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)

    not at ALL a clinton supporter...

    she made a poor choice of words.... and a poor analogy.....

    we 'can' leave it at that....

    I doubt that hillary would ever be this magnanimouse... but...

    (however, she 'is' damaging the party by keeping the fight alive)

    May 23, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  2. David Roa

    CNN should change it's name to BONN. They are looking for any reason to kick her out of the race.

    May 23, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  3. Little sister

    Absolutely reprehensible! If anything happens to Obama, my finger points directly at Hillary

    May 23, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  4. Desperate and Dirty

    Security! Security! Get this nut case off stage!!

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

    I just want it to be over with. Forget MI and FL we have video and a contract signed by all participants stating those state contests will not count.
    I mean Hillary is a lawyer. I think she would abide by rules and laws of a governing system in this case her own party. Does anyone have a copy of this contract and the clip of the video. Cause it should be played till the end of this whole sad excuse of an election. I'm almost fed-up with all this back and forth nit-picking, just outright lies from both candidates. Mostly Hillary! I would think women around the world would be appalled at this point in the game. I mean she has just OD on the rhetoric.

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

    she's NUTS

    she's always trying to align herself with Kennedys


    May 23, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  7. kelly s.

    Finally. The truth. Comes. Out. Hillary finally says what we've all been thinking. What a piece of work this woman is. And now she's "sorry" all over again and trying to backpedal her way out of such an outrageous statement. She is counting on the worst in her constituency of racists to come out again, to garner her the nomination in the most horrendous of ways. Now, I'll go back to being speechless.

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

    Yeah sure...You did not do that accidentally. Are you trying to put an idea into someone's head? Just when I thought Hillary Clinton could go no lower, she surprises me.
    If the Democratic superdelegates have any brains they will start coming out in droves for Obama and end this.

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

    This man has two small children and here Hillary is giving people ideas....she will resort to any level.

    I will never vote for a Clinton–this is the last straw.

    Shame on your Hillary Clinton, Shame on you.

    May 23, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  10. David D Kollie

    At least she admitted to this one. Hillary, you are forgiven. Sometimes people mis-speak. It doesn't matter any way because it has come out and people understand your sincerety.
    It is time for you to bail out because you might continue to make such comment haven't been tired from a prolong campaigning.

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

    How nice of her to apologize to Kennedy, but not to Obama (the one she might have put in danger).

    May 23, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  12. sam

    She is really getting very low in her thinking and as all said pendit says Clinton do anything to get nomination , she if finally showing here color , and CNN should keep showing this on TV , and mentation , she will lies , cheat and have some on killed to get nomination

    May 23, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  13. Not sleeping at the switch

    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 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  14. Elly

    I am a Senator Obama backer but I Believe Senator Clinton never
    meant any harm by this remark
    I hope people realize how very tired these candidates are after campaigning for well over a year...its easy to make a slip up when your tired and if you look at the pic below they both look very tired
    Having said that tho I also know if Senator Obama made a comment like that it would likely be the end of his campaign simply bc the media tends to pick on his mistakes more
    I think people and the media should let up a little on both of them
    This is almost over

    May 23, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  15. Wes

    Did somebody forget to take their medication today?

    May 23, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  16. Tammy former Supporter

    I will be switching my vote from Clinton to Obama, I am sorry this is a terrible thing to say during this time for the Kennedy Family, it really makes me sad that she is becoming desperate to win at all cost.

    May 23, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  17. girmay

    OH MY GOD!..she is waiting for Obama to get whacked!!

    Well done HRC! an all time low.

    May 23, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  18. Anthony

    Hillary's comments only confirm my thoughts that the Clinton's will do anything to win and if she becomes Vice-President my fears will only grow that gives them more time to plot.

    May 23, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  19. Anonymous

    I'm not buying what your selling Mrs. Clinton. Not now, and not ever. Distasteful at best and morbid at worst.

    May 23, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  20. Enoch, Nashville TN

    This is very unfortunate, Hillary will stop at nothing to get this nomination. Democrats needs to put an end to this lunacy b4 it gets out of hand.

    May 23, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  21. Jack

    Hillary simply cannot control herself. Making sleazy remarks like this are inexcusable. And she thinks that she could run the country as President? I don't think so!

    May 23, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  22. VJ

    This was a terrible comment to make.

    She is nuts, mentally unstable and a dengerous person.

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

    I understand that point she was trying to make....he could be struck by lightning, she could be run over by a truck....Hillary used a true historical reference, so this is understandable.....

    Since she has already apologized, it should be a non-issue.

    May 23, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  24. Charlie, Riverside CA

    Looks like she has lost her mind!

    May 23, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  25. Justin

    It's amazing isn't it? She doesn't even need a shovel to dig herself a hole.

    May 23, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
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