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. JB Boston MA


    the question is a good one, and deserves an answer!

    October 8, 2007 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  2. lavelle Rochester,ny

    Number one – it was New Hampton, Iowa not North Hampton and this was not a person from that community. How do I know – I am from New Hampton, Iowa and was there.

    Posted By Hill, New Hampton, Iowa : October 8, 2007 4:40 pm

    I dont care if he was from Alaska! your missing the point of this hole situation. The fact is that she refuses to answer questions based on her "gaffes" she's voting on ammo that will lead us into another wrongfull war AGAIN!!!

    October 8, 2007 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  3. anon, new york, NY

    Tabitha, Des Moines, Iowa:

    You quotes old poll poll stat of May 20, 2007 showing Obama was ahead of Hillary! Be honest, show more recent polls. You cherry pick to cheat the readers to disguise your support of obama.

    Where you have been in the last few months when Hillary has overtaken Obama?

    October 8, 2007 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  4. Mike, California

    If you listen to the video it's clear that she provided a rational, well-reasoned response to a question.

    Some of the people who post on this board are really out-of-touch. One person said "she's the most polarizing person on earth". Give me a break - clearly some of these anti-Hillary people don't get out too much.

    October 8, 2007 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  5. Ken Richards, Colorado Springs Colorado

    If she can't handle tough questions from the people what in the world makes her think she can handle the responsibilities of the Oval Office, AND be held accountable for decisions made?

    October 8, 2007 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  6. Riggs

    It must be so hard for some of the libs to think that some people may actually feel this way towards Sillary. Well Godiva, let that horse take you back where you came from.

    October 8, 2007 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  7. Tom, Anaheim, CA

    Hillary is clearly diverting attention from the issue to the non-issue. Lieberman's resolution attempts to classify Iran and Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps' Quds force as terrorists. That is a viewpoint lobbied for intently by Israel. The fact are widely disputed even in the American military and intelligence community. The aledged IED that Joe says come from Iran may not be. Sophisticated IED factories have been discovered in Iraq and raw materials may have come from Syria or Palestine.

    The problem is there is no trust within America of the executive branch or the legislative branch. Just because Joe or Hillary say it does not make it so and in fact may make it not so. Credibility is zero with 70+% of Americans so if you are going to make a statement about what a resolution does or doesn't permit you better bring the proof and not dump some lousy sound bite and then move on. WE, THE PEOPLE, DON'T BELIEVE YOU ANY MORE.

    I sure wish we had a reliable liar's hat they could wear so we could ferret out the truth from the lie.

    October 8, 2007 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  8. a. lee, SF, CA

    Right on, Hillary! You talked presidential to me.

    It would not surprise me that guy is supporter of Edwards, Obama or republicans.

    October 8, 2007 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  9. VanReuter NY NY

    2nd time:
    "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.
    Posted By Matt, austin : October 8, 2007 5:54 pm"

    That ball must be cracked...

    I'll bet you the deed to your house that you are wrong. Post the floor plan asap, so I can start to pick out furniture...

    October 8, 2007 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  10. anna, Appleton, WI

    If you can't take the heat get the heck out of the kitchen, or in this case, don't run for President if ya can't handle the questions. What a never ending saga!!

    October 8, 2007 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  11. Lioness, Washington DC

    Ray from Pensacola,

    You wrote:

    "You people who comment are all the same ones who put W in office twice."

    We're not. I know Hillary wants you to believe that. Sorry. I'm a liberal and I would never have voted for Bush, nor would I ever, ever vote for Hillary.

    What's so sad is that half of her supporters defend her by criticizing Bush and the republicans, while the other half trumpet her campaign slogans "strength" and "experience."

    Attention Clinton supporters:

    Let's dispell some myths:

    1) Bush is not running for a third term.
    2) We don't dislike her because she is a Democrat – we dislike her because she hasn't an ounce of personal integrity.
    3) Republicans are not the only ones who hate Hillary – many democrats do as well, ranging from liberals to moderates. In fact, hatred of Hillary is becoming sufficiently bi-partisan to override a veto imposed by the MSM against anyone who dares to say that she is not "inevitable."

    October 8, 2007 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  12. a.thomas, ny, NY

    I see lots of republicans, supporters of obama and edwards here. With respect, sirs, you guys are wrong, and are a minority in terms of people supporting Hillary.

    Without doubt, she is the best presidential candidate, dem or rep. She has the votes of my family of 6.

    Hillary 08.

    October 8, 2007 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  13. Greg, Phoenix, AZ

    Can you imagine what she was really thinking when this guy was busting her chops?

    Bet she was just fantasizing about all the myriad ways she could have him killed.

    Knew it was just a matter of time before the real Hill came out.

    October 8, 2007 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  14. Bob....Norman, OK

    Please, Let Edwards or Obama be the nominee. I don't feel like losing.

    October 8, 2007 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |

    It's obvious to me that Hillary Clinton will not make a substantially good president b/c she's not decisive enough and she definately does not have a real plan on running the U.S. accordingly so ... SHE DOES ... AND IF ELECTED ... WILL NOT HAVE MY VOTE!!!! Maybe all you other right-wing liberals and conservative republican/ democratic voters out there can vote for another incompetant U.S. president but I WILL NOT VOTE (NOR HAVE I EVER VOTED FOR) ANOTHER LOONEY NO-GOOD, PSYCHOPATHIC, WHITE, and MANIPULATIVE PRESIDENTIAL TYRANT or DICTATOR!!! I'D RATHER PUT IN A RENUNCIATION OF U.S. CITIZENSHIP!!! AND SAY TO HELL WITH THE U.S.!!! BEFORE THAT HAPPENS!!!

