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. Ben

    This may be out of context, but did Hillary just say that hard-working Americans are only white Americans?

    May 8, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  2. Raihan Islam, PA

    I support Barack Obama, but Hillary Clinton is merely stating statistical facts. She shouldn't be bashed for them, though unfortunately she will be, even if that favors Obama. There is a reason the news reports these statistics, so I'm not sure why the presidential candidates can't do so. Being "politically correct" is what causes our leaders to be fake. Let them be real; she was just stating the facts. Any attack against her for this, especially by the opposing side, doesn't help educated, informed voters have respect for the Obama campaign. The only way the Democratic Party can unite is if we all be mature about what's being said. She wasn't being racist, she was referring to statistics provided by polls, something all readers look at and judge anyway, with silence. She doesn't need to be silent. However, I still promote Obama's candidacy over hers. We have to stop being negative; she wasn't being negative, for once.

    May 8, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  3. bayareavoter

    I see, it's okay for Obama to garner 90% of the African American vote and no one says that is some form of reverse racism.

    He wins southern states where the AA voters comprise huge numbers but his numbers with white voters has been shrinking since February. Oh, but we aren't aloud to say that or we will be called racist. No, it is not racism, it's the facts.

    But Obama supporters would rather play the race card so he gets the nomination and the Dems lose another election in November.

    Same old, same old tired story line.

    May 8, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  4. Tony

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

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

    I think that says everything we need to know about Hillary.
    Boy that's who I want running my country....yeah...right!!

    No way. I have been a staunch republican all my life and I would vote for BO if the opportunity arises. The only way I could be swayed to vote for McCain is if he picks one hell of a running mate, and BO's is not a wise choice.

    May 8, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  5. Ellie in Aurora, CO

    This white American woman does not want Hillary! Remember, Hillary had the majority of the black vote at the beginning, then there was Bill's "Jesse Jackson won SC" comment. Apparently the Clinton's are continuing to bring race into this. Shame on you, Hillary and your supporters! How will American ever become the greatest nation in the world again if we can't get past race???

    May 8, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  6. greg

    obama has run a racist race, with 90% of the black vote.... of course the dem nom process is his to win... but he loses the general election... "we need more white people" obama campaign coordinatior

    May 8, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  7. Really I Mean Really

    So now she's crossed the line. You knw for sure if they give it to her it's over and McSame will be the pres.It's almost to were we should let it happen her husband contrubited to this mess let them clean it up.

    May 8, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  8. Ron

    to paul oregon
    if you want to find some one despicable to slander why don't you read the audacity of hope by barrack obama. if you want to take the time an trouble to check out the stories he tells regarding his upbringing you will find that they are all lies or great exaggerations as far as racists and bigots i would remind you that it was not the Clinton's who said his white grandmother was atypical white person after saying she made racist and ethic slurs that made him cringe. remember the clintons may not be better than obama but they are not the ones portraying themselves as above can do your own research if you have the intelligence or wait for the republicans to do it for you either way you will be better informed by November.

    May 8, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  9. N

    I guess she's decided that if she's going down, she's going down IN FLAMES!

    May 8, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  10. Rick in Florida

    Yesterday in front of a women's group she played the GENDER card (again), saying its time for a woman....not arguing issues or who's best....just vote for the woman. Now she's playing (again) the RACE card, and no one in her campaign can sugar-coat it this's blatant...and ugly. Her veneer has finally worn off and we all can see her for who she untrustworthy opportunist. GO AWAY!!!!!!

    May 8, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  11. Jeff

    It's true – Hillary's right.

    What else is there to say?

    She WILL win win November and Obama CAN'T.

    May 8, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  12. Terry from VA

    Well, there you go. This is race baiting at its best. She can not win the nomination based on the rules that she agreed to before the contest began. Her quite argument all along to the Super delegates and the American People has been he can not win because he is black. Now she does not have the decency to keep it under her breath and she has to know that we all know that this has been her message for sometime now. We know what she thinks this way. She has conducted her campaign this way and it has failed her and will fail her in the future. Her standing amongst the American People has taking a great dip. One I do not believe she will ever be able to recover. She will be challenged should she run for re-election in 2012 and she will lose.

