November 4th, 2007
10:04 AM ET
11 years ago

Drivers hit by illegal immigrants speak to Clinton

Clinton spoke in Des Moines Saturday.

DES MOINES, Iowa (CNN) - At least two people spoke up in front of Hillary Clinton on Saturday in support of driver's licenses for illegal immigrants, an issue Clinton said relates to a larger problem "we have to solve."

The senator from New York had just finished speaking to a group of Polk County, Iowa, field staff in Des Moines and was getting ready to leave the room when Clinton supporter Lee Jolliffe started yelling over the crowd noise.

"There are two of us here," Jolliffe said, "who have been hit by those unlicensed drivers. It's not a privilege, it’s a protection."

Jolliffe was pointing out that drivers who can have licenses are more likely to have insurance.

"Thank you, thank you, thank you," Clinton responded. "I appreciate you raising that because, you know, the federal government has failed. The federal government has failed, and states are trying to figure out what to do."

She continued, "But two people right in this room have been hit, have been hit by people who are here and undocumented."

That prompted one man to shout, "More than two!"

"More than two," Clinton replied. "So, you know, at some point we have to solve this problem because we're seeing all sorts of consequences. So thank you for being a witness to that. Thank you."

Jolliffe later told CNN she wanted to give Clinton an opportunity to defend herself on the issue, one that created some heat at Tuesday night's debate.

Asked about New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer's controversial plan to give driver's licenses to illegal immigrants, Clinton said it "makes a lot of sense" but stopped short of endorsing the plan.

"We want to know who's in New York," she said. "We want people to come out of the shadows."

Former Sen. John Edwards, D-North Carolina, claimed Clinton's answer was inconsistent. And Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Connecticut, called the plan "troublesome," adding that "a license is a privilege, and that ought not to be extended, in my view."

Sen. Barack Obama later said, "Senator Clinton left us wondering where she stood on every single hard question from Iran to Social Security to drivers' licenses for undocumented workers."

-CNN's Chris Welch and Steve Brusk

Filed under: Hillary Clinton • Iowa
soundoff (252 Responses)
  1. Phillip,fairfax,Va

    There she goes, She is the "decider", Already?
    Now you can see what this woman can do just to win elections!!!

    November 3, 2007 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  2. Jon, Sacramento ~ Ca

    Just think... if illegal aliens weren't here because we actually ENFORCED deportation laws... how many people would be getting into traffic accidents with illegal aliens??

    Um.. zero??

    Hey, Hillary – how about we get these poor poor illegal aliens driver training, tax-payer interpreters so the illegals have a chance at passing the drivers test, Government-paid auto insurance, ... yeah... THAT will solve the problem!

    Better yet – throw out the illegals and the politicians pushing to protect them.

    November 3, 2007 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  3. susan,nyc,ny

    This country is sinking in the mud!! Can you imagine a country with so many accidents just because of illegals?
    I don't care if it is about insurance but I think to denie them is better than to give them.
    I am a woman but this got me really bad and my vote here on is Obamas!!!

    November 3, 2007 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  4. nancy, cleveland, Ohio

    Who will vote for her?

    November 3, 2007 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  5. sally,Derry, NH

    People here are not happy with this lady anymore and I think we are turning a page to Obama right now because we don't want bush dictatorship again!

    November 3, 2007 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  6. Bobb,nashua, NH

    I think I can guarantee Obama the vote now,
    Meet me at the voting booth Obama!!

    November 3, 2007 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  7. Karen, NYC

    "There are two of us here," Jolliffe said, "who have been hit by those unlicensed drivers. It's not a privilege, it’s a protection."

    AND...... CUT!!!!

    Excellent job campaign plants... excellent... but next time we need you to have fake tears in your eyes. We don't want to look like you're PLANTED campaign employees....

    November 3, 2007 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  8. feb,charleston,s.c

    This is not how to deal with illegal aliens!! What part of the word illegal don't you understand!!

    African American woman who has shifted to Edward or Obama

    November 3, 2007 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  9. SilverB, Lilburn, GA

    1. there are no illegal human beings
    2. it is not up to the governor to man the borders. If the gov cant secure the borders and people end up here, the duty of the governors is to make sure people are treated as people, equal under the law,
    3.if the undocumented are nabbed, they should face the law, but pretending they are not here or it is the work of the governor to do what the federal gov has failed (is secure the borders) is absurd

    November 3, 2007 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  10. Beth,newyork city, NY

    Clintonians back to the white house. I think giving drivers licences to illegal aliens will help them assimilate to the society. I would like them to be able to vote and knock Obama off!

    November 3, 2007 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  11. Route 52 Avenger

    TO: Ed, in Ellenville, NY:

    I'm just a little confused by your statement... if you are truly 'undocumented' as you say, then how can you be 'paying taxes' as a homeowner?

    BTW, I know who you are, and I know where you live, you lying sack of crap!

    November 3, 2007 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |

    This sounds Soooooooooooooo staged! She was Soooooooooooo prepared for her next line, wasn't she?

