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. FedUpInOhio

    I don't think she has a clue who "White America" is. Do us white people who completed college not count in the equation? Are we not white? I have a college degree, I am an older female, Middle income wage bracket, and I voted for Obama. My dad is a retired steel worker, as blue collar as they come, and he and my mom voted for Obama. You just think you know the voters and what they want, but you are clueless. If the math doesn't work for her she just shuffles all us "numbers" around to fit her latest equation.

    May 8, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  2. Steve P. Atlanta, GA

    Look, let's not kid ourselves here.

    There is a very unsavory trait Hillary Clinton is now exhibting – one that seems to abound in many White women. That of subscribing to what she and others of a similar mindset often resort to when the walls seem to be closing in on their dreams and expectations – play the racial divide card and hope that their fortunes will subsequently reverse course.

    Susan Smith did exactly the same thing. and as far as I'm concerned the Clintons are nothing more than opportunistic scum. If Obama dare recruit Hillary as her running mate he can forget the Black vote.

    May 8, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  3. vli

    Jeanne , I don't fit her democraphics, and I voted for her.

    I am one of the well to do!!!

    May 8, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  4. Manuel

    Obama is trying to transcend race.
    Hillary wants to exploit race.
    Please drop out now!

    May 8, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  5. Martie

    It's time for Hillary to call it quits. The devisiveness she is causing has now hit a new low. I am a 60 year old, white female with a high school diploma and work full time as an office manager (according to Hillary, I'm her base). However I am supporting BO because I believe he can deliver the change this country needs, but more than that, I think he can bring this country together again. Hillary needs to stop talking, get off her pedalstool and admit that Barack is the better candidate. Take your marbles and go home Hilly.

    May 8, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  6. Dan J

    So when Obama said black Americans prefer him, he WASN'T race baiting? Why the double standard with Obama supporters. I love how self-centered his supporters can be. Just because you guys are white and don't like her doesn't mean that the majority of whites don't like her.

    Guess what? I'm black, and I support Clinton. Does that mean that alls blacks support Clinton?

    May 8, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  7. QimiTC

    Wow, she really dug her own death pit here...

    and I am, or was a Hilary supporter...

    It's time to drop out save some dignity...

    May 8, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  8. Linda

    WE need a floor fight in aug. I say rip the DNC apart. America is in the center, and the left wing fools should start their owen party, and it the communist, and gays

    May 8, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  9. jd

    This is a big "so what" Barry has all the support from the black people and it's not a big issue......wake up people......

    May 8, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  10. TexasWhiteWoman

    This "white woman" is for Barack Obama. Don't let Clinton fool you – she doesn't have as much of a grip on us as she thinks she does. Many of my white sisters are also for Obama.

    May 8, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  11. Kim

    Hard to fathom a statement like that. I really think this country is much further along toward the end of racism & bigotry such as this. Barack wll prove it soon enough.

    May 8, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  12. Jose Lopez

    Based on her comments, it seems she is saying the less educated white voters are for her.

    I guess, they do not know any better.

    May 8, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  13. T. Welch

    to FloridaVoter – why are you even commenting, your vote didn't count! Some brillant minds down there, huh?!

    May 8, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  14. Big Tex

    How much lower will this woman go before this whole thing is over is anyone's guess. The Clinton brand is for ever destroyed! They don't seem to care anyway. Say anything, do anything, move the goal post several times to win, Billary. That's why she is Hell-ary. I will gladly vote for any capable lady any day for the Presidency but this one. She is lower than dirt. No wonder her 'friends' are abandoning her in droves. God save us from this divisive figure.

    May 8, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  15. Amy

    Hillary, I got news for you.

    I'm about as white as they come.

    And I don't want you.

    May 8, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  16. tori

    White female here, laughing at the struggling Hillary supporters.
    Let it go.
    Obama '08

    May 8, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  17. Brian, Colorado Springs, CO

    Rick, Obama doesn't say things like "Black people want me, so that means I'm best".

    Jeeze, give it up. I'll never vote for Clinton. If the Super Delegats go against the popular/pledged delegate vote, I will NEVER vote democrat again.

    May 8, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  18. Oh My God!

    What a load! Pretty soon she'll start saying that whites with blond hair and blue eyes with a high school education, but no college, who work with their hands, but not with their feet , support her.

    She's grasping at straws. Please, someone, give her a clue and get her to get out of the race. We'll all pay for it in the end!!

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

    Linda wrote: "92 % of blacks voted for his majustice obama, and that isn't racist. The blacks are more racist than whites."

    Linda, it is by definition "racist" to label entire races, and implicitely all members therein, with a single adjective. "Whites" are not racist. "Blacks" are not racist. I do not know your race, and won't presume to guess. From your comment though, it is apparent that you, Linda, are racist.

    May 8, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  20. Shane

    None of this matters, Obama will lose to McCain if he wins the nomination.

    Democrats' only chance is Hillary.

    As a McCain supporter..I encourage you..go ahead..nominate Obama :)

    May 8, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  21. Xango

    I am a Latina and a strong supporter of Obama
    I know many of my diverse friends, (female, male, mixed races, AA, Asians, Latinos, and all ) we are all supporting Obama
    but Clinton like limbaugh continue in the same old same old,
    she is looking more and more republican

    she should run for VP with McCain

    she is crazy

    how can she even still be talking.

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

    HAVE YOU READ THE NEWS???????? ALL YOU READ IS THAT THE BLACK POPULATION IS VOTING FOR OBAMA? SO WHAT IS WRONG, FOR HER TO SAY– THAT THE WHITE IS VOTING FOR HER. BOTH ARE VOTING FOR BOTH CANDIDATES. WHITE & BLACK. GO HILLARY.

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

    Great way to lose the support of Latinos and other minorities! Only the white man should rule? What a Goldwater gal you are, you only went Dem for Bill, anyways...

    May 8, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  24. Linda

    Clinton's bigotry is now out in the open. Ever since South Carolina,I wondered. As a white voter, I would rather go with Obama, who tries to unite rather than divide.

    The superdelegates now have an obligation to stop this kind of bigotry before the Clintons tear the country apart.

    Shame on the Clintons. It's really, really sad to see the two of them ruin their reputation.

    May 8, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  25. CJ

    This hard-working white woman who came from a blue collar family is 100% behind Barack Obama.

    May 8, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
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