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. White person in Virginia

    Hillary, this statement deeply offends me!

    May 8, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  2. Steve in Houston

    This woman is really more jaw-dropping every day. How dare she make such statements after another losing Tuesday? Who's the elitist now? If she can even think about making a statement like this, she ignores the fact that the MAJORITY of voters did not vote for her, but whites did, so therefore she represents the right people. How blatantly racist is that?

    Even Hillary supporters cannot put the right spin on this if they feel anything about a better country.

    No matter how far behind she gets, she still evidently feels entitled to the position and will wait it out. I can see the statements, tricks, and genuine chicanery ramping up by the day, like a fighter needing a knockout in the 15th as time ticks down to 0.

    For the good of ALL Americans now, I hope the party leaders and supers put an end to this mad person. Talk about bitter......

    May 8, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  3. Concerned Citizen

    I am OUTRAGED that people are silly enough to say If you dont support Obama you must be racist. HOW STUPID CAN YOU GET?? I dont support Obama because he is INEXPERIENCED. I dont support OBAMA because he will be like a newborn babe if he gets in the WhiteHouse because he wont know what to do. He makes beautiful speeches, (even tho if you break them apart, there are several inconsistancies) He is a good schmoozer, He gets people fired up. Heck , so did half the cheerleaders at the last ballgame I attended. BUT I WOULDNT WANT THEM RUNNING THE COUNTRY EITHER.
    Why is it that everyone FORGETS OBAMA is exactly the same percentage WHITE as BLACK. Why does everyone call him a black man. Why not just call him a MAN for goodness sake. How come The Black community likes to continue to pull the race card, that if you dont like Obama then you are racists.A large portion of The Black community continues to dwell on the past and blame everything on race. ( Its a little more understandable since I have Heard REV WRIGHTS sermons) I have actually heard two young men( black men) say there will be riots in the streets if Obama doesnt get it. This is just unacceptable . How can we as Black Americans and White Americans(yes I am mixed 50% Black and 50% White)justify this type of mentality??

    EITHER WAY HE IS INEXPERIENCED and WILL NOT be able to beat McCain in the Fall. And to tell the truth
    I had rather Pick McCain over him cause at least with McCain YOU KNOW WHAT YOUR GETTING.

    May 8, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  4. Mary

    Senator Clinton is looking at pol data numbers. She is stated the facts. Please don't use the race card to try to change the facts. Numbers do not lie.

    No matter what you say, more whites will vote in the general election. You need to win them, don't start by insulting them.

    May 8, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  5. RT

    Obama may have a majority of Black votes but he is not pandering to them and trying to divide the party based on race.

    May 8, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  6. Interested foreign observer

    It's really amazing how a single individual could be allowed to subordinate the interest of her party and her nation to hers.

    Single-handedly, Clinton's tantrums is making the DNC leadership look very weak and this to the whole world.

    May 8, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  7. Abbkie Johnson

    Clinton is a double talker. When she was the Democratic forerunner she loved Obama and the Blacks mean so much to her. Now that she is far behind the Whites need her and the Blacks do not count. Get real Hilary and bow out graciously. It is not easy to accept defeat but the fight is over. Obama will be the next President. You better accept it now. The White House is for all Americans.
    Adios

    Abbie

    May 8, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  8. Belle - NoVA

    This 60 + white woman supports Obama. So does my twin sister!
    So do many white friends and relatives, ranging in ages 50 to 95!

    May 8, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  9. George

    Hillary has sought to racially and ethnically polarize America ever since she lost in predominantly white Iowa. Fact is she realized after Bill screwed up in South Carolina that was her only chance for winning. The Clintons are shrewd and know how to play the race game better than most. BlACK and WHITE people across America should repudiate her and move away from this kind of divisiveness. Hillary is increasingly showing how disgusting a human being she actual is.

    May 8, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  10. Christina

    To bring up "race" is just rediculous! Thanks for the 2 steps back...grow up!!! We see your true colors! I am a white woman and would never vote for you. Go Barack!!!

    May 8, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  11. karen

    I'm a 64 year old, white, working, republican women for OBAMA!! I now would love to see Hillary bow out very graciously and Obama offer her the VP position. That really would be a dream team!! It is possible! Obama/Clinton, think of the American people–WE NEED YOU now more than ever. I don't want Hillary as president, but as VP it would offer the best of both and I do think she might obtain a little humility-which she needs very badly before she has a breakdown.

