Hillary raises assassination, mentions Bobby Kennedy (Update) Regret and Obama’s response

In an interesting, and I’m guessing poorly worded statement, Hillary Clinton mentioned assassination in discussing calls for her to withdraw from the race. She reminded people that Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June.

Story from the New York Post:

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.

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.”

Video of statement in an interview with the Sioux Falls Argus-Leader’s editorial board:

I don’t want to misconstrue her statement by implying she thinks Obama might be assassinated, God forbid. I’m certain nobody is wishing that on any candidate. However, I suppose she’s raising a valid point but this is not going to go over well I’m betting.


Since this broke this afternoon, Hillary Clinton has now released a statement that she regrets what she said. Also, Obama’s campaign has a released a statement as well.

Story on the regret from MyWay:

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) – Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton quickly apologized Friday after citing the June 1968 assassination of Robert F. Kennedy in defending her decision to keep running for the Democratic presidential nomination despite increasingly long odds.

“I regret that if my referencing that moment of trauma for our entire nation and in particular the Kennedy family was in any way offensive. I certainly had no intention of that whatsoever,” the former first lady said.

The episode occurred as Clinton campaigned in advance of the June 3 South Dakota primary.

Obama’s response:

Her remark about an assassination during a primary campaign drew a quick response from aides to Democratic presidential front-runner Barack Obama.

“Senator Clinton’s statement before the Argus Leader editorial board was unfortunate and has no place in this campaign,” said Obama spokesman Bill Burton.

Meanwhile, the Time Blog is reporting she made a similar statement back in February:

Though she has now apologized for that very strange and tasteless comment to the Argus-Leader, this was not the first time she’s said it. This from her interview with TIME Managing Editor Richard Stengel, published March 6:

TIME: Can you envision a point at which–if the race stays this close–Democratic Party elders would step in and say, “This is now hurting the party and whoever will be the nominee in the fall”?

CLINTON: No, I really can’t. I think people have short memories. Primary contests used to last a lot longer. We all remember the great tragedy of Bobby Kennedy being assassinated in June in L.A. My husband didn’t wrap up the nomination in 1992 until June. Having a primary contest go through June is nothing particularly unusual.

A pattern emerging? I doubt it but it is interesting she’s mentioned it more than once. Do people really have this notion that she’s still in due to the awful chance that Obama could be assassinated? It’s an awful thought but why else is she mentioning it?