    The super delegates and all decent people in this country should call for her to get out of the race today as a result of her public comments.

    May 8, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  13. JBL

    I do not plan to vote for Hillary, but this is, unfortunately, a very stupid comment for her to make. Blacks can make racist comments and not be accused of being bigots, but white's cannot.

    May 8, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  14. Marie

    I also would like to add that as Americans we just are not smart enough to elect an Obama that is why so many flock to Hillary; she is educated but she is not smart. She have very little imagination, but she has experience. We need to get her out of Washington once and for all. Please don't vote for her West Virgina

    May 8, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  15. monica

    Too bad America's about 50% not white.

    May 8, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  16. Sheneedstoquit

    So, let me get this straight. She's touting that she's loved by under educated white people. Red Necks. White Trash. Yes, by all means. And I suggest that one of the planks be that she put in a pink flamingo garden on the whitehouse lawn.

    May 8, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  17. Sue

    What Senator Clinton said IS A FACT. That is what is exactly happenning. Barack Obama is winning in large amount due to the total and complete support from the African American community, because he is black. Nobody wants to say it aloud but every body knows this is the truth. I do not think she is racist to say that...she is just pointing to the facts.

    May 8, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  18. Can of worms

    Hillary better be careful she is walking a fine line and she better put a lid on that can of worms. What is she thinking making statements like that? I really didn't think she could go much lower but I guess she has no moral code at all. I am disgusted and appalled at her tactics. The DNC had better pull their heads out of their behinds before this goes any further. THese kind of statments make me really worried about the future of the party not to mention the future of our country. SHe will say whatever it takes to win this. When she was in Texas and AZ it was all about the mexican votes, when it suits her purpose it was all about the black vote, now it is all about the redneck vote. Hell she wants FL to vote again because it will be all about the old vote there. Superdelagates do your dang job! Show some leadership and do what is right.

    May 8, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  19. NoMoreBillorHillaryClintonInWhiteHouse

    Here we go again playing the race card. It did not work for her husband why does she think it going to work for her now. Some one needs to evaulate this woman she is not thinking right she is having nervous breakdown .

    May 8, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  20. Yes we can!

    She must have forgotten BLACK people don't dominate Iowa, Wisconsin, Missouri, Guam and on and on.....This is why she is staying the race to divide and bring Obama down so low he wont win in the fall and she can retry in 2012.....It's a sad day for Clintons, she can spin this all she wants.....are you saying african amercians, the young vote, the educated votes dont matter?....Do you ever look at his rallies and town hall meetings, you rarely even see black people in the audience....i was giving her the benefit of the doubt earlier by saying it's o.k. for her to stay in the race, but now it's time....superdelgates need to make their way over to Obama and shut this thing down once and for all....

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

    When all the black voters vote for Obama, it's not racist that? Let Clinton make his campaign and keep silent you.

    May 8, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  22. sue


    May 8, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  23. Julie

    Hillary Clinton has shown her true character in this election. She is pathetic and a disgrace to herself, women, and all Americans, and I would not vote for her for ANY office under ANY circumstance. She is a LIAR and a CHEAT who will do anything, say anything, be anything to win.
    Oh, and by the way, I am a 49 year old WHITE woman. When this all began I was on her side, but the more I listen to Barack talk and see how he comports himself he continues to grow in my esteem. America deserves to have him for president. Hillary is more of the same poison we've been fed for eons. Bill and Chelsea need to have a serious chat with Hillary before she becomes a laughing stock, if she isn't already.

    May 8, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  24. Barack-ocrat

    Superdelegates please put her campaign to rest. The American people are sick and tired of this nonsense from her. She is not qualified for President. Her campaigns a disaster and she will throw out anything to get votes. Lets please end the madness.

    May 8, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  25. Baby B

    I can see the comment section is over run by Obama nut heads and us Hillary supporters cant get our comments posted.

    so I will try again...

    Oh..I get it..Its OK for Obama to say African Americans are voting for him and will not vote for her, but Hillary cant say Whites are voting for her? WHAT???

    May 8, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
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