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. D

    How very sad. It is past the point where Senator Clinton is seriously considering her legacy as a vital leader in the Democratic party. Senator Clinton is beyond desperate to the point where she appears cartoon-like in her hopeless effort to maintain this ridiculous me-against-the-world campaign and her supporters should realize the damage she is doing not just to the Democratic party but to the cause of defeating the Republicans in November. Has she no shame. We get it, you want to be the President. But you've lost. Someone needs to sit her down and thank her for her spirited efforts but tell her to step aside as gracefully as possible. I'm sorry Hillary, it's just not your time.

    May 8, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  2. get real

    It's really funny to me that Hillary Clinton is being called a racist by these Obama bloggers.

    Every time something is said that the Obama supporters don't like (Even if it is true), then we are racist.

    Sorry, if I were racist, I would have never registered as a Democrat.

    The racist comments are getting really old and it seems to me that the only people who are playing the race card is Obama, his supporters, and CNN.

    There for a while, I thought CNN was BET. Roland, Jamal, Amy....

    Shoot, there for a while, even their republican strategist was black.

    Go figure. Get a life race baiters.

    Hillary 08

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

    Facts are facts, but no doubt Hillary will be called insensitive (and worse) for pointing out the obvious. Do Democrats want to be politically correct or would they like to win back the White House? Hmmm...seems like a no-brainer to me.

    May 8, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  4. Duke

    Earlier today, I had a modicom of respect for the lady –
    even in her continuously failing attempt at the nomination but this latest statement is just sadly disappointing...
    Not just because she said it, but because it implies the idea of any American who isn't of caucasian decent that aspires to become President of the United States can not be. This is divisiveness!

    Are we seriouly looking at this woman as a Presidential candidate to represent the diverse people of this country? Is this the story of the American dream?

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

    The true colors of the Clinton's come out. I am a white middle age woman, with a college degree making under 45,000. I hope that the media will speak out against statements like this. I have always voted republican, but will switch over to Obama.

    May 8, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  6. annette blake/san diego

    America:
    "White America"?????
    Has Hillary lost her mind?
    We are in the midst of building a nation-wide coalition of Democratic voters.............Black Americans, Brown Americans, Yellow Americans, Red Americans and White Americans!!
    Due to her outdated mindset.........Hillary is losing her ability to win over the majority of voters, hence Indiana.
    Hopefully, her "true color" is not emerging.
    .

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

    Great! Now, Hillary is counting on less educated white people to help prolong her campaign farce. I'm college educated, pasty white and well informed on the many reasons another Clinton presidency would be a disaster for this country. Not voting for Barack Obama simply because I'm jealous of his pigmentation would be moronic! But, it sounds like that's exactly what Hillary is expecting of those who did not attend college. This is where Bill C. should start wagging his finger around, while saying "shame on you!"

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

    I think the brain function has shut down due to "Hail to the Chief" playing in her head.

    May 8, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  9. Debbie

    I don't see how she has a broader base? She get's the white blue collar and older woman. He get's the young new voters, the black voters and the educated voters. In Obama's base she barely crosses over and get's less than 20% of that group. He however, when he crosses over into that group get's over 20% of that group. I would love to know where Hillary learned math. Even if you include Florida (55 to her 35-45 to him) and Michigan (50 to her 45 to him) she is still behind. These are estimates because Obama is either wasn't on the ballot or didn't campaign. They will not hold a re-vote and in both states she got under 55% of the vote, so it's still a horse race and he is in the lead.

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

    So are the Superdelegates just going to stand by and watch her take down the Democratic party in flames? For all of our sakes, DECIDE NOW and get this fiasco over with!! The remaining states will still have their say and their votes will matter, but someone needs to shut her down and quick!!

    May 8, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  11. Andrew

    I can't believe Hillary would sink to these low comments with divisive racal overtones. She seems to be implying that the votes of our black friends, colleagues, and countrymen should be somehow less important those of whites. We need a uniter, not a divider. Barack Obama seems to be a man who sees no colour, and genuinely wants to bring people together!

