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. james

    Obama gets 91% of the "Black " vote, and that has nothing to do with race? Get real......

    May 8, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  2. Dj

    Lee,

    To your question: " Does she honestly believe Americans are so ignorant as to not see through her?"
    I say: I think she does believe that most Americans are ignorant. Because the voting has confirmed it. Anyone who still votes for her would have to be igorant after all she has sais and done.

    And to you comment: "...knowing full well she, herself, does not believe the nonsense she spews."
    I say: I think she does believe her nonsense... always did... but, for the first time, she is revealing her real identity.

    May 8, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  3. Dianna

    TIme for all the super delegates to endorse Obama. Such statements are inexcuseable. She has shown her true colors and she is not fit to be president, or vice-president for that matter, of this country!

    May 8, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  4. JJ

    I think one of the key phrases in this is where Clinton said "how whites in both states who HAD NOT COMPLETED COLLEGE were supporting me." That's a key difference. Obama is winning the vote from college graduates, the "well-educated".

    May 8, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  5. Tony, Wilton, ME

    That should end any speculation of an Obama/Clinton ticket. Sadly, it could also write a ticket for McCain into the WH.

    Maybe, the time has come for Hillary to follow Lieberman across the aisle.

    May 8, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  6. Jenn

    It sounds to me like she just said that non-white vote doesn't count. WOW, she just shot herself in the foot with that one.

    May 8, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  7. Steve

    I am a white American. After an outrageous comment like that, I guarantee you Grand Dragon Clinton, I do not want you anywhere in my leadership. Hopefully your term in the senate will be your last one as well.

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

    Why is what she said racially divisive? I don't hear people coming down on Barack's African-American supporters when they start spouting racially insensitive remarks about Whites. Whether they want to admit or not, Blacks can be prejudiced against Whites and this White woman has experienced it firsthand.

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

    I’m a hard working white american and I DONT support Hillary. She’s full of it. Her quote should read "dumb, uninformed and gullible americans want me".

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

    One thing I find funny is that people thought it was ok when Bil Clinton won two elections with over 80% of African American support. But people find it "racist" that Obama is getting about 90% of the African American support.

    May 8, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  11. Yes we can!

    That's why she's behind and we NEVER catch up!
    "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."
    *************************
    When Obama is declared the Nominee, he will choose a candidate to help unify this party and the democrats everywhere and she'll be in NY still accomplishing NOTHING
    *************************
    Obama has never made such racist or derogatory remarks about any of his core supporters....his campaign and supporters are more diversified than any other....
    ************************
    I'm ashamed for any black, young and educated voters who are supporting her....this race was never about issues with her...it was always about me me me, i'm the better candidate, i can win white people.....

    May 8, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  12. Caroline, West Virginia

    Did 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 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  13. b

    It would be good to see how Hillary backs her "white American" comments with numbers. Could something like this be true? Aren't we all just good ole Americans?

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

    although obama has support from a lot of african-americans, he never came out and said "vote for me! i've got the black vote!" that's the difference people! wake up! hillary will stop at nothing to win. she doesn't care what she has to do to get there. if it takes racially dividing the entire country that's what she'll do. this is so disgusting.

    May 8, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  15. Theresa

    The sad this about this whole race is that people do not believe that all men are created equal in the sight of God and the Constitution of America. This country will always be divided and will never change. Race will always be an issue.

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

    BONNIE- TAKE OFF YOUR WHITE SHEET. YOU KNOW NOTHING ABOUT RACISM, BECAUSE YOU NEVER EXPERIENCED IT.
    ISN'T THAT WONDERFUL.

    May 8, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  17. Kelvin

    She has sunk to a new low! Feeling rejected she now REALLY shows how she feels. I'm not suprised as I live in New York and have always realized she's a self-centered -– (fill-in the blank) .

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

    I, as a white woman from the midwest, fully support Barack Obama. What does Hillary have to say about that?

    For all of you folks to say that 90% of the blacks voting for Barack is racist – I have a better theory.

    They are not racist – they are just smarter.

    Barack Obama '08!

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

    I have to agree with "Concerned." It would be very sad, indeed, if we blow this real opportunity to change the political playing board because of racism. The people who say they will vote for McCain if Hillary doesn't get the nomination might not even be aware of their deep-seeded racism. Instead, they use issues such as "inexperience" and the Wright non-issue to justify their prejudices.

    I can see this clearly, despite being a white male.

    May 8, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  20. j.

    Well Bonnie you mention all of the controversy surrounding Obama but what about Hillary's Bosnia fairy tale? Let me guess she misspoke.

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

    "working, hard-working Americans, white Americans"

    This suggests to me that White Americans are hard-working. The lazy, non-whites need not apply.

    Is this the future of America we want?

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

    All of you Hillary supporters are totally delusional....what else are you willing to SELL following this PSYCHOPATH into into the bowels of HELL?

    May 8, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  23. Pat Davison, Ft Myers Beach, FL

    I have always been proud to be a part of the diversity that is the base of the Democratic Party. Working men & women. White, Black, Hispanic, Asian (if I left someone out, I apologize). That Hillary is desperately and deliberately stating that "white hard working democrats" will not vote for Obama in the general election is disgraceful. She has lost the respect that I had for the Clintons. Not what I want to see in a leader of this great, diverse Country of ours.

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

    For some reason it's politically incorrect for Hillary to point out a demographic that Obama is having lots of trouble getting support from.

    Go figure. Kerry lost the white vote substanitally versus Bush. Let's not kid ourselves.

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

    Here is the race card. I knew she would play this as Bill has done that against OBAMA before.
    I would not be surprised if her election team had anything to do with Rev Wright as well.
    Hillary take the high road. Now you are making it impossible for that 2nd spot on the ticket as well.
    May be you are asking OBAMA to give you the VP spot because the whites love you to death.

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