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. DOWN WITH OBAMA

    On behalf of all "white voters", I agree with Hillary Clinton. DOWN WITH OBAMA!!!

    May 8, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  2. Seattle's for Obama

    Are you kidding me? How can anyone refer to Obama as an elitiest when Hillary has two people (herself and Harvey Weinstein) donating to her campaign versus over 1.5 million people donating to Obama's campaign.

    CNN's article today on Harvey Weinstein scares me in regards to where this is going next. Please let Harvey Weinstein know that American's don't need him or any other Hollywood type buying our next President.

    May 8, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  3. jackie

    What a shame! Hillary is finally showing her true colors. Let's see how much press this gets!

    Birmingham, AL

    May 8, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  4. Misty

    There is a pattern: old and un-educated racist voters go for Senator Clinton.!!! Go figure.

    May 8, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  5. Vinny from Brooklyn

    Hillary is a sea you n tee.

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

    Here we go again playing the race card. It did not work for her husband why does she think it going to work for her now. Some one needs to evaulate this woman she is not thinking right she is having nervous breakdown God help us all she is going to destroy the democratic party.

    May 8, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  7. Vince

    In NC, Hillary's majority of "White" people came primarily from the over 60 female crowd.

    Obama won under 45 the white vote in NC.

    Hillary needs to get out now. She's obviously decided to use the scorched earth method of politics. She wants to destroy any chance of Obama winning so she can be President in 2012.

    May 8, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  8. Jim

    So...., according to this story...., she's going for the stupid White vote? "Everybody knows that democrats need to get that vote?" Talk about someone who has lost touch. She's completely insulting the voters that she says she needs. The writing is on the wall, she needs to get out of the way. If the shoe was on the other foot, right now today, we'd all be saying "Barack Who?"

    May 8, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  9. Susan Lester

    No, Hillary. No, we don't. I really wish you'd quit it with the micro-targetting demographics from Mark Penn. You should have learned by now that that doesn't work. Remember, you don't get us White Liberals with college educations who are doing well. You get the White Conservatives with no college education who lost their manufacturing jobs and have an uncertain future. Luckily, those people aren't the majority of Democratic Voters. Heck, they're mostly socially Republican anyways.

    May 8, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  10. k mccarthy phillipsburg nj

    Who is playing the race card now. If a Republican said such a thing, they would be run out of the country. Where is the outrage. Obama had Rev Wright. Hillary said it all by herself.

    May 8, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  11. Kaye- Jacksonville FL

    OMG....what won't she resort to?? Is it even remotely possible that Obama could be where he is, in 30+ states, without the support of "whate America"? I don't think so.....Hey! I'm white, I work for a living....and I support Obama. She's grasping at desperate straws....

    May 8, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  12. Mike

    Bonnie,

    Why exactly is Hillary Clinton more experienced, because she was the first lady? No matter what you think those comments are exceptionally racist and if you don't think so than there is something wrong with you and the rest of this country. You are just like every other uneducated American with an opinion, you listen to the media and your candidate of choice and don't bother to question anything that is said by either. Try coming up with your own original thoughts instead of just spewing the bile that comes from the media or Clinton.

    May 8, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  13. jaymadu

    Race baiting or race pandering

    In the spirit of the campaign we have grown to love, Obama should reject and denounce Sen. Clinton.

    McCain is yet to pick his VP – hillary is officially available to work on his GE campaign, alongside Hagee, Rev Wright may also join them.

    May 8, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  14. ted

    I would say that she just made herself unelectable. While it may be so that white, older or less educated democrats may have been more comfortable with her, that does not in any way imply that given the choice between a black demovrat and a white republican they would cross the aisle specifically on race. This implies that race was the primary issue that these voters voted on. She is essentially calling her supporters racist and marginalizing them, implying that her own message and populim were irrelevant.

    I think she jeopardized her future here. The blacks will turn on her and the white supporters she has had will be alienated.

    May 8, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  15. Donald McPhail

    Disgraceful, insensitive bigotry. Shame on her! An INDEPENDENT voter she can never count on either.INDEPENDENT

    May 8, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  16. kb from iowa

    To make this appeal to the super delegates goes against everything the democratic party stands for. JFK would be rolling in his grave.

    May 8, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  17. beevee

    Such comments by Mrs. Clinton will not be helpful to unite the party at the end of the primaries. They only deepen the divisions. May be it is time for to rethink her situation.

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

    Once again, an example of the underlying Clinton racism. For years, the Clintons have been thought to be the champion of the Black community. However, now that they are no longer in her corner, she turns her back on them. This is typical Hilllary two-face politics.

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

    She is telling the truth. Period.

    May 8, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  20. Q

    :jawdrop:

    May 8, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  21. David Henley

    The pure, raw lust that the Clintons have to get back to the White House verges on pornographic. She's a power and attention addict, and she'll do absolutely anything to satisfy the craving. Including taking the Democratic Party down, if necessary.

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

    All I can say is WOW! She's going down in a ball of flames. Sad...just sad.

    May 8, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  23. Julius above Montana

    I really hate what she is doing to the Democratic Party now she is saying the nominee will not be decided with 2025, but the other day she through out the number 2209...(incl FL / MI) you can't change the rules to suit you…

    May 8, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  24. Matt

    Not this white guy.

    May 8, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  25. DELMARVA

    Alright guys. Slow your roll.

    People having been throwing the word "racist" around too much during this campaign.

    "Racists" are people who hate ethnic groups (other than their own) and perpetrate acts of violence against those groups because of that intense hatred.

    "Bigots" believe other races are inferior to their own but do not go the the lengths that racists do. I see alot of this in the comments on blogs. Many people are bigots but will not admit it or do not realize it .

    "Racially insensitive" comments are also frequent in this campaign.

    May 8, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
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