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. Mike NYC

    She continues to put her foot in her mouth yet people continue to believe her.

    Dont people see the big picture – She is poisoning the democrates chances by making FL and MI citizens feel as if they are getting alienated by the voting process for her own self gain. Yet it is and always has been very clear these states were not going to count everyone agreed to it. In the end those that are persuaded by her in those states are now begining to feel as if their vote does not matter as a democrat. She needs to stop now as it is very clear she is only causing more harm and she cannot win the game based on the rules she and everyone else have agreed to.

    If Obama had run such a ruthless campaign, flip flopped on the entire race position regarding "delegates that matter" then "popular vote that matters" then "sexism" etc all these excuses he would have been long gone. I firmly believe she is as delusional as her followers.

    May 23, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  2. Ben in Colorado

    Are we to believe that the most choreographed and calculating politician in history did not know exactly what she was saying and how it might be constued. If she did not have her husband's henchmen behind her, she would have been laughed off the stages many weeks ago. Good riddance.

    May 23, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  3. FU Hillary

    This women is pure evil.

    May 23, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  4. Theo Varelas

    Her campaign first defended the remarks, saying that the New York senator had been making a historical parallel and any “any reading into it beyond that is inaccurate and outrageous."


    So we are outrageous after Hillary "mis-speaks" again. We all know she wants it to get out there so her racist west virginians can get rid of Obama and she can rightfully get what she considers is hers.

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

    Superdelegates, it is time to wrap-this-one-up!

    May 23, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  6. @americans

    It is official! If anything happens to Obama...Hillary should be held responsible!

    May 23, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  7. Memphis

    I think the statement is pretty much inocuous. I don't see any mean spirited intent. Just historical fact. We all say things that don't reflect the right impression on our character when in reality, the comment was not meant to be offensive at all, and our character is intact. Give her a break.

    May 23, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  8. Eric

    This statement was so uncalled for. Obama is ominous to Barack Obama; and disrespectful to Robert “Bobby” Kennedy. Hillary is a great politician; so she know exactly what she was saying. But I’m glad she apologized.

    May 23, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  9. Jimmy, Riverside CA

    Wow. Just astonishing. What a disapointment Hillary Clinton has been in this race. For years I have been a strong supporter of the Clintons. Sadly, those days are now gone.

    May 23, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  10. Jeanie in Oregon has Hope and wants change

    She really is desperate and crazy ......

    I can't believe she makes it sound like she is staying in the race in hope something happens to Obama...


    DO YOU HEAR me SUPERS ????


    May 23, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  11. James

    We stand with you all the way Hillary!

    May 23, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  12. Kevin B. from NYC

    Bill need to be a husband to his wife. This is too much. She's over the edge.

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

    she is crazy.

    btw obama is an unbelievable orator. i am a republican but his speeches are charismatic and uplifting. i may vote democrat this fall based on his platform.

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

    Hillary Clinton is disgusting! Plain and simple! She didn't even apologize to Barack Obama directly...She apologized to the Kennedy's only, which she should have. I'm so disgusted with her now. Enough already. How dare you wish death on someone so you can win a nomination!

    May 23, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  15. Ian from Seattle

    No Hillary, YOU are inaccurate and outrageous. Please stop making your flip-flop on the whole Michigan/Florida business into some historical battle of good and evil in which you are the shining beacon for hope and equality. We aren't stupid or senile.

    May 23, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  16. Beckie Sue in Montana

    I find her comments absolutely appalling!! While my respect for Hillary has been dwindling in recent months and days, I have finally lost ALL respect for her! She always claims to make these horrendous remarks by accident but I am not buying it! It is certainly time for you to get out of this race as you have LOST...both the race and any kind of good judgement you might have once had! So long sister!

    OBAMA '08 & '12

    May 23, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  17. Obama Fan

    Is that a THREAT? How DARE Mrs Clinton go in that direction? This is unacceptable behavior, to seed such an idea into the minds of an unstable America. She should be held accountable for ANY actions taken against Obama. AND she should withdraw from the race.

    May 23, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  18. Dave

    Can we file this under who really cares? Common... This soap opera is dragging on way too long.. and its all because of the Media.... Can we not focus on the millions dying around the world... and the thousands still homeless in this country? Enough!

    May 23, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  19. undecided

    What'The Doors song line? "This is the end. This is the end my friend, the end."

    May 23, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  20. Arthur

    It will be a relief when she out of the race!

    -John Edwards Democrat for Barack Obama '08!

    May 23, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  21. mwana mwega

    So she's saying she want to stay in case somebody pull a trigger on BO and she will be the nominee?

    May 23, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  22. FU Hillary


    May 23, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  23. chris from Oregon

    Even so, what a poor, poor, poor choice of words for Clinton to use (at a time when people are already fear for Obama's life. What was she thinking.

    May 23, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  24. Jenny

    The things Hillary will say to stay in the news. Poor Hillary she's going down fighting...with herself. But thanks, as long as she keeps talking like this the Supper D's will have no problem selecting Obama before June 3rd.

    May 23, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  25. Liar, Liar, pants on fire.

    She will do and say whatever it takes...and she still can't win, but she doesn't care about who she hurts in the process of self inflation of her ego.

    May 23, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
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