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. am

    I am a WHITE hardworking female and I am appalled at Hillary, this IS RACISM!!!!! Nothing else. What we can't have a black president? Are you saying they aren't human enough? You are sick!
    I will never ever vote for you, you are a racist P*G!
    If I were you I wouldn't even go to Kentucky, you know what
    happens to fillys that run a race they shouldn't. This is proof you will never be a politician again. You are completely finished- you are the worst American ever in modern times.

    May 8, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  2. The Ultimate Shameless Act

    This is the last straw. Can anyone out there fail to realize that Hillary is suffering from mental health issues? Could any person in their right mind make such statements?

    Hillary has now committed the ultimate act of shamelessness, by playing the race card for all to see.

    As a hard-working white American, I would say the most notable "emerging pattern" is the pattern of shameless dishonesty on the part of Hillary Clinton.

    Hillary's supporters should do this lady a big favor, and get her off the stage before she degrades herself any further.

    May 8, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  3. Oh! The Irony

    Read through the smoke and mirrors people. She is saying this because the next primary is in West Virginia where it is 95% white. She is expected to win that state by a lot. When she does, she will say that it proves her point. Her comments are a "call to arms" for the white voters in WV.

    Yet, so many people claim Barack plays the race card. I don't think so.

    May 8, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  4. Don in Seattle

    This simply is tragic! I really thought Hillary would turn supportive in light of her losing the nomination on Tuesday. He speech that night left hope for us all. But, here she is again being that negative person and bringing race into the contest once again. Ya, she will not quit which is fine but she is just killing any chance she has or had of becoming a leader in this country. How can she claim she is supportive of Americans and our issues/concerns when she is constantly being divisiive? Just doesn't make any sense but again I am not an old, less educated, blue collar, white female!

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

    I was once a "white american" Clinton supporter, but with this comment I'll have to vote for Obama.

    May 8, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  6. Bayou Joe

    Not just "White" Americans", All of us hyphenated Americans that believe in the ideals of this country. and reject the foreign elements controlling our country and economy favor Hillary over Obama.

    I am no longer a Democrat, but I feel the pain for the party of my parents and grandparents. The extremist have taken over the party and driven us out. Our ideas and votes don't matter anymore. it is about making History whatever that entails, not what is best for our country.

    The liberals complain about paying the high prices for Gas and Food etc. yet they put roadblocks in place to keep us from drilling on our own lands, building refineries and using coal or nuclear power to generate electricity.

    They rant about the war in Iraq and Afghanistan and fail to understand for once in theri lives, the women and female children are being educated in those countries.

    They complain about education programs that are failing our children, yet they don't do anything about raising education standards for our teachers.

    No we will not support Obama. We love our country too much to allow this wolf in sheeps clothing to destroy our country from within.

    May 8, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  7. bitter_in_pa

    She is a lunatic. Put her in a padded replica of the oval office and tell her she is president.

    May 8, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  8. Benjamin from Columbus, Ohio

    Rick,

    Barack has never said that a majority of African-Americans support him. Quite frankly, that would only be stating the obvious and Hillary should have just kept her mouth shut.

    Let also remember that a majority of African-Americans also supported her husband, John Kerry, Al Gore, Michael Dukakis, Walter Mondale and Jimmy Carter, and the last time I checked, they were all white.

    African-American's won't be the scapegoat for Hillary's failed campaign. If she would have continued to campaign for our vote after South Carolina, she may not have been in the predicament that she finds herself in.

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

    Hillary is simply, plainly, a racist and I question why any non-white would support her.

    Let Hillary appeal to the KKK types. Fortunately, even among whites, they are a minority.

    Within a generation, all ethnic groups, including whites, will become a minority.

    Then people like Hillary who think they can win based on support from racists in their ethnic group will be relegated to the trashcan where they keep the Hitlers of History.

    Bye-bye Hillary. I would vote for McCain before you. Take your bitterness and just go.

    May 8, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  10. White Guy

    Like the 68% who voted against her in my home state?

    May 8, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  11. Marcy Spencer

    Oh my God! If this blatantly racist strain of thought and comment by the wife/First Lady of the so-called "First Black President" doesn't bring out droves of superdelegates to endorse Obama then nothing will. Has she just gone over the edge mentally? If her vaunted white constituency doesn't run screaming from her (much less, her donors), there's no hope for us as a nation. P.S. I'm an over-60, northside Atlanta GA native, white, Anglo-Saxon, Presbyterian and I caucused here in Boulder, CO for Barack Obama. This latest from Hillary only serves to confirm that I did the right thing by backing him.

