President Bill Clinton blamed “angry white men” for Democrats losing the House majority to Republicans in 1994.
More than two decades later, Clinton blamed the same group for Hillary Clinton’s loss to Donald Trump.
“He doesn’t know much. One thing he does know is how to get angry, white men to vote for him,” Clinton told the The Record-Review of Bedford and Pound Ridge Monday in Albany, N.Y., referring to Trump.
Trump added in a second tweet: “especially how to get people, even with an unlimited budget, out to vote in the vital swing states (and more). They focused on wrong states.”
This was the second notable time Clinton placed the blame on “angry white men” after tough Democratic election losses he and Hillary were involved with.On April 8, 1995, President Clinton addressed the California Democratic Party in Sacramento, speaking about the economy and race issues. He said he could still remember a time when his home state of Arkansas “had restrooms marked ‘white’ and ‘colored.'”
Clinton went on to say, “Now, we have made great progress in the last 30 years. But we still don’t all, any of us, understand fully what is in all of our hearts about all these complex issues of gender and race. Let me say something for all the people that are pushing for this. This is psychologically a difficult time for a lot of white males, the so-called angry white males. Why? Because those who don’t have great educations and who aren’t in jobs which are growing, even though they may have started out ahead of those of you who are female and of different races, most of them are working harder for less money than they were making 15 years ago.”
Conservatives took both Clintons to task over the accusation at the time, and the media picked up on the narrative of the “angry white male” as the reason for the Democrats’ congressional election losses.
“The absence of facts must not be allowed to stand in the way of a good line or an ad hominem charge,” Charles Krauthammer wrote in The Washington Post more than a month later. “And the charge of male anger has a history that predates the 1994 election. It began its recent career as the ultimate put-down of those critical of the first ladyhood of Hillary Clinton. As she herself explained in an interview in the Wall Street Journal on Sept. 30, ‘People are not really often reacting to me so much as they are reacting to their own lives. . . . If somebody has a female boss for the first time, and they’ve never experienced that — well, maybe they can’t take out their hostility against her so they turn it on me.'”
Additionally, dozens of polls conducted on Election Day in 1994 showed the vast majority of white male voters going to the polls were not “angry.”
The “angry white male” charge ran its course during the 2016 election against supporters of Trump who filled his rallies and cheered him on throughout his run for office, while some critics of Trump claimed there was not enough “angry white men” to whisk Trump to the White House others later went back to blaming the “angry white men” for Hillary’s loss on Nov. 9.