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. Terri Wood

    Lies, Lies, totally lies, leave it to the Clinton's....


    May 23, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  2. Tjaye for Obama

    sounds like wishful thinking to me

    May 23, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  3. Darth Vadik, CA

    Watch her superdelegates jump ship.

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

    She even had the nerve to use Ted Kennedy's name!

    She has no shame! It's done she will never be Obama's VP, this gives him enough to not offer her the spot!

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

    We live in a Time Warp!!! We get too involved in our daily lives, we think we make History.... We are Driven in life, from our very first Experience... What Hillary said, is part of her Experience's.... Tomorrow never comes.... It's today.....

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

    why is the press making such a big deal of this. so what if she mentioned it . i dont think it is as bad as obama's statement when he said "punished with a baby"

    May 23, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  7. Dave in Houston

    Sounds like Hillary may be picking up some of the etiquette of certain New York cultural icons. "I'm not saying something is going to happen to Sen. Obama. I'm just saying. . ."

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

    Can you say DESPERATION.

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

    please leave the race!! Ur comments are totally outrageous!!!! And u though the " bitter" comments were worst!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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

    This looks like a deliberate-then-apologize-later moment. The people who would be swayed by her suggestion have received it loud and clear. She does not mis-speak!!!

    May 23, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  11. proud black american woman

    It is too bad that Hillary can say what ever she wants. She really does hurt people, for what, so that she can be the President. Is worth hurting so many people to get what you want.........

    $109 million and still she is not satisfied.....


    May 23, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  12. The Change Express (Kissimmee, FL)


    May 23, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  13. jay


    talk about scorched earth.

    And then to hide behind ted kennedy's news of the past week.

    She has completely lost her mind.

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

    Out of the aboundance of the heart, the mouth speaketh. It is time for the democratic leaders to close out this process. Hilary will do anything to go back to the white house. A word of caution to the Obama advisers: You chose her as VP and Obama may never last the 1st term as president.

    May 23, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  15. neverobama

    The problem is everything she said is spun to come out offensive. It is how people read into thing that has made this campaign so unfair. Everybody is just paying attention to everything she does to critisize her and blame her for everything. She truly admires Senator Kennedy and would never deliberately say things to offend thier family or the public when he is concerned. Please she has already lost this nomination leave her alone.

    If people want to focus on negative things, focus on Michelle Obama's comments with "the first time in her adult life" and Obama's comment saying he did not mean he would meet with Iran with out precautions.

    This is so bad!!!!

    May 23, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  16. Scott

    Perhaps Hillary has just had her YouTube moment–the video of her disgusting topics is already online.

    I don't think being a vulture is a quality we should value in a President.

    May 23, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  17. Blue

    She needs to get out NOW.

    May 23, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  18. Ed, Santa Fe, NM



    May 23, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  19. Ken

    I would have thought that the Barack Hussein Obama campaign was smart enough that they would have realized that Hillary Clinton was in fact referring to the historical events instead of anything else.

    This just shows that the Barack Hussein Obama will do anything to obtain the nominee. And he was the one that said he was a different kind of candidate. What a LIE!

    WAKE UP AMERICA! Let us ALL get behind Hillary Clinton and push her over the finish line, so that she CAN beat McCain in November and go on to be our next President.

    Hillary 08

    May 23, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  20. Ogden

    Good Lord, she using the same defense in this as Bush did after his Nazi speech in Israel.

    May 23, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  21. Karen

    This woman is not fit to be a presidential candidate. Not fit to hold public office or represent the United States. It's nowhere good enough to suggest she is just stating a fact.

    This woman demeans the cause of other women.

    May 23, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  22. adocarbog

    Put a vest on buddy and watch your back.

    Obama 08

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

    Can anyone see what she is calling for? Disgusting!! Will never vote if she is around!! Period.

    May 23, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  24. Middle Aged American

    How could she possibly say something SOOOO unforgivable, especially during this time of crisis for the Kennedy's??? And is that a THREAT on Obama? She should be immediately investigated!

    May 23, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  25. Zoey

    Probably not the best phrasing to explain her stay in the race considering Edward Kennedy's sickness. However, I can see where she is coming from but I don't think it's an appropiate subject to speak about. It seems that Hiliary is waiting for Obama to slip up, but the only one slipping is Hiliary.

    Obama '08

    May 23, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
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