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. emme

    is she talking about uniting the same party SHE is tearing apart? she is SO SELFISH

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

    Obama should first write a speech on:Mccarthysim,dishonesty,to be flawed,voting rights,misleading others,Nafta dbcle.Typical white people! Then we unite.

    March 24, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  3. Thought

    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 |
  4. Sorry but

    If Obama gets the nomination I will vote for McCain. Hillary and/or Obama might have to come together and unify the party, but voters do not. And we are the ones that count, but no one seems to get that. Richardson can forget about it. He was not loyal after all the Clintons did for him, so why would he excpect the voters to get behind Obama if they wanted Hillary. No way. Either way I think it will be McCain in the end. So, we have four more years of and see what happens. I think it is the end of the democratic party as we knew it. I myself will register as an Independent when this election is over and I have been a democratic since I was old enough to vote and I am now a senior citizen. Obama will not be any different than any other poltician. He took Richardson's endorsement who was not loyal to the Clintons, so he is no different than anybody else.

    PS: Richardson is a Judas for sure.


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

    I've been happily sending out absolutely solid (clips and quotes) refutations to this woman's lies and misrepresentations. .. whether quotes from people who were where she purports to have been, or actual photos. Now I'm thinking about her call for party unity. Hillary, as Bush and Bill as Cheney ... with secrecy, arm-twisting and the daily good cop-bad cop routines ... I'll be sitting this one out if she gets the nomination. I honestly think McCain is more far honorable then Hillary, but not enough for me to vote Republican. Sad but true.

    March 24, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  6. Mike

    Why would she drop out??? The math... could swing in her favor if Obama continues to struggle over the next few weeks... all she has to do is keep it close... it comes down to who can win in November... that is the whole purpose of the super delegates... enough with the more states argument... Obama has won a lot of states that will not go democrat in November... He continues to lose support and his campaign is in real trouble... Clinton has been talking about McCain, her plan, and leaving Obama to sink his own ship...

    It is obvious that the super delegates will vote for whomever they want... Richardson, Kerry, Kennedy have all ready proven that... they did not support the candidate that won their state... all of this talk about the will of the people... all three of these guys voted against the will of their state... this contest is split 50 %... no matter what half of them are going to be upset... that is such garbage!!!

    I love watching Richardson try to explain why he went with Obama... VP was offered... plain and simple... why do you think that he is trying to save face with Clinton???

    Politics 101

    March 24, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  7. Marc

    You Obama supporters are hilarious. Senator Clinton is stressing unity and even goes so far as to say Obama would be a better choice than McCain and all you do is shout "drop out!!". You guys really need help. It'd be funny if so much weren't at stake.

    March 24, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  8. Mike

    The media spin is doing a fine trying to divide the dems but it will only make them stronger.Obama and Hillary have a great relationship and work well together,now and will even after the convention.They both believe in the obvious.Either way as long as a democrat wins the presidency america and the world wins and thats all that really matters.WE NEEDCHANGE,BIG CHANGE

    March 24, 2008 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  9. California Independent

    She does realize that Obama is out smearing her doesn't she?

    Obama's idea of unity.... exclude MI and FL, exclude women with sexist remarks, divide people by insinuating people are racist, divide people with his hispanic memo, his SC memo, the 'typical white person' was unifying, Kerry's remarks that Obama would make the US appear differently because he was a black man, smears his opponent constantly in the media. Oh yeah, people are going to unify after all this is over.

    If it isn't Clinton, McCain '08

    Note to Obama whiners..... ALL

    March 24, 2008 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  10. Rich

    Best to achieve party unity is to unite now behind one candidate. That's why Obama should drop out now and support the only candidate that can beat McCain in November – Hillary!

    March 24, 2008 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  11. deb in az

    what a good endorsement ........please gary hart........the women of america should really love this man........a womanizer.......sen obama knew that his minister was bad news for his campaign he wants to switch the focus to hillary clinton........bash her around some the democratic party banking on sen obamas troubles going away by november? please this is a real issue with americans.......look at gary hart his issues kept him out of the white house............

    March 24, 2008 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  12. David, Ventura CA

    how about party unity all together thats what really matters instead of just PA. do all americans a favor and drop out that would unify the party hillary.

    March 24, 2008 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  13. enomisa

    Every time someone disagrees with Obama or criticizes him, his campaign plays the race card.

    If he were president, would anyone ever be able to disagree with him or criticize his policies without being accused of racism and bigotry?

    Right now we are all free to say whatever we want about Bush, Hillary or Bill Clinton. They do not accuse anyone of being a racist bigot. I'm gonna miss freedom of speech.

    One more reason to say no to Obama and pray that it ain't too late for Hillary.

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

    I'll say this…the Clintons are one slick couple.
    Here's a list of Clinton rules that everyone can use to succeed.

    How to:
    1.Beat a rival running on principle and values.
    Attack until they attack back, then throw out the disingenuous label and play the victim.

    2.Generate a false sense of success until it becomes true.
    Use any type of circular logic necessary to prove that you are a winner while ignoring any facts that contradict your logic. If that fails, make up new facts and speak of them often until everyone believes (or goes crazy trying to understand them).

    3.Challenge memories by re-writing history.
    If your past does not support your current claims, rewrite history.
    Rely on the fact that the majority of folks will not remember the truth, or will have only selective memory. Immediately call anyone who speaks the truth an idiot, idealist or traitor. If that doesn’t work, blame everyone else to deflect accountability.

