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. Anonymous

    It is the negative attacks that for the first time I will vote for a republican. Hilary's camp started the negative attacks sometime ago. Obama tried hard to leave it alone. However, after the Ohio and Texas vote I was through with the Clintons’ did care who won I would stand behind the Democratic Party. With the nasty things the Clinton’s said I cannot vote for them. I think it is sad. I will say if Hilary is given the nomination and not have the more delegates than Obama I won't vote for her because injustice will have prevailed

    March 24, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  2. OK

    So who will be playing 'follow the leader' again? Senator Obama! Clinton can win the nomination and Carville pointed that out on CNN. But more importantly, the Obama camp is trying to say they said something previously??????? What a laugh – and don't be too careful – watch out for their spin. Senator Obama doesn't have an original plan of his own. He just takes others and tries to mold it to sound like his own. He has done that since day one.

    So – given Wright – Rezko – NAFTA/Canada – lies regarding his Minister – question of his own values (past cocaine user), nuclear weapon supporter – humm – I will take Clinton anyday over someone who condones and supports hate talk against whites and against these United States. He has lost 8-9% of the democratic voters in the United States (Michigan and Florida) by stopping any re-vote or the seating of the delegates so their votes can be heard. THESE ISSUES AND MORE MAKE OBAMA UNELECTABLE IN NOVEMBER.

    Senator Obama, please consider unifying the party by leaving the race and being the uniter you claim to be. Your brand of politics is not wanted by some typical white people....and it has tarnished your candidacy. Please understand that we want to win the White House and you will not be able to beat McCain. The ads will shred you...the country needs the White House to be democratic – please leave the process now so that the healing can begin!

    March 24, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  3. teacher

    It is the negative attacks that for the first time I will vote for a republican. Hilary's camp started the negative attacks sometime ago. Obama tried hard to leave it alone. However, after the Ohio and Texas vote I was through with the Clintons’ did care who won I would stand behind the Democratic Party. With the nasty things the Clinton’s said I cannot vote for them. I think it is sad. I will say if Hilary is given the nomination and not have the more delegates than Obama I won't vote for her because injustice will have prevailed

    March 24, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  4. c

    Go Democrats 08'!!!!!!!!!!

    March 24, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  5. Bayou Joe

    Barak and Hillary are like two peas in a pod. The only viable Candidate for the Democrats is waiting in the Wings. His name is Edwards. McCain will win in the fall because neither Hillary nor Barak have what it takes to be President.

    Richardson may have been convinced over a speech, but most of us are looking at actions not speeches and Barak is all talk and no action. His failure to leave the Separatist Church of Rev. Wright speaks louder than words.

    Believe me, Richardson will not be re-elected Governor of NM when his term is up. Hispanics do not forgive and forget.

    March 24, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  6. John

    Gov.Bill Richardson,ought to call the Obama advisers spewing hatred.Bill is a sharp shooter,and he can get the truth from these hate spewers.

    March 24, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  7. bill clinton

    "let stop talking about things we cant change and start focusing on what we can.We can't change the color of skin nor can we change those who dnt want change but we can be the generation of change who changes the color of the future for tmmrows generation.Lets not give in to things that cause us to divide nor be distracted from the real issues that cause americans to struggle." gobarak08

    March 24, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  8. kevin

    After Pensilvania Obama will drop out. Too many flaws with his campaign. His wife's comments and thesis, his pastor's comments, his foreign adviser on NAFTA, his political adviser on Iraq troops pullout. These all show a lack of judgement.

    March 24, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  9. THE TRUTH

    "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."

    I'm an Obama supporter but I admire Hillary for making these statements

    BUT IT IS NOW TIME FOR YOU TO "TAKE ACTION" AND SPEAK NOT "JUST WORDS"!!!!!

    SAY NO TO GWB'S MINI-ME(JOHN MCCAIN)

    OBAMA 08

    March 24, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  10. Ann in Iowa

    I support HIllary and if she gets the nomination, the Democrats WILL take the White House!

    March 24, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  11. An American in Canada

    Hillary R. Clinton will get the nominee and not only that she will be the next president of America.

    Obama and his supporters want to bring up the blue dress in reference to Bill Clinton. That was Bill Clinton, he is not running for the presidency... The name on the ballot is HILLARY R. CLINTON.

    Cheap shots from Obama and his supporters will not work...

    We want Obama and his anti-American gang to be vetted and removed from this primary.

    Obama will never be the president of America, he need to fulfill his destiny and work with the poor souls at his United Trinity Church of Christ. that is his destiny not the ruler of the most powerful country in the world. Not with backers such as Rev. J. Wright Jr. no way no how!

    SO OBAMA AND YOUR SUPPORTERS TAKE YOUR CHEAP SHOTS ABOUT A BLUE DRESS ' SO WHAT"! GET OVER IT., UNLIKE YOU AND YOUR CHURCH WE LEARN TO FORGIVE A MAN'S WEAKNESS AND MISTAKES.... THAT IS BECAUSE WE ARE TRUE CHRISTIANS

    March 24, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  12. enomisa

    What bothered me most about Obama's race speech was when he tried to comparing his white grandmother to pastor Wright.

    How can you compare the attitude of a rural white woman of 40 years ago ( i.e the attitude of those times) with the hateful and racist rantings of a man of God in contemporary times?

