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. steven

    If Hillary is the nominee; Democrats might as well kiss good bye to all the hopes for the WH! All her skeletons will come out to haunt her and unlike Obama, the Republicans will make merry out of it!
    Last time Bill Clintons scandals cost us the WH and this time it would be Hillary’s turn.

    March 24, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  2. Harry

    The only unity she is interested in, is for 2012. She clearly knows that she cannot gain the nomination as it would destroy the base. She can make sure that the party is split in November, handing McCain a win.

    As the democrats will not be interested in the '08 loser, she can be the great healer of the party.

    Methinks she has misjudged the hatred that is building up for both sides and especially in regards to her.

    If I were McCain, I would wait until the democratic convention is over and grasp the headlines with a well qualified (and there are many) African American as V.P. Not only would this further fracture the Democratic party for '08, but would be impossible to overcome in '12, at which time the Clintons can be gone forever.

    March 24, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  3. LifeLongDemocrat

    Hillary, listen to Churchill...NEVER GIVE UP! Keep on going and if you are not the nominee run as an will get a lot of votes! Mine for sure.

    I read a lot of blogs and the Obama people smear you for things you haven't said or done. They like to be self-righteous but they are dirty politiciams. He gets the surrogates to do the dirty work and on the blogs and then Obama can stay pristine and above the fray. Obama still doesn't look good to me.

    Go HIllary!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    March 24, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  4. Ervin Estrada Duarte

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

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

    Hi Greg, the only person who will unify US is Obama. Hilarry and Bill are divise and racists. If Hilary nominateed, choice Mc.

    March 24, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  6. gene

    I am 60 years old the best years i ever had financialy was when bill clinton was in office. I cant beleive the american people are beleiveing all the lies and hatred coming out of obamas and his peoples mouths. i am keeping a list of all the delagates and super delagates and i would never vote for any of them going with obamain future elections

    March 24, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  7. Karen

    So now Hillary is jumping ship again and including Obama with her, when she supported McCain earlier. She can not be trusted, as indicated by the polls. Most Americans say she is not trustworthy.

    It's time for Hillary to stop the fantasy and the games. She has lost and I hope Barack supporters will not feed into her game. The longer we talk and protest the more we give her credibility.

    Obama 08

    March 24, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  8. mj

    Obama the racist. " I will not play the race card!" Then he makes some lame speech on race in America that indicts white and black people as racists. The issue wasn't race it was hatred of America. And if you read his book you will see that even in his book he calls white people cheap and other names. I wonder when he decided to be half white? I have never seen him around any white people that didn't work for him. Maybe it was around when he gave up smoking and started his very negative campaign attacks?

    March 24, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  9. Ben, College Park, MD

    She cares about anything but her presidency?!!

    She wants unity of the party? Then she should drop out NOW.

    Obama Richardson for America.

    March 24, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  10. steve

    hey Hillary should go and sleep.she should stop waiting our time.
    Obama 08

    March 24, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  11. Cast the First Stone

    Everyone but Hillary understands the honor of bowing out graciously. Why can't you permit yourself to be the one who promotes for party healing and unity. In times past, Bill Clinton's run, this was the manner of operation.
    What is it with you? Can't you concede to Obama? If you say "No," then you are very much mired in color/racism the American way. Can't you understand that your refusal to do so has damaged this party?
    Let's be real: you have been permitted to present extensions for required documents upon application submittal; you have allowed you husband the leverage of speaking in your behalf as the inside trader to barter for "dream team" ticket. you have dehumanized the Black race with your husband's plea for votes from our Black pulpits.
    How undermining can you get? How much money did you pay for Limbauch to sound the alarm for all Republicans to vote Hillary in the Ohio-Texas contests? Still, you are behind.
    What else do y'all have in store for the upcoming primaries? And you the Follower are calling for the Leader to concede to you?!! How dare you!
    Have you no SHAME?!! Read my lips: Go home to your family!

    March 24, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  12. Adam - TX

    At least one candidate is acting mature in this race the last few weeks...

    Thank you Hillary.

    March 24, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  13. Sd

    David Plouffe accused Hillary Clinton of having a character gap?
    Now that is funny since it's obamy that has no character at all.
    All you obamyfans are going to flock the other way after he brings himself down. Richardson you can not bring the latino vote for your new friend. You are Judas!!

    Go Hillary don't quit the race just because fools wants you too.

    March 24, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  14. Ross in MD

    Hillary can't make up a 160-delegate deficit with only 8 states left. It's time for all of us to rally around Obama.

    March 24, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  15. Michael

    Obama, you have finished, None of smart American will vote you.

    March 24, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  16. Michael, Columbus, Ohio

    I don't get it Hillary campaign starts the fight and now is angry because Barack is fighting back. I guess her campaign don't understand one rule about being a bully, the rule is after you bully someone long enough, have the sense to know at some point they will fight back and you betterbe prepared for it, that is plain common sense, but then again why am I taking about rules with Hillary it is very obvious she doesnt know how to follow the rules and stick to them i.e. Florida and Michigan. It goes to show her judgement is way off, and makes me wonder what would she do if it was 3 a.m., in the morning and someone ask about what rules do we have to follow.

    March 24, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  17. Sham

    It is time for Hillary supporters to OPEN THEIR EYES! Hill is a liar and is surrounded by controversy. Who cares about Obama's pastor, Obama himself has not done or said anything to incriminate himself. Obama has yet to prove how he would be disloyal to America However, Hillary is always crying, whining, and telling lies. She cries that the media is too hard on her. She cries because she gets the first question at the debates. If she can't handle the media, then she can't handle the presidency. If she wins then I am voting for Mccain!

    March 24, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  18. Jen, IL

    good advice. get out of the race hillary, so we can do just that!

    March 24, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  19. Jeff Spangler, Arlington, VA

    The problem starts with C and has four letters.

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

    The fact is, in the general election, the amount of combined delegates that would come from all of the states that Obama has won is less than the amount of combined delegates that would come from the states that Hillary has won...even without Florida and Michigan. The numbers still favor Hillary as a stronger candidate in a general election. GO HILLARY!

    March 24, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  21. John

    Only 37% of Hillary's supporters say they would vote for Obama..No wonder why the vast majority of her supporters are uneducated..I'm at the point that I truly think McCain SHOULD WIN, afterall, some of these folks need to suffer a bit more, 4 more years of McCain & Bush war to take the country into further degredation, more families need to lose more houses, more jobs need to go overseas...Things need to get "tougher"....Selecting a candidate against their own best interest...

    Things that racism make people do...

    March 24, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  22. Steve

    If Hillary is the nominee, I'll be voting for my first-ever GOP presidential candidate. She's unfit for public service at any level of government.

    March 24, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  23. OBAMA 08


    March 24, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  24. Why Can't Obama drop out of race

    Obama supporters,

    why are you people have so much hatredness towards Hillary supporters, wait a minute Obama gives all this inspirationalsppech on the stange but behind the scene he creates this hatredness. Hillary is saying the truth, OBAMA IS HYPOCRIT WHY CAN"T OBAMA DROP OUT OF THE RACE FOR GOOD OF THE PARTY & PEOPLE. IF OBAMA REALLY WANTS TO UNITE THE PEOPLE, HE SHOULD DROP OUT FOR GOOD OF THE PARTY.

    March 24, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  25. Eric in Lincolnton, NC

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

    March 24, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
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