December 6th, 2007
07:08 AM ET
12 years ago

Clinton volunteer's sending of anti-Obama e-mail causes stir

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.

Earlier: Obama camp denies 'dirty tricks' accusation

- CNN’s Rebecca Sinderbrand

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Hillary Clinton • Iowa
soundoff (211 Responses)
  1. Aaron Smithsburg, Maryland

    Thank you CNN for posting my comments most of the time, I get a little frisky sometimes, I have a big mouth. I try to purposely raise contention and questions. That's the great thing about america, free thinking people with many different ideas settling on compromise. All we need to do is keep talking.

    December 5, 2007 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  2. Willy,Chesapeake,VA

    Another Clinton smear. Oh well, the friends of Clinton media will cover for Princess.

    December 5, 2007 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  3. Adam

    Are these really Democrats or fakes with ego? Are you all Republicans in Sheep’s clothing?

    You bicker over silly and irrelevant issues and come across as people without direction.

    The republicans had control of the congress along with the white house for 6 years before the democrats and the rest of this country were able to break this cozy relationship that has been bad for this country.

    George bush and the Republicans acquired a country and its office of the presidency that is well respected around the world with a robust economy surplus.

    The bottom line is this; they took office of a great country and ran the country straight to the ground and now we have a ballooned debt and a foreign policy mired in quagmire…

    Now you as democrats have a real opportunity to take our great country back from the zealots and re-direct it back on the right track. You have issues like Jobs, Healthcare, Bankruptcy, Foreign Policy, Cost of Living, Habeas Corpus, Supreme Court assignment, our children’s future, Education and much more at stake, but all you want to do bicker over someone’s religion and who posted it..?

    Silly, totally Silly…

    I will tell you this as a tired and fed up Democrat, if you lose the white house once more to the Republicans, remember when you behave like brats who totally have lost sight of what is important.

    If you cannot clearly direct your thinking appropriately and focus strategically, YOU DEFINITELY DESREVE TO LOSE THE WHITE HOUSE TO THE REPUBLICANS… AGAIN!!!

    Think people Think!!!

    December 5, 2007 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  4. Jonathan Brennan, New York, NY

    What trivial matters of debate!
    The coverage of the Democratic "frontrunner's" is one step away from tabloid headlines with all the seriousness of Paris Hilton.

    ISSUES. Please, won't one of these candidates say something substantive.

    There is an excellent video on Wonkette right now that elucidates how much more presidential Joe Biden is on issues that actually matter to this country. Enough Obama/Clinton trifle. THEY ARE NOT SERIOUS ENOUGH ON THE ISSUES TO WIN IN A GENERAL ELECTION.

    December 5, 2007 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  5. CriticalThinker , New York, NY

    ...and so what if he were a Muslim? how would that be relevant at all to whether or not he is a good American or whether or not he would be a good president?

    December 5, 2007 11:22 pm at 11:22 pm |
  6. Bots, Seattle

    If these are the kind of people taking part in her campaign, can you imagine what kind of people will surround her in the White House? Her husband is a cheat and liar and before her and the nation commit adultery and she probably didn't even walk up to him and slap his silly looking mug. He's no good and it'll be more of the same unless people start looking out for what's good for the country instead of playing games with the country. She needs to step aside and let Sen. Biden tangle with the Republicans. He's the only candidate who can go 15 rounds with the Republican nominees. Everyone knows that the Clinton's are a couple of cut-throats and will step on anyone who gets in their way.

    December 5, 2007 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm |
  7. Frank, Boca Raton, FL

    For Hilary's camp to say that they are not responsible for the actions of an over "Zealous" volunteer worker is to take the easy way out.

    There seems to be a pattern emerging from Hilary's camp. To use a sports analogy, she may throw an interception to her detriment if she doesn't stop playing foolishly.

    December 5, 2007 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm |
  8. Susan Charlotte, NC

    Same shady under the table stuff Bush "staff" did to McCain. But apparently Bush shouldn't be responsible for what people do on his behalf either. More effective then most people think, she can deny it and in the end it will slip into voters' subconscious. If the greatest country in the world can't find anyone else better than Bush and Hillary Clinton to run it for 12, maybe 16 years, then that is absolutely pathetic.

