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. Samme

    You are CORRECT Hillary. I hope you stay in and FIGHT all the way, for no matter what Obama says "It's not about race", he is a LIAR, yes it is about race, so why should Hillary not have the right to speak about her race? The black/ white tug of war has already begun, and will get worse if Obama is elected. I will vote McCain if he is elected, forget being a Democrat, that doesn't matter anymore.

    May 8, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  2. Elena

    We've known since the start of this campaign that she is a liar who will stop at nothing to get elected, but now it is clear that she is a racist as well. No self-respecting Democrat (for that matter, American!) should ever vote for this dangerous woman.

    I live for the moment when she finally has to give her concession speech!!!!!!!!!!!!

    May 8, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  3. Gina

    And it's not racist that more than 90% of all black people voted for Obama? She called it like she saw it. The media was not offended when Obama referred to a "typical white person". Why is this offensive?

    May 8, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  4. LLOYD from New York

    IS SHE KIDDING????

    Question to Hillary:

    "WHAT ABOUT THE BLACK VOTE??!!!" – African Americans make up 25% of the Democratic Party and she has consistently pulled SINGLE DIGITS with that demographic. How can she possibly expect to win the White House when she can't even win 25% of the Dem "base."

    SOMEONE PLEASE TALK ABOUT THE FACT THAT HRC CANNOT WIN THE BLACK VOTE, AND THAT = NO WHITE HOUSE!!!!!!

    May 8, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  5. outsider

    Come on Hillary,
    Obama is going to be the nominee. Atleast stop being negative about hime if you are a true democratic!
    A modren, educated, intelligent american would never care about race or gender no matter how white he is. Stop dividing the country any more. We need a real change. Give him 4 years and see the if we are progressing. Don't be a racist. Let us stand behind Obama!!

    Way to go OBAMA!

    May 8, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  6. Stephanie Jones

    For shame! Compare this remark with Obama's race speech.

    May 8, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  7. She keeps sinking lower

    Statements and actions like this are precisely why she's not pulling this off. I do hope she wont's take all Dems down with her.

    May 8, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  8. Shawn of the Fed

    Not only will this cost her any shot at the presidency, but this might actually cost her her Senate seat.

    May 8, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  9. Skip

    Hillary is right! I am a white 54 year old male who has never voted for a Republican president. Hell will freeze over before I vote for Obama. I don't know a Democrat im my county that will vote for him.

    May 8, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  10. Marc in Quebec

    This is ridiculous. Hillary Clinton just a perfect example of what is wrong in America. Your "me"-centric society is imploding because you can't think of anyone but yourselves.

    Hillary can't win, won't win and still goes along "full steam ahead!" in an effort to get into the White House to fulfill her dreams of power and influence. The right thing to do would be to give Obama a chance, support him and thus help the Democrats beat McCain.

    Too bad the Clintons have no idea what the right thing to do is.

    May 8, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  11. Drew, MI

    As a white American from Michigan, a state without a say, I'm tired of hearing the Clintons play the race card. I haven't once heard Obama play the sex card. It's been way over played and time for her to go. She should have ran 4 years ago when people tried to get her to.

    May 8, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  12. Linda

    How sad that this supposedly intelligent woman (Hillary Clinton) can't come to grips with reality! I question her "love of the country" by not letting go. . .

    May 8, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  13. Jermika, TX

    Wow. Now that's worse than anything Rev. Wright ever said. Just wow.

    Can we get some dignity into the White House this fall? Geesh.

    May 8, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  14. Brian from Fort Mill, S.C.

    To Judy:

    Lucky for you, Barack Obama doesn't want your vote. He's not asking you for your vote. He already knows that there are a lot of people that would NEVER vote for him, and he knows that the number one reason is that he is black.

    I'm sure you'll feel more comfortable voting for Hillary Clinton. That's fine, because she DOES want your vote.

    But here's a news flash for you. Whether you vote for Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, or John McCain, the new reality is that there is a good chance that our next president will be black. Imagine that: the most powerful man in the world could be black.

    I'd move to Canada if I were you.

    May 8, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  15. larry

    It appears John Edwards & Rev Wright are right. There is two Americas. Shame Shame whole world is watching

    May 8, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  16. Bob

    WOW! I never ever expected to hear that crap. I am a white 55-year- old working republican who had voted for Bush twice (sorry). I've been looking to Obama because I think if he won he could unite this nation.

    It is high time for the white v.s. black thing to go into the history books, but with our elected officials speaking in these terms it probably never will.

