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. Nancy

    Like none of you have ever disliked someone. Come on get real. I don't care personally if anything happens to him, someone might be out there enough to hate him and try something. Who knows. Someone was out there and disliked the Kennedy's.

    May 23, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  2. Maribel

    Finally! CNN covers Clinton after Kentucky!
    It's SICK to see Woolf (as in Wolf) and the rest of the so-called 'experts' fall all over themselves in 'analyzing' the statement.
    Goodie! Now they can say something really BAD about HC. Hey, how about bringing Dr Phil on board? He can spill out some psychobabble to explain the 'real' truth behind the statement. Look, you couldn't say anything good all week. You totally buried her. Of course, Teddy Kennedy's dramatic news changed the tempo, as it should. But now, you're back! I think you should cut to the chase and DEMAND that Obama be anointed into the presidency. Better still, have him be king. KING of FOOLS.
    Current Clinton supporter, November VOTE for McCain.

    May 23, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  3. Sara, Wisconsin

    Its time to call in Hillary's liclense to run.
    The DNC can really afford to tell her they no longer wish to have her representing them any more.

    May 23, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  4. Bob, Yuma,AZ

    Shame!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! she is outrageous. If this is a blunder, then she is worth as president of America. It shows her thinking is so low that she can go any low level.

    May 23, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  5. Clinton Dems for McCain

    Oh C'mon. You Obamabots are awful...

    Hillary has been on the campain trail how long. So it wasn't worded exactly the way she intended..

    This is a non-issue CNN. Keep dolling out this dribble.

    No wonder you can't catch up with Fox's ratings. I might as well read the National Inquirer.

    NewsFlash "Obama is pregnant with Alien Baby"

    Good Grief!

    May 23, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  6. Barbara

    I believe this to have been a Freudian slip.

    May 23, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  7. Peter Damoah-Afari

    This is too low............. Shame on her.

    May 23, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  8. Keith

    Can someone please duct tape this woman's mouth already?

    May 23, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  9. John San Francisco

    she made the reference to say, "Maybe something will happen to Mr. Obama by June"

    God knows that Hilary has made every attempt to get Americans to hate Mr. Obama.

    But once again, they give Hillary the benefit of the doubt.

    May 23, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  10. John

    Have you no shame? You have finally stooped lower than ever.

    May 23, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  11. Dolores Genna

    I seriously object the way Wolf Blitzer tries to start something with everything Hillary Clinton says. I heard what she said and I recognuzed that she was making a comparison to her run with the Robert Kenedy run which was still going on in June and her husband's run which he did not win until June. he had to make it a personal issue and claim she was insulting to the kennedy family. An hour later and he is stilk bringing it up. He had paul Begals on and he tried ti get him to say she did something wrong. What goes on with him in the Situation Room is a disgrace. And jack Cafferty who I"ve always liked is doing the same thing. They are supposed to be impartial and they are becoming extremely partial to anyone but Hillary. They should remember if you can't say anything nice, then don't say anything at all. I guess this won;'t make it to TV because it is not very complimentary to Wolf Blitzer, the most biased man I've seen on TV.

    May 23, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  12. James, SC

    This woman is just plain stupid. All that formal educaion, and all the public exposure yet she has not learned a thing. Stupid, stupid, stupid!

    May 23, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  13. Former HRC Supporter

    Hillary –

    You don't need to stay in the race ... just in case something happens to Barack...

    Don't you think if something did happen to him and you were, at the time vacationing with Bill on the beach at Sandals, that the DNC would come with a "Draft Hillary" campaign?

    Stop using the "I'm looking out for the party" justification ... that dog don't hung

    May 23, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  14. suzy

    My God people – she is stating history.
    Since when is that wrong?
    The Obama supporters are all looking for something, anything...
    but this is just not it.
    However tragic, history and facts can't be denied.
    She should not be so attacked for this true statement.

    Keep looking.

    May 23, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  15. RC Carolina

    Where's her apology to Obama?

    May 23, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  16. Michael Mends

    CNN get a grip. Thoughtful postings are never posted except such outrageous comments depicting one perspective-anti-Hillary rhetoric.
    Look at all the posts and they are pro-Obama posts by a mile. Why do you not show fair and balance?

    Michael, Modesto

    May 23, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  17. Stephanie

    I thought Obama supporters are well educated. May be the educated ones respond to blogs elsewhere. Oops, even elsewhere there are no intelligent comments from Obama supporters. You all should crawl back under your various rocks and stay there.

    May 23, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  18. gretchen santa cruz ca

    Unfortunately we as a Nation have a grim history of violence in this country. She simply stated a fact, it is our dark history and one that continues to play out in our schools, in work environments and much too often in suburban homes with heinous crimes against women and children. Wake up bloggers anything can happen when a country such as ours is in such turmoil- just read the disrespect in your own words. Hillary speaks the truth.

    May 23, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  19. Peter Damoah-Afari

    Where are the undecided superdelegates............Is this also a good argument for her to stay in the race. Get up and act like sensible people.

    May 23, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  20. Chris in Va.

    If this is not a reason not to offer the VP to this egotistical maniac I don't know what is. I would not put such a thing past this low life. Hillary Clinton, you are truly a disgusting excuse for a human being.

    May 23, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  21. Ron

    Senator Clinton was historically correct, and her remarks are not worthy of censure. If Senator Obama is going to be that thin-skinned, he needs to reconsider running for the presidency. I don't believe she had any ill intent, and to try to wring something sinister out of it is pathetic to say the least.

    May 23, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  22. Dobie Gillis

    It never occurred to me that Hillary was doing anything more than referencing a date, a time period. Regarding dates, I still do the same thing when it comes to November 22nd, but I mean no disrespect to anyone. I guess if you WANT to find something wrong, you will. If you WANT to be offended, you will be. If you WANT to think in the negative, you will. Pity. I’m not even a Hillary fan, but I’m sorry she’s going thru this mess. Uninformed people often have that tendency to over react, and this being the election year that it is; there are far more uninformed people than ever! I repeat…pity!

    May 23, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  23. Tammy - KCMO

    As much as I dislike Hillary I don't think this misspeak on her part was intentional.

    May 23, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  24. Dee, Tx

    Wow...Bill and Chelesa need to go get Hillary and take her to the house for some R&R no shame in that. She is losing it BIG TIME.

    May 23, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  25. Tom - NY

    Wah??? Why would Hillary make such a vial reference to RFK? Her comment now gives Obama a reason not choose Her as his VP. Sad, i was hoping the 2 would run together.

    May 23, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
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