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. Sue, Chicago IL

    Hillary, whatever else you do or don't do please do not stir racial conflict in the US at this point of time. We already have a lot on our hands. And do remember this is not the 1940 or 50 or 60s. This is 2008. We have racial harmony now. You, with your kind of mindset belong to the past, you have no place in the future.

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

    Needless to say. I am disgusted. These are divisive words. I am white and I will vote for Obama. George Bush doesn't care about Black People? Hilary Clinton doesn't care about black people, well... their vote anyway. I wonder how much more damage she can do to the Democratic Party.

    May 8, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  3. Mac in Nova Scotia

    I am a 74 year old white American male who fought in Viet Nam while her husband was a Draft Dodger. I find Hillary's statement so disgusting and unAmerican that I can not believe that the Super Delegates won't endorse Obama right now and get this sick woman out of the race. I would be happy if I never saw or heard her again.

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

    This white American does not want you.

    Drop out, bigot.

    May 8, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  5. Ben

    Those who say if Obama is nominated are hard core racists. Obama has run a far more apealing campaign. He has far more charisma than Hillary. If he were white she would have been out of the race long ago.
    Luckily for us white people who are not racists will vote for Obama and if that lady can convince the super delegates that a black man can not win the general election, Then the whole world will see what a monstrous lie our govt spreads about how we are a democracy.

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

    Has she lost her mind? How can she expect anyone to hear this and not think that she is stirring up the racial component of this election? It is sad to watch her "do anything to win" thing..I will support whoever is the Democratic nominee, but I have been for Barack since I saw his speech at the convention a few years ago. Now both of the Clinton's words and actions every day now make me know how right I am that I chose Barack.

    May 8, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  7. nancy

    NO WAY! HOW DARE YOU HILLARY CLINTON!!!!

    HOW DARE YOU?

    THE END OF HILLARY CLINTON.

    May 8, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  8. Rom

    TO carolflowery :
    You certainly have a comprehension problem
    There's a big difference between "A big percentage of African Americans" vote for BO and a divisive/untrue statement coming from a hopeful candidate. BO never stated that black must vote for him and he never questioned HRC's ability to attract black voters

    May 8, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  9. Jessica, MI

    Sick, Hillary, sick, sick, sick.

    Remember when Obama won 94% white Iowa? How about falling 2% short in 95% white New Hampshire? How about winning Wisconsin?

    Is she really bragging about how non-educated white people are supporting her?


    If this isn't the final nail in the coffin of the disgusting campaign that was Hillary '08, then there is something wrong with America

    May 8, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  10. jfs Memhis, Tn

    Bonnie your response is typical of a person who is not only a sore loser...but one who fails to see the needs of everyone that makes up this Democratic Party that you claim to be a part of......... please do not be so bitter ........... you may not be in the right party to begin with ??? I can only hope that you are supporting Clinton for the almost identical campaign concepts as Obama ......and..........not just because she is a women?? That would be pretty shallow.

    May 8, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  11. Theodore

    That's odd... In the very white state of Idaho, 79% of all caucus goers voted for Obama...!!!

    May 8, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  12. DJ

    Hillary I wish you would just drop out already. America doesn't need a stupid liar like you to represent America.

    May 8, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  13. JudyAnn

    Get this woman out of the race now!!! she is a sad sad sad woman!!!

    May 8, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  14. Karen L. Reimer, Mt. Bethel, PA

    Nothing more pathetic than a delusional woman with 100 million dollars to spend on her own ego. She needs to go home and take care of her mother like a real woman.

    May 8, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  15. 1LonelyNight

    Black vs. White. That ought to be a good topic for awhile. Let's get a race thing going in the media now. That'll promote our policies and principles around the world. In America we like to talk about how far we've come when the real question is how far could we have gone?

    May 8, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  16. jacksondem73

    This is bad...I am a diehard,Hillary supporter, but geez this is a tough pill to swallow..,.I am in alittle shock now

    May 8, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  17. Michael in Dallas

    Well, it's true...but she's an idiot for saying it.

    May 8, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  18. Lora

    It is not black aginst white! It is rich aginst poor!!! Who are you for!!! Hell froze over! I drive a HONDA and I voted for OBAMA!!! BIGGOT NO MORE!!!! BY, Ricky Joe. AMERICAN RED NECK!!!

    May 8, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  19. al

    She is once again showing her true colours. No wonder so many people consider her untrustworthy, not to mention deceitful and divisive. True politician in the likes of Bush, Cheney, Mccain....

    May 8, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  20. Chicagoan

    Yesterday I was thinking let her stay in nthe race until primaries are over,IF(!!!!!) she will stay positive.
    And what I hear today??????
    Delegats,Gore,Edwards all of them MUST to step up now and defend
    our presumtive nominee NOW!!!!
    She is a SHAME!POWER thats all she needs.
    Ambitions thats all!!!
    Drop out now!
    Get out gracefuly,but I doubt it.
    Hillary you have no future,

    May 8, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  21. Dave

    Hillary appeals to 'white America'? Time for a "Reality check on aisle 5"... Obama clobbered her in Vermont. We're one of the whitest states in the nation and the primary wasn't even close....

    May 8, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  22. steven

    I'm white and I don't want another 4 years of Clintons in the White House. The last 8 year Clinton term was a joke. The country doesn't need another scandal ridden administration.

    May 8, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  23. John Galt

    She wants her $11M back from the campaign, and the only reason she is saying these things and staying around is so that she can raise enough money (without spending any) to pay herself back. Once she's got that, she will sit down and be quiet.

    May 8, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  24. Dannette

    and here I thought Bill was trying to sabatoge her campaign with his words and antics.

    May 8, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  25. BN

    The true face of the Clintons has now been revealed. I am going to send this article to all of my friends.

    I am a black man and If she is nominated then I WILL register as a republican and not only vote for McCain in the fall, but for every REPUBLICAN on the ticket.

    Black America has been duped by the Clintons. The Democrats WILL NOT win in the fall without us,. period. I don't care how many "white americans" she gets.

    I will dump the democrats in a heartbeat. If she gets the nomimation it will be because she can get "white people" and expect me to just ignore that foolishness then she will see in the fall who the real fool is.

    The democrats are treading on dangerous water. We have voted for white people all of our lives. Bill Clinton is no longer the "first black president".

    If america is not ready for a "black" president then let AMERICA decide it in November.

    May 8, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
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