Robert Kennedy Jr. Responds to Hillary Clinton’s RFK Remarks

There’s a raging firestorm in the blogopshere over Hillary Clinton’s remarks made “Thursday, in a meeting with the editorial board of the the Sioux Falls Argus Leader.” As I noted below, Clinton has expressed regret for the statement.

Robert Kennedy Jr., who endorsed Hillary Clinton months ago, issued the following statement this evening (emphasis mine):

“It is clear from the context that Hillary was invoking a familiar political circumstance in order to support her decision to stay in the race through June.  I have heard her make this reference before, also citing her husband’s 1992 race, both of which were hard fought through June.  I understand how highly charged the atmosphere is, but I think it is a mistake for people to take offense.”

Kennedy also said in an interview that “his support of Mrs. Clinton has not wavered.” And he added that he felt that “the protracted fight for the Democratic nomination would only last “two more weeks.””

The candidate’s going to emerge within the next two weeks, and the party will get behind them,” Mr. Kennedy said.

The Clinton campaign also “sent a statement from Randell Beck, the Argus Leader’s Executive Editor, that sought to provide the context for Mrs. Clinton’s remarks”:

The context of the question and answer with Senator Clinton was whether her continued candidacy jeopardized party unity this close to the Democratic convention. Her reference to Mr. Kennedy’s assassination appeared to focus on the timeline of his primary candidacy and not the assassination itself.

I think people really need to get a grip. There’s been some vile insinuations (which I am not going to link to but can be found wading through Memeorandum) made about Clinton’s remarks which were clearly off the cuff, so to say and not inferring at all what people are trying to say they inferred including some once again pulling the racism card out of the hat. It was an unfortunate choice of words, which perhaps could have been clarified better. But, now, as Robert Kennedy, Jr., himself has said, “it is a mistake for people to take offense.” He’s right.

Joe Gandelman has a round up of opinions from the blogosphere. And Todd Beeton on MYDD expresses this sentiment about the brouhaha, which I agree with:

I’m just thinking to myself, wow, is this the point we’ve come to? In some corners of the blogosphere, the anti-Clinton derangement has risen to such a level that it’s gone beyond the shit Republicans were peddling in the 90s? Truly amazing.

It is truly amazing and quite sad.

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About Pamela Leavey

Pamela Leavey is the Editor in Chief, Owner/Publisher of The Democratic Daily as well as a freelance writer and photographer. Pamela holds a certificate in Contemporary Communications from UMass Lowell, a Journalism Certificate from UMass Amherst and a B.A. in Creative Writing and Digital Age Communications from UMass Amherst UWW.
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25 Responses to Robert Kennedy Jr. Responds to Hillary Clinton’s RFK Remarks

  1. Arlene Randazzo says:

    Thank God! Robert Kennedy Jr., understands how the statement was made and takes it in it’s content. What on earth has happened with Mr. Obama’s followers and the media? What happened to logic? The vile things that have been said about Sen. Clinton are some of the most vicious and unfair attacks that I have ever read and heard in the media. Poisonous words will not get the Democrats into office.Thanks to all this madness, Come 2009, John McCain will be our president!

  2. Kmuzu says:

    Most people who support Obama see this as a racial issue. And so far those who support HRC are either white inbreds or white elitists – usually women over a certain age. So, I guess I’m not that surprised at Robert Kennedy Jr.’s response. As with Nader, his motives have always seemed to be self-aggrandizing or a way to make a buck from a lawsuit. Of course, he’s going to continue to support HRC, even though and Ferraro are racist. They’re all part of the same corrupt system.

  3. Media_Biased_Against_Hillary says:

    To Misinterpret Hillary’s reference to Kennedy’s assination is simply an expression of a VICIOUS, HATFUL, BIASED AND OUTRIGHT CRIMINAL MIND!

    It’s simply LOW CLASS from the media to try to use this against Hillary when her intent was clearly citing historical events in a specific area.

