Bill Clinton, campaigning for President Obama in Ohio yesterday, made a play for white voters in Ohio whom he thought had some animosity towards black Americans.

“[Clinton] said Mr. Romney’s plan would mean a 33 percent cut in Medicaid over 10 years,” the Toledo Blade reported. “While noting that Medicaid funds go to many minority families, he said, in a stage whisper, ‘Most of them are white folks.’”

Not to put too fine a point on it, Clinton added, “This is not a race deal, folks; this is an equal opportunity hosing.’’

The comment seems designed to appeal to white voters who are not on Medicaid by telling them that poorer white people –not just black Americans — are on Medicaid. It’s one of those comments that doesn’t indicate a high regard for the voters he’s trying to sway.

The late Sen. Jack Murtha, D-Pa., made a more egregious statement during the 2008 campaign. “No question that western Pennsylvania is a racist area,”Murtha said, referring to his own constituents. As a result, the usually-safe incumbent Murtha faced a stiff challenge from Republicans senate candidate Bill Russell, a former Army officer.

Murtha survived that challenge thanks in part to the last minute efforts of, you guessed it, Bill Clinton on his behalf.