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. Reba IN

    I understand how the Obama camp feels, being a Clinton supporter, I have watched the Media do a number on her that I will never forget . Just like what is going on with Senator Obama, they take the slightet comment and play it over and over. I am for Senator Clinton not against Obama, however I am against the media. Both of these people are godd people that want the best for our couintry.

    April 13, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  2. Jared

    Ha ha – this is the best "controversy" we can think up to deflect attention away from Hillary's repeated lies and deceptions? Bitter indeed!

    April 13, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  3. Peter in Canada

    All the problems that America is facing...and the words bitter and religion and guns in the same sentence result in THIS indignation???
    GROW UP! Hillary is desperate and will soon be saying that what Obama eats for breakfat has a special significance!

    April 13, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  4. Dan J

    What's funny is that people think that his supporters (and himself) think that it is about using the word "bitter." It's not. It's about the condescending way he insults the religious, social, and moral beliefs of a huge demographic of Americans. Which really surprises me, especially for someone who claims to be a devoted Christian.
    Maybe its not a coincidence that he joined a Church at the same time he began his political career.

    April 13, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  5. Mike in Indiana

    Obama is exaclty right. There are many of we, the people that are bitter and are not as stupid as you politicians and pundits believe us to be.

    April 13, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  6. Antone Lopes Jr

    I think that all those who took Obama's comments out of context should go out and smell the roses. It was perfectly clear to all those who experience living in these days that every thing he said was true and right on point,

    April 13, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  7. Pepou62

    When I read many remarks on this blog, particularly from Clinton supporters spewing racism and bigotry, I am very, very, very bitter.

    April 13, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  8. steve

    Here's a guy who worked as a community organizer and tried to improve life on the streets of Chicago. Sounds like a real elitist to me....

    April 13, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  9. wyoming dem

    I am bitter! My community is bitter! I see depression and desparation every day. Hillary lives in her own bubble. Wone more example of how she is out of touch. Have another drink Hill.

    April 13, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  10. Brian

    Stick to your guns on this, Barack! What you said is absolutely true. Don't let a crowd of career whiners and pouncing politicos make you backpedal. People deserve a candidate who speaks truth from time to time.

    April 13, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  11. White folks please coming from a white man

    Americans can't take the truth, and people like Hillary who need votes so bad will twist any comments or mis-words not "mis-spokes" and try her hardest to use as her advantage. Still Hillary continue to play the dirty campaign. Oh! mcCain too.

    April 13, 2008 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  12. Susan Cusson, Mohave Valley, Arizona 86440

    Yes you did!!!!!!!

    April 13, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  13. Concerned Voter

    Obama said it exactly the way he meant it! Don't insult our intelligence.

    April 13, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  14. Peggy Ledbetter

    Barack Obama is a candid person. He challenges us to understand ourselves and others and challenges himself to do the same. Sometimes this is so refreshing, and sometimes it is painful. We have had 16 years of lies from our government, and it is hard to adjust to candor in a politician. But I have faith in the ability of the independent thinking of the American people to sift through the media circus and opponent's spin.

    April 13, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  15. Gillis

    Obama elitist and not in touch? He's the only candidate who has ever been on food stamps; He only just paid off his student loans. McCain married into a beer heiress' fortune. The Clintons made hundreds of Millions. Barack is more intouch and more empathetic to the plite of the average American.

    April 13, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  16. Susan Cusson, Mohave Valley, Arizona 86440

    The fuss is that he is the solution to our problems. Deception is his MO. No vote for him here.

    April 13, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  17. hillary has a drinking problem

    good analogies Netta and Eric

    April 13, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  18. Vig

    What is this guy going to do if he ever becomes President when he insults the leaders of terroist organizations and they retaliate against Americans – tell the victim families "I didn't say it as well as I should have?" Mr. Brainiac needs to go get a job at a university and leave us alone.

    April 13, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  19. Democrats wake up

    Please, people – I hope we all are bitter and angry enough to stand up and take back our country and start fighting against the failed republican party policies that have destroyed it rather than tearing each other apart and handing McCain the election. And yes, I cling to my faith and pray for this.

    April 13, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  20. Del

    She must have been "BITTER" about the closeness of the PA pool results to take a shot. Alcoholism is another result of bitternes. Anyway, who cares! its all politics. What really matters is what must be done to get America back to its good times; no foreclosures, vibrant economy with minimal job loses.

    April 13, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  21. Chuck Murphy

    Obama is right about people's feelings about our government and its failures. People are bitter and have a right to be. The government, including her husband's administration, failed its citizens.

    Hillary Clinton may try to harp on his choice of words but Obama is right not only about people's feelings and the depth of them but also about the cause of their bitterness – failures by our leaders.

    People should be more concerned about Hillary Clinton's misrepresentations of her own actions and experiences than they should about Obama's sense of their feelings. It is one thing to misperceive or perhaps mischaracterize people's feelings and another to misperceive reality.

    April 13, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  22. Dan

    I believe Obama is unelectable.

    The funny thing about what is really happening in this campaign, that hasn't been covered much, is that Obama is now becoming the bitter and angry candidate, and Hillary is now becoming the inspirational and hopeful candidate. This recent "bitter" comment probably won't destroy his campaign, although i believe it will hurt his chances. What will hurt his campaign in the long run is the theme and message that he delivers, and angry and bitter doesn't win votes

    April 13, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  23. Anna

    It's not the comments that bother me as much as the sterotyping! So everyone that is religious or owns a gun is bitter? Or is it that only bitter people own guns and are relgious? And one more thing, is it only in small towns in the midwest? Not big cities on the west coast or east coast? HMMMM!?

    Hillary 08

    April 13, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  24. MP17

    Vote Obama in the primary if you want to see President McCain.

    April 13, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  25. Michael McGhee

    Barack Obama is GOD. All hail Barack Obama!

    April 13, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
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