An anti-Obama e-mail sent by a Clinton volunteer is causing a stir in Iowa.
(CNN) - One of the recipients of a controversial anti-Barack Obama email forward that put Hillary Clinton’s Iowa campaign on the defensive Wednesday said the volunteer county coordinator who sent the original message may have been unfairly targeted.
“She thinks people misunderstood her intent,” said Gary Hart, who said he spoke with the volunteer, Judy Rose, a short time ago. The former Clinton volunteer insisted “she was just sending it along so people know what kind of information is out there,” not because she believed the charges herself. He added that Rose is baffled by the uproar.
The controversy began early Wednesday when an Iowa supporter of presidential candidate Chris Dodd posted a comment on the liberal Daily Kos Web site, accusing an unnamed Clinton volunteer of forwarding an anti-Muslim e-mail aimed at the Illinois senator, containing charges that have been widely discredited.
The e-mail - one of several hoaxes that have been circulating since the Illinois senator announced his candidacy - claims that Obama is a Muslim whose campaign is part of a plot to destroy the United States. Obama is not, and never has been, a Muslim.
Within minutes, Clinton Internet Director Peter Daou posted a message from campaign manager Patti Solis Doyle disavowing the remarks. Rose, a Jones County volunteer, was immediately asked to leave the New York senator’s campaign, and did.
The war of words between both candidates, who are running neck and neck in Iowa polls less than a month before Election Day, has reached a fever pitch over the past week. Within the past few days, both have asked supporters to track attacks and “dirty tricks” aimed at their campaigns.
The Obama campaign is not commenting on the incident.
- CNN’s Rebecca Sinderbrand