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. Concerned Canadian

    Doesn't anyone in the media or Obama campaign have an ounce of decency left ?

    Hillary Clinton was making a point on her campaign using historical reference simply to date the events of past primary races.

    People that pick on these words must have their minds permanently embedded in a whirlpool of suspicion and hate with a total lack of logic.

    Obama has said things 10 times worse....he's never apologized for anything in his campaign....this guy must be a perfect human fact he sits on the right side of God !!

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

    I think she just "misssssspoke" again nothing to worry about, I honestly don't think she could be that cold hearted or can she, huh.

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

    Now we see who Hillary Clinton really is. I liked her. I was holding out for the "Dream Ticket", but that would be a mistake. Her becoming President would only be a heart beat away, and that might be too tempting for her.
    We can see clearly how she thinks. She is calculating and so power-thirsty that she will ride rough shod over any one who stands in her way. When we add the pieces together we see a heartless, self-absorbed individual who will crush you into the ground, walk over your body while she smiles and waves to the crowd. America needs Senator Obama, but it would be better for him and his family for him to fail to win the presidency than to open himself for some uneducated to take a crack at his life.

    May 23, 2008 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  4. Soupgui (Brussels)

    Ohhhh my god!!
    You got to be kidding, We here in Europe don't understand how someone can talk about dead people like that without any respect for the family. May God protect Senator Obama, "the june analogy of crime" by HRC? That Madame is desperate all the way, she must drop out now. Enough is enough, are the superdelegates watching this mess just for fun... Geeez

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

    Another uuuppsss...... But here the problem is not between Obama Clinton, the problem it Democrats - McBush. Let's get united and save the country of four more years of the worts goverment ever

    May 23, 2008 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  6. Mike G

    This lady is a live wire! To think that people actually want her unpredictable mouthpiece on the ticket?? I would be afraid to make her my VP considering all her off the wall comments throughout this campaign. She needs a position that requires her mouth to be tailored down and supervised. Unfortuantely, VP of the U.S. is not it! What will she say in meetings overseas with world leaders??? Who that's scary!

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

    Judgement at its finest...

    May 23, 2008 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  8. NC Attorney 4 Obama

    Although I am an avid supporter of Sen. Obama, I was very much a fan of the Clintons (more so Bill than Hillary). However, as this campaign has gone on, I have been quickly astounded and disgusted as to the depths that Hillary Clinton will sink to win. Today, however, is a new low. She knew what she was saying. She, in effect, said that she is staying in the race because something could happen to Obama....and that something is the one thing that a lot of people have been tremendously concerned about. She really needs to step aside at this point. Considering that a good number of her supporters have publicly stated that they have an issue with Obama's race, she is clearly inciting (intentionally or not) some sort of violent, hateful backlash if she doesn't win. She should truly be ashamed of herself.

    May 23, 2008 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  9. vic nashville,Tn

    I am glad she did past 2 days mainstream media totally forget Hillary
    Now media will talk about her till monday
    Hillary 08 or Mc Cain 08

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

    She is losing it. She purposely said it because its a sensitive issue in the Obama camp among his supporters. The Clintons are not a team you can trust so hopefully there is another choice for VP.

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

    she sounds tired, its been a long year for all!

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

    this woman is too ambition and can do anything to get that seat. if anything happen to obama i reget she will be the first suspect, am her supporter but am not anymore. she is sick

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

    Well, anything can happen and BESIDES is this NOT a democracy?

    Neither candidate has the necessary delegate count and it would be plain stupid for her to quit before so.

    I am with Hillary now and will be with her in 2012!

    Hillary supporters UNITE for McCain '08 for Clinton '12.
    Obama, well, NEVER!!!!

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

    What Hilary failed to mention about campaigns historically going into June was that they hadn't started in January. Also as she has $20 million in debt, I guess that she thinks that it is ok to go deeper into debt, and then ask others to bail her out? That seems cheeky to me.

    May 23, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  15. Dark Kent

    Mrs Clinton can't on one hand try to convince us that she is expereienced and smart when saying why she could be president and on the other try to say she didn't realize the implications of her comment.

    Fact: 1

    Racism vs Sexism? Mr. Obama has recieved death threats already while running for President. I'll bet nobody has threatened to kill Hillary because she is a woman that is running.

    Fact 2:

    Any comment that even remotes encourages any of the crazies out there to advance their warped thoughts, whether it's from Huckabee or from Hillary, is reckless and not the kind of behavior we want to see.

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

    Obviously,Clinton has just stated her real intentions for Obama.She has probably hired a hitman to do the job,however God will not let it happen.In life we should be very careful of what we wish for others because it might just come back to us.This explains to us why she cannot win for God sees through her. Words are words but you are what you are.

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

    HRC's comment is a clear signal that it is time for her to end her quest for the Democratic Presidential nomination. She needs to take a restfull break before she returns to the full-time serving of the good people of New York.

    May 23, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  18. Ilona from Alberta

    OMG!!!!!!!!! How delusional has turned to DISGUSTING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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

    super delegates please declare your support for Obama and finish this please

    May 23, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  20. Crush Rush

    How low can she go?She must be getting tips from Limbaugh.In the last days???Another freudain slip?

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

    Ok. Hillary, it's time for you to go. Super D's, put an end to this now.

    May 23, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  22. Go Obama 08/12

    Enough of McCintons no matter what the time frame was/ is .

    The way she downgrades,slams others continually I bet she is thinking of others what a farce.

    Good idea send the McClintons./Bushes/ McShames riding off into the sunset and be sure they taker all their politics with them.

    Obama 08 NO To HILLARY VP

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

    If Hillary is sorry, it's not because she didn't mean what she said, but because she got caught saying it on national television. Her mental capacity has depleted. I bet this is one of the arguments she makes to superdelegates behind the scenes. Just like her "white people are voting for me" she had a lapse and forgot she was on television.

    May 23, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  24. Xavier, St. Louis, MO

    Hillary would say and do anything to win a vote. Just when you think she’s at an all time low, she finds a way to go even lower.

    I just can't believe people support her behavior. There are a lot of lost people in this country.

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

    Hillary, you need to go to a very quiet place and double up on your meds

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