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. Char

    Are you serious? She has stooped to the lowest of the low....
    I'm embarrased for her....

    May 8, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  2. Claire, Texas

    I'm a white American woman, Mrs. Clinton, and I support and voted for Obama. I don't want you. If you were the nominee, I would vote for McCain.

    May 8, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  3. vli

    Most white people are outraged with Obama's links to the radical left. (the Church, Reverend, Aires, flag pin, doesn't do pledge of Allegiance)
    In our opinion it has nothing to do with color for the white folk, but very apparent it has everything to do with the black folk....

    Most white people are not going to remain blind & deaf to all the red us it couldn't be any clearer on who not to vote for....

    Democrats like me don't want to make the same mistake as Republicans did with Bush

    May 8, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  4. Mika- NC

    Exactly the reason she will not win the nominee in fall because with out the 25% black vote she will lose. I support Obama, prior to her comment I was going to support her in the fall. If she's our nominee I will vote McCain why? Because he's not even making stupid statements that could be offensive to the black community. Hillary does not deserve the nomination after this statement.

    Obama or McCain 08 screw Senator Clinton- Her statement clearly says I have the white vote so I don't need the black vote. I can't believe she's that ridiculous. No wonder Bill crept with the intern, Hillary is quite boring!

    May 8, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  5. Sarah

    She's pathetic. I am a college educated, hard-working, and white American. Yes, I did vote for Obama. She has no integrity- she'll say anything to win. She's not looking out for her party or the country, she's looking out for herself. I absolutely will not support her if she somehow, someway gets the party nomination.

    May 8, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  6. Me, from California

    Bonnie, everyone is right about Clinton supporters (e.g. uneducated and cannot spell) before you submit another blog post please have a dictionary with you. That's if you have one!

    May 8, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  7. js

    Great way to spin something yet again and take things out of context.
    I live in IN and got to see both her and Obama speak. This race has just gotten out of hand and the AP and news websites are just allowing "yellow journalism" to resurface. It's as if they're taking small snippets from a larger statement and printing what they feel can make news and cause a negative reaction towards a side.
    Yes... The Clintons' are racist... Sure... I believe that.. *sarcasm*

    And here I thought Fox News was disgusting; I'm starting to doubt CNN now, too...

    May 8, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  8. Natasha/Supporter of Democrats

    Well, well, well she finally said what she has been wanting to say for awhile now. Again the "White- Americans" think this country belong to them. We have lived with the KKK for centuries. It's that attitude of arogant in which will damm the US.

    May 8, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  9. Robert in Toronto,ON

    Where are the Clinton supporters now?? How can you sit there and defend her comments???? Do you know that yesterday, she said eerily same comments and that rally with a women organization. Something to the tune of "We all know how hard is for women to admit we're better" or something like that. (Check the CNN report from last night for the exact comments)

    My point is....she is determined to say and do whatever it takes to win this nomination INCLUDING destroying her own party and weakening the incumbent candidate.

    So let me tell you – if this is the kind of politician that you can honestly support and stick up for? Then maybe you should check yourself because anyone should be able to read between the lines and see exactly what kind of character this person has.

    May 8, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  10. Greg

    NOW who's playing the race card???

    May 8, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  11. Sue Z

    I am offended by these statements. I have thought it divisive and, frankly, ridiculous that the media has continue to divide Americans by race to describe the primary. We are all Americans, and to continually point out racial differences is sad. Now to have Hillary spouting this divisive rhetoric further reduces this contest to nothing more than a reality show.

    I am a white woman, and I support Obama. It is not the color of skin that determines who I am voting for...I am looking for integrity, honesty, and a commitment to uniting our country. Pointing out that she is getting more of the white vote, the "more important" portion of the population, is divisive and does nothing to bring this country together. Every day she angers me more. That Clinton legacy is sadly dying.

    May 8, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  12. Jeff, Ind.

    . . .Hillary herself has created this division of so called “white blue collar
    workers”. This is just a thinly veiled reference to the voters who won’t
    vote for him because he is of mixed race. There are thousands of white blue collar workers who are behind Senator Obama 100%. I happen
    to be one of them. This is just another one of Hillary’s race-baiting
    tactics. Those voters that Hillary describe are really the ones that
    have a different cultural outlook, and its called prejudice.

    Obama 08.

