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. JOHNBoy

    My preacher never talks hate...I'd be so gone.
    Obama recycled a 3 year old "just words" speech to make the point that our words matter.

    Then he spends his entire campaign making excuses for his words, Michelle's words and Pastor Wright's words. They did not mean what they said. The words were taken out of context.

    I guess words don't really matter to Obama at all, unless he parrots the words of the truly great men of the past.

    Otherwis, it is just words.

    March 24, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  2. Jim

    To all you Hillary supporters out there:

    Don't miss Dawn Turner Trice's column in Monday's Chicago Tribune.

    "What's striking for me is number of black voters who tell me they could never bring themselves to vote for Hillary."

    March 24, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  3. Young Male Voters for Hillary

    I'm supporting Hillary. Obama LIED to Anderson Cooper about what he heard in the pues of his church, and then 2 days later, admitted he heard controversial statements from the preacher, and then later again said he never heard the "most controversial" statements – please get your story straight. Obama CALLED for Don Imus to step down after Imus made hateful sexists comments, but refuses to disown his Pastor, comparing him to his blood relative. Obama THINKS the "typical white person" is a racist – please Mr Obama, describe to us how typical latino's, blacks, asians, jews act so that I may be educated. What's this about "street crimes"? Please keep digging your hole.

    I'm a young male voter, and I haven't been woo'd by Obama's "magic." The only change I see from him is when he speaks to African American crowds, changing his accent to fit a more southern tone. Please.

    Hillary 08!

    March 24, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  4. Alicia

    To Greg: You're an idiot. Voting for McCain is like saying everything Bush did was right.

    No matter who is the Democratic Nominee, we need to put our full support behind them in order for real change to happen. This country is already up against a wall with the economy falling and jobs being lost. McCain will only cause it to fall to its knees.

    DEMOCRAT FOR PRESIDENT '08
    Pittsburg, CA

    March 24, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  5. Ron

    IT'S GETTING UGLY..and it will probably get UGLIER!! As the pressure builds people get more emotional which means they will become more and more desperate!! Then when you add the fact the NEWS MEDIA THRIVES on this CRAP!! You KNOW if anyone on either side says something that SEEMS just a little questionable they will play it 100 to 200 times in the next 24 hours!! It's pathetic but is all they know. When THEY growup we will all get a chance to focus more on the ISSUES and less on the personality attacks.

    March 24, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  6. (82nd abn) veteran for Hillary

    Go Hillary!

    March 24, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  7. Maryzep

    The democrats have to be united. Unfortunately Barack Obama has not proven himself to be a reliable uniter. An even more important task during the ongoing election is to make it possible for the democratic candidates to compete under the same conditions. If Florida and Michigan will not be counted then Hillary Clinton will be severely disbenifit her but not Obama. If the party really wants to be united it`s necessery to let the two states vote.

    March 24, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  8. bond

    The only unity Billary believes in is Clinton stained blue dress unity. Your nose is growing once again Billary! Bubba will be jealous...

    March 24, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  9. Very Concerned American

    I know that after hearing Obama still supporting an unpatriotic preacher, there is no way that those democrats will vote for him.

    Maybe Obama will step down. Many many Americans are completely discusted with his deception.

    Obama should rethink what he's doing and step down so Democrats can win in Washington. He is destroying the party.

    March 24, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  10. sayno2clinton, cambridge, MA

    If she really believes in unifying the party, then she should admit she will not win the nomination by any chance and support Senator Obama, instead of using Republican dirty tactics and lying about her own "Bosnian experience".

    March 24, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  11. RJ, SV, AZ

    Hillary can't get the independent and repub-on-the-fence vote like Obama can. Besides which Republicans HATE her. She will unite the Republican base, lose the cross over votes Obama would have received, and basically hand the country over to Bush III for four years. And now if Obama gets the nod the Republicans have all this ammo that she has provided to discredit Obama. I can see it now...every McCain add having a Clinton sound bite praising McCain while tearing down Obama. Thanks Clintons.

