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. Jann in Denver

    The Clintons will DO ANYTHING no matter how low to win. I keep seeing the pundants and the media throwing out the possibility of an Obama -Clinton ticket, and the idea of "that woman" on the Obama ticket make me sick.

    The more she runs her stupid mouth, the more people see what a nasty person she really is.

    May 8, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  2. Jim Whitehouse

    I'm a proud white middle aged, white collar supporter of Barack Obama. How many of the supposed white voters that Hillary is counting are actually cross-overs due to the Limbaugh effect? Those cross-overs, will be voting for John McCain in November and wouldn't be voting for Hillary the second time around. Every Barack Obama rally I've been to is a sea of faces from every color, including white people. To bring the primary down to an issue of race is degrading.

    May 8, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  3. Garee

    Wait until the "black" remarks start coming to remind you how blacks like he and his wife can't get ahead (thought they both went to Harvard and are millionaires?)
    That will be followed with the "generational gap" comments to point how your grandmother is "stealing" your legacy with Social Security and Medicare. Thta's his "Truth" and soon he will peddle it as surely as McCain talks about 100 years in Iraq or Hillary talks of whites supporting her.
    What wil you say then about him. Will he be a biggot, a divisive candidate? How will you describe it when he pries us apart with the statements he learne at his pastor's church? Where will the truth lay?

    May 8, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  4. Maurice

    Is anyone surprised at this statement? This has been at the heart of the 'race bait' comments from Bill, Geraldine et al. Then, it was a joint ticket, but you had no desire to be the VP. This is not a simple matter and politicians of all stripes must denounce these subtle and demeaning behaviour of an individual, who believes that she is entitled to this nomination and occupation of the White House, and that the White House can and should only be occupied by whites.

    It's another scare tactic from the Clintons, one that exhibits poor judgement but exposes the truth of their hearts. She is using a reverse psychology to say to super-delegates that whites will not vote for Obama because he is black. Whites over 65 may not, but there are a new generation of whites, young , educated and mature thinking, who will not succumb to this desperate statement. She has stooped to a low level-desperate and dangerous.

    No wonder her campaign is struggling to get donations. This should be enough proof to her, that her supporters are holding to their purse strings, because they see the writing on the wall. Shame on you Hillary Clinton, for insulting white people's intelligence. What else are you going to do or say again? Your sniperlie or gas tax holiday did not work, so it's now white voters against Obama. You just dug your grave.

    May 8, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  5. Jen

    There is a pattern Hillary...you are more popular among the naive minded Americans! Are you bragging about that?

    May 8, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  6. LisaB

    This is one (two, if you also count my husband) hard-working white person who is not voting for Hillary because of this type of pandering to the lowest common denominator. While I am quite satisfied with most of her policy positions (a vast improvement over the conservative platform, which has put us in the pickle we are currently in) I could not be more disappointed in her win-at-any-cost campaign strategies.

    May 8, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  7. DEX

    Wow, what a demented woman she is. I thought she had gone as low as she would willingly go to win, but this is phycological, the woman is CRAZY. She is clearly trying to ignite a racial divide within her own party. The DNC needs to step in NOW and end this. Hillary in case you didn't get the memo, America is trying to grow-up and move to a level of national maturity that will make us greater than we have ever been. I am truly saddened by this.

    By the way Indiana is 94% white and if not for "operation chaos” you would have lost, besides many of the states in which Obama won had populations that was disproportionally white.

    SHAME ON YOU HILLARY and anyone that subscribes to that type of unpatriotic garbage.

    True Americans are better than that !!!!!

    May 8, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  8. Obama 08

    Oh and the Clintons had dealings with Rezko and Wright so NOW WHAT???/ Neither of them are running for President only Clinton and Barack so let all the connections go once and for all stop hiding behind Rev Wright.

    May 8, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  9. Princess

    This is not a race issue. We need to look at results. Hilary has proven she can execute. I am concerned by how the Democratic Party is separating our unity. They have "chosen" the candidate they want us to believe we are "voting" for. Where are the pictures of Barack smoking? Why shouldn't I be outraged by the racist remarks of Barack's minister? (Heck, we continue to hear about Bill Clinton's mistakes 10 years later and somehow, those mistakes are attached to Hilary.) Bottom line: the Democratic Party has alienated professional women by failing Hilary. Good luck in November.

    May 8, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  10. Samina from WI

    She now REEKS OF DESPERATION...EEWWWW!!!..WHAT A STENCH!! ..Just get out Hillary!!..Join the Republicans..your own kind.

    May 8, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  11. Elisabeth

    If Clinton whispers "RACE" she is an awfull racist. Obama on the other hand is FREE to talk about his WHITE grandmother, his BLACK father, his own BRAUN skin whenever its suits his purposes.

    May 8, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  12. Larry Plutko

    Senator Clinton's comments are racially devisive and go hand-in-hand with those made by Gov. Rendell on Lynn Swann's failed attempt in the Pennsylvania gubernatorial race. There is the omnipresent notion that we are not quite ready for a black candidate such as Senator Obama to be accepted by ALL the people.

