November 10th, 2007
03:48 PM ET
15 years ago

Democratic rivals respond to Clinton's planted question

Edwards said staging questions in an audience is "what George Bush does.".

DES MOINES, Iowa (CNN) - Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards said Saturday that staging questions in an audience is something he doesn't do and that it's "what George Bush does."

"That's what George Bush does," the former senator from North Carolina said. "George Bush goes to events that are staged, where people are screened, where the'yre only allowed to ask questions if the questions are favorable to George Bush and set up in his favor."

On Friday, the campaign of Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-New York, issued a statement to CNN in response to an article written by a college newspaper that included the accusation that the campaign suggested a student ask a certain question.

“On this occasion a member of our staff did discuss a possible question about Senator Clinton's energy plan at a forum,” campaign spokesman Mo Elleithee said in the statement. “However, Senator Clinton did not know which questioners she was calling on during the event. This is not standard policy and will not be repeated again.”

"That's not the way democracy works in Iowa," Edwards said in response to questions on the topic, "and it's not the way it works in New Hampshire. I mean if you actually want to be president of the United States, you go out, you face people–which I've done–in every one of the 99 counties in Iowa and answer their questions."

"We don't stage questions. We go in and answer the questions that are asked, and that's the way it's supposed to work in the caucus process."

Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Connecticut, responding to the same question, simply said, "It's not a terribly wise thing to do."

Related: Watch Clinton's controversial question 

Related: Obama: We don't plant questions

Click here to see CNN's new political portal:

- CNN Iowa Producer Chris Welch

Filed under: Chris Dodd • Hillary Clinton • Iowa • John Edwards • Race to '08
soundoff (110 Responses)
  1. James, Phoenix AZ

    THIS is why she was accusing anyone of asking a TOUGH question of being a plant... because the Clinton Campaign plants folks with EASY supportive questions.

    Hillary is a fraud.

    November 10, 2007 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  2. Marko Dezdri, Portland, OR

    If unimportant things like these are the only things Clinton contenders can say about her to try to trash her, I believe Clinton is in a great position! I can't wait for the day when Mrs. Clinton takes over the Presidency and returns to the White House. You all better start getting used to her, but don't worry, by 2010, you all are going to adore her.

    November 10, 2007 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  3. Ian, Canton, OH

    I will not vote for a candidate who pronounces it "aksed"; just as I won't vote for someone who says "nucular".

    November 10, 2007 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  4. Gary Keith, Hilton Head, SC

    Another story of the neo-communist party being lobbed another softball and let off the hook by the left-wing media. This is so typical of the left-wingers that it's mundane.

    November 10, 2007 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  5. Olivia San Antonio Texas

    "row row your boat gently back home." Obama is not the right person for president. If we thought Bush has f'd our country I don't even imagine what Obama could do. Of course we won't have to worry about this. Clinton will win. Clinton 2008.

    November 10, 2007 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  6. Nick, Eden Praire MN

    Clinton supporters, just answer 1 for me. What is it about her that you like? I mean, she voted for the Iraq war, voted for the Patriot act, she takes money from lobbyists, and clearly isn't honest. What is it that she does that makes you overlook these facts? I really don't understand it. She's the one democrat I could never see myself voting for, and I'm wondering what other people see in her that I don't.

    November 10, 2007 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  7. las vegas nv

    To do as George Bush does is pure genius.

    Posted By Bubba Mobile, AL : November 10, 2007 4:40 pm

    i am with u on that one he got elected twice, or stole twice which ever way u like it. the man is a genuis,hillary and paris hilton have alot in common u just dont now exactly what they are selling, maybe after hillary we should vote for paris hilton now thats hot.

    November 10, 2007 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  8. A. Thomas, New York, NY

    John Edwards has absolutely no legs to stand on to blast Clinton on honesty and sincerity.

    1) He flip-flopped on Iran diplomacy. He was for the war before he was against it. He is clearly playing political gamesmanship on campaign finance reform. He also flip-flopped on many other issues.

    2) He flip-flopps on health care. The one that disappoints me most (other than his Iraq War vote) is his flip-flop on healthcare. Here’s an exchange between Tim Russert of Meet the Press and John Edwards:
    RUSSERT (Quoting an AP Article): “Edwards … ran as a moderate Democrat for the Senate in 1998 and the White House in 2004, calling universal healthcare policies “irresponsible,” “impractical. Now he’s more liberal, shifting to the left along with Internet-fed forces within the Democratic Party, and vows to give healthcare to all.”

