December 2nd, 2007
07:43 AM ET
10 years ago

Clinton booed at Iowa forum

Clinton was unable to travel into Iowa on Saturday for a pair of events with her fellow Democratic rivals.

DES MOINES, Iowa (CNN)–An audience of progressive activists booed Senator Hillary Clinton today during an exchange on immigration reform. At the Heartland Community Values Forum in Des Moines, Iowa, Clinton was asked whether “giv(ing) undocumented immigrants a path to citizenship” would be a priority in her first hundred days as President. Clinton told the audience "comprehensive immigration reform will be a high priority for me.” That response elicited boos – and no applause.

Asked again whether she’d take up the issue in her first hundred days she said,“Well you’ve got to get the Congress to pass the legislation in order for the President to do as much as possible, which I will do.” That was met by still more loud boos.

Clinton was taking part in the Forum by telephone - she had been grounded in New Hampshire after her last minute trip there Friday night. The event’s moderator told CNN she believes Clinton was hurt by her distance, more than the substance of her answer. “She gave a boilerplate response, when the audience wanted a conversation, a dialogue,” says Cathy Hughes, the moderator and Chairperson of Radio One and TV One. “She didn’t have a feel for the room. One of the advantages of being here in person you can feel the emotional energy.” After one of speakers attending the Forum told an emotional personal story, a voice that sounded like Clinton's could be heard saying “Can you hear me?”

Comments by John Edwards, Dennis Kucinich, Chris Dodd and Barack Obama – who were present -were received with loud applause.

-CNN Congressional Correspondent Jessica Yellin

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Chris Dodd • Dennis Kucinich • Iowa • John Edwards • Race to '08
soundoff (191 Responses)
  1. Jack

    Jackson sez:
    "Obviously these people wanted a "wish list" answer … which, if answered honestly, none of the candidates could give them."

    Wrong. They wanted a solid answer that she would in fact favor this or that, they got an "I suppose I'll try something about something" sort of answer. She could have been much more honest than that. Much more.She doesn't need to promise success, just that she'll try, and she won't even commit to that. It's about time she got booed for it.

    "and why would immigration be a priority over other issues for American citizens anyway!"

    Hello? This IS an issue for Americans. Where you been hiding?

    December 1, 2007 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  2. Larry Greenstein Brooklyn New York

    I'm glad voters are finally seeing how scripted and phony Hillary Clinton is. She has no principles and says whatever her pollsters tell her to say. On every debate that's been televised so far this year she has danced around giving definitive answers to the questions she was asked. I hope the electorate sees thru this phony and that just because she thinks she is owed the presidency because of her husband's philandering the public doesn't share that feeling at all.

    December 1, 2007 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  3. Butch Dillon

    Oh yes, her house of cards has been undermined and Clinton is now beginning to topple with a vigorous compliance to gravity. For the sake of American sanity, she need has to suffer a very big defeat in Iowa. Fourth is too good for her.

    December 1, 2007 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  4. Jose Card

    You have to give credits to Senator Clinton for her first straight answer for a question on immigration reform, though she was greeted with more boos than she desired.

    She does give boilerplate speeches a lot. Perhaps she is avoiding direct communications with voters, because she has disconnected herself from them. She may be nervous from not having planted questions. I was curious about where she was born so I searched and was surprised to find on

    that Hillary started out as a Republican, which makes sense to the kind of Democrats she is today.

    I wonder if the man close to her at the time such as her father or Bill Clinton has had a significant influence on her political views.

    But how can somebody born in Illinois feeling so uncomfortable with being in Iowa? Having spent too much time in D.C. among the "good Americans" – her lobbyist friends?

    December 1, 2007 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  5. Jen Halper, Des Moines, Iowa

    Such disrespect towards Senator Clinton is not even worth mentioning. Writing such an article on Senator Cinton and making it a headline is stupid and you might as well be taking the "boo" ego trip with the rest of the ego maniacs.
    It is easier to behave in such a disrespectful manner towards someone over the phone.....but I bet if they/you had to look her in the eye one on one, they/you would keep their/your big mouths shut.
    The same standard applies for those who write articles as well. If I had to face you in the eye...You can bet I would tell you face to face the same thing I am saying here. This type of disrespectful behavior towards Senator Clinton is nothing more than a show of collective ignorance.

    December 1, 2007 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  6. delbert mcgraff easton, pa

    does anyone remember when her husband was in office?

    what was one thing he did that will cripple our country

    how about jobs going to Mexico and China and everywhere else

    What about all those mysterious deaths of people that had information while Clinton was in Ark.

    how soon we forget
    how hard I remember

    NO Clintons !!!!

    amd I am not GOP

    December 1, 2007 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  7. Bernard, Scotch Plains N J

    Obama OWNED this event! His time has arrived...Hillary who?

