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. Concerned Voter

    Is losing ? He already has. She calls it correctly. He has failed miserably as a uniter dismissing "plain old white folk."

    May 8, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  2. mike from chicago

    i am a 33 year old white male.comments like this sicken me and is a sobering fact about the level of racism that is inbred into our culture. It for someone like ms clinton to flippantly make those remarks and act like it was nothing is just plain ugly and just like most people who wont admit to themselves that those were the comments of a racist!!!LOOK IN THE MIRROR PEOPLE.if obama had made similar comments about going after black people out of work and on welfare what would you say.i HIGHLY doubt you would just brush it off as politics.we are ourown worst enemy

    May 8, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  3. WHITE American in Montana

    This middle aged white woman wants

    BARACK OBAMA

    in the White House next January!!!!!

    HOPEMONGERS UNITE!

    May 8, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  4. anappy

    Just another disgusting display by her. I'm white, I'm hard working and I support Obama and his conepts on the changes needed in this country. Does she think before opening her mouth on such a charged subject as race. I suggest that she does this as part of a planned strategy. She is a disgrace and should just bow out before she does anymore damage – not only to the nomination process and the party, but to the nation as a whole.

    May 8, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  5. Kelly

    It is amazing how the democrats will lose this race. With two terms of Bush it is amazing we can't win. Clinton spoke the truth. Mr. Obama will not win the election. Just won't. Should she have said it? Probably not. The truth is the truth. If you can't get the blue collar democrats... you don't win. Mr. Obama got over 90% of the black vote. Good for him. That doesn't mean he will win the general election. It's almost like the party doesn't want to win the white house.

    Was it racist? NO. Deal with the facts the minority vote will not get you the white house.

    May 8, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  6. Marshall

    I am offended. Not the message I want from my president.

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

    You are right Hillary. And do not forget Catholics, Jews, Hispanics and many others. The party may satisfy some of the electorate but lose the majority of the people.

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

    FedUpInOhio, I am the same and will vote for Hillary...I must have more common sense!!

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

    She Just Lost any Chance of getting the Nomination. Quit NOW!
    Racist pig.

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

    Just as she claims Obama needs the white vote to win; Hillary needs the black vote to win and unfortunately she has turned a lot of blacks off by comments that have been made by her husband, her camp and now her. And all the comments that the Clintons have done so much for AA, like they are somehow our saviors is very insulting. What good does it do me for you to PRETEND to be my friend, when actually your not.

    The AA vote only makes up about 35% of the democratic vote, so all you peopel claiming that if it werent for the AA vote Obama wouldnt be as far as he is, that is very incorrect, due the math

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

    By the way, any dems saying "I'll vote for McSame" just must be living in some alternate universe or something.

    Reminds my of Cleavon Little holding a gun to his own head in Blazing Saddles....

    May 8, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  12. Obama 08

    Again people why must African Americans ONLY be voting for Barack because he is Black?? I believe everybody I ever voted for in past elections for President were WHITE yet I dont recall the DNC complaining or dismissing my vote then but now that the candidate is black its a problem. Rev Wright is NOT running for President and he is not a racist blacks CANNOT be racist we do NOT have power to hold another group of people down. We can however be prejudice. HRC comments were disgusting to say the least but sadly she spoke with most of her supporters have been thinking anyway. I am not saying everybody voting for Hillary is a racist but there are some people in this country like the 8% of people in PA who do not want a black president now or ever they feel only whites should be in control and thats very sad. Change is hard thank God for Barack!!!!!!

    Also please let go of Michelle Obamas comment as a black woman I am also NOT always proud of the so called greatest country that is such an elitist state of mind. Blacks and whites view this country differently point blank period and thats OKAY!!!

    YES WE CAN and YES WE WILL

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

    come on superdelegates, keep this person from speaking for the party!

    May 8, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  14. geoff

    This white male is supporting Obama mostly because of the incredible arrogance of politicians like Clinton. Her comments today are all "me me me" and nothing about the people she would like to, well, serve. I wouldn't vote for Hillary under any circumstances and suggest she get off the stage and go home.

    May 8, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  15. ALECO1

    WHO CARES WHAT HILLARY CLINTON SAYS-–SHE IS HISTORY.
    OBAMA WILL BE OUR NEXT PRESIDENT, HE WILL GET 75% OF THE VOTES IN THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION..

    May 8, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  16. Curtis

    I'm a bit confused as to how people like Judy and Linda say that Blacks overwhelmingly support Barack because he is Black... do you support your candidates because they are white? In case we forget, in the beginning of this race, Blacks were overwhelmingly supporting Clinton. Obama had to earn the Black vote. I know this may sound crazy, but maybe Obama's message is resonating with Black voters the same way it resonates with young voters and other demographics.

    May 8, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  17. Tony Z- MD

    Why is anyone surprised? This will get her more votes in KY and WV. She has played to the constiuents who are blue-collar (funny what about the blacks) and uneducated. Unfortunately there are many bases within the Democratic Party- one of which is African American. If she does not need that vote than fine. However, if she can't win without that vote.

    May 8, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  18. whitemanwhodidn't finish college

    Drop OUT HILARY.

    May 8, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  19. Craig

    Hillery, Thank you an Bill fer all youn's done fer us poor white folk. Usen them food stamps helped save cash fer the trailer home addition, you and yer man Bill can stop anytime at all yer like family and all. Oh, bring Chelsee too, shes cute.
    Yer kinfolks, Sherdon
    Mash Hollow, Ky.

    May 8, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  20. Chi4Obama

    For some reason, I get the feeling that Hillary was just added to the Republican party's payroll. I wouldn't be surprised if they gave her a "$6.4M" bonus to make those statements.

    Note to West Virginia Democrats,
    You can help end this madness next Tuesday. Please don't encourage her any longer...

    May 8, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  21. Sean

    greg: Then why is he leading? Are blacks all of a sudden the majority? It is irational, stereotypical comments like this that are what's wrong with this election. 32 year old white male for Obama.

    May 8, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  22. Sara

    Hillary, you're disgusting. Basically you're telling the party that Democrats are too racist to elect a Black man. Well, if that's the case, then we don't deserve to win the election in Novemeber.

    May 8, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  23. jewel

    if clinton doesn't get the nod from the dems she should run as an independent. obama is a fraud who was put up by fortune 500 companies to run and the people are so stupid as to fall for it.

    May 8, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  24. Obamaniac in MD

    Hillary, step aside. You just can't win. You are dividing the party further.

    May 8, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  25. bh

    Will the superdelegates please stop her!! Senator Clinton's new blatantly racist appeal couldn't be more destructive and is offensive to me as a white woman. It should make it clear to the superdelegates that she is not someone who can plausibly represent the Democratic party.

    May 8, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
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