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. mike

    You Obama supporters are all the same reality only counts when it favors your guy. Guess what you may not like what she said but it is true. Give me a break you think that winning 90+ percent of the African-American vote is going to win you the general. Stop being so cultist and think of your party. Obama being nominated gives the election to the GOP. You think your guy gets to decline to debate during the general. Nope and considering who he is facing he will get slaughtered. You all think you are supporting a man but guess what you all bough another idea just like the war on terror. Change yea I can give speeches about change does that mean I should get the nomination. Wake up. Stop and Think.

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

    How much white do you have to have in you to want you. Does Bill have any black – is he white enough? I have some white, but may not be white enough. What about the anthropologists – are they all wrong with our black female mother of all – how much white did she have. Are we all part white – what is pure white? All we all all part black? HOW MUCH WHITE CAN WE BE TO WANT YOU? WHAT HAPPENED – DO SOME PEOPLE NOT KNOW THEY ARE WHITE ENOUGH?

    May 8, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  3. Neutral

    Why is it, its acceptable for blacks to hate whites, but when whites hate blacks its called racism?

    That is the teaching of Obama's Church – BLACK LIBERATION THEOLOGY.

    Now, who is the REAL RACIST here? Hillary or Obama? Obama listened to sermons from his racist, anti-America preacher and spiritual advisor for 20 years. Even in his OWN BOOK, he wrote his HATRED TOWARDS WHITES and you people are so dumb and stupid to overlook it!

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

    Hilary Clinton's comments are indeed divisive and inaccurate. How does she think Barack is winning places like North Carolina, and which is not predominately black or even 50 percent black, he is winning such states because he has both black supporters, and white supporters. White americans are supporting both Barack and Hilary that is why this race is still continuing.

    If she had the vote of white americans, as she saids, she would have already won the democratic nomination.

    May 8, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  5. Caroline, West Virginia

    Was Hillary learn ANYTHING from Senator Obama's acceptance speech
    Tuesday? There is no white America or Black America. We are the
    United States of America. Do you think this is why HE is the winner?

    May 8, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  6. Anne/stone mountain Ga

    I agree. This is racist but not suprising. The reason for her staying around in a race she knows she can't win is to Hurt Obama. It's shamful. It's up to us tostop this maddness. If any one wants it I have the email addresses of the un- deceided superdelegates....What she
    keeps forgetting is that if Obama can't win without the white vote, she cant win without the Black vote....

    May 8, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  7. Robert

    I am an American.
    I happen to by white.
    I will NEVER vote for Hillary!

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

    Their last attempt at race baiting.....THE END

    May 8, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  9. Clintonmama

    Why is it any time she mentions race she is labeled a racist? She is absolutely right when she says she is winning the votes she needs to win in the general election. The real racists are all the black people who are voting for Obama simply because he IS BLACK! They have abandoned the only candidate that can win in the general election simply because she is white. And the Obama campain used the race card from the very beginning when they asked for protection for Obama because they were afraid he was in danger because he is black. They did it and they blame President Clinton. I'm so sick of Obama. He's the one that should drop out. He could never win in November against McCain. Wake up people, a vote for Obama translates into a vote for McCain.

    May 8, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  10. MoreOftenthanNot

    Those are shameful divicive comments.

    May 8, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  11. Just a Thought

    Even if what she is saying it true... will those whites that are Pro Choice risk having Roe vs Wade overturned? McBush did promise to appoint conservatives to the Supreme Court.

    May 8, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  12. Dave in VA

    Give it up, Hillary. My family is white. We live in the South. None of us makes $50,000 a year. And all six of us stood in line to cast our vote for Obama.

    May 8, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  13. HILLARY O8!!!

    BARAK OBAMA IS LOSING THE WHITE VOTE BECAUSE PEOPLE ARE STARTING TO SEE HIM FOR WHAT HE REALLY IS–A RACIST!!!!! HE IS THE MOST DIVISIVE FIGURE IN MODERN AMERICAN POLITICS. HE HAS CAUSED A GREAT RIFT IN THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY, AND WILL FORCE MANY LONG TIME DEMOCRATS TO VOTE FOR MCCAIN BECAUSE THEY CANNOT (IN GOOD FAITH) VOTE FOR HIM.

    THE DEMOCRATS ARE IN GRAVE DANGER OF LOSING THE GENERAL ELECTION IN NOVEMBER BECAUSE OF BARAK OBAMA AND HIS FANATIC SUPPORTERS WHO ARE THREATENING UTTER PANDEMONIUM IF HE IS NOT NOMINATED.

    May 8, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  14. txgall

    Wow, so white Americans want Hillary Clinton. Heavens knows what White Americans want, White Americans get. Never mind that the majority of states have conducted primaries and caucuses and Obama has won the popular vote—millions of votes from a combination of Whites, Blacks, Latinos, Asians, and every other ethnic group. Just give the Whites what they want for heaven's sake–after all, it's their country–right?

