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. Ruth Ziegler

    I guess we shouldn't be surprised....her comments in the past about bringing this party together and totally supporting the Democratic Nominee appear to be about as real as her comments on being under sniper fire in Bosnia.

    Who is going to bring the Democrats together? Someone needs to step up.

    May 8, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  2. Earl

    You guys are silly. I have seen several comments that Black people are the ones that are racist because 90% of them have voted for Obama. Are you serious?????? EVERY single President that we have EVER had has received 100% of the Black vote, the White vote and any other vote. Don't be so short sighted. When Shirley Chisolm ran she DID NOT receive 90% of the Black vote. When Jesse Jackson ran he DID NOT receive 90% of the Black vote. When Al Sharpton ran he DID NOT receive 90% of the Black vote. Your argument that Obama receiving 90% of the Black vote is flawed on EVERY point. Again, EVERY single President we ever had has received 100% of the Black vote.

    May 8, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  3. CP

    The only legacy that the Clintons had left was the improvement in race relations that occurred during Bill's tenure. The economy tanked as his second term ended. Hillary failed to make any progress on health reform because she is unable to build consensus. Bill's remote control approach to thwarting terrorism, i.e., relying on cruise bombs, led to 9/11. His attempts at fostering peace in the middle east backfired. Both Clintons helped to create the most partisan environment that this country has experienced since the Civil War. But their shining star was race relations. Bill was even touted as the first black president. Well, they just crapped on their last bit of legacy. Hillary is stoking the embers of racism just as George Wallace, David Duke, and so many others have done. Racism is a powerful force, and Hillary is using it well. But race politics are terrible for our country, and it is so disheartening to see such a prominent Democrat playing the race card for personal gain. The reason that the Clintons will leave politics with no meaningful legacy is that they put their own immediate personal gratification above the needs of the country. The Clintons have little in the way of values and are driven strictly by their own wants and ambitions. The Clintons have shown their true colors, and it is time for Americans to send them packing – to do the same to Republicans when they inevitably try the same in the general election.

    May 8, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  4. Angie

    WOW! So in other words Hillary feels that the American people that voted for her before were under-educated, non-hard working whites Americans. I wonder how she see the Latinos and Asians that voted for her.

    By saying most of your supporters were non-hard working and under-educated than the Obama supporters says alot about their candidate also.

    Shame on you Hillary!!!! It is all about you. You are such a dissapointment to the Democratic party.

    May 8, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  5. Christian, New Jersey

    To suggest that african-americans are racist because they vote for Obama based upon is color is absurd. So what are you considerd when one does not vote for Obama because he is black?

    Hillary Clinton and Governor Rendell pretty much labled white americans racist. They believe whites will never for a black person. It held true in Pennslyvania so is that a racist state?

    To suggest that all african-americans are racist because of the comments of an individual; is racist. What am I a sheep? Because I am black I follow and subscribe to the ideology of every black person in the media?

    May 8, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  6. Independent

    I mostly resent the fact that she prefaced "white americans" with "working Americans, hard-working Americans." Please, Clinton, stop!

    I'm a white female, I don't support Hillary Clinton and would never vote for her, but I think everyone should be offended by the suggestion that somehow "white Americans" are more hardworking than anyone else.

    May 8, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  7. tommy

    Sen. Clinton If You Have such Strong Support, How come you can't raise enough money to support you canpaign and pay your bills!

    I't's Shameful.

    Your Supporters, Nothing But Talk From Day One!

    Obama Supporters lets continue to give of our time and money!

    May 8, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  8. Moderate Dem

    So much for bowing out with dignity.

    May 8, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  9. James Acly

    Actually, the votes needed to be elected are AMERICAN votes, not black or white votes. How can this be viewed if not trying to put a wedge between races?

    May 8, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  10. Nick Johnson

    First of all what she said is not true. Obama has white support. How does he win Idaho, Kansas, Iowa and all the other majority white states if he doesn't. Even since Ohio, and Penn, Obama has gained white supporters. Hillary is desperate and it's really becoming pathetic. I'm beginning to feel sorry for her. Obama is man enough to take the high road. He has given her a break, because he could've brought out so many things about Bill and Hillary's past, but he didn't because he's trying to unite this country. We just have to let Hillary vent. Obama will inspire us by the way he handles this. God Bless Obama and God Bless America...

    May 8, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  11. Tony H

    She's disgustingly desparate !

