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. we ARE bitter!!!!!

    Linda,

    What you forget is that, if a black person is racist against whites, it is justified. Remember slavery???????????

    May 8, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  2. TIred of Hillary

    SO THE REST OF US (ASIAN, BLACK, HISPANIC, AMERICAN INDIAN) SHOULD JUST STAY HOME, HILLARY? All you need is the "working, hard-working, white Americans" to win the election? SMF is she serious? It'll take the support of ALL Democrats and Independents to get Obama in the White House. I'm so sick of HRC. She is a DINO. (Democrat in name only). Please let this nightmare be over.

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

    Karen in Cape Cod

    What you fail to realize is that while he does have the majority of the Black vote,he is NOT running around stating that w/o it she can't win and she is unelectable in November. HRC has diminished his appeal and his supporters since day 1. Small state v. big state, young v. old, educated v. uneducated, and now she is putting black v. white.

    She plays into the divide and if you don't see that then you're just as delusional as your candidate and it's sad. BO has always tried to bring us together and he has the support of people across ALL demographics, and the areas where he is weak in he has worked hard to grow stronger. He has NEVER played to his strengths while putting her down and it's sad that you can defend such divisive behavior. But I'm surprised b/c your candidate hasn't taught her supporters any better!

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

    Has this individual no respect for herself, if not for the millions of Americans (of all stripes and colors) she claims to represent? Hillary your desperation is showing. How pathetic! The American public is far more intelligent than you give them credit for, yes, even the so called blue collar white folks.

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

    I guess your true feelings come out when the heat is on you! I can't believe that Sen. Clinton would stoop to this level. Her recent statement is the exact reason why she will NOT win the democratic nomination. It shows how desperate she is to win and it shows how she has divided the democratic party. I thought she would be someone who tries to bring the party together (black and white) but that becomes a problem when her ego gets in the way. Senator Clinton, do all of us [democrats] a favor and drop out. You cannot win!

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

    Hillary really is disgusting. When will the super delegates/senior party people tell her to go? It can't be too soon.

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

    Facts are facts; you can't change them to fit your needs. I have more than one degree and I will never vote for Obama because:
    He is inexperienced.
    He is arrogant-his statement that small town Americans will not vote for him because of their "antipathy toward those who are different from them" was clearly a racial statement. It is not okay for him to be a racist or to call those who disagree with him racist.
    He inspires hatred and animosity-20 years of influence of Rev Wright.
    He is negative-saying someone else is negative is, in itself, negative. Calling someone untrustworthy is more negative than saying someone is inexperienced.
    The media has treated Clinton unfairly-there is no excuse for their bias.
    He clearly copied all her policies and changed just enough for his negative spins.
    He changes his positions so often my head begins to spin: votes to suspend gas tax in state legislature, against it now; Wright is a mentor, a friend, crazy uncle, under the bus.
    The list could go on and on without ever mentioning his complexion.

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

    C'mon people ... a candidate can't get 93% of the black vote and not be considered a pro-African American candidate. That's not racist. It's just a fact. Obama has admitted the same. And when CNN looks at "the map" for pockets of African-Americans to tighten their projections ... it's to find Obama's base. Grow up.

    May 8, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  9. im

    I am white, and I would vote for Castro for president before I would vote for Billary. This is the end of her political career. All americans need to stand up and kick her butt out. America is a country in the pursuit of a more perfect union not radical divide. We set the direction of the world.

    Yes, racism does still occur in this country, largely with the older individuals. So the chance of Barrack connecting with these voters is not going to be strong as say McCain. But we need the best leader of today, reguardless of their sex or race. Barrack need those educated white voters to stand up and shout why he is the best candiate for president. It is not his color that excites young voters, it is the idea of the people running this country again. The idea that everyone should have a chance to achieve their dreams in life. The idea that that is moment is more about getting it right than who gets the credit!

    We need a leader that will engage the greatness of this country, not racial divide! I am just one white man, and these are my thoughts.

    May 8, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  10. Baby B

    This White Person WILL ONLY vote for Hillary and has nothing to do with race.

    May 8, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  11. Opiefred

    When did Obama ever say that the majority of black people support him? On the contrary, he has gone out of his way to say that enjoys support from all corners.

