May 8th, 2008
12:03 PM ET
3 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. FloridaVoter

    I am a conservative Democrat who simply cannot bring myself to vote for Obama in November (There is something to be said about the MOST LIBERAL VOTING RECORD in the US senate). Conservative Democrats will NOT have it. Period!

    Hillary or McCain 08!
    Hillary or McCain 08!
    Hillary or McCain 08!

    May 8, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  2. Kim

    I think the polls show this is true whether we like it or not. Obama has got to reach out to the older white Americans(like myself) if he wants to win in November.

    May 8, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  3. Glenn

    Senator Feinstein after Hillary's racist remarks how can you continue to support her? You and any other superdelegate that continues to support Hillary after these racist remarks are just as racist yourselves by your support of her and by not denouncing her and her remarks. Your silence is acceptanceof racism! This Clinton campaign is self distructing.

    May 8, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  4. JIM FAWCETT, HOUSTON

    Hurray for Hillary!! She says what no other politician has the guts to say: the majority of white people do not want Obama to be president. And the whites for Obama are tripping over their guilt. Let the world see how liberal we really are. I wonder how many of these liberals would want to entertain inter-racial marriage in their own families.

    May 8, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  5. b

    It's so sad that Hillary is once again playing the race card.

    She's not only splitting the party, she's dividing the country.

    May 8, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  6. Joseph, Los Angeles

    Oh my... Just when I was beginning to feel for her as a person and understanding the dissapointment she is going through, she throws us this. I was thinking this moring that a VP spot would be great for her. After this, I can no longer see her as a leader for this country in any capacity.

    May 8, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  7. KURT

    OH WOW, THIS IS VERY SHOCKING, THIS IS THE LOW OF ALL LOWS, IF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY SUPERDELAGATES DOES NOT STEP IN AAND STOP THIS NOW THIS COULD PREVENT THEM FROM WINNING THE GENERAL ELECTIONS, THIS GOES TO SHOW THE LOW LEVEL THE CLINTONS WILL GO TO DESTROY THIS PARTY, MY WARNING TO MR OBAMA IS TO WATCH HIS BACK, BECAUSE I THINK THE CLINTONS WILL TRY TO KILL HIM TO GET IN, COME ON SUPERDELAGATES YOU KNOW THE RIGHT THING TO DO, PLEASE DONT BE DIVIDED AMERICA, WE ALSO KNOW THE RIGHT THING TO DO.

    May 8, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  8. Hello!

    She has every right to point out who her base is and isn't. No one has challenged Obama's 99% black vote – even though Hillary should have garnered half of those. The media has never asked Obama what he has achieved for the black community to warrant so many votes from African Americans. She has a long history with African American's and it is a shame that so many have voted on race alone. This is one of those "conversations" that Obama said need to be discussed. Well, all of the "race" conversations and comments are in his favour. I think it's great that we have come so far to have a black man and a woman in the race but some many African Americans are voting on race. That's a fact. And that fact has taken votes away from Hillary, disproportionately.

    May 8, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  9. Liz in El Cerrito, CA

    I am a hard-working white American, Hillary, and I don't want you.

    I believe there's a lot of hard-working white Americans in many of the 30+ states that Senator Obama has won.

    May 8, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  10. goofus

    88 Hillary – you're right. We forget that the Democratic party used to be the pro-slavery, pro-segration. You can be the retro-Demcratic party candidate for change.

    May 8, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  11. RICARDO PHILLIPS OF D.C

    Clinton you are pressing so close to the racist line. The only thing you have not done publicly is to say

    N@gg%r!

    P.S Watch it only a matter of time

    "UNITED WE STAND, OBAMA IN DEMAND"

    May 8, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  12. Richard, FL

    Hillary really deserves credit for saying that she is attracting the less-educated voters. It helps explain why more than half of her supporters don't believe or trust her when she says it's critical to vote for the Democratic presidential candidate. These are the people who don't grasp that we are not only electing one person, but electing an ADMINISTRATION and a president that may appoint three or more Supreme Court justices that can change our lives.

    May 8, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  13. Michelle

    She may not have "intended" it the way it sounded, but should have known better to choose her words more carefully.

    May 8, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  14. Enderlyn from Toronto

    What a shameful thing to say.... she single handedly sent America back 60 years. Democrats.. wake up and unite for the sake of your children.

    May 8, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  15. ELM

    Well, at least there should be no question in anyone’s mind what Hillary’s strategy for winning is.

    Sad, indeed.

    White woman

    May 8, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  16. anna

    When Obama got support from AA's then all white were crying racism, now when white vote for Clinton, its not racisim right?
    Step Down Clinton, there are few people who still respect you, dont lose them too.

    May 8, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  17. Bij- New York

    She is a divisive racist who believes that she's better than Barack because she is white!

    May 8, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  18. Jessica @ work

    Wow, she's really gone too far now. She should have dropped out Tuesday night!

    May 8, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  19. Todd

    She has lost " it ".

    "It" being the nomination and apparently her mind.

    The respect I had for her is now gone.

    May 8, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  20. paul

    I am tired of this... can someone tell her to drop... she sucks....

    May 8, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  21. Jonathan

    Once again the Clinton's bring up the issue of race. I expect this from the media, but not from a potential President of the United States. While a larger percentage of whites are voting for Cliton, a larger percentage of people are voting for Obama, and ultimately that's what matters. The majority of American Democrats want Obama.

    Besides I'm white, and I want Obama to be the Democratic Nominee, so if you ask me her statement is another lie.

    May 8, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  22. Kathy

    Hello Hilly,
    White Female for Obama, right here, in FLORIDA!!!!!

    May 8, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  23. RL O

    This is one white American that doe NOT want any Clinton in the white house. I remember when JFK was bashed for being "catholic" (did we really want a "catholic" in the white house?). Hillary Rod etc., will say and do anything to attempt to get elected. I was one ill American when Bill was in the house. Sodomized and impeached! What a sad time for all Americans.

    May 8, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  24. ???

    Now this is a gaffe.

    May 8, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  25. Mickie in PA

    Oh please. I am a 65 yr. old, white, single mother, blue collar worker and I would not vote for Hillary now no matter what she promised. As far as race is concerned, there will always be bigots and ignorant people and it is not limited to the poor or uneducated as Hillary has proven. Her true colors are finally coming out - she will do ANYTHING to get what she wants - just like any other spoiled rich kid. Do I want her answer the 3:00 a.m. call when without sleep she thinks she's being shot at (don't let her have her hand on the trigger).

    May 8, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
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