Bill Clinton said Wednesday he expects blacks to vote for Barack Obama and women to vote for Hillary Rodham Clinton, and the dynamic may cause his wife to lose the South Carolina Democratic presidential primary Saturday.
The comments by the former president - who also lashed out at Obama and the news media - mark one of the starkest commentaries yet on the possible role of race, although it has been a subtext of the Obama-Clinton rivalry for months. The comments also furthered the Clintons' bid to play down Sen. Clinton's chances of winning in a state where Obama seems to be ahead.
Voting for president along racial and gender lines "is understandable because people are proud when someone who they identify with emerges for the first time," the former president told a Charleston audience while campaigning for his wife.
His comments and later outburst came on a day when Obama continued to challenge Hillary Clinton's candor and trustworthiness, saying the New York senator has indulged in double-talk on bankruptcy laws, trade and other issues.