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. Really

    Why is it okay to say Barrack has the majority of the black vote, but if you mention Hillary getting any of the white vote than you are a racists. I love how people that post comments state they are white or female or a Republican that will vote for Barrack. I am a black muslim women and I am voting for McCain. I have learned that there is a lot of hate and guilt in the demorcatic party.

    May 8, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  2. Montana is Obama Country

    I am a 50 year old WHITE ITALAIN woman, graduated GED and worked my butt of raising three children, during the Clinton/Bush years and I voted absentee for BARACK OBAMA .... because I want my children and now granchildren to have a better life than I give them during those adminstrative years......

    Yes...We..Can....

    May 8, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  3. Byron

    Based on these comments, her true colors are now showing. This is very upsetting that she would even suggest this based on the demographics of the united states.

    Blacks only make up 12.7 percentage of the US population. Obama has more support of whites, blacks, Asians, and Hispanics for him to have these numbers.

    Open your eyes Hillary. You need to get out instead of stirring up racial tension in the democratic party.

    This is the lowest that I've ever heard form a presidential candidate!!

    May 8, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  4. jason

    well, when you tell everyone he is a racist, that's what happens. Let's not pretend you had nothing to do with it, Hillary.

    Also, why is it no one in the press pointed out that Rev Wright said 'g.d. America' not 'g.d. Whites?' AMERICA ISN'T JUST WHITE!

    He was speaking to the AMERICANS in his congregation as well.

    May 8, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  5. Jeffrey, Douglas, MI

    Truly outrageous...of course, the Clinton's will stop at nothing in trying to secure the nomination...

    Count me as another "whitey" for Obama...and proud of it!

    May 8, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  6. Tracey

    This sounds like an attempt to bring race back into this campaign. I hope the Obama campaign doesn't take the bait. Lets stick to the issues, please!

    They are so busy fighting each other, nobody is talking about how Geriatric John McCain was speaking into the wrong side of the microphone during a recent speech!

    May 8, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  7. Bitter Tommy Hussein in St. Louis

    For those who were in denial, I think this shows where the race card really came from.

    May 8, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  8. Shirley Armstrong

    Hillary told the truth obama has to many things against him Wright and all rhe rest How can he say he didnt know what his pastor was about. he is not being honest. why did he uninvite himtoc his annoucment and he will also divide the country he needs to let people know more about himself he is saying what is policilly correct. he scares me

    May 8, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  9. freddycoyote

    I am beyond angry at this point. Paul in Oregon is dead on right: it will be a cold day in hell before I vote for this carpetbagging liar. Why doesn't she come out and say it, you know she thinks it: a black man can't be elected. I'd advise her to consider the results of the primaries and caucuses. Not getting white votes? Who exactly voted for Obama in Idaho? Minnesota? Colorado? NOT bastions of the black race in America. And I'm sick of the media concentrating on race as the defining feature of the campaign. It's not race. It's racism. And the Clinton's are driving it. Get out. And don't come back to NY...go back to Arkansas...

    May 8, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  10. Bob Barton

    After that comment, Hilary, this WHITE man has no interest in YOU being our President!

    May 8, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  11. LisaB

    One more thing - why doesn't she just come out and say she thinks that the ignorant racist bigot vote cannot be ignored and that she is the only one who can win it? She doesn't say this truth because it is disgusting. I have more faith in democrats than she does, even older and more provincial democrats who are still struggling with their ingrained stereotypes of minorities, and have little doubt that they will unite behind Obama and overcome ignorant bigotry and discrimination when the alternative is to vote for more dismal, backward-thinking, visionless conservative policies.

    May 8, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  12. Kristal

    she win's the big states and as for her being rascist are you people kidding all her political life she and bill have tryed to help afro american's and thats the thanks she get's almost everyone black voter voted for obama if that is not rascist what is? turn it around cry's of white's being rascist would be heard around the world i for 1 will be sending cash next week as i only recieve pogy but that lady needs fianancial help? it's time? as it's been proven? to help your own? they have proven that ? hillary you are a fighter and fighters don't quit. obama is terrified of superdelagates knowing that with obama they can't and won't win . but with you hillary all systems are go you know your going to look great again on the Whitehouse steps . God bless our troop's heroes each and everyone

    May 8, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  13. Claudia - Oregon

    Here she is, giving the Republicans more amunition. I think her statement is outrageous and shows how she thrives on being negative. Surely the Superdelegates will now all step in and say "enough"??? By the way, I am a white American.

    May 8, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  14. White Male Texas

    I'm a white male from Texas in his 20's and I support Obama. I'm sickened by the divisive pandering to "women" and "whites". Sure Obama has captured the black vote. It is the first time in American history that there has been an opportunity of this magnitude available to people of color. There has never been a woman as president and I hope that someday we see one. However, HRC is not the answer. I would find it equally divisive if Obama came out tomorrow touting the only votes that count are from black men. It's sad that our country has progressed so little.

