FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
Barack Obama's comments about "bitter" blue-collar voters – who cling to "guns and religion" – have exploded into a "bitter" fight between him and Hillary Clinton.
Over the weekend, Clinton pounded Obama over the remarks, calling them "elitist and divisive" and suggesting they could kill the Democrats' chances of winning the presidency in November. She says Obama's words could alienate voters in Pennsylvania and other states that will soon vote.
Obama says he expected this kind of response from Republican John McCain, but not from his Democratic rival. When it comes to Clinton, Obama says "shame on her" and mocks her outspoken support for gun rights.
Clinton has told audiences that she supports the rights of hunters, that she once shot a duck in Arkansas and that she remembers learning to shoot on summer vacations in Scranton, Pennsylvania. To which Obama says "She's talking like she's Annie Oakley. Hillary Clinton's out there like she's on the duck blind every Sunday. She's packing a six shooter. C'mon! she knows better."
Trying to turn the tables, Obama insists it is Clinton who is out of touch with the concerns of blue-collar voters, saying she has accepted campaign contributions from political action committees and drug and insurance lobbyists.
Meanwhile, after appealing to gun owners and church-goers all weekend, Clinton refused to answer a question about the last time she fired a gun, saying "We can answer that some other time” and that it's not "a relevant question in this debate." She says she went to church on Easter.
Obama spent a lot of the weekend telling reporters his remarks were accurate, but badly phrased.
Here’s my question to you: How harmful will Barack Obama's "bitter" remarks be to his candidacy?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
Yes, I think it will hurt him in the Pennsylvania primary, not because of what he said, but because of the way it is being spun by the political war machines of his opponents. I don’t know if there is a way for Hillary to actually win her party’s nomination and I believe this underscores why the “smart” leaders in the Democratic Party have called for her to step out of the race. She is going to serve this election up on a silver platter for John McCain.
Mary from Sarasota, Florida writes:
Jack, And this too shall pass. You've heard that old phrase and in this case it’s apt for Teflon Barack. Nothing sticks to him. People just manage to overlook his foibles while beating Hillary over the head with hers... sigh.
Sue from Emporium, Pennsylvania writes:
Jack, If you haven’t lived it, you can’t possibly understand it. With that said, Sen. Obama was spot on. We are frustrated and bitter. We don’t always feel we have a say in our economics, so we vote on gun issues, abortion etc, and turn to our religion as a way to ground us. So no, most Pennsylvania voters, who have seen their neighborhoods disappear and prices soar are not fooled by Hillary Clinton’s assertion that Sen. Obama is out of touch with hard-working Americans.
Mike from Pueblo, Colorado writes:
Americans bitter? Holding onto guns, religion, anti-immigration and anti-trade sentiment? Ouch! Could it be that some of Reverend Wright's ideology has inadvertently rubbed off on Obama during the 20 years of sermons that Obama supposedly was never around to hear?
Shirley from Weston, Florida writes:
Jack, I’m from a small town in Florida, and I can't take 4-8 years of Grandma Billary and Grandpa McCain. And no, I was not offended by Sen. Obama’s "bitter" statement, I just think he should have used the word angry. As an American, I am just that. This is foolishness... Senator Obama holds us accountable and tells us what we need to hear. Like Grandparents, Grandma Billary and Grandpa McCain tells us what we want to hear.