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. Not for Obozo

    If Obama would win, will they call it "The Brown House"?

    Although it was record-breaking turn out, only 38% of the population voted in NC.

    If he gets the nomination, McCain is a shoo-in and the republicans know it.

    May 8, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  2. Pat

    WHY DO ALL THOSE PEOPLE WITH MILLIONS IN THE BANK BACK OBAMA?THATS THE MILLION DOLLAR QUESTION!
    ________________________
    Power and Greed.

    They want someone they can CONTROL.

    OBAMA Is too GREEN. Needs more Experience out of all Three Yahoos. Think! Kinda of feel sorry for him in a way...he has no idea what these people are like...they may even dare I say it 'terminate' him. Hillary is a networker...she loves it. KNOWS the right people and loves to PULL the STRINGS. McCain...he is won of those guys who has been around TOO long...Knows the System...that's the problem...will he do what is RIGHT!

    May 8, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  3. Samuel, Los Angeles

    WOW, how in the world is she getting away with saying this? First of all, Black Americans are not hard working? Second, can she not see that Obama is getting the white vote as well? Third, what in the world...wow, I'm furious! I hope the media gives her the beating over this that she deserves, please Clinton News Network, don't just let her get away with this.

    Wow.

    Still in shock.

    May 8, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  4. BCNU purple state, usa

    Just when you thought it couldn't get any crazier....there she goes.

    She has no business dealing with foreign heads of state.

    May 8, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  5. M ---not an american

    Wow, I thought you were all Americans. Not only are you now divided by race, you now get to be labeled as "educated" or "uneducated". Not sure why people can make similar comments and one is just telling the truth and the other is a racist bigot. While she may not have intended the comment to be racist..... it sure as heck was about as elitist as they come. I wonder does she really want to convey that she thinks that her demographic is dumb white people?

    May 8, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  6. Jon McKinney

    Hillary,
    You're running out of money, credibility, and time. Write your concession speech and lets move on.

    Dissappointed Observer

    May 8, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  7. Ed

    I have great respect for Sen Clinton but im a little disappointed she made these comments

    May 8, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  8. Sheri

    Okay, so when 90% of Black Americans voted for Bill Clinton, were we being racist then? When Black Americans voted for all of the other White presidential candidates that we were allowed to vote for, were we being racist then? No, we Black Americans can't look at a candidates policies and ability to bring people together. We only look at the fact that Barack is half Black.

    Give me a freakin' (and you know what word I really wanted to put here) break!

    I was open to either Hillary or Barack being the Democratic presidential nominee because many of their policies are very similar, but since she doesn't want or need my Black vote, good luck to her because she won't be getting it if she is the Democratic presidential nominee.

    May 8, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  9. atypical white person

    If she's the only one getting the white vote, then I guess we'd better officially label whites as the minority, because Obama is not just pulling in the black vote. He couldn't be in the lead with just the black vote.

    Does she not see the ignorance of that statement?

    Clinton isn't that powerful, nor the media for that matter.

    It's up to each and every individual to think for themselves, not buy into all the hype, but look at the hype for what it is–what it's intended to do.

    May 8, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  10. Adolf

    truth is, you need to put Obama in his rightful place in the back of the bus.

    i'll light up a cross for you; jus' keep the flames a burnin' on the home front

    May 8, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  11. Tony Ortiz

    My initial comment was going to be that there is another "white" party she could join, the Klan. But then as I became more thoughtful I realized just how disconnected Hillary has become. Her ambition (as well as Bill's) is just so complete and misguided. She is on the verge of losing all her respectability. She will probably never be taken seriously in American politics again. New York would be wise to remove her in the next senatorial election.

    May 8, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  12. Reality sets in.

    I don't care for Clinton from the lies when her hubby won and think Barack doesn't have enough background. Although to me that's a plus.

    Here's the deal. No matter who wins, they will not put a woman or a black in the white house. So, the Dem party just shot itself in the foot and guaranteed a loss.

    If there would have been ANYONE else, I think dems would have won it. With these two, they are guaranteeing a Republican.

