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. tammy

    IThe first time I felt Hilary was this sort of person was during her tearful comment in New Hampshire.I did smell a rat then and to be honest, this comment does not surprise me.Pressure always brings a squeeze and if you squeeze a toothpaste tube what do you get ? I f you squeeze Hilary what do you get ?

    May 8, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  2. Aaron, ATL

    I seeeee youurrrr truuuuueeee colooorrrrsss shiiiinnniinnngg throuuuughh! LOL She is in Operation November Kamikazee mode!!!

    May 8, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  3. JoeM

    'White Americans want me'.

    Not all of us, and guess what – nobody wants someone who continues to impede the process of our country coming together – no matter what ethnicity people are.

    Another reason I don't think Hilary is the right candidate – she should have had more respect for herself during the Lewinski scandal. To stand there and say nothing, wow. To stand by while her husband lied to her, who knows how many times, then lie 'outright' to the country, then be tried for lying, wow. But after all that to just take it – stand up for yourself or else how do we know you can stand up for us.

    May 8, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  4. Beebe

    I know people will just see my comment as a Obama supporter but I really believe Senetor Clinton goes too far. I do not believe she is racist or a bigot. I think she is very intelligent, btw, she did go to Wellesley and Yale. I think she is calculating and is willing to bruise, maybe even hurt people in order to get the nomination. She is right, Obama has had a problem getting through to certain demographics but she knows that what and how she says this can offend people. I think she needs to think what will happen if, after all of this, she is the nominee. She has alienated African Americans and student voters. I know people think we will continue to support the Democrats no matter what but what if we just stay home, together those are large voting blocks and if the Democratic nominee loses them, the small town vote may go to McCain and the Democrat loses anyway.

    I know lots of people are upset that African Americans are voting, in large numbers, for Obama. I know people think we do it just because he's black. This is not the total case, after all most African Americans did not support Alan Keyes, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Shirley Chisolm or Carol Mossely Braun. African Americans vote for Obama because not only is he black, he's highly intelligent, educated, a wonderful speaker and motivator. He's taught at University of Chicago's Law School and been in the Illinois State Senate working for equal quality of life for residents in poor areas of Chicago. Also he's seen as sign that we as African Americans are finally, just possibly, Americans.

    After Tuesday's primaries, I finally started to think maybe it wouldn't be a bad idea if they went on the same ticket, considering back in Adams/Jefferson day second place was vice-president. But when she makes comments like this, it makes me think she could really care less about moving this country forward. She's rather win through racial divide than lose in harmony. And that's truly upsetting.

    May 8, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  5. vicky smart

    God is working out somethig for this Nation.
    His will shall be done.

    May 8, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  6. Danielle

    She is the greatest divider of her own party. Who vote for her in NY whenshe got the nomination? Is she blind because NY is the most cosmopolit city in the world.. She is stupid...

    May 8, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  7. Adam from NY

    Forget the racist angle...how about the fact that it's NOT TRUE!! Her share of the white vote has been steadily DECLINING. Just look at the numbers quoted in the posting.

    May 8, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  8. TC

    Yeah, most people who listen to Rush Limbaugh are white.

    May 8, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  9. cheekbrown

    Oh my GOD!!! Hillary Clinton has just expressed what I suspected all along. She is a racist. She is happy and comfortable with making race an issue in this election. I always suspected that her number-one "smoke-filled room" argument to the superdelegates is that whites won't vote for Barack Obama. Well, I no longer have to suspect it; I know it. We all know it. Hillary Clinton has no business being in the Democratic Party. I believe that level of racism can easily be found in the Republican Party. However, I'm inclined to suggest that maybe she should join the Nazi Party.

    May 8, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  10. catjax

    If blacks are voting for Obama, it is not racist. And if Hillary mentioned
    whites are voting for her, it is shameful and being a racist. Don't you think this is double standard? I am not either, and I am voting for the most qualified and experienced candidate, and Obama is not ..

    May 8, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  11. Forrest Gump

    Her comments along with some of the others, including Bill's comments, are a lot worst than Rev. Wright.

    So her argument for staying in the race now is that Obama is too BLACK! Shameful. Disgusting.

    Hillary believes she can win back the BLACK voters while Obama will not be able to win the WHITE voters. Suggesting that by BLACK you are INFERIOR but if your WHITE you have magic wand that is more persuasive! If that ain't racist, than I don't know what is!

    One of the reasons they have tried to stay a top the frail on the Rev. Wright issue is because all a long they were using and wanting to use more the race card to steal the nomination. So they avoiding criticizing Rev. Wright too harshly because it would mean they would have to held to the same level of standard.