    His Grandmother obviously grew and overcame/ changed her bias and bigotry and loved and raisedO bama. Wright has not changed and has overcome nothing. Worst of all HIS hate was not private fears but Public bias from the pulpit.

    Isn't that what is happening in the mIddle east today? The hatred is taught and fueled by Clerics under the guise of liberation theology.

    March 24, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  13. Doc Jerome

    That's tough. I think the CNN should start reporting on the erroneous nature of Sen. Clintons experience as it pertains to Bosnia, NAFTA, and the Irish peace negotiations. In short, she lied. At least try being fair and balanced.

    March 24, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  14. eric_stay

    My choices for the presidential candidates are clear... HIllary , then McCain then Homer Simpson and then ..may be I will just stay home..

    HILLARY / Edwards '08..

    March 24, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  15. Amused, Las Vegas

    I find it so interesting that there is so much hateful verbiage against Hillary Clinton going on here.

    According to the Gallup polls, Hiliary Clinton was the most admired woman in the world, every year from 1993 through 2007, except for slipping to 2nd behind Laura Bush in 2001.

    That's a pretty impressive record.

    But in this "but what have you done for me lately" world, everything she has done in that time to earn that sort of praise is considered irrelevant.

    March 24, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  16. Helen

    Greg, your comments only shows that you are not a True Democrat.
    Mc Cain is a good Man I will admit ! But All you Obama Supporters – you are all in party Caucus Mood – you need to take your future seriously..... Oh, McCain can and will deliver – he will be a better alternative to OBAMA.

    March 24, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  17. ralph

    I am supporting Hillary. If Obama gets the nomination I will vote for Senator John Mc Cain. I trust Hillary or Mc Cain to be Commander In Chief.

    March 24, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  18. tracker

    Are you people kidding??OBAMA should not be running for president...Richards is a back stabber and this was already a done deal at one of the election states..he is so honest he denied it at the time..Who cares if you vote for mc Cain it is people like you that put Bush in the second time..Guess you suffered along with the rest of us...Obama is a racist..brought race into this whole campaign then turned the tables..He has lied a hundred times and you people can't see it in pictures...His minister the great WRIGHT has said it for him but you haven't caught that either..He is trying to turn the tables on the white race right now bye turning the African american race against the Clinton's..Yea who was it that was there for them ???OH THE CLINTON's..GO HILLARY AND KEEP OUR COUNTRY FOR THE AMERICAN PEOPLE..

    March 24, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  19. Norm

    "He makes Obama look like a school boy."

    He isn't?LOL

    March 24, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  20. Ray

    I live in upstate NY. Hillary is full of it when she criticizes anyone on the economy!

    In 2000 she ran for her first term in the senate and promised upstate NY that she would create 200,000 NEW jobs before the end of her first term. That's right....200,000!! Upstate NY has instead LOST tens of thousands of jobs since 2000.

    She was asked about this during a debate by moderator Tim Russert, himself a Buffalo native. She replied that she made that promise (at least she didn't deny it) because she thought Al Gore would become president.

    Huh?

    Say what you want about Bush, but during his administration the country has added over ten million NEW jobs. The country experienced a record 52 straight months of job growth. The country enjoyed historic lows in unemployment, interest rates, and inflation.

    Despite this nation-wide growth, Clinton couldn't deliver ANY jobs to us upstaters.

    This woman is an idiot who thinks she should be Queen of the United States and now can't handle the pressure of having some no-name without any accomplishments defeat her.

    Face it Obama-maniacs, even you have to admit that your guy has accomplished zero beyond voting "present" during every tough issue that came up while he was in the Illinois state legislature.

    McCain wins 40 states.

    March 24, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  21. Nathan

    Give Hilary Clinton credit. This is how she should have been speaking all along. If she continues it, she deserves respect and admiration. Obama supporters, watch what you say. You will not defeat the Republicans if the Democratic party is split.

    March 24, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  22. Mike

    Obama is such a nice guy, he has his people do all the bad stuff and then acts like he knows nothing about it.

    However Obama only personally attacks his own grandmother and uses her to show how racist she is to dilute the Rev. Wright issues. What a loving grandson.

    I am glad I am not related to Obama because he would use me for his political career too.

    March 24, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  23. Norm

    "Elsa March 24th, 2008 4:51 pm ET
    Bravo to Carville for saying the truth. The timing Richardson chose was non other than back stabbing.'
    And Bravo to you!

    March 24, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  24. Arkansas Undertaker

    The Democratic Party is doomed this fall! After this bitter primary fight there are going to be a lot of hurt feelings and bruised egos.

    Someone needs to step down and stop giving the Republicans all of this ammunition to destroy us in the fall.

    March 24, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  25. Robb, New York

    Party unity? Big talk from Hillary "It's 3 a.m." Clinton, who has done more to ruin the Democratic Party, in this one campaign than the Democratic Party has done in the last eight years. Especially since her husband, in his usual backhanded way, inferred that McCain and Clinton were more American than Obama is. Is this what you mean by party unity, Hillary? Divide and conquer and force whoever is left to unite behind you? Earth to Hillary supporters: Hillary is destroying this party and its chances to win in November. Her kind of politics are going to carry over to the general election, and it won't work against John McCain. Either pick her for a guaranteed loss and destroy the party, or get your hopes behind Obama, who for all the Jeremiah Wright talk still has a better chance of uniting people and beating the Republicans.

    March 24, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
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