Tags: Hillary | RFK | death

Hillary Taps Robert Kennedy Shooting as Reason for Ongoing Campaign

Friday, 23 May 2008 04:52 PM

By Kenneth Williams

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Hillary Clinton made a disturbing comment to the Argus Leader newspaper in Sioux Falls, S.D. today by using the shooting of Robert F. Kennedy as an example of what can happen in any presidential campaign.

She said, regarding why she is ignoring calls for her to exit the Democratic nomination race: "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."

The Huffington Post reports further that Francine Torge, a former John Edwards supporter, while introducing Mrs. Clinton at a campaign stop in Dover, N.H. in January, also mentioned a Kennedy assassination, saying, "Some people compare one of the other candidates to John F. Kennedy. But he was assassinated. And Lyndon Baines Johnson was the one who" passed civil rights legislation.

Phil Singer, a Clinton spokesman said at the time: "We were not aware that this person was going to make those comments and disapprove of them completely. They were totally inappropriate."

Obama’s campaign responded this way to Senator Clinton's remark from today: "Senator Clinton's statement before the Argus Leader editorial board was unfortunate and has no place in this campaign," said Obama campaign spokesman Bill Burton.

The Politico points out that Obama "received Secret Service protection one year ago this month, the earliest ever in presidential history, after reports of threats."

The Clinton campaign is responding to the controversy by stating that Hillary was merely bringing up her husband and RFK as historical references, trying to show that nomination contests have gone this late into the year before. The campaign claims she was not speaking of Kennedy's death per se, but merely mentioning that RFK was still fighting for the Democratic nomination in June, as she is. "Any reading into it beyond that is inaccurate," the campaign said.

Hillary herself went on camera later and apologized if her reference to "that moment of trauma for our entire nation, and particularly for the Kennedy family, was in any way offensive. I certainly had no intention of that whatsoever."

"I'm honored to hold Senator Kennedy's seat in the United States Senate from the state of New York, and have the highest regard for the entire Kennedy family," she said.

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