November 12th, 2007
03:00 PM ET
7 years ago

Obama: We don't plant questions

Watch Sen. Obama's remarks about Sen. Clinton's planted question.

(CNN) - At a press conference in Nashua, New Hampshire Monday , Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, refused to directly criticize Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-New York, after reports that her campaign staff had planted at least one question at a town-hall-style event last week.

But Obama still made a subtle dig apparently aimed at Clinton, one of his chief rivals for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination .

“I’ll let Sen. Clinton answer for her campaign,” Obama told reporters. “When I go into a town hall meeting, I never know what questions to expect and that’s a good thing because the people of New Hampshire should expect that their candidates are going to hear what’s on the voters’ minds and not what’s been concocted by the candidate’s staff."

After saying that he has sometimes received questions on the campaign trail that have stumped him, Obama said planting questions is “not a practice that we’ve ever engaged in and it’s not a practice that we ever plan to engage in.”

Related: Watch Clinton's controversial question

Related: Democratic rivals respond to Clinton's planted question

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– CNN Associate Producer Martina Stewart

soundoff (80 Responses)
  1. Tom, ALBUQUERQUE, NM

    Senator Obama is quite the gentleman. Though he was baited he in his astute way refused to be dragged into a pissyfit like John Edwards. Obama will surely get a position in Clinton's administration if he wants it. He has run a respectable campaign but I do think his lack of Washington experience does not bold well for him. Also I think he should have kicked in the passion rhetoric much earlier.
    Bravo, Obama, Bravo

    November 12, 2007 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  2. Jan, Toledo OH

    What is going on with the media? Most of the coverage regarding Obama is positive and in the last three weeks, the coverage for Hillary is negative. When Hillary started running away with the race, someone wrote that the news media wanted a close race and that they would weigh in to try to make that possible. They sure have

    November 12, 2007 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  3. MacKenzie, Philadelphia, PA

    New Research shows Obama beating Clinton in online participation. Read it here: http://www.mackenziemoritz.com/

    Highlights:

    *Obama’s blog is updated almost three times as frequently as Clinton’s and has generated 73,566 comments over the course of the campaign – 64,186 more than Clinton’s 9,380 comments.

    *Obama’s lead in internet participation has grown in recent months as Clinton’s has fallen. Last month, users of Obama’s website posted 20,665 comments to Clinton’s 868. One possible explanation of the gap is the different policies the campaigns utilize on their websites. Obama's campaign posts all comments and allows users to flag inappropriate comments for review. Clinton's campaign makes use of a moderator, not posting comments until they have made it past the campaign's censor.

    November 12, 2007 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  4. KEITH JAMES LOUTTIT

    Well, it's 4:36 and my earlier comments are still awaiting moderation, while Jan, Toledo, Oh posted hers/his at 4:27 and is not awaiting 'moderation'?

    November 12, 2007 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  5. Mike ,Panama City ,FL

    Yea thats what it really is , because they dont want to admit that race is really over already and that Clinton is best person to lead this country , and probably will be the next president of the USA .

    SO they want to find story's battles etc etc to make it more exciting

    Its very clear who has experience and who doesnt ,
    WHO the hell is rudy , he doesnt have any foreign policy experience zip nada

    November 12, 2007 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  6. beehee

    'No, your campaign bused Illinois supporters for the Jefferson Jackson Dinner'

    Posted By Ed : November 12, 2007 3:49 pm

    Ed Barack is a man of intergrity. He is going to win because he is doing the right thing and follows the law. Hillary bused supporters from neighbouring states but Barack's had real IOWANS. Take your losses in stripes and stop complaining. Barack was declared the unanimous winner of JJ Dinner by all major news networks, including The Clinton News Network.
    Go Barack.

    November 12, 2007 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  7. Dave, Cheverly, MD

    Something amazing is happening with the support of Obama. A hard core Republican best friend of mine just said he was going to changes to Democrat so he can vote for Obama. I was absolutely shocked. He is a die-hard me, me, me Republican. This was our first conversation about the 2008 Race. I guess I was avoiding it because I did not want to here his usual Democrat bashing. It finally came up in a 2-hour car ride and I am glade I was not driving when he broke the news that he was voting for Obama.

