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. Adam, Pittsburgh

    Whether this guy was a plant or not, she still can't account for her vote on this. She tried to make up for it by supporting the Webb bill on tour limits, but Webb himself said that wasn't good enough, that she never should have voted for Kyl-Lieberman. How many times will she make the same mistakes?

    Very disappointing.

    October 8, 2007 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
  2. Michael Guinn, Port Hueneme, CA

    Maybe the reason she was asked the same question "in three other places" is because MANY people are asking for an explanation to a questionable stance!

    October 8, 2007 11:41 pm at 11:41 pm |
  3. Anonymous

    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.

    Posted By Ted Kwapien, Everett, Wa

    October 8, 2007 11:45 pm at 11:45 pm |
  4. Ken Garing Modesto, CA

    Another post had it right: She is a joke!

    The fact that she is even a canidate after everything that's happened is last 7 years is mind blowing!

    Any other democratic canidate would be better than her...

    October 9, 2007 12:28 am at 12:28 am |
  5. Pam Holt Los Angeles, CA

    Hillary is a war-monger that is really not much different from Bush. But the right hates her so she doesn't get any benefits. I don't understand why she goes against her "base" so much.

    I'm afraid if she gets the nomination, we will have another Republican in the White House. I guess this would be true if she won too (as she is pretty much a Republican- she was even President of the Republican club at college).

    Get to know Dennis Kucinich- Strength through Peace~

    October 9, 2007 12:48 am at 12:48 am |
  6. DK

    Obviously a plant, so what!!! Like the dems don't do it too. The thing I find funny is you people who whine about how horrible she is and how she doesn't answer the hard questions. That strikes a funny bone knowing most of you probably supported GWB who never sat in front of any crowd that wasn't hand picked. I guess he always answered the hard question eh? You guys kill me with the hypocricy.

    October 9, 2007 12:51 am at 12:51 am |
  7. my911call, Wilmington, NC

    Right On...
    The guy was a plant. He blogs for a local version of KOS, and was in the NYT on Oct.5th. Google him and you'll find his extreme left writings and photo in the NYT.
    The sad, angry, and vocal fringe minority of Hillary haters will latch on to anything, no matter how trivial, to reinforce their bias and soothe their tortured souls.

    The crowd cheered Clinton.

    Posted By VanReuter NY NY : October 8, 2007 4:54 pm

    October 9, 2007 12:59 am at 12:59 am |
  8. Don Lester, Phoenix, Arizona

    Hillary was concerned that the question posed has been asked three times before. Does that mean she is not interested in answering questions about important mainstream topics?

    October 9, 2007 01:06 am at 1:06 am |
  9. Glenn, Flint, Michigan

    Maam, are you a doctor? No, but my husband is. Vote Hillary, the experienced candidate. I seriously don't understand how she does so well in the polls. Since when did being married to someone give you experience in what that person does?

    October 9, 2007 01:06 am at 1:06 am |
  10. J cook lorton,va

    I saw her reaction. I was a little suprised. Anyone see "Godfather".

    Never let them know what you thinking. Even if she thought it was a plant, why mention it?? Just deal with like a pro, thats what politics is.

    Anyway she is still a sharp person I would vote for her or Barak.

    October 9, 2007 01:16 am at 1:16 am |
  11. David, Los Angeles, CA

    In their rush to discredit Mrs. Clinton, all the haters have overlooked an obvious point: Iran's revolutionary guard IS a terrorist organization.

    The idea that Bush would attack Iran is a red herring. He doesn't have the troop numbers, the political clout, or the money to do so due to his debacle in Iraq.

    Hillary's vote was absolutely correct.

    October 9, 2007 01:18 am at 1:18 am |
  12. Walters, A

    Deucebollards i sincerely agree with u.
    This woman thinks she is running a campaign for the Clinton's-Bush empire.
    These are questions of fundamental interest and deserves valid answers than selling after the market, Bush was wrong to invade Iraq but it wouldn't have been possible without the heip of people like HIllary with no sense of judgement or appreciation of the job of the men and women fighting these wars of choices.
    PLease Hillary why do think is problematic for u to give a humble explanation for your egocentric voting records just for the sake to appear tough for the general. Do u sincerely think is the sole solution to start another front with Iran. By naming the Iranian national guard terrorist organization gives president Bush all rights to extend his belligerency. U now claim this guy was sent likewise TIM RUSSERT.
    OBAMA 2008

    October 9, 2007 01:33 am at 1:33 am |
  13. KD, Dallas, TX

    I am a Democrat and if I were at one of these, I would be asking the same thing. It disgusted me to think she didn't learn anything from the first stupid, not thought out vote that got us involved in Iraq. Not all of the Democratic party thinks she is peachy! I see her as taking us right down the path we are heading already. When I watch her debate, she can never answer a question straight. The hard ones set her off. We need someone with more integrity, honesty and decision making skills in office. Hillary just isn't the candidate for me.

    October 9, 2007 01:34 am at 1:34 am |
  14. Toto Beantown MA

    Ah yes, Hillary the Artful Dodger, the weaver and bobber, is at it again. Does she have a clue about what she believes about anything at all? What a hollow person she is.

