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. James G., Canada

    The inference is clear.

    The sentiment disgusting.

    A fitting end to a Clinton legacy that has escaped full media scrutiny until now?

    America does not need nor does it deserve one additional moment of a Clinton in the White House.

    Under pressure of imminent defeat Hillary has revealed a strategy so warped and beyond all sense of human decency that she has only one option left.

    Withdraw immediately.

    May 23, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  2. D Montoya, El Paso, TX

    She wants to see Obama go down like Bobby did in '68 so she can take the nomination... Wow, just wow

    May 23, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  3. Dee

    Why is it that anything negative against Obama is viewed as racism, but it's okay to attack Hillary because she's a woman? I mean, what's all this nonsensical rambling about her pantsuits? Dems, count me out, this is so bogus...I've lost all faith in you...

    May 23, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  4. QuietStormX

    This was the LAST straw! No excuse for that remark over and over again toward Senator Barack Obama. Is Hillary waiting for someone supporting her to take Obama out, to win the nomination. For the women supporting this woman, I feel sorry for your selection. Someone who does not think, before opening her big mouth...

    Hillary should just get out of this race and shut up.

    Washington, D.C.

    May 23, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  5. Canadian Visitor

    WOW!! Another non story that the Obama supporters can use in their own twisted way to make Hillary even more of a monster than they say she is. It was not intended as anything more than a historical comment and for anyone trying to imply otherwise shows more about your own character than the statement itself. Now is CNN going to make as much of Obama's comment today that Lou Dobbs and Rush Limbaugh are mostly resposnible for the rise in hate crimes against Hispanic immigrants?

    May 23, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  6. Blake, San Diego

    She just "misspoke" again. Aren't you all used to it by now?

    May 23, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  7. Jane

    She has lost her mind. It's time for someone to step in and take the mike away and put her in a nice little rubber room to calm down for a few months.

    May 23, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  8. Sam Adams

    Dems ... you are truly deserving of this woman who is yet another fine product and example of your party ... Good Luck ....

    May 23, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  9. 45 white male in PA


    May 23, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  10. Debbie

    For God's sake! This was a totally innocuous comment! Talk about non-news! And the Obama camp saying the comment "had no place in the campaign." Give me a break! Nothing like old style political manuevering and posturing from the "candidate of change."

    May 23, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  11. Diane

    If I did not know any better, I would say this woman is a member of the Black Panther Party. "By any means necessary." Senator Obama if you had any thought of having her as a running mate, I beg you, please think again. As the little girl in the commercial says, "she's sneaky like a snake." I'm convinced we can get you in office without her or her McCain supporters. No one in their right mind wants four more years of Bush.

    May 23, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  12. Russell


    May 23, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  13. Sheri

    Guy's let's just chill out and think about the big picture. Hilliary is frustrated, hurt, in debt, delusional, in denial etc. I am an Obama supporter and I hate to see this happen to her. This is serious and I hate to see anyone go through this and I hate to see her so wounded.
    I wish she would just go on and exit. It would help her and us all.

    May 23, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  14. @americans



    May 23, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  15. Harriet,RN

    Hillary is BIPOLAR. However, the devil you know is better than the angel you dont know !!!!

    May 23, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  16. Dayahka

    Clinton has made so many misstatements and uttered so many falsehoods and innuendos that one must conclude that she is either totally insane (bonkers) or that she is stupid (as in moron) or totally unscrupulous–and all three disqualify her from any political position, even dog-catcher. She should be rebuked by the Senate for behavior unbecoming a US Senator, kicked out, then sent to the Bellevue Hospital for the Mentally Insane for evaluation.

    May 23, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  17. Pat M

    THIS FEEDING FRENZY here, in the Media, has to stop now! This is no longer a Campaign it's material for a MOVIE~! She made reference to an historical date that is factual and apologized if it was offensive! Get over yourselves! I think you people are a true reminder of why there the racial problem in USA is still alive and well. Listen to yourselves Obama Supporters. Read your comments and tell me how other ethnic cultures and backgrounds would attempt to befriend you. Your driving everyone away!!!!

    May 23, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  18. hab

    Hillary, this is too low... you lost a supporter.

    May 23, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  19. Liliana


    if you get her elected, that's what you deserve. What a SHAME!

    From abroad,


    May 23, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  20. ron

    There's no gray her coming from her - she clearly hoping something happens to Obama - She'll take the office anyway she can get it. She needs to remove herself immediately - all delagates should now move too Obama - Hillary just made her closing argument. She cares for no other than herself.
    Let's all just face the realities; she is very damaging to the party, and the American people. Let's not forget that she said she would "obliterate" Iran, why would we want someone like that making threats to another country that we have problems with? I'm sick of war, and as an American, we should be looking past wars to solve problems, and set standards for peace, but peace doesn't make money, so there will always be wars. To me, it sounds like she's waiting for something terrible to happen to Obama. He should definately add a few more secret servicemen to his roster, I'm just saying. . . Why are these Hillary supporters still supporting this neo-con? She's definately a Republican in a democrat costume. She gets away with saying all these crazy things, why? Because she's a woman, and tell Ferraro that I said that, and let's debate on what the difference is. . .

    May 23, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  21. B / NYC

    If ANY of you heard the interview, it is quit obvious that she DID NOT in any way intend for the comment to be tasteless...

    Barrack Hussein Obama simply wanted something to make her look bad and himself better (again)... More manipulation of us for their good (remember the disappearing Rev. Wright trick?)

    Read & Listen People!!!

    May 23, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  22. bella

    I CAN NOT BELIEVE THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    May 23, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  23. Carol in California

    It is interesting that she apoologized to the Kennedys – where is the apology to Michelle Obama and her children for such a reckless and apalling comment? Does the Obama deserve one or does she really mean the reference?

    May 23, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  24. the lowest of low

    Her apology only referred to the Kennedy family. Does she really pretend to not know the implications of her words for Obama? Obama doesn't say outrageous things about her, he never has.


    May 23, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  25. pam Eugene OR

    She reaches new "lows" every day she stays in. God Woman this is just too much for you.
    I actually started with some respect for you and admiration. All GONE now Hillary. You have ruined this for any other woman for a very long time. Your desperation is disgusting.

    May 23, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
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