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. Franky

    What the??? What did Hillary said??? Uh-Oh............I gotta run.....(running to the front door......opening the front door......getting into the car....starting the engine.......and hitting the brakes........etc, etc.......yeah, I don't wanna be around)....

    May 23, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  2. Don in Florida

    As an Obama supporter I take her at her word that she meant nothing offensive about the remark. Hopefully she realizes that the long this nomination process drags out the better it is for McCain. Let's stop fighting and unite behind Sen Obama so we can put an end to Republican rule.

    May 23, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  3. Nicole, Portland OR

    Get her out, she owes Sen. Obama an apology. She never even mentioned him in her "apology" I can't stand her....

    May 23, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  4. is it necessary

    couldn't she think of other examples? i mean the example about keddy is just wrong for the simple reason that his brother is going through difficult moment right now and this is the last thing he wants to hear. please Clinton if you insist on staying in this campaign so that you can finish raising money to pay off your loans not for winning i just suggest for the remaining weeks just shut up your power hungry mouth and stop disgracing the democrats.

    May 23, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  5. Michael in La Canada

    I worked in the RFK campaign, and I support Obama., so if anyone should take "offense" I would be near the front of the line, CNN is SO OUT OF LINE with this ticky-tack bilge. TERRIBLE journalism!

    May 23, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  6. The Diva

    People .. Obama did not set this up. The media advised him what was said. The logic of some the people who have posted on this site is flawed.

    May 23, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  7. Lori

    Jack Cafferty can say almost anything and you idiots believe it. Get a GRIP people. You are all morons!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    May 23, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  8. John Rousseau

    I'm not voting for Hilary Clinton but let's give her a break here.

    She had a great opportunity to give them this answer when she was asked why everyone is pushing for her to get out of the campaign...

    "It's a great Radical Left Wing Conspiracy" Sound familiar 🙂

    J Rousseau

    May 23, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  9. Belle

    Once again, Clinton makes a totally innocent statement about history and Obama makes a hateful comment that turns that innocent statement into bait for the hate mongers. There is no excuse. Obama inspires hatred and animosity. Good luck in November. I will be voting for McCain; this is the last straw.

    May 23, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  10. mik

    we love Hillary Clinton

    May 23, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  11. Chris

    Wow, the venom from other Obama supporters here is rather tasteless and unnecessary. You people make me ahsamed to share the same candidate choice. McCain is looking better every day knowing that such people want Obama, my candidate, in office.

    May 23, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  12. Umpire

    Hey, I'm an Obama backer, but I think that many people have way over-reacted to Clinton's remark. Come on–let's get to some serious issues, which have often been in short supply since John Edwards dropped out of the running. Anybody want to talk about the hundreds of billions that can not be accounted for in Iraq? Or the missing student loan money in the Department of Education? Or Dick Cheney and the no-bid non-oil-related contracts to Halliburton?

    May 23, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  13. Naomi

    I am at a loss of words!

    Here we go again with somebody else trying to make a statement regarding the well being of Obama whether it be lame joke or a mispeaking. This is nothing to take lightly. I am just appalled by her and all the others who would do this.

    May 23, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  14. R. Brown

    I am calling for the arrest of HIllary Clinton and an Impeachment of her Senate Seat!


    May 23, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  15. JOHN


    May 23, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  16. No Apology

    Maybe the Obama people should be asking themselves why they don't want all the votes counted and why they have been trying to push the candidiate who has the most votes out of the race for months. Obama and his supporters are so arrogant.

    Sen Clinton was only addressing that many nomination processes have gone on for a long time and candidiates were not forced out of therace and that there is no reason to stop things early. Stop jumping on Clinton and feigning shock over historical references. Her apology was unnecessary. I haven't seen anyone apologize to her (or her supporters) for the sexism that has been unrelenting in this campaign.

    May 23, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  17. Simply_Amazed

    What will Rush, Sean, and Bill O' say now...I can't wait to hear Keith Olbermann tonight...

    May 23, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  18. eddie, New York City.

    I simply can't believe it!

    May 23, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  19. Pilar

    That is one of the most disrespectful comments I have ever heard. For it to be on her mind means she has been thinking about it as an option for becoming the nominee.
    And she blames it on being tired? This certainly doesn't bode well for her claims of being ready to answer the phone at 3:00 a.m.

    May 23, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  20. D.S.

    I'm an Obama supporter. I don't believe Mrs. Clinton meant harm, but the fact that she and members of her campaign are insensitive to the impact of her remarks show it's time for her to leave the race. This is an important life lesson, nothing is worth selling your soul over, it'll come back to haunt you.

    May 23, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  21. phil

    she is done

    May 23, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  22. Karrie, MD

    Ouch. That's really reaching into the bottom of the barrel. I'm trying to think of something worse that she can say, but that's going to be hard to top.

    May 23, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  23. Amit

    This is the most hilarious thing I have ever heard. Please, somebody show her the way to the mental asylum. I think she needs to show her mental medical records as McCain showed his medical records. I was an avid Hillary supporter. I was a volunteer for her campaign here in NJ. My whole family voted for his. You lost your vote, credibility and your respect too. I think all the people like me who voted for Hillary, its time to join and start volunteering for Obama.

    May 23, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  24. SOneal

    Hillary and all her "experience" knows exactly what she is doing.

    May 23, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  25. Sara

    horrible to use the bobby reference. uncalled for.

    May 23, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
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