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. Wayne, Greenville TX

    Yes – we all need to unite behind Barack Obama!!!


    March 24, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  2. Chubby

    Go Obama!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    March 24, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |

    It’s a shame to any educated mind, parent of any household to clear Obama from his hate and racial sermon scandal. It is significant how he gets here and the interpretation of it matters to all American. Bill Clinton is right and all the intelligentsias of our nation should speak out now and NOT later. He is not worthy of being a senator or be considered for a white house race if he is NOT patriotic enough to defend USA in the small court of his church compare to- today’s wild world where more hate sermon will be given falsely on our beloved Nation USA. Are you not worried that he is going to fail just like he failed to arrest the situation with his church. To crown it all; he was contributing money towards such organization for 20 years. We can not trust Obama with the National security issues of this country or allow him into the white House. His judgment is already compromised from years of listening to this Rev. Wright preaching but no one seem to speak about it- He needs psychological help because every time he opens his mouth, he introduces another issue for this country to debate. This race for the white house is absolutely contrary to his beliefs and dossiers.

    March 24, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  4. Peter

    McCarthyism? Blue dress? This Hillary supporter will be glad to vote for Barack Obama – in 8 years, if he and his supporters grow up.

    March 24, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  5. JB

    Unity from Hilary Clinton? That has to be the most ridiculous statement of this campaign.

    The Clinton's have thrown the "kitchen sink" at Obama and expect unity.

    What the Clintons don't realize is that people are really sick of them and their "I'll do anything to win" strategy. They may actually win the battle, but they'll lose the war.

    The Clintons were the first to bring race into this campaign. They play dirty. Unity? Come on!

    March 24, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  6. deb

    Hillary is resilient. No matter what they throw at her she comes back swinging.

    Obama is on vacation . He needed a break after tough questions.

    March 24, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  7. Seam

    Bye Obama! You will not have my vote it's either clinto, third party, or mcain.

    March 24, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  8. Art C

    It's funny that when the Clinton camp makes a moderately negative statement everyone jumps all over it but when the Obama camp makes not only negative statements but unpatriotic ones, it's Ok. Are you idiots listening to yourselves? Do you really believe the stuff you spout? I think that Obama is worse than McCain because at least with McCain you know what you are getting but with Obama you really don't. He talks the talk but doesnt walk the walk. No matter what, if you are into the Government sector such as the senate or Congress you don't spew the trash you have about a President, especially one from your own party. Obama's camp has more disdain for President Clinton than it does for President Bush.

    March 24, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  9. ken

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

    March 24, 2008 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  10. emeka mbonu

    Greg, we dont care. Keep your vote to yourself. Clinton all the way

    March 24, 2008 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  11. Joe Ossai, Bedford, NH

    Hillary you talk about party unity ......, give me a break. Why are you still running when it is clear that you can't win the nomination.

    March 24, 2008 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  12. Abby, Northern California

    It's hard to imaging how would Hillary become the nominee without steeling the nomination and destroying the Democratic party first!

    Hillary's only value so far is to toughen up Obama for the general election. When Obama gets through all the Clintons' dirty tactics, he will be so well prepared to face Republican party!

    March 24, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  13. Ev

    As an independent I was impressed with Hillary's speech on C-Span on St. Patrick's Day about the Iraq War. She spoke in detail about myriad issues surrounding our withdrawal. In contrast , the speech given by Barack was a ten minute list on other ways to use the money rather than supporting the war. The contrast is AMAZING! Unfortunately, I don't know how many young people will take the time to listen to both speeches. Sad but true. Also, teachers beware. In Barack's speech on race he is very accusatory toward teachers. Has he ever attended a public school? Where do his girl's attend school.
    Hillary, hang in there please.

    March 24, 2008 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  14. kathleen

    Hillary, you must win!!!!!! so Rendall can get the job as Sec of Energy
    that you promised him. Is that on the verge of being illegal? And when
    is the "campaign fund" trial? About the time of the Nov. elections, I think
    OBAMA/EDWARDS 2008 or No One because Most Democrats will
    not vote for Hillary, the liar.

    March 24, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  15. Black Republican, New York, New York

    You Hillary Clinton suckers need to know that the Democratic Party is united, but because the nomination race did not go the Clintons' way they are seeking to divide the party.

    If Hillary cannot win the nomination, then she will publicly throw her support behind Obama as the nominee, but will then go to work helping McCain beat Obama so that come 2012, she will make another run for President.

    You may call it political strategy, but I call it political skulduggery.

    March 24, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  16. Jay MN

    Sorry Hillary, I'll never unite behind you.

    As a liberal Democrat, I'd much rather see McCain in the White House. At least he has some character and integrity, and most of all, a sense of fair play.

    Obama / Dorgan '08

    March 24, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  17. Nick in Las Vegas

    Hopefully, the Dems come to their senses and select Hillary Clinton as their nominee.

    March 24, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  18. Rick FL

    I agree with Hillary's call for Democratic unity. This back & forth between supporters has become counterproductive. We have two great candidates that are almost identical in policy. It is unfathomable how any Obama/Clinton supporter could vote a Republican president when McCain represents the Bush platform.

    We should be celebrating the fact that the Democratic Party has already made history with Obama and Hillary, instead of wasting time disputing with each other. Let's focus on the positive for a change.

    March 24, 2008 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  19. wood burns

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

    March 24, 2008 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  20. Milo, MA

    If Obama picks Richardson as VP he might gain 5 electoral votes if New Mexico votes Democratic. Texas will go Republican and so will Florida especially if McCain picks a running mate from Florida. Crist looks good for that job.

    Be realistic all you Hillary bashers. McCain will not stand for Obama's schoolboy rantings and protestations. Essentially, Obama is saying vote for me because I'm me. It might not be enough in the grand scheme of things.

    March 24, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  21. mmm

    Richardson supporting Obama is just another man joining the "Old Men's Club". For someone who talks about "change" and a "new way" there is sure a bunch of old men joining the band wagon. Obama will owe them. Obama is not ready to be president, he has to many issues attached to him. We need experience so bad right now, this war is so sad and the economy and education has to be paid attention to right now. We need the experience of Senator Clinton, along with her we have the bonus of President Clinton who, when he was President was the most peaceful and prosperous eight years in the past 100 years of our country.

    March 24, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  22. Tim

    How can she even spell party unity when she endorsed McCain? If she was that conderned, she would drop out.

    March 24, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  23. HomoSapien

    Norb – I agree – Bill Clinton is a GREAT communicator. I put Obama up there with him as well, but that is an argument that can be had.

    Point to be noted though – Bill Clinton is NOT running for President. Hillary Clinton is. We all need to keep that in mind.

    People who continue to talk about "back stabbing" – this is not a banana republic where you have to prove your loyalty to the Queen/King. This is a democracy where people have the right to do whatever they think is best, without ridiculous insults such as "bakstabber" being thrown at them.

    If you think it is more important for politicians to be loyal to their "leaders" than their country, you are in the wrong place. Try Saudi Arabia or Libya or Nigeria. Loyalty works much better there. Very few "backstabbers" in those places.

    March 24, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  24. Jeff

    We still have a problem. The Obama supporters will be satisfied if he wins the nomination (without legitimacy anyway) but we lose the general election. If that happens that means we went through all of this for nothing.

    March 24, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  25. I'm fed up

    I'm supporting Hillary. If Obama gets the nomination I will vote for McCain. This primary contest is just as disgusting as anything I've ever witnessed from Republicans....I'm not sure I even care who wins anymore.

    March 24, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
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