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. Dee

    This is one of the very reasons she WILL NOT be the nominee.

    OLD SCHOOL THINKING!

    Obama!

    May 8, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  2. 1865

    Clintons playing the race card? YES WE WILL!

    May 8, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  3. Dylan

    You should post this as a headline...

    "HILLARY LOSING SMART AMERICANS."

    May 8, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  4. INDEPENDANT!

    When it comes to which candidate has done more for African Americans – the CLINTONS – both of them – WIN HANDS DOWN!
    To call them "racist" is a travesty and proves so many OBAMA supporters are ignorant. Great! the next president could be elected by racists, misogynists, and idiots! God Bless America!

    May 8, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  5. Carolyn

    Hillary Mistakes

    1. She misjudged the mood
    2. She didn't master the rules
    3. She underestimated the caucus states
    4. She relied on old money
    5. She never counted on a long haul

    These call from her own mouth. She know it's over and know she can't win. She would rather have McCain win instead of Obama, now what does say about her. Where is the unity. Hillary supporters!

    May 8, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  6. Kathy

    I am a middle-aged, white women in West Virginia that has NEVER considered Hilliary as a candidate for the Presidency. The more she speaks the worse she gets. She evidently guzzles beer and liquor, she has the most horrific ideas for Iran, she supported the NAFTA agreement that has made jobs almost non-existent in WV, and I could go on and on. If by some miracle Hilliary would win the nomination and then the Presidency, God help America! I support Barrack Obama because his ideas will turn our country around. Just because he isn't the normal pandering candidate does NOT mean he isn't qualified for the job, look at the votes and states he has so far, he will be our next President.

    May 8, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  7. Mark La Porte

    These comments by Senator Clinton are distressing to us have long admired her grit and tenacity. They undermine those of us who have worked their entire teaching careers to have students make judgements about people based upon merit and not superficial differences like "color". I am disappointed.

    May 8, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  8. Adolf

    Nice to have you back on the dark side. I can feel your anger, let the white power flow. Welcome home.

    May 8, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  9. Shawn

    Sick. To. My. Stomach.

    May 8, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  10. Victor S.Romeo

    Hillary Clinton is a sore loser...........or beyond that just a plain LOSER

    May 8, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  11. Michigander

    She is pathetic.

    May 8, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  12. Tonya South Carolina

    This is really making me sick with all this race stuff, Hillary I have a question for you If Obama needs to win all of the white votes why you don't have to win all the black votes, thats why black people are voting for Obama because statements like this I was voting for Hillary because I felt like what Bill did for the black community was great now I see Bill and Hillary are like apples and oranges she won't listen to him or anyone else, the black community is doing what others say we couldn't do for years and thats stick together, with negative statements like that you will never get black votes, and if you open up your eyes you would notice it is some white people thats voting for Obama we are not doing this by ourselves thats what you call real American people that looks past race (We Are Ready For Change Hillary)

    May 8, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  13. Shameful

    Someone put a muzzle on this lady, please.

    May 8, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  14. Joshua Ludd

    George W. Bush and Dick Cheney take note. You kept telling us the insurgency was in its "death throes". You were wrong every time. THIS is what someone in their death throes looks like, gentlemen.

    May 8, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  15. Snapper, Seattle

    This woman is so divisive it's hard to come up with a statement concerning her without being dragged into her mindset. The Clinton's are power-hungry zealots! I guess that opposite of her statement is the blacks do not want her. Since when did America become black and/or white? I'm neither black or white. I'm a brown skinned Mexican-American and offended to the marrow that she even represents America as a member of the Senate. Her statements will bring smiles to the likes of the KKK and other hate groups. We'll then begin the Civil War all over again, only 2008-style!

    May 8, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  16. soy

    she's just reiterated what rev wright said in his sermon. If it was wrong then, its wrong now. Its very sad.

    May 8, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  17. Keith McCullough

    Why is hard working Americans only been linked to white Americans? Are white americans the only ones that have jobs and provide for their family. I think the comment made by Senator Clinton is the type of thinking that continues to keep this country divided by race.

    May 8, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  18. Chad Conner, Dallas TX

    We may never know if more whites are voting for Hillary because she's white, or if more blacks are voting for Obama because he's black.
    Cast every vote, count every vote, then declare a winner. The media coverage calling for her to get out just hurts Obama because it angers her supporters. He'll need them to win.
    Nobody plays the race card as much as the media. Division and controversy sells more stories.

    May 8, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  19. Enlightened voter

    He couldn't have gotten this far without the 'white' ENLIGHTENED voter, thankfully there are so many out there.

    May 8, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  20. Daniel

    Wow..... so is the white vote the onle vote that matters?

    What about what Americans want! Not White Americans, African Americans, or Mexican Americans, just red white and blue Americans... that is the onle color that should matter....

    Hillary I hope this comment is the final nail... Wake up people its time for change.

    May 8, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  21. AJ

    You people are calling her a racist and bigot. In every state so far, the majority of black voters are voting for Obama. What does anyone even know about him other than he is black.

    Racism is alive and well in America and it's being perpetuated by blacks across the nation.

    May 8, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  22. Tyler Allred

    Im a white male American, not to mention Im a registered Republican.....and I'm voting for Obama...sorry Hil, give it up!

    May 8, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  23. Pamela, Sacramento

    This is a sad day in America. She is presupposing that all White Americans are racist! SHE has indeed hit rock bottom.

    THESE VERY WORDS ARE GOING TO HAUNT HER FOR MANY YEARS TO COME!!

    Time to go HRC.

    May 8, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  24. cdcwdc

    According to the CNN analysis of the Indiana results, the African-American population made up less than 17% of the primary voters. Latinos made up less than 2%. Whites made up some 78% of the voters in the primary. Even with capturing more than 95% of the African-American vote, that is still 95% of the 17% total. Senator Clinton is ignoring the large numbers of white voters that voted for Senator Obama. The logic that a U. S. Senator and presidential candidate would make such an inflammatory and ignorant statement is a reflection on the sheer pandering and desperation of her candidacy.

    May 8, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  25. Mississippi White Male

    I'm a White male in Mississippi, and I want Obama!
    It's time to unify, not divide. It's over for the HillBilly.

    OBAMA 2008! Yes. We. Can.

    May 8, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
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