October 9th, 2007
09:20 AM ET
10 years ago

Clinton spars with questioner over Iran

Listen to Clinton's verbal spat with a Iowa voter over the weekend.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Sen. Hillary Clinton often holds several town-hall events a day as she campaigns for the Democratic presidential nomination. But a particular gathering in northern Iowa Sunday is the subject of several media reports after the New York Democrat engaged in a verbal tussle with a questioner over Iran.

At an event in New Hampton, Iowa, a questioner took issue with Clinton's recent Senate vote calling on President Bush to formally call the Iranian Revolutionary Guard a terrorist organization. He argued that such a distinction confers the president with the ability to invade the country.

"Why should I support your candidacy . . . if it appears you haven't learned from your past mistakes?" the questioner asked, referring to Clinton's vote to authorize the use of military force in Iraq.

Clinton began by telling the questioner "the premise of the question is wrong," and argued the measure calls for the terrorist label so that sanctions can be imposed. The sanctions, she also said, will in turn "send a clear message to the leadership" and lead to stronger diplomatic efforts.

The Democratic presidential front-runner then concluded by suggesting the question was planted, saying, "somebody obviously sent it to you."

Rolph denied anyone had put him to the question.

"I take exception," Rolph fired back. "This is my own research. Nobody sent it to me, I am offended that you would suggest that."

"Let me finish," Clinton sharply responded, before saying "I apologize, I just have been asked the very same question in three other places."

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Full story

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

Filed under: Hillary Clinton • Iowa
soundoff (308 Responses)
  1. Jim, Lexington KY

    OF course, Hillary, it absolutely had to be plant, because you cannot possibly comprehend that someone, somewhere in America could possibly take exception to your cnadidacy. Are you that narcissitically naive as to think that you are the perfect answer to all that is wrong with America?! You need to wake up and smell the coffee and realize that it is your proposed policies of social liberalism, big government, and out of control spending on every policy that would extend the already long are of the federal government that are the problem with America today.

    October 9, 2007 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  2. Isabel, Geneva, Switzerland

    I just have two words to say: Al Gore.

    October 9, 2007 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  3. wilson,orlando, fl

    What did Obama do to the networks. Does it mean we need black people as producers? I think it is high time!

    October 9, 2007 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  4. Kathleen, Port Charlotte, FL

    LOL – what does Hilary think – there is only one person capable of asking a question in search of a viable answer? Please... why is is that no political figure is willing to answer the tough questions? Do they all think that we are stupid? It's time to let them know that we ARE paying attention!!!

    October 9, 2007 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  5. r schier norwalk,ct

    I find CNN's process for eliminating opinions interesting. In an earlier note, I simply stated:

    – I do not think we need any more Bushs or Clintons as I believe they are
    both puppet/stooges bought by the same
    military/industrial/congressional complex that CONTROLS both parties.

    – I strongly feel that this nation desparately needs representation outside of these two parties, for this
    very reason.


    October 9, 2007 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  6. Lynne Ft.Lauderdale, Florida

    I hope everyone on this comment board is voting in '08 for their favorite republican so this country can get kick in the back end for another 4 years. Wake up people....big bucks for big business doesn't give a sam hell about you working stiffs... DONT BE SO NIEVE!

    October 9, 2007 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  7. Bubba, Swainsboro GA

    I once got a chance to ask Hillary about medical marijuana. She said it was a plant.

    Then she kicked my wheelchair off the stage . . .

    October 9, 2007 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  8. Uma, mpls, MN

    Hill is right in Iran case; Iran is threat to Middle east and current iranian president is crazy need to watch carefully.
    This guy is left wing hypocrite wants to make hill bad. he should know that she has tons of supporter for what she believes.
    Hill for president, '08!!!

    October 9, 2007 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  9. Colony 14 author, Mount Prospect, Illinois

    I don't care if the questioner was a "plant" or not – candidates should still be expected to answer questions and not hide behind handlers and stump speeches. As time passes, Hillary will eventually be asked tough questions, and Obama will eventually consent to interviews that aren't "Oprah puff pieces." I just want a questioner to ask, "How will you keep Iran from getting nukes, bombing Tel Aviv, and blocking the Strait of Hormuz to jack up the price of oil to $300 per barrel?"

