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. Jeff D, South Bend, IN

    Give the Clinton campaign a couple hours, then they'll turn this around and accuse Obama of playing the race card on THEM...again.

    Absolutely pathetic.

    May 8, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  2. jasper clay

    Just a quick question, Is she saying that hard working Americans are only white and that she can be elected by these White Americans alone?

    May 8, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  3. Todd

    She finaly said it!!
    It doesn't matter how hard you worked.
    It doesn't matter haw talented you are.
    It doesn't matter this is America
    It still comes down to race.
    How am I as an African American supposed to support this?
    She has pushed us away not the other way around.
    Sad day in America.

    May 8, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  4. Independent

    So much for taking the high road in the last days of her waning campaign. I'm dissappointed (oh yeah, and I'm also white).

    Older, white, Democratic women won't have any difficulty coming to Obama in the general election-not if they want to keep their right (and that of their daughters) to choose.

    Obama '08

    May 8, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  5. Sue

    And how many of those people are the idiots who are listening to Rush Limbaugh? The "real" people are slowly coming over to Obama, and more still would, IF SHE'D THROW HER SUPPORT TO HIM. Sheesh.

    May 8, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  6. Gary, Los Angeles

    Hang in there Hillary! You're the stronger candidate by far. Hang in there.

    May 8, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  7. JT

    What a disgusting comment, Hillary.

    May 8, 2008 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  8. Rob

    So in a nut shell Hillary is saying
    "you know screw the black vote...who needs it...I have whites voting for me and thats all I need...blacks will vote for me cause they always vote democrat"

    wow I'm just speechless at this..

    May 8, 2008 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  9. MR

    Well so much for bring the country together.

    Devisive politics at its best.

    May 8, 2008 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  10. Susan MO

    Truly Disappointing.

    Former Hill supporter,
    now for Obama

    It's the issues that matter, not the person.

    May 8, 2008 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  11. Simply Crazy!!!

    Wow.. With this statement, she probably won't even get the 8% black vote that she had. VERY DANGEROUS MOVE!

    May 8, 2008 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  12. Russell

    This is the definition of playing the race card.

    She is truly a disappointment. Her true COLOR gets more evident everyday.

    Drop out Hillary, you're hurting yourself and the party.

    May 8, 2008 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  13. Lynn ND

    BINGO! She finally said it! How low can she go?

    May 8, 2008 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  14. Alex in Ohio

    There she goes with her new strategy :: RACISM

    May 8, 2008 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  15. Brian

    I think if Hillary could look at herself now a year ago she would be shocked and appalled. This is just sad at this point. I understand that she has to stay in the race to try to make some of the millions she lost but does she have to continue to fracture the party?

    May 8, 2008 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  16. Johnny Be Good

    OH my goodness......what in the world is she saying now???????

    But I understand that we Obama supporters would not ge the racsists vote anyway. Man, I thought that she was going to tone it down a bit, but I guess I was stupid for thinking that. I was going nice on her today but this tells me I must re-release the hounds on the blogs!!!

    May 8, 2008 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  17. Marie in California

    Clinton is only stating the obvious. Just as Democratic primaries have shown 90% or more black Americans voting for Obama are stating the obvious. Hellllooooo!

    Go Hillary!

    May 8, 2008 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  18. FLORIDA Voter for Barack Obama

    LISTEN:

    INDIANA is 94% WHITE PEOPLE! If that were true she would have beat him badly! I am really starting to hate these tactics. She is coming off as racist and this will follow her career. Mark my words.

    May 8, 2008 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  19. For Obama Not Because I'm Black

    I used to have respect for the Clintons. However, after this campaign I find them to be repugnant. I WILL NOT BE VOTING FOR HER IF BARACK IS NOT THE NOMINEE. Her tactics are plain disgusting and I can't believe that the super delegates are allowing her 'time'. I'm going to start looking into registering as a republican.

    May 8, 2008 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  20. yeller

    I can't believe how racist black people have been in this election. Over 90% of them are refusing to support Clinton.

    Sound like a crazy statement?

    The same is true with the usual liberal controlled media who continually like to say that white people that don't for Obama don't vote for him because they are racist. It makes me sick.

    May 8, 2008 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  21. Swiss in Canada

    What's wrong with this woman? Did only black Americans vote for Obama in Indiana? And smart ones? Is she a racist?
    Why do "whites who had not colpleted College" support Clinton and the ones who completed College support Obama? White Americans – you should be insulted!!!!!!!!

    May 8, 2008 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  22. Les

    Hillary Clinton is a racist and should be removed
    as a senator from the United States of America.

    She does not belong in a position of power or
    decison making.

    May 8, 2008 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  23. Jean, CANADA

    Oh my God......she went there!!!!!!!!!!!! Hillary........this is a sad day for you and America....Now I know you have no morals or integrity.

    OBAMA 08, 12....the TRUTH

    May 8, 2008 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  24. Tracy---Indianapolis, IN

    That's fine and dandy that she can get the white vote, but what about the black vote???????????She will not get that if she is given the nominee.............

    Obama 08

    May 8, 2008 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  25. Kevin Leo (Jonesboro, GA)

    I find these comments to be especially interesting given the fact that they come one week before the West Virginia primary. This state has been readily acknowledged as a very fertile state for Hillary with all of the demographics favoring her.

    May 8, 2008 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
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