    I think that if we look at Obama with out prejudices, fears or party affiliations. He is the best candidate for our Country in 2008. We need to be told the truth for a while. We know that some things should be classified, but we don’t want a new President that will just deliberately miss lead us like sheep to be slaughtered. Obama is the best person not to do that.

    November 12, 2007 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  8. EE

    What is going on with the media? Most of the coverage regarding Obama is positive and in the last three weeks, the coverage for Hillary is negative. When Hillary started running away with the race, someone wrote that the news media wanted a close race and that they would weigh in to try to make that possible. They sure have

    Posted By Jan, Toledo OH : November 12, 2007 4:27 pm

    Toledo:
    Your comments are rediculous.Your're doing a diservice to your Candidate Hilary. You're simply confirming allegations that CNN has had some staff bought over by Clinton.

    And when a story isnt written by someone of these, Hilary people cry foul bc that story will be objective.

    So you wanted CNN to say Obama slammed Hilary when he didnt? Obama is smart and intelligent. He talks about the issues not petit talks about Hilary nonsense campaign question plants!

    November 12, 2007 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  9. Jesse, Burnsville, MN

    Jan from Toledo, Puhleeze!

    The media, especially CNN, gave Clinton a free ride for a long time. The reason there are ANY negative stories about Clinton now is because she has finally been outed as a fraud. Still, CNN (Clinton News Network) does anything it can to make her look good. Wolf is the worst. My guess is that he will probably be kissing her feet at this week's debate.

    Edwards/Obama or Obama/Edwards '08

    November 12, 2007 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  10. Common Sense

    Oh burn. Just keep chiping away at the thin vineer and find out that you have not a Ming Vase, but a cheap reproduction piece of garbage. Like that analogy?

    Obama! 08

    November 12, 2007 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  11. Mike, Owosso, Michigan

    This has to be the slowest news week since the week Obama took the heat for not wearing a flag pin.

    November 12, 2007 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  12. KEITH JAMES LOUTTIT

    YOU MODERATORS ARE DROPPING THE BALL HERE

    Barack Obama 08!
    Posted By Karen, NYC : November 12, 2007 4:04 pm
    Your comment is awaiting moderation. Due to the volume of comments we receive, not all comments will be posted.

    No Senator Barack (I'm too green to plant questions) Obama doesn't have shills to ask planted questions for him as does Senator Hillary(I did not plant a question with that woman… Miss Muriel Gallo-Chasanoff) nor does he vote in the Senate!
    Posted By KEITH JAMES LOUTTIT : November 12, 2007 4:12 pm
    Your comment is awaiting moderation. Due to the volume of comments we receive, not all comments will be posted.

    HEY, how come the Election Express Bus isn't taking any more comments?

    Can't you guys take the heat? Or are you too busy at Harrah's?

    Give my regards to O.J., remember me at Fremont Square…

    Also, if you get around to the Blue Beacon Truck Wash on MLK Blvd, don't call Immigration on those Mexicans, they really know how to clean my truck!
    Posted By KEITH JAMES LOUTTIT : November 12, 2007 4:20 pm

    Pointed and forceful rhetoric increasingly becoming the tone of every encounter.

    What Democratic Presidential Candidate do you think made the biggest lasting impression at the Iowa Jefferson Jackson Dinner Speech?

    http://www.youpolls.com/details.asp?pid=957

    .
    Posted By PollM, Dallas Tx : November 12, 2007 4:24 pm

    November 12, 2007 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  13. Nick, Chicago, IL

    Candidates ALWAYS bus in supporters to the Iowa JJ dinner.

    And questions will be planted later on in the campaign, so if Obama doesn't have planted questions now he will if he does very well in Iowa.

    November 12, 2007 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  14. Mike, Owosso, Michigan

    Your republican buddy is probably skewing the field to give more votes to Obama, hoping they will not have to face a harsh race with Hillary next fall.

    November 12, 2007 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  15. Terry,boston,ma

    New Research shows Obama beating Clinton in online participation. Read it here: http://www.mackenziemoritz.com/

    Highlights:

    *Obama’s blog is updated almost three times as frequently as Clinton’s and has generated 73,566 comments over the course of the campaign – 64,186 more than Clinton’s 9,380 comments.

