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. W. M.

    Sad. Hillary is so desperate to win she stops at nothing. Now the race card? Shame. I am a white woman and I don't want her. Nothing would change if she won because she has the Washington establishment ingrained in her, and will say anything to win. Really sad. Hope the delegates are listening to this devisive comment. I will vote for McCain if the delegates do not play fair.

    May 8, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  2. Reality Check

    Hey Linda,

    As it turns out, the Blacks were right all along ... and you can't spell.

    May 8, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  3. cheryl

    I would like to comment on Senator Clinton's comments about Barrack Obama losing the white american vote. I think she's getting desperate. That was a ignorant remark. She doesn't realize that some white republicans might vote for Barrack too. I am a republican and I am impressed with Barrack Obama. So Ms. Clinton does not have her hand on the pulse of America as she thinks.

    May 8, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  4. CFW

    Here we go! Silly Hillary time. Let's see how the media handle this one.

    May 8, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  5. Mary

    You have probably lost more Black Americans than he have White.

    May 8, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  6. tre

    minutes of fame left:

    12...11...10...9...8...7...6...5...

    add 10 for bigotry and racism

    15...14...13...12...

    we need an end to this ticking timebomb

    May 8, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  7. Grant

    HRC said "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"

    From a conservative this would outrageous, from a Democrat it close to obscene. She has basically said that African-Americans are not hard working, only white Americans are. This white old guy who used to hope for a HRC Presidency just hopes she unbridles her ego and goes the heck away. FAST!

    May 8, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  8. mitchell from arkansaw

    go ahead and play the race card ,again.the fact is ,obama's supporters are not just black.i'm white,and about as hillbilly as you can get in arkansas,and i registered months ago ,to vote for obama.obama's supporters have always been a coalition of all walks of life.hillary has lost this election ,because she has sought to divide the party,the same way she has sought to divide the nation,along party lines.this is the reason our gov't has been stagnant,for so long.that's why it's time for a change.and rick,if obama said that ,it's just a reflection of actual numbers.this is a way to divide the party,even more,and the reason why she should drop out ,now.SUPER'S!PUT AN END TO THIS DIVISIVENESS,BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE!

    May 8, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  9. Jessica Garcia

    Whenever things don't get Hillary's way, she brings out a big plate of sour grapes. It's so clear that she does not give a darn about America and Americans. If she did, she'd bow out of the race and help her party. Is she a Republican in Democrat's clothing?

    Maybe Hillary should pull a Tyra Banks and actually work a week in a factory and actually do hard work. Muss that helmet hairdo.

    May 8, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  10. Paul

    Hillary Clinton is like a BAD RASH...that just won;t go away.

    May 8, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  11. Skeeve

    Or really? Clinton has broader base... why can't she win then...

    May 8, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  12. Mandy, California

    The complaints about the percentage of AA voting for Obama is rather funny. Until the South Carolina primary, the black vote was going to Clinton and the white vote was going to Obama.

    Once Bill opened his mouth and insulted AAs for voting for Obama in higher numbers after the South Carolina primary, there was a blowback. So really the major push towards Obama by AA is thanks to Bill.

    Whites are still voting for Obama.

    Which is why he is winning!

    May 8, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  13. Anonymous

    Why this can be seen as "race baiting":

    She wasn't just saying she has support from more white voters; she was saying she gets more white voters, so she should be the nominee. Forget the fact that he has more overall support and more delegates. She should win because she has mre support from the only group that matters – white voters.

    Also, equating white voters with working, hard working Americans.

    Plus, she is wrong, according to the numbers.

    There's no way she said these things by accident.

    By the way, you can say Rev. Wright is racist, but can someone tell me one thing that Obama himself said that is racist?

    May 8, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  14. ProudIndependent from Indiana

    Come on people, THINK! It is the goal of every politician to pursue each and every vote. IT IS NOT THE FAULT OF THE POLITICIANS THAT A CERTAIN SEGMENT OF THE POPULATION VOTE FOR THEM!!!! THAT IS THE CHOICE OF THE PEOPLE!!! FOR THOSE OF YOU THAT SAY THAT OBAMA IS RACIST BECAUSE HE GETS 90% OF THE AFRICAN AMERICAN VOTE, YOU ARE BRAIN DEAD!!! He has never said that "Blacks prefer him." That is tantamount to political suicide. There are blacks, whites, hispanics, and asian people in this country. She has just alienated a good portion of the Democratic party. THERE IS NO DOUBT IN MY MIND THAT SHE WANTS TO DESTROY THE PARTY NOW!!! NO ONE CAN TELL ME OTHERWISE!!!

    May 8, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  15. John, OH

    Yawn. It's simply not true.

