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. Liza

    She referenced that it's not unusal for primaries to run into June. Well, thank goodness June is only one week away.

    May 23, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  2. Adele

    Obama did not put the WORDS in Hillary's mouth. So do not blame Obama for her stupid comments. She could have said what she said wiith out using that word.

    May 23, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  3. Mike in Scranton, PA

    Give me a break. There is no news here. As Obama is fond of saying whenever anyone even tries to begin to look at any of his comments, "this is a mere distraction."

    It's amazing to me how Obama has to be treated with kid gloves or his camp and the media pounce all over everyone, but yet they can make mountains out of molehills.

    Obama is just not ready to be President.

    And, by the way, one does not have to be a "white blue collar worker" to support HRC as one of the snide comments above have suggested. I, for one, believe that HRC is the stronger candidate, and I have a graduate level education and am doing q

    May 23, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  4. Steven Gibson

    I don't believe Hillary meant it the way it sounds. But it sounds really bad. A strong reason for her not to be President.

    May 23, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  5. Sukie

    Hey KIDS! Newbies! Junior Voters!

    All of you who are criticizing Hillary! Again! Have you nothing better to do? How about getting back to work! Or go get a second job, you will need it.

    I was around when RFK was murdered in Los Angeles. Maybe we need to say MORE about it. Are our candidates being protected enough? I don't think so.

    CNN, why not all go on vacation early today?

    May 23, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  6. Ratgurl


    Drop out, Hillary – you are clearly IINSANE!!!

    May 23, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  7. Linned

    Senator Clinton has gone way too far. The Kennedy family has been nothing but good to this country and with Senator Ted Kennedy health crises – what more should this famly have to deal with at one time. Tired or whatever – go get some rest. If gut feeling about not voting for her didn't this last statement did.

    May 23, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  8. 58 old white ladies for OBAMA




    May 23, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  9. Former Clinton Supporter

    I am so ashamed that I ever supported Hillary. Many things have changed since I cast my vote for her here in PA on April 22nd. I will be voting for the presumtive Democratic nominee Barack Obama on November 4th. I am so amazed and proud of how he always takes the high road despite negative comments. This 67 year old white woman will be voting for Obama guys. After all he could be my son, for those of you who have forgotten that he is of mixed ancestry. So people who are afriad to vote for him for racial reasons, remember that he is also half of you and a part of us all.

    May 23, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  10. Jimi NY

    If Obama said this can you imagine the spin she'd put on it? Just like if Obama was behind and he was the one that wanted Florida and Michigan recounted. She would go off on him! It's time for this lady to exit. Put a fork in it . . . Leave was some dignity. I know she can't believe that she's lost, but she has. End of story . . .

    May 23, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  11. No Hillary

    No apologies Hillary... we know that u are out of ur mind.

    May 23, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  12. grant langdon

    The inference from Oboma is it suggeste to some unknown person might try to kill oboma . No one would have heard the comment unless the news paper board that was granted an interview didin't publicise it. Why should Clinton have to explain the comment and not the news orginization? The news paper is the guilty one.

    May 23, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  13. mj

    I am an Obama supporter. I believe the comment was misspoken. Everyone makes awkwardly worded statements at times. Obama did it with the ‘bitter’ comment. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could actually focus on issues instead of every time someone puts words together in a clumsy manner?

    Obama (on the issues) 08

    May 23, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  14. NoHillaryOnVpTicket

    She is sooooooooo desperate to win.... that now she is hoping that something bad happens to Obama so that she can become the nominee... I guess she is finally realizing that she has no other options. She's a disgrace.

    May 23, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  15. Jennifer from Atlanta

    Superdelegates have GOT to put this to an end to stop this psychotic behavior on the part of this wretched excuse for a human being. How can any parent make these kind of references regarding the father of 2 innocent little girls. I cannot believe she had my support. This makes me sick to my stomach!

    May 23, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  16. Dealt

    At the very least the lady hasn't a shred of common-sense. Hopefully no nut case will take this as a 007 license to kill. But nut-cases exist as has been proved by recent events. Even if this most recent sample of misspeaking is innocent (which I suspect isn't) she should know better. At best it's a complete absence of judgement.

    May 23, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  17. Bill in Southie

    Every time I think I've seen her sink to a new low, she does it again. It's amazing!

    May 23, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  18. Aziz Virani

    It was most inappropriate and insensitive, My sense is she was comparing the Obama campaign and his supporters as a lynching party, Along the lines bunch of Sexist, who should get out of the Kitchen if they can't stand the heat, etc, This is but another right wing conspiracy against Clintons. Yeah Right!! on Hillary!!!!!!!

    May 23, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  19. Adele

    I guess she is hoping that if he gets shot she will then become the nominee. Its a sad day in America.

    May 23, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  20. Venus

    This is the 2nd Time she has said this!!!!

    Step up the secrity for Obama!

    May 23, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  21. Donald Winston-Day

    I really couldn't believe she had said that in the first place. She's more than done now, and for all the speculators I'm starting to think that tere is absolutely no chance of a Hill Obama ticket. Shameful...

    May 23, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  22. Pervis

    Hillary just lost my vote!! I'm an Independent,but Super Delegates PLEASE END this NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    May 23, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  23. James Carville

    Obama! Watch your back! Hillary knows people in NYC who do "wet work".

    I saw this coming!

    May 23, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  24. Quanda

    Wow...a few of you need to take a chill pill (or maybe more than one). Either that, or you're a bunch of irrational fools.

    May 23, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  25. The Patriot

    God, you people are so stupid.

    May 23, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
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