    May 8, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  12. Larry

    What bloggers need to UNDERSTAND IS THAT Hill HAD close to %40 of the black vote until the Clintons started race baiting and stating that OBAMA will end up like Jesse Jackson. Overnight they lost black support. African Americans have been loyal to the Clintons but felt like their votes were being taken for granted by that race baiting statement

    One difference between Hill and OBAMA is that OBAMA would NEVER say that "black America wants me". Why??? Because wants to be a uniter of all races and these tactics are divisive.

    May 8, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  13. Bill

    Dan J,
    Barack never said he was getting 90% of the black vote. The Media did. If Hillary and her supporters can pull their heads out of their own personal holes they might see AND hear what is really going on.

    May 8, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  14. Believeitornot

    Yes, Hillary "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." It's frightening however for you to think that once the party is unifed "some" maybe not "all" of these voters will cast their ballot for Obama - not unless .... oh, come on you're not that much of a sore loser are you????

    May 8, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  15. rudy andl

    Her comments are disturbing. Far from reality. White Americans like me, who used to be Clinton supporters, are not buyiing. Nor is anyone I know. Maybe in the racist parts of our country some ignorant soul may fall for that pitch but no educated individual is going to let race be the determining factor in this election.

    Hillary is disconencted from the average American and her racist statements just show how desperate she is. We need change and we want change. Hillary is part of the problem not the solution. Hit the road and speak for change and Obama Hillary or you might not get re-elected as Senator.

    May 8, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  16. Lee From Treasure Island Florida

    I am White, 55, female, the oldest of 8 siblings of immigrant parents, of blue collar workers, all of whom including our college age children are voting for Obama(except for 1 female spouse voting for GENDER preference ONLY is favoring Clinton.) That's 18 votes in our family for Obama, in 4 different states, blue and red.
    Another argument is No Democratic President EVER WON the General Election without 90% black vote. Yet often has split the vote of blue collar voters. These voters NOW, are opting for Clinton, but come Nov, will NOT vote McCain, unless they were part of Operation Chaos, or always Republicans anyways.
    Barrack has brought out more new first time Young, Black, old, female and male voters than ever before. He has established a new form of raising money, and once people donate to HIS CAUSE, THEIR CAUSE...they do not WALK AWAY.
    I have come to the conclusion that Clinton, Rush Limbaugh, and the Media have a problem with the fact of "American first Black President".
    Just remember...America and the World is watching.

    May 8, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  17. Guanto


    May 8, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  18. PatriciaG

    i think that insanity is starting to sit in ...Hillary please just stop. Just stop..

    May 8, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  19. marilyn bernson

    this white female is not voting for you....what do you not see with these race election results ..quit the whining it is getting old.

    May 8, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  20. Stevik

    It's now time for the undecided superdelegates to send a loud and clear message to the country that comments like this have no place in the Democratic Party. Endorse Obama now to stop Hillary from doing further damage!

    May 8, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  21. Unbelievable!

    If "hard-working white Americans" support Hillary, does that mean lazy white Americans and hard-working black, Latino and Asian Americans support Obama? This is so much worse than saying someone is bitter! Hillary, I reject AND denounce your sad attempts to exploit racial tensions for your personal gain.

    May 8, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  22. D Stewart

    If it's the people she cares about, she'll give up and work to unite the democratic parties. If not, well...I think we all know what she's truly about.

    May 8, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  23. Good Grief

    She has sunk to this???? Vile. Disgusting. Repulsive. Yeah, I'm white, and lady, it will be a cold day in hell before I ever support you for any office in this nation again. I was active for the Clintons in the '90s, but this is so over the top, so divisive, it's repugnant. Hillary, how could you?????

    May 8, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  24. Jay NY/NJ

    That is low Hillary, now she will say anything. I was thinking maybe she could pack it in and run with Obama as his running mate, Now I'd rather she not. First of all, she is in financial trouble. She wants to balance a budget and she can't handle her campaign money. She BORROWED another $6Million from herself and she is in deep debt behind all this. And we can't forget the whole mishandling or what ever sneaky thing happened that misplaced $1.2 Million that she denied getting and from who she got it from (some people know if you do your homework) And her Financial adviser David Rosen took the heat for that one. Trust me. I think she's getting a free ride from some tough tough questions about her past financial issues. But if she steals this election, the republicans are going to be all over that.

    May 8, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  25. Obama 08

    Dan please tell me when Barack said Black Americans prefer him and after all this I cant believe you still support Hillary. When will we ever learn?? Barack has NEVER played the race card he knows he NEEDS ALL votes blacks, white, lations, asians, etc to get into the white house so he has NEVER tried to run as the black candidate which is why he has gotten so far. Blacks dont have to "play" the race card anway we live it everyday.

    May 8, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
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