    May 8, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  16. Nick

    Hillary gets the white vote like John McCain gets the Civil War veterans vote.

    This is a bunch of bull. Hillary is desperate and beginning to look foolish. She just "obliterated" her chances of pulling the democratic party together.

    Thank goodness Barack is above all that junk that Hillary speaks of.

    May 8, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  17. Jack

    Think about it folks....is that how you want the PRESIDENT of the United States to respond? She is intentionally trying to divide the country for her own gain! It reminds me of her statement that the US would "obliterate" Iran.

    She is not presidential and she scares me.

    May 8, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  18. Not sleeping at the switch

    The Clintons just LOVED Black Voters when they put THEM into the Whitehouse.

    They SPIT in their Faces and expected them to keep up the support??

    There are not enough Black Voters in the Whole USA to have put Obama where he is it took MILLIONS of Whites and Other open minded mature and Patriotic Citizens to do that. The SAME people who have NOT chosen her and she cannot deal with it.

    May 8, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  19. Sherry Zigmond

    There was a time I was inclined to support Hillary as I am a woman in her age group who has also had to fight to get where I am. However, her racially divisive remarks are extremely disappointing and, quite frankly, disgusting. I'm not sure I could vote for her at this point even if she does pull the nomination out of the hat.

    May 8, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  20. UNITED WE STAND DIVIDED WE FALL

    Polls mean nothing! If anyone knows anything about polls, they would know that a screening of 500-1000 people have absolutely no bearing on the nation as a whole! The standard deviation for error between 500-1000 and 1,000,000 – 5,000,000 is astronomical!

    Look at some facts! Iowa, majority white, polls showed HRC would win, but she didn't and Obama did!

    I am white, a college grad, and have supported Obama since he decided to run!

    This is just utterly rediculous. HRC is holding on to straws! Pandering to voters on the gas tax that would hurt more than help, saying if she were a republican she would already be the nominee, hello, it's a race for the democratic nomination. Hoping on Florida and Michigan, which the blame for that is their states legislature of moving their primaries up after the DNC warned them not to! Now HRC because she is losing wants to cry foul? And now, making this an issue of race, disgusting!

    She may think she is best to lead the nation, but after what, 45 primaries and caucuses, looks like America wants Obama! Can you say, living in a fairy tale??

    May 8, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  21. Retired Soldier

    Welcome to the real america! When all is said and done, it still is about race. I defended this country by serving 26 years in the military, and am ashamed for my country, and the entire political process. Will america ever rise above its racist foundation? My fellow military brothers and sisters are dying every day, so that Mrs. Clinton has the right to be a racist!

    May 8, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  22. Damion K. Miles

    Now is not the time for Hillary to make statements like this. Black people are not the only voting for Barack Obama. Ask the millions of white people who has. For Hillary to make these statements are very dismissive. Hillary, by staying in this race, is only going to drive the wedge deeper and deeper between White voters and Black voters. Black people and White people want the same things. Better health care, cheaper gas, less inflation, to not be at war – none of these things are race exclusive. There is not a single black, white, puerto rican, chinese, etc... person in this country that wants to pay more for gas or not be able to afford health care. I don't care who's in the White House if they can change, for the better, what's been going on for the last 8 yrs.

    May 8, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  23. RICK

    THIS IS WHAT IT IS ALL ABOUT, BLACK VS WHITE ALLWAYS WILL BE. IF OBAMA IS THE DEMS CHOICE SEE YOU LATER. HER COMES JOHN MCCAIN. FOR SOME ONE WHO HAS A PASTOR LIKE HE DOES, FOR SOMEONE NOT TO PUT HIS HAND OVER HIS HEART FOR THE PLEDGE OF ALLIGENCE. FOR SOMEONE WHO CAN'T SEE THE NATIONAL ANTHEM. AND IN OUR CURRENT POSITION ACCROSS THE WORLD HOW CAN WE HAVE A MUSLIM IN COMMAND OF OUR FORCES.THIS PERSON DOES NOT BELONG IN THE WHITE HOUSE. REMEMBER 9/11

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

    Now Clinton's "true colors" come out.. So, now African Americans are suppose to trust her since she has signaled that she thinks that it is no longer accepable that White Americans can vote for Obama.... Outrageous!!! She really will say ANYTHING to get elected! I'm done with her and her husband. Borrowing from the NY Post.. their legacy is toast!

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

    You know when Bill was elected into office I used to tell the people in the office I did not vote for Bill, I voted for Hillary. Well THAT sure has changed. She has lost all my support for her lies, pandering, and divisive campaining. This is one white voter that is totally fed up with her. She has either sold herself out or is showing her true colors. Either way as far as I am concerned I am done with her. That only leaves one choice....Obama.

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