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. JLS

    Yea, this will bring the democratic party together. Let's see how quickly the liberal networks run with this...NOT!!!
    Can you imagine the reaction if John McCAIN made this statement. Maybe James Carville and Lanny Davis can spin this....

    May 8, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  2. Charles

    If this were true, why did she not beat Obama by 15 to 20 percentage points?

    There is facing racial issues in an attempt to reduce racism then there is stirring the pot. Why is she trying to create a firestorm?

    This is the same style of politics that elected Nixon (there is a great legacy), Bush (Lee Atwater) who is leaving another great legacy....is this the legacy she is telling us she wants to leave if she were to be president?

    May 8, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  3. obama supporter

    cnn
    i have sent 3 comments
    all deleted you are as racist as hillary

    May 8, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  4. Indo Tadka, Korea

    She has ultimately shown her true color.

    May 8, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  5. Robert Mpls

    Oh GAWD. Has this woman no shame?

    If she was right, she would've cut into his lead in NC. She didn't.
    If she was right, she would've trounced him in IN. She didn't.

    If she was right, she'd have gotten a higher cut of the white vote in PA than in OH, and higher in IN than in PA.

    She didn't.

    For the last coupla days, I've actually thought that the Dream Ticket (with Hill as #2) was just crazy enough to work. But she's strangling that one in the cradle.

    Her right-wing critics are right; Hillary's all about Hillary. Pathetic.

    May 8, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  6. Cindy

    How disappointing is she. Now she is using a scare tactic. How is it we as black people can vote for a white person be OK with it but white people would not vote for a black canidate. She really is not the woman I thought she was. I would have not cared if she or Barak had won but in these last few months, her true colors are really showing. I could not vote for her not any more. She is pathetic.

    May 8, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  7. BeckyB

    This is one non latte drinking, 62 year old white woman who does NOT want her!! The ship is sinking, Hillary, JUMP, JUMP!!! Disgusting.

    May 8, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  8. Tired of idolatry

    This is the disgrace: That people cannot disagree with Obama or choose another candidate without being called racist. Is it not possible to simply prefer someone else? I cannot vote for someone I cannot disagree with. What's more – her statement is 100% correct. Obama said himself that there are differences between the races – so why is it wrong when anyone else mentions the same thing? You people are the real race-baiters – screaming racism whenever someone disagrees with you or Senator Obama – Well, this "racist " will be pulling the lever for McCain if Clinton is not the nominee – and it has nothing to do with Obama's skin color, his church or the ridiculous lapel pin issue.

    May 8, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  9. AMK

    I don't know how she could be any clearer. Obama is getting 94% of the black vote. If his supporters are not racially motivated then I don't know what is.

    This is not race baiting....these are facts. If we are to be Obama-esque about it then we should be talking about it openly...no?

    May 8, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  10. Kevin

    Lee, a lot of Americans ARE so ignorant that they can't see through her.

    I am so happy to be a white man supporting Obama, today more than ever. Take that, Hillary.

    May 8, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  11. Shon

    This is exactly why the superdelegates need to go ahead and put her out of her misery. It was impossible to even think that she would know how to remain in this race without being devisive.

    The superdelegates were trying to give her the opportunity to bow out gracefully, but if she's going to continue splitting the party, then they need to step in immediately.

    And why doesn't anyone point out the fact that blacks were not voting for Obama until Bil frankly said he only won S.C. because he was black? Up until that point, blacks were very hesitant about voting for him. The media never reports on that.

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

    This is just more proof that this lady will do and say ANYTHING to be president. Her obsession for this office is scary to me. For all of her supporters that claim they will vote McCain to prove their point, I equate you to a jihadist.

    May 8, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  13. Mark, Phoenix, AZ

    This is actually a positive development for anyone that supports Obama. Since her loss on Tuesday, her chances of winning are known to be slim to none. Anything that she says will be perceived as being divisive. Comments like this don't even need to be perceived, because they are about as divisive as they come. Obama is doing an excellent job by not even acknowledging her.

