"It’s not surprising then that they get bitter, they cling to their guns, or religion, or antipathy toward people who aren’t like them, or anti-immigrant sentiment, or anti-trade sentiment, as a way to explain their frustrations."*
Obama's comment to the leftie San Francisco elites was not just a gaffe -- it was a downright verbal gutter ball. He and his apologists will try to explain that it was all taken "out of context," and he will never withdraw the comment, or apologize, or even express any sincere regrets.
As a result, he will likely just keep trying to counterpunch his way out of it.
But the context of those remarks should be abundantly clear to anyone.
The words were not spoken out of any sense of, shall we say, bonhomie. There was nothing gentle or affable about such expressions.
And obviously the comments were not an example of what politicians like to call "connecting" with voters. He was just plain talking down about small town people, their beliefs, their values and their cultural heritage, to a bunch of well-heeled elitists, in behind-closed-door remarks that were simply never intended to become public.
But he got caught.
*This is a transcription of the key portion of the April 6, 2008 comments by Barack Obama to the San Francisco Fundraiser, based on the audio that was posted by Mahill Fowler on the Huffington Post here. It differs slightly from the transcription Fowler himself posted. His version is as follows:
I cannot hear the "So" Fowler included at the beginning of the sentence, hence I did not include it. It sounds to me (having listened to the recording several times) like Obama said "their guns" -- not just "to guns" as transcribed by Fowler. The context suggests that he did, as well. It also sounds clearly to me like he said "antipathy toward people" not "to people."
"So it's not surprising then that they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations."