April 13th, 2008
10:40 AM ET
15 years ago

Obama: 'I didn't say it as well as I should have'

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/POLITICS/04/13/obama.clinton/art.obama.afp.gi.jpg caption="Sen. Obama told a North Carolina newspaper if he offended anyone, he deeply regrets it."]

MUNCIE, Indiana (CNN) - Sen. Barack Obama on Saturday tried to clarify what he meant when he said some small-town Pennsylvanians are "bitter" people who "cling to guns and religion."

"I didn't say it as well as I should have," Obama admitted in Muncie, Indiana, on Saturday, the day after he first defended his comments, "because the truth is that these traditions that are passed on from generation to generation - those are important."

The Illinois senator made the controversial comments at a California event that was closed to the media last Sunday.

Obama defended his point of view amid intensified criticism from Democratic rival Hillary Clinton and presumptive Republican presidential nominee John McCain that's he's elitist and out of touch.

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Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (308 Responses)
  1. mili vanili

    I have complete faith in Obama, but every time I look around, he has to explain a prior speech. You can blame that on the hilluakabee camp.

    She uses the same old campainge attacks, devert and attack, this is all the Big Bill Hill's camp's strategy. This is the perfect moment for them to divert our attention away from the Columbia lobbist scandal, and the Dodging sniper bullet scandal.

    And at the same time Obama has got to keep from making these kinds of mistakes every week if he wants to win. Right now his lack of judgement and misuse of words every dam week just may cost him.

    Obama 08

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

    Wow, I am amazed. I guess by what i read about Hillary and all her supporters that people are not bitter, so what are we? Happy? Lol. Yes we are all happy, we are happy about the Bush administration, we are happy about the resecion we are in. This is the most idiotic critic i ever heard, I mean seriously what has always been the main focus of all election? Its always been pro life, amending the rights to bear arm. I mean come on stop with this stupid he said she said, if anything where has all the Clinton supporters been until now when she was proven a liar over and over again. People need to wake up and see we do not live in a happy dappy world and we need somone to fight for what they believe makes this country better, not what fattens there wallet like the clintons!

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

    I must say I really agree with Nate the Blogger above. H. Clinton is a total you know what. I loved and glamorized the Clintons. Nomore! I must admitt, I voted Obama Only because he is a Blackman like myself. But after following the campains, that was the best mistake I ever made. Obama helps people when they are down like rev Wright. He doesn't throw them away like Hillary C. did the Important lady who said something stupid. Many people need support and good direction.
    Obama is very thoughtful and consious about the common american's needs. The comments he made are nothing compared to the duties that have been acted out by the Bush administration. McCaine is I believe good man but not going to be a good President. Clinton is just Oval office hungry. She would be okay if times were better. But as you can see she makes alot of bad judgement calls especially when it comes to supporting her colleages like Obama, Richardson and the bad comment lady. All are good people but with little mistakes she sell them out. Obama I noticed always lets Clinton fall on her own. Obama must win to make the best difference.

    April 13, 2008 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  4. Trang, Fremont, CA

    You are too kind, senator Obama. Hillary spin your words, get America upset, and now you feel you have to apologize for it.

    What you said – some Americans become bitter in these times, seeing their jobs shipped overseas, feeling the government are not listening, resort to what comfort them – religion, guns, and even animosity for other communities that they feel is a threat to them. That is a true statement.

    Hillary twist it around and says – you are saying that people of faith and gun loving are bitter, and getting people all upset.

    I feel that she is the one who should be apologizing to you for misunderstanding you and broadcast her misunderstanding, but like a true gentleman, if some people misunderstand you and feel hurt by it, you apologize for it. You have done nothing wrong, but apologize to them for their misunderstanding.

    I know you don't look down on them. You have faith in them. I sometimes have a problem w/ believing in them seeing the decisions they have made, but you have drawn out a good vision of what is possible, and I join you in your campaign. Whether we will get there, I don't know, but we'll work for what's possible for a better America.

    Hillary is not qualified to answer that 3AM call. I don't know if it's an innocent misunderstanding or the willingness to distort the truth, either way, how can you trust her? If Hillary hasn't met 'bittered' people, she definitely live in a 'rose-colored' world, or in a 'bubble', and out of touch w/ the American people.

    Only when you see the problem can you solve it. You don't state the problem so people feel bad about. You state the problems and say we can improve and make it better. Hillary and McCain can't even see the problems, let alone having a chance of solving the problems.

    April 13, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  5. Kathy in Oregon

    To "kathleen retired Professional w/woman for obama" - from the content of your all too frequent remarks on this blog, it's hard to believe you are a well-educated "professional".

    You sound very ignorant, and that causes me wonder to what YOUR definition of PROFESSIONAL woman is....care to explain?

    Your candidate has an overblown EGO and his remarks were condescending and elitist. DEAL with it !

    BTW – I was on the fence until recently, but I increasingly find Obama and his hateful followers repelling.

    Hillary is not perfect, but she's better than Obama.

    April 13, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  6. a little sad

    This issue is not calling peopel bitter, it's denigrating them for turning to religion.

    April 13, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  7. bk

    You don't need to blame this on Hillary. Obama said it in front of a crowd of millionairs that he thought you would never hear. He insulted the people of PA. and middle America. He is so arrogant and thinks he is so much better than anyone else. He plays the race card when its to his advantange and no one else is allowed to say anything or he labels them a racist. Yet he sterotypes people from PA. like they are a bunch of Hill-Jacks. He will not do anything for the American people. If he can't read from a speech or telepromter that has been prepaired for him he doesn't have a clue. UH! UH! UH! and people fall for his rhetoric. At least we know the Clinton years were prosperous for all of us.

    April 13, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  8. Marie in California

    Obama "misspoke?" Actually, I think not. I think he meant exactly what he said. While some blue-collar, small town Middle America folks are bitter because of job loss and the economy, Obama's lack of awareness and connection regarding these people was apparent when he belittled their traditional values and lifestyles by condescendingly saying these people use guns and religion as "emotional pacifiers," while also scapegoating people who are "different" than them or those who are illegally in this country.

    Hellllooooo, Obama! This is where the people of Middle America are always at, in good times and bad. Church, hunting, fishing, potluck suppers, and such are always there, as is a firm belief in fairness, law and order.....and, to most of them, illegals will always be illegal.

    No Obamination in the Presidency.....ever!

    Hillary or McCain – 2008

    April 13, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
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