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. Lynn in NM

    Sounds like a veiled threat to me, Hillary. Maybe you and Bill ought to learn when to keep quiet.

    May 23, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  2. Venus

    So,................. is this the secret that all the news media have been stating that Hillary would need some thing to "happen" to Obama - as lighting strike?

    This is scary! It's time for her to pack it up and open the door!

    What a laughing stock she's going to be! Shame... shame!

    I didn't think she could get lower but this causes for alarms – big time!

    Obama – keep your eyes on her! No freaking VP or any cabinet positions! No where near the white house!

    May 23, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  3. Southern Iowa White Female Democrat

    Clinton's comments to the Argus were tasteless and inappropriate, and suggests she really is grasping at last ditch efforts to maintain her candidacy. One wonders what kind of a person would make those kinds of comments – they are certainly not the kinds of comments that are made by dignified and graceful leaders. It's time for her to bow out of the race and embrace reality.

    May 23, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  4. Lourna Yzaguirre

    Anything to trash Hillary. Enough of you Obama supporters. I will watch CSPAN where some real issues are discussed.

    May 23, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  5. Speechless


    I can't believe I once respected this woman. This is way over the line.

    Post it or not, CNN...


    May 23, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  6. Concerned citizen

    I am really relieved this woman doesn't appear to have a chance to become our next president. This kind of comment would make the US look shamefully bad to other nations, so did the recent one by Pres. Bush.

    May 23, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  7. Brian

    THIS IS THE CRAZIEST NONSENSE I HAVE EVER HEARD. I just heard your replay of Hillary's comments, and it's real obvious that she was referring to the races of past presidential campaigns continuing until June wihtout a nominee, and nothing else. Why is CNN even reporting on this nonsense? The only spin here is from Obama's cry-baby campaign and CNN. Talk about broken government, what about broken media?!

    May 23, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  8. Bob

    Absolutely disgusting! She apologized to Kennedy and not to Obama.

    'Let's hope..., I mean someone might (wink, wink) kill the black man to make the white woman president...' Is this what she wants her supporters to advocate?

    If he dies all of Obama's delegates should immediately cast their vote for John Edwards as the last HONORABLE person to drop out of the race.

    The presidency is a job that is EARNED, not awarded by default. She has not behaved presidential, and she lost the nomination fair and square. Her notion that this election was 'stolen' from her is based upon her opinion that it was going to be a coronation from the beginning. He took the high road and won. She took the low road and lost. Simple as that.

    May 23, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  9. Badgersouth

    I have it on good authority that the Munchkins are ready to break out in a rousing rendition of “Ding Dong, the Witch is Dead!” when Obama clinches the nomination. Note: Hillary does not play the role of Dorothy in this movie.

    May 23, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  10. Angelo in Rosamond, CA

    Hillary has just given Obama the Democratic nod for his presidency run-and she gave it to him on a silver platter with this totally insane remark. I had to run out of the office and bust out laughing when I read the first headlines over the various news sites. I have to now publicly apologize-with glee-to Rush Limbaugh, who said at the very start that Hillary would stop at nothing to get into the White House. I thought Rush was full of it-BUT HE WAS RIGHT, this remark PROVES IT! I got a chance to shake Robert F. Kennedy's hand during his campaign stop in San Diego before he went to Los Angeles, so this Hillary remark really hits hard. There is no apologizing for this one, Hillary, you really 'offed yourself' this time!!! I am so sorry, Rush, please accept my apology!!! And to all you Hillary supporters-now how do you all feel? How does that pie in your face taste?

    May 23, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  11. Tim

    Well, that comment makes one less name on the "short list" for VP!

    May 23, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  12. George, Palm Harbor Fl

    I have to say I have felt for several weeks, maybe months now that she has been hoping that something Catastrophic happens to Barrack.
    This is not a recollection of the Kennedy's tragedy as much as a Freudian slip of what is really on her mind. There are so many "crazy" people out there, just watch Fox News to see how many, and there are still many RedNecks that could not abide a Black President.
    For me, this continues to show the arrogance of the Hill and Bill campaign and they don't know how to deal with the fact that she is NOT the anointed ONE.
    Go Sen. Obama!!

    May 23, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  13. Martha Newell

    What is there to apologize. June is not an unusual month. I don't think that Hillary needed to apologize because she said nothing wrong. Once again she was referring to her longness of running and going into June is not unusual. The lady is exhausted from all the disrespect she has been given and once again this is another one for her. The bottom line is that she is the best candidate for the Democractic Party and if the media would focus more on the CHANGES that are suppose to occuring then we would know exactly who we should be voting for. This country has become to sensitive as well as always being politically correct. I am darn right sick of not knowing anything about BO. I will not vote for him if he gets the Party. I will vote for McCain. He will not get my vote.

    May 23, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  14. no more clinton dynasty

    pure evil pure evil..........go to the huftington post and see for yourselves what and how she said it....
    this is beyond any political tricks.....

    no more clintons

    May 23, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  15. RS

    Subliminal message to her crazed backers?? Yikes!

    May 23, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  16. What?

    Hank Aaron in his chase for the all time Home Run record received death threats daily...that was a baseball achievement. What do you think Senator Obama has dealt with?

    May 23, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  17. Lucy Windy Chicago, IL

    She is crazy!!! Everyone needs to email the DNC and ask for her removal. If you heard the news this morning you would have heard how the threats against Senator Obama have risen. I am sure the Kennedys are glad they are not endorsing her.

    Hillary – Think before you speak if that's possible.

    May 23, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  18. It's OVER!

    There is no amount of spin you can put on this to dig her out of the hole she just put herself in.

    May 23, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  19. Bob in Minnesota

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

    May 23, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  20. weary of people in denial

    Hillary supporters blame everything she does on someone else. It is never her fault. No matter what she does it is okay with them. Thank goodness we do not have a whole country of them.

    Hillary supporters open your mind place the responsibilities of Sen. Clinton's actions on her and not everybody else. It is okay if you want to continuee to support her, but do not deny what she has done. You all seems like a parent who will never admit that their child did anything wrong even when they are caught in the act.

    May 23, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  21. Disapponted

    You will not post my comment – you never do but I found Senator Clinton's comment totally unacceptable. Also your strategist suggested people are being overly sensitive. How untrue – this is a crazy world and we understand the times. This type of thing has no place being said.

    May 23, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  22. Political Spectator

    This is politics at it's best. When this is all over, I just hope the best person for the country will take a seat in the Oval Office.

    May 23, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  23. Ohio 4 Hillary

    Don't you people have anything better to do than constantly bash Hillary. CNN YOU ARE SO BIASED. All the crap that Obama is trying to sell to his "followers", you will all be sorry!!!!!!

    May 23, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  24. Doc

    Hey, can we as American's DEMAND the release of Hillary's MENTAL HEALTH RECORDS = because she's either Bipolar or just plain CRAZY!!!

    Obliterate Iran?
    Shame on you Barack Obama?
    Sniper fire?
    Calling FL & MI fair?
    NAFTA has proven its worth?
    - To name just a few................

    ...AND just staying in LONG after the nomination ship has sailed...

    She ain't right in the head!!!

    Obama '08

    May 23, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  25. Rich Danbury, CT

    Wake up super delegates!!! and finish this tomorrow morning...

    Hillary is pure evil...she disgustes me

    May 23, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
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