    November 3, 2007 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
  13. faye,newton,ma

    Obviously this will solve the problem we have right now on illegal aliens. This is a good idea since they need to go to work, buy many cars and pay alot to insurance companies and this will be a big business.
    My only worry is if they kill so many people because they are not experience and they will be glad to show off to their friend and their families that they have a car and they can now drive, I had a gentlemen who was working for me from another country, the very day he got the drivers lincence he smashed his car to my garage and I can try to rethink how much damage he did to my house and my car parked in the garage. I always think if anyone was in the garage, my husband or my 16years daughter what could have happened. I think Giving so many foreigners licences will be total chaos in this country. we are being robbed by these politicians the big picture of this issue. I don't think Americans have anymore freedom in this country...

    November 3, 2007 11:22 pm at 11:22 pm |
  14. Richard, mckinney, tx

    How many people have been killed by illegals....I wouldn't be surprised if the 2, 3 people there were plants...

    November 3, 2007 11:25 pm at 11:25 pm |
  15. Jun, Los Angeles, CA

    Hillary haters or otherwise, there's just one thing that she knows for sure – to win an election! So prepare yourselves because she will put America back on its tracks!

    November 3, 2007 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm |
  16. Elizabeth, Bartlett, TN

    Giving illegals a driving licence is asking for voter fraud. When a person applies for a drivers license they are automatically given a voter registration form. (Motor-voter law). Although have to do is say they are citizens, they are not required to prove it, and they will be allowed to vote. They would also have official ID to show a the polling place.

    November 3, 2007 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  17. Richard, Mckinney, Tx

    Not me, I voted for Bill twices, and living in Arkansas...I have had enough Clinton, Bush,,,I will go with Rudy if he is the Rep..nom......

    November 3, 2007 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  18. San Diego,CA

    I think there is a general anxiety in this country due to the incompetence of President Numbnuts. Illegals are just a convenient target for people to vent their frustration. Instead, 1/2 of the voters should look in the mirror and blame themselves for President Numbnuts 2x.

    November 3, 2007 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  19. Brian P Lenac, Everett, WA

    Many of the questions Senator Clinton is being critisized about for not answering yes or no, are questions that no one CAN honestly give a yes or a no answer to....

    No. You are wrong McKinney. Wrong. Anyone who knows the law and is capable of a little critical thinking can answer these questions. People who are in this country illegally need to be deported. Period.

    I stood in line for a decade and paid thousands to get my citizenship. You've got to pay to play. Giving illegals licenses so that they can get low end jobs and cause more economic trouble for us is insanity. They should be deporte–when identified–until they can immigrate LEGALLY.

    Why is this so hard for people to understand–do you think our immigration laws were written for fun? This is not a moral issue, this is an issue of our national security.

    Hillary for president!! We need her.

    God save us all from this kind of ignorance. The Clintons are criminals–period. They are just more slick than the Bush family.

    I bet you don't even know who Ron Paul is, do you?

    November 3, 2007 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm |
  20. Walt, Belton, TX

    Anybody that believes that little "take" was not planned and set up believes slick Willy only smoked cigars.

    The answer may be we just need to play cowboys and mexicans and cowboys and arabs with some vigor. Ask the Indians we unabashedly wiped out.

    November 3, 2007 11:39 pm at 11:39 pm |
  21. Richard Mckinney, tx

    I don't want to get into name calling, but if Hillary's last name was Smith, no one would give her the time of day..
    If you like the Hugo Chavez still of gov't then Hillary is for you...I like less gov't, lower taxes and not her healthcare plan of knowing when to pull your own plug if you get to old to be thanks...

    November 3, 2007 11:41 pm at 11:41 pm |
  22. John Atlanta, GA

    E.C., Houston,, Texas:
    Wait a minute, there's this fella from Texas named George W. Bush who has been pushing to give amnesty to illegals for quite awhile now. Heck, his brother Jeb even married one!

    November 3, 2007 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
  23. Karl Rudolf, Houston, Texas

    The driver license issue debated by Clinton, Spitzer, and others cannot be real when people believe giving undocumented people a driver's license, they will buy car insurance. In New Orleans, before Katrina, an auto insurance agent estimated that 2/3 of people driving there, did not have insurance, in Houston, the estimate is that 50% drive without insurance, the same percentage of drivers carrying a gn in their car.

    This whole issue is a gimmick, primarily by the Democrats to get the Hispanic vote. For those politicians, that want to do something about people not having insurance, let me suggest a simple procedure. A person applying for a car registration should show proof that he has bought insurance. If he buys insurance solely to get the car registration, i.e., he immediately cancels it upon receiving the car registration, the insurance company and the police need to be notified to retrieve the license plate and a big fine. Would it not be nice to finally be able to cancel that large premium for uninsured motorists. And as far as undocumented workers goes, let them follow the rules to get legal immigrants. I did, it cost me 4 years of my life in the military, but I believe in following the law of the country I wanted to live.

    November 3, 2007 11:47 pm at 11:47 pm |
  24. diane l. machesney park, IL

    I am hoping CNN knows these are plants. She is famous for this trick but, you know how the press is. duh.

    November 3, 2007 11:52 pm at 11:52 pm |
  25. john williams san diego, ca.

    this is just the start of pure evils' war machine with those plants..the last thing i would want for an illegal who hit my car is to give him a license. how about immediate deportation. how is having a license mean that you have insurance? in a santuary city like san diego the illegals acquire junks from tijuana and if they get in fender benders they just give fake I.D.s and walk away because of people like hillary and the aclu.

    November 3, 2007 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
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