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. Boucakial Dallas TX

    Hillary would make a good president to Ahmoudinegad. And Edwards would make a good secretary of state.

    November 10, 2007 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  2. fair,washington,dc

    Republicans are scared to death of Hillary winning the nomination....they know who they're toughest opponent will be...I have no problem with Dems that support other dem canidates, but if you took one of those polls asking Republican candidateswho they want to run against, it would be one of those Dems you are supporting, believe me they have done the math...none of them are talking about Obama,Edwards,Dodd,etc...they talk about Hillary because she would be the greatest challenge...I've said it before and I'll say it again the primary is for putting the best person forth that can win the White House for the to answer the question that was posed on here on why Dems are supporting Hillary...its not about some popularity contest...we are keeping our eyes on the prize and Hillary is our best candidate out of a field of good candidates to win in Nov 08.

    November 10, 2007 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  3. Kyu Reisch, Radcliff, Kentucky

    People should know what their one vote means, it means everybody's one vote decides our Country's future. Mitchell is a minister in Hamilton, he can't participate in the Iowa caucus, he said he wanted to ask Hillary "why she voted for the Iraq war and why she didn't consider that a mistake" Hillary told us she is responsible for the vote, she will end the war if Bush doesn't. Why does Mitchell show up and want her apology? Did Edwards apology make any difference for Iraq war?
    Mitchell told Fox News he is an Obama supporter. I am disappointed at the behaviors of Obama supporters. Play the game fairly.

    November 10, 2007 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  4. Mike Nakagita, Green Bay, Wisconsin

    It is pretty sad that almost without exception the Democrat candidates are so devoid of ideas that their campaigns focus so intensely on setting themselves apart from the current President. Irrespective of any opinions on his Presidency, George Bush will not be on the ballot in 2008, and the Democrats will lose (again) because they just cannot stop fighting yesterday's battles. The headline "George Bush stole the election" just will not cut it any more.

    November 10, 2007 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  5. Michael, Houston, Tx

    Edwards, Obama and the others would never sully themselves in such a way – what a crock. These guys are

    Hillary, don't even respond this is more baloney and feigned surprise by your opponents. Although I would take a serious look at some of your amateur hour campaign management people, there is just no substitute for diligence and extreme attention to detail. Never take anything for granted right up to the last minute of the campaign, fight every day and take every opportunity as though your election depended on it, because it does. Get rid of those folks who are not rock solid on the message and in their diligence.

    Folks grow up and support Hillary. This is the only chance we will really have to correct the mistakes of the past 8 years.

    And for any of you idiots who wish to support a Nader or other fringe candidate, remember – you can have some of your goals met with Hillary or have none of them met when your fractured voting allows a Republicrite like Rudy to win. PLease do not allow the fringe groups to hijack the campaign, alienate the moderate majority and snatch defeat from the jaws of victory again!

    Good luck America!

    November 10, 2007 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  6. Ben, Ames, IA

    Wrong "DR"...I suspect Obama's support here has more to do with folks not wanting a dirtbag running on the Dem ticket.

    November 10, 2007 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  7. Michael, Houston, Tx

    From many of the comments it is pretty obvious most:

    1) Have no grasp of politics or history

    2) have never worked on a campaign

    3) form their political allegiances and opinions based on myth and popular culture

    Hillary is our best chance to come back in the world, and we all need to line up behind her when she wins the nomination, and then the POTUS election. Of course I expect the haters to spend the next 4 to 8 years after that demonizing her no matter the efforts or how they will benefit the nation and people long term. I hope they do benefit us all and she does very well for our country and children's sake!

    Bring us good fortune Hillary! Beleive me you have more supporters in other parties than you know!

    November 10, 2007 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  8. corb, Seattle WA

    Good job Edwards. Way to further isolate yourself while building enough angst against Hillary that if she happens to win the Primary the every swing voter in the U.S,. will stay home and leave another Republican in the White House.

    I'm sure that Mitt, Rudy, Carl and John really appreciate the work you are doing.

    November 10, 2007 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  9. Patrick Peavy, Plano TX

    For me my support for Hillary has nothing to do with "Bill Nostalgia". I think she is a very strong leader, she may not be perfect but she will make a near-perfect president.

    November 10, 2007 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm |
  10. Stefan Gaithersburg, MD

    I'm still waiting for Edwards to actually say something constructive.

    November 11, 2007 01:05 am at 1:05 am |
  11. Val Davydov, Agawam, MA

    Edwards –

    Loser 04!

    LOSER 08!

    And why is he attacking the president? He is not running for re-election is he, John? Are we missing something you know that we don't since you are so informed of everything? Your attacks are getting old and annoying.

    November 11, 2007 01:59 am at 1:59 am |
  12. sonya, atlanta, ga

    hillary is a hack. All her smoke and mirrors are fading away. Even her campaign manager Terry McAuffe just said at the Iowa JJ dinner that "she doesn't need to win Iowa or any paticular state." Penn must have done some more polling and their candidate is sinking fast. The art of lower expectations.

    I do not want a nominee that uses Rove's tactics like staging events and planting questions. If you can't take the heat from the campaign, get off the stump!

    November 11, 2007 01:59 am at 1:59 am |
  13. Bea, Hoboken, NJ

    I would like once, just once, for Edwards to give a speech without bashing Hillary. He has become as bad as Giuliani and the rest of the Republicans.

    Hey John, you couldn't even carry your own state in 2004!!! Your time came and went, move over!!!

