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. Noelle

    Her remarks are truly disappointing.....I voted for Senator Obama in the primary and will vote for him in the general election.... in spite of her racist statements.

    May 8, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  2. Monica

    Ferarro, Bill, BET pres, and Rendell have done everything you could to make it that way and now you want to use it as a reason to stay in the race. Yikes. I call it the "he is black, he is black, he is black campaign." Is that all you got? Honestly Hillary, you need to get a grip.

    May 8, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  3. Georgia

    So who needs or wants stupid racists in the party.

    May 8, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  4. willie

    How can any white person vote for the racist Obama, it just amazes me how stupid some whites are. And yes, blacks are obviously the most racist group of people in America. 90% vote for Obama, pretty obvious.

    May 8, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  5. M L

    You folks better get ready for
    President John Sidney McCain.
    No way will this Democrat vote for
    Barrack Hussein Obama, very poor judgment
    and bad companions.

    May 8, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  6. A.L. Smith

    Her comments are disgusting. Whoever wins the nomination needs the support of all Democrats-white, black, brown, no matter the color.

    I look at these comments the same way as when she says you have to win the big states to win the White House. What about the other states? If the rest of the union stays at home in November, can you win? If all the people that you continue to disenfranchise with your comments stay at home, can you beat John McCain? I think not.

    So she needs to shut up and run on the issues, and leave race out of it. Is she insinuating that "hard-working Americans, white Americans" work harder than anyone else in the U.S.? I wonder when will this country push past race...

    May 8, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  7. Brian MacDougall

    Wow, a stunning new low from Senator Clinton. This is right out of the 60s playbook. Really, really repugnant. The way she's playing this, she won't be Senator much longer.

    I'll defend her right to stay in the campaign until her legacy is a tattered, stained remnant of what it was; insane as that is, that's her right. But a scorched earth policy to deny any Democrat other than herself the White House is unacceptable.

    Do the inevitable, HIllary: join the Republicans and take all your supporters with you. McCain/Clinton–unbeatable, but at least honest.

    PS: I'm white and I voted for Obama.

    May 8, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  8. White, auto worker, non h.s., 56yr old, catholic from MI

    White, auto worker, 56yr old, non h.s.,catholic from MI

    Hillary needs to win by 65 – 35 in all the remaining elections.

    She needs to win 60-40 (3 – 2) for super delegates.

    Even I can figure out the math. I am supposed to be dumb as I am an old whitey with no education.

    As far as MI and FL, it would be a different story if Obama was,
    1.) On the ballot in MI
    2.) If he campaigned in FL.
    and
    3.) If HRC had resisted the issue before the primary.

    Hill: Drop out dear its not worth it.

    May 8, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  9. John

    Ok lets do the math. 12% of the nation is black and Obama gets 90% of that 12%. Obama has roughly 16 million popular votes. That means the total number of black votes he has is 0.12*0.9 * 16 million = 1.8 million which is 10 % of votes.

    So you see the other 90% comes from every ther race white,hispanic etc.

    He can't be beating Hillary by only winning black votes. By the way the fact that blacks are voting for Obama doesn't mean anything. Women also are voting for Hillary since they want Hillary to be the first Woman president. Although Bill Richardson is hispanic, Hispanics did not come swinging out for him. Just a thought

    May 8, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  10. Melissa, MI

    This is so sad.

    It seems like lots of people want to argue over who is more racist.

    We need to unite.

    Obama '08

    May 8, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  11. Joseph Kongste

    If a democrat is to win the nomination, he needs the black votes also. As far as we know clinton has a bigger problem with blacks than obama has with whites.

    May 8, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  12. ynglatino4demsin08

    Dear Mrs. Clinton,

    I've long respected you and your political career, at a point even vascillating on my decision of whether to vote for you or Obama, you've had a great run, but now it is time for you to bow out with grace and dignity. Let's focus on uniting our party, on bringing America together. Your coalition is indeed strong Mrs. Clinton, you have a broad base of support, but if it were the strongest, you'd be in the lead now and you are clearly not. Let's not waste any more time and energy.

