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. Donna from NY

    How can anyone think that this woman can represent women is a puzzle to me. She has proven to be someone you wouldn't want anywhere near you or your daughters. The vile, demeaning, disgusting, devise garbage that consistently comes out of her mouth should be revolting to most people. Are we so desperate as women that we would embrace this type of creature who we would probably scorn if we had any dealing with her?





    May 23, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  2. Terry

    She needs to apologize to Barack Obama personally. Unbelievable these words would come out of her there nothing she won't do or say in this campaign? It really is sad.

    May 23, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  3. joseph

    Yet another disastrous statement by Hillary Clinton!. What a shame. It is now confirmed that she can do ANYTHING TO GET ELECTED. Voters have said no. If you still have any dignity left, get out now. Nothing will happen to Obama, if you are thinking on the contrary you are doing yourself, because God is on Obama side. He will be president for 2 terms in USA, that is his covenant with God period.

    May 23, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  4. Drew, Central FL

    Whoa! It only took her a few hours to realize this mistake. The race is getting to her. Otherwise, this latest gaffe is just unforgiveable.

    Say goodbye to that VP slot. Even some or your hardcore supporters are going to have a problem with that one.

    May 23, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  5. harold parrott

    Oops...retract my comment. Robert was. (duhh misread..aplogies to the author)

    May 23, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  6. Kathie, Ontario . Canada

    How interesting.. The double standard rears it's ugly head again.
    All these Obama supporters are so outraged at what she innocently
    said. Yet, they had no outrage when THEIR candidate OBAMA
    MOCKED the way John Kennedy spoke in one of his speeches.
    Turned a blind eye then didn't you and his was INTENTIONAL..

    May 23, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  7. brenda ,minnesota

    she is crazy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    May 23, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  8. John Poggendorf; Prescott, AZ

    What a remarkable woman Hillary Clinton consistently demonstrates she truly is: Articulate, Mentally Agile, Historically Well Versed, Noble, Selfless, Staunch and Unflappable even in the face of imminent danger, Breathtaking Ethical Standards, Executive-level Comportment and Composure.....and more. Truly an amazing woman to behold!!!

    And if all that weren't enough, for her in the face of the Strum und Drang through which she has been consistently immersed, to be willing to serve at such a level and volunteer for duty should her primary opponent for the Democratic nomination have an accident, or worse.....well, we should all just look embracingly to our lucky stars that someone with her bottomless credentials and enduring commitment to public service has miraculously appeared in our time of utmost need.

    The only real puzzlement now is how her campaign, now millions in debt, will pay for the hit on Obama should her recent comments not motivate some psychopath to attempt planting their wretched flag in the history books for free.

    May 23, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  9. Jim, MI

    Hillary should be held responsible for any thing armful that happens to Barack. She again has shown that she will stop at nothing, even if it means crushing any obstacle (human or political) that may stand between her and her ambition.

    May 23, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  10. Sharon

    O dear God, she has gone crazy. Stop this madness now.

    May 23, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  11. Greg

    YOU ARE A PECIE OF WORK I WOULD CALL YOU A LADY BUT ALL OFF THE TRUE LADIES WOULD GET UPSET GO AWAY !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!. PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.

    May 23, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  12. casage

    There are just no words, no excuse, and no reasonable explanation for these OUTRAGEOUS REMARKS!

    Hillary is a dis-grace (there is nothing graceful or gracious about her) to the DNC to the people who sincerely want to believe that her motives are for the GOOD OF THE COUNTRY and any other lie that they can think up.

    SHE IS A MONSTER with a capital M – period!!!!1

    May 23, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  13. Susan, Paducah, Kentucky

    I think maybe the police should reopen the Vince Foster death investigation. Its time for the superdelegates to end this primary.

    May 23, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  14. mya

    In bad taste sen Clinton, i'd like to give you the benefit of doubt here, but it was in bad taste.

    May 23, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  15. joe

    I was for her until now.
    No longer. Flabbergasting, shivering. She is SICK.

    May 23, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  16. Eric Parker in Oregon

    This only shows how far she will go and how much more sugar she can add to her ever sweetening Clinton Kool-Aid that she seems to give her entusiastically guzzling followers on a daily dosage basis. I would not be suprised if she started to wear the robes that go with such sickingly sweet Kool-Aid.

    May 23, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  17. AngloBlues

    David Gergan said it best on CNN two weeks ago. "if Obama has Hillary in the VP spot, he's going to need a taste tester." I was wondering if she could sink any lower.

    May 23, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  18. Dusacre


    Please think of the good of the party

    May 23, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  19. Debbie

    Hillary has dug her grave even further after this comment. When Kennedy was killed it was a terrible turning point for our country. There is no excuse for such a comment. Are you implying that something bad will happen to Mr. Obama. Shame on you Hillary. When will it end.

    May 23, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  20. Brenda

    This statement really gave me the chills..

    May 23, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  21. Shannon Bowling Green, KY

    She has NOTHING to be sorry for! If it happens, it happens – and I think the Democrats NEED her to stay in just in case it DOES happen. Then we could all rally around the STRONGEST candidate. FINALLY, some change **I** can believe in!

    May 23, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  22. Brian

    I just feel that this whole thing is getting out of hand. Its clear that Hillary has had a chance to hold the lead and win the primary. She lost to Barrack fair and square and of course lost lead. With that, thats when all this negative talk started. So its not like she will take the win at this point, so we all need to show some maturity and rally behind Obama...thats what Im going to do even though I did start out as a Hillary supporter.

    May 23, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  23. Kenny


    May 23, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  24. John Stevens

    Clearly this is twisted reporting – she has made reference to many primary seasons going late into the year – and the way it's now structured with no winner-take-all primaries – there will be more if not changed.

    I support Clinton but now expect Obama to be the nominee. As for the election, I'm not sure who will get the presidency given Obama's lack of support in Middle America,

    May 23, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  25. Rosanne Schumsky

    How come these politicians get away with making comments like that but a normal person would be hauled away and fingerprinted!!!!!
    An apology is not enough. They should be hauled away like anyone else!!!

    May 23, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
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