    October 9, 2007 01:38 am at 1:38 am |
  15. Greg

    She answered and she stood her ground by god! the others would have turn there nose the other way with ummm hmmms and ugh"she faced him face to face.i would have not appologized ,she is smart she figured it out. who's who"Keep tough hillary,get em in there spin zone chair.the crowd look at him we dont know you.so remember that people because ya got strong hillary supporters watching to who's who.they gave her applause.Btw it was all over the news but the news and the man didnt know there were two versions. and obama missed that vote again awol.

    October 9, 2007 01:39 am at 1:39 am |
  16. Austin, Las Vegas, NV

    Isn't it safe to say all politicians act like this in some way, shape or form? I really don't understand why we have to treat politics so theatrically. Our society as a whole really needs to be looked at and truly evaluated I believe.

    October 9, 2007 01:39 am at 1:39 am |
  17. Betty

    Ray: How can you Possibly think that electing Hillary will bring significant change to our country? She is just another entrenched, out-of-touch politician. How can we possibly think that electing another person from the Clinton/Bush era is a good thing for our country? You think our current situation has been built in just last two presidential terms?! That is naivete at it's best–and exactly what Hillary is counting on.

    WAKE UP people–it's time for a change!!!

    October 9, 2007 01:43 am at 1:43 am |
  18. Lori

    So if your going to an event for Hillary,Watch OUT~~~~she can tell if your and Iowa one.or a NEW Hampshire one,she can tell if your fake to,she's freaking smart.I will vote for you Hillary Keep the news a coming,keepin on there toes.IF you can get 30 million to read that is progress,he did his own research,what is that research ~~~reading~~~ He read it in the NEWS. BTW she is a senator,and a CANDIATE FOR PRESIDENT the only one who stands up to this Bush who likes to watch wars, who gives Americans nightmares.

    October 9, 2007 02:00 am at 2:00 am |
  19. MINE

    I can't wait for a woman President,you men are so lost,ya cant run a country like the old timers could of,so the reigns will turn over to the best loyal person, your not going to be heard,you had your chance,so it's Hillary's turn.

    October 9, 2007 02:12 am at 2:12 am |
  20. SB, Los Angeles CA


    That video linked above that the guy keeps posting has obviously been tampered with...Nice try.

    Irregardless if the guy was a plant or complete moron who just stumbled into the debate. HRC's behavior was unacceptable. Do you really want someone in office who flys off the handle like that. We've had 8 yrs of that kind of nonsense.

    October 9, 2007 02:26 am at 2:26 am |
  21. Observer

    She can't even take the pressure of a bona fide question without resorting to a dictatrial response. Bush-Lite is what she offers.

    I think she was just surprised a common man could have delved into the intricasies of Washington.

    We're not all dumb Hilary!

    October 9, 2007 02:33 am at 2:33 am |
  22. Carlynn

    You know ya all lived well,in the clinton years who didn't,well see them again in the white house,she will be the Next president,I want to buy extra things for my grandson and college.I dont want him paying for this damn lied war,they desreve to live good and prosperous, like we did in the clinton years'she is the only choice to get get us out of a totally messed up Country,it is messed,and so the guy if he was plant or a gop,its broken,you wont ever get it back for 22 years,or even more.if our generation can't pay for it,Presidents or Canidates shall not make a hugh deficit,then there has to be something done before they leave office, for the republicans in there,id make the party bankrupt payback for it every year millions towards this huged deficit.It shouldnt be us or our grandchildren and there children,shows ya republicans have no fiscal responsibilty.Get the big spenders out.Tired of hearing about the war tired of hearing about kids dying and troops dying.terroist coming after us,its crazy,and I know Mrs. Clinton with her husband can fight for us back to reality/OUR COUNTRY and let us travel,there has to be peace throughout the world. again someday

    October 9, 2007 02:47 am at 2:47 am |
  23. J.Murphy, CA.

    This guy "Rolph" was a plant, and there will be more such losers as the election moves forward. The Republican Dirty Tricks Committee is alive and well. If Senator Clinton was a war hero, they would be dragging out the Swift Boat lairs. Hillary will win by a landslide, and it will be the Women that put her in the White House. The Group that hates her is very small, but very vocal, and will lose in the end.

    October 9, 2007 03:09 am at 3:09 am |
  24. Bill W, Coatesville, PA

    I still just can't believe how many people support her, no matter what. And I really believe most of her supporters aren't supporting her, they just have fond memories of BillClinton, and can't separate the two.

    People need to understand that Bill Clinton is not running for president. Bill Clinton is barred from being president again. Period. This candidate is Hillary Clinton. Bill will just be her "house husband."

    October 9, 2007 03:13 am at 3:13 am |
  25. Florida

    Asked the same question in other places? Maybe because more than one person has the brain cells to realize just how ridiculously bad an idea that vote was. If you're going to vote to call a unit of another country's military a terrorist organization, you better be prepared to take more steps than just sanctions.

    If she's not prepared to go to war with Iran, she shouldn't be supporting that vote.

    And well, if she is prepared to go to war with Iran, she certainly isn't getting my vote.

    October 9, 2007 03:21 am at 3:21 am |
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