    May 8, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  15. pat o'brien

    I'm an old white woman and I will be voting for Barack Obama. There was a time when either one would have gotten my vote, but Hilliary has become so devisive that I can no longer consider her even if I have to vote for John McCain. This latest remark of hers to USA today was the last staw. How come if Blacks make up 20% of the population that he is ahead in the popular vote and delegate counts. She has turned into a hateful bit..

    May 8, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  16. Michael

    Imagine the firestorm if a Republican candidate said the same thing. The Democrat Party has become stunningly racist and divisive. Democrats are damaging my country.

    May 8, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  17. linoue - NY

    This is so shameful for her. She's like a roach "if she can't eat it, she'll distroy it". She's so full of you know what. Because at this point of the race as a Democratic candidate that should not be her call. she's really distrying the party because things are not going her way.
    I would have vote for her if she would get the nomination. However, with those type of comments I'd rather stay home. It should not even be like that.

    May 8, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  18. Bob, Lyons Oregon,

    Well, it sounds racially divisive to me, and I thought she was going to be more positive. This 51 yo white american male is not buying her argument. Her statements are disappointing.

    I believe Obama is the nominee for the democratic party. He has weathered the attacks on him, from all sides. He is the strongest candidate and I believe he can rally the democrats, including clinton supporters behind him,

    1. Obama has won 32 states, big states, little states, red states, blue states.
    2. He has won the popular vote
    3. He has won more deligates
    4. He has gained alot more superdeligates since Feb 5.
    5. He has raised more finances, from his 1.5 million small donors
    6. He has shown he is a strong candidate, surviving the attacks from all sides
    7. He has shown diplomacy
    8. He has plans for all the issues we have in this nation, and beyond
    9. He is very honest, tells people the truth, does not pander.
    10. He has integrity, and has ran a very positive campaign.
    11. He is a uniter, not a divider
    12. He has shown good judgement
    13. He has shown electability
    14. His supporters are from all walks of life, white, black, asian, latino, old, young, rich, poor.
    15. He is very dedicated, and patriotic
    16. He has brought new voters out from all walks of life
    17. He can win the general election
    18. He listens to the experts

    I think Obama is exactly what this nation needs, and will heal this country from the damage that has been done by the present administration. We need a new direction, and to change the politics of old, and get our nation back to good standing.

    May 8, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  19. Tara

    .I am very disappointed in Hillary. She is increasingly showing her desperation and this race baiting is going below the belt.

    Hillary,
    Obama is winning. What that means is that he has more support than you. African-Americans only account for 12% in America. How do you think he beat you...with Martian support???

    The people that are voting for you are republicans in rural areas. Democrats win in cities. Have you won a non-rural area yet? Two words: Operation Chaos.

    This is horrible Hillary, please stop tearing down the party it won't help you and I know that's your only motive.

    May 8, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  20. Dave in Albuquerque

    Yikes. How much lower can Clinton go? I thought the Bosnian sniper moments were the limit, then she went for political dissembling (the delegate count doesn't count moments), superficiality (Crown Royal moment), pandering (gas tax holiday moment), abandoning feminism in favor of becoming an honorary alpha male (the testicular-cojones moments), and now this. I'm almost ready to say that she can't possibly sink any lower - but she's still in the contest, so I'm prepared to be unsurprised.

    May 8, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  21. Lucas

    White, male democrat here. I support barack obama.

    this is precisely the type of divisive politics barack speaks about. it is not about white/black/male/female/liberal/conservative– it's too important a time in our country for it to be.

    obama 08– time for hillary to drop out so we can unite this party, and unite our country.

    May 8, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  22. MMB

    What he he!! is she talking about? I'm as white as white can be, as are most of the residents of my state, and we overwhelmingly chose Obama. Is she implying I'm not hard-working? She can go to he!!. I work, and I'm not in debt even though I can't loan myself even $1 million dollars. By the way, Hillary, if you haven't checked the population predictions lately, white people are becoming the minority! Obama is the new face of America, sister!

    May 8, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  23. Rick

    Hillary, I'm white and I wouldnt vote for you if I had too. So not all white people are voting for you, so your comments are

    MISREPRESENTATION and LIES again............

    May 8, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  24. Michigan Kid

    Does her comment imply that only white Americans are hard working? When I was growing up my dad told me he worked with blacks who worked just as hard as he did to earn their money and if they chose to spend it at our business that I'd better treat them just like any other customer. I guess he knew more about hard work in 1963 than Hillary does in 2008.

    May 8, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  25. greg

    since the media has gotten on barack, he has not won a state without a large black population... he's soup meat in a general election...BO Smells like dukakis kerry gore and mcgovern ... a loser...that's why dems have superdels

    May 8, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
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