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. democrat

    she's right though. she has a much better chance of beating McCain then Obama, why can't you people see that??

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

    Comon Hilllary don't make people start losing respect for you. Don't make this a sour ending, for the good of the party please accept defeat. I love what you are accomplishing but you have peaked. This is not your time. Open the path up for a demcrat to win.

    May 8, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  3. Craig- Easton, PA

    Where I went to school, a trend of 65 to 63 to 60 is not INCREASINGLY turning away from Obama, but increasing moving away from Clinon. But maybe being able to count is elitist. For the record, I'm a 56 year old white guy.

    May 8, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  4. smalltownPAvoter

    My small town, gun toting white vote went to Obama. What the heck is she talking about? Her comments are totally out of line.

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

    This is absolutely outrageous!!!!!! This is the reason she needs to bow out of the presidential race. She rears her ugliness once again by displaying her "win at all costs" antics. Billary, please bow out and do it gracefully. This article is totally distasteful and she keeps these antics up, she'll never get a shot at the presidency again. Unite the democratic party not tear it down!!!! She has lost all my respect and has proven that she is not presidential material for this UNITED America(USA).

    May 8, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  6. OS


    You racist, you want to unite the party.

    Shut up and get out.

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

    I wonder if the media has the gut to bring this issue to the world
    "Hillary Clinton supporter Harvey Weinstein threatened to cut off contributions to congressional Democrats unless House Speaker Nancy Pelosi embraced his plan to finance revotes in Florida and Michigan, three officials familiar with their conversation said."

    Wealthy white Clinton supporter blackmail Pelosi (this is second time they do that).
    If they bring the Wright thing, they must bring this to the American, especially the ignorant.

    I am surely "bitter" for the undemocrat!

    May 8, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  8. Kevin

    Hillary is counting on that statement ringing true for West Virginians. Don't take the bait, WV!

    Don't grab that hook! She'll swoop you up and gut you if you bite it.

    May 8, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  9. Democrat for Hillary

    she stated a people ned to get over this racist thing...To be even blunter, and i far racist, considering im gay, but noone can get electe dto office in this country without the majority of white folk. period. those are the demographics. Now 20 years from now you may not be able to get elected with out the white and latino vote.

    May 8, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  10. heather

    Just another reason she won't win. I'm a white female democrat and Hillary needs to take her corrupt family back to Arkansas and get out of this race.

    YES WE CAN!!!

    May 8, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  11. GoHillary

    People should ask these questions: if they have no doubt on Obama's electability, why haven't the superdelegates jumped to Obama's ship any sooner, what are they still waiting for? I agree with one of the bloggers: I can not elect anybody who just doesn't have any professional accomplishment on his resume.

    May 8, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  12. Steve-Jacksonville, Florida

    How much more pathetic can she get?

    May 8, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  13. Democract

    She is right. It's not because of his race. It's because of what he says.
    If he were to be President of the United States, exactly whose side would he represent?
    From his Hot on the heels of his explanation for why he no longer wears a flag pin, presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama was forced to explain why he doesn't follow protocol when the National Anthem is played.
    According to the United States Code, Title 36, Chapter 10, Sec. 171, 'During rendition of the national anthem when the flag is displayed, all present except those in uniform are expected to stand at attention facing the flag with the right hand over the heart.'
    'As I've said about the flag pin, I don't want to be perceived as taking sides,' Obama said. 'There are a lot of people in the world to whom the American flag is a symbol of oppression. And the anthem itself conveys a war-like message. You know, the bombs bursting in air and all. It should be swapped for something less parochial and less bellicose. I like the song 'I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing.' If that were our anthem, then I might salute it.'
    'I don't think my church is actually particularly controversial.' – Barack Obama.

    May 8, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  14. Jeff - Schaumburg, IL

    So basically, she's gradually losing the support of White Americans. This is clearly stated in the article.

    Hillary: You stand no chance. You're a racist, sexist pig. Give it up

    May 8, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  15. Nathan Prophet, Raleigh, NC

    HILLARY CLINTON HAS NO SHAME! Clinton will stoop to ANYTHING to feed her obsession to power. Now, she opens the wounds of the racial divide in America to her advantage, touting her support from "whites." She is alienating all non-Clinton Democrats and Independents. She will NEVER be President !!! Now, I would NEVER vote for her, and I am "white."' I would vote for a Republican before I would vote for her.

    Nathan Prophet,
    Raleigh, NC

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

    What, Hillary thinks the only hard-working Americans are White Americans? How is she skating on that comment? I agree with Obama (and Bush) on this point: Hillary and her husband personify the sleazy side of politics. They are, and have always been, shameless, unprincipled panderers. It is actually pleasing to watch her become more and more strident, crazy-looking and desperate.

    May 8, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  17. Mike Birmingham, AL

    "whites in both states who had not completed college were supporting me."

    something to be proud of Hill – the uneducated love you.

    May 8, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  18. Ed,Ellenville,New York

    Hey the truth hurts and Obama is clearly dividing the party by race. Polling has consistently shown whites rejecting Obama in numbers so significant it makes him unelectable. Are blacks being racist in supporting Barack then? It took forty years longer for blacks to get to vote after women, so it isn't surprising that a women will be president before a black. Too bad we don't have a black woman instead. At least we can get one disadvantaged group to be represented.

    May 8, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  19. Wow

    She...didn't. Wow. Wow. Wow.

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

    Wow...she's quite the racist.

    I'm white, Hillary...and I want Obama.

    May 8, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  21. Marie

    Hillary will do just about anything to bait Obama into a debate over race because that is her strong suit; debating with every kind of games she can muster up. Remember she is a Clinton and they play dirty so be ready America do you want that kind of person running your country? It saddens me that so many Americans even would consider her? Do you not remember all the scandals with them in the 1990's? Beleive me it will be worse this time because Bill has nothing to do this time around! The other issues she does not have the math to make this nominiation be hers but you can bet she will spin it like she does. In america you have just one winner in a primary season there is no second place in a democracy; too bad Hillary has not figured that out!

    May 8, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  22. Jim McCall- Tennessee

    I'm a life long Democrat but Mrs. Clinton has lost me. Considering all her recent highly controversial comments, it appear that "she is willing to burn a village in order to save a village." Very disappointing to say the least.

    May 8, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  23. Alex

    I am white and do not have a 4yr college degree, and typically vote republican; however, I cannot afford another Bush term and voted for Obama. Considering this comment, the alleged actions of Harvey Weinstein, and her standing in the popular vote and elected delicate total I frankly believe that she is doing simply for narcissistic reasons. Also as an aside regarding the 3AM adds. Has everyone forgotten the E Roosevelt stress relief articles that ran during the William Clinton’s Presidential term? At the time Hillary was having trouble managing the stress of being First Lady and was holding séances to channel the sprit of Eleanor Roosevelt as a coping mechanism. Try searching Hillary Clinton + Eleanor Roosevelt + séances. It should lead you to the older articles. If she cannot handel being the stress of being First Lady, how in gods name can I trust her to anwser that phone?

    May 8, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  24. Elly

    omg rather a racist remark!!!
    I dare to say Senator Obama has gotten his share of everyones vote
    regardless of their ethnic background
    Shame on you Hillary
    Bow out now with some grace and dignity

    May 8, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  25. Merrin

    Wow! Hillary was supposed to carry the "torch" for women,
    which, as an ideal, is all well and good. But where does this
    comment come from? She is pandering to race in the worst
    way! AS a gender issue, I would have to say that she is not
    representing women at all. In fact, she seems to be hurting
    "the idea" of a woman running for the highest office in the land
    with her spite and vitriol.

    May 8, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
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