    May 8, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  12. Chuck, Oregonians for Obama

    After reading the Harvey Weinstein mess, and the Clinton financial backer threatening to with hold financial support if she does not back down and support the Florida and Michigan revote; there is absolutely NO WAY THIS 56 YR OLD WHITE MAN will support Hillary. I will NOT vote until May 20, and there is NO WAY she will receive my vote.

    May 8, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  13. ???

    The problem here is not that she is saying whites are voting for her, it's that she's implying that they are more important. Whether it's true or not (it's not, no Democrat in recent history has won without the black vote), it's not something a presidential candidate should be saying, it's unbecoming.

    May 8, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  14. Evie

    WOW!!!!She's in FULL BRITTANY MODE! The woman has completely lost her marbles…. and it appears she owes "something" to Weinstein!!!

    May 8, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  15. James

    Wow! Is she running for Grand Wizard of the KKK too?

    May 8, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  16. rd

    As a white male republican for the past 30 years I will never vote for HRC and Obama has my vote. Also I live in the deep South

    May 8, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  17. Texan for Obama

    HOW DARE SHE! Regardless of HRC's point for these statements, they ring the same notes as the Rev. Wright. She just adds some sugar and deletes the sour lemon. Will CNN echo these statements 24/7? Not only that, the DNC supports her. ALL votes important.

    May 8, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  18. AnotherWhiteWomanforObama

    The only good thing about this comment is that Hillary will taint herself so much that noone would elect her for anything but the Grand Wizard of Arkansas.

    I also find it mildly amusing that a "feminist" is saying that you can't get elected unless you get the white male vote.

    I think she's gone further off the edge than Bill has – unless they were just secret Klannies all this time.

    May 8, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  19. Srini

    Give us a break. I am tired of her comments. She needs a holiday. Power hungry Clinton's.

    May 8, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  20. james

    You've got to be kidding? Iowa? Indiana? His numbers with white have been increasing from Ohio–more in PA, more in IN, more in NC?

    May 8, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  21. Jorge

    What a RACIST!!!! this is one of the Wrost moments in the history of Politics!!! She wants to go back to a ONLY WHITE election? I can't believe The media is not Outrage! I AM!!! What is next Mrs. Clinton? are you going to say that black americans are not really americans, or that they should get only 1/2 of a vote? or that only white people matter in this country? I am sad to see this Racism form a presidential candidate!!!

    May 8, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  22. syd

    Obama has won states(yes primaries) that have about 2 % black population or none.He has already gotten the white vote.
    Blacks were voting for Clinton earlier on before they got to know Obama.Then she lost that vote.She doesn't get the youth vote either.
    If clinton supporters can't see through her narcisistic personality,they are blind.Obama has never said that either race of voters doesn't count.Never.That is why this is news.
    The party needs to step in and send her packing.She is the most self-absorbed politician I have ever seen.
    She is disgusting!
    She became so angry because she had this attitude that it was owed to her and was challenged and lost.She was given the "crown" before the race even started by herself,her party,and the media-and she is acting like devil child now.
    I had respect for the Clinton's for years-but no more.
    Wow,the republicans were right about them all along.

    May 8, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  23. Clueless peole

    SO... all the white people in Indiana, Pennsylvania and other states that voted for Hillary... you all are calling THEM racists???

    Yall are idiots!

    May 8, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  24. Mike

    From an outside perspective, the Democratic party has an uphill battle no matter how you look at it. An African American man or a white woman running for president – following American history, it doesn't look promising either way. However, that being said, Obama is smart and young and brings limited baggage to the race. Hillary will always be linked to Bill – a great president with a big personality and a bigger libido. The rest of the world cares little about Bill's past behavior, but that can't be said for all the conservatives in the U.S. If the whites in the U.S. are going to have to choose between Obama and McCain, I hope they all get together (and with every other race) and make sure the U.S. doesn't have another term or two of Bush-like politics from the GOP.

    May 8, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  25. lisa

    Since when did only the white vote count in America. If Clinton feels that way, she needs to take her butt back in time. This is 2008. She feels like a black man should never be allowed to beat her. I find it funny she signed an agreement not to couit the votes, now she is behind and wants to change the rules. She is not sealing the deal with the black vote either. I say blacks should not vote for someone who has constantly and is still causing racial divide. If the white male and female vote is all she needs, then I say to the rest of us, who also make up America, lets take our vote to Obama or McCain. To hell with the elite Clintons! We can get our own coffee

    May 8, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
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