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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- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

Filed under: Hillary Clinton • Iowa
soundoff (308 Responses)
  1. Timeforachange, Raleigh,NC

    All of you Hillary haters might-as-well start your whinning now because weather you like it or not, she will be our next president. The American people have had it with the Republican party because of what they have done to this country and what they represent.

    October 8, 2007 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  2. Travis, Spokane, WA

    Hey Karlo in Portland-
    The next president whoever it may be wont take office until 1-21-2009. The election isnt until november of 2008.

    October 8, 2007 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  3. Karen, NYC

    Soooo... everyone that disagrees with Mrs. Bill Clinton is a plant? Please! I guess Monica was a plant too huh? I'm still investigating how all those staff members of her husband's went 'missing'...

    Anway, why on earth does Mrs. Bill Clinton thinks the nomination should be handed to her? She reminds me of a street Mafia thug. That smooth head nod, wicked smile and stank attitude will quickly come to an end on elections night. I surly hope she doesn't think she's setting standards for women going for the Presidency.. as a matter of fact he has destroyed what a woman is and the meaning of Woman in Charge!

    October 8, 2007 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  4. deucebollards

    Planting in Iowa's cornfields aside, the questioner could have posited the argument that if the U.S. can unilaterally declare soldiers from another country as terrorists, then any country has a similar right to declare American troops terrorists. Now the problem arises in that by declaring someone a terrorist, certain actions toward those people are now considered acceptable. Our soldiers then become subjects of torture, refusal to give rights under the Geneva convention, etc.,etc. In addition, if economic sanctions are then possible because of the designation of terrorist, what is sauce for the goose becomes sauce for the gander. America's oil pipeline can be disrupted, America's funds held in foreign banks can be frozen, etc., just as Hillary proposes be done in this instance. I am not a plant, but if I were it wouldn't be the hemlock we are preparing to consume.

    October 8, 2007 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |


    October 8, 2007 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  6. Ed Margulies, Highland Park IL

    The process is simple:

    1. Ask her a question.

    2. Get her answer. It is hers and it is resonable. But it isn't the answer that you want.

    3. Bash Hillary!

    What could be simpler?

    October 8, 2007 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  7. Gordon Asheville NC

    Mrs Clinton can not handle the pressure. What will be it like when Iran and North Korea or others call her bluff? We need a much steadier hand in the White House than her.

    October 8, 2007 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  8. Ray,Pensacola, Florida

    You people who comment are all the same ones who put W in office twice. The man invaded a country and let Americans die in battle so his Vice President's company could make billions of dollars. W cares NOTHING about this country. He and the Republicans are about one thing only, MONEY for themselves and there friends.

    October 8, 2007 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  9. Matt, austin

    Absolutely classic. You have to believe the republicans are just hoping Hillary wins the nomination. She's the most polarizing person on earth. My crystal ball says if Hillary is the nominee, it will be like 1984 and the republican candidate will carry 49 states....including Hillary's home state of Illinois, Arkansas and I guess NY.

    October 8, 2007 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  10. Jeremy, Iowa City, IA

    It's disturbing that Hillary's first thought when she gets this question several times is that it's a conspiracy and not a genuine concern of primary voters. Even if they're misunderstanding Kyl-Lierman people have genuine concerns about anything Cheney-Bush might try to construe as authorization.

    In any case, at least she apologized for her mistake. Can't say she's done that about all of her mistakes.

    October 8, 2007 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  11. Carl Spackler - IL

    To Mimi,

    Yes during President Clinton there wasn't a war, or was there. Let's see. The World Trade Center was attacked. Two U.S. Embassies were bombed. The USS Cole was attacked. There were other attacks that were stopped. Believe it or not, we were at War and we did not know it.

    Yes – there was no defecit, however because of September 11th, the Government has had to spend more for to protect us.

    Also don't forget the economy was starting to go south at the time. Some of this was due to the Tech Balloon that we ALL rode during the mid 90s to early 2001.

    I am not a Bush supporter and I am not a Clinton Supporter either, but come on let's get the facts right.

    My other question is you are all applauding her for noticing that this guy is a plant. Great, however she still did not answer the question. It needs to be answered.

    How many of you posting on this are plants for Hillary?

    October 8, 2007 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  12. James, Rochester NY

    Yeah....why is she getting all upset? She should just shrug her shoulders, smirk, and say "Yup..yup...yup....them childrens is learnin'" like the dufus we have in there now. He made his whole career of not listening to others, or the consequences of his actions, and it sure worked out ok for him! I mean, WE are screwed, but whatever!

    October 8, 2007 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  13. Gary, St. Paul, MN

    Hillary is a joke and would be a disaster for a President..this shows her own brand of arrogance and insider elitism..indpendents like me hopefully will steer clear of this woman at all lcosts..

    October 8, 2007 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  14. Michael Fournier

    I agree with the person who asked the question, what has the Senator learned from the Iraq experience. I don't think that we can trust the current administration not to take an opportunity to extend operations into Iran.

    October 8, 2007 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  15. Coach Haughton

    Putting into law a bill that prohibits the president from attacking Iran!
    Yea Right!

    Do you think that will get throught the senate? 60 votes?

    Do you think the president will sign away his power? Hellooooooooooo veto pen! He's dumb not THAT dumb!

    Oh yea and judicial review? Even if her were that dumb the constitution defines the president as commander in cheif. The congress cannot stop the president from taking military action.
    That would get shot down.

    Does she think we're dumb?

    I believe we are able to place economic sanctions on a country without
    calling their national military a terrorist group. Myanmar?

