March 24th, 2008
04:47 PM ET
7 years ago

Clinton stresses party unity in Pennsylvania

Sen. Clinton said Democrats will need to unite against John McCain.
Sen. Clinton said Democrats will need to unite against John McCain.

BLUE BELL, Pennsylvania (CNN) – Over the weekend, Barack Obama's campaign manager David Plouffe accused Hillary Clinton of having a “character gap.” Clinton spokesman Phil Singer returned fire, saying today that Obama’s campaign is perpetrating an "insidious pattern of personal attacks."

Any Democrat listening the harsh language emanating from the campaigns would be forgiven for thinking it might be tough to unify the party this fall.

Clinton was asked by a voter here Monday about the increasingly contentious race, and whether Democrats can manage to come together in the general election. Clinton re-emphasized that Democrats must unite after the primary battle.

"I think we will have a unified Democratic party once we have a nominee, we will go into fall election very committed to taking back the White House," she said. "None of the things I talk about will happen if Sen. McCain is elected."

She praised McCain and their work in Senate together, but added, "As he himself has said, he doesn’t know much about the economy."

The mostly female audience laughed as she ribbed McCain over his economic credentials, but she was serious as she urged Democrats to put aside their differences to defeat the presumptive GOP nominee.

"I think that people that who would have voted for either me or Sen. Obama are going to ask themselves, 'Wait a minute, there are really big differences between the Democrats and the Republicans.' And let’s have a unified party and elect a Democratic president."

UPDATE: Republican National Committee spokesman Danny Diaz issued this response to Clinton's charges against McCain: "Sen. Clinton’s plans to increase taxes and implement massive government spending would only hurt hardworking families and small businesses. Her political attacks against Sen. McCain won’t distract voters from her backward-looking and failed policy stances."

– CNN Political Producer Peter Hamby

Filed under: Hillary Clinton • Pennsylvania
soundoff (397 Responses)
  1. Taylor

    Well, to all the people that think Hillary has no chance... you are living in a world of confusion.

    Hillary has huge leads in Pennsylvania, Indiana, Puerto Rico, W. Virginia, and obama was supposed to have tagged N. Carolina as a sate he was unbeatable at.... however, now he is only leading by one point in the polls. Hillary is on a roll in the upcoming states and in the national level as well. Obama could no longer win in the general election, whether you agree or not with the behavior of his pastor and the racialy remakrs form him himself lately or think they should impact someone, they do and it threw out all his independent support and support from "obama's republicans" not a good thing because he is not able to secure the democrati base. Hillary, in fact is beting Mccain in some southern red states that a republican should win in the polls.

    And then about the personal attacks. The Clinton campaign never eneaged in personal attacks. It was Obama that labeled Clinton as a racist in Soputh Carolina, it was obama's wife that said hillary could not run her own house... and now thehtings of late. It's awful. I always said I would vote for the democratic nominee. That is hard for me now.

    March 24, 2008 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  2. Rek

    I guess Hillary is just about ready to offer the Vice Presidency to John McSame. Oh by the way, do you guys remember her running under fire when she landed at that airbase in Bosnia, what commander-in-chief threshold test, eh!!

    March 24, 2008 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  3. Charlotte

    It will be difficult to unite the party. I believe Obama is nothing more then empty words. They bring Bill's past up to slam at Hillary as if she had the affair. The obama-bots have been extremely hateful in their comments. They attempt to defend the racist remarks of Rev. Wright. I watched the whole video and found it offensive, and do not believe it has any place in a sermon. Whether you quote someone else or not , it is offensive to repeat hateful, un-american comments. I know people who use the N-word, should I do the same, even in a quote? I think not. Obama is a liar, first in saying he never heard it in 20 years, then he did, but not the way we heard it. Obama said, we are typical white people who don't understand the Africian mind set. I guess I don't, if hating this country is part of that. How can he base his whole campaign on something he could not have done, yet say he isn't sure how he would have voted when he was supporting Kerry. Now, he is sure? I just don't understand much of his campaign at all.

    March 24, 2008 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  4. Janel, St. Paul, MN

    Hillary lies, and so does her husband!

    It is disgraceful to look back on the day when former President Clinton said, "I am telling the truth. I did not have sex with that woman."

    And Hillary today stating that she is not for NAFTA when she actually worked to support her husband's plan. . .and there are questions - many questions - about the Whitewater mess!

