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. judasgoat

    you better believe it when a woman speaks its call mother's wit . and i said weeks ago that i was VERY uncomfortable w/ the access that barack was allowing people to approach him and i stated that the secret service SHOULD TIGHTEN THAT CIRCLE NOW. you see its no telling what them clinton's are capable of . i'am sure their is someone in that clinton camp. out there who owes them a favor. this is inexcuseable for her to even speak a thought on something of this nature. like she is WILLING FOR SOMETHING BAD TO HAPPEN TO OBAMA. she is no different than that person on foxnews sean hannity a.k.a. sharon hannity cause minus the wig you'd swear he/she was a woman scorned. night after night of obama bashing. its firing up the crazy folks now hillary says this. wow you can't make this stuff up.

    May 23, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  2. Terri


    May 23, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  3. k

    is she serious?? I mean who says this kind of stuff – especially when she is vying to be the president of a nation??

    was a hilary fan but she just lost my vote..

    May 23, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  4. Marie Simmons

    Well now , you have heard it from her own mouth. This is what she is waiting for, this is how she plans to get the nomination. Come on America if Obama had said that he would be out, delegate count or not! Sounds to me like she has been sitting in the back pews of Rev. Wrights church listening to his hate mongering.
    Marie from Rockport, Tx

    May 23, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  5. teesha


    May 23, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  6. Linda F

    I am a Clinton supporter and I understand that she meant that this event runs until June. I think you and the Obama supporters are going to ride this as long as possible, you have worked dilligently to do everything possible to bring her down.Try reporting things as they are said without a twist. You haven't been fair to her.

    May 23, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  7. bob in LA

    I'm sorry she apologized. The statement was made within a very clear context and was far from out of line.
    The names of the Keneedy's have been invoked by everybody referring to Obama and his appeal- where they trying to say more?
    I guess, Obama, Axelrod, Dodd, Kerry, Richardson, Edwards, Dean and yes, even Ted Kennedy are all horrible people for mentioning Bobby Kennedy- should i throw the whole country into a tizzy and say...John Kennedy???? Oh My God! I mentioned a dead person!

    May 23, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  8. Dee Clements

    I knew she was evil and crazy!!! This is definitely the straw that broke the camel's back. She is done!!!!!!!!!!!! Come on Supers-End it before she destroys all of humanity.

    May 23, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  9. themoi

    She is turning into the Britney Spears of the Democratic party with her "Oops! I Did It Again" foot in mouth blunders then the "Oops! I Didn't Mean That" rebuttals. Time to bow out gracefully–if that's possible at this point.

    After reading the book written by a former Clinton White House Secret Service officer, no way should either Bill or Hill be back in the "open-door-anything-goes-and-whoever-wants-can-come-and-work-without-a-background-check White House". No way.

    May 23, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  10. Joel Noonan

    You're looking increasingly delusional, Senator Clinton. Just drop out.

    May 23, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  11. sos, tx

    OMG!! Hillary should be committed Now!!! She's planning for Obama's demise. She's clearly sending a message to her racist supporters to do bodily harm to BO. Less than two weeks left in primaries and she has lost her mind. Bill Clinton, please have your wife committed to psych hospital immediately!!!!

    May 23, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  12. Ed, Santa Fe, NM

    Hillary the LIAR (Bosnia)
    Hillary the fiscally IRRESPONSIBLE (over $20M in debt)
    Hillary the POLITICAL SHARK (say anything, do anything to get elected)

    Which quality is presidential????

    DROP OUT AND SHUT THE HELL UP ABOUT THE KENNEDYS.... you're not worthy to wipe their shoes

    May 23, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  13. Let's get real

    So was this a freudian slip? Does she have on the back of her mind that this could happen to Obama?......

    May 23, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  14. ginny kane

    if you revisit history of america i am not surprise by the statment of hillary. Americans murder 3 civil rights workers, matrin luther king jr. john and robert kennedy medgar evers,4 little black girls,herbert lee,emmett till and set the stage for malcolm x. murder. Americas killed approximately 8 million slaves and black human beings so why woulfd anyone who knows the history of america be speeches.

    May 23, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  15. Bob in Minnesota

    Hillary just doesn't know when to quit. How much worse does it have to get before we can put the party back together?

    May 23, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  16. john

    I am amazed that anyone can defend this reference. She's a sociopath. I hate McCain, but I'll vote for him if she weasels the nomination.

    May 23, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  17. JR, Plymouth

    Deeply, profoundly, unforgettably disappointing. Has she no shame?

    May 23, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  18. Jeannine in CA

    OBAMA please don't choose her for VEEP. I'd rather see McCain elected that her. She has devious plans. DON'T TRUST HER! I'd rather see you lose with integrity than win with her.

    May 23, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  19. sue

    Do we need this woman representing us???? God, I hope she nevers answers the phone at 3:00 in the morning. She can't even think when she's awake.


    May 23, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |

    Is she planning to kill Obama ? Now we know why she is hanging there. What a shame.

    May 23, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  21. Anthony

    Her comment have no place in this race. This is a new low for Hillary how can you defend her comments.

    May 23, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  22. polly h

    She says she sorry but some of Obmama's supporters are so arrogant that clintion is all wrong and Obama all right. He makes rermarks he is forgiving and stay in church for 20 years he is forgiven. What a country.

    May 23, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  23. D.

    She should have hushed after WVa now what a mess she has made for herself just like Governor Huckabee. What person would nominate her now at the convention other than her husband?
    People feel these people are all ready speaking in a sinster type code .

    May 23, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  24. Garth

    And I want her to be President why? She has less command of the language than Bush. Or does she...

    May 23, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  25. Aaron

    I can't stand Hillary's behavior in her campaign, but I honestly do not think she meant any harm in that comment. I actually believe that she was just trying to illustrate that primaries in the past have gone into June, and she referenced very memorable events to highlight that fact. Yes, she was very clumsy and potentially very offensive about it.

    There's "typical" duplicitous, two-faced, pandering, opportunistic Hillary and there's just dumb comment Hillary. This is is a harmless case of the latter.

    May 23, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
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