Clinton remarks on Kennedy assassination draws rebuke from Obama
Hillary Clinton stirred up some controversy on Friday when she justified staying in the Democratic presidential race by citing Robert Kennedy's 1968 campaign that lasted until his June assassination, the dpa reported.
Clinton quickly apologized for the remarks but not before rival Barack Obama jumped on them to take a swipe at the former first lady. Clinton, during an interview with a South Dakota newspaper, said:
"You know my husband did not wrap up the nomination in 1992 until he won the California primary somewhere around the middle of June," Clinton told the Argus Leader. "We all remember Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June in California."
Clinton has been under pressure from Democrats to drop out of the race because of what appears to be Obama's insurmountable lead to capture the Democratic nomination. She has maintained that she will stay in the race at least until Montana and South Dakota hold the final state contests June 3.
"Senator Clinton's statement before the Argus Leader editorial board was unfortunate and has no place in this campaign," Obama campaign spokesman Bill Burton said.
Clinton issued a statement expressing regret for the reference, saying she had no intention rekindling the trauma caused by Kennedy's assassination, particularly at a time when his only living brother, Senator Edward "Ted" Kennedy, was diagnosed with brain cancer.
"I was referencing those to make the point that we have had nomination primary contests that go into June. Thats a historic fact," she said.
"The Kennedys have been much on my mind the last days because of Senator Kennedy and I regret that if my referencing that moment of trauma for our entire nation - and particularly for the Kennedy family - was in any way offensive," she said.
Kennedy was gunned down on June 5, 1968 in a Los Angeles hotel after winning the California primary and inched closer to wrapping up the Democratic nomination. He died the following day. Clinton now holds the Senate seat that once belonged to Robert Kennedy.
"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," Clinton said, "and Im honored to hold Senator Kennedys seat in the United States Senate from the state of New York and have the highest regard for the entire Kennedy family."