    May 8, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  13. A. voter

    Hi, Mrs. Clinton. I'm a white (female) voter. Frankly, all race and gender aside, I've never been able to see what defines you as anything different than every other politician who has come before you. Yes, you come closer to my ideals than your Republican counterpart, but that's not going to cut it anymore.

    I'm weary of the political status quo, and that's why I voted for Mr. Obama. That's right–I'm in one of your favored demographics, and I did not vote for you. Every time I step into a voting booth, I have no guarantee that the person for whom I'm voting will fulfill any campaign promises. All I have to go on is what the candidates say, and you've said little that speaks to me. Obviously, I don't know the thoughts of every American, but I think we're desperate for change–not just little, creeping, political maneuvers, but REAL change. On every front, you seem to be just more of the same.

    I'm sorry. I wish things were different.

    May 8, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  14. noobama

    I am a Hillary supporter and I am black , I will not vote for obama in the general election. It looks like the news media and superdelegates is deciding who should be the Democrat Presidential Candidate. Everyone says change but obama isnt about change. obama is going to have to put some of the old washington elites who is backing him in some positions. Do not believe he wont owe the ones who are backing him. THINK ABOUT THAT "CHANGE "

    May 8, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  15. AJ in Atlanta

    While I am an Obama supporter, I had tried to give Bill and Hillary the benefit of the doubt with some of there strange race baiting wordsd on the campaign trail as "politics as usual". However, this is the last straw. Our country and our party better figure out that this is one America and until we come to understand it, we will never be as strong and blessed as we can be.

    Stay strong friends and let's not be duped! It is no wonder that bill was scheduled to be on Rush Limbaugh's show.

    May 8, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  16. Paul Blieden

    I am so disappointed in Hillary Clinton to have to use the race issue to demonstrate that she still thinks she is a viable candidate. To take this position is racist and divisive. The best individual to lead our country is one who brings together all peoples of our nation....not one who uses race as a tool to win an election. I thought better of the Clintons....but Hillary has used the race issue several times in this campaign and I will not support her in any vote where she is a candidate....anywhere and anytime.
    Paul Blieden
    Manhattan Beach, CA

    May 8, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  17. KM

    As an African American this statement really troubles me. It bothers me because in my personal opinion, Hillary is trying to racially divide this party and cause my fellow white americans to vote along racial lines. That is why I do not support Hillary, because of tactics like these and her need to win at all cost. Maybe some of you will see nothing wrong with this and that is okay, I've learned to accept that.

    But at the same time don't think I'm crazy the next time I say that I feel that some people in american are still racist and will remind me of that if the opportunity presents itself.

    May 8, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  18. james

    May 8th, 2008 12:17 pm ET

    I am a conservative Democrat who simply cannot bring myself to vote for Obama in November (There is something to be said about the MOST LIBERAL VOTING RECORD in the US senate). Conservative Democrats will NOT have it. Period!

    Hillary or McCain 08!
    Hillary or McCain 08!
    Hillary or McCain 08

    small minds in FL lost the race for us before.....so get lost mcbushton

    May 8, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  19. toneloc

    At least she decided to reveal the white hood she has only been wearing at night up until now...like Malcolm X said – "By any means necessary"

    May 8, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  20. Ty

    CNN just changed the ticker title to make this sound more PC. Pretty shameful CNN, don't try to cover up what she said, we need to know just how raciest this women really is.

    May 8, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  21. Steve

    I don't care if it's Obama or McCain, but I want Al Sharpton on the Supreme Court. Here come de judge, a Sammy Davis Jr. bit, for you young readers (?).

    May 8, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  22. From a while guy

    Despiration on her part! I am a registered Republican and I would love nothing more than to vote for Obama! I will not vote for McCain and would not support Clinton, even to save her life!!!

    May 8, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  23. muzzle her now

    the dems had better step up to the plate now and get the super delegates to move before her or Billy boy come out with any more racist remarks and completely ruin their chances in the fall
    the republicans are sitting back enjoying the Clinton blunders
    this woman is so desperate for power she will say or do anything
    regardless of the consequences!

    May 8, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  24. BigAce

    To Judy and " Hillary or McCain" (The true racist on this board).

    I'm Black and I support Obama. Prior to this, I supported Kerry, Gore, Clinton, Bush, Reagan. As you can see, I supported the "White Guys" along the way , according to whom I thought met my standard for president.

    Obama is Black, but you seem to overlook that he is equally white. Why is that? Have you forgotten or maybe you haven't heard that his mother was white and his father was black.

    I'm voting for Obama because he is qualified. The fact that he happens to have a dark shading of skin the resembles mine is a plus for him. I'm sure some women who support HRC are voting for her because they think she is qualified and she is a woman. When you have 2 good choices and its hard to decide, you look to intagibles that are important to you to break that tie.

    Excuse us black folks for being excited about a candidate that looks likes us and has the intelligence and the experience to run for the hightest position in this country. We don't get this opportunity very often. If HRC fairly wins the nomination, the we blacks will support her just like we supported her husband.

    May 8, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  25. Peter

    The race for the presidential candidate as boil down to color...Black or White. This is very sad. The people of the United States is now showing the world that the US is no doubt the mother of all racist country.

    Big up Obama..... You will overcome and win

    May 8, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
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