    I'm disgusted to hear those comments, and she should apologize to all white Americans for her stupidity.

    May 8, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  17. Howard in Madison

    Hillary Clinton says, ..."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."

    She seems to be lumping working, hard-working Americans, and white Americans into a single group. Doesn't this sound a bit racist? It's only the white Americans who are hard-working Americans?

    This is one white American who isn't supporting her.

    May 8, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  18. Unbelievable

    WOW, I'VE HEARD IT ALL.

    I NEVER THOUGHT IT WOULD COME TO THIS.

    I'M DISSAPOINTED BUT SADLY, NOT SURPRISED.

    May 8, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  19. Joss

    If you had a broader case to build a coalition on and were more electable, then why are you losing in states won, popular vote and pledged delagates?

    May 8, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  20. henrie alabama

    THIS WOMAN IS CRAZY IS SHE TRYING TO BREAK THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY. GO HOME HILLARY BECAUSE YOU HAVE DEGRACED YOUR SELF . I WOULD HAVE NEVER THOUGHT YOU WHERE A RACE BIGOT BUT AMERICANS FIND OUT. SO SHUT UP AND LEAVE THE RACE YOU ARE JUST AS CRAZY AND SENILE AS MCBUSH. ... WE HAVE HAVE FOUND YOU CLINTONS OUT AND PLEASE TAKE BILL WITH YOU I HAVE NO RESPECT FOR YOU AND HIM ANYMORE. BY THE WAY I AM A 55 YEAR OLD WHITE WOMAN THAT HAS BEEN ON OBAMA;S CAMP SINCE DAY ONE. I HAVE GIVEN HIM MONEY EVERY MONTH SINCE JANUARY

    May 8, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  21. Kevin

    It should be very concerning when someone who is seeking the Nation's highest position breaks things down to simply race. However in some ways she is a reflection of a society that constantly asks the questions of your race.

    As a people, stop answering the question. In polls don't check what race you are, otherwise the media will continue to perpetuate the problem by highlighting the potential divide in voting along racial lines.

    Still she pointed out the elephant in the corner of the room, but fails to realize that educated people (not just people with degrees) can and will see through her ridiculously racially charged comment. She is in fact hoping to polarize the voting public, noting that people of colour are still a minority of the voting public.

    May 8, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  22. Steve

    So much for continuing her campaign but backing off divisive personal attacks. The supers need to shut this thing down now.

    May 8, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  23. tired and frustrated (in the primaries)

    How out of touch...

    May 8, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  24. Marilyn

    You know what is sad, it that the Obama camp has been talking about African-American support since day one. They have stated over and over again, that he is taking the African-American vote. Yet not once have I heard anyone say that he was being a bigot or a racist for saying so.
    If you want to look at racism in this race, you only need look to the recent polls that are saying 96% of all African-Americans are voting for Obama. Tell me who the racists are in this country again?

    May 8, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  25. Drew

    Racist...How ridiculous and what a lie....I will tell you what is racist 98% ofthe black community supports Barack Obama...that's racist!!!

    If 98% of whites supported Clinton the media, the pundits and everyone would scream....RACIST!!!

    WHEN YOU RECEIVE 98% OF THE BLACK VOTE IT IS CLEAR TO ANY FOOL THAT race IS THE ISSUE...NOT POLICY!!!

    I have personally had enough of the lies propogated by the media and by Obama and his supporters.

    Clinton is by far the most qualified. And try this for a metric...Obama won a string of contests with no electoral value in the fall. North Carolina will go Republican in the fall as will the string of insignificant caucus states he won.

    Democrats are such morons. The Republicans are waiting for the Obama coronation to begin. They know McCain is hands down more qualified. They are afraid to run against Clinton.

    YOU HAVE TO WIN THE WHITE VOTE TO WIN!!! What's racist about that? I am so sick of minorities always using the race card whenever they choose. It's sickening.

    Why is Obama's candidacy seen as more revolutionary than Clinton's-she is a woman. As my mother often said..women are there worst enemies!!! How true!!!

    I hope for all intents and purposes that the Democrats nominate another Kerry who will ultimately lose in the fall.

    Hillary supporters...vote McCain. Clinton has proven her tenacity and fortitude and she is 100% right. It has nothing to do with race.

    No matter if she graciously asks you to support Obama...Don't. THen she ans we will get our dues when she sweeps 2012...it's not that far away. Just hols on!!!

    May 8, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
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