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. Mary

    All the people that thought her continuining for a few more weeks would not hurt the party-WRONG....


    May 8, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  2. mike

    The party of Jefferson and Kennedy-

    Where is the moral courage of the super delegates??

    And you wonder why the people feel our government does not care-

    Geeze- we hit an all time low-

    For CNN to report this alone -shows the bias of the clinton news media!!

    May 8, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  3. Matt in Dallas

    I'm not sure it's a good thing to be saying that 'uneducated white Americans' support you. I guess Hillary wants an army of uneducated sheep on her side. Wouldn't it be better if smart people were on your side?

    That being said, I'm a white American man with a college degree, so obviously I'm supporting Obama.

    May 8, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  4. Working Stiff

    Omigod - here we go again. Any hope that any of us had that Clinton had the best interests of the Democratic Party at heart now know the truth: Clinton is only in this for herself.

    May 8, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  5. Brian

    You can really see the true character of a person when they are under stress. What does this all say about Hillary?

    May 8, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  6. ABrown

    Oh no – Hillary has finally had a nervous breakdown!

    May 8, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  7. daizm

    THATS' IT...she's gone too far. Why wont you just quit? Why do you continue to hurt a party that for so long youhave stood next too? Why do you continusly make remarks about race? Is this what this has come too? Is this candidacy only about race now? in my opinion this race should have been over after she tried to divide the party black/white, white collar/blue collar, man/woman. This is about making a change in this counrty that we live in, for all races and people. Everyone is hurting right now. for her to say that is just dispicable and outrageous,... quit now, save your own money and pack it in. begin helping the dems reunite since you are the main resaon we are seperate.

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

    What is wrong in what she said? Is that what you want a party of blacks and eggheads 'ultraliberals"? How much of the total electorate are those? 20/25% including the youth vote?
    Please, instead of getting the Reagan democrats back, a majority of the Hispanic and the Asian vote while retaining most of the blacks we are building a minority party of 'ultraliberals'
    When did the left win an election in America? Certainly, not in the last 40 years. If we remove Bill Clinton only Carter won a presidential election in the last forty years. Why did Ted Kennedy and company never win anything?
    The way to go is to the center not to the left. The worst is that after this election we will be branded as the party of extremes. it will be many years before we recovered.
    No, I am not a 'bitter' white male that clings to 'guns and GOD'

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

    I am disappointed, but not surprised that Bill and Hillary continue to play the race card. He began it in SC ,and now she is using it to try to culminate the show. There are not enough Blacks in America to elect a President. People who are not prejudiced by skin color and who care about moral integrity and a candidate's own words, are selecting Obama. Sniper fire is keeping Hillary from hearing the chant of millions of Americans to "get out of the race!"

    May 8, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  10. Tim

    this white american already voted for Obama in the primary and will do so in the general election.

    The joke's on you Hillary.

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

    I stand with HIllary! I am a woman and it's about time we get some respect!!! Count the votes in Florida & Michigan and YES! white Anericans matter! And guess What, I'm Hispanic!

    May 8, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  12. Rob M.

    Just goes to show you that Hillary will lie, cheat and point fingers at everybody except herself for her own failures. Now she brings the race card in yet again. She is the most vile person I know. Just wish everybody else could see here for what she is worth. 35 years of nothing to show. Pretty sad. DROP OUT NOW! and save the Dem party.

    May 8, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  13. Finally She Said It

    This is it, folks. Hillary is betting on racial negativity. Barack is aware of these feelings but is hopeful that American can now move past this kind of thinking to come together and solve it's problems. I am with Barack!

    May 8, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  14. Cody in NC

    What "I Want" is for you to go away, and stop tearing the democratic party apart for your gain.

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

    Hillary is not bowing out gracefully.

    We will have to get the "Fat Lady" who is singing to choke her.

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

    Oh my heavens. As I read todays headlines I am horrified at the clinton camp. Harvey Winstein can take his money and do whatever he wants with it. We don't need people like that influencing Washington any longer. I am not suggesting Hillary get out of the race but I will reiterate that there are rules and as an honorable person she should play by them so forget about Florida and Michigan. She knew then they wouldn't count and agreed to the rule. Here's my theory, Hillary can stay in as long as she wants , she won't be the nominee regardless. And super delegates should know that there are many Obama supporters that would, of course NEVER vote for McCain and all that he stands for, however they simply won't vote for the Hillary based on principle.

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

    She doesn't have white democratic support.

    She LACKS black democratic support.

    Typical of her to site a demerit and try to spin it as a positive.

    Hillary is not racist, she is just ambitious to the point of absurdity.

    She will simply say anything about any opponent to try and get the advantage.

    May 8, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  18. Irene Brown

    It is completey un fare not to count delegates from Florida & Michigan. Florida could not hold an elction on time due to the Republicans. There are 50 states in this country. We all pay taxes, we all should be counted. On the Novemeber election we need a democratic Nomineee to beat Mc'cain. We will not go to vote on Novemeber if the delegates from Florida & Michigan are not counted now.

    Irene, Christine, Dawn, Kyle, Lynn, Dale, Sam, Corey, Mommy Norma, Rene, Anthony, Zackarre, Adam & Bishal from Florida

    May 8, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  19. Charles NJ

    daniel: he is losing support among white americans.... he even lost among his base of educated upscale whites in PA.... North carolina research triangle crowd started early voting on April 13th two weeks before Wright part duex..... kentucky, wv, and OR will be better barometers. Early votes among college kids given dave matthews tix by Obama in Indiana and NC are not a solid constituency. Older voters will show up in Nov and certainly don't need text messages to be reminded! McCain has now won the presidency if Hillary doesn't get the nomination. 🙁

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

    For Clinton to say that "white America" won't vote for Barack, then cite her own 60-something percentage support from the same group is ludicrous. There are still 40% of white Americans in the Democratic party who won't vote for HER!

    Ironic that the party that has schmoozed every group in America for 40 years, now has to confront the fact that it is actually the party of the less tolerant, less enlightened and MORE bigoted!

    May 8, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  21. Jeff in South Dakota

    So black Americans are not working, hard working Americans? She needs to shut up and disappear.

    May 8, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  22. Sam

    To those who ever had any doubts that the Clinton's had been playing the race card throught the pimaries then this article should dispel those thoughts of detachment.

    May 8, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  23. Stacey Ellis

    Very sad, yet not suprising. She has lost her freaking mind.

    May 8, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  24. Appalling!

    It's a shame that Hillary knows she can't win legitimately, so she's now playing the race card. She is now trying to appeal to the "racist" side in all white people. "Don't trust a Black man!"


    May 8, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  25. Rose

    No matter how much you may base your statement off of "the numbers," there are just some things you can.not.say as a politician.

    As for one of the comments above saying that its somehow hypocritical for people to claim her comments are racist because of things that Wright and Mrs. Obama have said... Neither of them ARE Obama.

    SHE said that "white Americans want me." Not Bill, not her advisors. For all the talk of how Wright's comments somehow reflect Obama's true colors people seem to be ignoring what's coming from the horse's mouth in this case.

    She's desperate and, at this point, she's just trying to mutilate Obama so she gets a second chance.

    May 8, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
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