    Somehow the Media has been trying to Make Obama President…from day one……….Why!? This is the one mil question!

  4. kcowley says:

    These are very strange times, up is down and down is up. So strange that I’ve started saving some of the more ludicrous posts on the web for future reference, proof of the effects of this crazy election, Some ease the frustration and lighten the humor, others, such as Kmuzu’s, are so incredulous that if I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes i wouldn’t believe it.

  5. alrudder says:

    DD Readers,
    The NYT Editorial Board has summed up the main problem with the “assassination” remark. It was the same problem that compelled me to quit working for her campaign after the “Jesse Jackson” remark.
    It’s not the stupid statement. It was the lack of an empathetic apology.
    An apology that acknowledges that she (or her husband) offended a lot of people and justified (partially anyway) her political actions based on the basest of American instincts.
    It’s kinda like the saying about scandals: it’s not the initial transgression, its the cover-up. After 8 years of this administration, and after 40 years of Nixon’s political paradigm based on playing to the lowest instincts of “working, hard-working Americans, white Americans,” this kind of politics must stop.
    The key to politicking is EMPATHY. Raising catchy, but bogus gas tax proposals is not empathy. Explaining why your (inevitable) misstatements on the campaign trail were wrong, and telling people the values in your heart, is empathy. HRC needs to correct this for her legacy.

  6. Lenoxus says:

    Alrudder’s “empathy” point is a good one. I agree, however, that this was a simple misspeak. A better way for her to have phrased it would be “My husband did not wrap up the nomination in 1992 until he won the California primary somewhere in the middle of June, right? And Bobby Kennedy was still campaigning in June, which we all remember, of course, because of his tragic assassination.” The way she phrased it, it sounds like the assassination is the crux of her argument, when of course she’s just using it in a “we all remember” sense, as a tangent. It would be as if a candidate fifty years from now reminded people that George W Bush didn’t rise in fame and popularity until eight months after his inaugural, saying something like “We all remember about 9/11.” Oh well.

  7. kcowley

    I have to agree on the grounds of being completely ludicrous, Kmuzu’ comment is a keeper.

    I mean really who knew that “women over a certain age” are all either “white inbreds or white elitists.”


  8. alrudder

    I have to say I completely disagree with you and the NY Times editorial board. Hillary’s statement expressing her regret was appropriate and emphatic. Personally I think the “basest of American instincts” are those that nitpick at every little thing and over-react to poorly worded statements that truly mean no offense.

    If anyone at all should take offense it is the son and namesake of RFK, who said quite clearly last night “it is a mistake for people to take offense.”

    Much has been made in the media about the fact that Hillary Clinton resonates with the voters she is attracting because she connects with them on a emphatic level, letting them know she is listening, cares about and understands their struggles.

  9. Gilbert Martinez says:

    This is the future of the Democratic Party with Obama as the nominee. Sorry, but I don’t like what I see. Riverdaughter was right, these people are acting like Orwellians during the two minutes hate.

    I’m sorry, but I do not feel comfortable with this behavior leading the country. This is equally as scary as McCain, IMO.

  10. coldH2Owi says:

    Mr. Gilbert:
    Sorry you are frightened, but the post was about something Sen. Clinton said, for Christ’s sake. How do you do it – making up down & down up?
    The future with Sen. Clinton means, to me at least, that it will become the Clintonic Party & will loose any semblance of democracy. It will become the It’s Mine & I Deserve It Party. So get over being scared & buck up. We have survived, albeit somewhat damaged as a country, the Reagan Revolution, I’m sure we will survive the presidency of Barack Obama.

  11. soona says:

    To me actually the referance to assasination if we are going to make an analogy at all, it will be HER assisination not him. Because if u follow her logic she was trying to explain why she is going to continue HER campain. I don’t think she meant either one, but if we have to stretch it,she is the one who is pressured to quit so how is her comment is meant for him.

