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. NoBama

    Sen Obama and his supporters are so blind that they can rationalize a statement of history that is very true.

    Sen Obama has lot to answer, right from his heritage to Rezko connection, and then about his guru Rev Wright.

    In the whole black community, Dems could not find a leader but a pseudo change agent, alas !

    May 23, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  2. Gary

    I have always thought that most Americans were very gullible people. If they give this woman one more vote, it only reinforces my thinking. This woman is absolutely pathetic and will stoop to any low to get 'crowned' as President. I am ready to puke...please Americans you are being hoodwinked by the Clintons and their scheming entourage, take off the hood and see the real Clintons.

    A scared Canadian

    May 23, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  3. GypsyDavey

    If Hillary were a Republican, this comment would end her career. In fact, if she were a Republican, the "hard-working white people" comment would have ended her career. The double-standard is incredible.

    May 23, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  4. Walt, Belton,TX

    That couldn't possibly be construed as a threat, could it?

    May 23, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  5. Daniel, New York, NY

    Here he goes again. Can anyone really stand to have Barack O as a President when he has such thin skin. I am surprised that he does not go cry in a corner.

    Get a LIFE!

    May 23, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  6. shash

    I think she is 'loosing her bearings'.

    May 23, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  7. Shirley

    On Hardball, some of the commentators are trying to say Hillary made the statement because she is extremely tired. I don't care how they try to excuse it, no one would say something like this unless she had such a scenario somewhere in her subconscious. This would be a good time for her to apologize and make a speech saying she was leaving the primaries for the good of the party and encourage her supporters to back Obama. By continuing this race, she is just damaging her legacy further.

    May 23, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  8. Sean S

    well there goes that Obama Clinton ticket

    May 23, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  9. peter amiator

    i am not surprise ? hillary, what s next. why do we keep listening to you. well, i am switching my allegiance to Barrack. you have humilated me enough.

    May 23, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  10. M.E.M Kansas city

    Hillary needs HELP. She out of HER MIND. WATCH HER.

    May 23, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  11. christina

    If she didn't mean anything by it why feel the need to apologize??? An apology denotes that you've done something wrong (her inexperienced-family campaign advisors should have told her that/ I'm an Obama supporter (and no I'm not a white, blue collar worker) and I personally don't think that Senator Clinton intended any harm with her statements. I also don't mind watching Hillary hang herself BEFORE we get to June 3rd. Enough's enough. Move over and let Obama do his thing, woman!

    May 23, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  12. Kelley in TX

    What is even more disturbing than Clinton's and Huckabee's comments is their condescending, insincere, lame apologies.

    It's time for the Supers to show some leadership and get her out of the race NOW.

    May 23, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  13. Linda

    Hillary just imploded ! Saying sorry with regret just not enough.

    May 23, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  14. granforchange


    May 23, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |

    Out of the HEART the MOUTH speaks!

    These comments will technically end the political careers of the Clintons.

    What a SAD day in America!

    May 23, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  16. Watch for da Hook!

    I would never wish death on nobody man because their is no coming back from that. As a person of faith, I forgive her. Just a poor choice of words.

    May 23, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  17. Roxy


    May 23, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  18. jason

    this is scary...

    i suppose a tiny practical upshot is if something were to happen to Obama, at least who's behind it wouldn't be a secret.

    May 23, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  19. MJL

    I haven't been able to watch Fox News for some time. It is now getting painful to watch CNN. Senator Clinton's comment has been taken totally out of context to make a news story. Where can I find intelligent news reporting?

    May 23, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  20. dd L.B,CA

    What is Outrageous is Hillary saying this in the first place. This is what she consistently does, makes remarks & once it's out there then offers some ridiculous explanation. Does anyone believe anything Hillary says?? Sounds completely phony! She is trying to do what ever harm she can to Obama, that is the reason she is still in the race. Hillary is out for Hillary & the Clinton Dynasty.

    May 23, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  21. Bill

    I respect Hiliary but I think she is just tired and probably needs to sit this one out.

    May 23, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  22. Jeanne

    Hillary and her tacky husband should do this country and themselves a favor and spare us anymore of their histrionics. We're sick of their drama and their cheap shots.

    May 23, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  23. Dana in Maryland

    Notice she only apologized to the Kennedy family.

    May 23, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  24. PT

    This is wrong on so many fronts that it is hard to even know where to begin. A new low even for a Clinton.

    May 23, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  25. Martha, Georgia

    CNN, you don't have to post my previous post. This woman is vile. Write to the superdelegates and flood the emails. Enough already.

    May 23, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
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