April 14th, 2008
05:40 PM ET
14 years ago

Pennsylvania crowd jeers Clinton attacks on Obama


Watch Clinton's comments Monday.

PITTSBURGH, Pennsylvania (CNN) - On Monday, with the Pennsylvania primary just days away, Hillary Clinton continued to hammer Barack Obama over his comments that small town Americans "cling to guns or religion" because they are "bitter."

But the audience at a forum put on by the Alliance for American Manufacturing didn't appreciate her line of attack.

"I understand my opponent came this morning and spent a lot of his time attacking me," she said at the beginning of her remarks here.

Many in the crowd responded with audible groans, and a few shouted, "No!"

Obama spoke to the same forum earlier in the morning and ribbed Clinton for doing a shot of whiskey in front of TV cameras on Saturday in Indiana.

Clinton continued, "I know that many of you, like me, were disappointed by the recent remarks he made."

This time, a louder, sustained chorus of "No!" emanated from the audience. Clinton soldiered on.

"I am well aware that at a fundraiser in San Francisco he said some things that many people in Pennsylvania and beyond Pennsylvania have found offensive," she said.

This time, a smaller smattering of jeers.

It was only when Clinton concluded her opening remarks by attacking President Bush that she received a warm round of applause.

The Clinton campaign later said the disgruntled reaction to her remarks came from Obama supporters in attendance.

Several audience members told CNN after the speech they came to the forum to hear each candidate talk about trade issues, and were not interested in the political back-and-forth of the Democratic primary race.

When Clinton focused on policy and expounded on enforcing trade agreements, creating new jobs and standing up to China, she received some hearty ovations.

But despite Pittsburgh's working class reputation, it was at times a tough crowd for the New York senator.

As the question and answer session began, one man asked Clinton for assurances that American workers would not be "tricked" like they had been when her husband signed NAFTA in 1993.

A press release distributed to reporters by the Alliance for American Manufacturing calculated that Pennsylvania lost 44,173 jobs due to NAFTA between 1993 and 2004.

Clinton, who spent much of her speech attacking America's trade imbalance with China, responded by drawing a line in the sand between her policy positions and her husband's trade record.

"As smart as my husband is, he does make mistakes," Clinton quipped.

soundoff (330 Responses)
  1. I used to be a Democrat

    Despite all the baggage Hillary carries, Obama really does make her look much more electable than himself.

    One thing is for sure: if the Dems nominate Obama over Hillary, they have no chance of winning the White House over McCain. NONE.

    April 14, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  2. Debra

    funny how Obama has been trying to portray Hillary as an elitist all along and now it has been proven that it is he that is the elistist. figures. If you call others names first, maybe people won't pay attention to the fact that you are a worse one yourself. Obamas elitist, bigot remarks are coming home to roost Obama supporters.

    April 14, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  3. Jen B.

    For a strong, independent woman, old Hillary seems very dependent on her husband, always dragging him in to the campaign conversation when convenient to her cause. Then banishing him when the conflict of interest factor comes up.
    I am "bitter" at the prospect of a third time for that dysfunctional duo.

    April 14, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  4. Nancy from PA

    Obama's mother was on food stamps. His father left him when he was young and they were flat broke all his youth. He went to good schools on hard-earned scholarships. He and his wife were poor until recently. How is he an elitist? What Hillary's has done or say to get votes is beyound me.

    April 14, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  5. Hey CNN

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    April 14, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  6. joe

    That's funny Cnn - I read a New York Times article that described the same instance differently. Do you think you could do some reporting with integrity sometime soon? You are becoming more disgusting than politics itself!

    April 14, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  7. cbiskit

    Capt. Smash's comment is right on target. I truly feel that the Clintons will do and say whatever it takes to win this nomination...no matter what the cost will be. I'd like to know who placed the "spy" at Obama's private fund raiser in SF. People in this country are fed up, and bitter. If you haven't noticed this, just take a few minutes to observe. Obama is in touch with what is real. There's no doubt in my mind that Sen. Obama will win the general election by a land slide.

    April 14, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  8. Sharon

    The only groans are from CNN people in the room who are crying because their chosen one is FINALLY being covered the way he should be and being held ACCOUNTABLE FOR HIS OWN ACTIONS!

    April 14, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  9. Ask Me, I'm a Pennsylvanian

    Good. Hillary thought she would waltz into Pennsylvania and Depend on
    a designer pantsuit and voter amnesia on NAFTA to pull the wool over
    our eyes like she did the voters of Ohio. Not only do we remember NAFTA, but also who is responsible for it. Hillary is a phony!

    Obama 08.

    April 14, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  10. lois

    Maybe they were groaning about Obama's attacking of Hillary earlier.

    April 14, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  11. Honeybee

    John McCain Pres /Hillary Clinton v.p. on Republican ticket dont that sound sweet ?

    April 14, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  12. Poor Little Rich Girl II

    Put a silver spoon in her mouth, and shut her up. Enough.

    Barack 08

    April 14, 2008 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  13. MGP

    I want to thank Hillary for showing us the truth. Without her we could not digest Obama's remarks ourselves. I'm sure glad I have Hillary there to tell me what Obama meant by his comments. Obama now has my vote and my family's vote.

    Pa Demo.

    April 14, 2008 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  14. gideon

    Oh so Gene dodging sniper fire and lying through her teeth about it more than 3 times makes Hillary electable?. Please!!!

    April 14, 2008 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  15. maddie

    Obama's supporters call themselves "intellegent". Someone should tell them how the word intelligent is spelled. Almost 25% of the comments on this site favoring Obama contain spelling mistakes. That really says something!!

    April 14, 2008 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  16. Michael

    Hillary is down 10 points in the national gallup polls. She fell two more points since her attacks on Obama.

    April 14, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  17. From Riches To Annie Oakley?

    Put a silver spoon in her mouth and shut her up–enough.

    Obama 08

    April 14, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  18. carrie

    good afternoon fellow dems. I just watched a great movie reg our wonderful clinton..its long (about an hr) but wel worth watching our senator at work... please watch, will show u just how great she is (NOT)
    go obama

    April 14, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  19. Desiree

    Obama supporters are always so negative, I guess the politics of hope is not something they really believe in

    April 14, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  20. Nash

    If you so called Barac lovers love him so much then get this fact straight he is not going to win with an attiutude he and his family have and the stupid mantra "CHNAGE" he is talking to the people of this country who gets fooled repeatedly

    April 14, 2008 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  21. Joyce Renfroe

    I am delighted to see that people are analyizing and evaluating the candidates on their own rather than accepting as truth the bombarding news snippets and political analysts' comments that continue to promote the negative attack politics being levied by Hillary Clinton and her campaign against Barack Obama. Enough already! We don't need to keep hearing the same thing over and over. The public is not stupid, and it would be really nice if the news media would recognize that and elevate their news to a more intelligent level.

    April 14, 2008 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  22. NYC

    Bored, tired, bored, tired....will November 2008 hurry up and get here already?

    April 14, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  23. Steve

    What I don't understand, is why this "bitter" comment is an issue. I think "Bitter" is probably a pretty good and accurate description and the people that have lost their jobs to overseas markets while the government has just created more incentive for companies to do this have every right to be bitter.

    April 14, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  24. Wayne

    I hate Hillary R. Clinton.

    April 14, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  25. Debra

    I hope Pennsylvania show Hillary the door by giving Obama a win.

    April 14, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
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