March 24th, 2008
04:47 PM ET
15 years ago

Clinton stresses party unity in Pennsylvania

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Sen. Clinton said Democrats will need to unite against John McCain."]

BLUE BELL, Pennsylvania (CNN) - Over the weekend, Barack Obama's campaign manager David Plouffe accused Hillary Clinton of having a “character gap.” Clinton spokesman Phil Singer returned fire, saying today that Obama’s campaign is perpetrating an "insidious pattern of personal attacks."

Any Democrat listening the harsh language emanating from the campaigns would be forgiven for thinking it might be tough to unify the party this fall.

Clinton was asked by a voter here Monday about the increasingly contentious race, and whether Democrats can manage to come together in the general election. Clinton re-emphasized that Democrats must unite after the primary battle.

"I think we will have a unified Democratic party once we have a nominee, we will go into fall election very committed to taking back the White House," she said. "None of the things I talk about will happen if Sen. McCain is elected."

She praised McCain and their work in Senate together, but added, "As he himself has said, he doesn’t know much about the economy."

The mostly female audience laughed as she ribbed McCain over his economic credentials, but she was serious as she urged Democrats to put aside their differences to defeat the presumptive GOP nominee.

"I think that people that who would have voted for either me or Sen. Obama are going to ask themselves, 'Wait a minute, there are really big differences between the Democrats and the Republicans.' And let’s have a unified party and elect a Democratic president."

UPDATE: Republican National Committee spokesman Danny Diaz issued this response to Clinton's charges against McCain: "Sen. Clinton’s plans to increase taxes and implement massive government spending would only hurt hardworking families and small businesses. Her political attacks against Sen. McCain won’t distract voters from her backward-looking and failed policy stances."

- CNN Political Producer Peter Hamby

Filed under: Hillary Clinton • Pennsylvania
soundoff (397 Responses)
  1. mush

    Sorry Hill!!! You are just adicted with corruption and severe elements of dictatorship. America does not belong to the Bushes and Clintons only. Everyone born in America is entitled to presidency. You want to make the White House a Chinese Military base, like what you were doing as the first lady-dining with Chinese spies. For you to sugeest the white house belongs to you and McCain only proves to the whole world that you a divisionary person who thrives through discrimination and hatred of other races. At 3am in the White House Bill was committing adultery. Come to the table and realise that are formenting hatred. You brought personal hatred into this primary, now you are refusing to acknowledge what you have started. GIVE US A BREAK!!1

    March 24, 2008 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  2. Ken, San Diego, CA

    Let's understand exactly what is going on:

    Obama's present tactic is to turn the campaign personal. This works for him for the following reasons:

    1) Hillary will always looks worse than he will. Bill Clinton, no matter what he says, will be demonized by the Obama camp (i.e., "McCarthy" comment). The Obama camp hopes that voters will remember the partisan politics of the 90's and therefore not want to vote for Hillary (and the "blue dress" comment was no accident). Of course, what the Obama camp will not tell you is that during the 90's more bi-partisan policies were successful than during any other administration in modern times.

    2) With an acrimonious tenor, the Obama camp is trying to convince Democrats that there is no way to have a Clinton/Obama ticket or an Obama/Clinton ticket. The Obama camp feels they are losing votes to Hillary because people think Hillary will select Obama as a running mate anyway. The Obama camp wants people he and she can't work together. Of course, that's silly (i.e., Reagan/Bush).

    Make no mistake of this, whenever Hillary comes out with some sort of policy statement, the Obama campaign will not debate it, rather they will attack her personnally. Whenever Bill says something (no matter how innocent) they will attempt to demonize him. THIS is their strategy.

    The Obama camp is concerned about Pennsylvania and the rest of the primaries left. If they lose Penn, WV, NC, and Indiana, they know that in the end the pledged delegate count will be about 50 to 100 delegates between the two. That is no mandate. As a result, the superdelegates will come in and discuss who can best beat McCain. Whether the Obama supporters like it or not, that's Hillary. Without Hillary, the elderly voters go to McCain (as do Hispanic voters). With Obama, Independents split with McCain, and the "moderate" Republicans go to McCain. The "dream ticket" is Clinton and Obama, because that's the only way the Democratic house is unity - which is the only way to beat McCain.