    She is disgracing herself, her husband, and their "legacy". At least, whatever is left of it.

    May 8, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  14. Gerry (Pittsburgh)

    Just another example of how Clinton has "divided and conquered" her way into the most cynical attempt to grab a nomination away from someone (who happens to be BLACK and WHITE Hillary!) who has run an upstanding and honest campaign. Blunt might be one characterization of her comment, CNN. Cynical would be another!

    May 8, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  15. Anne

    Are you people kidding me?????

    92% of blacks are voting for Obama...that's NOT racist?????

    Give me a break.

    I'm voting for Hillary or no one at this point.

    May 8, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  16. Jan

    Wow!!! In "2008" we still have people like this dividing blacks and whites. So, apparently the other races of people in this country doesnt mean anything to her, just the whites. Take a look at Obama audiences and you will see a very diverse group of people. That speaks in volume to me.

    May 8, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  17. Bukky

    HOW CAN SHE MAKE THE ARGUEMENT THAT SHE CAN WIN IN THE GENERAL WHEN SHE CANT WIN THE DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY? THE CLINTON NAME IS (ALMOST) LIKE THE KENNEDY NAME... AND YET SHE IS BEING TROUNCED BY "OBAMA"... IF ANYONE AS SHOWN THAT THEY CANT WIN ITS HER.

    NEWS FLASH BLACK PPL MAKE UP 13% OF THIS NATION... IF WHITE PEOPLE WANTED YOU.... U WOULDNT BE LOSING. YOU WOULD NOT HAVE LOST IOWA, WOULDNT LOSE OREGON, AND THE DAKOTA'S

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

    Hillary will not help Obama. She is planning and working
    for 2012 already. Her only aim is to become
    first woman president of america Period. Nothing else matters to her.

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

    Hillary should drop out, period.

    Interesting though, how when the Black vote was @ srtake she touted herself as married to the *first Black president."

    She will change her tune to whatever song and dance is needed at the time.

    Dishonest. Unreliable. Selfish. Arrogant. Coniving. Too wealthy.

    May 8, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  20. Angela

    Her comments further demonstrate how divisive and bigoted HRC is. If one examines the demographics of those who favor Obama, one would find that the majority of his supporters are white. Hmmm, imagine that. Perhaps it is because they see her for who she is – someone who has done, is doing and will continue to harm the very party for which she said she would campaign in the fall. She will not be VP on our ticket. She represents the past, we are looking to the future!

    May 8, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  21. CKS

    comments like this is why i would never vote for her.

    oh, i am white...and i support Barack Obama.

    May 8, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  22. Grant

    She needs to go now! She is clearly in it for herself, and you have to be very naive to think she is not going to take this down the toilet. This is going to get really ugly as you have a rabid dog backed into a corner. The Clintons are ruthless people and will stop at nothing to win...WAKE UP DEMS!!

    Her mission is clear and that is to destroy Obama and she will do it. Good thing I am a Republican, only the Dems could screw this up....lol

    May 8, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  23. Doris

    Super Delegates please do something about this woman!
    This is the worst person in the world!

    May 8, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  24. cook

    WOW! I would say that im shocked but I am not. I was waiting for her to speak how she really feels. Its sad because this comment and her dirty tactics of pulling up old dirt from 2001 that is irrelevant shows how relateable to BUSH she is...Truth is black or white it does not matter we need someone who iis going to fix this country and put us on the right path, a persons skin color has nothing to do with how well they will do something. We just need someone to do this country justice!!!

    May 8, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  25. Sad

    Hillary I don't believe wants her Party to win unless she is the candidate. She had been planning this for so long in her heart and soul and She at this point cannot or refused to believe that she will not be on the ticket in November. Has she forgotten about all the Black Voters ??? Give It Up!!! The Numbers are not their.

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