March 24th, 2008
04:47 PM ET
13 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. Tom, Cville, VA

    Clinton's camp accuses Obama of personal attacks?!!! Wow, that just about takes the cake. Look in the mirror, baby!

    March 24, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  2. Veterans for Obama

    Duh...Is this lady for real. That's what we've all been saying! Please drop is almost impossible for you to win Hillary. let's end this selfish quest for power and let Obama unite the party. He can do it.

    March 24, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  3. The Austrian

    Yes, McCain has admitted he doesn't know much about the economy. That, to me, is far more honorable than claiming to know something about the economy when in reality the knowledge is strictly limited to a flawed education in socialist policy. Give me a break, Clinton! You're a hypocrite!

    March 24, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  4. Corey, Maryland

    If she really wanted party unity, she would drop out of the race and support who will win no matter what. Now that Michigan and Florida will not have delegates seated, he last hope of ever getting the nomination was shot down. She will probably win Pennsylvania, but that is the last state she can rely on to win. Everything else is nicely in Obama's corner and after he wins those, the superdelegates will put him over the top. Clinton CAN NOT WIN!!!

    Obama Richardson 08!!!

    March 24, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  5. Elsa

    Bravo to Carville for saying the truth. The timing Richardson chose was non other than back stabbing.

    March 24, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  6. Veterans for Obama

    Hillary, it's over. You can't win, its you who are killing the Democratic party. Please stop so we can concentrate on McCain. The race is over for you.

    Obama 08

    March 24, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  7. Jane


    March 24, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  8. norb

    Just listned to Bill Clinton give a speech in Indiana for Hillary.
    He makes Obama look like a school boy.

    March 24, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  9. Greg

    I am supporting Obama. If Hillary gets the nomination. I will vote for McCain.

    March 24, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  10. Obama is a Godsend!

    Smartest thing she's said in a long time. Let's see if she can run a respectable campaign now.

    March 24, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  11. zina

    Thank you for saying that Mrs. Clinton. I do hope that the party will come together no matter which one of you is nominated. I pray that you will stand by these words and not choose to praise McCain as you have been doing.

    Obama '08

    March 24, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  12. Frazier

    Let the Party Begin! Thanks Hillary

    Obama 08

    March 24, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  13. Dan, Washington DC

    I don't particularly like either of these candidates, but I will almost certaintly vote for whomever wins. The Clinton and Obama supporters who plan on staying home or voting for McCain if their candidate doesn't win are the ones who will destroy the party. But is anyone really surprised that the Democrats are blowing it? We all saw this coming over a year ago.

    March 24, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  14. Yeswecan

    Hillary, we vote for you! You are the one can save this country from falling into troubles. You are the one can unify the party. You are the one actually read the bible, not Obama or Mccain.

    When Obama is behind, the world can see all kind of dark messages came from his office. Hillary remains positive on her tone.

    March 24, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  15. actxent

    Warning!! Warning!! a lot of these so call Hillary supporters on CNN blog are really Republicans that want her to win. Obama supporters don't take some of these comments against Obama personal or too serious. Let's focus on the issues and leave the fighting to the Hillarians and Republicans. We are smarter than that.

    March 24, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  16. caroline, los angeles

    the possibility of any unity in the party died when Sen. Clinton and her peeps decided to throw the kitchen sink at another Demo. I mean, what's Sen. Obama supposed to do...stand there and take it?

    Also, why is it important to point out that there were mainly women in the audience..what are you getting at CNN? just report the news and don't add your own extra crap

    March 24, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  17. Obama is a Godsend!


    Bill Clinton is not running for President...We already impeached him.

    March 24, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  18. Randy Ranson

    For over two and a half months Jack Cafferty has cost CNN the loss of over $2,500,000.00. Jack has been running a twice daily campaign of advertising Barack Obama over Hillary Clinton, using CNN’s time, good name, and studio facilities to support Barack Obama, by providing Obama, with free commercial air time, at an unfair and dishonest cost to CNN itself. This is how Ugly it truly is out there, thanks to your Jack Cafferty.

    CNN should ask Barack Obama for a reimbursement.

    March 24, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  19. CitizenS

    Hillary, VERY LAUGHABLE, YOU of all people who throw under-handed slurs and mean spirited remarks have the word 'unite' in your vocabulary. Yet, what is good for the goose is not good for the gander, meaning I can throw mud but don't throw it back. Hillary, YOU started this ugliness and trust me the same tactics will NOT work if you by some miracle are the nominee or elect-ee. People see through you and you are NOT a diplomatic person by any stretch. So, tighten your belt, bow out with grace and let the VOTE for OBAMA continue!

    March 24, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  20. Willy

    Democrats and the word "Unity" do not mix!

    March 24, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  21. d

    I find Obama's campaign disgusting. since I no longer can leave a blog on another site... do make such degrading personal attacks is just disgusting. Shame on Obama's campaign. Go Hilliary. I honestly would switch to McGain if for some reason Obama wins this contest, which he gas run purely on a racial basis.

    March 24, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  22. Hilary-Hope

    She is amazing.

    Even under the heaviest pressure from almost all the mainstream media, she is still showing the country the strongest life ability.

    I think nothing else she can not deal with.

    I really respect her.

    My daughter will be named after her.

    Hilary, we support you.

    March 24, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  23. Marie from SC

    I don't think party unity is possible. I am but one of many who will not vote for Sen. Obama - therefore our only other choice is to cross party lines and vote for Sen. McCain.

    March 24, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  24. JR

    the obama campaign is proving that they are not above politics as usual. im voing for McCain!

    March 24, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  25. Patricia

    Yeah, but will she? She doesn't take defeat well, and it shows.

    March 24, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
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