May 8th, 2008
12:03 PM ET
11 years ago

Clinton touts support from 'white Americans'

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption=" Clinton campaigned in Washington Thursday."](CNN) - In what appear to be the New York senator's most blunt comments to date regarding a racial division in the Democratic presidential race, Hillary Clinton suggested Wednesday that "White Americans" are increasingly turning away from Barack Obama’s candidacy.

"I have a much broader base to build a winning coalition on," Clinton said in an interview with USA TODAY.

Clinton cited an Associated Press poll "that found how Senator Obama's support among working, hard-working Americans, white Americans, is weakening again, and how whites in both states who had not completed college were supporting me."

"There's a pattern emerging here," she said.

Exit polls from Tuesday's primaries in Indiana and North Carolina show Clinton won about 60 percent of the white vote in both states. That percentage is down from the Ohio primary on March 4, in which Clinton won upwards of 65 percent of the white vote. Meanwhile, Clinton garnered 63 percent of the white vote in Pennsylvania on April 22.

Speaking with the paper, Clinton rejected the notion her comments were racially divisive in any way.

"These are the people you have to win if you're a Democrat in sufficient numbers to actually win the election," she said. "Everybody knows that."

Obama spokesman Bill Burton called Clinton's statements "not true and frankly disappointing."

soundoff (1,572 Responses)
  1. Mister D

    Jeez Hillary!!! You are now moving beyond annoying into toxic. At the rate you are going, you won't even be able to keep your senate seat. I am an Obama supporter, but like him, I think you have very right to stay in the race... That is unless you continue acting like a Republican and doing everything in your power to get John McCain elected. You are well down the road to truly trashing the Clinton legacy.

    Please, if you are going to keep up the fight, focus on the issues!

    The next thing you'll be saying is that Obama is just another one of those "uppity negoes" that doesn't know his place!!!!!

    I am ashamed of you and ashamed that you claim to be a member of our party.

    May 8, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  2. Tom in Baltimore

    Clinton's attempts to distract people from the fact that Obama has won more votes and more delegates–not by a landslide, but enough that she couldn't possibly overcome his lead–are becoming increasingly shameless and dishonorable.

    May 8, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  3. chris

    So now the race card is fully out there. Good, she's been doing it implicitly all along.

    May 8, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  4. robert

    -one white voter going for Obama =D

    May 8, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  5. CC

    Not all of us! I'm 62 years old, female, and if I were any whiter, I'd be transparent. I will not vote for Hillary, period. I think a qualified woman could make an excellent president. Hillary is not qualified. Everything she's accomplished has been because she is Hillary Rodham CLINTON. The first woman president should not be in office because of her choice of husband.

    May 8, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  6. rural white democrat

    Is it not true? Obama has not won the white vote since the Rev Wright uproar months ago. That is a fact! Look it up.

    I guess Obama can say that black supporters support him. But he is getting white support too. Clinton is getting little black support yet rural white people are being called racist for their support of Clinton.

    I am getting a little tired of being called a racist because I support Hillary Clinton. I support her because of her health insurance reforms not her skin color!
    The Obama campaign needs to address that if they have any idea that white voters will support him should he win the nomination. I do not take kindly to being called a racist. And people have memories.

    May 8, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  7. J.L.

    She says her comment is not racially divisive in any way??? So says the white senator about white americans against a African-American senator... yeah, right , not racially divisive... Wow, kinda like Bush being a "uniter not a divider"...

    May 8, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  8. Simone

    This is a all time low for Hilary Clinton, obviously she does not much faith left in her ability to win this election. From this statement, is she saying that White America does not want Barack Obama, or that Black America does not want her. Essentially I think she is saying that the vote of the African American community does not matter in America.

    May 8, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  9. Sissie in NC

    She is race-baiting. I can't believe this! I wanted her to stay in the race but I was hoping she would have show some respect and integrity and start blasting McCain but she stil attacks Obama. I guess this is yet again her way of saying "Hey, white people dont forget, he is black". How anyone can sit there and condone this kinds of comments are beyond me but I can hear her supporters now, saying stuff like, "your right Hillary, this white person will never vote for him." It is such a shame and it it truely beyond me how anyone could still support her. I am truely embarrased to be a white American right now!

    May 8, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  10. M. Floyd-Texas

    This sounds as if she is really in denial and losing it. (literally) Somebody had better watch her. She may need some help.

    May 8, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  11. Tiffany

    Hold on to your teeth America, Ms. Clinton is about to self-destruct! She's a WMD waiting to implode!

