Clinton Says Obama’s ‘Bitter’ Remark Could Cost Party General Election

Apr 13, 2008 3:12pm

ABC News’ Eloise Harper Reports: Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., took the opportunity to capitalize on her rivals comments that people in small towns are "bitter" for the third day in a row.

Speaking to reporters outside some homes in Scranton, Pennsylvannia where she has family roots and today was greeted by many supporters holding signs and offering encouragement. She made the argument that Sen. Barack Obama’s comments could cost the party the election and that the party has been seen as out of touch by male candidates in the past. Clinton also criticized Obama for not "owning up to his remarks."

Clinton was asked if this moment was her opening in the race – the one that she has been looking for. Clinton responded saying,"I think what’s important about this is that Senator Obama has not owned up to what he said, and taken accountability for it you. You know, first said he was right and attacked me for raising his remarks and referencing them. Then he admitted he may have said what he said in artfully. And now he he’s deeply apologized if he offended anyone. But what people are looking for is an explanation."

Clinton also threatened that these comments could really hurt the Democratic Party – making a veiled comparison to what happened to John Kerry and Al Gore.

"The Democratic party has been unfortunately viewed by many people over the last decades as being elitist and out of touch we have waged elections over that you don’t have to think too far to remember that good men running for president were viewed as being elitist and out of touch with the values and the lives of millions of Americans. So I think this is a very significant concern that people have expressed. You know the front page of the paper today in Scranton is very pointed and the mayor and mayors across Pennsylvanian and people across our country have all reacted," she said. 

Clinton repeated the argument she has been making these past days saying, "I do not believe, as Senator Obama apparently does, that Americans in small towns and small cities and rural areas cling to religion and gun ownership out of frustration they embrace them as a matter of faith and a way of life. We are at a point in America where need to be bringing people together."

Clinton also implied that Obama’s comments reflect that he does not respect all Americans saying "I believe if you want to be president of all Americans you need to respect all Americans. You need to respect their values and their way of life and that’s exactly what I will do as president."

Clinton has been speaking about her hunting experience recently, but when asked when the last time she fired a gun or went to church – she objected saying "You know what that is not that is not a relevant question for this debate we can answer that another time this is about what people feel is being said about them and you know I went to church on Easter that is not what this is about. This is about how people look at the democratic party and the democratic party leadership."

Clinton also rejected any notion that she was out of touch – due to her not living in a middle class lifestyle and spending so much time living a more privileged life. Clinton said "Well Bill and I have worked very hard our entire lives and I am very grateful for the successes we’ve have had – and I think a lot of the way we live, even today you know my mother lives with us I’ve met a lot of mothers and aunts who living with people in these houses as we walk down the street. We are obviously very appreciative of the opportunities we have been given we don’t take anything for granted."

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