    3) He is hypocritical on his fund raising. John Edwards said: “I have raised more money – $30 million. And, I did it without taking a dime from any Washington lobbyist or any special interest PAC.” What Edwards leaves out is that over half his money is from a single source–trial lawyers. A candidate who receives such a large percentage of his contributions from a single source is in no position to take such a high moral ground.

    Edwards was the most secretive with regards to revealing the identities of his big fund raisers. If Edwards is concerned about influence from special interest groups. He should give back the hundreds of thousands of dollars he’s taken from health care, securities, and insurance companies.

    November 10, 2007 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  9. G. Keith, Hilton Head, SC

    ANOTHER CLINTON LIAR AND CHEATER! Imagine that! Can't wait for the teflon coated left wingers to brush this under the rug. I hope there's room under there. Maybe next to a slightly used cigar and a soiled dress.

    November 10, 2007 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  10. Tricia M Charlottetown PEI

    Nit picking Hillary Clinton's, and Barack Obama's every move and every word is the only move John Boy can come up with to TRY to look impressive.

    The only lines John Boy has are I didn't vote for the Iraq war. I don't take money from Corporate Lobbyists. I had my Health Care Program before Hillary had hers. He sounds like a petty elementary student, "I had my hand up first." Of course in John Boy's case it would be his index finger!

    John Boy has no strategies, or even ideas of his own. He is but a hopeless empty shell that preys on the talents and intelligence of his formidable opponents to maintain his jeuvenile, mindless attack style campaign. The only kind of Campaign one with no experience, intelligence, thought process, or vision for the future can hope to maintain.

    In short, he is pathetic. A man of principles would take the noble path and back out of the race. His perpetuent, monotonous whining is nauseating. John's future holds only defeat if he insists on staying in the race. He, Fred, Mitt, and Dodd can celebrate their defeat together! Bottoms Up Boys!

    November 10, 2007 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  11. JerseyJoe

    The only people who are trying to pull one on Iowa voters is Edwards and Obama. Second place "choices" in Iowa count as part of the vote total. Realizing neither of them can beat Hillary alone. There trying to position themselves for a second place vote. All these issues they are trying to bring up and bash Hillary I believe are not important. I seen how poorly John Edwards did as a vice president candidate and the mistakes obama has made in his campaign. I want competence on serious issues, I wouldnt vote for either of them – for me its about real issues this election.

    November 10, 2007 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  12. Marsh, NY NY

    Clinton would never lie! Just because she is a INDEPENDENT WOMAN you have to pick on her.

    November 10, 2007 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  13. knows too much washington D.C.

    of course there was a plant. Running on "coat tail" politics you have to have soft ball questions, there is no way she could ever stand on her own 2 feet! she is going to buy the election just like Bush.

    I can't wait to see Huma Abedin as first Lady, think she'll have Rosie Odonnell and Ellen on her staff as well?

    November 10, 2007 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  14. Mark, Springfield, MO

    Actually the person asking the question was a plant from the Edwards campaign. Edwards people cooked this up so Edwards would have something to talk about to try and get recognition.

    The Edwards plant asks a Clinton staffer if asking about her energy plan would be a good thing. The Clinton staffer said "Sure thing". Then the Edwards plant asks the question and later leaks to the college newspaper that Clinton is planting questions.

    I mean it's BRILLIANT! Edwards can't get any traction on anything substantive so his campaign people stoop to this. Sad really.

    November 10, 2007 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  15. John Ross, Chattanooga, TN

    My fear is that there is going to be chaos after the Clinton's return to the White House. Bill is so angry now with all opposition (internal and external) that there very well could be a break down of civil order as they launch attacks against those who stood in the way of Hillary. Wedded with the Stalinist traits exhibited by Hillary and we have a recipe for absolute disaster.

    November 10, 2007 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  16. Ian M, Dallas, TX

    Earth to Erwards, you are not running against Bush.

    Don't you just love it when the Dem, and soon Repub candiatdes start their meltdown!
    Posted By Len, Fallbrook, CA : November 10, 2007 4:26 pm

    Hmmm...neither is hilary "the 2 face" clinton running against George Bush, you might want to pass the message along to her as well.

    November 10, 2007 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  17. E. C., Houston, Texas

    Sillarys's Rivals SHOULD SLAM HER for the 'canned questions'......What is this? Quite obviously, Sillary is NOT smart enough or intelligent enough to BE PRESIDENT of this great Country! Sillary is a contraction... means Stupid-Hillary...There is a MAN out there Smart enough and experienced enough to be President! Step up to the plate, Senator Biden and Senator Edwards! Where are you when your Country NEEDS YOU? Obama needs to 'hang in there, too' and CHALLENGE BILL CLINTON on well as, S'Hillary!

