'Screw 'Em,' Hillary Said of Working-Class Whites in '95

She was bemoaning setbacks in South
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 17, 2008 8:14 AM CDT
Then first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton addresses a World Health Organization panel in this Sept. 5, 1995 file photo.    (AP Photo/Greg Baker, File)
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(Newser) – Hillary Clinton has criticized Barack Obama for talking down to low-income voters, but the Huffington Post digs up a quote from 1995 that appears to offer a different stance. Strategizing on how to win back working-class voters in the South, she told her husband: "Screw 'em. You don't owe them a thing, Bill. They're doing nothing for you; you don't have to do anything for them."

The comment is mentioned in a 2001 book by another meeting participant. A Clinton spokesman said it's out of context—"that's not how she felt then and it's not how she feels now"—and questioned its authenticity. At the meeting, Bill Clinton responded by empathizing with "hardworking, poor, white boys who feel left out," sentiments that echoed those of Obama in his infamous "bitter" comments.