Video | Senator Clinton on RFK Assassination
” Obama, the first African-American to advance so far in the race for the White House, has faced threats.”
By GEOFF EARLE
May 23, 2008 — Hillary Clinton today brought up the assassination of Sen. Robert Kennedy while defending her decision to stay in the race against Barack Obama.
“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, dismissing calls to drop out.
Obama’s camp immediately fired back.
“Sen. Clinton’s statement before the Argus Leader editorial board was unfortunate and has no place in this campaign,” Obama campaign spokesman said in a statement.
Clinton made her comments at a meeting with the Sioux Falls Argus-Leader’s editorial board while campaigning in South Dakota, where she complained that, “People have been trying to push me out of this ever since Iowa.”
Obama, the first African-American to advance so far in the race for the White House, has faced threats, sources have said.
Robert Kennedy, the younger brother of President John F. Kennedy, was gunned down in 1968 after winning the California primary. He had been a hero on the left for his civil rights agenda and calls to end the war in Vietnam.
Barack Obama, who leads Clinton by nearly 200 delegates and has already secured a majority of pledged delegates, has been the subject of threats. Early in the campaign, the Secret Service gave him a security detail at the request of Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Illinois).
Clinton criticized an “urgency” to end the campaign prematurely, saying, “Historically, that makes no sense.”
Clinton spokesman Howard Wolfson defended the comments to The Post, “She was talking about the length of the race and using the ’68 election as an example of how long the races in the past have gone — she used her husband’s race in the same vein.”
*** UPDATE *** Here is what Clinton said in a quick avail: “I regret that if my referencing that moment of trauma for our entire nation, particularly for the Kennedy family was in any way offensive. I certainly had no intention of that whatsoever. My view is that we have to look to the past and to our leaders who have inspired us and give us a lot to live up to and I’m honored to hold sen. Kennedy’s seat in the United States Senate in the state of New York, and have the highest regard for the entire Kennedy family.”
“Before those of you who are adamant supporters of Senator Clinton try to defend the “pragmatism” of her statement, think for a minute about what would actually happen if she dropped out and Senator Obama was tragically cut down. She would most certainly become the nominee. This was as cynical and shameless a political act as I have ever seen.
The response from the DNC and the remaining superdelegates should be swift and unmistakable. It is time to end this. It is time to send a message, that there are limits to what you can say to try to win an election.
I cannot even contemplate the possibilities if she stays in. Whether she meant to or not, she may have just drawn a bullseye on Obama, and dropping out might not even erase that. Shame on you, Hillary.”
– T. Christopher
“I’m Going to Disagree with Arianna-and SCREAM for Clinton to Step Down. Why?
By bringing up Bobby Kennedy’s assassination in conjunction with reasons she should continue her race to become the Democratic Nominee she has officially lost her mind. It’s beyond irresponsible and beyond reprehensible.
Just the other day I was willing to hug it out and even push for an Obama/Clinton ticket.
Today I realize this candidate will go to any lengths, including the discussion of assassination, to get what she wants, and I am disgusted.
Please don’t tell me this was an innocent turn of phrase meant to make some point.
It’s not. We all know Senator Clinton knows better and says NOTHING innocent.”
– ERIN KOTECKI VEST | The Huffington Post
” Yeah, sure, if Obama somehow gets assassinated, I’m sure she’d be the next one in line, but IS SHE OUT OF HER MIND? What on earth possessed her to say that?
And by the way, for all of you Clinton supporters out there, waiting for somebody to get shot is not a campaign strategy.
On the upside, this has the potential to completely eliminate her from the VP selection process.”
– Justin Gardner
The issue of assassination has been a sensitive one this election. Black voters have repeatedly expressed concern that Barack Obama would be assassinated during the race, sentiment that hearkens back to the murders of civil rights leaders, Bobby Kennedy’s assassination included.
Mr Obama, 46, was given full Secret Service protection last May.
It was the earliest juncture for any presidential candidate since the practice was first introduced following the assassination of Senator Robert Kennedy, two months after Dr King died from a shot fired by James Earl Ray, an escaped convict and racist.
The prospect of Mr Obama meeting a similar fate is etched deep in the collective psyche of many American blacks, particularly those old enough to remember the events of 1968, who overwhelmingly back the Illinois senator over his rival Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination.
Earlier in the campaign, a Clinton surrogate also raised the issue of assassination, this time with a more direct reference to Obama. The Clinton camp immediately distanced itself from the suggestion:
Today, in Dover, Francine Torge, a former John Edwards supporter, said this while introducing Mrs. Clinton: “Some people compare one of the other candidates to John F. Kennedy. But he was assassinated. And Lyndon Baines Johnson was the one who actually” passed the civil rights legislation….
Phil Singer, a Clinton spokesman said: “We were not aware that this person was going to make those comments and disapprove of them completely. They were totally inappropriate.”
Nobel laureate Doris Lessing also raised a stir when she suggested that Obama would be assassinated were he to become president:
Obama, who is vying to become the first black president in US history, “would certainly not last long, a black man in the position of president. They would murder him,” Lessing, 88, told the Dagens Nyheter daily.
– The Telegraph
Hillary Clinton just might be the most ignorant person – male or female – to ever run for president.
– Sandra Rose