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. Honest Abe

    Hmmm...... The Clinton's – $109 million
    The Obama's – $1.7 million
    McCain and Anheiser Busch Heiress Wife – $More than you
    can imagine.



    April 13, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  2. sharon

    She brings up church and gun ownership and then says questions about her personal actions in that regard are irrelevant.....WHAT?

    April 13, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  3. ken levy

    Its a matter of trust.I love my country.I am not bitter.I do believe in God and I would never ever slam my country into the ground.That is why I will not vote for Obama.I think he is anti-American now for sure.First their was the Rev Wright issue,a man that Obama thought of as his loving uncle.A man who told the world we deserved 911 and that God slammed America.Obama sat in that church for 20 years.And after all that even today he calls him his friend! And now Obama calls Americans bitter,and all we care about are our guns? I know the youth follow this man.In 1935 Germany the youth followed another man called Hitler.We all know how that movie ended.I am going to vote for Hillary Clinton.She may not be perfect but I know she loves America as much as I do.And most of all I trust her as my President!!

    April 13, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  4. Phil

    How typical of the Clintons. Of course the question is relevant - if the last time she fired a gun was 50 years ago and she didn't go to church on Easter, how can she get on the pro-gun, religion pulpit? For that matter, does she OWN a gun?

    April 13, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  5. ryan

    hopefully Obama is smart enough...and perhaps brave enough, to make sure he does not get painted as an elitist, because he is much less deserving of that title than Kerry or Gore were.

    He just needs to be aggressive in confronting controversy in the way he did on the rev. Wright issue

    April 13, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  6. Jerry

    Hillary wants to "answer that some other time" because it's another instance of her memory playing tricks on her. She CAN'T REMEMBER the last time she held a gun; probably it was right when she was dodging bullets. The woman is a fabulist.

    April 13, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  7. s.positive


    April 13, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  8. is it necessary

    clinton you are irrelevant in american politics

    April 13, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  9. Ohio voter

    I think that she SHOULD state the last time she attended church or fired a gun. If she's going to be making claims like that then she should have no problem answering those questions...or is she making stuff up again like Bosnia? I mean, to criticize what Obama said and then try and get behind the fact that she attends church and knows how to fire a killing machine yet refuses to sate WHEN she did both of those makes me (again) leary of her ability to tell the truth.

    April 13, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  10. hureal shelton

    You are on point with your comments, let me give a first hand account and I'm sure there are voters who will have there say come April 22nd and May 6th. who will agree!

    It's true 25 or 30 years ago the workers in the steel mill were being told that we can buy steel cheaper and of a better quality from Japan. Even though Nippon was buying our mills. They'd buy our scrap metal we would buy their steel?
    Soon afterward the Mills would close.
    Then the companies that use the coils of steel ie. Auto makers began to use more imported steel.

    Then you have trade agreement that allows them to out source parts to remain competive in there own words, OK! They'd announce a plant closing, now you have localities offering tax incentives, infrastructure improvements, as a way of helping them,save some jobs, OK! At the taxpayer, workers expense, millions of Dollars. So, the money they save is often enough to finance the building of, or at least help foot the cost of building a New Factory in other countries, Then they'd close the Factories anyway. Oh! you're not intouch! How do you suppose the people the communities felt.

    I was bitter when my co-workers go laid off, I was even more angry when it was my turn to hit the highway. I knew it would not be easy to replace that income, but for many it was impossible I was lucky, I prayed a lot, I blame the Company for taking advantage of us an the Cities, I blame the Unions for not doing more, I blame the Goverment for letting them. The Companies got incentives from State and Federal levels.

    Stick to your Guns Obama no (pun intended). Its the other Guy or Gal thats out of touch

    April 13, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  11. Shine

    This lady is amazing...amazingly determined to win by any cost even if it means starting a negative war with Obama which will mean neither will win against McCain.

    Maybe I should vote for Hillary. Either the Dems lose because Clinton has beaten up Obama by the time he faces McCain or they lose because Clinton is the nominee.

    Thank you Clinton.

    April 13, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  12. Brian C.

    YAWN! I'm so tired of politicians in general. They try to make themselves out to be the "common" person when nothing is further from the truth. Let's face it, every presidential (and congressional) election is between two people that have no solid beliefs and just want power. They are all elitists at that level (Republicans and Democrats alike). The only way this country will ever change for the better is if people stop being blinded by party lines and start voting out the hundreds of representatives that have entrenched themselves in politics for years and still have not made anyone's life better other than their own.

    April 13, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  13. Steve from Castle Rock, CO

    When a politician refuses to answer a question, it can only be because it would be a negative to her campaign. In this case, Hillary is pretending she understands guns and gun ownership. And trying to appeal to church goers. It is one more effort at remaking her image. We saw it when she tried to pretend she was tough in Bosnia. We saw it when she distorted her foreign policy record. We saw it when she manufactured her crying scene (s). We saw it when she put on her little Saturday Night Live skit. There is not a genuine bone in this woman's body.

    April 13, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  14. Kat

    Belonging to a church and/or regular church attendance does not necessarily make a good Christian. Religion isn't nearly as important as spirituality and how much a part of who you are and what you do is reflected by that spirituality.
    Bearing false witness, pandering and using the plight of others only as a political means to an end aren't very Christian attributes.
    So how often Clinton has gone to church really isn't as important as what she brought from the last service she attended. She may have slept through a few sermons.

