May 8th, 2008
12:03 PM ET
4 years ago

Clinton touts support from 'white Americans'

 Clinton campaigned in Washington Thursday.
Clinton campaigned in Washington Thursday.

(CNN) - In what appear to be the New York senator's most blunt comments to date regarding a racial division in the Democratic presidential race, Hillary Clinton suggested Wednesday that "White Americans" are increasingly turning away from Barack Obama’s candidacy.

"I have a much broader base to build a winning coalition on," Clinton said in an interview with USA TODAY.

Clinton cited an Associated Press poll "that found how Senator Obama's support among working, hard-working Americans, white Americans, is weakening again, and how whites in both states who had not completed college were supporting me."

"There's a pattern emerging here," she said.

Exit polls from Tuesday's primaries in Indiana and North Carolina show Clinton won about 60 percent of the white vote in both states. That percentage is down from the Ohio primary on March 4, in which Clinton won upwards of 65 percent of the white vote. Meanwhile, Clinton garnered 63 percent of the white vote in Pennsylvania on April 22.

Speaking with the paper, Clinton rejected the notion her comments were racially divisive in any way.

"These are the people you have to win if you're a Democrat in sufficient numbers to actually win the election," she said. "Everybody knows that."

Obama spokesman Bill Burton called Clinton's statements "not true and frankly disappointing."

soundoff (1,572 Responses)
  1. Disgusted in Oregon

    She is single handedly destroying the Democratic Party. And she does not care.

    She will continue to cause trouble and when it gets so bad in November she will have handed McCain the election and say, "I told you so" to everyone because Obama won't beat McCain. And it will have been her fault and she won't care. She will say she was right all along.

    She is a vindictive, selfish woman. She has no good qualities. Her ego is larger than our national debt. It is pathetic that she has brought up the race card and the racist comments to start. I was hoping that America would rise above the racist issue by now. She is a white woman who has been scorned. Long ago by Bill and now the American public. She is not a nice person and would be the worst President ever.

    I will vote for McCain if she steals the nomination and I will work for the McCain presidency to swing as many votes away from her as I can.

    I am a white woman, well educated and over 45 and I wouldn't vote for that disgusting woman if she was the only candidate on the ballot for any party.

    May 8, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  2. sw

    What is the point of the comment of " not true and disppointing"? is the number not the truth? is "disppointing" really mean Osama disppointed at the results? Is amazing how people can ignore the truth and make comments like that? Osama is running a racial compaign with help of Jeckson and Sharpton, but because he is half black, people cannot say anything even it is truth, otherwise you will be labled racist, this is just radiculous!!!

    May 8, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  3. TheLeftNut

    VOTE DEMOCRATIC!

    John McCain = Elmer Fudd

    May 8, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  4. liberals' worst nightmare

    Give it up Obamabots with all the talk of "racism" and "bigotry"– she is stating a fact! If Obama came out and said "Black Americans want me to win" it would be true, also, but nobody would be calling him a "racist" for saying it. Yet another example of the double standard that exists in race relations today.... blacks can say whatever they want, even use the N word when talking to each other, but when a white person even mentions the word "black" and all hell breaks loose!

    May 8, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  5. Gabriel

    This sounds like a desperate comment from a candidate who knows her shot at the nomination is in it's death throws. It's very disappointing, frankly, and unashamedly divisive. I can't see it doing anything other than driving more super-delegates, and fence sitting voters away from her.

    May 8, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  6. mad dem

    how sad, that sen. clinton has to resort to race in order to make the other candidate look bad. This is the person who's husband said that they had done so much for blacks. Yet she utters these words. WOW! I am shocked, that someone running for the highest office in your nation would say such a thing. The best thing Obama can do is not even acknowledge this. Sen. Clinto is grasping at straws. I don't mind if she stays in the race, but just in case Obama does get the nod, she is sabotaging our party. Please think before you speak. By the way everyone has made this a race issue by dividing the votes up. CNN, just tell us how many votes each candidate gets. Do we really need to know what race the voter is or what gender or their age group? Leave that to the canpaigns for their records.

    May 8, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  7. Keith from Adam county Indiana

    I am white, I did not vote for Hillary, I don't want Hillary or her $ 30 vacation money. Hillary please go away!

    May 8, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  8. no2clinton, cambridge, MA

    She just insulted all those who voted for her as uneducated racists.

    May 8, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  9. mike

    I'm voting Democratic, it's not about race. Why does this women
    continue to rip this party and country apart.

    May 8, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  10. Priscilla for Obama

    Hillary you should be worried about the lawsuit that is pending against you until after the primaries. Is this why you are prolonging this? You are indeed a racist – bigot and I look forward to the day you step down.

    America for Obama – Yes We Can!!!

    May 8, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  11. Chuck

    This is shameful and sad that Hillary is abandoning all of her so-called principles in her lust for power. Why is she continuing to antagonize the black community.

