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. T. Welch

    To the comment made by Bonnie – learn how to spell and maybe more people will take you seriously. You must be one of those "non-college grads" suporting a racist like Clinton. Do you even have teeth?

    May 8, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  2. Slackdemic

    It is another lie. It is Obama, who is bringing all races together, thus winning, not Hillary, who has lost huge black votes.

    I think she should be more cautious before making such remarks, for this remark is not going to be as cheap gimmick as the so called "gas-tax holiday."

    May 8, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  3. Richard

    Oh boy! The democratic party is doomed with the Clintons around.
    I am sick of people wanting to win at any cost.......

    Obama 08 & 12

    May 8, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  4. Dale- from Canada

    Hillary Rodent Clinton has now stoop to the lowest level. In the gutter.
    When will the Democratic Party see what she is doing.

    My advice to OBAMA- Beware of snakes. like HRC

    Obama/Ewards 08

    May 8, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  5. Swampdweller

    White Democrats might indeed show a preference for a white Democratic candidate, although a 60/40 split is far from a bloc. But white Democrats are still Democrats and are far less likely to support a Republican candidate of any color.

    It's just another example of Clinton's fallacious thinking and of her desperation.

    Bill Burton was being kind to characterize her comment as "disappointing". "Shameful" would be a better adjective.

    May 8, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  6. Democrat

    See this is the thing that concerns me, how can she make those claims and the media sits back and act as if there is nothing wrong with it... She should be ashamed to call herself an American doing things to divide Americans or is this what American is all about..Power for us WHITES at any cost?

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

    Her next few weeks will go down in history fforever as the unraveling of her madness, mental instability, and diarrhea of the her judgment...

    She's publicly staging her demise and political suicide....

    May 8, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  8. Linda in Slidell, Louisiana

    White female age 57 voted for Barack Obama! My husband age 62 also voted for Obama!

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

    Divisive! Unacceptable! For the first time in my 60 years I am likely going to have to vote for the Republican this time around.

    May 8, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  10. Robert

    So this is what a desperate campaign looks like: Sen. Clinton plays the race card (the only one left in her deck, apparently), meanwhile one of her top supporters/funders, Harvey Weintein, tries to use financial blackmail to threaten the Speaker of the House and buy the nomination for Clinton.

    May 8, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  11. Tony

    What amuses me the most is that there are actually people (could they possibly be pro-Clinton? Nawwww...) who are defending Hillary's statement and, in fact, praising her for saying it. You guys are sheep. Seriously. Try independent thought for a change. What she said was shameless race-baiting.

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

    I didn't know Hillary was running for President of the KKK.

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

    Oh, Its ok for Obama to pull the race card but not Hillary? Everyday all we hear is how 90% of the black vote does to Obama. I hink it is entirely appropriate for the white numbers to be talked about as well. It is a very significant thing because the general election is run nothing like this screwed up DNC version. HILLARY 08!

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

    I guess Clinton is lobbying for the KKK's endorsement. Her comments are absolutely shameful and unAmerican.

    May 8, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  15. Daniel from San Diego

    I take it that Hillary latest argument to the superdelegates is "whites prefer me over Barack". Well, she is obviously desperate. She has at least admitted that Barack is qualified and competent to be President. Should Barack's race matter if he is qualified and competent to be president?

    May 8, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  16. Neutral

    If you don't want Hillary, FINE! Nobody is forcing you to vote for her or support her. We don't want Barack Hussein Obama, a CLOSETED MUSLIM!!!!

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

    It is completey un fare not to count delegates from Florida & Michigan. Florida could not hold an elction on time due to the Republicans. There are 50 states in this country. We all pay taxes, we all should be counted. On the Novemeber election we need a democratic Nomineee to beat Mc'cain. We will not go to vote on Novemeber if the delegates from Florida & Michigan are not counted now.

    Irene, Christine, Dawn, Kyle, Lynn, Dale, Sam, Corey, Mommy Norma, Rene, Anthony, Zackarre, Adam & Bishal from Florida

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

    wow.. HRC going to this level... will the real HRC stand up!

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

    Hillary is 120% correct. The biggest divider is Obama. He used the race card again and again.

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

    I used to like this woman and caught quite a bit of flack from friends for defending her.

    She is, however, quite loathsome at this point and needs to just shut-up and go away.

    I wouldn't support her for dogcatcher – ever!

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

    Any thinking White American, any ethical white America, any decent White America, does NOT want Clinton, who continues to appeal to our baser instincts, our fears, our prejudices, our hostilities. She simply illustrates how vitall important it is for us to adopt a new politics, to appeal to one another's good will, better instincts, moral and ethical commitments, and brotherhood. Barack Obama is the only candidate who can do that. There can be no excuse for Clinton's comments except that she is desperately seeking approval, that she puts her own future ahead of the country's, and that she has mastered the art of doublespeak, race-baiting while maintaining she is not. The Clintons have completely lost my respect.

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

    Hillary is not a racist, she is worse – she is driving a wedge between people in the hoopes that she will get the nomination. And if she does not get it, then the Democrats will be so divided that Obama will not be able to win, thus proving her point that he is not electable. What a Machiavellian stunt to pull on your own party!

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

    Clintons did a lot for the blacks,now they are turning their backs on her.

    May 8, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  24. Hill makes me ill

    Samantha Power was right. She is a monster.

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

    Look at her campaign team, Howard Wolfson, James Carville, Mark Penn and so many others. She is a racist.

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