    December 5, 2007 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  9. John, Des Moines, Iowa

    "Obama is not, and never has been, a Muslim."

    And.... more importantly... he is not part of a plot to destroy the United States.

    Eye on the ball here, CNN. Eye on the ball...

    December 5, 2007 11:37 pm at 11:37 pm |
  10. Keith, Chicago

    As much as some people might try to suggest it, I'm quite certain that Hillary Clinton had nothing to do with sending out this email or condoned in any way.

    That being said, just one day ago she publicly complained that Obama was running a "dirty" campaign because an overzealous supporter of his supposedly got in a heated converation over the phone with a woman who said she was voting for Clinton instead of Obama (I say "supposedly because her campaign didn't even bring forth any hard evidence that it happened, when asked). So pretty much, all of this is making Clinton look extremely hypocritical (if not worse), given that she tried to smear Obama's name and character just because he had an overzealous supporter supposedly raised his voice on the phone (and what candidate doesn't have at least a few supporters who aren't perfect)...and then a day later, here it turns out that she has supporters who are spreading out blatantly racist, false, and disgusting emails to others.

    But Obama, like the classy person he is, has decided to not even comment on this and simply just focus on presenting his ideas on how he would make our country a better place, if he were to be elected President. I think he's a stand-up guy with a lot of character and integrity.

    December 5, 2007 11:45 pm at 11:45 pm |
  11. Sophy

    I just looove to see Hillary stick to those men!!! You go girl.

    December 5, 2007 11:51 pm at 11:51 pm |
  12. Brett, Pembroke, MA

    "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."


    Then why didn't Ms. Rose add a little note at the beginning of her forwarded e-mails explaining what she now claims. I'm not buying it. Sounds more like she is desperately trying to cover her behind and salvage her reputation. Despicable.

    Coming right off of the Hillary campaign's below-the-belt hit against Obama's grade school essays, this incident makes me want to support Obama more and more. The Hillary campaign has been disgusting me in recent days.

    December 6, 2007 12:06 am at 12:06 am |
  13. John Adkisson, Sacramento, California

    I have never seen a candidate self-destruct so quickly (short of a personal scandal) as Clinton is doing in Iowa. Does she not know that even if she were to harm Obama with smears, she would simply help a third candidate while destroying her own chances?

    Or does she make that distinction? It appears that Clinton simply despises Obama because he is everything she can never be. If she does not get a grip - she will soon be toast.

    December 6, 2007 12:15 am at 12:15 am |
  14. Arnold Flick, La Jolla CA

    Arnold Flick La Jolla CA USA
    Let's take Obama's word that he is not a Muslim now, but at one point he certainly was: natural father a Muslim, Stepfather a Muslim, educated in Muslim schools in a Muslim country. By Muslim rules, his father alone makes Obama a Muslim, to say nothing of what followed. If it's fair to question Romney on Mormonism, then it's fair to ask Obama why he left the Muslim faith, and how he feels about it now; he has said he became a Christian without an epiphany. We are, after all, talking about the Presidency, and we are war with a significant portion of the Muslim world. The relationship of the President to the Muslim faith of his childhood is a matter of national interest, and needs to be spelled out.

    December 6, 2007 12:17 am at 12:17 am |
  15. Ryan, New Jersey

    Her intent was misunderstood??? How could her intent have been anything other than to slander Obama? Simply idiotic.

    December 6, 2007 12:18 am at 12:18 am |
  16. anonymous, Philadelphia, PA

    Barack Obama is not a Muslim. Everyone is cool with that. BUT, am I the only one who missed this? How is being a 'Muslim' - i.e. status - substantive proof of plotting to destroy the United States. Such Muslim hatred. Tsk Tsk Tsk. Bad Bad Bad.

