November 12th, 2007
03:00 PM ET
15 years ago

Obama: We don't plant questions

Watch Sen. Obama's remarks about Sen. Clinton's planted question.

(CNN) - At a press conference in Nashua, New Hampshire Monday , Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, refused to directly criticize Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-New York, after reports that her campaign staff had planted at least one question at a town-hall-style event last week.

But Obama still made a subtle dig apparently aimed at Clinton, one of his chief rivals for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination .

“I’ll let Sen. Clinton answer for her campaign,” Obama told reporters. “When I go into a town hall meeting, I never know what questions to expect and that’s a good thing because the people of New Hampshire should expect that their candidates are going to hear what’s on the voters’ minds and not what’s been concocted by the candidate’s staff."

After saying that he has sometimes received questions on the campaign trail that have stumped him, Obama said planting questions is “not a practice that we’ve ever engaged in and it’s not a practice that we ever plan to engage in.”

Related: Watch Clinton's controversial question

Related: Democratic rivals respond to Clinton's planted question

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- CNN Associate Producer Martina Stewart

soundoff (80 Responses)
  1. a.thomas, ny, ny


    Obama is losing badly to Hillary in polls of every state (except Illinois) averaging 23 point behind.

    November 12, 2007 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  2. D Ward Mena, AR

    No obama, you don't plant questions because you don't have time to do so. You spend all of your speaking time tearing down your DEMOCRATIC opponent, Hillary Clinton. I guess that is because you don't have anything to run on yourself. Save your venom for the republicans not fellow Democrats. Should you be the nominee, I will either not vote at all or write in a candidate. I would never vote for someone who can not run on their own merit, they can only run by tearing down their opponent. I am very disappointed in you and edwards.

    November 12, 2007 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  3. Ben

    He is my President and I want everyone to actually listen to this man's vision because he is the only candidate I have ever heard in my life that actually has the vision, intelligence, and motivation to change our nation fundamentally at the most critical time in our modern history. He is the only one who can get my in-laws, my grandmother, etc. who have always voted Republican to change parties. Not against something, but because they actually believe.... HE IS HOPE!!!!

    November 12, 2007 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  4. Nameless,charleston,S.C

    Just keep the faith senator. We know where you stand and how truthful you are when it comes to matters that concern American people...We are keeping the tabs!

    November 12, 2007 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  5. Jon, Sacramento ~ Ca

    I HAVE A QUESTION FOR Obama & Clinton Supporters....

    Why do Republicans attack Hillary... and Hillary supporters attack Obama & President Bush?

    November 12, 2007 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |

    I agree w/Larry – San Diego "There is no way the US will elect this guy, sorry but it's true." Just wasting his time, his campaign workers time and most importantly OUR time. He couldn't run a country not even a country as small as Kuwait much less the most powerful country in the WORLD.

    November 12, 2007 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  7. Someone in San Antonio Texas

    Maybe Obama should "plant" a question that way we don't have to wait for an answer. It's like the theme on Jeopardy waiting for him to come up with a response? Hello? You gotta be quick. Uh?

    November 12, 2007 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  8. mike, dallas, texas

    "Obama is the least experienced candidate in the race. He will lose easily to any republican candidate. I suspect that vast majority of Obama "supporters" are simply republicans hoping to trick progressives into nominating him."

    and the vast right wing conspiracy continues huh? and actually Edwards has the least experience...

    November 12, 2007 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  9. ronnie - knoxville, tn

    he's a junior senator. he's not a commanding leader, he's a feel-good sensitive new-age guy. of course, he appeases the masses by "saying the right stuff". But sometimes the leader has to tell us to tighten our belts, or make sacrifices for war, or use common sense, or do difficult things. Obama does NONE of these things. That's because he's a socialist.

    November 12, 2007 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  10. ss,chicago,Illinois

    Obama said he did not support the Iraq war from the beginning. But he never opposed it. In fact he voted for funding the war cotinually until he became a candidate for the president.Only Dennis
    Kucinich opposed the war from the beginning and not Obama.
    Hillary voted yes to call Iranian Revolutionary Guards a terrorist orgnisation.Obama opposed that and criticized her for calling a terrorist a terrorist.Obama does not take money from lobbyist anymore so he says but takes money from Corporations that employ those lobbyist.Money corrupts no matter what source it is raised.
    Earlier Obama said everthing is on the table to fix social security.Now says he would only tax all income.
    When it comes to flipflop and not being truthful it seems Obama is no better than others.

    November 12, 2007 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  11. Mike Longview, TX

    Of course Republicans want Obama!
    They know they can beat him!
    This isn't rocket science.
    Wake up and smell the coffee!

    HILLARY 08

    November 12, 2007 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  12. Dave, Cheverly, MD

    To T. Anthony,

    Obama has no extreme un-electability issues. That’s why no intelligent person are talking any. Lets say that opposition would rather throw the entire country and their generations to follow “Under the bus” over the fact that Obama happens to be African American. There would be a lot of “Splaining” (explaining) to do to the World and to our next generation of Americans who largely do not care about race.

    November 12, 2007 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  13. Dave, Cheverly, MD

    Furthermore, if we did not vote him in office based on Race would not speak to Obama's extreme un-delectability. It would speak to our IN-ABLILITY to look beyond color and elect the best Candidate to lead of nation in very tough times. That would be a sad day for America and for what we as Americans stand for.

    November 12, 2007 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  14. Kim, Dallas, TX

    There are many blind sheep in our country. They do have a website where you can tell if the blog information you are reading is true or not.....

