they?

    April 13, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  22. Hannah, PA

    Hillary is a huckster–and Americans know doublespeak when we hear it.

    Obama 08

    April 13, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  23. Washington, DC

    I am sickened to read Clinton attacking Obama on this, calling him "out of touch" and "divisive." Obama could have attacked her on plenty - for one, having MARK PENN as her campaign strategist but her kept his mouth shut. Clinton doesn't give a hoot about people unless they are in states that matter to her winning the nomination. What are people to think in states that she doesn't consider key to winning??????? Hillary gets A FREE RIDE ALL THE TIME because the media knows and all the powerful Washington insiders know that the Clintons will try and ruin them like they so many others. Talk about divided - this Obama supporter is not going to sit back and stay positive. I will NOT VOTE, period if Hillary is the nominee. She's a disgrace to the Democrats and this last round of her "bad mouthing" has set me over the line. Obama does not need to apologize for anything. I'm sick of the media saying he's on the defensive.

    Frustrated in DC.

    April 13, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  24. Lisa from GA

    Clinton knocks on doors in Scranton, Pa. what a joke..
    1. The polls show white women are changing from Hillary to Obama

    2. Clinton campaign states that polls are not acurate and that they dont matter

    3. Why wasn't she knocking on doors before now?

    4. Hillary stated that Florida and Michigan didnt matter.When realized ater recovering from sniper fire that it did matter she is pressing the issue..(which by the way is a lost cause)

    5. All her fellow democrats want her out of the way (in the way)

    6. Lost the nomination.... inevitable.= priceless

    7. Hillary campaign does not have any dignity....

    8. Hillary is wasting peoples money,,,, she is not in a postion to win... complete liar and manipulator,,

    April 13, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  25. mary

    Is anybody ask you 'what's gone happen on april 25. 'In your case against Paul. I don't understand, why the media are not talking about it or even your oponent..... What are you hidding Mrs Clinton with your husband again, what's next...What we should know about you that we don't know yet??????????

    April 13, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
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