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. Sharon from Houston

    This is it! I was willing to wait until early June for Billary to leave but after that statement she made...the sooner the better.

    May 23, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  2. park more

    It is part of it. This was a set up from the beguining some politicians did not want clinton in the white house..... How do you explain the change date of primary in Florida and Michigan? Without that Hillary whould be already the nominee......... I think that she still can win the general election as INDEPNDENT

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

    ........and some people want this woman running the country ?

    May 23, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  4. Spencer PA

    We can not afford another president who tries to just speak or act talk to garner some tough reputation. We need someone who has intelligence and chooses their words thoughfully and honestly. America just doesn't need Barack, the international community needs Barack. OBAMA 08- REAL CHANGE.

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

    perhaps Sen. Clinton hadn't slept well last night.

    May 23, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  6. V Aken'Ova

    Wow... Hillary Clinton's comments are quite shocking. I guess we all know what she is secretly hoping for. The super delegates need to shut this thing down now. Enough already. This is the heights of desperation...

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

    Is this the anything can happen case that she has been pushing all along. This is sick! She just pulled her own plug.

    May 23, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  8. Ovitshio Branco from New Mexico

    Shameless, Stupid,

    Where are the Superdelegates to stop the Fat Lady with suitpant

    She need to give some explanation about this may she is planning

    something badf against Senator Obama

    May 23, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  9. Ray

    Well I just changed my vote! Now I now what's she's waiting for. I'm in the Obama camp now and recommend those Hillary Hold Outs do the same.

    May 23, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  10. Grant

    Beware of the Clintons.......they play for keeps, send some PI's to Arkansas and ask around...hint hint

    She will be the nominee, at any cost

    The DNC needs to stop this now, this is unprecedented in politcal America....Her campaign is officially over, this is fear mongering at its highest...Presidential Candidates do misspeak at this level...curiously enough she has not apologized to Sen Obama after referencing him to get shot! I guess she can kiss goodbye any chances in SD or MT..spin this Lanny Davis! If Carville is a man of honor, he will sign that check NOW!

    May 23, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  11. Riff Raff

    First of all I'm a staunch Ron Paul supporter so I write this not for Obama but myself.

    Clinton is an attorney who is well trained in the exact use of words. She has no way to backtrack on this at all. What could she use as an excuse, "I was sleep deprived"? How can any of you democrats vote for her in the primary? How could any of you vote for her as a VP? I have absolutely no doubt that if she was the VP Obama would be murderd, I truly do. Ego maniacs know no bounderies and have no aliance to anyone or anything but themselves. Hillary Clinton – Vote for me or die....

    May 23, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  12. Tim

    Beyond the stupid comments about Bobby Kennedy, who is this person that is trying to push Clinton out of the race? Another Clinton campaign straw man argument.

    May 23, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  13. Proud1of 26% in WV

    Where does she come up with these stats?Look it up,I did .Bill.Clinton effectively won the nomination after winning NY in april.
    He left the convention with 3372 delegates,Jerry Brown 596.A real nail biter.She says that no Democrat since 1916 has won without winning WV.They may have carried WV but all could have won without the 5 electoral votes WV carries.Most could have won without WV,Ky,Oh and PA all put together..Look it up.

    May 23, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  14. Disgruntled voter

    For all of you making a big stink about this I really don't see why this is even a story. She referenced Kennedy's campaign, so what.
    I'm not a supporter of hers but this is far from unusual for her and she has said and done many other things over this campaign that should be more scrutinized than this.
    This one should have been relegated to the back page of a newspaper.

    May 23, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  15. strange twist

    This democratic nomination process has brought out, all the bad qualities of HRC and all the great qualities of Obama.

    May 23, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  16. Woman for Obama

    Wow how low can you go Hillary. Superdelgates please shut this desperate woman down now!.

    May 23, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  17. Sebastian

    Delusional ... and out of control ....

    and folks think she could be VP???

    May 23, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  18. linda from South Dakota

    welll,, hillary,, if you dont want to be misquoted,, then please keep you mouth shut,,, better yet,, get out,,, your excuses dont work anymore,,, GO OBAMA!!!

    May 23, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  19. Lynn

    This should be interpreted by Obama's secret service as a veiled threat!

    May 23, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  20. Bruce, Middlesex, NY

    She is definitely right and correct....and we have all thought it. This campaign has become sooooo annoying. None of the candidates can say anything or do anything. It's gotten ridiculous and I blame it on the marathon length of this Presidential campaign.

    May 23, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  21. R Garcia, Northern Cali

    Let's all just face the realities; she is very damaging to the party, and the American people. Let's not forget that she said she would "obliterate" Iran, why would we want someone like that making threats to another country that we have problems with? I'm sick of war, and as an American, we should be looking past wars to solve problems, and set standards for peace, but peace doesn't make money, so there will always be wars. To me, it sounds like she's waiting for something terrible to happen to Obama. He should definately add a few more secret servicemen to his roster, I'm just saying. . . Why are these Hillary supporters still supporting this neo-con? She's definately a Republican in a democrat costume. She gets away with saying all these crazy things, why? Because she's a woman, and tell Ferraro that I said that, and let's debate on what the difference is. . .

    May 23, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  22. R. Seabron - Pittsburgh

    The Clintons do not make mistakes like this. The Clintons are very smart politically. I always thought there was a chance she might be staying in to solidify herself as the "back up" plan slot in case the unthinkable happens. Now I am convinced that is one of the reasons. This literaly dropped my jaw. Inexcusable, just inexcusable.

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

    Hillary has lost her post menopausal mind in regards to the
    RFK remark! Don't choose her for VP...choose Gen. Colin Powell!

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

    MCAIN 08

    May 23, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  25. Sadie Jane Starr

    Senator Clinton is desperate and grasping at straws in a tactless way by trying to include the JFK in her speech!!!

    May 23, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
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