    March 24, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  12. Michael

    I think I speak for a substantial percentage of Democrats and moderates, if my candidate, Sen. ---- (fill either Clinton or Obama, whom ever you back) doesn't get the nomination I will vote for Sen. McCain. And further I will not work for, nor contribute to the ultimate nominee if he or she isn't my candidate. I blame this primary debacle on two people, Dr. Dean and the Clintons.

    March 24, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  13. Deedee

    I heard Obama, say on Larry King, that he does not think the Clintons like losing... Barrack, do you like losing? How did it feel when your cover under Rev Wright was blown....

    Please do these comments from Hillary sound divisive, I have never once heard Barrack speak in this light.

    America, watch out.. If Barrack is nominated we are in for it!!!

    March 24, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  14. Maryzep

    The democrats have to be united. Unfortunately Barack Obama has not proven himself to be a reliable uniter. An even more important task during the ongoing election is to make it possible for the democratic candidates to compete under the same conditions. If Florida and Michigan will not be counted then it will severely disbenifit Clinton but not Obama. If the party really wants to be united it`s necessery to let the two states vote.

    March 24, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  15. Liberal but confused

    Words don't really count when it is Obama and his campaign spewing hate and insults.

    Then the excuses begin about how the words did not mean what we all heard them to mean.

    What a slick and polished hypocrite Obama is. The master of spin.

    Hillary is the only one who can RE-unite what Obama has splintered apart in his egotistical quest for fame and glory.

    March 24, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  16. Ardnuas

    The democrats are going to destroy themselves, and John McCain is going to win in November...... I hope the "smart" people will wise up.
    Obama/Edwards08 Si Se Puede

    March 24, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  17. eward anagho

    Hillary think she will do anything to win and she does not care about the country and the party as a whole,That is the patriotism Bill is talking about, to satisfy their family dream of mr and miss President and displeased the voters.That will not work Bill. this is bringing your reputitions down.After PEN. Hillary should politely step down for the unity of the party,she cann`t catch Sen. Obama in this race, even if she wins big, something which will not happen.

    March 24, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  18. Annamica, OH

    Stop reading what the media feeds you Obama fans. It's just as possible for Hillary to win as it is for Obama to win at the moment. Neither one can win the nom without the SD. If you were not in fear that Obama might lose to Hillary, you wouldn't be telling her to stop. LOL

    March 24, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  19. Ronald

    If she could just back up her words with facts and actions . . . she should step aside now and help rebuild the party she's about to destroy.

    March 24, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  20. Sante

    Hello, vote not for a NAME, brother, but for how COULD deliver!
    Ask yourself, if my life depend on a operation that I need , how do I like to be my sergeant?
    It is so simple!
    I choose Hillary, I know what I could get!
    Obama, until he finishes his long speech I will be dead!

    March 24, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  21. Matt

    Exactly Hillary, so drop out so we can get unified!!

    March 24, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  22. vic nashville,Tn

    Hillary O8 ! Only she can win against Mc Cain in November. Some top democratic party leaders and some media they don’t want Hillary to win if she not the nomine from Democratic party next president Mc Cain I bet money on that

    March 24, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  23. Chris

    "Just listned to Bill Clinton give a speech in Indiana for Hillary.
    He makes Obama look like a school boy."

    Yes through your Rose Colored Lenses.

    Bill and BO have a lot in common actually, stylistically, charismatically and intelligence wise. You should ask yourself what it is about OBama that you can't see past. You may be surprised at the answer and if honest with yourself, the healing will begin.

    March 24, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  24. Milo, MA

    I supported Hillary. If Obama gets the nomination, McCain will win whether I vote for him or not. Obama cannot take McCain. The Republicans will be in for the next 4 to 8 years, the war will go on, the economy might tank.

    March 24, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  25. Brian

    She can forget about unity in the party once a nominee is picked. I know too many Obama supporters that will vote for McCain if Hillary wins the primary.

    There can be no unity in the Democratic party when you have women voting for her simply because she's a woman, and minorities voting for Obama because he is black..

    I am voting for Obama because I believe he will be a better President than Hillary. She is too power-hungry, and, knowing about the scandals in her past, I would not want her creating even more while running our country.

    March 24, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
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