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. Team Obama

    Someone help her!!!!!!!!!!

    May 23, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  2. Annette

    What in the world is Hillary talking about? She refer to a comment like that as leverage to stay in the campaign. She has every right to continue, Huckabee continued? Poor choice of thought on that Hillary.

    May 23, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  3. faye, NV

    Clinton can justisfy what ever and you personally will you what ever to be the winner. It is nothing wrong with wanting to win and stand up for something you believe in.

    I use to be a big fan of the Clinton's and later changed my mind. Power hungry and aggressiveness is not tacitful and demeans one character. There is absolutely no harm in fighting for rights. However, your fight is motivated by selfishness and self-centered, plus ego.

    You are some else.

    May 23, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  4. FreshAir

    She's done.

    May 23, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  5. Ann Marie

    Miss. Speak Clinton has been disqualified. If there is a disconnect between Hillary�s brain and her mouth, then she is not qualified to run the country.

    May 23, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  6. Johnny

    This is a Dark day in American politics. She must drop out after this comment

    May 23, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  7. Lara's little sister

    What a lawyerly move. Absolutely reprehensible!!! If ANYTHING happens to Obama, my finger points directly at Hillary.

    May 23, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  8. Darth Vadik, CA

    I think she just lost a lot of support.
    Might be the AAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH Howard Dean moment of the campaign.

    May 23, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  9. King of NJ

    she should be ashamed of herself!!!
    the nation is a beacon and example to so many
    other aspiring nations... lets set a clear example to the world
    we dont kill our leaders anymore!!!

    USA 08 and forever

    May 23, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  10. Karen in Cape Cod

    Can we all accept her explanation or are the media and others going to crucify her again?

    May 23, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  11. H in NJ

    Wow. Just wow. She "mispoke" again.

    May 23, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  12. True

    Touche! Political point Clinton! Why bring up the death of anybody in a campaign? Its in very poor taste, lacks integrity and I would expect a whole lot more from my prospective President. She brings this up as we come upon the anniversary of RFK's death and the unfortunate event of T. Kennedy? it makes no sense. What kind of person does this?

    May 23, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  13. Alexandra

    I think Clinton should drop out before she says something even worse than this. What an incredibly egotistical woman this is. It is a sad time for women to be represented by this war mongering, over-ambitious 'let's 'obliterate Iran" psychopath.

    May 23, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  14. Tom

    I can not understand for the life of me why she continues to shoot herself in the foot?

    What was she thinking?

    Something is wrong with her.

    May 23, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  15. blinky

    this seems exceptionally minor. just because she referenced someone who died – you have to be hypersensitive to be offended by this.

    May 23, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  16. Carli

    We Love you Hillary Fight on ♥

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

    she's NUTS

    May 23, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  18. Brett

    Really... W. T. F. Hillary?

    Have you officially sopped thinking before opening your mouth?

    May 23, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  19. lovebug

    We know you're only human, and we also know you would be a great President.

    Keep going Hillary.

    May 23, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  20. al


    May 23, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  21. NickNas

    Hillary Clinton should be Arrested by the Secret Service imeadiatly. She just planted the seed in some nutcase Hillabots head on how she could be the Nominee. Saying Sorry afterward is an old ploy. It has been SAID and cannot be UNSAID and she knows it. This woman is guilty of MURDER if ANYTHING happens to Obama.

    She is a LAWYER PEOPLE and LAWYERS do this ALL THE TIME Plant a SEED in the Jurys head that is INSTANTLY Retracted but we all know it is TOO LATE!!!


    If You or I said that the Secret Service would be on our doorstep withiin HOURS!!!

    May 23, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  22. Tony

    Why did she make the same comment after her narrow Indiana win then?

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

    Hillary can use this gaffe as her exit strategy.

    May 23, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  24. Mary

    I heard Hillary ran onto the stage during the American Idol Finale yesterday and screamed out at the top of her lungs.

    ‘I’m not giving up! I’m staying in this contest until every vote has been counted……..oh, make sure you just count the states that picked me. Those are the important ones.

    Simon responded, “Hillary, I don’t want to be rude but can you get off the stage. We need to pick a winner”

    May 23, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  25. maria

    Sorry, sorry, she is always sorry.

    May 23, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
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