    May 8, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  12. BB

    What a disgusting human being. She is pure desperation at this point, and if the Obama camp were as nasty as hers (and if America cared more about it's minority population), they'd turn this into something ten times bigger than the Wright controversy.

    May 8, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  13. H-ROD

    this is a very sad woman ! to have to sink this low but I guess if you lay down with low dogs down the hall !!!!! you get up with low fleas shes a low flea ! Hillary must go!!! (yes Obama can ) !!!!!

    May 8, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  14. Justin

    Hillary,

    You are damaging the party. You do not have a majority. People on the whole, do not want you. You have lost.

    To those of you thinking of voting against Obama should she lose, you're all foolish. He represents your ideals far more than McCain ever will.

    Sincerely,
    Someone sane

    May 8, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  15. Berat (Pronounced buh-RAHT), Park Ridge, IL

    I seem to remember CNN asking a question after Iowa: "Is Obama black enough?"

    So either he's not black enough, or he's TOO black? If that's what Hillary Clinton and her News Network want to push, I'm not sure that there's a place for me, or most other Americans, in the Democratic Party - or in watching CNN: The Most Trusted Name In Fixed News.

    May 8, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  16. White American

    Has she no shame? –White American

    May 8, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  17. ov, ca

    What is the matter with her. Out here in CA whites are now the minority so she can put that in her pipe and smoke it!

    May 8, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  18. On - Bee Leave Able

    Wow...is this really the United State of America in the year 2008, or have I been kept locked in a time capsule? Just when one thought that Hillary had some sense left, there she goes showing why it is time for her to quit. This is ignorance of an unbelievable magnitude, how can America ever move forward with idiots like Hillary running the country? I hope and wish that McCain wins the election in November, so we can all see how low this great nation (which surely has already been taken down by Gee Dub (George W.)) can really go. Hey, hope that everybody knows how to do the limbo quite well......

    May 8, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  19. Relevant

    This woman is undeniably on the cusp of being eliminated from the race, and yet, she is STILL making statements that she KNOWS are sabotaging HER PARTY'S eventual nominee from being elected.

    It's as if she WANTS Obama to fail so that she can make her case again in four years. Spreading lies and implications that are destroying her own party, for selfish personal gain.

    If I were the DNC I would boot this monster from the party and make sure she never gets elected to ANYTHING again. Oh but of course the DNC isn't going to do that because she's got some sword of Damocles over their head, so they're up there still saying "the race is still open!" which absolutely turns my stomach.

    This is what it looks like when an out of control frieght train jumps the track and barrels through your well-populated community.

    May 8, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  20. Ty

    WOW! All i can say is WOW! Up until now her campaign was sleazy with the attacks but this!? Next thing you know she will be polling for the KKK vote!

    May 8, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  21. Stephanie Pugh

    I'm an African American women, I find her comments to be very offensive and disturbing, I thank God that Obama is unifying people across the board. All people are created equal. I want to commend all the people who voted for Obama to think and look beyond the defivisiness that Hillary is trying to create. We as people of all culture and all races should stand together in harmony.

    May 8, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  22. Richard, Oakland, CA

    Typical Hillary. First she tried to sell us that she's the most experienced. All smoke and mirrors. Then she actually tries to paint Obama as elitist! Now this. She and Bill only care about their egos.

    May 8, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  23. get real

    It's true. Rev Wright and bittergate have sealed the deal with white voters.

    Obama cannot win us over. He will not win over latinos either. I'm not sure exactly why, but I think it has something to do with black leaders accusing latinos of taking black jobs.

    Oh, and he will not win over the Asians, Catholics, or Jews....

    Shall I go on....

    Think about it. If the black population would just vote with their brains instead of their hearts, we would already have our nominee: Hillary Clinton.

    Clinton 08 or McCain if necessary

    May 8, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  24. Kiah

    This is a sad day for not only HRC but for Democracy in the USA as a whole. I guess in Iowa, Idaho, Wisconsin, and the other states where White Americans voted, they were not really voting for Obama. In the last 2 months this question of White Americans has been fueled by their campaign. And Barack Obama has done everything in his power to gain their vote.

    HRC is the scum of the earth and instead of bringing this party together and this country she is helping to perpetuate it's divide. By saying that White Americans are all the Democratic is about then she can never be trusted to bridge the gap on race and help heal this nation. She can only be trusted to use it as tool to dividing us further and I for one am disgusted and saddened by her means and methods into the homes of US citizens.

    May 8, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  25. Braineel

    This is the lowest I have seen senator Clinton go yet, frankly I am deeply saddened by this sentiment coming from her camp.

    I do not believe that it is voter's "whiteness" that is making them choose her. The polls show it is more like those who are older and women who are voting for her.

    Here is the way you completely unravel her argument that her voters will not support Obama: If they do not Roe V. Wade will be overturned.

    Hillary's voters will IN FACT be voting for Obama in the general.

    May 8, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
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