    May 8, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  12. Last Standing

    Hillary Clinton has officially jumped the shark

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

    Even if you give her the benefit of the doubt and consider her remarks the result of exhaustion or more "misspeaking," they have the very real negative effect of making it look like a significant leader in the democratic Party is a race baiter. And while racism is certainly still alive and well in America, we at least have arrived at a time and place where we no longer condone that mentality. People should call DNC headquarters and demand an official admonishement of her remarks.

    Main DNC Phone Number:
    202-863-8000

    Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee
    Phone: 202-863-1500

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

    So does 90% of black people voting for Obama constitute racism to?

    May 8, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  15. H-ROD

    HILLary , stop turn around and just leave !!!!!!!!! (yes Obama can )!!!

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

    I have always considered H. Clinton a Republican in Democrat's clothing (albeit designer). Now I think she's just a Republican in Republican's clothing.

    Why don't you sign up to be McCain's running mate, Hillary?

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

    I am a white woman and I DID NOT vote for her....she needs to check her sources before she makes a claim like that.

    OBAMA '08

    May 8, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  18. Stacy Clarks

    Im an truly sad at this....the clintons have hit a new low

    I think people forget that blacks are ONLY 14% of this country....are you telling me that Barack got the most delegates, most states won (like Iowa, Utah etc...with like 2 black people ther) with just the black votes?!?!?

    i am truly sad....and I thought she was going to bow out gracefully!!

    DEMOCRATS IN 08!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    May 8, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  19. chris w.

    Hillary said what she felt was right and she said what is a fact, Obama can not get the white vote, and if he doesnt win the nomination, he should put her on the ticket, or she should run as an independent, and make sure he never steps foot in the oval office..

    May 8, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  20. me in dc

    Hillary Clinton is losing her sanity. She'll stab anyone in the back and that's why she isn't fit to run this country. How low will she go? I think she's already hit bottom.

    May 8, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  21. Anonymous

    "YOU'RE A RACIST, HILLARY! BECAUSE YOU QUOTE THE TRUTH FROM THE POLLS!
    OBAMA IS NOT A BLACK CANDIDATE! HE JUST HAPPENS TO GET 95% BLACK VOTES AND 35% WHITE VOTES."

    Obama supporters are such bigots and hypocrits. They play the race card when it suits them and Obama going to Wright's sermons for 20 years was just not a real topic.

    Get real, people should ditch that hypocrit politician from Chicago slums. Electing a president will be the same as another term with Bush.

    May 8, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  22. The Truth Be Told

    I have been saying this for over twenty years. There is no difference between the Democrats and the Republicans when it comes to African America. One choked you to death and the other tickle you to death, but dead is dead. I am not surprised by Hillary (Bill) comments. Arkansas and New York-need I say more......

    May 8, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  23. Charles

    Many women voted for Hillary Clinton because for the first time, there is a woman running. Do we call that sexist? NO. Women should be proud that they are finally getting a chance to have their view truly represented.

    So many African Americans are voting for Obama. It is the first time in over 200 years that they have someone who can truly represent their view.

    To call that racist is just wanting to ignore Truth.

    White men have been elected over 43 times. Some were open to many opinions others were not. Does that make this nation sexist and racist? I personally do not think so. It just means that those were the folks elected.

    But at the same time, people do need to be open to the idea that perspective on life is influenced by the opportunity a person has or does not have. If most people in this country would just take a breath and relax so that they could think, a lot of silliness might be avoided.

    May 8, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  24. Mary

    This white, female senior and lifelong Democrat does NOT want Hillary Clinton. More and more, Clinton's showing the worst characteristics of a politician and none of the traits of a statesperson who deserves to represent America and our values.

    May 8, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  25. Marge

    "
    Judy May 8th, 2008 12:17 pm ET

    Hillary is correct, the white people want her. And the only reason that the black people are voting for Obama is because is a a black man that has a chance at being the first black president. I will never vote for him".

    "
    Linda May 8th, 2008 12:17 pm ET

    92 % of blacks voted for his majustice obama, and that isn't racist. The blacks are more racist than whites".

    "Adam May 8th, 2008 12:17 pm ET

    Unfortunately only african-americans proved to be racists voting over 90 percent for Obama and the race was the main factor for their decision.
    That will hurt big time all democrats in the general election"!!!

    Hillary 2008!!!!

    ***************************************************************************
    I'm trying to decide which of these post are more Ignorant.
    But Hillary did say the under educated voters are her base. and these posters prove that!!!! LOL!LOL! Obama did not get the lead without white voters, Bill Clinton won TWICE because of the African American vote!!!!!
    Doesn't really matter what Hillary says....
    ITS OVER FOLKS.....WE HAVE A WINNER!!!!!!!

    May 8, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
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