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. Kristin, WI

    I'm not even a minority group and this comment makes me sick! I've felt for a long time that I could not vote for her and this just clinches the deal. That comment is just plain divisive.

    May 8, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  2. Truth Be Told

    and also, to think that her supporters are the ones that say obama is a racist? racist how again?

    May 8, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  3. Ron, TX

    Every last white voter who cast their ballot for Clinton is racist and would never vote for a black man? Clinton is actually playing the race card on her OWN SUPPORTERS!? Wow...

    May 8, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  4. OZ

    It's over Hillary! Get OUT before you destroy the party!!!

    May 8, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  5. sue

    Just think for a moment about this. Hilary says she has experience. Clinton's economic proposal to recover the 8.5 million with windfall profits tax on oil companies cannot happen. She's already committed that money to developing renewable energy. The proceeds normally go for highway repair jobs and 300,000 jobs would be lost there. So, just where does her experience excel?. She says she regrets the decision to go to war, but wants to decimate Iran. So, it's not human rights that interest her.
    This woman would sell her mother to get elected. Be careful what you wish for.

    May 8, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  6. Robert from RI

    Good, God. I'm an independent; but if the democratic party does not do something immediately to stop this woman, she's going to burn the whole party down with these scorched earth tactics till there' s no way for the democrats to compete in this election.

    She'd sell the whole country away for her ambitions, and that's not what I want in a President of the United States.

    She's said that if it came to a point where there was no chance of her winning, she'd support the nominee, she's said it repeatedly but the line of when she'll step out keeps changing. Now she's saying she'll support the nominee, but only after the DNC forcefully removes her from the running.

    As an American citizen, I beg the Super-delegates to end this circus.

    May 8, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  7. SF, NY

    This isn't even about the campaign any more. It's not about any of the candidates. These comments and her actions throughout this process are about her losing everything that she once stood for. I started out a Hillary supporter because I thought she was the candidate for change. It's sad to see how wrong I was...

    May 8, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  8. John

    Thats just not true and its a racist statement.

    May 8, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  9. TheWholeTruth

    Keep on hacking, Hillary. Whatever works for you and Bill. Forget the math. Forget reality. Forget decency. Just keep on hacking.

    May 8, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  10. fred OR

    does anyone else notice that she sounds like a racist

    May 8, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  11. LINDA,FL

    her only chance is if Obama disappears.
    Knowing Clintons Obama should increase security .
    ASAP.
    Extremely important.

    May 8, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  12. Democrat in Northwest

    Do we want a democrat in the WH or not? She has the support of the party's base. You can interpert her comments anyway you want but the important question is who is more electable. Who can get more votes against McCain in November. She is the stronget and she has a much better chance. Dems can get emotional and loose their chance to the WH again.
    Hopefully the remaining super deligates will use their brain rather than their emotion.

    May 8, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  13. RH

    As part of the international community who are avidly following the Democratic Party Primaries, it's such a shame to see Hillary Clinton make such demeaning and shameful comments. She has just shown she is still very much a part of the same old political machinery who will say and do just about anything to get themselves elected.

    I sincerley hope that Americans will see through this and will come to understand the truly profound significance Barack Obama will have on the world stage, where he will no doubt restore the worlds respect and admiration that America truly deserves, which has been on a steady decline over the past decade.

    May 8, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  14. Marshall

    Here are some numbers 1 out of 8 black voters are voting for Hillary. So that means 7 of 8 have voted for Obama. Here is the rest of the story. 7 of 8 black voters also voted for Kerry, Gore & Bill Clinton. Do we see a pattern?

    You have got it, it is all about race.

    Get the facts people and forget her hype.

    May 8, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  15. DB

    Time for the DNC and the party elders to show some leadership and stop this. Sen. Clinton could have gone out with some dignity, like Mike Huckabee, but she has chosen the lower road. Hillary Clinton is part of the Democratic Party, but the Party is more than Sen. Clinton.

    May 8, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  16. Bill

    If 70% of whites are racists then why it is a crime to say it aloud.
    This is the fact and Billary is in her right to use.

    It is not whether I approve it or not it is about hypocrisy in the press.
    Yes, whites and Mexicans hate blacks and will not vote for Obama.
    Policies and positions do not matter here. Is about race.

    Go Obama.

    May 8, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  17. Chris, Middletown, CT

    Its a sad day....when anyone would listen to Hillary Clinton

    I'm a white Republican...and I support Obama....not because he is black....and not because of his gender....

    Get rid of this mess now

    May 8, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  18. Randernyc

    As a white, upper income independent, I am appalled at the Senator's Clinton's comments. She certainly does not speak for me nor for the millions of white independents, Republicans and Democrats who have voted for Barrack Obama. She's only sees the playing field through her own prism and that is why her candidacy has failed.

    It appears that she wants to destroy the Democrats' chances in November with this kind of misguided judgment, but people are smarter than she thinks they are.

    Lucky that we have seen what lies behind this alleged "fighter." No shame and all blame!

    May 8, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  19. Krista

    working, hard working, white americans...as opposed to....wow she is totally out of touch and needs to go away.

    May 8, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  20. Nancy

    This is so pathetic and desperate.....

    May 8, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  21. chris

    It continues to amaze me to what extent Hilary Clinton will go to destroying the democratic party. This entire campaign to date we've heard her message sway with inconsistencies, merely to win the next primary. Her campaigns and individual comments always negative and attacking of Obama. And this nieve ideology that she is more expereienced and popular of a candidate than Obama- meanwhile having less popular vote and delegates. WAKE UP! You ran a strong campaign. If you're so experience...you would know when to call it quits for your party...and how to lose with grace.

    Her "say anything to win" is not the change America needs, it's the same old Washington politics that continue to drag our country and people down.

    May 8, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  22. honest

    I HOPE HILLARY LOSES HER SENATE SEAT COME HER RE-ELECTION BECAUSE SHE WENT TO THE SENATE TO SERVE HER SELF EGO AND NOTHING ELSE. ALL SHE HAS IS A BIG mouth!!!!!

    May 8, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
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