    4. Win at any cost.
    Remember you are entitled to what you want regardless of how destructive your desires and means to obtain them may be. And remember, if it doesn’t work, throw out the victim card.

    Remember how we Democrats blasted the Republican Party for its ruthless attacks on the Clintons? Well, this Democrat finally understands why and wishes she hadn’t wasted so much time defending them. It’s time to say no.

    March 24, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  15. M. Kelly

    Thank goodness a speech that addresses our country's most critical concern today . . . I think people better do the math to see how close the popular vote count actually is . . . electoral college is necessary because state counting doesn't work with population density differences – anyone besides the CNN reporters need a little refresher course on why we don't care how many states are won?

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

    "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."

    Pot meet kettle.......................................

    March 24, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  17. Onari


    Yeah you only have one vote..real democrats can do with you.

    March 24, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  18. Eli

    I do not know how anyone can watch TV and here the news and vote for OBAMA. He has been caught in many lies such as the NAFTA fiasco with Canada, the I was never there with the so called REV Wright, and the thats all I got from Tony Rezko. All of these he had to come back and give a some what apology (if thats what you would call it) and then say LETS MOVE AHEAD, UNITY, CHANGE, HOPE. I believe this man is racist, and dislikes Jews, you only have to hear the REV to know that. Everything he says is right from Louis Farrakhan. Have you heard any of the African American leaders or even the ones in you hometown condemn Rev Wright and say we dont do that in our church. NO and you want because they will stick with him all the way. The more I hear about Obama and his friends and family the more I worry about where this country is going. WE DO NOT WANT TO TURN OUR BACKS ON ISRAEL AND THIS IS WHAT THIS MAN WANTS TO DO. JUST LISTEN TO REV WRIGHT. Then read your BIBLE. SCARY.

    March 24, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  19. Paul

    All of you Obamaniacs, please get a life and stop damaging the reputation of a person who has honorably served the nation: as First Lady, Senator and today as a Democrat who seeks to be the First Madame President not because of political greed, but because of her proven experience.
    She has been tested and we know what to expect, shame on you if you wanna make of our beloved America a guinea pig for an experiment of a First time US Senator


    March 24, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  20. Ralph



    March 24, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  21. Mary Lou

    For the first time in my 70 years, I will vote Republican if Obama is the democrataic nominee. He scares me!!!

    March 24, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  22. ABC

    I wrote the following comments before segments of Wright’s preaching were broadcasted by the conservative media. I feel that these messages are even more urgent now than before.

    Democrats’ Dilemma

    The Democrats have a dilemma: Obama can win the nomination, but not the general electron, whereas the opposite applies to Hillary Clinton. I can bet that the 2008 general election results, like the 2004 presidential election, will be divided between the ‘red’ and ‘blue’ states. The advantages that Obama with the black voters and the caucus process can disappear easily in those ‘red’ states in the general election. On the other hand, Hillary has been able to capture most of the blue states in the primary, despite strong completions from Obama. When weighing in the particular voters compositions (races and blue-collar workers), Obama may lose one or two of big blue states such as CA, NY and PA, besides Ohio. On the other hand, Clinton has a very good chance to keep all the blue states in the camp, besides being favored in Ohio and Arkansas.

    So, are the Democrats and the nation ready to have McCain as our next president? Putting aside the important issues of war and economics, I feel that our country can no longer sustain the kind of deterioration we suffered in the past 7 years, and McCain is a little old and too stubborn to turn the situation around. This country needs all the combined experiences and imaginations of the two democrat candidates. So, Obama and Clinton and their supporters, please do not dog fight anymore. If you do, you may become the victim in the old Chinese saying “Fish and clam fight, the fisherman profits”.

    I think that the only way to resolve this dilemma is turning the campaigns around in the positive direction. First, the two candidates should agree on redoing the primaries in FL and MI ASAP, and let the remaining primaries run smoothly. Second, each candidate should think carefully and spell out clearly how he or she will win the general election. Then stop the attacks on each other. Also, the candidates should try to clear any doubt the voters may have regarding their personal dealings. The voters should demand the candidates to do all the above so they can wisely choose the candidates. It is clear that the result will be close. Both candidates should prepare to accept the honest results. Please remember: a broken party cannot win the election, and it is too costly not to win this one.

    March 24, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  23. Allen - PA Democrat

    The Democrats have already thrown this race away. If anyone thinks a minority or woman will be elected at this point in time, they are foolish. We have not even had a female or minority vice-president to date so electing one to president is extremely unlikely. The Republicans are smiling.

    March 24, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  24. Chuck in Oregon

    Hey Bill, you stand there and stress party unity, yet you make those off handed remarks that leave an opening for conjecture. You have been very good at making statements that in fact although left open for ones own interpretation, actually when done so, mean exactly what you say. Your a very caculating and underhanded man that never says what he really thinks directly but says it in such a way that everyone knows what your sayin. What is worse is you do not have the back bone to admit guilt when caught and called to task. All you can say is that Obama is picking on your wife. Hey, try telling the truth for once and then maybe your wife will follow suit. She can not continue to out right lie about her Foreign Policy experience. Her actions are far worse then Rev Wright., lying about Bosina is a slap in the face to all those soldiers that were under fire, that died and were wounded. SHAME ON YOU CLINTON'S SHAME ON YOU.

    March 24, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  25. sam abraham

    GO HILLARY 2008

    March 24, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
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