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. terry

    hillary's racist behavior is unbelievable.

    May 8, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  2. john

    Where is Rev Wright when Hilary needs him most!

    May 8, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  3. Its Ashame

    I have never made an comment until now since the election started, but I am inclined to do so. Why is it that whites that votes for whites are seen not racist at all . Blacks have been the backbone of the democratic party ever since I can remmember. Black have supported white democratic nominees for years. Now they are voting for Barack there racist. GIVE ME A BREAK!!!!!!!!!!!! If Obama was in Hillary position he would have been forced to throw in the towel along time ago. He stand and represents change. African American have been wanting change for years and his message anchors to their struggle for an better America and Hillary does not PERIOD!!!!!!!!! YES WE CAN

    May 8, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  4. SP

    Hillary is a strong canidate with millons of supporters. Barack is just a stronger canidate with more supporters. I feel that the majority of her supperters will still vote for him in November. Only the spoiled little brats will switch party's. If you look at the turnouts for the primaries, the Democrats had millions more votes than Republicans. So the small group that wants to switch, go right ahead. It won't matter. BARACK WILL BE THE NEXT PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES. People are acting like he dosen't get support from white and latin americans. If this was the case, he wouldn't have the lead in the popular vote. He has support in every single demograhic in the U.S. It will only get stronger as time goes by.

    What really gets under my skin is that, people have fought and died in order for every american (black,white, male, female) to have a chance to vote. This is how re-pay them. If you will use your vote out of spite, you need to take a long hard look in the mirror, and ask youself how much do you really love your country?

    May 8, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |

    These comments are beyond offensive. I am white and could never support you. this is not the jim crow era hillary, this is 2008 and we are trying to turn a new page here. Your comments not only further reflect how little you want to change this country, but also show a deeply rooted feeling of superiority over minorities and senator obama. He beat you and followed all the rules in doing so. live with it and quit. it's getting pathetic and i'm sure these comments will further send you on your path.

    May 8, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  6. Anonymous

    Shame on Hillary.

    May 8, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  7. Linda from Prescott

    I am ashamed that I once held Hillary and Bill Clinton in high regard.
    Her latest comment proves that she is not one bit UP TO THE TASK of running this country. She is a liar, a bigot and soon to become a has been. She could have ended her campaign on a high note and gone back to the Senate and probably become the Majority Leader...her latest comment makes you wonder how she will be received when she does go back.


    May 8, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  8. jason

    I am calling the dnc and insisting they admonish this statement.
    I can't believe anyone would think this is okay for her to say such a thing.This is not the same as black voters mostly voting for Obama.He's never said that she can't get or wouldn't get the black vote in Novemer were she the nominee.
    Also,she was getting the black vote earlier.She just lost it.
    And Obama has won states that were mostly white.
    The Clinton's are done in my book.
    Her behavior is beyond repulsive.

    May 8, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  9. Nancy

    After all she made it acceptable for racists in Pennsylvania to admit they "aren't ready" to vote for a Black President. Not all black voters voted for Obama and not all hard-working white voters voted for Hillary. If this is how she envisions our Democratic Party , then lets start a new one that really includes everyone. I hope the party stars end this nonsense.

    May 8, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  10. Tony, Powell, OH

    By the way, those of you that keeping saying stuff like "she's acting like a Republican", "he's doing Republican things", can stop since Republicans are and will be a lot more respectful than this. Simply put, I think the behavior of Democrats (both candidates and their supporters as evidenced in blog comments) has set a new bar for disrespectful, petty behavior. Get over yourselves.

    May 8, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  11. Adetokunbo Ajayi

    .......let he who stands becareful, lest he falls. He who is on the ground needs to fear no fall.
    HRC is on the ground and would stop at nothing to bring Obama down, Democrats need to come together under one umbrella to beat Republicans

    May 8, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  12. Mike

    We need you Rev. Wright!!!!

    May 8, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  13. Anglo in Austin

    Speaking truth to power. Isn't that what Obama wants? Is she wrong? Have you guys looked at the numbers?

    We all know Obama is going to get the nomination, and those of us with our heads still at the top of our bodies and not suck up our other regions, know we lose in the GE.

    We had our chance, and we blew it.

