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. Deb

    My Granddaughters refer to Obama as "The Bad Man who Hates America!"

    He is definitely no longer a variable candidate and he is now running a VERY negative champagne out of desperation.

    Give it Up Bad man who hates America-Stay in the Virgin Islands, you are no longer welcome here!

    We have a General Election to win!

    March 24, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  2. Letha, Sioux Falls, SD

    If Obama is on the ticket, I'll vote McCain. Obama has shown nothing more that dirty tricks, racism at it's worse and a petty attitude. Richardson is a sell out ans Carville got it right. Was Richardson 30 pieces of silver and promise from Obama?

    March 24, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  3. Monte Brown

    Amen, Bill Richardson is a Judas.

    March 24, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  4. fred

    Well Greg, If Obama would happen to get the nomination....there will be a heck of a lot more Democrats voting for McCain...and let me be the first to inform you that all those Republicans that crossed over in the primary's to vote for Obama...WILL NOT be voting for him in November. Bye, Bye Obama!!!

    March 24, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  5. ch

    It's Hillary or nobody for me!

    Looking forward to the Hillary victory in PA on 4/22!

    Not looking forward to the ongoing whining by Obama and his campaign – ugh.

    March 24, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  6. Marc in DeKalb, IL

    Obama's recent campaign aggression is a response to enduring the same "kitchen sink" aggression from Queen Clinton...

    I'd like to know how on Earth she gets everything she whines for, then plays dirty and it looks like gold on the media, and then when Obama does it... she whines again.

    Suck it up, Queenie, you made your bed, now lie in it.

    March 24, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  7. Scott

    If Obama wins the nomination, democrats can't win in November. Way to win by suppressing 10% of the countries votes. BTW CNN is a sexist news network. Not a single woman anchor. Jack Cafferty is going to burn in hell

    March 24, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  8. Manuel TX

    Why do the Obama supporters keep saying that Hillary can't win?

    Neither can win without superdelegates.


    March 24, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  9. Sam

    It will be united once Hillary drops out and Obama is the nominee. Then, the negativity and hatred will vanish along with lies and manipulation. Billary is the reason the party is split. They are out for themselves. They look for anyway to prolong the battle and split the party. Hillary begins the year affirming that FL and MI votes should NOT count. SHE STATED THEY SHOULD NOT COUNT, but when she needed them, she states the voices of the people should be heard... I guarantee you this would not be the issue if she were ahead or if Obama had won those states.. Manipulation at best. She lied about Bosnia, she spins hatred and lies about Obama... a person she would be happy to have as her VP. GET THAT. She would be dandy if he were her VP. After all the horrible things she says, he would still qualify as her VP.. I think that is funny.

    Hillary talks about unity while splitting the party. IF she truly wanted unity, she would be helping Obama on the way to the general election, but instead she continues the negative attacks and spins the lies of the clinton establishment. What else is new

    March 24, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  10. rm

    why does not hillary offer mccain the vice presidencey 🙂

    March 24, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  11. Gary in Toronto

    I read an interesting post on Huffington's the other day that postulated that a plausible reason why Clinton is hanging in despite the numbers is that she is in fact already running for 2012 and is hoping to do just enough damage to Obama to ensure that McCain takes the Whitehouse.

    It seems pretty nuts but when you consider that she says things continually that will come back to hurt the party if she isn't the nominee (like the McCain is ready to be C in C but Barack isn't' ; the candidate won't be legitimate without Michigan and Florida, etc.) – she regularly crosses a line in a way that defies any other explanation.

    March 24, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  12. Vig

    Clinton has more guts, more tenacity, more spunk and more spine then Obama could ever claim. She will fight to the end and should. Hillary '08!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    March 24, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  13. Sarah, Kansas City, MO

    Hillary has really lowered the tone of the campaign. It is a very good example of the kind of divisiveness that will become a hallmark to her presidency if (and that is a big if) she is elected.

