May 24th, 2008
02:03 PM ET
11 years ago

Clinton apologizes for RFK assassination comment

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[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Sen. Clinton listens during a Senate hearing on Capitol Hill Thursday."]
BRANDON, South Dakota (CNN) - Sen. Hillary Clinton said Friday that she regretted comments that evoked the June 1968 assassination of Robert Kennedy as part of her explanation for why she was staying in the presidential race late into the primary season.

Earlier Friday afternoon, she told the editorial board of the Sioux Falls Argus Leader that "My husband did not wrap up the nomination in 1992 until he won the California primary somewhere in the middle of June, right? We all remember Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June in California. I don't understand it," she said.

Clinton complained that "people have been trying to push me out of this ever since Iowa" and said that position "historically ... makes no sense."

Later at an event in Brandon, South Dakota, she said, "earlier today, I was discussing the Democratic primary history and in the course of that discussion mentioned the campaigns that both my husband and Sen. Kennedy waged in California in June in 1992 and 1968, and I was referencing those to make the point that we have had nominating primary contests that go into June. That's an historic fact.

Update: During an interview with Radio Isla Puerto Rico on Saturday, Barack Obama reacted to the Clinton RFK comment.

According to a quote released by the campaign, he said, “I have learned that when you are campaigning for as many months as Senator Clinton and I have been campaigning, sometimes you get careless in terms of the statements that you make and I think that is what happened here. Senator Clinton says that she did not intend any offense by it and I will take her at her word on that.”

Full story

Related video: Watch Sen. Clinton's comments to a SD newspaper's editorial board

Related video: Watch Brian Todd's report on Sen. Clinton's remarks Friday.

Filed under: Hillary Clinton
soundoff (937 Responses)
  1. gobsmacked

    Another example of how she uses any person or circumstance to try to make her point. There is something in her psyche that is really disturbing.

    May 23, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  2. ds

    Quit NOW!!!! There is NO MORE spin!!!!

    May 23, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  3. Eric in MN

    Even if you ignore allusion to RFK, her point is still flawed. THe '68 and '92 campaigns went all the way to June BECAUSE California held its primary in June. This year, CA held its primary in February, and there is basically nothing left for Clinton. This just further provse that she is ADMITEDLY waiting in the weeds for something bad to happen. HOW PRESIDENTIAL.

    May 23, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  4. Wayne

    This just gets worse by the day. Please lets end this primary immediately. There are so many reasons why that comment was inappropriate. Hillary you can't win, and you are ruining your legacy everyday so please bow out.

    May 23, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  5. prairieguy

    Absolutely disgusting...sick, sick, sick!!!!

    Time to call it quits and go the hell home!!

    No matter who one supports this went over the line.

    May 23, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  6. Lisa

    I think the media is driving sensitivity where there doesn't need to be any. I saw nothing wrong with her comment and new exactly what she was talking about. If the media would stop making the news and instead just do their job and report it, we wouldn't be in this mess with this election. I think the press needs to get the heck out of the way and let things just happen the way the will.

    May 23, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  7. Hanging Chad

    Too little, too late...

    May 23, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  8. HenryJD

    Obama & Co. has been playing this dirty game very cleverly. When Bill Clinton says something, it's "insulting" and "racist" even though the Clintons have done tremendeously good for the black population. When Mrs. Obama says somthing, it's "blame everybody else but her". What a shame....

    May 23, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  9. Daniel

    I am appalled once again by the tactics of Senator Obama and his campaign. It is clear to anyone that was listening to the Argus-Leader interview that Senator Clinton's remarks were a historical reference and nothing more.

    For one who claims to be a unifying force, Senator Obama once again fails to do so. Instead, he and his campaign continue to manipulate innocent remarks in an attempt to belittle Senator Clinton and as a result further drive a wedge in the democratic party.

    May 23, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  10. PBD

    Right, she doesn't regret if her remark was at all traumatic for the Obama family. I am sure Michelle worries every day and night for her husband's safety. Seriously.

    May 23, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  11. Ramon

    Let me put it this way....

    Hillary or McCain!!!

    May 23, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  12. Pete


    I feel sorry for her. I think we should all give her a group-hug and a kiss - then send her on her way.

    May 23, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  13. james

    The remark is absolutely apalling and is a reflection of how low Clinton will stoop to win this campaign... as if she already hasn't thrown the kitchen sink at Obama!

    May 23, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  14. tedious898

    Oh boy....I want to believe Hill on this one. But here are some obvious concerns:

    1). The math does not support Hill continuing.

    2). Many pundits have said "the Clinton campaign is waiting for another Rev. Wright moment" to give Hillary a boost going into the convention.

    3) And in the back of many minds is......

    But no way the Clintons would ever have any part in such. Ok...I say its time we get this over with

    May 23, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  15. dEMOBRAT

    Lighten up Obama camp. "Has no place in this campaign" what exactly has no place? What did she say that was so bad?

    May 23, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  16. Cynthia Young

    If she can't understand the significance of her comments, she has completely lost all sense of propriety and reality. This statement is absolutely outrageous.

    May 23, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  17. Greg

    Just mindboggling.

    She needs to quit now!

    May 23, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  18. Anon

    If this really doesn't help people see through her, then God help our country.

    May 23, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  19. Out in Left Field

    Former Obama Supporter

    The Obama camp and his supporters are going to look for any reason not to pick Hillary as the VP, even if that means making her comment on Kennedy an issue. Do they actually think we don't see this?

    UHHHHH DUHHH, she has done such a great job of eliminating herself from the running already, this is just the icing on the cake.

    May 23, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  20. joe











    May 23, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  21. Adele

    Well as always she mispoke. Somebody PLEASE admit her to the nearest mental institution.

    May 23, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  22. jimmy dao

    i think this whole thing was a joke to American people – please stick to the subject that people really interested in "economy" – don't think how American would vote for Obama when they know nothing about this person – talk about at stake – that's why we need experience – we can change the way system works but we can't change America politics and that's what Obama try to do – just will not work – i will not vote for Obama if he is the nomination – i will have to vote for John Mc

    May 23, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  23. Sérgio Santos

    Apologies aren't asked. They are avoided instead.

    "Oh Hillary, you're a monster who only thinks about herself and that would do wonders in HELL"

    *2 hours later*

    "I apologize for my remark....and I reject it"

    May 23, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  24. jim ohare

    Her mind is gone.last year she thought she had the nomination all wrapped up.Now her campaign is broke & in debt & Obama is going to be the candidate to represent the democratic party,Its time to go back in the kitchen & bake some cookies.

    May 23, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  25. andrew

    if her comment was not newsworthy according to cnn (unlike every other responsible news source), then why was her apology for that comment. cnn's bias is showing again. wait to put the best positive spin on a horrible statement from networks's fave.

    May 23, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
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