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

    The LAST card has been played and it is the Race Card. Hillary might as well just say it. " If your White you should vote for me because we all need to stick togther"

    She has now crossed over the line into Social MENACE territory. She is out of control and needs to be stopped before we all end up back in segregation.

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

    I am a white American NOT supporting Hillary. Its time for her to drop out of the race.

    May 8, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  14. Mark

    I don't want her...in fact, I wish she would just go away. Nothing like having a devisive/self-important figure who will do anything to win the nomination.

    Hillary go home...where ever that may be.

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

    Hillary is continuing this fight for her own selfish personal gain, she pretends to think of the American people when in fact if that were the case she would drop out and support Barack Obama. Hillary, you are done, do the right thing.

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

    I fit her demographic and I didn't vote for her. Won't vote for her, if nominated.

    May 8, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  17. Daniel

    I'm not mad because her comments are racist (that is debatable, and I would hesitate to throw around that word). I'm mad because her comments are flagrantly untrue.

    She is not gaining support from white Americans. Obama is. The numbers clearly state this. Once again Clinton demonstrates that she has little interest in an honest campaign.

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

    So?
    Obama has said that a majority of "black americans' support him. Where were was this headline? The media loves to poke at the bee hive to sell thier rags....

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

    Oh..I get it..Its OK for Obama to say African Americans are voting for him and would not vote for her, but Hillary cant say Whites are voting for her? WHAT???

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

    She is not talking for me or people I know.

    What is it with the new monarchy's in this country? The Bush Reign and now the Clinton Reign. We need someone new and vibrant.
    Hillary states that "The rich and well connected" had their President and now its time for everyone else to have theirs. Who has more connections than the Clintons? I guess earning over 100Mil over the last so many years isn't rich any more. Do these politicians ever have to worry about paying their gas, electric and mortgage bills. I guess the next step is to just establish a Castle and moat to keep us serfs out. Give us all a break.

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

    I am not an un-educated white person, and I still want Hillary.

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

    I am a "white hard-working American" Hillary. I don't want you. Period. What I want is for you to drop out so we can concentrate on beating the neo-cons in November. You, apparently, do not care about getting this country back on track. All you seem to care about is getting yourself into the Whitehouse. If you really cared about this country, you'd see that you can not win and would stop this destructive primary race and see that the majority of dems want Senator Obama. This latest statement by you just goes to show that you will do and say anything to get the nomination. It shows how truly divisive you are. I have two words for you Senator: GET OUT.

    May 8, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  23. Carla F. Mollica, Albuquerque, NM

    You go, Hillary!!! About time she speaks up about this racially divisive campaign. Obamy's been touting the "black" vote (of course, ignoring the fact that his mother is WHITE!!) But then, Obamy is a fraud and whoever votes for him and possibly elects him can expect this country to crash and burn! So, voters be advised – this country was built by white intelligence – let's keep it that way!!

    I say " if racism is good for the blacks, it's good for the whites". So nice to live in a free country!!

    Hispanics – it's time for you to step up or shut up. Obama will NEVER do anything for you.

    May 8, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  24. That Woman Needs to Stop Her Attack

    In other words, Hillary is saying white voters are not supporting Obama because he is black. Why dodn't you just say it Hillary? Everyone knows what you mean.

    But there are a lot of us older white women like me who are firmly behind Obama. You claim to be a Democrat and your sleeze of a husband called himself the "first black President" for years. The color of ones skin sure didn't matter then.

    Again, Hilldog you are NOT in touch with today. So many of us recognize Obama for what he can do for this country and us, for what he is and not by the color of his skin.

    Super Delegates, this is getting ridiculous and needs to stop. So please step forward and just let the nation know where you stand...the past or the future. You don't even have to cast your vote just state your intentions for America to hear. It is up to you to stop this division and polarization of our country on race. Hillary and Bill are wanting to take us back to the 60's.

    May 8, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  25. Tee

    After super Tuesday that became her plan B. To bring race into this election to garantee her a win against an african american.
    HILLIARY PLEASE TAKE OFF YOUR WHITE SHEET.

    May 8, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
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