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. Brian

    "...Senator Obama's support among working, hard-working Americans, white Americans, is weakening again..." I think that quote says it all about the kind of campaign that Clinton was waged, and the type of voter that she's trying to appeal to. Even Jesse Helms and Strom Thurmond never openly implied that black Americans are not hard working.

    May 8, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  2. LT for Obama

    So who exactly is playing the race card here? Keep talking Hillary. Where is Bill with one of his great statements that he will have to deny saying as well?

    Don't talk about Obama ever again being divisive, negative, elitist, etc. again. You are consistently proving that you are all these things and more.

    May 8, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  3. so ironic

    WOW! Now THAT is playing the RACE CARD my friends!!!

    What a dispicable, devisive, selfish, power hungry thug she is!!!

    HOW does this HELP UNITE THE PARTY????

    I'm telling you folks, the Clintons are in this for themselves. They are going to go nuclear and scorched earth from here on out.

    May 8, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  4. fred

    You are 100% correct Hillary!!!

    Run as an independant if they cheat you out of the nomination!!!

    Go Hillary!!

    Obama and his bunch have been playing the race card since day one!!

    Get out now Obama!!!

    May 8, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  5. Dan in CO

    Wow...that's some blatant "playing the race card".

    Bill Clinton will deny it, of course.

    Hillary has officially thrown Black America under the bus.

    And they are watching....let's try for 99%-1% for Obama!

    May 8, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  6. jackson from Iowa

    she is sick

    May 8, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  7. Jewish Women for Obama

    Oh goodness... Why is she doing this to our party???

    May 8, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  8. RG

    If Obama, or anybody who stands within 5 feet of him, said the same type of thing, it would be racist attacks on him for the next 4 weeks.

    May 8, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  9. Kevin Leo (Jonesboro, GA)

    Wow, with all due respect Senator Clinton, you are making this campaign so ugly right now. How can you honestly say that the party will come together when it appears you are so intent on dividiing it up.

    May 8, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  10. Gayle, CA

    Wow, hopefully the supers will realize that Hillary would lose these voters to Mccain in the general and hence this argument is spurious.

    May 8, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  11. john

    sounds like another hillary lie of the day

    May 8, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  12. jfs Memhis, Tn

    Please Hillary..............end this NOW!!! How dare you put this party and country back 200 years. I am insulted and hurt . I have given you every doubt............but this goes beyond believe. You Senator are indeed making history for women, our party, and our country !!! Unfortunately the wrong kind.......this is truely pitiful !!!!

    May 8, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  13. Dale

    Wow. She really is a race baiter.

    May 8, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  14. Lee WV

    How can these comments not be racially divisive?She is practically telling people to not vote for Obama.That he cannot beat McCain.She is pathetic and bringing shame to all of America.

    May 8, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  15. Susie MO

    Sore LOSER. I see you will not go quietly. Win at all COST.

    Clinton – pretty soon you will not have any support in any State.

    Go Home LOSER

    May 8, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  16. sophia nyc

    She's sick.

    May 8, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  17. Tim

    Are you kidding me?!? Is she trying to just implode now? As much as I dislike her, she isn't a stupid woman-what could possibly cause her to say that? It has got to be one of the more divisive things an actual candidate has said this entire season. And for the record, I'm 24, white, and from NY.

    May 8, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  18. marie

    She will say and do everything to win... She is looking for superpower..

    May 8, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  19. Eric

    How disgusting. This campaign will end up burning in flames, playing all the cards available in the deck to steal that nomination. Superdelegates, you have the power now to stop that woman from doing everything she can to hurt Obama, in order for her to run another pathetic campaign in 2012.

    May 8, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  20. Ian

    This has got to be her most pathetic comment to date. Good grief. The insinuation that the only hard working Americans are Whites with no college education is a startling realization of just how this woman thinks. Blacks don't work, Hispanics don't work, and White Obama supporters don't work either. Someone please put this woman out of her misery...

    May 8, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  21. Niky

    How about Clinton turning away the rest of the democrats? I am sure her supporters who happen to be white probably don't think of race as much as she does... In her speeches she keeps playing the race and gender card – all the time.

    May 8, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  22. Lisa

    Basically, still doing her same thing. She will not go peacefully and I know she won't. It is and I thought that she would be better. I don't see anything that she does these next few weeks to be helpful for Obama. She is drawing hate and dividing people.

    May 8, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  23. noneckmd

    Clinton's strategy is to cause so much damage to Obama he can not win, thus she'll be able to run in four years.

    May 8, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  24. Former Obama Supporter

    It's true. Obama hasn't proven that he can win the White vote or the Hispanic vote. McCain can easily win their votes in the general election. And we already knew Obama was going to win NC. What did we actually learn from NC? All we learned is that he is getting all of the black vote, which we already knew he was getting.

    May 8, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  25. Jeff in Portland

    Oh my. Hillary has completely lost it.

    So I guess non-white Americans are not hard working?

    Go away. Quit putting your ego before this country.

    May 8, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
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