CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (CNN) – Just days before the Iowa caucuses, a prominent Hillary Clinton supporter criticized the state’s privileged role in the presidential nominating process, forcing her campaign to declare that she did not agree with the assessment.
Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland was quoted in Sunday’s edition of The Columbus Dispatch as saying that it “makes no sense” to grant Iowa the right to hold the first contest of the 2008 race for the White House.
"I'd like to see both parties say, 'We're going to bring this to an end,'" Strickland told the newspaper.
Competing campaigns seized on the article and emailed it around to reporters to highlight Strickland’s comments late Sunday night. The Clinton campaign moved quickly, and issued a statement shortly after midnight distancing the New York senator from the governor’s remarks.
“Senator Clinton has worked her heart out campaigning in Iowa because she knows it plays a unique and special role in the nominating process and that process must be protected,” read the statement. “As she has said many times she is glad Iowans are entrusted with this responsibility because they take it so seriously. On this issue Hillary and Gov. Strickland strongly disagree.”
Strickland’s comments came on the same day that WHO TV reporter Dave Price reported that Clinton’s Midwest co-chair Jerry Crawford told him that she would “not be here caucus night.”
– CNN Iowa Producer Chris Welch and Senior Political Correspondent Candy Crowley