    November 11, 2007 02:25 am at 2:25 am |
  14. alan St Louis MO

    Seeing all these Blind Clinton sheep supporters tring to support her is funny. Man I had a lots of good laughs reading Clinton supporters. They spit out the same spin that Clinton uses. No Real facts what she stands for posted. Complete blindness to the history of stupidity the Clinton done.

    Clinton can go on TV and pull out a gun and commit murder and her supporters will somehow will blind them selves to it or justify it. Shes a lady whats the big deal.

    And it those people that make Carol Rove so powerful. The radical republicans know how you think. Rove wants a Clinton to run for the WhiteHouse.

    1)Swing voters like me that are not blind faith to one party will not vote for a Clinton. I remember all the BS in the 1992 to 2000.
    Which will give the republicans the best chance to win the WhiteHouse. Since swing voters make up almost 1/3 of the country.
    2) Who was the President NAME that gave the republicans the power they are? Clinton in 1994 started the republican wave that took over the government in 1994. The RNC and ROVE will use Clinton as a lighting ROD to repeat 1994.
    3) A vote for CLINTON=status quo of the last 16 years of BS governement.
    4)A vote for Clinton== A republican take over in 2010 and 2012.
    5)Democrats can take control of governemtn for the long term if they put a BIDEN,OBAMA,Edwards in the whitehouse. The RNC and Carol ROVE fears those 3. They have no dirt or bad history for them to use as a lighting rod in the future elections.
    6)IF Carol Rove and the RNC ticks you off WHY VOTE for the canidate they want you to pick???IE CLINTON.

    Im going to vote for Biden, Obama ,Edward. If Clinton on the Ticket I will vote for republican.

    I will vote republican instead of a Clinton to save the Democrats from getting cushed in the future election. A clinton will be used by Carol ROVE and RNC to thrust the swing voters back to republicans. HELLO REPUBLICAN CONGRESS in 2010, HELLO REPUBLICAN PRESIDENT IN 2012.

    Or the best choice lets get behind Biden Obama or a Edwards they will hold the democrats in office for the long haul and in the future elecetions. A Clinton will do the same as they did the last time. make the republicans the ruling party of the WORLD.

    November 11, 2007 03:01 am at 3:01 am |
  15. Sam, IA

    Type the word Clinton and watch the d and f students of hate radio and Fox, bark and salivate. Good puppy, have a doggie biscuit!!!

    November 11, 2007 05:47 am at 5:47 am |
  16. SSG Joseph T. Tobin, Baghdad, Iraq

    oh no a planted question in campaign???
    whatever will we do now?

    to hell with this sheeeeee....i'm still writing in colbert

    November 11, 2007 07:01 am at 7:01 am |
  17. Kyu Reisch, Radcliff, Kentucky

    Nick, Eden Praire MN, The best answer is: read Hillary's book, "Living History" after her book still don't understand, then your mind is too narrow to get it.

    November 11, 2007 07:52 am at 7:52 am |
  18. JB Boston MA

    These are the facts. To ignore them will put our country in a terrible place.

    Our country is not doing well because of the divide and hate for the other side of the aisle.

    Hillary is disliked more than GW Bush. To elelct her will create a bigger divide and more anger. Our country cannot handle another 4-8 years of this garbage.

    Please elect someone other than Hillary. Anybody.

    November 11, 2007 08:37 am at 8:37 am |


    November 11, 2007 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  20. David Rankine, New Baltimore Michigan

    The Story starts out "it's "what George Bush does."". This is why CNN is sinking like a stone. The story is Hillary plants questions. If you want the truth seek it elsewhere.
    CNN =Clinton News Network.

    November 11, 2007 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  21. Jesse, Burnsville, MN

    As a Democrat, I have already pledged that I will NOT support Hillary if she wins the Democratic nomination. I believe our country needs change and needs to be united and she cannot do either. I know many Dems that feel the same way I do. I would rather support and independent run by someone like Bloomberg or Paul than support Hillary. If Hillary wins the nomination, I have lost all faith in my party and will have to look for something different. Remember that fellow Dems. Not only would a Hillary nomination cost us the White House, it might cost us our party!

    Edwards/Obama or Obama/Edwards

    November 11, 2007 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  22. Julie Overvig Medford,Oregon

    Hillary's campaign is like processed cheese, it's not the real thing. Democrats say they like her because the Republicans hate her so much, but there being short-sighted if she does win the White House how do you expect things to get done? To get anything passed you need some Republicans to come to the table. I think Biden is our best bet to bring this country back together he has the experience and the leadership and most important the track record of bringing both parties together to get things done. Biden also has the bonus of having a strong foreign policy background, which this country needs in a President at this time.

    November 11, 2007 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  23. TransparentTrollop

    A staged questioner is not different than responding to a wild-eyed supporter(professor?), screaming out her support for immunity from our driver licenses laws..

    November 11, 2007 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  24. Nick, Eden Praire MN

    Nick, Eden Praire MN, The best answer is: read Hillary's book, "Living History" after her book still don't understand, then your mind is too narrow to get it.
    Posted By Kyu Reisch, Radcliff, Kentucky : November 11, 2007 7:52 am

    Tell me something in that book that excuses voting for the Patriot act. In any case, sounding like a leader and having good judgment are two very different things. I'm not narrow minded, just willing to look at what the candidates actually do instead of say. Is that really a bad thing?

    November 11, 2007 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  25. TO AZ

    He keeps pointing higher at Ron Paul polls, I am sure between edwards and hillary they can figure some way to saw that poll to a stump

    November 11, 2007 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
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