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. Chidi

    Too sad to openly make such a comment. She knows she cannot win rather suggesting that she staying to deeply divide America on racial lines. What a would be president. SHAME, SHAME, SHAME on HRC. Not worthy to contest public office.

    May 8, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  2. Tim in Canada

    ouch!

    May 8, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  3. Steve

    The race card. How very disappointing! I am an older, white, educated female who will never, ever support the Clinton's after that statement. As a woman, I want to see a female in the White House, just not this female. However, we should wait until all the primaries are over. HRC will destroy herself by then.

    May 8, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  4. just plain tired

    Does this sound like the death knell? The Dean "YeeeeHaaa!"

    Oh, and will the last Hillary supporter left please turn out the lights?

    May 8, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  5. Frank, Missouri

    Hillary Clinton "WHITE AMERICA UNITE!"

    May 8, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  6. Dean - Colton, CA

    I find it astounding how racists can justify their bigotry. Blacks make up 12% of the total US population... and yet, Barack Obama is *only* winning the Democratic primary because blacks are voting for him.

    So are we to believe that blacks are more equal than whites because they have more than one vote... or is it possible that whites are also voting for Obama. Is it possible that the reason some whites are *not* voting for Obama is because they are racist?

    Think about this – if all blacks and many whites... and many women... vote for him, then he has wide appeal. If only whites vote for Clinton, then she does *not* have wide appeal.

    What happens to the demographics if we remove the white racists from Clinton's voters? Not so easy to do. If you color all blacks who vote for Obama as racist, then why can't you color all whites who vote for Clinton as racist? Or all women as sexist?

    The critical thinking skills of the average American needs some work, it seems. And Clinton appears to definitely be appealing to those who are 'uneducated'.

    May 8, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  7. White girls for Obama

    Those of us who live in the wonderbread states of Minnesota, Vermont, Wisconsin, Iowa, and North Dakota have loudly declared our support for Obama! So HRC's pathetic race baiting is not working.

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

    HRC – I cannot believe that anybody would want or even think about voting for this person after this event. She wants to be president so badly that she will say anything and do the most absurd – to make people forget about the "good ole days of the Clinton presidency" – all the lies and problems and things that happened during that period. She wants us to believe that she is for middle America and she thinks that we all drink Crown Royal, we have Blackberry's and cannot turn them off at home and that she will win the nomination by getting only the largest states including Florida and Michigan (even though these two states broke the rules and do not deserve to have their delegates seated for not obeying the rules that were set forth by the DNC.) HRC is so out of touch that she now claims that "white people want me in the White House" – so does that mean that every person that is not white – that they do not really count since none of the voters for Barrack Obama know what they are doing – according to HRC. She is not ready to be Commander in Chief on day one – being a wife of the president does not prepare you for being president (she would not have taken over if Bill Clinton was unable to fulfill his term) she would have stepped aside and Mr. Gore would have done what was needed.

    The Democratic Party needs to unite and unite now – HRC needs to stop damaging the party and hurting the chances to win in Nov 2008. This continued line of mis-spoken words and actions is destroying the credibility of the party and if somebody does not put an end to the game – then we can kiss the next four years goodbye and continue the next era of the Good Ole Boy Network and see where that leads America.

    May 8, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  9. Mireille, Charlotte

    i just don't know why:

    I can actually understand in some perverted way, if she was saying it because the'pundits' kept beating her over the head with the loss of the black vote. She is losing her composure. Somebody stop her runaway train!!!

    May 8, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  10. R.I.F.

    I was in support of you staying in until June but maybe you should leave now. You never hear Obama saying that Clinton as been losing the support of black votes, or people who attended college so she should drop out because we need them in the fall..have you and he is in the LEAD?

    We need ALL democrats to beat McCain. No one group should be treated more importantly than the other. If we are going to play that game then we should just blow the entire party up and divide it up into as many groups as those exit polls do (rurual, white, black, asian, catholic, jews, gays, gun owners, beer drinkers, bowlers, etc).

    May 8, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  11. Marcia, Marcia, Marcia in CA

    Obama can not win, folks.

    You all sound like a bunch of bitter babies. Jobless internet hacks that have nothing better to do all day.

    Being called a" typical white woman" by Obama is not racist?

    Obama can not win without Clinton. Believe it. He may get the nomination, but he won't win.

