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. just like Obama

    Okay to attack her...in stupid mocking ways
    but she can't ever attack him

    April 14, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  2. Chris from San Antonio

    She might as well have come out and said I endorse McCain for all the positive response she got from PA.
    Keep it up, Hillary, keep in this race. Maybe you'll finally answer questions about Peter Paul while you're in the media spotlight.

    April 14, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  3. chris from IL

    Good...serves her right. She needs to focus on paying her campaign's healthcare bills before attacking Obama.

    The tide is turning...this "bittergate" issue is a blessing in disguise for Sen. Barack Obama. Good for him.

    April 14, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  4. DM, Detroit, Mi.

    Obama supporters are Obnoxious and Delusional what else can you expect. What's the matter, can dish it out but can't take it?

    April 14, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  5. April in Texas

    When will Hillary get it? Obama was correct in his "bitter" comment as many people are BITTER. With all the negativitity she has brought to this primary election it will be interesting to see how she will support him when he does get the nomination. I pray she changes her tune soon. Can she not see the frustration and bitterness in the american people, not just in PA but across the US...

    Obama 08

    April 14, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  6. Nando, Florida

    Sorry MCHILLARY you have been called out for who you are a REPUBLICAN .

    April 14, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  7. vic nashville,Tn

    Obama really betrayed us
    After Rev. Jeremiah Wrights controversy Mc Cain gain his ground all the polls prove that
    After BITTER controversy Mc Cain will gain more
    Now time for Obama to step side
    Unfair and Unbalanced network (Fox) happy about the current situation they want Obama to be a nominee
    Then only they can beat the drum loud in November I hate to see that
    Obama please quit the race

    April 14, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  8. donna smith

    Bitter you say. When over 1 million homes fourclosed, those americans became bitter. If this was not an election year our goverment would still be watching families loose there homes.
    Men become Bitter when there long time jobs are taken away and they can take care of there families.
    Famlies become Bitter when you cant aford to supply your family with health care.
    Hillary know people are Bitter, But she refuses to admitt it.

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

    Obama's new slogan:
    " now, now... stop parsing my words... what i really meant was..."

    Isn't he the one that delivered...well re-cycled... a speech that words matter.

    Just words.

    Phony fake hypocrite

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

    All these e-mails reflect so much hatred from Obama fans! "shame on all of you".

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

    Guess what? They both lie and both are using every tactic in the book to get elected. There is no angel/devil comparison here; it's a mix of both for the two of them.

    April 14, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  12. Lee WV

    This is just more proof that the small town voters were not as offended by these statements that were the truth.The media and the other two campaigns are blowing it way out of proportion.I am from small town WV and even my 20 year old daughter asked me what was so wrong about it?.Eletists make 100 million dollars and contiouously lie to the public.

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

    Go Hillary ....You will win

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

    you would think cnn would let this storygo unless the candidates bring it up.... but i dont think so. so sad ...cnn use to be a fair news outlet!

    April 14, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  15. R C Angel

    Note to Hillary: next time your order a shot, at least make it a shot of Jack Daniels, not Canadian whiskey. It's just a thought.

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

    Beware of the wolf in HRC clothing!!!!

    April 14, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  17. Ida from Georgia

    I guess when you lose your job, family and life you CELEBRATE! My 2 friends just lost thier jobs of 16 and 24 years. We danced the night away. Yeah right. No you get just a little bit BITTER. She's an elitist who thinks we are all dumb. Give me a break. Stop insulting our intelligence.

    April 14, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  18. Paula in WI

    Hillary needs to lok at the Huffington post at her own husbands remarks.Hmmm caught again Mrs C.Live the good life on someone elses dime now.

    April 14, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  19. Angel

    Hilary Clinton needs to be done slamming Obama for that comment he made. It's playing like a broken record and that's what her campaign is an old out dated record player lol. When a Maufacturing Alliance fourm starts booing her for continuing to slam Obama about the comment, then her campign need to change the game plan and think of other drity tactics that will hurt her campaign. To me this equals no leadership.

    "Obama 08 enough said"

    April 14, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  20. think on it

    I juat do not see the young, educated, well-informed Obama supporters EVER voting for McCain over Clinton.

    I DO see the stupid, ignorant old geezers easily voting for McCain over Obama.

    So an Obama win now is an Obama loss later.

    April 14, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  21. W

    PA votors do not need anyone to interpret Obama's condescending remarks.
    Obama called us a bunch of gun-toting, bible-thumping, isolationist, racist hicks.

    He said it, and we heard it.

    And we do not need Obama to "put into context" Wright's racist rants.

    April 14, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  22. EDW

    I agree with Obama, I am bitter that I just put of $50 of gas in my car when it usually takes $42. I am bitter that most of my town has for sale/foreclosure signs up. I am bitter that the Republicans couldn't care less!!!

    April 14, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  23. Rob

    Actually hes right about the 20% lead in PA. Its from American Research Group. But this is the same poll that said Obama was tied/leading against Clinton in Ohio. I think that and all polls with a bit of doubt.

    April 14, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  24. sky

    It was a mistake for her to make light of Obama's comments on small town bitterness. It was a mistake because we are all bitter. And it feels good to have that recognized....not glossed over. We are bitter and depressed and rady to stand up and take our country and our lives back....the booing will get louder

    April 14, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  25. Key West Sun

    Bill make 800k for his speech right, well Obama pulled over 1 million out of his short trip to the Getty house where he said this. Obama did 3 of these little high dollar speech thing in 6 hours,,,,so who is selling what to who. Put down the kool aid and look. Open your eye's OBAMAIANS he is selling the same thing that they all sell. He is selling you fools out!

    April 14, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
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