    May 8, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |

    Way to go CNN i see you don't want to post my comments again! I want to ask one thing. Why is there a poll on who has education and who does not that supports and votes for these candidates. You have implied that the ones supporting Hillary are all dumb un-educated people and the ones who support Obama are educated people. Where in the devil are you taking these polls. Someone is lieing to you, Ha, Ha. Is a poll being taking of the high school drop-outs who are supporting these candidates. I'd like to know why the dickens it matters anyway. People know who they want to support whether they're College Educated are not educated at all. I will surprise you, there is quite a few of us College Graduates that are supporting HILLARY if that makes a difference. So CNN find another way to fill up your ridiculous web site blogs. All you highly educated people continue right on bad-mouthing Hillary. WHAT MAKES YOU THINK SHE WANTS ANYTHING TO DO WITH RUNNING ON A TICKET WITH OBAMA. If she did fullfil your dream she would shore lose a lot of us un-educated folks!!! You think DNC we are just going to fall right in line behind OBAMA then you better look real good again. I'd take another four years of BUSH before I would vote for OBAMA> At least we know what we would be getting.

    May 8, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  14. An concerned citizen

    she is absolutely right! 90% of African-Americans support Barack H. Obama and over 60% of White Americans support H.R. Clinton.

    That is not a racist statement that is the reality.

    And don't forget America, we have only opened Obama's overnight baggabe, there is a whole suitcase waiting to be examined...

    I tis not over yet; and from what I hear they are putting it all together for the Great Reveal.


    May 8, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  15. R in Cleveland

    Hillary Clinton is only interested in becoming President of the United States at any cost. These are not the words of someone who will be campaigning for Obama in 2 weeks as the head of her campaign stated this morning if Obama gets the nomination, it's a win at all cost type of mentality that both her and Former President Clinton have. This is not beneficial for the country in any way, this settled it for me, if Obama doesn't get the nomination I cannot in good conscious vote for Hillary Clinton. I'm no fan of John McCain, but I don't think he would ultimately damage the country to the same extent that Hillary would!

    May 8, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  16. America White

    Hillary is WHITE TRASH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Drop out now and stop embarrasing yourself and the Democratic Party!!!!

    May 8, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  17. racism has no place in this country

    wow. wow. wow.
    I don't know what to say except that I now have confirmation that this piece of trash is a flat out bigot.

    Hillary Clinton – you do not deserve the nomination, you don't even deserve to share the planet with the rest of us. It will be a cold day in hell before I ever vote for this racist, divisive, morally bankrupt and pathological liar.

    May 8, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |


    May 8, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  19. David in Chicago

    Race... Race.... Race... Race...

    Can we please move on? I'm done, I'm tired... I'm a 28 year old white male American. Which part of that sentence matters anymore? **American**

    Like many around my age, we are too intelligent to be racist. We are too educated and well-informed to continue the racism of our forefathers.

    Evolve, please, evolve America. 21st century.

    May 8, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  20. Jose Lopez

    Obama has been getting about forty percent of the white vote, it is expected that in a two person race, the other candidate is going to win white voters too. The question is how many of those sixty+ percent that voted for Clinton will vote for him in November.

    My guess he will get the vote of 95% of those white voters and coupled with the new voters, afro-americans, and "elites" lol, that will vote for him in November, he has the presidency locked up.

    I would recommend he picks someone like Sam Nunn or Jim Webb, to balance the ticket (white man with Foriegn policy experience).


    May 8, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  21. Karen

    I'm sorry.....I have heard Obama's campaign/surrogates often talk about their need to secure the "black" vote! How is that different/better than what Senator Clinton said????

    I am so tired of Senator Obama being protected because everyone is so nervous about sounding "racial." There are other prejudices out there, you know. How about the prejudices against women? I for one am someone who is sick and tired of men running the world. To me, Senator Obama is not an African American running for President, he's just another man!

    Go Hillary!

    May 8, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  22. Harry Potter, Hogwarts

    Wow. I'm white, and I'm sure not planning on voting for her now. What a mess. I guess her true colors are starting to show...sad.

    May 8, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  23. Derrick


    May 8, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  24. Cheryl L. Swaim

    I suppose Obama would call her a "typical white woman." What a bunch of hypocritical reporting as usual.

    May 8, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  25. machin

    Its so funny that for years that Clintons have always touted themselves as champions for african americas. They ate grits and collard greens when they needed too and bill even put his office in harlem. how ironic! Actually it is very sad!

    May 8, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
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