    May 8, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  13. Gabe

    Interesting.... When Hillary says that she can get the white vote, it is racist. Yet, Obama is getiing 90% of the black vote, and it is OK. The liberal and democrats double standards is what is dividing the party. If it is OK for one, it should be OK for all.

    May 8, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  14. Jack Robertson

    Hillary will definitely have a place in American history – alongside Orval Faubus, Lester Maddox, Strom Thurmond and George Wallace. Unlike Faubus et al., Clinton has been allowed by certain segments of the media to play the race card with virtual impunity. She, her husband and their campaign strategists, NOT the Obama camp, are responsible for injecting what should be a non-issue (race) into the campaign. If African-American voters are voting over 90% for Obama, it is largely because Mrs. Clinton has alienated so many of them who might otherwise have supported her. As for Obama's 'failure' to win white votes, it is worth noting that many white Republicans voted in the Democratic primaries and gave Clinton's campaign a boost. With very few exceptions, they are not a group that would be likely to vote for a black candidate under any circumstances. If Obama has a problem winning over white Democrats, the problem is not of his own making. It is largely the result of Mrs. Clinton and her ilk picking at the wounds of racial division that many in the Democratic Party had tried so hard to heal. Rather than bow out gracefully and with any semblance of dignity in tact, she has chosen to take the low road and to end her campaign on a bitter note. It is tragic that a woman who showed so much political promise will very likely end her pursuit of the Presidency with a legacy of racial and social division to haunt her.

    May 8, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  15. Raymond from Macon GA

    My God, she has decided to deploy racist rhetoric in a bid to gain the nomination......... Jesus Wept!

    May 8, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  16. 1PALady

    Clinton shoud be touting her NON-SUPPORT from BLACK AMERICANS. She has managed to lose the support of an entire voting bloc and if she keeps it up, she'll lose Hispanics too! White will be the miniority pretty soon! She needs to stop this crap!

    May 8, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  17. Brian from Fort Mill, S.C.

    To Linda:

    You're wrong. Blacks are not more racist than whites. We're equally racist. The only problem is that, since whites outnumber blacks 8 to 1, so whites get called on it more often.

    If there were equal numbers of black and white, and if all blacks and whites were racist, we would still have equality. But unfortunately, that's not the case.

    I sympathize with whites because of this. You get slammed for being racist, while we don't.

    But on the other hand, since you outnumber us, we consistently get the short end of the stick.

    Another note: When was the last time you saw a black voter who would NEVER vote for a white person? Never, because that was their only choice!

    Try to put yourselves in our shoes: Imagine that blacks had the majority, and only black people ran for president. And then, out of nowhere, a viable white candidate came along. What would you do?

    May 8, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  18. Stop that Woman

    The only thing you racist people on here have on Obama is what other people that know him have done or said.....You all have nothing on him...face it ....

    May 8, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  19. Lorenzo

    Enough Already!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    May 8, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  20. ST

    I am a 70 year old plus white woman who has seen Hillary spin and spin the truth. Obama is gaining a higher percentage of white votes in each major state as people get to know him. I am ashamed of those of my sex who feel the need to have a woman president of the US before they die and ignore what THIS woman is doing in order to get the nomination. Shame on her and shame on them.

    May 8, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  21. Janyouerry

    Question for any of your respondents: What did we call "racist black voters" who voted in the same percentages as they now vote for Obama when they supported Clinton, Carter, Kennedy, etc. Another interesting note is that traditionally black voters had unconditionally
    supported Republicans. What did we call them then? Can't have it both ways my name-calling.....92% vote counting friends.

    May 8, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  22. cathy

    Obama is not for the white people of America. Sure he places some behind him when he speaks, but that is planned to make him look better. Please wake up Americans.

    May 8, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  23. Barry IL

    This comment hurts Senator Clinton more than it helps her. Now she has taken "doing anything to win" too far.

    May 8, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  24. RYAN

    My whole family and I 're for Obama...Guess what...we 're white...

    May 8, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  25. Michael

    Actually what she says isn't true. She's never had the support of this white American and she never will.

    I'm hoping the remarks she's making are being heard by Pelosi and the rest of the DNC. Hillary Clinton is a horrible woman with delusions of grander and dreams of outright dictatorship. Please stop her now.

    Obama 2008

    May 8, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
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