    To me it sounds like lining up for war.

    It makes sense that she got so defensive.

    October 8, 2007 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  16. not a fan anyway

    Ted Kwapien, Everett, Wa:

    Hillary is told by her designers to wear pants and pant-suits because she has terrible legs.

    October 8, 2007 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  17. Wendy, Murray, KY

    Clinton is always on the defensive.....If you ask her a hard question she snaps like a firecracker. And what about those facial expressions? She makes me want to throw my remote at the t.v.

    October 8, 2007 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  18. RA The Framing Wizard LV, NV

    Senator Hillary Clinton's stand on Iran

    These people call them selves political leaders are totally unbelievable and the garbage they spew from their speech including all attacks on the opposite political party and peoples of them parties believe opposing party plants may occupy the same space.

    Senator Hillary Clinton dose not give a damn about the American middle class; what they may think or what they may know as fact, what values are important too them, where information comes from and the facts may include more of the same as preceding administrations.

    It is also totally unbelievable that they even have the desires to seek an office of such power that has been described as full of holes, nothing but failure and these people seem to say that they are the ones that have all the solutions right on hand in their back pocket.

    It is bewildering to think these people do not have their own hidden agendas; must foresee the potential for enormous personal gain from their effort in running for nomination of presidential office are saying they can fix our nations problems that are now so overwhelming and out of control according to them when even some may believe is un-repairable based upon war issues, combat fighting for our nations freedoms.

    “History does not entrust the care of freedom to the weak or timid.”
    Dwight D. Eisenhower

    Legal American Minorities (the American middle class); we need to show more respect, honor, patients, compassion and sympathy for all these people that protect all rights and freedoms.

    Most of our young family members travel miles through the desert heat risking their own lives crossing borders for all of our families, there homes and freedoms we all enjoy.

    The land of the free and the home of the bravest do not get paid near enough wages for their sacrifices.

    The volunteers do their job that illegal immigrants will not volunteer to do or are afraid too step out of the shadows and doing so on the tax payer’s credit.

    Our American family members live in crowded conditions among foreign culture who speak many different and confusing languages.

    These young and experienced Americans rarely have opportunities spend valuable quality time with their own families, and they face adversity all day each and every day.

    These statements are not talking about illegal immigrants; these statements are talking about American troops!

    Dose this not seem out of the ordinary that many of our nations political parties include Democrats and Republicans are willing to lavish all kinds of social benefits on illegal immigrants but do not support our troops and are now threatening to de-fund them?

    October 8, 2007 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  19. Cordovan, San Francisco, CA

    How pathetic that her diachronic victimization "plea for excuses" places here in the front runner status. Blaming others as a political virute. That's a new one. Were a man to do that, we would call him–as we should– a sniveling wimp.

    October 8, 2007 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  20. Susan, Hubbardston Ma

    Hilliary is pure evil, and good at it. Even if it was a plant, she still didn't answer the question

    October 8, 2007 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  21. Lord Sith

    I love how she won't take that questioner's BS. She was right in her actions and it shows the difference between her and the other candidates who most likely would have played it off, let it slide or just not say what they think.

    Posted By Mhm : October 8, 2007 4:30 pm

    Are you serious? And its like the HillBill machine is BushChenney lite all the way. She has no answer for again doing the same thing she did before the Iraq war. And you followers cant justify what she's doing! Come on she has the nerve to talk about "The Sith" but to me she's going to the dark side. She's being influenced by the dark side to rule the world! lol please Hillary is a joke!

    October 8, 2007 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  22. Juan, Birmingham Alabama

    I now respect Hillary Clinton even more. The fact that she was stern and forceful towards the ignorant questioner shows that she is fit for the position of Commander in Chief! She never backed down, and this signifies power. We need a powerful leader to run this country, already in trouble from all aspects.

    October 8, 2007 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  23. Jennifer Blackwell

    I think Hillary will make a fantastic presidentrix. The U.S. comptroller ( you know, the nations accountant? ) is saying we'll be broke in 30 years, barely able to pay INTEREST on the mounting debt. Hillary will lump on more financial obligations and entitlements, while failing to end the Iraq war, at least she claims, before the end of her first term. She has already redoubled our national commitment to Israel, so HELLO Iran war. I'm tired of the USA being manipulated by special interests and used as a bludgeoning stick for foreign interests; can't I just fast-forward to 2012? Do we really have to wait for the baby-boomers to retire and the federal government to bankrupt before we figure out that BOTH parties are running the country into the ground?

    October 8, 2007 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  24. Mike Dallas, TX

    "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.

    BALONEY! You don't need a "terrorist label" for "sanctions" but the label is used to justify military action and every body knows it of course except Hillary who wants to fool us for the second time (Like she voted to let Bush go to the UN not to war!) and then TRIANGULATES by joining Webb to be on both sides of the issue. Any body who can't see this and supports her is either in denial or simply closed minded.

    The other issue that the media has not picked upon is TEMPERAMENT.

    Whenever she is pressed to explain difficult issues she either blames the VAST RIGHT WING CONSPIRACY or as in this case lashes out on the questioner implying the question was planted or simply CACKLE it off.

    The question is, Does she have the TEMPERAMENT to be an effective leader?

    Can we TRUST a word she (or husband for that matter) says without careful scrutiny?

    Are we ready to go through this painful process every day if she gets elected?

    October 8, 2007 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  25. Fred, Vancouver Canada

    lol.....you Americans with your politics and your rock and roll! Just kidding, Hill may win it guys.

    October 8, 2007 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
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