    Every pundit has said Hillary and even McCain can not beat Obama unless the turn it into a WHITE vs. BLACK election.

    Now we see Hillary's true color. Actually we've already known her true colors all along – it's just now she is not trying to hide it.

    Shame on you Hillary!

    May 8, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  12. Ric

    Very true. The truth hurts. Get over it Obama. The next few months will be a trying time for this country.

    May 8, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  13. Virginia White Male

    Clinton is just so full of it. She continues to say and do anything to avoid admitting that she has lost. She can look in the mirror to get the answer as to why. She needs the get off the stage. Hey New York, will you promise to elect her again if she just goes away?

    May 8, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  14. Michael

    This is hilarious. The wife of our first black president touting her white support. Who can take this party seriously, except for the generic "Texas White Woman."

    May 8, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  15. charlie z

    what a bunch of rubbish.. i'm a white male and i supporty barak obama. nearly everyone i know, regardless of their race, supports barak obama. this is just another last-ditch attempt from hillary to try and persuade the superdelegates. its over, lady!

    May 8, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  16. Lila

    Here's another white woman for Barack and NOT for Hillary!

    May 8, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  17. Andrew Smith

    Sen. Clinton has sealed the deal for this white American male: I will NEVER support her for any office. I am ashamed of the Clinton, which is something I thought I would never have to say.

    Of course, my opinion will mean nothing to Sen. Clinton; I am a college graduate!

    May 8, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  18. honest

    ARE THERE ANY DEMOCRATIC LEADERS AT ALL????????

    STOP THIS WOMAN NOW BEFORE THIS PARTY IS DESTROYED. SHE HAS GONE TOO FAR, ACT AS RESPONSIBLE LEADERS AND LET HER QUIT!!!!
    THE PARTY WAS IN EXISTENCE BEFORE THE CLINTONS CAME!!!!
    PELOSI, REID, GORE, ANY GOOD LEADERS OUT THERE ACT NOW PLEASEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!

    May 8, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  19. TRUE DEM

    STOP HILLARY, JUST STOP.

    I AM A WHITE WOMAN, AND KNOW MANY "WHITE PEOPLE" WHO ARE ALLLLLLLLLLLLL FOR OBAMA.

    OH AND BY THE WAY– LOOKS LIKE HILLARY IS ACTUALLY LOSING WHITE VOTERS–SHE USED TO HAVE 65% AND NOW HAS 60%.... HUMM....INTERESTING...

    May 8, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  20. Democrats Rule

    Oh My God – This is really the last straw – For those who care – I am a white female educated worked my whole life and still do 60+ year old who thinks that this is the LAST STRAW. If she wanted to absolutely INSURE a division in the party this outta do it. Wow! Makes my head spin!

    May 8, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  21. Any

    How sad! How can she be a president when she is already dividing us even more. It is time to go home.....Hill

    May 8, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  22. Taffeny

    In the area Ilive in that is not correct they don't want to see her in office .

    May 8, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  23. over 60 WF Republican for Obama

    Based on most recent comments of Hilary – is she saying that her supporters are mostly uneducated white racists? Who is the "elitist" now? or is she showing her true colors!

    May 8, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  24. Barbara Bastain

    Hillary is right on. College age and probably close to 30 will vote for
    Obama, but I am 59, from the south, and regardless of what Obama
    doesn't believe about people like me voting for him, I can guarantee
    you that My husband and I, our three daughters and their husbands,
    my sister-in-law and her husband will vote for Obama when HELL
    freezes over. He needs to take that smirk and cocky attitude and give
    it an attitude adjustment. If Hillary is not the nominee, we all will vote
    for John McCain even though as a democrat it is painful to talk about,
    much less follow through on. Keep fighting Hillary, I'm with you all
    the way!!!!!!

    May 8, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  25. Kade

    It is only a shame that the majority of people making comments and voting in primaries only seem to rely on what the media has to say. They listen to people's opinions and make sole judgments not based on their own thought or investigation. So, she should drop out and we should just let Florida and Michigan voters be left in the cold ? So, really, we are not the United States ? Tell me people, who would be ahead now, or tied if Florida and Michigan delegates were seated ? What is the rush to determine a nominee ? It is better that this play out so long. Choosing a Presidential candidate is not a game. This is the most important decision this country is making. If you think BO is the best choice, then I say you are being swayed by the media. Stop and think about it for a minute. It will further divide this country and cause a possible civil war.

    May 8, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
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