    1. Obama may not wear a flag on his lapel, but did you realize that all other candidates are no longer wearing them either? Obama's thought is that it's more important to demonstrate your patriotism by words and actions and not by wearing a pin. I personally don't wear a pin and I love my country...that's why I really take the time to know the candidates.

    2. Obama not pledging with his hand over his heart... the picture was taken while the national anthem was playing, not the pledge. Not everyone puts their hand over their heart during the national anthem, it depends on where you were raised.

    We are given a chance here to make a difference in our country. I really don't believe we can get through many more years like the past six. Hillary would be more of the same. She has proven over and over again that she cannot be trusted and that she cannot stand firm on any response. I don't understand why anyone would wish that upon our country. Although we did end up with eight years of Bush and I found that equally as astonishing. I guess I should get to the point where nothing surprises me anymore.

    I would love to have a country that is respected worldwide and one that cares about it's citizens and not just about corporations and wealth. Our country focuses on greed and selfishness, not the good of all mankind. Obama does not follow this same code of conduct in government. He would make a wonderful president. I just think that the ignorance and prejudice in our country won't elect someone that could make a difference simply because he is black and has a middle name some find offensive. Take the time to read about the candidates and find out if what you are reading is truth. Our country is dependent upon the votes cast and we really need everyone to be more informed.

    by the way Jon in Sacremento. I personally don't follow your logic. I despise both Bush and Hillary and completely support Obama.

    November 12, 2007 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  15. sonya, atlanta, ga

    Obama has more legislative experience than Hillary and Edwards. All three do not have any executive experience. Plus in less than three years, Obama has sponsored 3 major bills that have passed Congress. Clinton 0 in 7 years and Edwards 0 in his six years. Obama has 400 bills ready to be voted on by the Senate. His illected and integrity is light years ahead of Hillary and Edwards.

    November 12, 2007 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  16. josh

    It's sad when politicians have to specify.

    November 12, 2007 11:38 pm at 11:38 pm |
  17. Kyu Reisch, Radcliff, Kentucky

    Speech maker, LA, Obama has done nothing, that's why he is doing something, attacking Hillary.
    Jon, Sacramento, You should have question for Republican and Obama. Answer will be: Republican wants Obama to be nominee, so they can beat him easily in General Election, Obama and his supporters attack Hillary because Obama can not win primary by his political view.
    Hillary reminds voters how does she lead the Country from Bush's mess.

    November 13, 2007 12:13 am at 12:13 am |
  18. Kyu Reisch, Radcliff, Kentucky

    The big mouth speaks a lie every single time. I don't listen anyway.

    November 13, 2007 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  19. DMW, Roeland Park, KS

    Self-Righteous Obama...he is getting so boring; only complaining about what Hillary does and does not do.

    He has no experience to run the country and was not gaining on the frontrunner by stating what he believe in, so as most politicians do when this is the case, they attack the frontrunner.

    So much for his Audacity of Hope...He and John Edwards are becoming bottom feeders. At one time, I thought about Obama, but after the last couple of weeks, he has just become an attacker in a self righteous-pious manner...such a turnoff...the media loves him because he is attacking Hillary which is what they have been egging him on to do; and he complied! How sad.

    November 13, 2007 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  20. JC, Topeka, Kansas

    No comment, really not worththe effort.

    November 13, 2007 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  21. RuthieM

    Good deal, Obama, keep it up. And make sure you tell this to your campaign staff so they do not put you in a trick bag. OBAMA '08!!.

    November 13, 2007 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  22. Seam, Philly PA

    Hey D Ward of Mena, AR: You are waaaaaay out of touch with Obama's campaign. He has more merit than any candidate running. Do your research before you make dumb comments.

    November 13, 2007 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  23. Seam, Philly PA

    I don't get why people claim that Obama has no experience. People in this country are soooooo misinformed. Do your homework before making false claims. You will be surprised to see the facts.

    November 13, 2007 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  24. AJ, IL

    Well said, Obama! He's smart enough not to jump on the Hillary Campaign Question Planting debacle but still draw distinction between Hillary and himself.

    To all the Obama-haters, just remember you can never win a war-on-terror with guns and bombs. Hate begates hate!
    Obama in '08.

    November 13, 2007 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  25. Brandie R. Buffalo, NY

    j–san antonio–

    You're wasting YOUR time. Don't try to pass your miserable viewpoints on Obama supporters. Just because YOU couldn't win an election doesn't make you an intelligent judge of who can.

    This guy is more upstanding than you can dream of being. Who do YOU want in? Bush for a never been done before third term? I'm done with this hell Bush has gotten us into. If YOU want to make a difference–YOU go join the military & put yourself in front of bombs and bullets DAY IN AND DAY OUT. I want a president that's smart enough to get us out of the quicksand bush has sunken us into. You obviously don't know jack about Obama & you're OBVIOUSLY drawn in, commenting on his story. You can't resist Obama either! THAT is SO sweet!!! J!

    Larry–San Diego–

    WHY wouldn't we elect him? Because he talks too fast & we're used to slow & irrelevant? The only people that would comment something like that are racist people with nothing better to do than try to keep people with other cultural backgrounds from leading with DIGNITY & INTEGRITY. It's clear that many MANY white men are threatened by an intelligent black man. I've seen it too many times to count. Why the fear? SERIOUSLY?!!

    BARACK OBAMA is the only person that seems to have experience with other cultures. HE has the edge to understand how THEY govern and live. Obama is the ONE. He is the one to figure out the REAL reason we are at war. HE has values and morals HIMSELF. The only reason Obama wouldn't get in, is because of people with bias and those who are in disbelief & refuse to believe he truly is a good man. That's our problem, not his.

    November 13, 2007 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
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