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Clinton References RFK Assassination In Defending Length of Campaign

From CBS News' Fernando Suarez:

BRANDON, S.D. - During an editorial board meeting with the Sioux Falls Argus Leader, Hillary Clinton was making the point that there is nothing out of the ordinary about the length of the current nomination process and referenced the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy as an example.

"My husband did not wrap up the nomination in 1992 until he won the California primary somewhere in the middle of the June, right? We all remember Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June in California. I don't understand it."

The comments set off alarm bells with reporters who found the reference to RFK's assassination as a rather interesting choice given the fact that there has been ongoing concern by Secret Service that Barack Obama could face a similar threat. There has been so much concern over his safety that he was even given Secret Service protection well before any candidate in this race (except for Clinton who has had protection due to her status as a former First Lady).

Obama spokesman Bill Burton called Clinton's comments "unfortunate" and said they have "no place in this campaign."

Clinton responded just moments ago: "Earlier today, I was discussing the Democratic primary history and in the course of that discussion mentioned the campaigns that both my husband and Sen. [Robert] Kennedy waged in California in June in 1992 and 1968, and I was referencing those to make the point that we have had nomination primary contests that go into June. That's an historic fact. The Kennedys have been much on my mind in the last days because of Sen. [Ted] 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. I certainly had no intention of that whatsoever."

"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, and I'm honored to hold Sen. [Robert] Kennedy's seat in the United States Senate from the state of New York. And have the highest regard for the entire Kennedy family."