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. Sameer K

    I had mentioned this before. This potentially points to her plan-B. She is likely ensuring that Obama gets the nomination but loses the general election so that she is back in 4 years.

    Though I personally don't think this to be a race card, but I can not imagine that she is not aware of the perception it will create with the Super delegates. She can not reasonably expect this to go well with much of the party leaders. Hence my conclusion is that her intent here is not to secure the nomination, but to weaken Obama to come back in 4 years.

    May 8, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  2. Ken

    The sad fact is that Obama cannot win the election without the support of a certain category of white voters in swing states. That sad fact is not due to anything Sen. Clinton has said or done. It has been true in recent elections and that has cost the Dems. If Obama cannot get those votes, we get another four years of a Republican president. There is nothing racist about identifying this reality. His overwhelming wins in primaries such as SC and NC are not harbingers of victory there in the general election. I see many comments here about her dividing the party, etc. If Obama loses in the fall, it will not be Hillary's fault. The demographics are what they are and the votes of the young, the educated, and African Americans are not enough to elect a president. If Obama gets the delegates, he gets the nomination. I will certainly vote for him. However, his supporters need a reality check to understand that he has to carry states to win and a look at the map will show a different reality from the Democatic primaries.

    May 8, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  3. RickytheGriff

    *looking at my own skin* Huh, I look white... and I voted for Obama... isn't that strange?

    What a disgusting, racist comment!

    May 8, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  4. no more Hill-Billys

    she is a white racist, rich little monster.

    who does she think she is? go away for good. you don't even deserve to live in this country let alone run for office.

    obama 08

    May 8, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  5. Monica

    Oh my, I have had enough!

    May 8, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  6. Chris In FL

    This proves how desperate Clinton is this late in the primary season. Her comments are ridiculous, since I am white & I have not heard anything Sen. Obama has said to change my mind on supporting him.

    May 8, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  7. Debby

    Clinton is right without the white vote Obama can't win the general if he is the nominee. Reagen Dem., blue collar white workers, independents, and the elderly will have a tough time pulling the lever for Obama. They might go to McCain so it not being racist its the truth. The other truth is Clinton can win the general without most of the AA vote and 3/4 of the young vote. This is Obama's strongest base right now since he lost alot of the white vote in the past primaries. Obama still has to make his case to the typical white person why he should be President.

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

    NOT ALL WHITES OR OLDER WHITES LIKE HILARY!! I'm 80 and I'm white and Obama has been my choice from the day he announced he wasa running! My whole family, kids, grand kids, sisters are all for him. He will help my dream, to leave this country better than I found it!

    May 8, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  9. Dennis

    Dear educated Hillary supporters:

    Oh, I'm sorry...

    May 8, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  10. RICARDO PHILLIPS OF D.C

    HOUSTON WE HAVE A PROBLEM . AND FOR ALL OF YOU IGNORANT VOTERS WHOM HAVE KEPT HER IN THE RACVE THIS LONG SHE HAS TURNED HER BACK ON YOU. NOW I BET YOU WISH YOU WOULD NOT HAVE VOTED FOR HER. HER TRUE COLORS ARE COMING OUT."KODAK MOMENT" LETS SEE HOW THE MEDIA BLASTS THIS.

    CNN= CLINTON NEWS NETWORK

    HOW MUCH STOCK DOES SHE HAVE INVESTED IN YOU?

    GOTTA LOVE KEITH OLBERMAN

    FOX LOOKING REAL GOOD RIGHT ABOUT NOW.

    May 8, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  11. Kevin Leo (Jonesboro, GA)

    Everyone keeps citing how Barack has won 80 to 90% of the Black vote and are calling us racist for voting for him. How quickly all of you have forgotten that Hillary was winning almost 40% of the Black vote initially until the South Carolina primary. How quickly people forget that New Hampshire and Vermont are almost totally white and Barak was able to win these primaries.

    To be certain, there are some who are voting for Barack solely based on him being African-American just as there are some women voting for Hillary solely based on her being a woman or white. That being said, we can not continue with the politics of division. We are tearing our own party apart and we have not even started dealing with the bigger issue – McSame!

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

    Wow....sad to think so many people support this woman.

    May 8, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  13. Lulu

    The point is...why is she still talking and to whom is she still talking to?