    March 24, 2008 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  3. landi

    Hillary knows she won't get the normination so she is making sure that obama goes down with her.Shame on you hillary

    March 24, 2008 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  4. Right2Know

    I find interesting that the O-bots are voting for BHO based on his call for "unity" but don't want anything to do with Hillary or their supporters?? Does he mean "unity" with everyone who votes for him and screw eveyone else that does not agree?? That sure is a good way to start!!

    If he wants "unity" then why attend a "separatist church"??

    Hillary has already crossed the isle with some very conservative GOPers'?? So why does BHO try to make it seem as though noone else has crossed-the-isle before?? He is one SELFISH man!

    March 24, 2008 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  5. Marj,Paso Robles, Cal

    Hillary and BO can't even unite the Democratic party, let alone the nation. Please, say NO to Hillary and NO to BO.

    McCain, 2008

    March 24, 2008 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  6. William Martin

    If Sen. Clinton does not get the nomination then I am going to write in her name anyways come November. Forget this stuff about party loyalty when the party cannot even stay loyal to its members. I am only loyal to the Clintons because they have always done a good job.

    Hillary supporters should do a write-in campaign on behalf of her.

    Hillary all the way!

    March 24, 2008 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  7. maria

    old people have done enough..for america...please sit down old people have poluted the world without regard started wars for no reason..but to steal..old people are racist and bigotted..and young people dont need any more dept on our shoulders ...from old folks that dont know at all what is going on any longer....thanks for not voting at all old folks

    March 24, 2008 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  8. Peter

    For those of you who are still claiming that Rev. Wright was racist or un-american, please go to Roland Martin's blog and listen to the sermons in their entirety. Check the bible verses that form the basis of each sermon, preferrably before you listen to the sermons. Wright is not being racist or anti-american. And he isn't "blaming" america for 9/11. He is using scripture and situational ethics to teach such things as not taking revenge on innocent civilians (the 9/11 sermon) and one nation under God should not put itself above God (The God D*** America sermon).

    I'm a white guy, never been to Rev. Wright's church, and have no particular reason to support him. But Wright is being railroaded. Fair is fair, unfair is unfair, and the way Wright is being treated is unfair, based on the sermons that have been cited as being controversial.

    March 24, 2008 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  9. The Real Deal

    To use a Super bowl analogy and then a Spades Card Game analogy

    As the Hillary Campaign heads toward the end of the Season and toward the Football seasons Playoffs. The Clinton Campaign team has NOT WON ENOUGH games (DELEGATES) to WIN a chance to play in the Super bowl. PERIOD!

    Just as NO Referee or NFL Managers WILL NOT override a team that HAS WON enough games (DELEGATES) to play in the super bowl and instead replace that WINING TEAM with a Team that has lost. NOR will the Super delegates remove Obama the WINNER with Hillary the LOSER.

    Faced with that Hillary should be jockeying for a position in the Obama Administration instead of praising McCain and wanting the Super delegates to do a disastrous act for the Democratic Party.

    This RACE uproar was Hillary’s LAST good spades in a Card game of spades analogy. Once that is done in a Spades Card Game and the other team Obama has ALL the SPADES. All players usually call the game by throwing in the cards why waist the time. GAME OVER!!

    March 24, 2008 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  10. chris

    This is the first positive thing I've ever read about Clinton saying since she began running for President.

    Maybe if she continues, Obama can do less dmg control/return fire instigated from her group and both can get back to discussing the issues (which she says are so important to talk about... so talk about them and stop with this smack talking I'm always reading about!)


    March 24, 2008 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  11. PhilT

    Party unity? What do the Clintons know of unity? Carville's Judas remark is a disgrace. Comparing Gov. Richardson to Judas, the most notorious human in the history of mankind, is despicable. Carville couldn't shine his shoes. What does he know of Jesus and the true message of love?