    *Obama’s lead in internet participation has grown in recent months as Clinton’s has fallen. Last month, users of Obama’s website posted 20,665 comments to Clinton’s 868. One possible explanation of the gap is the different policies the campaigns utilize on their websites. Obama's campaign posts all comments and allows users to flag inappropriate comments for review. Clinton's campaign makes use of a moderator, not posting comments until they have made it past the campaign's censor.

    Posted By MacKenzie, Philadelphia, PA : November 12, 2007 4:35 pm

    Thanx MacKenzie, I think I will use this on my statistics class.
    Terry

    November 12, 2007 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  16. Anonymous

    Nor cover their hearts during the playing of OUR national anthem. What a disgrace !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    November 12, 2007 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  17. JM, New Milford, CT

    Dave in MD, I did the same as your friend. I switched from being Republican to being Democrat so that I could vote for Obama. I trust his integrity, intellect, and hard work. I know that if he says something needs to be done, I can trust that he really believes it for the right reasons. I disagree with him on some issues, but the issue of trust is so much greater to me that I am willing to give him his chance.

    Also, I think we need an entirely new voice, new way, new image for the rest of the world to see. Obama's the candidate to get that done.

    JM

    November 12, 2007 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  18. James, Phoenix AZ

    I am a partisan conservative. I would much rather have Hillary as the democratic nominee (from the view of Republicans winning the White House in '08)....

    But I must say Mr Obama is hitting the right balance of promoting his vision for America yet not turning a blind eye to Hillary's antics.

    Obama is the best Democrat candidate. I would feel "ok" if he were elected – at least we would have a shot at unifying the great divide between the parties. Hillary is S.O.S. – different day.

    November 12, 2007 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  19. Leo, VA

    This guy is preaching his ideology (politics of hope). Listening to him is like going to a Sunday church service.. I never hear questions there (planted or not). He is a very good speaker, but I wonder how is he going to keep his promises, his speeches sound very demagogic..

    November 12, 2007 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  20. Mark, Council Bluffs, Iowa

    Obama is the least experienced candidate in the race. He will lose easily to any republican candidate. I suspect that vast majority of Obama "supporters" are simply republicans hoping to trick progressives into nominating him. In a complicated world beset with fears of terrorism– a vote for Obama in the primary– is tanatamount to the democratic party surrending. I'm not a clinton supporter–but I am a democrat.

    November 12, 2007 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  21. Eugene Anaheim California

    I am really getting fed up of Mr perfect,only sad new his campaign is going no where.Its time to change your tune if you ever dream to stepping near the whitehouse as a VP.Go hillary Go

    November 12, 2007 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  22. Dave, Cheverly, MD

    To Owosso, Council Bluff

    It’s like that old cigarette commercial for Tarington cigarettes. “I’d rather fight then switch”. These are die-hard Republicans; they don’t take chances or play with their party affiliations.

    The fact that they are switching is important for Obama. If he is speaking in a way that die-hard Republicans are considering him. Then he truly can unite this country that has been divided far too long.

    As Democrats and Republican we can have our differences of opinions. But when our standing in the world, our integrity, our soldiers lives and our leaving a great place for our children and their children, Should trump our differences. Lets elect the right person for the job.

    November 12, 2007 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  23. T. Anthony

    Obama has no chance of winning a general election...he has the most liberal voting record of ANY candidate...and is the candidate of the extreme left...Republicans hope he is the nominee so they will easily win the White House again in 08 with any of its candidates. Why is nobody talking about his extreme un-electability? His and Edwards try to beat up on Hillary instead of talking about issues only hurts the Democratic Party.

    November 12, 2007 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  24. TRUTH, US

    Obama himself is a plant to make the dem field seem interesting. It has already been settled that Hillary will be the only dem contender.

    November 12, 2007 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  25. Captain-Sky

    We Know You Don't Plant Questions Until You Get Caught,Then You'll Explain It Away Like You Explained Everything Awya On Meet The Press,I Think You Obama's Fans Refer To As Waffling, Is That A Good Assessment.

    November 12, 2007 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
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