    If Obama is a half way decent he would come out and end it, but again he never said nothing while vile threats against Hillary and the calls for violance against her was all over the place.
    I always maintained if nothing else the longer this campain goes the more people will see the real story .

  12. steveballmer says:


  13. Cold

    “the post was about something Sen. Clinton said, for Christ’s sake.”

    Actually the post IS about the reactions to what Clinton said, including the reaction of RFK, Jr and a few bloggers. So Glibert is correct in responding about some of the over the top reactions.

  14. coldH2Owi says:

    I noted with some understanding that you separated yourself from some of Mr. Gilbert’s over-the-top comments concerning Sen. Obama. Now you’re back to defending him. Oh, well. BTW, you don’t think Mr. Gilbert”s claim that

    “…This is the future of the Democratic Party with Obama as the nominee. Sorry, but I don’t like what I see.”

    is over the top? Really, we are getting into nutsy-cuckoo land with statements like that. Notice how Mr. Gilbert is always sorry or sighing when he ought to be sucking it up & acting like a Democrat?

  15. Cold

    I’ve already made it clear hear much to the chagrin of some of our CLinton supporters that I think Obama will be a good president – better than McCain certainly. However, I don’t like what i see within the Democratic party either quite frankly. Which is one of the primary reasons why I blog less most days. I’m disgusted and think there’s more to life than this foolish bickering.

  16. Peace Out For Unity says:

    “Never give in and never give up!” Pay attention to what she’s saying ! Find the map.”what’s right ?” TAC ! Hoist the lines ! We’ll sail her in !

  17. Peace Out For Unity says:

    Strong winds and tough seas but we’ll stay the course ! Set the compass to Washington and believe we can ! A leader that will make a difference in the nation and has the ability to get the job done ! Take the helm and ride the wind ! Focus on a win !

  18. Kay Green says:

    I’d have to say this was just completely blown out of proportion, a rational person who might not have understood what Ms.Clinton may have meant, would have inquired further,.but I certainly wouldn’t interpret her words as a veiled threat on Obama’s life which is what I got from some of Obama’s supporters who were posting on a certain website. It blew my mind. Where and how could anyone get an idea like that.?The press was also blantantly dishonest in their reporting of it as well. They jumped at the opportunity to further discredit MsClinton and make her look like some monster. Keith Olbermann went off the deep end with his rants.

    I think the press is making a big deal out of this because frankly it is no secret Mr. Barrack is their media darling and all the hoopla about this may be another atttempt to push her out of the race to get it over with. Here is also something I found disconcerting and this I found posted on another website that supports Hillary Clinton.:

    II also remember reading that on Bill O’Reilly’s website, there were threats made against Hillary Clinton’s life… Yes, is that what we have come to????? Sick, sick, sick.

  19. Kay Green says:

    If the media cannot be trusted to be truthful in it’s reporting and has no integrity, then what can we trust? The political pundits who made this bigger than life must either have lapses of insanity or psychosis. Can you honestly believe people would carry on like that so hysterically. Of course I still think it is a ruse or like some comments on another site ,”manufactured outrage” perhaps to get Hillary to quit the race now. See now this justifies why Hillary should quit now,look at what she said!!! Mr Kennedy was not offended and really only his opinion counts since the comments had nothing to do with Obama Barrack.

