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. Chill Out-N-AZ

    The "white Americans" that she refers to are nothing more than the true reflection of the racial divide that has always existed in America. Why do we keep acting like we're surprised that there are large numbers of "white Americans" who simply will not vote for a Black man due to their intrinsic racism. Gov. Rendell of Penn. said it himself about people in his state. Note: CNN gave his comment very short shriff. This sentiment is reflected everyday in this comment section mostly by Clinton supporters and verified by polling data.

    People will always give the politically correct response to questions like, "Is America ready for Black president?". However, the prejudices, ignorance and intolerances that are a part of their core belief will rise to the top in the voting booth and on these blogs.

    The reality is quite simple, "Electability is the new code word for "Race" in these elections.

    May 8, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  2. David K in New York, NY

    Hillary,

    as a white New Yorker I am offended by your comments. Now you will have to worry about whether I would vote for you as a Senator not just whether you would have my support as a democratic candidate or nominee for Presdident. You just lost my support in any cmpaign!

    May 8, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  3. Diane, Dallas, TX

    She is a disgrace! I don't know how she can continue spewing such nonsense! She has no shame! And people want a dream team with her as VP? Give me a huge break!!!!

    May 8, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  4. Ed, Santa Fe NM

    It sure seems that Hillary's new plan is to spoil it for Obama because the country doesn't want her. So, the Clintons will play ball with McCain as the closest thing to Bush that will allow them to continue the sickening and power hungry Bush/Clinton coalition we've suffered under for years.

    WE WANT CHANGE..... HILLARY IS NOT CHANGE

    May 8, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  5. Robert

    Once again Hillary is trying to get race into the picture...this tactic isn't going to work either. I'm White and have many friends and relatives that are going to vote for Barack Obama...Not Hillary.
    I'm also ging to send his campaign some money...Not Hillary.
    Everyone I know say they would at least respect her if she would drop out now. But as she said, Not Hillary. And by the way, we all know it's time to eliminate Racism and Yes We Can by joining together for needed change.
    Obama in November!!!!

    May 8, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  6. Dave

    I've concluded that Hillary is nuts and anyone that continues to support her is equally nuts. I'm white and I support Obama. What am I to you Hill?

    May 8, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  7. Xenophobia

    Today is truly a sad day for America. Hillary has finally shown her true colors. Besides the racist comments, she has now turned xenophobic as well. As a non "white" latino, I am offended at what she has said. She has turned back the clock on progress in the US. This will be the nail that will seals the coffin of her search for the nomination. The DNC should not allow this!

    May 8, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  8. Dan J

    She's not lying. She's winning the White vote 2:1.

    May 8, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  9. Dat Chick is CRAZY

    OK HILLARY...

    That is the lowest of the low! It's time to pack up and hope you still have a job in the Senate. You are trying to force yourself on us.... America doesn't want you. You will NEVER be half the politician your husband was/is

    Now to make matters worse, you make comments like this, I was for you but now I must admit I am against your entire campaign and do anything for votes attitude... GO HOME!!!!

    May 8, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  10. mo

    what about hispanics and afircan americans?. she is very divisive. she should withdraw gracefully. We are all americans

    May 8, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  11. Brian from Fort Mill, S.C.

    To bonnie:

    All those people you mentioned that are friends of Barack Obama are also friends of Hillary and Bill Clinton – ESPECIALLY REV. WRIGHT!

    Remember Rev. Wright? Well, he was Billary's spiritual advisor during the Monica Lewinsky scandal. He was the one that helped them keep their marriage together!

    Remember Monica Lewinsky? Of course not, because she's not connected to Barack Obama, only the Clintons!

    Remember Tony Rezko? Well, he also donated tons of money to Hillary's campaign!

    Remember the Weather Underground? Well, Bill Clinton pardoned two of them before he left office.

    Do you have any OTHER names you wish to enlighten us with? I didn't think so.

    May 8, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  12. Marvin

    She has the right to be this blunt. Obama does not impress, brings nothing new to the table, the press favores him and dogs down on Hillary. If he becomes the nominee, it will not be because of what he is but because of media's and false commentaring about her. I am a Democrat, but the leaders of the party are doing nothing in favor of the party itself. Let her play all the way and prove herself even more. Obama...America is not ready for his "change", whatever that stands for. If he becomes the nominee: Mcain...welcome to the white house!

    May 8, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  13. jr

    who's the elitist now

    May 8, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  14. bill pike

    play the race card, what a bunch of criminals, turning people against each other, ruining the election for obama come november. when will she show us the medal of honor she won in the foxhole fending off thousands of the enemy. she needs to be with mcbush and russ to drugs limpbaughs. The party has to bring out the super??? delegates now and stop this. divide and divide is the clinton way to get their own way.

    THIS IS OVER THE TOP
    AND HAS TO STOP.

    May 8, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  15. neffpdx

    I'm a white female and I don't support Clinton nor does many of my collegues, be it white, brown, black, pink or purple. Clinton is more out of touch than anyone.

    May 8, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  16. nony

    shame oh hillary...why in the world is she stooping so low...just power hungry...looks like she has some unfinished business in the white house

    May 8, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  17. Erin

    I'm a white, college educated female and I want nothing to do with Hillary Clinton. I have been pro-Obama from the outset and hope Hillary can respect that the white population is not the only voice in this election. I find it invigorating and inspiring that Obama has reached populations who had previously had no interest in politics (or at least those who had not previously voted). Perhaps only courting the white american population is what got us in the current situation with Bush. Vote Obama in '08!!!

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

    He's the next big story CNN, RACEGATE or BLACKGATE.

    Hillary I once loved you..

    I will cast my vote for Obama.

    May 8, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  19. d4obama

    Hillary is a bottom-dweller. This is the type of thing that bottom-dwellers say. And losers.

    May 8, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  20. Zachary Pullins Sr.

    I can't believe the sheer ignorance of this message. I thought she was running for the office of the President of the United States of America, which isn't, last time I checked only White America. I think she will say and do anything in order to win the Democratic nomination, regardless of the cost to the party.

    May 8, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  21. Chicago's Own

    Now the real Hillary is coming out!

    May 8, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  22. rachel

    actually.... no i don't.

    but thanks for lumping all the diversity in white america together like skin color is all that matters.

    wow. this is becoming really sad, hil.

    May 8, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  23. Ted

    This horrid woman is self-delusional in the extreme. She fabricated her sniper fire episode. She fabricates her viability as a candidate. And she fabricates divisive issues where they don't have to exist. It will be such a great day when she's finally out of the race. Anyone on the fence should dump her immediately, since she's shameless in the depths she'll stoop to try to win the nomination she's already lost through her incompetent mismanagement.

    May 8, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  24. ed

    The comments here show a CLEAR racial fight between Obama supporters and Clinton supporters. I for one love it. Good luck with that party unity...lol! I hope the take bets on the election in Vegas, McCain is a shoe in! The Republicans are far more mature and organised than these pathetic Democrats. Much like your lame parties problems during the Carter years! I love how $400,000,000+ in taxpayer monies have been wasted on these to losers campaigns! That should let you see the kind of "value" you get with your hard earned money from the DNC. How many people could 400million feed? Democrats = spend spend spend!

    May 8, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  25. carlos gonzalez

    wow....i cant believe i voted for her in california.....i've never been so ashamed of myself and my vote.....she really is that ignorant?.......God please forgive me for my vote

    May 8, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
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