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. Pat Va

    It's time to pack it in, Hill...everyone with a shred of intelligence are taking your rants and raves about the word "bitter" with much less than a grain of salt. You're merely using this tactic to take the onus off of you and your MANY issues that will (and do) harm to the American people. You're so pathetic and entirely irrelvant at this point.

    April 14, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  2. no news

    to tampa, some peoplenever come out from their rock so you have to let them say their bush like statements

    April 14, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  3. Relevant

    I like how at the end, she even throws her own husband under the bus...

    April 14, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  4. John Smith

    Deb, frrom another blog has been calling Obama a "creep"

    Deb is a "white, filty, racist"

    Deb is uneducated, and thus narrow-minded

    Deb has not done her homework or research on the Clinton lies and sins.

    Deb is simply a follower and must be very "gulliable." In the sphere of psychology, people like Deb are noted as "borderline personality."

    I could go on, but for anyone to use such a "filty" language against another human being says a lot and should not get away with it, period!

    April 14, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  5. obama 08

    nomatter how dumb they sound

    April 14, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  6. Emma in CA

    Senator Clinton: You are beating a dead horse. Your shallow criticisms
    of Senator Obama do not invite voters to find you attractive as a person or as a President.

    April 14, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  7. Jen B.

    Hillary is looking and sounding pretty bitter herself as her campaign continues to self-destruct.

    April 14, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  8. Casy

    I am a Clinton supporter but there is a such thing as an overkill. Instead of talking about Obama directly, I think she should just continue with her message of optimism and change for the better!

    As far as her getting booed-first off–I am sure they were Obama supporters-this isn't the first time she's been booed and I know it won't be the last! Oh well! All candidates get booed or have some type of heckling at some time or another. This is no biggie at all but Clinton SHOULD NOT continue to beat this thing in the ground! So hopefully, this was a wake up call to her.

    What CNN didn't report is how the crowd reacted to Obama! I wonder..........

    April 14, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  9. Benny

    I am an independent who does not want a continuation of the Bush/Cheney administration carried out by John McCain. It is therefore very important that people stop calling for Hillary to quit. Her tactics and strategy are not working but she must be allowed to take them as far as SHE wants to so that when she does concede, then everyone will know it is because she lost fair and square. Her attempts to be a republican in her attacks on Senator Obama only makes him stronger and yes, he has avoided taking himself down to her level. He is different in that respect. She will at some point release her people to vote democratic for the sake of the country and that action is what will save her political future. For those who think Mr. Obama is unelectable you need only look at the full-blown attacks he's survived from his OWN party to see that he is the true fighter and survivor, without being a dirty "kitchen sink" fighter.

    April 14, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  10. Concerned Democrat

    Obama is the Annie Oakley wannabe and he shot himself in the foot!

    The fact that should not be overlooked is that the "Bitter" comment were words that came out of Obama’s mouth. It wasn't anyone else's fault that he said it, he wasn’t forced to. I take him at his word, especially since he's supposed to be so honest, intelligent and poised. It did sound eliteist. He may not be rich but he sure wants to be. And if "he didn't mean it", he's just a panderer, just like he's been accused of being.

    Obama has had to "re-state" a lot of things in recent memory......more like had to spin a lot of things (especially that “race” speech)!

    Sorry Obama supporters, he brought this one on himself, with his own words. Words that sounded pretty sincere and well thought out.

    He obviously didn't think anyone would hear what he said outside of that room which means that they were probably more from his heart. What’s in a man’s heart is key!

    April 14, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  11. BV

    "New poll, Hillary up 20% now in PA."
    New poll showing Obama up by 14 in New Hampshire. Wait....
    Polls RULE!

    April 14, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  12. Bayou Joe

    Leave this poor woman alone. She is the Democrats best chance to beat McCain. Can't you fools see that Obama is not electable. This is America. We believe in our Country. We defend it. We own guns.
    Drink Beer and don't apologize for it. Actually some of us drink wine, but then so do the French.

    Hillary is no different than me and you. She likes to have fun. Exaggerates a little about what she has done and not done.
    But at least she is an American that has served her country with honor and dignity. God Bless Hillary and John McCain.

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

    What is wrong with the American public? No one has questioned Senator Obama on whether he feels that the violent and destructive preachings of Rev. Wright are based on "bitterness" or not. It appears that he willing to blame small town Americans as to holding on to "guns and religion" out of bitterness, yet fails to blame Rev. Wright for his attempt to teach hatred to black Americans.

    Senator Obama speaks differently in private than he does in public and that causes me concern. Yes, Americans (of every color) have a right to be bitter over the loss of jobs and for economic hardship but that does give him the right to catagorize it simply as "smalltown Americans". He offends everyone with his comments.

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

    Obama has been slinging mud since day one and when his back is against the wall his slings more. This time his calls to "just got past it" aren't going to work. He has proven himself again to be nothing more then a liar and a hypocrite. His chickens are coming home to roost and the super delegates are listening. He has absolutely no chance in November now so please vote smart, vote Clinton. Love her or hate her she will make a helluva president.

    April 14, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  15. anthony

    boycott cnn for their bias reporting.

    April 14, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  16. Homer

    When Obama gets the dem. nomination Hillary could team up with McCain. She seems to agree with him on alot of issues.

    April 14, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  17. Mary

    What Obama and the rest of America are saying is that Hillary will say and do anything to become President. ANYTHING!!!

    April 14, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  18. jason

    are people finally seeing hillary for what she is?

    consider my faith in the american populace to have increased slightly.

    April 14, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  19. Finally

    Hillary stick to the issues, people are tired of the kitchen sink tactic!

    April 14, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  20. Oregon IS Obama

    This woman is so clueless , she is about to get a huge wake up call. I look for her to get run completely out of the Democratic party .

    April 14, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  21. Rob, Boston MA

    talking about Bill Clinton and NAFTA Hillary says: "As smart as my husband is, he does make mistakes."

    So does her chief strategist, apparently.

    April 14, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  22. Jim

    Have my dreams become a reality....are people actually beginning to see Hillary as the devisive candidate who will stop at nothing to win. She proclaims this is not a game yet that's how she's acting...like winning the family monoply game.I believe she was lucky to get only polite groans. Barack will be our next president so please step aside and spare yourself the embaressment.

    obama 08 YEAH!

    April 14, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  23. Mark

    What is the problem with what Obama said? Most people, if not all, turn to something (like faith, fishing, books, etc) where they can take comfort when they feel helpless. Not everybody is like Bill that they would turn to Monicas when they are frustrated.

    April 14, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  24. zieras

    Well, did all you obama lovers check the polls in PA this morning?

    Clinton 57 – obama 37

    Rest my case...

    April 14, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  25. Ruth

    Hillary will say and do anything to get elected as she did in New York.
    I think she was jealous that her huband was President and wants to show him a thing or two.

    At least Obama is not a say anything kind of guy. I know Penn will see that Obama is the best candidate and Hillary needs to go away.

    April 14, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
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