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. Brian from Los Angeles, California

    Anybody in their right mind knew that Hillary meant no harm by her comments. She was stating a historical fact. What is so disturbing to me is that the Obama's team seems to do nothing more than to just react to comments from McCain and Hillary, while they rarely come up with anything constructive themselves.

    They love to talk about problems but they don't seem to ever offer much in the way of experience nor do I ever hear of any solutions to any problems, just an obamanation of complaining.

    I want a problem solver in the White House not someone that runs to the media everytime he disagrees with something said by another candidate, nor do I want someone that will tax the hell out of us, thinking having more of our money will be the answer.

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

    This is really getting crazy. Hillary Clinton should be excommunicated out of the Democratic Party today. Not tomorrow, not on the 31st, not on June 3rd, but right now. This woman has essentially gone mad. How could anyone continue to support her after this is beyond me.

    May 23, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  3. Russell Martin

    Senator Clinton's "apology" is not an apology at all. Her statement to the Argus-Leader's editorial board is proof that in her world, anything is justifiable if it results in her election–even a criminal incitement to murder. One would have to be naïve in the extreme not to imagine dozens of crazed supporters of hers out there who would love to "help" her become president. The senator has proven today that she is psychologically unfit to be president, but that she will nonetheless stop at nothing to achieve that goal.

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

    Insane ,shameless,and using poor judgement that is why HRC cannot be the president of USA.

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

    So sad. I used to admire her.

    May 23, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  6. Darth Vadik, CA

    I cant wait until to hear what Mike Malloy is going to say tonight.

    May 23, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  7. Kristina

    Please remove her from this campaign and from the Senate.

    Hillary's judgment and ability to use discretion in her choice of words is obviously questionable. I do not want a person without the ability to speak appropriately running this country. We have had that for too long now.


    May 23, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  8. jmarie

    A group of us were talking that she is so packed with dirty tricks (we think they are subconscious to her) that we could see her wishing for some disaster to befall Obama.

    Sad that we thought it. Sadder still that we think she would be happy to win through a grave misfortune to another.

    >50 woman who firmly states "Hillary does not speak for me in any way."

    May 23, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  9. Karin

    Now I am waiting for all of Hillary supporters to say that Obama is a terrible person for saying that her comments "were unfortunate and has no place in this campaign".


    Any minute now.

    May 23, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  10. obama - supporter - arkansas

    you know
    my husband and i do worry about obamas life.
    the clintons think it is owed to her to be president. with the angry supporters of hers and wild bill. clinton on the ticket might would be proved to be fatal.
    she is so obsessed with becoming more powerful

    watch your back obama


    May 23, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  11. BMAC

    How low can Hillary be allowed to go? The nation deserves better and this is more respresenation of unnecessary scum and unethical tactics that Hillary brings to the table.

    Go ahead Hillary and kill Obama yourself. This is obviously your plans.

    Will will the superdelegates and the DNC display leadership? We are growing tired of expecting Hillary to do right and step down. DNC and superdelegates, if you are truly leader, you MUST STEP UP.

    May 23, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  12. Eric G

    That statement by Hillary is tasteless and irresponsible. It is time for the elders of the Democratic Party to ask her to bow out.

    May 23, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  13. Monica

    This Lady is anything else then a winning candidate.

    Have a rest Hillary and McSame will follow you later.

    GO Obama.

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

    Wow. That's either criminally devious or criminally reckless. And, frankly, considering her recent record, I can't help but think the worst. Either way, this is not the person I want running our country.

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

    A sick comment by a sick person.

    May 23, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  16. Captain Obvious

    Why is anyone still listening to hear? Seriously?

    May 23, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  17. Steve B, NewYork. NY

    This is the lowest of the low !
    She can not go any lower than this ! It really shows how she really thinks.

    Even Clinton supporters can surely not be defending this.
    Hillary Clinton just can not accept that she lost the nomination.

    This is the biggest nightmare scenario that the country fears !
    What is she doing ?
    What is She DOING?

    Does she not know that there are some nuts out there who will take her words literally ?

    What is wrong with her?

    May 23, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  18. JOHN


    May 23, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  19. grant

    Where was the apology? Come on CNN; that was anything but an apology. Regret can be for very personal and selfish reasons. This divisiveness is unbelievable; There is no way she can be on the ticket; Bill, by pushing this, will destroy the dems chances in 08, after destroying their chances in 2000 with the lewinsky mess. That will be his legacy. The leadership better wake up and kick these guys to the curb or the they will lose for sure. So much for saving face...

    May 23, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  20. DMD

    Hilliary is practicing political limbo now and she has the record for the lowest with her remark. Astounding. She knew exactly what she was saying. Unbelieveable. She's a disgrace to women everywhere.

    May 23, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  21. John

    Holy Jesus! What's wrong with this woman?

    May 23, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  22. david

    She is too smart. She said what she means. The list gets longer and longer. None of the despicable remarks should be forgotten.

    May 23, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  23. billy smith

    Unreal. Superdelegates: please wrap this up. I am political junkie and this nomination fight has made me want to quit following politics cold turkey. I am no longer fascinated by this. I am disgusted. Go away Hillary. If you were ahead, we all know that you would not be fighting to get the disqualified MIchigan votes counted and you would likely be demanding Obama to drop out. Yes, Sexism is all too prevalent in the US. But, it has little to do with her abyssmal campaign failing and vapid message. It is over. Face it. Please!

    May 23, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  24. ladylove

    Hillary once again "just open mouth and incert foot" when will she ever learn. She may be trippin hard because she has lost the race. Will she have a mental break down? Hillary we are not back in history, this is a new day for CHANGE.

    May 23, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  25. ajc

    Can someone please use a tranquilizer dart on her?

    May 23, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
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