  20. Kay Green says:

    Ms.Clinton’s comments weren’t meant to be sinister, but painting her and Bill Clinton as racists is a character assasination, Hillary has stood for the rights of minorities and women. But while the media will jump to Mr.Obama’s defense at any perceived racial slur,

    When Hillary mentions how the media has treated her, they attack her for it.”She just shouldn’t be discussing things like that she’s not doing her party any favors. Yet when race is mentioned that is of course acceptable to talk about? I am not a racist, but I’ve seen how the media has treated Ms.Clinton and it is an utter disgrace. Women were not given the right to vote until after blacks were emancipated and given the right to vote..Anything that comes out of Sen.Clintons’ mouth , and the press makes up unfounded accusations with no basis in reality to assassinate her character. And yes people of all races can be prejudiced against other races .The Rev.Wright? Remember? The Rev Hagee will just attack Catholics and said that hurricane Katrina was caused by the wrath of God.
    But somehow it’s socially acceptable to denegrate a woman? Why would that be any different than making a racial slur? How did we come to this, a society that feeds on this kind of hate from the media and buy into it.Stop listening to these crackpot political pundits and start thinking for yourselves.

    Racial insults, insults toward women are both wrong, they demean the person.Is there still racial inequality , yes it is a disturbing fact, Black people have the majority of hate crimes committed against them. But women also have been victims of domestic violence , rape and other crimes as well. Are there people who hate Jews? Yes, Are there people who hate Catholics ,? Yes .Are there people who hate Mexicans? Y es, Are there people who hate Gays, yes, Are there people who hate Muslims, yes, Are there people who hate fat people? Yes the list could go on. Racial inequality isn’t the only problem in the USA

    But the media and their sewer infested reporting are like sharks going on a feeding frenzy. They will bring up anything to get dirt on a candidate including Mr.Barrack and character assasinate.. They called his wife unpatriotic. Remember Mister Obama the media is no friend of your ‘s either. You are just a rating to them. They may build you up and call you their darling but they will turn around and stab you in the back and tear you down in then next.

  21. Kay Green says:

    The media is a cess pool and needs to clean up it’s act. If anything should happen to Obama or Hillary , and God forbid. It will be because of their spin. I’ve heard of death threats on both candidates posted on blogs ,news sites and forums and this needs to stop right now. This is not freedom of speech as guaranteed by the first amendment, this is a form of terrorism ,clear and plain and I would urge anyone who sees these kinds of threats to report them immediately. You just never know.

  22. kcowley says:

    Gilbert- It scares me too! I’ve read many quotes about the future from our DNC leaders such as this doozy from Donna Brazile
    which are alienating me from the Democratic party.

  23. Hillary4Prez says:

    Hillary: Why I Continue To Run

    This past Friday, during a meeting with a newspaper editorial board, I was asked about whether I was going to continue in the presidential race.

    I made clear that I was – and that I thought the urgency to end the 2008 primary process was unprecedented. I pointed out, as I have before, that both my husband’s primary campaign, and Sen. Robert Kennedy’s, had continued into June.

    Almost immediately, some took my comments entirely out of context and interpreted them to mean something completely different – and completely unthinkable.

    I want to set the record straight: I was making the simple point that given our history, the length of this year’s primary contest is nothing unusual. Both the executive editor of the newspaper where I made the remarks, and Sen. Kennedy’s son, Bobby Kennedy Jr., put out statements confirming that this was the clear meaning of my remarks. Bobby stated, “I understand how highly charged the atmosphere is, but I think it is a mistake for people to take offense.”

    I realize that any reference to that traumatic moment for our nation can be deeply painful – particularly for members of the Kennedy family, who have been in my heart and prayers over this past week. And I expressed regret right away for any pain I caused.

    But I was deeply dismayed and disturbed that my comment would be construed in a way that flies in the face of everything I stand for – and everything I am fighting for in this election.

  24. Peace Out For Unity says:

    Time line, going back in her memory association on a particular month remembered concerning her husband. Thought it was stated almost like a question of June being the month and then the association going back in memory remembered also June being the month that a serious tragedy sadly occured was remembered ,Clinton spoke in her memory association calling attention.No offense was meant and that’s clearly the honest truth.

  25. Peace Out For Unity says:

    Don’t see it something we need to flip the boat over and confuse the conversation and focus of intent . Look at the electorial map and the issues Clinton stands for and fights to make a difference for the people. That’s what’s important ! Please send in your support to win in the end !