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. Sandra

    GO HILLARY! best way to handle the situation....

    October 8, 2007 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  2. Henry Tucker, Ga

    Hillary needs to work on the cackle. THIS was the moment, honey, when you should have cackled – not attack the guy.

    You're coming across as an ego-driven control freak. We need you to only show a "soft-side" ... warm and inviting for all those undecideds. You only need to play the role of "Experienced and In-Control" for another 12 months. Come on Hill, pull it together!!

    (Satire – folks)

    October 8, 2007 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  3. Duane, Wilmore KY

    Hillary is human, for crying out loud!

    October 8, 2007 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  4. Megan Coley

    Spoken like a true PRESIDENT!

    October 8, 2007 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  5. Doug - Bucyrus, Ohio

    I wonder how Hillary would do on The O`Reilly Factor? Any comments?

    October 8, 2007 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  6. rob, stl, mo

    Who cares if he was a plant? It was a valid question that she dodged once again. Just answer the question. Why doesn't she think Bush can use this as justification for the use of force? He can use anything for justification. If she didn't think Bush would actually go to war with her Iraq vote (oh my gosh, really?!?) why should we trust her when she says "No it doesn't"? Are you so easily fooled? Anyone that believes they have to vote in support of such a bill JUST so they don't look weak is not presidential material. I don't care what gender, race, sexual orientation you are, if there is any reason other than sound logic that you make a decision that leads to increased aggression toward a sovereign nation, you are not presidential material. If you can not answer a simple question from an audience member w/out going off, you are not presidential. If you cannot figure out that a lot of people wonder the same thing b/c 3 PEOPLE JUST ASKED YOU AND YOU INSTEAD WANT TO BLAME A CONSPIRACY, then you are not presidential. Let's bring back Sandy Berger, let's bring a million other scandals, let's believe all the lies, b/c that is SO much better than Bush! You get what you ask for.

    October 8, 2007 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  7. Woman 4 change

    Hillary is the only choice for President

    October 8, 2007 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  8. Rosie Skags, West Bloomfield, MI

    typical Hillary, passing the buck

    October 8, 2007 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  9. Dave, New Hampton, IA

    CNN has a minor flaw in this article, the "town meeting" was held in New Hampton, IA, not North Hampton, as it reported.

    October 8, 2007 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  10. Sean

    I'm not sure who I'll be voting for, but it won't be Hillary Clinton. I think 20 years of "Democratic" rule between Bush & Clinton are enough.

    October 8, 2007 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  11. Go Hil

    I'm very proud of you Hilary.
    Way to go!!!

    I hope that somebody videotaped the incidence and put it on the youtube.

    October 8, 2007 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  12. Shawn Smith Kansas City MO

    You people act like the Republican Party would even host events like this. She is a very diplomatic individual with a very compassionate history, I recall the Republican Party declining several debates, such as the Logo Debates and numbers of others. If the issues of individuals’ quest for equality aren’t even acknowledged by this Party, then why would we EVER put them into office, hypocrisy lies in kind with the Republican Party and it’s members.

    You go Hillary, Kansas City is on your side =)

    October 8, 2007 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  13. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    This is just the beginning, Hillary.

    If you think Karl Rove has just "gone away," wait until you are the official Democratic Party candidate.

    Or, you could be looking at a new maggot to take the veteran maggot's place.

    After all, Rove, at 19 years-old, was mentored by Watergate schnook, Donald Segretti.

    October 8, 2007 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  14. Karlo, Portland, Oregon

    This message is for the person "reviewing" the comments before posting them: Hillary is going to be your President whether you like it or not!! You can keep posting all the negatives messages people send about Hillary in your ticker and leave the good ones behind, but you are going to have to sleep at night knowing that no matter how much you do, Hillary is your President. I can't wait for 01/21/2008.

    October 8, 2007 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  15. A, Tallahassee, FL

    Plant or not, Hillary should be able to address the issue with confidence. It seems all too often that she does not exactly know where she stands on certain issues. The voting of said legislation will quite possibly lead to the demise of her candidacy. So long Hill.

    October 8, 2007 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  16. Harry NY, NY

    She is laughable.

    She must have taken exception with the fact that this "plant" took the place of her "plants" that lob those nice "slow pitch" questions in her direction.

    Maybe people ask her the question over and over again because she never answers it.

    If its not a question she has a pre-canned answer for, this appears to be her response.

    October 8, 2007 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  17. Fitzroy Gordon

    As I read these comments, I get the feeling that some of you just really don't like Hillary Clinton. You've ignored the fact that this guy however offended he was, is someone who obviously does this sort of thing quite a bit at other functions. A gentleman even advised he knows who this guy is and he is a plant, yet you still want to bash Hillary for responding that way. C'mon people, if you can't think clearly when given new information then maybe you should stop writing. Maybe some of you guys are related to those swift boat clowns.

    October 8, 2007 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  18. Paul, Philadelphia

    Perhaps the reason that George W. Bush never has to answer tough questions is because he never – never – has a question and answer session that isn't invite only.

    Isn't it CRAZY how ignorant people just HATE intelligent people. Hillary will never be president of the United States – too many ignorant Americans are intimidated by her.

    October 8, 2007 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  19. Tou, Minneapolis, MN

    For her to lash out like that, just makes me question what type of leader she is. If you know you made a mistake in the past by voting for military action in Iraq, shouldn't you be well prepared to answer this question whether it be one or one hundred times instead of getting angry, especially when you're trying to win the highest office in the government. In any case, let's wake up fellow countrymen, no more Bush's, no more Clintons, vote for change and vote for someone else.

    October 8, 2007 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  20. Ted Kwapien, Everett, Wa.

    Hillary keeps stating she wants to be the first female president of the United States. Why then doesnt she dress like a female instead of wearing pants all the time. when was the last time you saw Hillary in a skirt of dress. She could take a lesson or two from Nancy Pelosi who dresses like a classy woman.

    October 8, 2007 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  21. M, Mount Vernon NY

    To Mimi:

    The Clinton years set us up for where we are now.

    You wonder where the jobs are going? Take a peek at NAFTA. That opened the door to outsourcing. Look up who said the "Global Economy will bring more opportunities for Americans.".

    Kyoto treaty was also on the table when Bill was in office and no one seems to take umbrage with that.

    Sandy Berger.. Not even going into that. Let's just say that having a National Security Advisor who steals documents in his pant legs, pretty much sums up what a swell job he did.

    Basically those years were before the bubble "burst" if you will.

    We need the next FDR to rebuild America's infrastructure, not special interests as usual.

    Maybe we need a third Party.

    October 8, 2007 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  22. Ryan Indianapolis

    Ofcourse it did,,dont ask the LIAR any tough questions,,,What a loser that woman is....

    October 8, 2007 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  23. grace

    It really doesn't matter whether he was a "PLANT" or not. It was a legitimate question. Why couldn't she answer it? Why the need to get defensive. the implication is that people at her events should only ask her easy questions. otherwise why refer to him as a plant.

    October 8, 2007 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  24. L AngeloMysterioso - NYC

    Clinton was a good president domestically but a basket case on foreign policy. He cut the military he had to foregocAfghanc intervention, although he showed a surplus at the end of his term. Old man Bush was an even better president. His son is the worst of my 54 year lifetime. Hillary has the Foster thing haunting her electability

    October 8, 2007 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  25. Rose, Hollywood FL

    Please................ it was clear the guy had no clue about the question he was asking her. BTW.... I don't think that there is anything she could say to that kind of guy to get his vote.

    October 8, 2007 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
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