    She is mathematically out of the race.
    She is losing her support from the Super D's.

    There is no other reason to make this statement than to destroy Obama's chances in November and try in 2012.

    May 8, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  14. DLG

    It's the black people who voted all-out in Indiana and North Carolina! South Bend is the arm-pit of America/east Chicago and they've never had voters all-out like they did on Tuesday for their "black candidate!' They're only voting for him because he's black. They know nothing of what he represents .. umm Muslim and that his middle name is Hussein..or all the lies he's told. His wife's even a racist. Let's not get into his "Preacher." ......using that term loosely. Barak obviously believes in what that whacko preaches and practices it too.
    The biggest racists I've ever met are Blacks who can't forget, even though it wasn't my mom, dad, grandpa, or even great-grandpa that had anything to do with slavery! But they don't forget. The only more racist people I've ever met are Navajo Indian, who also can't forget and hate the "white man." I , for one, am sick of being blamed for my forefathers deeds!!!!
    Who's racist here???? It's not the white people! We give and give and give and still get called racist.
    GO HILLARY!

    May 8, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  15. Dandelion.

    I'm a white jewish girl from Florida and I definitely do not want her.

    May 8, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  16. Mike g

    I'm sorry Judy but this is one of the most ignorant statement I've ever read.*************Hillary is correct, the white people want her. And the only reason that the black people are voting for Obama is because is a a black man that has a chance at being the first black president. I will never vote for him.***********
    You don't know why the black community is voting for Obama. There may be some who are voting because of his color, but I highly doubt and hope that they are not in the majority. You should vote for the candidtate with whom you believe in their views and plans. In the begining of this race Clinton was doing well in the black community , but through her actions she lost their support. Regaurdless of who the nominee is if your a democrat you should support them because their view are more alike than the other major party has to offer.

    May 8, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  17. Peaches

    This is so sad since I was trying to look past some of Hillary's negative ad attacks and think her approach was of no ill will. This is over the top. So if this does not get more focus on being racist and non American then how the media portrayed Rev Wright who is not running for President, then the media is as stained and biased as Hillary.

    May 8, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  18. Shirley from Austin

    I, for one, am a white American in total support of Obama. He is the only candidate in either party which brings hope to America. McCain in the White House just means more enconomic instability and a prolonged war. Clinton in the White House spells utter and complete disaster. No candidate is perfect, but the "imperfect" Obama is our hope.

    Clinton doesn't even know how to keep her stories straight. How can she run the country. Her old politics and utter lies will lead us down the path of destruction.

    Shirley from Austin

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

    Black voters overwhelmingly supported the Clintons, voting for them in the Presidential and Senatorial elections in the same 9 to 1 ratio that Obama has received recently. Some of Hillary's strongest supporters continue to be African American and she began the primaries as the strong favorite of black voters.

    Now, for the words to come out of her mouth not only blatantly playing the race card, but essentially equating " working, hard-working Americans," with only white Americans is the final straw.

    Has she forgotten about all those "support among working, hard-working Americans," who are black and Latino who will remember this when she comes up for re-election.

    May 8, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  20. 60 year old white female, Mo

    We will vote for the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA not for the DIVIDED STATES OF AMERICA... !

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

    Yes, there is a pattern emerging in this primary.

    People who do not have a college education are voting for Clinton; people who do have a college education are voting for Obama.

    College teaches a person how to research and think about various issues before making a decision. It has nothing to do with race, religion, age or socio-economic status. It has to do with the higher level of thinking and analyzing that is taught at college. It is frustrating to see a college education being turned into something that is bad or "elitist"; being educated is a good thing and so is making wise and thought-out decisions concerning your choice for a presidential candidate.

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

    Hey Neil, Hillary never said " she is the candidate for white-America"...she's not my candidate either, but don't make her out to be a racist, that's just wrong

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

    The Republicans should put Hillary on their payroll. (maybe they already have) She is doing more to hurt the Democrats than any Republican could do. Thank goodness.

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

    Hillary just showed (again) she is not fit to lead this country. Drop out already!

    May 8, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  25. White Obama Support

    "there's a pattern here" Yeah a racist pattern. If he loses it will be her fault. She stoops so low have power. Reminds me of BUSH!

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