    May 8, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  15. Wally

    Again Hillary is playing the race card and she exaggerates
    her support among whites. I am white. Most of the Obama
    volunteers in my home county are white, the county itself
    is very white (we line in the Rocky Mountains) and yet my county
    voted by a margin of 3 to 1 for Barack Obama. My state of Colorado
    voted by a 2 to 1 margin in favor of Obama.

    Again Hillary is being a divisive figure and is unworthy and unable to be the Democratic Party nominee.

    May 8, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  16. mike concerned democrate

    Hillary STOP IT !!!!!

    If you won by 40 points in all the remaining races you still cannot over come Obama's delegate count. You have not won by 20 points in any of the races to date. So da .. is there a reasonable chance NO !!

    If you try to buy the win by pressuring old school superdelegates under the guise that some how you are more electible – this flies against the will of the people who by delegate count and otherwsie support Obama. I can say, that if that happened , why then do we vote period when it would in that case not mean a thing. Further, we are all brought up to respect rules, rules of law and otherwise, why then would the Democratic party allow you to break the rules (Florida etc.)that you originally agreed too. subjecting the Democratic party to total disgrace for their inability to stand by their own rules.

    WAKE UP hILLARY DO THE RIGHT THING, GET OUT OF THE WAY ..................

    May 8, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  17. Brandon

    These type of hateful comments are the things that America needs to eliminate. What an shameful thing to say. What the world needs is Love and understanding not statistics and stereotypes.

    Also, Glenn Beck if you are reading this, I like you and what you have to say (most of the time) but seriously there are more important things to talk about on your radio show then what you drive and how you are annoyed with Obama's accent. Seriously!

    Also, if you want to continue to slam Obama then make that far game; slam some of the stupid ideas from the other candidates. Gas tax holiday HA that is a band aid if I've ever seen one, or how about these racist comments? Or how about the nice comments about how Obama supporters are idiots and are just in love with Obama's empty words? Ahh how about this one "the Free Market will fix everything" B.S. the free market is not going to fix the Medical situation, where I spend $25 dollars for 4 xrays at Patient First then get charged $600 plus from the hospital for the SAME xrays!?!?

    Beck don't be biased, very unbecoming.

    Obama '08, For Change

    May 8, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  18. Philip Tiewater

    More desperate attempts by Hillary to sway the superdelegates. Her indifference to the good of the Democratic party is appalling. She keeps playing the race card to the detriment of the party.

    She was considered devisive by Republicans before this campaign. Her actions are increasingly devisive to the Democrats. The party has far too many diverse groups to weather this sort of tactic.

    If she is suucessful in convincing superdelagates to ignore the will of the majority the Democratic party could very easily lose the election to a moderate, aisle crossing Republican...

    May 8, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  19. 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 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  20. skylark

    Patience Obama supporters. Give her enough rope and...........
    Well, you know the rest. I really believe the woman is psychotic.
    Come on Delegates. What are you waiting for? Shut her down and lets get on with the real election.
    Obama '08

    May 8, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  21. CountryJoe 08

    I've really lost alot of respect for Hillary during the past few weeks. It's really sad to see what the lust for power has done to her.

    Does she really believe that he can't win because he's black?

    May 8, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  22. Tommy In Oregon

    Interesting perspectives considering that he's winning. He couldn't be winning the number of states, delegates and popular vote if he didn't have the support of some White american's. It's been noted that latino support is not that strong, and African American's are barely more than 10% of the population. If he doesn't have any White Support, how is he leading?

    May 8, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  23. Ray

    Nothing short of disgusting...do the superdelegates need any further convincing that Hillary is the WRONG candidate for the Democratic Party in November?

    May 8, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  24. dorothy

    I had started to feel some sympathy and praise for Hillary because in my mind she proved herself to be a formidble foe and a FIGHTER!!! I liked her "I won't quit spirit" and I was a proponent of her continuing in the race until it was finished because I felt it to be her right, but this is ridiculous and an a low that I never thought that she would sink to.

    Barack did not say that he has 90% of the AA vote went for him. He is not quoting polls or stats that suggest it. He is still calling for not a white America, not a Black America, red or brown America or even a Democrat or Republican America, but a United States of America.

    To be truthful, though slim, until this enormous racist remark, I thought Hillary might be able to convince the superdelegates of her "electability", but this, this horrible low, insulting remark will only serve to prove that she is a divisive candidate that will not only divide the Democratic Party, but the country.

    Shame on you Hillary. You are much too smart, with much too much talent and grit going for you to stoop to this level. Shame on you.

    May 8, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  25. rcp

    how about us brown and asian american people?

    OBAMA '08

    May 8, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
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