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. TREY

    Desperation...and old politics..Obama was right!

    May 8, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  2. Cal Dem

    Utterly Shameful....she will regret that comment years from now when race is no longer an issue and Obama's legacy will be that of Kenedy and the like.

    Shame on you Hillary.

    May 8, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  3. Andrew

    Wow....I can't believe she's said something that close to borderline racism.

    "that found how Senator Obama's support among working, hard-working Americans, white Americans, is weakening again..." -H.Clinton

    Man, these statements from her wreak of racially insensitive overtones. I never thought she'd bring race into the race... she seems to somehow be suggesting that the votes of our black friends and colleagues are somehow less important than those of whites.

    Another reason to continue to support Barack Obama.... a man who appears to be colorblind, and who unites people instead of tearing them apart!

    May 8, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  4. Rob

    Time to pull the plug on this campaign – nothing like polarizing your own party for no other reason then your own blind ambition.

    May 8, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  5. Evie

    She's in FULL BRITTANY MODE! The woman has completely lost her marbles.... and it appears she owes "something" to Weinstein!!!

    May 8, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  6. sunny g.

    "White Americans"... yeah, way to play the race card. Hillary, please leave with some dignity & respect.

    May 8, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  7. Ronald, L.A., California

    Oh no. As John McCain considers the next 3 U.S. Supreme Court appointments who will impact our lives long after the White House Administration of any of the current candidates has ended, Senator Clinton plays the race card again. If it is her goal to win at all costs or sink the ship trying, then we will get the government we deserve and deserve the government we get.

    May 8, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  8. Media Blackout May 15th

    Has the Gimmick Candidate announced to her supporters "don't bother to go to school because I like you dumb and stupid" yet?

    Hillary Clinton, The Gimmick candidate
    Bill and Hillary, The Gimmick Family
    Do and Say Anything "08

    May 8, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  9. Steve

    I voted for HIllary during the Washington state caucus but her time is up. She is dividing the party, further dividing a country decimated by an incompetent administration and ruining chances to save our republic. She has got to stop her hateful rhetoric immediately and start stumping for the ticket, whether she's on it or not. If the Democrats do not win back the White House in November, the Clintons should emigrate abroad.

    May 8, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  10. Lee

    I'm confused. Was Clinton trying to say that African Americans aren't hard-working? Or that whites who hadn't completed college aren't hard-working? Or that she wants every vote to count in Florida and Michigan, but she doesn't want African American voters' votes to count because white people may favor a different candidate?

    May 8, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  11. Stef

    Seriously? "Working, hard working, white Americans"? She has lost her mind!

    May 8, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  12. carol in connecticut

    Now that it is clear Clinton can't win, she's going to continue to fan the flames of racial divide in this country. She has no scruples; she will see the Democratic party destroyed and Obama lose to McCain rather than bow out gracefully. The only pattern that seems to be emerging here is that she is making a fool out of herself and that she has NO concern for her party or America. Her only rationale is that McCain win, opening up her chances to run in 2012 clearly apparent by her continuing divisive comments. But Democrats do have long memories and she will be toast in 2012, should that occur. The Clintons will be true to their scorched-earth, win-at-all-costs philosophy. Shame on her!

    May 8, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  13. John

    Here goes Hilary playing the race card again, and will turn back to say someone else is? Come on, is this what we need to win in Nov? He she forgotten that no Democrat can win the White house without 90+ percent of blacks?

    This is the more reason she should go so we can start uniting the party. McCain already has had a head start in uniting his party.

    May 8, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  14. Yeswecan

    OMG
    this cannot get worse. She says these comments are not racial ! This mad woman will do anything. I am totally disgusted with her. She is dangerous. America- WAKE UP.

    May 8, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  15. Brad

    Why won't she just go quietly into the dark night? When will she break down into a heel-stomping temper tantrum screaming "I WANT THE NOMINATION!! GIVE IT TO ME!!"?

    Probably the worst play of the race card in history, at least Obama isn't countering with how important the hard working, black American vote is to Democrats.

    Obama '08!

    May 8, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  16. John Griswell

    Does she want no legacy at all?

    Oh yeah and it was Obama who played the race card in SC .... eyeroll.

    May 8, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  17. Lynnette

    You know, I've had it with Clinton. What she isn't saying that without the African-American vote to support her, the Republicans will come together and with her unfavorable rating, she will go down in flames. Although I've tried to give her the benefit of the doubt, she really doesn't deserve it.
    Get a clue Clinton, you will need the entire Democratic Party to beat McCain, not just the white democrats.

    May 8, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  18. GoObama

    STOP DIVIDING THIS PARTY AND COUNTRY!!! Please Hill... we're trying to let you walk away and save a little face but if you're going to stay in this "race" do NOT attack the man that is going to be the winner and the next president. Jesus, will this woman stop at nothing or is she going to need to be brought behind the barn and put out of her misery??

    May 8, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  19. Obama 08

    OMG did she just say that?

    She has lost her mind!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    May 8, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  20. soy

    ok now this is absolutely low even for Senator Clinton. I say Obama drop out and leave these people to their crap. Clearly America doesn't deserve you and thats it. We'll see where McCain and Clinton take this country. I'm tired of dealing with this none sense.

    OBAMA 4 LIFE

    May 8, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  21. Texasgyrl in MD

    No she did not say that her comments were NOT racially divisive! I cannot stand this woman. She really needs to quit now, get behind Barack, and help the democrats get into the White House.

    May 8, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  22. HAHA

    Please post this!

    Don't speak for white people, Billary. I am white, and will NEVER vote for you.

    May 8, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  23. Anette

    I raise you one race card to your King. Sad....Sad...

    May 8, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  24. Donnie

    I've heard as a kid the saying "say anything to get elected". As an adopted person, I am done with Hillary.

    May 8, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  25. Cody

    Frankly, I am an Obama supporter, and I am not at all worried about Obama's electability in these demographics. He will no doubt choose a running mate that appeals to such voters, and they will be won over. It doesn't have to be Clinton - just someone who has a similar appeal to those sectors.

    May 8, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
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