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. Vikki

    For those of you that believe that Hillbilly did not mean Obama harm are delusional. The woman has no regard for others and her bid for president has more to do with her than the country. Yes, she is capable of doing an adequate job but she and her husband are too self centered to help others.

    Hillary is not to be trusted not now, not ever.

    May 23, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  2. Another thinking voter, NY

    How is this "so much worse" than what Huckleberry Finn said at the NRA meeting? Get real and find something else to talk about.

    Why would she mean offense by this?

    You people are biased.

    May 23, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  3. Fran Pensa

    Outrageous! Hillary Clinton will stop at nothing. I pray that the super delegates will put her (and us) out of her misery soon.

    May 23, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  4. Nicole

    As many have said, I agree, her comments were poorly worded. I am an Obama supporter and don't think she meant anything by it. At the same time, I don't think Obama meant anything by his "bitter" comments that Hillary exploited into Bittergate. If this becomes Kennedygate, it will be her fault for casting stones.

    May 23, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  5. TM

    This remark tells us what kind of judgment Hillary Clinton would bring to the highest office of the land. Not ready on Day One, I'm afraid.

    May 23, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  6. Dee

    Yet another reason I won't be voting for Obama...Way to go Dems, you deserve the government you elect...

    May 23, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  7. Duane,WA

    Got Dam!!!!!!! !This lady wants to be president!!!! Oh my lord....CNN show some backbone you spinless netwwork.

    May 23, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  8. Rj

    Hmmm... Hillary will now blame sexism for her stupidity and thinking out loud. If you are resorting to hope that something terrible will happen to your opponent, I don't want you leading my country! Can you say self inflicted wound? It was bound to happen...

    May 23, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  9. Oh no she didn't!

    I can't believe anyone could still support this heinous woman. What could they be thinking?

    May 23, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  10. FedUpDem

    young, gifted and black May 23rd, 2008 5:08 pm ET

    This is completely tasteless for her to have made that reference to 1968. This makes me question her true motive for staying in this race. Obama, you and your family are in my prayers…


    Look another highly educated obamidiot that can't handle historical fact and wants to spin it into something else....

    May 23, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |

    I have come to the conclusion that Hillary can stand on stage eating newborns, and her supporters will still defend her.

    May 23, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  12. Vic

    I see the Republican trolls are out in full force masquerading as female Hillary supporters.

    Really, are you so afraid of the this General Election race that you need to resort to these drive-by's?

    May 23, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  13. Bitter Tommy Hussein in St. Louis

    fred May 22nd, 2008 5:48 pm ET

    Mary May 22nd, 2008 5:41 pm ET

    I just came back from a parallel universe where Hillary was in the lead and laughing at the notion of allowing FL & MI.

    She kept on saying, my opponent is desperate. He wants to change the rules AGAIN. How can we now change the rules at this late stage in the game? My opponent agreed to these rules in 2007. We need a president that abides by the rules.

    The point is, would Hillary fight this hard if FL & MI would benefit Obama?

    Can we call this more SNIPER FIRE and call it a day?



    fred, with this simple comment (in another thread) you've shown that you are probably by far the most gullible person who regularly blogs here on the Ticker. I've got 500 acres of prime swampland on Mars to sell you. Don't worry about all the paperwork with NASA; I'll take care of it for you.

    May 23, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  14. LINDA,FL

    Ready for clinton's convention?
    Here we go

    May 23, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  15. Patterson

    It was obvious to me what she was talking about, trying to remind people that a campaign going into June was not unusual. Her husband tied up his campaign in June in California and Bobby Kennedy was still running in June in California. Please please quit trying to make stories out of things that are not stories. Stop minipulating the conversation and report the facts.

    May 23, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  16. KW, Vail AZ

    I'm willing to bet that not one of you really understands the comment she made, and you probably don't know who Robert Kennedy was.. Obama supporters, his campaign, and the media tend to distort everything Bill or Hillary says. We would have gotten this same reaction from you even if she had only said "good morning".

    May 23, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  17. Donovan- Phoenix

    Who cares. When you have to make excuses and come up with scenarios and examples on why you are still in the race, YOU HAVE LOST. Lets all unite and get this nation back on track

    May 23, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  18. 2020 windsor ontario


    May 23, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  19. Darth Vadik, CA


    May 23, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  20. If not Hillary, then Mccain

    The Obama campain is going to be the down fall of obama, he will never be president at this rate. Hillary never ment anything bad. I have been a Dem over 50 years and i have never seen as much hate from a Dem as obama camp.

    May 23, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  21. Johnnie (Colorado)

    I'm not a Clinton supporter, but it looks like to me this whole thing is blown out of proportion.
    Talk about taking something out of context…. And I might add may the best candidate win.

    May 23, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  22. RR

    Amazing!! She has lost her mind!!

    May 23, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  23. Jay

    Bye Bye Hillary time for you and your craziness to go... that a way>>>>>>>>

    I don't even know how some people can still support her! She is delusional, and a lair! You think she really gives a rip about MI an FL??? heck no she agreed just like Edwards and Obama that those 2 states would be stripped of their delegates. 2 out of 3 kept their promise. What a fruit cake.

    May 23, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  24. linda-Texas

    The media has gone way off the deep end covering this primary.

    Senator Clinton was merely pointing out that Senator Kennedy's campaign had also gone into June.

    The media chose to put their own spin on Senator Clinton's comment to plant a negative thought in people's minds, and reading a number of the posts here, it seems to have been very effective.

    May 23, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  25. Anonymous

    if barack is really a new type of politician he will tell the news media to stop! They know Hillary didn't mean anything derogatory. Drudge and msnbc started this hysteria. Stop!!!!

    May 23, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
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