    October 8, 2007 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  16. jay waves, nyc, ny

    "childrens can learn"

    As a New Yorker and American, I witnessed this country dramatically and deplorably become compelled to economic change and world respect again. Throughout the years, our leaders have been a disappointment, sometimes a disgrace. Men have become barbarous role models.

    From the beginning of time, women have held an unfair position in society. A subject that I can, at another time, elaborate further. While Hillary may not be the greatest candidate, she is competent and the best candidate that is being offered.

    Personally, I would not measure her spouse. Although, I have heard many believe that he was the best President ever. It's possible that she was the reason. I thought he was fun. Further, his presence, his office in Manhattan was a positive one. One that created successful results in an area of Manhattan that needed positive change. In an area no one else was willing to go. However, I view Hillary as an individual. Acutely focused on healthcare. Her move to New York was a strategic move, one that inspired a force for the state's capital.

    Rudy merely did his job. How lazy have we become to reward one for simply doing their job? Mayor Ed Koch did an amazing job during his tenure. Do we elect him? Rudy did deal with an incredible disaster. Rudy was mayor at the time. A time when mayors preceding him worked hard for the city and so much had already been in place when Rudy became mayor. Rudy dealt with it. He did his job and that reason alone should not be the reason that we grant him presidency.

    Yes, its time that we have a woman president for so many reasons its long overdue. It is not easy nor should it be taken for granted that we have Hillary as a candidate at this time. She is a very capable person. She's experienced, not only in the White House, but in the complete global political realm. She is healthy, well educated and the strong symbol that America needs. Let us finally give her the platform for intellectual freedom. It is a historic bonus that she's a woman.

    October 8, 2007 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  17. Chic N. Farmer Longview Wa.

    Is it me or my computer but when I played the video all I heard was puuuuk, puuuuuuk,puuuuukeeet, cackle, cackle, squaaaaaawk, quack, quack, screeeech.

    October 8, 2007 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  18. Dave, Evergreen, CO

    Compare Mrs. Clinton's answer to the one given by Barack Obama at a similar event last week – also in Iowa – by a man from Denver. The questioner at the Obama event was a pro-life "plant".

    Despite this Mr. Obama gave a long, elequent response as to why he is pro-choice.

    Who sounded more presidential? Who sounds like they actually have a chance to unite the Country? Come on Dem's, pay attention. Don't let the press anoint her as the nominee. She doesn't answer questions, she doesn't take responsability and she doesn't stand for anything except herself becoming president.

    October 8, 2007 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  19. John Adkisson, Sacramento, California

    It was only a matter of time before the "real Hillary" crawled out of her facade.

    October 8, 2007 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  20. matt

    Iran will quickly become a huge issue in this campaign. Hillary will be walking another fine line between needing to appear hawkish for the general but firmly antiwar to solidify the primaries.


    October 8, 2007 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  21. Mati, Seattle, WA

    She simply engaged herself in a dialogue, she didn't lose any temper. She handles meetings with uncensored questions and she answers them in a logic and stylish way. Many of you have a problem admitting that she is a smart woman.

    And for the guys who asked about why is she wearing pants... because its comfortable, you misogynists! Stupid comments like that show what is really your problem: Hillary is a woman, and a smart one. You just cannot accept this.

    October 8, 2007 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  22. Steve Elliott Columbia, SC

    I am also offended that Senator Clinton would accuse someone with enough intelligence to ask such a quality question that they received the question from someone else.

    There are tens of millions of voters with enough intellect to ask such a question.

    I see this as another example of the Democratic candidate's elitism and air of intellectual superiority.

    October 8, 2007 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  23. Q. Christian Atlanta GA

    I guess people will say now say that Hillary is unhinged now that she has responded to a guy who was obviously a plant, someone who had a negative opinion of Sen. Clinton in the first place.

    I applaud Sen. Clinton for actually allowing people like this man into the events that she attends. This shows that she is unlike George W. Bush who screens all his guests to make sure they are friendly.

    The real problem I have with this is not what actually happened it's the fact that people who don't support the candidates asking questions that are designed to intentionally make them angry. I have a problem with ANYONE DOING THIS to ANY CANDIDATE–Republican or Democrat.

    October 8, 2007 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  24. Yvonne, Waynesville, MO

    Enough! I've had it with the Karl Rove politics on both sides. This guy is a Republican plant. The people asking Republican candidates about medical marijuana are Democratic plants. It's bad enough that the campaigns feed as crap. Do we have to keep going back pleading, "More gruel, please!"
    Politics will be muck as long as we the people tolerate and encourage it.

    October 8, 2007 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  25. Paul, Philadelphia

    I like the CNN headline for this blurb:

    "Hillary calls Iraq questioner a plant."

    It makes it sound like the conversation went like this:

    "Hillary, I defy you on Iraq!"

    "You're a cactus."

    October 8, 2007 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
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