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. Jan

    Would someone plese educate Mrs. Clinton about how the worlld has changed in the past 16 plus years? With the advancement of the internet, the world of 24/7/365 news, there is so much about the campaigns available that was not years ago. If she does not understand the changing world and the changed communication patterns she should not be president, much less anything else. There is no need to run her campaign until June unless she is intent on losing the election to the Republicans at any cost.

    May 23, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  2. Jesse

    Hispanic's will never vote for Obama in the #'s he need's to win the west.

    May 23, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  3. Mark

    NOT a surprise coming out of her mouth. She's a POS that needs to get out now and stop ruining the Dems.... and this comes from a Republican.

    May 23, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  4. Nancy



    May 23, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  5. bob

    "I think that she still can win the general election as INDEPNDENT"

    What drugs are you on? As an independent voter I would NEVER vote for any ticket that has her on it...she is pure evil.

    May 23, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  6. jeninCalif.

    Come on people, give the gal a break! She's been working her tail off for many, many years. It's a non-starter comment. She deserves this opportunity, just like you would, and despite the vitriol that is spewed about her, no politician can claim the high road. They ALL have their downsides. I think Obama is a great and inspiring orator, but I'm truly concerned about his lack of experience. He's come from nowhere, his record is not that long or extensive, that Rev. Wright is an absolute nutcase, and we're wanting to put him in the most powerful office on Earth? As much as I like listening to him, I'd like him to garner a bit more experience on the world stage before I give him that nod.

    May 23, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  7. Hillary is Going Down!

    Bill Clinton, Geraldine Ferraro, James Carville, Joe Scarborough and the rest of Hillary's mouthy supporters.

    Let's see how you interrupt this one. Did she "mis speak" again, was she tired, what...what ya got.

    Come on...i know you got one. Bill I know you got another LIE in you. Its still earlier

    May 23, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  8. Oh no she didn't!

    Does she know something we don't?

    May 23, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  9. Mat

    The fact that her campaign thugs said afterwards that is was a historic parallel is so stupid and highlights the kind of people she is with.

    I'm shocked, but by no way surprised !

    May 23, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  10. Phil

    I am a big Obama supporter and I've got to say, I don't see what the big deal is with this comment. When I saw the headline I thought the same thing alot of people might think. She is staying in incase he gets killed! But thats not what she is saying here. She is only reference that it was June and the campain for was still going to decide the dem nom. I think the fact that he died trally had nothing to do with her argument

    May 23, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  11. raj

    Bill can do anything!!!!! Hillary has lost a credibility for V.P post

    May 23, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  12. laura

    "That which proceeds out of ones mouth, is in their heart."

    May 23, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  13. Nana


    May 23, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  14. ROUSS

    anyone who thinks remotely that she is talking about threat to Obama etc are morons! Give her a break – she has fought hard and deserves to choose her own exit

    May 23, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  15. Ex-Hillary supporter

    She has proven herself on more than one occasion to be shameless.

    May 23, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  16. Ronald monis Ventura ca

    Clinton yopu desperate piece of trash, you should be ashamed of yourself for making such comments. I am disgusted and all you care about is to be president and will do or say anything. I am ashamed of you.You are of of a kind lady. You are doomed for failure and go back to the Senate you piece of trash.

    May 23, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  17. Burt

    I'm mildly surprised so many people are shocked by this.

    May 23, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  18. Albert D. Campbell

    If I were Obama as president and some how Hillary was my vice president I would form a committee to keep an eye on her and Bill to watch my back. Geeezzz

    May 23, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  19. Leeza

    Meh- I think we need to stop focusing our attention on her. She isn't going to be the nominee. And, she ain't going to be vice president is she keeps making comments like this.

    May 23, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  20. Ovitshio Branco from New Mexico

    Beware of the Clintons…….they play for keeps, send some PI's to Arkansas and ask around…hint hint

    She will be the nominee, at any cost

    The DNC needs to stop this now, this is unprecedented in politcal America….Her campaign is officially over, this is fear mongering at its highest…Presidential Candidates do misspeak at this level…curiously enough she has not apologized to Sen Obama after referencing him to get shot! I guess she can kiss goodbye any chances in SD or MT..spin this Lanny Davis! If Carville is a man of honor, he will sign that check NOW!

    May 23, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |

    now it seems to me that the obamabots have lost what little sense that they had. they are sounding just like the republicans when bush was first running, i thought that they were supposed to be educated. if they are they must have all mastered in stupidity. apparently they did not study history. it is time for you people to quit dividing the democratic party. put your brain in gear before engaging the mouth.

    May 23, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  22. granmadave

    This thread is pretty sad.

    It does seem, based upon the quotation of her explanation, that she genuinely wished only to reference the late-season nominations of the past.

    However, it is not a comparable scenario- in 68 and 92, the nomination contest took place significantly later in the year, so in June, there remained a significant number of delegates outstanding to win. Here, we have only a small handful of delegates remaining to win. Percentage-wise, to the best of my understanding, this is all but unprecedented.

    That said, let her stay in. For the time-being, she has an incomparable position to voice her opinion on what is best for America. Let her enjoy that and continue spending her own money and the money of her supporters to continue to voice that opinion.

    It's not likely to "fracture the party;" looking at November, a McCain/ Obama race or even the mathematically improbable McCain/ Clinton run-off will help people realise that Clinton and Obama are different only in slight philosophical ways that have more to do with implementation than desired outcomes. I don't like her because I find her ingenuine at times and a bit of an opportunist, but she's certainly not evil.

    Now, if it does fracture the party, GOOD. This corrupt two-party system needs to experience some fracturing, and this is the best way to do it- it's how it's happened in the past and it's about time we let this generation experience something more along the lines of democracy than the pay-to-play and spin we've been dealing with. This whole Super Delegate crap is disgusting and needs to be done away with right along with the electoral college.

    One final note, though, is my belief that America right now needs more a black president than a female one. The gender struggle is a world-wide issue, one in which we have seen tremendous gains over the past 60 years. However, the specific racial war of blacks and whites is far more salient in American culture and is one in which we have made little progress since 1964. The election of a black president would force us on a subconscious level to address the subversive and underlying bigotry still so heavily prevalent in our society.

    May 23, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |

    This woman is a Monster.. A B**ch.. I am sick of her.. They say out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaketh. She wants and hopes this occurs, which shows her animosity for Barack Obama. I am DONE WITH HER!!!

    May 23, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  24. bo

    another reason not to have her as VP....she put out a contract on the pres, to become the pres

    May 23, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  25. Judy, FL

    I know we couldn't vote or didn't count. But with a statement like that I am glad Hillary did not get a vote from me. All her supporters should be afraid that she is over the edge right now and needs comfort. Please Hillary I didn't vote for you but I feel you are not in your right mind right now so stop campaigning and take a rest. Don't stay in because of someone else misforturne. You will only damage yourself, family and friends. There is more to life than just being a idoit.

    May 23, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
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