    Being a life-long Democrat and always a voter in the presidential race, if Senator Clinton becomes the nominee through shady dealings, I will either vote for McCain or write in Obama, or not vote.

    This will be a very sad day for me as a patriotic American!!

    March 24, 2008 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  5. John

    I would not want to be the one to be standing next to Hillary when she looses Pa. This is not only her home state but the next one after Ohio, Texas, and the votes from MI, and FLA to have to count. As she has said the rest don't count. I however would like to know the math in a general election if the only states that count according to her are counted. Can she still beat McCain?

    March 24, 2008 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  6. lenore

    The only way the democratic party can unite behind the nominee is if Obama drops out, admits he used misguided judgement while sitting in his racist church for 20 years, and promises to find a way to heal the racial divide without blaming current members of either race. He then needs to rally behind Clinton and urge his supporters to the same – promising to run again when he has shed his underlying anger over slavery. A horrible attrocity to be sure – but one that has been over for more than a century! Otherwise, if he is the nominee, many democrats who fault his judgement for above will vote for the moderate McCain even though he will continue with the war. At least he has the skill sets to win it – unlike his predecessor. If Hillary is given the nomination by the superdelegates, his supporters will feel 'robbed' and either vote McCain as an act of vengence – or stay home. Either way McCain will win unless Obama gets out. His newly discovered sins cannot be forgiven by many who have previously supported him.

    March 24, 2008 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  7. SHIRLEY

    I am with you Hillary! If Obama gets the nomination, I will vote for McCain. Obama is on a crash course! No experience! I don't want him running my country! Give him 8 more years in the senate and I would consider him...

    March 24, 2008 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  8. Chris, Pennsylvania

    Hillary is leading (on average) 16 points ahead of Obama in the polilng here in Pennsylvania AND in the money race by hundreds of thousands of dollars. The Governor of Pennsyvlania and Lt. Gov. along with both mayors of Pittsburgh and Philly have endorsed Hillary as well. GO HILLARY!!!

    March 24, 2008 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  9. The truth hurts

    Hillary I reject and denounce you – if you lie, steal or cheat your way to the nomination, I am voting republican. I have at least 3500 people who all pledge to do the same, and the number is growing.

    March 24, 2008 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  10. Joe G

    I'm a "typical white guy" and it's impossible for me to understand why Senator Obama would stay in the Wright church for 20 years. I live in Chicago and there are hundreds of churches on the south side. The first time Obama heard that stuff coming from Wright, he could have gone down the street to find another pastor and church. But he didn't – did he???

    I voted for Clinton twice, Gore and Kerry once, but will never ever vote for Obama.

    March 24, 2008 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  11. Gina

    I'm an Obama supporter, but pleased to see Hillary make a unifying statement. I hope this continues-from both sides.
    I really don't understand how anyone who supports Obama will vote for McCain if Hillary wins, or how anyone who supports Hillary will vote for McCain if Obama wins. Can someone please explain this to me?
    If you support Obama, the major thing McCain has in common with him is that they are both men. If you support Hillary, the major thing McCain has in common with her is that they are both white.
    Please, explain why some of you democrats, after 8 years of the worst republican fiascos EVER, why would you vote republican this year if your favored candidate doesn't win the primary?

    March 24, 2008 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  12. TheLeftNut

    I'm tired of arrogance

    I've had enough of it with Bush. Democrats who think that they can beat the Republicans by acting like Bush will loose .

    *Yes, I'm talking to you Carville"

    March 24, 2008 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  13. ZedLoch

    Dead on Sen. Clinton. I know Sen. Obama would support you too, because this is bigger than any one person.

    March 24, 2008 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  14. Sue

    Hillary will get the nomination. Obamas not a man I trust and for that fact either is Richadson. The blogs are filled with name calling and accusations that are way out of line also. We need to get back to the issues soon. The Democratic party will unite as Hillary said,and if she is the nominee we will beat McCain. However if Obama is the nominee I will vote McCain .

    March 24, 2008 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  15. benvictor

    Greeting to you, Hillary, in Pennsylvania. Now that Bill R. has reneged on his commitment to you and supports Barry, the way is clear for Pennsylvania to set the way for your nomination. Pennsylvania will follow all other big States in supporting you. With Barry's problems mounting daily, people know the rule, Fool me twice, shame on me. Carry on for your cause is true.

    March 24, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  16. charlie

    im a republican......if your an obama supporter and he looses your nomination will you vote for mccain......and if your a hillary supporter and she looses your nomination will you vote for mccain........? just wanna get a feel for all of you.

