WASHINGTON â Hillary Rodham Clinton invoked the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy to defend her decision to remain in the race until the final primaries â sparking immediate condemnation by Barack Obama’s campaign.
The former first lady, speaking to the editorial board of the Argus Leader of Sioux Falls, S.D., expressed outrage over calls for her to exit when she brought up the killing of the Democratic icon in Los Angeles on June 5, 1968.
“My husband did not wrap up the nomination in 1992 until he won the California primary somewhere in the middle of June, right?” she asked the board, according to a video of the meeting posted on the paper’s Web site. “We all remember Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June in California,” adding that she didn’t understand people who want her to drop out.
At a later event in South Dakota, Clinton quickly apologized for the comment, saying she brought up Kennedy’s assassination only to make the point that past primary campaigns have stretched on longer than this one. She also said the Kennedy family has been on her mind recently because of news of Sen. Edward Kennedy’s brain tumor this week.
“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 spokesman Mo Elleithee said the senator was referring to her husband and Kennedy only “as historical examples of the nominating process going well into the summer and any reading into it beyond that would be inaccurate.”