    October 9, 2007 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  10. Patrick, Tampa, FL

    I've never been a Hillary hater, but...open mouth, insert foot.

    "Hi, I'm Hillary Clinton. I'm paranoid, and I think the American public is too uninformed to pose an intelligent question."

    Nice one Hillary.

    October 9, 2007 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  11. Ethan, Los Angeles, CA

    What I wan to know is – where does she plan on getting the five grand she says she wants to give to every newborn child for college education? Is she going to tax us to death to get it? On top of that she believes in amnesty for illegals! So illegals come here and use social services and now our taxes are paying for their college education!?!?!? You must be out of your mind lady!

    Go Dr. Paul! You are the champion of the Constitution! God bless you sir!

    October 9, 2007 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  12. Chris, Middletown, CT

    The thing is....Hillary voting to see the Iranian Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organization in not really wrong – her response to a potential constituent speaks volumes of how she will "work" with those whos opinions differ...

    October 9, 2007 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  13. Ron, TX

    I can't believe anyone is actually buying that he was a "plant"! Stop eating every word that comes out of Hillary Clinton's mouth. Start to think for yourself! The same guy asks hard questions of ALL the democratic candidates... as EVERYONE should! These people may be our next President. They NEED to be asked the HARD questions. And each candidate needs to ANSWER the hard questions!

    October 9, 2007 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  14. Les M. Tpa, FL.

    Well now; If the Dems lost again in 08 it won't be because of Hillary, it will be because they couldn't see pass the reason why they hated her more than George "da decider" Bush & Dick "shoot a friend in da face" Cheney. My guess is because she sticks by her man and show strenght in the face of adversity instead of weakness and, definately, because of her gender. Or, Properbly, no matter what a lot of people think they know about her, they can't bring themself to agreed that it's what the right wing and the phamarceutical industries spend 50 million to ingrain in their mind - notwithstanding that the 8 yrs of Bill & Hillary is the best in the last 28 yrs counting the Reagan yrs.
    And, bytheway, she did answered the question that was asked!.

    October 9, 2007 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  15. Jo, Atlanta GA

    Go on Hillary haters...

    Thank God you are part of the percentile that hates her and will never vote for her. The good news is there are people that like her...

    So haters and Women bashers... keep hating..

    The good people of this great country will give you these by voting for Hillary...

    – An end to this war as we know it.
    – Health care for your kids.
    – Affordable health care for you
    – Reduced health care payments by the companies you work for
    – The Good old days of high paying jobs

    and much more.

    GOP knows there is no stopping her if she wins the primaries. That's why they plant this guys in there.

    The guy that asked the question does not live in Iowa...so tell me; he travelled that far from Florida to ask her that question??????

    October 9, 2007 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  16. Bryan, Indianapolis, IN

    To the writer of the article: The first paragraphs refers to "a questioner". The second paragraph refers to "a questioner". The third paragraph refers to "the questioner". The fourth paragraph refers to "the questioner". The fifth paragraph refers to "the question" and "somebody obviously sent it to you". Then the first word in the sixth paragraph is "Rolph". Who the hell is Rolph? From the context, I assume he is the questioner. If "the questioner" had a name, why not tell me that in the first or second paragraph? I don't know how many articles I have read on cnn.com where I think I'm crazy because the article starts talking about someone who hasn't been mentioned before. Then I have to go back and read it again to figure out if I'm losing it or if you all are just bad writers. Also, does "Rolph" have a first/last name or is he a one name wonder like Madonna?

    October 9, 2007 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  17. Bea, Hoboken, NJ

    Let's see if I got this straight:

    – Guy asks question about Iran.
    – Hillary responds.
    – Guy doesn't like her response.
    – Hillary explains to the man that there were two versions proposed and that the one she voted on did not give Bush the authority to attack Iran.
    – Man still insists that she learned nothing from her previous vote on Iraq.
    – She offers to have her staff give him the text of the resolution.
    _ Man is still not satisfied with her response.

