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. Thomas, Baton Rouge, LA

    patently false.

    May 8, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  2. sueroq

    Again , Hillary represents something that America or the world doesn't need. She is a bigot. I am white and a woman and I didn't and would never vote for her. Get her out of the way and let the Democrats pull together behind Obama, the candidate with integrity.

    May 8, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  3. Dissapointed in Arkansas

    What! I thought the person with the most votes would be the nominee, not the person with the POSSIBILITY of winning the "broader base" (white) vote.

    You can't debate/reason your way into the nomination. You have to win the votes! At least I think, you do. We will see.....

    May 8, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  4. Lazlo

    Poor Hillary...the numbers aren't there for you, your plans aren't liked by a large number of Americvans (and people with knowledge of the areas the plans entail), so instead of taking the high road and either trying to continue to tout your plans or drop out of the race (as even some of your supporters are starting to suggest), you take the low road and play the race card and try to submerge the likely Democrat nominee instead of going after McCain. The more you do this, the more I see you are more similar to Bush than you like to believe.

    May 8, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  5. Mike

    That's right Hillary, prove Rev. Wright right!! As a black independent, I've been telling Black Democracts that their vote will never count.

    When Rev. Wright said something just as similiar, White Americans were mad, now that Hillary is stating the same thing, where is the outcry!!

    Black supported her Husband in good times and bad times!! We don't have to support her the same!!!

    May 8, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  6. Hugh

    Nudge, nudge, wink, wink..absolutely anything goes if there's a chance it will garner a few votes. Maybe since she has already lost over 90% of the Black vote she sees little to lose by saying something in an attempt to attract the biggot voter who currently wouldn't vote for a female or a Black. This time it wasn't hubbie with the foot-in-mouth disease.

    May 8, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  7. A southern white woman

    I don't want that lying bigot as my president!!!

    May 8, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  8. Dave, NY

    Wow. Sad. Very Sad.

    ...and shameful. Somebody please escort her off the stage NOW!

    Obama/Biden 2008

    May 8, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  9. Karen from Charlottesville

    Hillary Clinton has an opportunity to be a party leader, but that opportunity will fade quickly with comments like that. she is starting to look pretty pathetic.

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

    Oh please. This is no different than Obama's telling his constituency in San Francisco that white's don't want him and defining people as "typical white" people. He's the most racist public speaker out there.

    May 8, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  11. Dean - Colton, CA

    Wait – wasn't it Clinton supporter Geraldine Ferraro who said Obama is only a viable candidate because he is black? That being black is an advantage for him?

    Now we hear it is a disadvantage?

    I'm confused...

    May 8, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  12. mama4obama

    Working White Woman who supports Barack Obama for his vision and integrity. First time in my life that I feel like we actually have a chance at change.

    OBAMA 08

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

    WERE ANY OF YOU COMPLAINING WHEN THE BLACK COMMUNITY WHEN 90% FOR BILL CLINTON.... AND EVERY OTHER DEMOCRAT IN RECENT HISTORY

    where you idiot complaining when black people went 90% for Gore or 90% for Kerry?

    fact is blacks have alway voted 90% for one person and this is the first time that person happens to be black.

    If this was about race AL Sharpton would have gotten 90% of the black vote... THAT DID NOT HAPPEN

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

    This 52 year old white woman would never vote for Hillary Clinton.

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

    POOR HILLARY – SOUR GRAPES! ONLY THE DUMB AND IGNORANT WILL VOTE FOR HER.

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

    Well that didn't take long did it? For all the pundits that said she was going to run a clean campaign and then leave gracefully....not in our lifetime. She will still be picketing the Obama inaugranation. Please super D's stop this woman before she divides the democratic party forever.

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

    it's OVER HIllary, it's OVER. let it go. go home to billy and chelsea, you had your shot, you're out. if White America wants you so much, how come you couldn't win more delegates, 10% of America is black, that must mean White Americans are voting Obama too. it's OVER!

    May 8, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  18. Becky in Indiana

    I'm a white woman Hoosier for OBAMA!!!

    May 8, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  19. H-ROD

    HILLARY, STOP TURN AROUND AND JUST LEAVE !!!!!!!!! (yes Obama can )

    May 8, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  20. Your Conscience

    Desperately scrambling to parse some 'base' from her shredded credibility and dying support she touts she also has the left handed Native American Albino's populace locked up.

    Last week she demanded to know if we are with or against her. Well this white voter like the other sane American populace are 100$ against you Shillary.

    Do not go away mad Shillary....just go away.

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

    The end does justify the means with Hillary. She and Bill truely believe thaty are the best bet for the country and the democratic party in the 2008 election. Her campaign's biggest goof was at the beginning in Iowa. Been playing catchup ever since.

    I thinks she may be the most capable of the three left standing but I have a hard time with questions of honesty, ethics, integrity.

    Bottomline is I fear this mess will hand the Whitehouse to the Republicans in November.

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

    I am a “white” American and I find her comments appalling an insensitive. As an American I am ashamed that she is even a politician in this country. How can someone so obviously bigoted remain a Senator? I say that she not only drop out of the race, but that she leave office altogether. How can the people of New York even begin to think about re-electing her as their Senator after this debacle? She needs to crawl back under the rock that she came from.

    May 8, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  23. Joshua

    This is unbelievable, this has to stop, what is wrong with this women?

    May 8, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  24. Matt

    Hillbillary = Racist White Trash

    Ready on day one? To do what? Tear down the Democratic Party?

    This woman gets lower each day. I have no idea what great virtues her supporters see in her, unless petulant, arrogant spoiled child is a virtue. Worst.. Democrat.. Ever.

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

    Obama is supported by black Americans over 90 %. Aren't those people racists? Black people are racist too, with Obama's pastor leading the way. I cannot believe that they can get away with it. Don't sell your country short. Be very, very careful.

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