    November 10, 2007 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  18. Ian M, Dallas, TX

    Clinton supporters, just answer 1 for me. What is it about her that you like? I mean, she voted for the Iraq war, voted for the Patriot act, she takes money from lobbyists, and clearly isn't honest. What is it that she does that makes you overlook these facts? I really don't understand it. She's the one democrat I could never see myself voting for, and I'm wondering what other people see in her that I don't.
    Posted By Nick, Eden Praire MN : November 10, 2007 6:48 pm

    Nick, if she does get can definitely hear all her supporters say, "ONLY IF I KNEW THEN, WHAT I KNOW KNOW!!!".

    I guess it must be all that experience that she has of running the country, remember she was our 42nd president. 🙂

    November 10, 2007 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  19. Jay, Washington, DC

    Nick: I am not yet a Clinton supporter, but what I like about her is that she's tough and carries herself with the confidence of a leader. Oh yes, in an era in which the GOP has become Imperial and blindly & stupidly reactionary, she is not a Republican. Is she pure and and totally honest–no. But after 4 years of Republican fawning submission to, and 4 more years of their embarrassing and convoluted defenses of, "Field Marshall Cheney and Lil' Georgie" - the man-child who came from Yale and convinced Texans that he was a cowboy–I would take V.I. Lenin himself rather than any of the hypocritical GOP's serious contenders. Any party where (1) Pat Robertson is considered anything other than a religious lunatic and (2) where its leading candidate (considered a flitty anti-Christ liberal prior to this campaign) comes and kisses his ring, is a party that has become a danger to freedom as we know it. If you lay awake at night in breathless anticipation of the second coming of Oliver Cromwell and the Roundheads, the GOP has become your party. Hillary, I suspect, loses no sleep on this point. Then again, maybe it's just because the puritanical GOP hates her so that makes her attractive.

    November 10, 2007 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  20. Katrina 9000

    She is a gone pecan!
    Ohio State is a gone pecan!
    Geaux l.s.u.!
    Geaux republicans!

    November 10, 2007 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  21. Rex, Toledo, Ohio

    I'm with Nick from MN. What is it about Clinton that some of you find so desirable that you would vote for her as president. I have an opinion. Your so sick of Bush (We that have any common sense are) and you remember the pre-9/11 era with Bill Clinton, and the nostalgia of that period causes you to reflect, and you feel that she is going to emulate that period for you, and everything is going to be "alright" again.
    Is that it? It must be. It certainly isn't about her so called experience or her abilities. I'm sure there is a small percentage that would vote for any female because of the novelty factor, but the majority of her supporters must see something that I for the life of me, don't see. I'm being as objective as I can, and it's (whatever "it" is) escapes me.

    November 10, 2007 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |


    November 10, 2007 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  23. Emmanuel, VA

    To Olivia from San Antonio:

    Yes we will row the boat home and that home is the White House for Obama. You better get used to it and stop your blind support for Clinton because she is a woman.

    When will you Clinton supporters learn we have real issues at stake in this election? The best things in life don't come in elegant packages, so no matter how elegant Clinton tries to package her inferior (Lame-duck Presidency if she wins because the house will be divided) gifts to America; we'll just have to open the package sometime won't we.

    The difference between you and I is that i choose to open up the package NOW to see the truth, than wait till She is in the White House to cry my eyes out.

    Obama will make this country better and you will agree he will do no worse than BUSH. In honesty he will do so well to leave a Legacy that ensure America is blind to race or whatever when choosing their next President because we want OUR GOVERNMENT BACK AND TO WORK FOR US.

    November 10, 2007 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  24. josh, fairlawn, oh

    I'm voting for Hillary...BUT

    1)This should NEVER have happened..

    2)I do not want another bush administration that lies and lies, and spreads propaganda, and uses Orwellian speak..for instance his "Blue Skies Act" what a flat out misnomer.

    3)At least they admitted it...but the campaign deserves crap for pulling a stunt like this..Hillary, wake up..and get control of your minions.

    November 10, 2007 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  25. Bob, Panama City, FL.

    What is quite frustrating here, and most revealing, is that you cannot find any article on CNN about this. This is merely a blog about the dems reaction to what Hillary did. But CNN never reported the incident. Amazing. Welcome to the Clinton News Network where no negative news shall be published about the corrupt and shameless Clintons. American women have a chance to finally show that they can lead as well as men, and what a fine example of a superior woman they will get when Hillary is elected. Shame on you American females for allowing her to have a shot at this. There are so many great women out there who can lead this great country, so why her?

    November 10, 2007 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
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