    Ever since she decided to go negative, the campaign has become worse. Then she turns around and blames the Obama campaign when she can't stand the negativity coming from there. She will end up, if she wins the nomination (again a big if), alienating Obama supporters like myself who will not vote for either her or McCain.

    Both Hillary and Bill feel that the nomination is something they are entitled to. That somehow this was promised to them and they will stop at nothing to get it even it means that democrats loose the WH this fall. I think Hillary would rather have McShame for president then Obama, the man who beat her.

    March 24, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  14. NC

    If she was serious, she would bow out and help unit the party. It's just getting worst between the camps.

    March 24, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  15. Patrick

    Donate to both Hillary and Barack. Be a true agent for change. Embrace the winner, whomever it is. Do not let the world go to hell in a handbasket just because your horse came in second.

    March 24, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |

    Democratic voters are turning against Hillary real fast.
    It is her tactics. and lies. We are tired and literally exausted
    from of lies. and games.

    Most Democrats will NEVER vote for Hillary. And they will
    not vote for McCain. People that want Obama to win will
    NEVER vote for Hillary. They will not vote if they have to vote
    for a liar.

    Just think if Bush had lost to Kerry. Our world would have been
    so much better and Bush won because of smear ads. The
    American people are unrealistically gullible. Really sad, huh?

    March 24, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  17. vp

    I don't understand Carville's point.

    Its not Mr. Clinton running for the presendency. its Mrs Clinton.

    And after all how would it be back stabing when somebody exercising his right to use judgement.

    March 24, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  18. Torry

    Polls show 37% Hillary supporters will not support Obama if he gets the nomination .Karl Rove and his attack machine will have a field day with Obama 's (typical white woman )remarks and his famous minister Mr.Wright .If Clinton wins the popular vote when all of this is said and done then the superdelegate with support the one that is most electable .The fair way to do it is let Florida and Michigan 's voters voices be heard but Obama won't agree to that .So Super Delegates will decide .Even though Obama is against it .But he can't have it both ways .

    March 24, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  19. rm

    Carvill is just a lap dog who barks any time his master sneezes. keep barking carvil.

    March 24, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  20. Sylvia

    I hope and PRAY that HILLARY goes INDEPENDENT the day AFTER the democratic convention and shows how everyone is a fool that supports Obama!!!

    March 24, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  21. Darron


    Promote party unity by dropping out of the race. Use your efforts to help defeat McCain.

    *CNN, stop picking and choosing posts.

    March 24, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  22. kelley

    Last time – I looked Bill Clinton was not running for President...Or maybe he is????

    March 24, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  23. dreamer

    our president now doesnt know much about the ecnomy either. But Id rather have someone who will support our troops and won't raise taxes as Hill/Bama will

    March 24, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  24. Dan in PA

    Even if they counted the votes in Michican and Floride SHE WOULD STILL LOSE!!!
    No Hillary for Prez.
    No Hillary for V.P.

    Put her in a cabinet position – Secretary of Public Health – or send her home. She doesn't even deserve to be a Senator.

    March 24, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  25. Alberta Bryant

    My questions are:
    1-Does the 4,000 deaths of American soldiers include those who (allegedly) have been electrocuted in showers built/provided by Halliburton, Inc.?

    2-Could CNN: ‘The Situation Room”, ‘360′, ‘Cafferty File’ etc. address the fact that the poor economy is a direct result of the $ trillions spent to finance the Iraq war and company’s like Halliburton; and that we are in debt to countries like China? The insurgents of Iraq are winning the war, our country is going broke!!!!! as well as being viewed as the “BIg Brother’ of the world.

    3- How true is it that we pay each insurgent (in Iraq) $10 a day to not fight us? I can see how things can so conveniently ‘calm down’. I guess a no-pay day is when more bombings flare up.

    3-Further, what is the increase in personal wealth of the President and Vice-President today–as compared to when then got in office?

    CNN Staff more and more of us are tuned in to CNN 24/7; How about researching and giving us some FACTS regarding the above.
    Thank you.

    March 24, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
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