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. MC, Pa

    She will destroy the party.

    May 8, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  2. Steve in DC

    Wow...this is a new low for Hillary...I'm really disappointed. Why would she make such a comment? This is really bad for the Clintons...they are about to loose what little dignity they had left.

    Obama 08

    May 8, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  3. Andy Stein

    Drop out.

    May 8, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  4. al

    This is indeed a sad day! She obviously does not want to be V.P. so in my opinion when BO receives the nomination she will not help him at all. Instead she will allow the party to go down in flames. It hurts to see her in this capacity. Hillary has forgotten about people who truly believe in having a values based America.

    May 8, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  5. Democrat

    Racist......bigot.

    May 8, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  6. Concerned

    Its comments like that that continues to divide the party. If Hillary continues to remain in the party, the least she can do is make it positive instead of bashing Obama about the "white" vote. They are on the same team but she is running against him like the Republicans would. It is a sad thing in America that "race" will never go away and will always be a part of our every day lives. Hillary and Bill are not prejudice people al all. But it’s the comments like that that harms the party and plays on people emotions.

    If Obama doesn't win the general election in November, it will not be because he is inexperienced, shamefully, it will be because he is black and the people would rather vote a third term Bush instead of voting for a black man. They would rather throw away the chance for America/Washington to change than to give someone a chance.

    May 8, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  7. paul oregon

    clintons and some of her supporters are racist s bigots. she is lower
    than a slug. she will say anything no mattter what .
    im a white american 62yrs old, retired mill worker, h.s. graduate.
    a catholic, belives in gun ownership not happy about my goverment
    trying to shaft me every day. AND IT WILL BE A COLD DAY IN HELL
    BE FOR I WOULD VOTE FOR BILLARY. AMEN

    May 8, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  8. bonnie

    well bill burton i think she may be right but not because he is black , but for all of these reasons, farakon, ayers, re. wright. frank davis,redzko, i am proud of my country for the first time.change change for the bad and he is the weaker canidate. oh yes lets not for get small towns people reach for there guns and cling to there religion.

    May 8, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  9. Lee

    There she goes again...

    Hillary is an intelligent woman. She knows what she is doing by saying these things. She is unashamedly race-baiting. Does she honestly believe Americans are so ignorant as to not see through her? To think I was an ardent defender and supporter of her and Bill. I am completely through with her. When this primary season became tough Hillary did not rise to the occasion, what arose was the worst, most base side of her. She will do and say anything to get the nomination knowing full well she, herself, does not believe the nonsense she spews. I only hope her supporters, and all Americans see through her desperate attempts to get the nomination at any cost. Her actions are shameful.

    May 8, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  10. Urban Stump

    Wow!!! all these Super delagates that are saying let the race go on...they are underestimating what Hillary Clinton would do to get the nomination!

    African-American's aren't stupid....they won't vote for her in the fall! And I would submit that the majority of White American's are offended by this statment too!

    What is she think?????

    May 8, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  11. John New York

    More racism from clinton. And she's supposed to be intelligent. She's smart all right. She'd be willing to have race riots in the streets, caused by billary, and then move in as a "peacemaker." Anything to win.

    May 8, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  12. Shawna

    the dnc is about to shut this race down, clinton has lost her mind

    May 8, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  13. PD

    wow, talk about being divisive and racist. Hillary shame on you. It comes out, the truth about how you feel. Well, guess what black people have turned away from you more than whites have turned away from Obama.

    you are finished.

    May 8, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  14. Daniel Polson, Obama supporter

    what a disgrace to America this woman is! in the words of Barack Obama, "Shame on her!"

    Hillary, you lost, GET OUT!!!!!!!!!!

    GO AWAY ALREADY!!!!!!!!!!!

    May 8, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  15. stacy

    she is correct, I am one of them and just donated to her, 45% of
    voters are still for her.

    May 8, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  16. Clinton's support

    I think what she said is insulting to all Americans who have not received a college education. She is implying that they are easily manipulated/convinced by her and that they do not want an African-American in office.

    If you agree with her, please stand up and say so, because I find it hard to believe that she is right.

    May 8, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  17. CB in Florida

    What a crock Hillary! You are losing by every measure and now you come out with this. The party is surely facing its destruction.

    May 8, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  18. Dave McLellan

    It must be a proud day in her life, the day she got to embrace racism in order to try to pander her way to the whitehouse. I know it must be incredibly painful for her to have lost her dream, but surely she can hold herself together better than this? This kind of response is exactly what turned me from being a big supporter, into someone who will be glad to take any alternative, including Obama.

    May 8, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  19. Chip

    Time to get out the popcorn, sit back, and watch the fur start flying!

    Followed by her apologists offering their interpretation of what she said.

    Tomorrow one of her 'campaign spokesmen' will add their spin to this and "clarify" it for us.

    Why did she go there?

    May 8, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  20. Wayne, Greenville TX

    If Hillary is trying to get the KKK vote, she's wasting her breath – virtually all of them are Republicans nowadays.....

    May 8, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  21. American Supporter for OBAMA

    OK...It's definitely time for her to go!!! That is take divisiveness to a whole new level even for her. I just lost what "little" respect I had for her.

    May 8, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  22. On Borrowed Time, Atlanta, GA

    Deplorable. Sen. Clinton is too precise a speaker as a politician to not realizing to whom her statement is pandering. She is attempting to garner the white racially polarized vote and paint the entire white downscale constituency with that brush. If I were a hardworking blue-collar White voter who is not racist, this would offend me greatly. She should be ashamed of herself. Sen. Clinton, there are far worse things than losing an election. Like losing the dignity you once carried within the Democratic Party. Shame on you.

    May 8, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  23. Sasha

    This woman has some serious problems. Does she understand that she is depending on racism and fear to win the nomination? I guess the black community (makes up 13% of the population and even a larger portion of the democrat party) is no longer important. They were useful in the 90's. She is disgusting....................

    May 8, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  24. cbenji

    how insulting to all americans. this is exactly why i just made my $50 donation to obama to match her 6.5 million loan to her own campaign. clinton will say anything... do anything to win the nomination. i can't believe i was once her supporter. obama is trying to bring the races together and she's just trying to throw a bigger wedge between us. disgusting. i hope she spends her last dime on her dying campaign. you have really sunk to an all time low hillary... appalling.

    May 8, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  25. Justin (ny)

    Hey Hilrod! Read the numbers! They appear to be telling a MUCH different story than the one you're trying to sell us. The numbers say that Hillary won 65% of the white vote in Ohio, 63% in Penn. and 60% in Indiana... Sounds like YOU'RE the one who is losing the "white vote" and not the other way around.

    STOP LYING PLEASE!

    May 8, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
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