    Frankly, I too would have lost my patience with this man. It apears that no answer that she gave him would have satisfied him. I don't know if you can call him a plant, but he does blog regularly at KOS.

    October 9, 2007 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  18. michelle, atlanta ga

    i am "kind of" a fan of hillary clinton, but i will not vote for her.

    the question is completely valid whether or not she'd heard it 3x before in other places, because chances are....people aren't following her around to each and every town hall meeting and therefore are not hearing her answers to these repeated questions. it would be different if things were televised and then she was hearing repeated questions.

    October 9, 2007 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  19. Matt from al Anbar, Iraq

    So there's Hillary, thinking that people can't think for themselves.

    October 9, 2007 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  20. Rurik, St. Paul, MN

    This guy was obviously a plant if she's been asked the same question three separate places. But then Romney also had a tough time answering a guy with Muscular Dystrophy who asked, "Are you going to send me to jail for using medical marijuana?" Bottom line: All politicians are born slimy.

    October 9, 2007 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  21. amw

    IT would be nice if we could get answers for questions asked..but I guess if they don't like a question they are a plant. Nice going MS Clinton 😉

    October 9, 2007 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  22. Bob, New York, NY

    Poor Hillary is just so sure that anyone that doesn't agree with her had to have had the question given to them. If she was half as smart as she claims she would realize that the independent portion of the electorate was on the rise and that they don't kneel at either parties alter.

    October 9, 2007 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  23. Bambi, NYC

    I would have asked her the same question. In fact, I sent a letter to both her and Senator Charles Schumer's offices expressing my disappointment with their yea votes on the Kyl-Lieberman amendment. I wonder what her response to this letter will be?

    Furthermore, if I were at a town hall meeting with Barack Obama, I would have asked HIM why he himself abstained from voting on this particular piece of legislation (along with John McCain).

    Then again, I wouldn't even bother to attend a town hall with Hillary because I decided I wasn't voting for her way back when she supported the attack on Iraq. I figured that she knew what she was doing, she was a warmonger, and if she didn't know, she was quite dumb.

    I think it's a foregone conclusion that she will win the presidency whether she "deserves" to win or not because Bush-Clinton has got it all wrapped up. At least she can construct a coherent sentence, unlike that other "plant," the Bush currently occupying the White House.

    October 9, 2007 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  24. James (the real one), Phoenix AZ

    Jo in Atlanta –

    You said,

    The good people of this great country will give you these by voting for Hillary…

    – An end to this war as we know it.
    – Health care for your kids.
    – Affordable health care for you
    – Reduced health care payments by the companies you work for
    – The Good old days of high paying jobs


    LOL... thank you for the belly laugh this morning! I feel much better. Sadly, though, I suspect you REALLY believe those things your wrote:

    – End to the War (Hillary is going to continue the war and can't promise troops will be home by 2013!)

    – Healthcare for your kids (this one is true – Hillary believes in socialism so anyone that believes personal responsibility is dead and is looking for a government handout should be happy)

    – Good old days of high paying jobs (maybe you forgot it was Bill Clinton that signed NAFTA into law – which exported thousands of jobs. Or maybe you don't realize the impact of 15+ million illegal immigrants has by effectively lowering wages in our country...and Hillary wants to give them amnesty)

    But don't let truth or facts get in the way of your enthusiam. YOU GO GIRL!!

    October 9, 2007 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  25. pam Eugene, OR

    Who cares if the person was a "plant". There should be a plant at all these events. None of the candidates like to answer the tough questions but they MUST.
    She is a master of the non answer. And she was not all presidential with her temper. Keep asking the tough questions of ALL those who would be our leader.To Jim in Cleveland...are you daef and blind? You said "good for her...tell it like it is". Where did you hear her tell it at all? All she did was loose her temper and duck the question.

    October 9, 2007 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
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