    It's going to be really hard for old, bitter, uneducated Democrats like me to be motivated to even go vote for Obama while his cult continues to call us and our candiate names. We're certainly not going to be motivated to work for or donate to him like we would a candidate who shows us at least some respect.

    Obamanuts, enjoy your small victories while you can. I don't think your re going to get a big one.

    May 8, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  14. John

    Keep running Hillary. Every day, you make yourself less viable as a potential VP candidate. Keep it up so we won’t have to worry about you claiming that you are entitled to a spot on the ticket.

    “support among working, hard-working Americans, white Americans, is weakening again.”. Say what!? So what, in your opinion, does that make African-American workers? Are they not also “working, hard-working Americans”?

    “and how whites in both states who had not completed college were supporting me”

    Even if true, it seems as though that demographic would be supporting Republicans in the general election, not Democrats.

    Hillary, when you do not base your statements in the truth, or in a principle you really believe in; you have what your campaign has become: a stream-of-consciousness, say what sounds good right now, and say something different tomorrow, type campaign. That is no way to win a presidency; or to run it.

    May 8, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  15. IJ

    Why are white blue collar workers always referred to as "hard workers"? Are college educated highly compensated Americans just loafing around, wasting their time in the library?

    So what does it say about her platform if she needs the "goober" vote to get elected? I didn't get my degree or six figure income in a raffle, and I'm smart enough not to vote for Hillary.

    May 8, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  16. Sandy P

    Where does she come up with this stuff? Here is one white American who never thought he would vote for black man – and I support Barack Obama!

    Why don't these stories ever talk about WhiteWater, TATA Consulting, the looting of the White House and Air Force One, the sale of presidential pardons, or a guy named Peter Paul?

    May 8, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  17. A bit whinny and I am a women

    NOW... no one can tell me she is not going scorched earth on this one. Unbelievable. I am ashamed of her. You Never ever hear Obama saying stuff like "Hillary can't win the black vote" even though he overwhelming wins it. And truth be told she could have because she was actually way ahead of him with the black vote when all of this started and Bill went racial in SC and that started the train rolling.

    May 8, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  18. tomasz

    If Dem's counted delegates the way the GOP does, Hillary would be over 400 ahead and the primary season would be history with BO out. Winning delegates in states that will never vote Democratic in the general election should not weigh as heavy as the important states that are traditionally Democratic that BO stands to lose in the general election. This looks like McGovern all over again.

    May 8, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  19. Democrat for Hillary

    The only white people that have a problem with what has been said in this primary season is the truly racist white people who feel they need to repent for their sins. I am NOT racist and won't let racist or nonracist people blame me for their reason for hating white people (black people) or saying Hillary and her supporters are racist for even mention race in this country (white people). Furthermore, they should feel ashamed that they even let racist division continue in this country. You should watch your word when you start calling someone’s the equivalent to calling someone a rapist or any other disparaging remark.

    May 8, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  20. Pat


    Hillary, are you saying that we, the African Americans voters are not important? Ump, and folks are upset with Rev. Wright!!!!

    May 8, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  21. Republican

    Why do we care what she says? She will lose anyway. She's desperate, so she will say anything at an attempt to get ahead.

    May 8, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  22. greg

    Poorly educated white people prefer me! Is this the base Clinton is courting or all she has left? Is she really suggesting that the Dumb and Dumber vote is the key to the White House?

    Grasping at [white] straws.

    May 8, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  23. Apryl

    African Americans are NOT voting for Obama only because he's black.
    Blacks have been loyal to the democratic party since forever.
    Obama is the better candidate period! I don't care if he was purple with spots. We've had the Clinton's in the white house already. I'm tired of being lied to by them. Its time to give someone else a chance.

    May 8, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  24. cheryl key

    i am a singel 48 year old WHITE female and i will never support clinton in part for remarks like these. Neither will my parents. this type of devisive politics the "old" way is disgusting.

    May 8, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  25. JoeM

    one more thing – that's her experience, OLD SCHOOL POLITICS.

    It doesn't work and it's not what we want.

    Like Phil G in NY – I'm sick of hearing about these elected officials telling each other what we the people want without checking with us first.

    May 8, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
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