    I look forward to the day Hillary is out of the race so we can move forward and win the White House.

    Phil T.

    March 24, 2008 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  12. T. Viviano

    . . .LatinoNation, Bill Richardson said that Clinton campaign members
    told him that his endorsement of Senator Obama was not important since the latino Texas vote is no longer needed. Don't you feel just a
    little bit used by Hillary Clinton?

    Obama 08.

    March 24, 2008 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  13. Right2Know

    Obama does NOT know the meaning of 'UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE" much less the meaning of "UNITY"

    Obama on vacation to take away the stress! LOL!!!! That's it Obama RUN AWAY FROM YOUR PROBLEMS!!!! YEP, THAT WILL MAKE THEM GO AWAY!!!

    STOP THE PRESSES!! – George W. Bush ....WE HAVE FOUND YOUR TWIN!!!!!!!!

    March 24, 2008 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  14. Right2Know

    CNN- I guess my posts tell the TRUTH about your beloved Obanana!

    STOP THE BIAS CNN!! or should we ask "how many gold coins were you promised???

    March 24, 2008 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  15. ktlin

    Let's unify by saying Richardson is Judas. Right. Let's unify by prevaricating about your experience. Hillary is living in the past. She forgets we have videos of everything. Of her telling her story on St Pats day and seeing the truth today. Just like eventually the truth would come out about Obama's pastor. Much was taken out of context. We need to see it all. When we find the truth then we might unify unless someone has distorted themselves too much. Like the Clintons?

    March 24, 2008 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  16. Justin from West Haven, CT

    Clinton perpetuates the negativity by continuing running her hopeless campaign.

    March 24, 2008 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  17. Mike

    Kim PA, says above: March 24th, 2008 5:07 pm ET

    I am supporting HIllary. If Obama gets the nomination, i will throw up. And vote for McCain…. he is a better choice!

    Kim, you might as well vote McCain. Both McCain and Hillary are in the pockets of the same lobbiests for the Big Corporations that have sold our jobs overseas.

    March 24, 2008 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  18. mary

    Sneaky Obama went to St. Thomas to get ahead start. He's not on vacation, why does he lie all the time? From a "typical white woman".

    March 24, 2008 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  19. Carmen

    It's very disturbing to read this commentary. No matter which of these candidates wins the nomination, we should support that candidate....not cross over and vote for John McCain! What are you thinking! Like it or not, both Clinton and Obama have very similar platforms. Do you think Hillary would vote for McCain? Do you think Obama would vote for McCain? We need to unite behind whichever candidate becomes the nominee, when the time comes. Until then rally behind who you believe would do the best job as President and quit being so childish. BOTH of these candidates have their strong points. I happen to support Hillary Rodham Clinton 100%, but would I vote for John McCain if she were not the nominee? HECK no....I would be out there supporting Obama like a good Democrat. Get a grip.

    March 24, 2008 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  20. kelly WI

    Must be a lot of Judas' in the dem party since so many have left her.
    Mr & Mrs. Pinochio should get back to Ark. via Bosnia, Ireland, Monica and everything inbetween. And take the rajin cajun with them.
    Talk about liars, my god.
    Stay tuned more to come in the following months. She'll talk herself into being a great person yet. I wonder if the Supers are hiring extra security.
    On the scale their baggage is heavy. Over weight.
    Need answer,....why not.
    McCain 08

    March 24, 2008 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  21. Right2Know

    O-bots – So have you seen what was purchased from Tiffany's jewelry with your $600 of hard earned money???

    Michelle "Mean America" Obama will be showing off her new "bling" from Tiffany's soon!! Lol!! Keep DONATING folks...Michelle needs a new pair of shoes!!!!

    March 24, 2008 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  22. 17 yr old democrat from kansas

    So because Richardson votes for a real man unlike Bill clinton or a stronger candiate than what Hiliary is he is wrong? since when are people not allowed to change there minds on The Clintons? YOU PEOPLE ACT LIKE SHE IS JESUS!!

    March 24, 2008 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16