    May 8, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  13. Mike Jones

    The majority of Obama supporters are not black. Hillary must be delirious with campaign fatigue or her true colors are finally coming out. All of these posters who think that Obama is winning strictly off the "black vote" are really naive. African Americans make up less than 20% of the total United States population.

    May 8, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  14. NDB

    Mrs. Clinton would do herself and the party a great service if she gracefully exited. She also has seemed to have forgotten that no Democrat can win without the African American vote either.

    May 8, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  15. kc

    Her comment is unacceptable. In order to win the nomination, you need everyone's vote: white, black, asian, native american and latino. I just can not believe she would say that.. The country is already divided why would we (the people) vote for someone that wants or states more divison. I really like and appreciate Hillary but that comment just makes me sick. We do not need a president like that- we, the people represent this country and if you want to be president you have to represent us ALL!!!!!

    obama 08

    May 8, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  16. twister49 - oklahoma

    Why is everything that Hillary does, looked at and picked at, whatever Obama says, does, wear or doesn't say, it's over-looked... come'on press.... start doing your job..report it all.... OK so Obama won Guam by 7 votes, Headline–Obama edges Clinton... HIllary wins Indiana, headline- Hillary barley wins....

    Please..... and why would anyone want this race to be over, I'm loving it and all my ffriends are, even though we are all supporting someone different.... if this is to be over- change the rules, have more primaries closer together– LET EVERYONE VOTE>>>>> isn't that what this is suppose to be about?????????????

    May 8, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  17. abmitus

    End Game. Thats All Folks. The End. Its is over HRC. Really sad to see you stoop so low. I have lost all respect for you and would not vote for you if my life depended on it.

    May 8, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  18. Jedediah

    I'm white. I've been supporting Obama for over a year, and will continue to do so when he's in the White House.

    TIP IT HILLARY!

    May 8, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  19. yodit

    She has sank to a new depth. Please move to Canada. They'll grant you asylum. Ugh.

    May 8, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  20. Eric (Acworth, GA)

    Everytime I think Billary can't go and lower, she starts digging! Democrats (and specifically super delegates) should take note: this woman will say anything and do anything to become president. There is no line she will not cross; no depth to which she will not sink. Let's also consider the flip side of this scenario. Imagine the outrage from the Clintonistas if Obama wer to proclaim that America is still mostly male-dominated, most American companies are headed by men, and most elected officials are men; and, therefore, he should get the nomination because American's won't vote for a woman.

    What would her supporters say then?

    May 8, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  21. Char

    HILLARY CLINTON IS A MONEY POWER HUNGRY RACIST
    SHE'S RUSH LIM IN DRAG

    May 8, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  22. K in MI

    Hillary! Proof that this campaign is all about YOU!! SHAME ON YOU!

    May 8, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  23. Steve Cole

    Statements like these are reason enough for undeclared and declared (for Hillary) Superdelegates to cast their support for Barack Obama right now and put an end to this race. Hillary Clinton is a disgrace to the Democratic Party and should no longer be given a platform to say such rediculous things. Go away Hillary, you've been beaten by a much better person, one with vision, values and morality; something that has alluded you during this campaign. As a Democrat in a conservative family, I now understand why Republicans dislike the Clintons so much. Thank God Barack Obama saved this country from you.

    May 8, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  24. kbsm

    ask senator clinton who stood by her and her philandering husband when he was impeached? it wasn't those white voters. it was african americans. the next time she stands on the back of a red pickup truck, tell her not to forget her confederate flag. she is definitely the most racist person i know. i guess your true feelings don't come out until you run for office. as an african-american woman, i supported her even before barack. that's the reason she is losing, she can't change and she is the world's biggest dummy. she talks about barack and rev. wright and the fact she would have walked away, she wouldn't have stayed for 20 years. why hasn't she walked away from bill? he seems like a bigger loser than rev wright. ask monica

    May 8, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  25. Iris Davidson

    As a white older working female I disagree with Hillary Clinton.
    Why is she continuing to go negative ?

    May 8, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
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