    April 13, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  15. Peter

    I think that the recent past has clearly demonstrated that Sen. Clinton truly believes that the truth (or lack thereof) in what she says is indeed not relevant. The disconnect between her rhetoric and her actions is extreme, even by the low standards of career politicians.

    April 13, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  16. Peachy Keen

    Frankly, I would like to know how often my future President goes to church. Easter? Everybody goes to church on Easter. Obviously, Hillary does not have a spiritual bone in her body.

    Unreal how much fuss is being made because Obama said people are bitter. People ARE bitter. How does saying so make anyone an eilitist.

    Honestly, with the millions that the Clintons make, you don't think they think they are above the average American citizen? Come on, get real.Bill and Hillary both think they are God's gift to the world.

    I really cannot respect anyone who spends ALL their time ripping up their opponent, trying to bring Obama DOWN to her level. She is a woman with zero integrity. She can't think of anything positive to say about herself, so the time now is spent picking apart every word Obama says. And frankly, I can't see why the press spends so much time and space on insignificant things.

    I would still like to see the Peter Paul issue get the press it deserves. I really can't understand why the press has basically ignored that whole issue. Bill and Hillary were right in the middle of that whole illegal fundraising debacle.

    April 13, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  17. EW

    “We can answer that some other time,”
    Hillary needs more time to come up with a lie

    April 13, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  18. So sad

    Since the nominee is either Clinton or Obama, why are they both giving Republicans fuel to use for the general elections? Clinton and her people are especially blind to wanting her ambitions of presidency that she doesn't see the damage. Wake up Democrats. At least Obama hasn't jumped on to every lie of Clinton's and called her elitest.

    If she thinks it could be bad for Obama to be viewed that way she should not have called him elitest.

    April 13, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  19. Dan

    It'll be interesting to see how her comments went over in Scranton. It's an interesting place: predominantly blue-collar and Democratic, however the people tend to be religious and since hunting is practically a religion unto itself in Pennsylvania, many folks are gun-owners as well.

    April 13, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  20. Anonymous

    I was raised in Marion, IN. I lived there for 24 years. I last worked at General Tire Rubber Plant , "when I wasn't layed off" and was a member of URW I left in 1984. Well, I'm here to tell you, I was bitter then, and I left and I'm bitter now. When I go back home and see the people that I grew up with and family members suffering because almost all of the jobs have gone they can't afford home improvements, new homes, college, and for some food . It is true what Obama has said and people have not only turned to guns, but churches for comfort (which is a good start ) they have also turned to drugs and even the lottery with their last dollar hoping for a miracle to happen to them.. It really hurts me, and angers me to see so many people messed up, bitter and angry in Marion, Muncie, Kokomo, FT Wayne, Anderson and so on, it seems that nobody gives a care. So, what Mr Obama has done now is opened up a can of wounds, that Hillary had hoped to keep closed she doesn't want anyone to think about her charity givings to herself, the Clinton foundation, The Clinton Library and the Charities of her elitist friends. Oh yes. and NAFTA, She is trying to distract from her Columbian dealings which she shares with Bill. Bottom line is Hillary does not care about you, she just wants your vote so that she and Bill can live a lavish life in the whitehouse while you continue to suffer. Barack came into Politics by the way of caring for the good of all the people and he still does. As for J. McCain he doesn't even count and is a waste of my words he shadows G. Bush JR. God Bless You Obama for the good of all people.

    April 13, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  21. David Wright

    Not relevant? Of course its relevant.

    April 13, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  22. evans o.oseki

    Guns and roses! You cannot put your house in order by attacking another man`s comments that don`t involve you. See, senator Obama has been so cool as not to attack Hillary on her lies and blunders but she keeps picking up his used tissues. Yes, people are bitter for loosing jobs due to the NAFTA Hillary herself promoted. All she can say is "People are smiling and happy". H.a.p.p.y? Of course you don`t know better, too much whisky again. Or, was the time past 11pm? Bill Clinton did say folks over 60 years tend to forget things after 11p.m on his defence of your Bosnia lies. He only forgot you greeted folks "good morning" before your lies. And how do you pick a 3 a.m phone if you forgot things at 23:00 hrs according to your husband who I guess know you well? Ask someboby what "bitter" is. You don`t seem to know. All races loves Obama and we all know why we want change. Hillary is one good reason. NO MORE LIES!

    April 13, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  23. Lenore Z.

    Yes, it's true that Republicans take advantage of the situation, but unfortunately, Hillary Clinton was the very first and loudest to take advantage of the situation. So her current remarks are disingenuous to say the least. She pounced upon Obama, when she could just as easily have said nothing. If she actually cares about the Democratic party itself, why didn't she simply let McCain be the accuser? It's very hard to believe, with instances like this, that she really cares for anything except her own candidacy and winning the nomination at any cost.

    April 13, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  24. Monica, Texas

    We know Hillary..."it's never relevant" when you do not want to answer questions. Why don't you just laugh like you usually do.

    April 13, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  25. Angela Lee

    Well....in short, it sounds as if she has overshot herself again.

    April 13, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
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