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. Sheanne

    I saw it. She was making a comparison about primaries lasting until June. Not many Obamabots are old enough to remember this. Bobby Kennedy was shot at the end of the primaries.

    CNN this is not an insult to Kennedy so stop making it into an issue.

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

    hillary looks very tired, seems like she grasping at straws. she needs to take some time off , take a vacation before she crashes.

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

    I always suspected the reasoning behind her carrying on in this race despite the odds – now she just confirmed it by that statement. She's hoping that something terrible happens to Obama and she'll be there should that be the case. Unbelieveable! What a shame!

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

    OK. Time to shut this down and kick her out of this party!

    This is the 2nd time this week we have heard outrageous statements... last weekend it was Hugabee comment about Obama ducking gun fire!

    OK- We need to step up the security for the Obama family! This is crazy! That's it Hillary and the Clintons – now you want to throw in the killing-card on top of every thing else!

    Obama – don't put this evil woman on your ticket!

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

    The Obamanites are such wussy's. It's like you can't say anything without offending them. Always the victim. Keep affirimative action in school; not the White House.

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

    This Lady is anything else then a winning candidate.

    Have a rest Hillaeryand McSame will follw you later.

    GO Obama.

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

    Clintons need to take a Freudian lesson: words that slip your tongue are more truthful than your conscious speech.

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

    She's been hanging in there in the hopes that Obama will make an unforced error, but all we've been seeing is foot-in-mouth disease from Hillary.

    Some end this's gone from silly to stupid in one sound bite.

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

    I am disgusted

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


    May 23, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  11. Deborah Stewart

    I just have one thing to say about this. I think Obama and his campaign is about as SICK as it gets.

    May 23, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  12. Kenneth M.

    that was just a stupid thing to say. it was wishful thinking, and it shows that she does not respect him. no way should she be vp. last, i know it is what you white women want most because you are spitefull

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

    This was a horrible and planned comment by her. And now she is trying to spin her way out. As a person with a soul, I am incredibly offended by her comment.

    This should end her campaign. There is NO place for that here.

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

    It must be wishful thinking on her part. I just hope her wish never comes true. We're dealing with a power-hungry callous and heartless female here. God forbid!

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

    Look, there is no doubt that if you have been folowing my posts, I do not like Hillary Clinton, at all. But to try interpret this statement, as she expects Obama to be killed in June, IS ABSURD!

    That being said, the media is being sent in a wrong direction on this The idea that primaries have gone til June is accurate, but not accurate today. Many primaries that historically occured late in the primary have now been moved up. Every state wanted to have a bigger say in the primaries. She referenced CA. CA has already voted. Almost all States have voted.

    This is just another example of Hillary manipulating facts, and the media nd her supporters letting her get away with it.

    When her husband ran, FIRST, it was close. This race is not close. And primary dates were spread out much more so than they are today.

    So, what is her motivation? Does she have something on Obama, or is she so self absorbed that she would rather McCain win, than Obama.

    I believe it is the latter. She doesn't care about anyone but herself. If you are a blind Hllary supporter, you have got to admit, she is destroying the party.

    First it was pledged delegates that counted. Then primaries. After that, simply big states. Now it is the key states that are required to win the general election. Oh ya, and also, there is a larger number that is required to win. Since whne did she become he dictator of what is required to win? And by the way (something the media completely glosss over), YOU CANNOT COMPARE THE PRIMARY TO THE GENERAL ELECTION. Obama would win NY if he ran. She won NY. That does not mean he would lose the State.

    Clinton supporters need to wake up and tell her to end this thing!

    May 23, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  16. Ramzi, KY

    Good Lord!!!

    What else could anybody read into that comment?

    She is way out there in desperation alley ... a few more comments like that one and her sanity will be in question; never mind the nomination!!!

    Obama All the Way!

    May 23, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  17. Peter Damoah-Afari

    She cannot be forgiven for this. I am Obama supporter and I will not trust anybody who wants Obama to be killed. What is the difference between Hillary and Huckabee? The whole world will get to know the evil deeds of the Clintons.

    May 23, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  18. Jay

    Desperation will make you say or do anything.

    May 23, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  19. NickSanDiego

    She should be arrested for seeding some sick mind to Kill Obama so she can be President.

    I would be in Jail right now If I said that and I know it. You would be too.

    Someone PLEASE stop this crazy woman before she has some cult member hurt our next President

    May 23, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  20. hk

    Much ado about nothing!

    May 23, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  21. Daniel

    This pretty much sums up her motives, this is truly the saddest day for democrats. Does Hillary Clinton hate Obama so much that she will prey upon his death.

    This reminds of the story of that journalist who took a photo of an Ethopian child dying of hunger with vultures already cycling around, he left the child behind and sold the photo.

    May 23, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  22. Sean S

    Cmon Hill your better than that

    May 23, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  23. Enlightened Voter

    I heard the comments, saw the footage. She is a disgrace! And to think people out there actually support her. If anyone still supports her after this, I hope can live with yourself! May God have mercy on her soul, if she has one.

    May 23, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  24. DrDoolittle

    Shocking! And deplorable!

    May 23, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  25. Mark

    Not even close.

    Get this sick woman out of the race. She needs mental help.

    May 23, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
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