    May 8, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  12. Mike Birmingham, AL

    Bonnie –

    Reading your comments is like listening to the Rush Limbaugh show condensed into one sentence. Way to repeat the one liners.

    May 8, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  13. Steve

    Hey Hillary....I'm white. I'm American. And you are the last thing that I want.

    May 8, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  14. Jacqui Odell

    She just showed her true colors, and THAT'S why she does not deserve to be President.

    May 8, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  15. Mandy, California

    If Hillary felt a need to throw the "white voter" card, she should have kept it private and just between her and the SD.

    Now she is implying that Obama cannot win due to racists who prefer her over him. She already said in the last debate that Obama was electable (Yes, yes, yes!). So her continuation of the "I am the better candidate" weakens his position...

    which brings up the question: Will he now lose MORE votes when (if) she switches to support him because they feel he "forced" her out?

    May 8, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  16. Kevin

    Wow, she's disgusting.

    May 8, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  17. lorraine

    I agree with Hillary 100% and I am tired of people bashing her – when she says something they make remarks like - she will say anything– well duh what about the crap that comes out of OBAMAS mouth, at least she has a proven record of helping people, myself I never heard of him before this election – what a lot of people do not realize is this - the president leads but the policies etc are decided through bills etc and each must be voted on - so when Obama promises all his change and dreams they are just that nothing but dreams – the reality is that you have to know the system to get things to work and Hillary has tackled the system and she will continue to work for everyone.
    If you have the chance vote for Hillary

    May 8, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  18. Renee

    ...and this just deepens my dislike for her...

    May 8, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  19. Carlie

    You have to start questioning her sanity at this point. I hate to say this but I'm starting to feel sorry for Bill. Maybe it wasn't all his fault.

    May 8, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  20. LuLy, Chi-town

    The only "pattern" I see emerging is the one over and over again saying that Hillary's days are numbered.

    May 8, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  21. Mary

    Wrong. This 50 year old, white women does not want you. I am ashamed of you for making such a comment.

    Thank goodness someone like Barack Obama has come along to save us from having to have such a racist represent us in the election.

    If the party leaders don't come out in full force after this, I will be very disappointed.

    May 8, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  22. Craig Swinson

    If by "want" you mean want you to go away, yes we do.
    If by "want" you mean want you to get out of the race so the real candidate can move forward, yes we do.
    If by "want" you mean, want you to stop wasting time and resources and fade into history, yes we do.

    When all you can do is provide sound bites for the media in an effort to distract us from the fact that you have lost...we want you to GO!

    May 8, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  23. Jacqueline

    I USED TO have such high regard for the Clintons. I defended them vigorously in their darkest hours to friends, family and co-workers. When this race started I was leaning towards supporting her, but as I got to know Barack Obama his genuiness, grace and intelligence so impressed me that I decided I would cast my vote for him. At the time, I would have happily supported Clinton if she were the nominee.

    Over the last two months I have become increasingly disappointed in Hillary. Today's comments broke the proverbial camel's back. When I read them, I was in suspended disbelief. She is too intelligent to pretend that these remarks are not racially divisive. Even if one were to buy the argument that they are not divisive, then they are most certainly offensive.

    And don't tell me she was just citing a poll. Given her position and her mission, this was race baiting at its worst. It was insulting to many and I suspect insulting to every "working, hardworking, African American" in this country.

    Whatever respect I had left for her is now gone and irretrievable.

    May 8, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  24. Hillary or McCain

    LOLOL!!!! I'm just ROFLMAO at this point when Obamanuts start calling other people racist! It's just hilarious at this point after racist Barack's TRUE colors were shown to all of us by his racist former minister and his even more racist wife.

    The only good thing that came out of this mess is that cries of "racist!" will fall on less caring ears from here on out, since every time I hear them, I'll have to wonder what the people who are screeching that word listen to in church on Sunday. After all, Barack did say before he denounced Reverend Wright that what the good reverend said was not that unusual in a black church.

    May 8, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  25. Mercedes

    Unfortunately, these are the comments that have and will continue to divide the democratic party. I don't agree that the "white blue hard working americans" are the hardcore of the party. For over 40 years the african americans have been completely loyal to the party. She is divisive and I belive in the law of carma. This will back fire her in November or if she does win the presidency I don't believe that she will have a good 4 years. Dirty tactics and playing with americans feelings are the worse thing that any human being could do. This is so disgusting. This has cause so much damage among families. No one has thought about those families that have some that are blue collar workers and others that are college graduate with very well paying salaries. I wonder everyday how can Sen. Hillary Clinton sleep well and not have any remorse for this damage. Shame on you!!!!

    May 8, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
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