    May 8, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  12. Will In Virginia

    This is a sad day in America when this race is being turned into a big racial circus. I think that it is just wrong for Hillary to be out there making polarizing statements like this. Where were the racial statements when blacks voted overwhelmingly for her husband in 92 and 96. The truth of the matter is that African Americans have been voting for the qualified white candidate of choice for years. Now all of a sudden when there is a qualified black candidate who has captured the hearts and imaginations of people of all races, we want to turn this thing into a big racial circus. Hillary, I think you need to drop out of the race because you have gone off the deep end. So what if white people decide to stay at home and not come out to vote for the black candidate. Then they will have to live with 8 more years of Republican nonsense and mismanagement. This is not the America that I once was proud of.

    May 8, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  13. Bill

    Hillary, Follow Great White's advice "Don't go away mad, just go away".
    Then follow their lead, and burn yourself down. David Duke, She wants to join your club.

    May 8, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  14. peabody3000

    hillary would take the whole country down with her.... at least now we can see what kind of president she would have made, without actually letting that happen....

    the clintons are bad news. dont let the disasterous bu$h presidency cast a favorable light on them

    May 8, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  15. Don

    Super delegates: It's time to get this over and shut her up.

    Another 50-ish white guy for Obama...

    May 8, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  16. WillG

    She's really losing it. Stick a fork in her!

    May 8, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  17. Robert

    HRC put herself on the same level as Rush Scumbaugh

    May 8, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  18. Kristyn A.

    WILL THE REAL SUPER DELEGATES PLEASE STAND UP AND SIT HILLARY CLINTON DOWN!!!

    WHAT ARE THEY AFRAID OF? WHY ARE THEY CONTINUING TO LET THAT NARCISSIST STAY IN THE RACE?

    May 8, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  19. STARBUCKS mom in CA.

    I guess by reading my name, you know who I am supporting according to Hillary...thats correct I am for Obama....but back to this "I'm building a coalition of hard-working white Americans" which according to the news are uneducated are the people voting for her......If you are by any means proud she is touting that you are UNEDUCATED voters then maybe you aren't reading through the lines that she is playing on your ignorance and telling you want you want to hear and I bet you are the same people who fell for the gas tax gimmick....WAKE UP AMERICA!!!!!!! Do your own research and stop believing what people only want you to know..... And you wonder why other countries are ahead in education we rely to much on others to get the facts instead of getting them ourselves......

    May 8, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  20. Hillary is an undercover RACIST

    She is basically calling hardworking Blue Collar workers RACISTS.

    This woman is totally dangerous, and is a complete BIGOT!

    This is how Bill lost the African American vote. We can now clearly say that if this person somhow gets the nomination...

    AFRICAN AMERICANS WILL NEVER VOTE FOR HER!

    RACIST BIGOT!

    May 8, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  21. SS

    Why is OK for everyone to say that Obama is getting the black vote, but NOT OK for anyone to say that Hillary is getting the white vote?

    May 8, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  22. Mack

    It's the truth.

    May 8, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  23. Anonymous

    I am a 65 year old white woman, still working full time and not college educated. According to Hillary someone like me would not vote for Obama but I did!

    May 8, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  24. Me, from California

    The Clintons should take full responsibility for African Americans overwhelming support for Obama. It is comments like this that have pushed the black vote away from the clintons. It began in Iowa with her campaign releasing e-mails saying he was a Muslim, New Hampshire when black voters was supporting Hillary not because of what she did for them but because of Bill and then New Hampshire and the fairytale comment, South Carolina the Jesse Jackson comment,Hillary minimizing Martin Luther Kings role with the voting rights act. Bob Johnson and other surrogates making racist comments. All strategic in an attempt to make the quote "black" rather post-racial candidate.

    African Americans by in large are sick of the clintons attempt to destroy Obama because she felt entitiled to this nomination.

    May 8, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  25. Voter

    And it's okay for the Obama camp to say you can't win without the African American vote? This is not a racist statement nor divisive. It's been in the news for months now. Just because she said it doesn't change the facts.
    This statement is far better then the one Obama's spokesman Plouffe said when asked about racists. He said that they were already voting for McCain.
    Ask yourself, if Obama were a white man, would he still be receiving 90% of the african american vote in the primary? And by the way, Gore won 90% of the black vote in the 200 general election and he still lost.....this without disenfranchised MI and FL.

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