    December 1, 2007 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  8. Chris, Middletown, CT

    Democrats...(who would be foolish enough to vote for HRC....) – re-read this...."Clinton was asked whether “giv(ing) undocumented immigrants a path to citizenship” would be a priority in her first hundred days as President. Clinton told the audience "comprehensive immigration reform will be a high priority for me.”" just as she answers EVERY question....with a non-answer...does that mean yes....does that mean she talking about comprehensive immigration reform that includes giving illegal aliens licenses...or tell me....she answers all the time with non-answers...and you really have to question the intelligence level of her supporters....

    December 1, 2007 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  9. Kristi, St. Louis, MO

    I think it's juvenile and speaks negatively toward the character of the audience that they actually booed at a political function. Was this an audience of nine year olds or free-thinking adults? If the audience was as 'progressive' as they claim to be, perhaps they would realize that there are more pressing matters at hand. Hello? Have we forgotten that we are at war here? I am sure, Mrs Clinton will have plenty on her plate during her first 100 days as president!

    December 1, 2007 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  10. Jennifer, des moines, iowa

    Those who booed are obama/edwards supporters. That also shows that they are rude people, while the clinton's supporters are polite people.

    Clinton should deserve the courtesy that her supporters have given to obama and edwards.

    Hillary 08.

    December 1, 2007 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  11. RD, syracuse, ny

    Those who booed were jerks.

    December 1, 2007 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  12. NO DEM'S, LA.


    December 1, 2007 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  13. Jed in Texas

    Im surprised she wasnt at the Bilderberg Conference with the rest of the "One World Order Elites".I bet her hubby Billie boy was there.He went to the last one.The fix is in,She will win by hook or by crook.LMAO

    December 1, 2007 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  14. Matt, TX

    Once again, Hillary won't answer a simple question. I will never vote for her, she is too desceptive and simply lacks the character and experience to be the President of The United States of America.

    December 1, 2007 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  15. monica, des moines, ia

    I am extremely upset at those people behavior towards Hillary Clinton.

    Now, I will make sure that all my family members will vote for Hillary, and persuade my friends and office workers to vote for her as well.

    Go Hillary Go!

    December 1, 2007 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  16. Len, Fallbrook, CA


    "whether “giv(ing) undocumented immigrants a path to citizenship” would be a priority in her first hundred days as President."


    ""comprehensive immigration reform will be a high priority for me.”"

    ",“Well you’ve got to get the Congress to pass the legislation in order for the President to do as much as possible, which I will do.”"

    Hillary, standard test/question taking techniques.


    Then answer it!

    I don't think I'd trust this politician to lead me thru a chow line

    December 1, 2007 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  17. Charles

    These "progressive activists" (leftwingers, liberals an so on) have lost Democrats every single presidential election since Carter except the timewhen Clinton came with his moderate agenda. They are as stupid and fanatic (should I say – lunatic) as their right-wing, "born-again christian" counterpart.

    December 1, 2007 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  18. jeremy, petaluma, CA

    Clinton is nothing more than a boilerplate response. This is a lady with no substance and no oringinal thinking. Just another political figure led by the lobby. She will do nothing to change the system. Look at where her money comes from. Big business and the medical sector. She is nothing like her husband, don't vote for a name. We should have learned that after the second Bush.


    December 1, 2007 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  19. pbj, San Ramon, CA

    So much for inevitability. Say goodnight, Hillary.

    December 1, 2007 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  20. Eric, Chino Hills, CA

    I don't think she was hurt by the distance at all. The majority of Americans do not support illegal immigrants and for her to support amnesty is completely ridiculous.

    December 1, 2007 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  21. Tony, Mount Vernon, NY

    These people are not looking for the truth, all they want is platitudes. Hillary gave an honest answer given how our system works. I guess these primary voters would prefer the politician lie to them and say yes of course I'll solve all our problems in my first 100 days. I'm sorry, but the next president's first 100 days need to be spent getting us out of this war. This should be a lesson to Hillary to focus more on shallow promises instead of harsh realities, after all it got Bush two terms.

    December 1, 2007 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  22. Lilarose, Rogue River, OR

    Pam in Eugene, you got posted twice, didn't you....the internet can be harsh for people unfamiliar with how it works.

    If you are a Democrat and Hillary wins the nomination and you don't like her, what are you going to do with your presidential vote? I don't always like or agree with a Democratic candidate, but I believe in the party's platform and will vote with that in mind, as I have done since JFK and his brother Robert (on whose campaign I worked).

    December 1, 2007 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  23. Mark, TX

    Maybe Iowans are a bit slow-minded.. 1. Comprehensive immigration reform is what all candidates propose
    2. It does not imply automatically citizenship for illegal immigrants.
    3. And the Congress is the one to pass legislation

    In conclusion, Hillary said the right thing. Those people just didn't listen, they were there for booing.

    Hillary 08!

    December 1, 2007 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  24. jenny, des moines, ia

    Hillary Clinton did not desrve to be booed. She definitely has my vote.

    December 1, 2007 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  25. Chance, Waldorf MD

    In the media pundits have made opposition to illegal immigration sound like a right wing conservative thing. It isn't, many, many democrats and liberals share the same concerns as those on the right. The Dems had better learn that this is an issue that is going to hurt them in the general election if they don't start taking a harder line.

    December 1, 2007 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8