    Stop putting words in his mouth to try and make yourself feel better.

    May 8, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  12. Akinfiresoye Isaac,Toronto, Canada

    Trying time reveals the real individual.

    May 8, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  13. chris

    This is a disgusting statement. Based on the last few months i would conclude the Clinton's are definitely racist and have pandered to the African American community only for their votes. As a white American who has typically voted democrat–Hillary will NEVER get my vote. SHe is everything that is wrong with politics. She is Subhuman.

    May 8, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  14. KarenM

    There is a pattern emerging alright. And it is a pattern of division of this country by one who would claim to be a unifier. I am not a Black American, nor am I a White American. I am an AMERICAN, and I would appreciate it if you would stop trying to put me in a box that you think isn't big enough to hold my brothers and sisters of different races and ethnicities. "There isn't a Black America and a White America. There is the United States of America." And, apparently, there is only one presidential candidate with the vision to see the beauty and true promise of that great nation!

    Go away, Hillary!! Go far, far away.

    Karen

    May 8, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  15. 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.

    ps: i am white, small town, vet, who loves the Lord. unlike billie i don't tell everyone when i'm going to church AND i go to the church not the minister, and i give my money to God not the minister. You are jezebel if ever i saw one. i need a shower now. hello ol south.

    May 8, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  16. Elizabeth

    Simply amazing... shocking, baseless, desperate.

    She seems to continue to believe it would be better to ignore the popular vote, delegate count, # of states won, ignoring the millions of new voters that Obama has created for the Democratic party.... ignore all that, let her win, and alienate the entire Democratic party. All so what? The GOP can smash her to bits with their 15 year hate-affair with the Clinton regime?

    May 8, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  17. Comon SuperDels

    So much for letter her bow out gracefully. It is time for the superdelegateds to stand up for their party and stop allowing this to go on. She will shamefully say whatever she can to win a few more votes - and - SHE HAS NO WAY OF WINNING THIS PRIMARY UNLESS THE SUPERDELS GO AGAINST THE WILL OF THE PEOPLE. That would be a disaster. If you care about our party and you want these attacks to stop, step up and support the peoples delegate - Barrack Obama.

    May 8, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  18. AMEN from TEXAS

    RACISM will NEVER go away, at least not in this lifetime! HILLARY might as well jump on the OBAMA wagon and get ready for A CHANGE! She KNOWS she has lost this race and whatever she throw at OBAMA she will.........AND SHE's showing her TRUE colors!.......

    May 8, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  19. john

    bonnie you are a pretty stupid b!@#$% for your comment all of the scandal with every other politicianthats been in office, thats just white americas way of not looking past skin color and finding any way to not support a black i myself am white and i think its time we as white americans got over that stupid thinking we have been taught to beleive in ....

    May 8, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  20. Il voter

    please do not devide country for cheap gain. Do you want those recial violance started again. These comments really scares me.

    May 8, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  21. faye

    CNN I DO POST COMMENTS AND WOULD LIKE TO SEE THEM POSTED. PLEASE AND THANK YOU

    May 8, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  22. Jay

    I'm white, I'm not rich and I'm ashamed of Hillary and she should just go away and never come back. Expect fear mongering, personal attacks and racism from Republicans but not from the Clintons. Go Obama!

    May 8, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  23. Toby in Texas

    This does nothing to help the democrats. What she is doing is going to turn away African American voters if she was to get the nomination. She is doing herself, Sen Obama and the Democratic party in for the election in November. I voted for her in our primary, but I cannot support her anymore. I am a person who would have been happy with either Obama or Clinton. I think a red flag has been sent....She should know how to exit from this race. She is not a realistic person and thus could actually be a bad president. I think she should go away at this point.

    May 8, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  24. mark- Las vegas

    I dont understand why everyone is shouting 'RACIST' on this blog. Facts are facts. Look at the exit polls...a majority of white americans ARE supporting Hillary.

    Why is everyone pointing the finger at Hillary and calling her a racist?

    And Obama supporters are supposed to be better educated....sad....

    May 8, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  25. Rich

    What she said is just not true. Obama couldn't get the amount of votes he got without "White Americans" too. Did she fail math?

    May 8, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
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