    December 6, 2007 12:20 am at 12:20 am |
  17. Bill Pittsburgh, PA

    Disgraceful reporting, CNN. Putting this on the front page only fuels the heinous rumors. These emails were everywhere apparently-it's not a story. Certainly not front papge material. And attaching the "earlier" story of Clinton's 'dirty tricks' accusation is ludicrous-that was even less news worthy.

    December 6, 2007 12:27 am at 12:27 am |
  18. Troy

    Oh yes, let me think? Obama is not a Muslim. His middle name is just HUSSEIN, his FATHER was a Muslim, he was raised in INDONESIA, the largest Muslim population in the world, Obama name doesn't sound Muslim. Well, I guess he is NOT a Muslim or is it really?

    December 6, 2007 12:28 am at 12:28 am |
  19. K Garcia, Raleigh, NC

    After reading some of the comments here, I thought I would ask...Just out of curiousity, how can you tell if someone is a Muslim? What do they look like? What do they sound like? How can you REALLY tell if someone is Muslim?Not that Obama is (or isn't), and anyone who really thought about the idea of someone trying to overthrow the government by running for President would know that's just an insane accusation...but it would be interesting to know what exactly the general public uses to define what a Muslim is. Anyway, might be diving in too deep, but just a thought!

    December 6, 2007 12:52 am at 12:52 am |
  20. Anonymous, Somewhere, MI

    "Obama has nothing to show for experience which will be the cornerstone of Republican assault."

    If that's the case the Dems might want to back Richardson, Biden, or Dodd. Each of the 3 has 20+ years experience in public office. Clinton just has 6 years in the Senate.

    December 6, 2007 01:01 am at 1:01 am |
  21. farleftheis

    From his radical stance on abortion to his prominence in the corruption scandals that has been virtually ignored by the mainstream media, Barack Obama is not fit to be Senator - not to mention the next President of the United States.

    Obama has declared his presidential intentions, but it is up to well-informed and energetic conservatives like you to spare our nation from the scourge of a far-left President Barack Huessin Obama.
    140 missed votes in this current Congress

    No vote for barack hussein obama

    December 6, 2007 01:10 am at 1:10 am |
  22. Nadir, Peoria IL

    this is the same kind of racist rhetoric that the Germans used against the Jews... and now it is here in America.

    Nadir Ahmed

    December 6, 2007 01:12 am at 1:12 am |
  23. Marbury, Des Moines

    La'kitgum, you wrote "Republican know they can get back the Whitehouse if any of the 2 candidates stood against Obama because Obama has nothing to show for experience which will be the cornerstone of Republican assault." Do you really think that's more worrisome than the absolutely endless bounty of material that the Repubs have stored up for Mrs. Bill? And, further, do you really think that with the scores of skeletons in all of the possible repub candidates backgrounds the tired "experience" routine will defeat Obama. Wake up people, this man is special - a president that people might actually love rather than one we all hold our nose and vote for.

    December 6, 2007 01:19 am at 1:19 am |
  24. Jaik , chicago, IL

    awful lot of double talk here. plain and simple , the clinton campaign staffer sent a completely false email forward out to discredit Obama with the lowest form of trash, racist bigotted fearmongering, Bush and Hillary are so simillar, she saw how Rove's dirty tricks were succesful and now she is trying it out, with great success.

    December 6, 2007 01:21 am at 1:21 am |
  25. Tim, Madison WI

    If this volunteer didn't want people to misunderstand her intent, why didn't she add a note onto the forward that said, "I just wanted you all to see exactly what kind of crap is being spewed by ignorant people who care little for the issues. We don't agree with Senator Obama's politics, but we refuse to stoop to this level of rhetoric in our campaign. Please be on the lookout." And then add a link to one of the numerous sites which debunks this forward. Would've been as simple as that. As it stands, Clinton's entire campaign staff looks like a bunch of liars who are willing to slander members of their own party (heck, slandering anyone with untrue statements is bad enough) for the sake of winning an election. The Clinton campaign is getting desperate. Obama '08.

    December 6, 2007 01:23 am at 1:23 am |
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