    March 24, 2008 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  17. Jamal

    I ask Obama's supporters that why do you people are acting so stupid and biased? Just ask yourselves for a minute, if you'd have really supported this guy unless you'd have been fed with a very biased info about Obama!! I mean the media is hardly challenging him, and you want to select a person for a President just on the basis that he strikes an emotional chord with us!
    Isn't it the same philosophy we adopted when we selected Bush as a President 8yrs back, that he sounds like and he is one of us!!
    We do need a fighter, one who wont give up easily, and i think i'm starting to Hillary for that matter.
    As a lady, she has shown guts to fight the media and the hardcore liberal democrat activists like us. And she is not fighting us to snatch the food from our plates, but for an opportunity to be given to her so that she can provide more and bring us more prosperity!!
    I'm really starting to open up my mind to her. It toolk a long while to open up my biased mind, but it did now.

    March 24, 2008 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  18. Yes we can

    Carville at all time low. To compare Hillary with Jesus Christ is blasphemous. It's time for Obama to unite the Democratic party

    March 24, 2008 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  19. BL-NY

    If Senator Obama wins the Democratic Nomination, myself, along with 32% of the Clinton supporters will vote Republican.
    Sorry, he is just not ready to Govern our Nation in these times...

    March 24, 2008 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  20. johny

    greg , go ahead don't bother you are like bill " judas" richardson in everyway. how's you wife doin today?

    March 24, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  21. George

    I am backing Obama!

    Obama/Richardson 08

    March 24, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  22. ANTI CLINTONS

    Unify! are you kidding me! there is no way that will happen with that idiot doing what she has been doing to that good man Obama. She is in a fight for her political life and she is drowning, no wonder she wants to unify the party, that always comes first before the country and it's needs, she is a typical freedom hater.
    Obama knows what to do, not that witch.

    March 24, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  23. Jeff in the Redwoods, Arcata, CA

    Preaching unity after the Clintons have attempted to destroy Senator Obama is like closing the barn doors after the horses are gone..... leave it to a Clinton to continue to blow hot air even when nobody is listening..... It is Obama or stay at home come this November!

    March 24, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  24. Martha

    Hillary Clinton wants unity. What a farce! She is only appearing to change her mask for the sake of winning the Pennslyvania primary. Actions speak louder than any insincere, heartless words. Nike has the right slogan for Hillary, "Just Do It".

    GA

    March 24, 2008 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  25. N Nieder

    I believe HRC can get enough 'African Americans' behind her if she wins the nomination...the reason I feel this way is the older solid dems who have been voting for a long time understand the need to stick with Dems. That block of voters who are black, according to polls, was very torn when it came to a decision at the onset of this primary race, to vote for HRC who they know and a 'young unknown..but..black hope candidate'.
    I believe that time and time again Obama has shown his blackness is as deep as the next vote. His promises to transcend race, transparent politics and honesty have been underscored by his non stands on issues that are very important to all races. His older 'followers' are already leaving the 'planet' according to exit polls. He is aware and campaigns extensively in college areas and very heavily where he can sign voters who are not as educated on the issues as can be and still follow the hype of whatever he is spewing that day.
    His core of upper-educated whites started abandoning him in Ohio and Texas, The Mississippi primary exit polls also showed HRC picking up white men and women of all races in addition to the above.
    Older, wiser democrats know in their hearts that the prior Clinton administration was very good for all of us. They also know Mrs. Clintons commitment to us never wavered, regardless of color or religion.
    There are so many contradictions to Mr Obama's public image coming forward now. His long standing claim to 'accept no funds from lobbyists' is a major albatross on his transparency theme as he is now #1 in bundled and lobbyists cash donations, his legislative records are an issue..not because of transparency..but because he has given 4 different versions of where they are and why he hasn't produced them. The changing story with Rezko is unbelievable and African Americans and whites can see and hear...
    So, I am not worried about real Democrats..ultimately they will go with HRC and like the last Bush/Gore episode, will talk about it alot for years to come. Its just too bad that dignity is so expensive to all of us.
    Mr Obama, with his lies and racial politics, led by his white advisors Plouffe and Axelrod, will have destroyed much of our progress to live as one nation, under God, with liberty and justice for all..
    too bad for our dreams, however, a real opportunity exists for us and for Mrs Clinton, to help us through many of the issues the entire country faces which include economic, environmental and the redefinition of true patriotism-not GB version.

    March 24, 2008 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
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