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. John

    Boy! If this doesn't end her campaign, nothing will! She isn't smart enough to be president!

    May 23, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  2. Mary, CA

    Hilly needs to go Mental Health Institution...Very sick lady.
    Like Husband Like Wife...Go back to AR. She destroys her party...

    May 23, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  3. John

    I am the last person to defend the Clintons and she is the last candidate I would vote for, but I don't understand what the big deal is with her statement. Someone please explain.

    May 23, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  4. Confused?

    Clinton can say almost anything (Nearly Offensive) and explain it away. Whether it be an out right lie or a simple distortion of fact. She and her husband are masters of the Double-Speak Art! If Obama or McCain for that matter say 1/2 of what the Clintons state they are held to a much higher standard. Someone needs to REEL those Clintons in NOW....They need to Sit down.....They are indeed past tense!

    May 23, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  5. tony

    That makes two white politicians in one week insinuating the killing of Obama. And no it is no accident.

    May 23, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  6. Mary K

    I think Hillary is insane! She knew exactly what she was saying. Why would she use the Kennedy's tragic situations as a cover up to her true feelings! We are not all naive. Those people in Kentucky, PA, and other cites who she says are white, un-educated, blue collar workers should be insulted of the title she has given them, especially coming from someone who has made over 100 million dollars in the last several years!

    May 23, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  7. lama

    After reading this apology, and knowing the Clinton's, and particularly Hillary's, difficult relationship with the truth... I am now convinced she said this on purpose. There is a clear political gain here if her last best option is to sway SD's.

    What a sad commentary on our politics.

    May 23, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  8. Left Coaster for Democracy

    She made a mistake with her words. They all have... Remember the bitter comments. Move on.

    May 23, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  9. Press

    I'm not buying it!!! She didn't bat an eye when she said it. If he takes her as VP he is crazy. A vote for that ticket would be a vote for her. She could have stopped with her husband winning in June and any other time the ticket was not wrapped up until June.(84) Just like Patterson said, she is DESPERATE!!!!!!!!! If she was thinking so much about the Kennedy's, why bring it back up again with all the drama they have going on with Ted's brain tumor....

    May 23, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  10. JoJo

    Former Obama Supporter: No one actually believes you were ever an Obama supporter. Lie, lie, lie just like the Clintons.

    May 23, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  11. Voice of Reason

    She meant no offence, that I know of...

    May 23, 2008 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  12. silence do good

    Oh no – here come the Ozombies 3..2..1.....

    Hillary misspeaks and apologizes and it is a horrible attack on all that is good and holy. "The Obama campaign reacted quickly" – another negative attack today.

    BUT Obama uses Ted's sad illness for a free photo-op and he is SO wonderful.

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

    What in the world is she talking about? I hope she's not going CRAZY?

    May 23, 2008 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  14. Farrell, Houston, Tx


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

    Now you see Lady Macbeth for exactly what she is. Do anything it takes is her motto, has always been her motto. She'll let nothing get in her way.

    May 23, 2008 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  16. Cindy, TN

    Don't beleive the Clintons. Sounds like she is planting "bad ideas" in the minds of criminals. She knew exactly what she was doing when the let the words roll out of her mouth. After all the African Americans who stood up for Bill over the "Monica" fisaco, the Clintons should be very grateful for all African Americans. All you Hillary supporters who will not vote for a Black man, and vote for McCain instead, after the next four years, you'll be ready to vote for anybody. And please don't be crying and complaining everyday, posting your little whiny complaints in the editorials of your local newspaper, because "what goes around, comes right back at ya"

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

    So she's pinning her hopes on something bad happening to Barack Obama. Do us a favor Hillary and drop out.

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

    The Obamabots are unreal!!! Please are all getting desperate..Barack's campaign is falling apart and you will grasp at anything to slow Hillary down!!!

    May 23, 2008 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  19. Linda31

    Apologize???? Please, that's the most horrible thing she could have said. To even bring up Kennedy's death as example of a reason to stay in is beyond words. What else do the superdelegates need to kick her out?

    Oh, I know it was a slip of her tongue. Disgusting!

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

    I am sorry that Mrs.Clinton has fallen to a new low. Given the news for Senator Ted Kennedy this past week to bring his brother up at the time he is fighting for his life is shameful . Shame on you Hillary.

    Connie from Logansport,IN

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

    Maybe the Republicans were right about the Clintons after all

    May 23, 2008 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  22. Lady

    What in the world?Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.No matter what her explanation is for this,it shows what her deep feelings and wishes are.Remember there is no art to find the mind'd construction on the face.
    Hillary blind supporters can try to explain this all they want,but they know her record of pandering.Any so called explanation she is giving now is pandering.She misspoke again yeah,right!
    I wanted Obama to pick her as VP but it is clear what her plans are,no matter what to become president.

    May 23, 2008 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  23. Carl Los Angeles

    Former Obama Supporter... Obama did not make the stupid comment... Hillary did. Speak on that point! Was it a stupid comment? of course it was! It was a wretched thing to say... do NOT blame Obama for Hillary saying wretched things.

    May 23, 2008 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  24. dave

    Its funny to see the liberals all react in horror to the Clinton freakshow.

    Welcome to the truth that the Republicans have known for 15 years about your heroes the Clintons. (Bill is no different, as you now know)

    Legacy time!

    May 23, 2008 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  25. Megan O. Toronto, ON, Canada

    Wow I had an OMG moment when I saw the clip on Situation Room. As soon as I heard the words come out of her mouth I had horrible images of something horrible happening to Obama. Why did she not just stop when she said Bill was not the nominee until at least June.

    She needs to honestly close her mouth and stop talking. We only need 60 Superdelegates to end this and now with this all time low from Hillary, it seriously needs to end NOW!

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