December 2nd, 2007
07:43 AM ET
11 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. alan St Louis MO

    May The Truth Set You Free

    Hilliary=Bush=16 years of failed government

    American people are starting to become immune to your spin, lies, smokscreen and see the corpate pawn you are. China and the war profiteers are going to have a harder time to suc the U.S. treasury dry.

    December 2, 2007 02:14 am at 2:14 am |
  2. Margaret Waterloo, Iowa

    Senator Obama is the most sincere candidate in this race, and will wil our caucus here in Iowa....


    December 2, 2007 02:17 am at 2:17 am |
  3. Daniel, NY

    In more bad news for Clinton, she trails Obama in yet another Iowa poll that was just released tonight!That is starting to be a lot of Iowa polls with Obama on top.

    December 2, 2007 02:18 am at 2:18 am |
  4. Chris, Atlanta, Georgia

    Bless all the Clinton supporters! What a mess the counrty has been in since Bush took over... People DEAD. Yes, you stupid Republican bashers. You helped kill many innocent people. AND WHO WANTS A BLACK PRESIDENT??? NOT ME!!!! So, Hillary (believe it or not) 2008!!!! YEAH!!!!

    December 2, 2007 02:36 am at 2:36 am |
  5. John, Detroit, Michigan

    The people who booed her are complete idiots. don't they understand that her position is the smartest one to have, considering in a general election the Republicans are going to make it about illegal immigration?

    December 2, 2007 02:44 am at 2:44 am |
  6. Nate, Guilford NY

    Here's the full video of Hillary getting booed:

    December 2, 2007 02:51 am at 2:51 am |
  7. mbot565, San Diego, CA

    Typical Hillary Clinton, just pull stuff out her buns. Since when your healthcare plan include opening the process to everyone? You have the galls to say you're experienced, when your entire healthcare plan is basically the copied & pasted from John Edwards', and NOW you're copying Obama's open process and adopted it as your own? Do you really think people are that dumb not to notice? Now wonder you're booed. How does it feel to eat your own medicine? WHAT A HIPOCRITE!!

    I'm soooo glad you're booed. If you think you and your campaign can push other candidates by having your supporters booing them, YOU DESERVE having those boos thrown back at you.

    December 2, 2007 03:03 am at 3:03 am |
  8. Ross Lippincott; Davenport Iowa.

    Would you rather have Pedro, Jesus and Ernesto working in your area and picking your crops and "Making in America" your goods at the local factory… or whould you rather they work at the big American corporate factory in Juarez, Tijuana or or Matamoros…. and keeping their money in Mexico and the only American who make out are the head of the American corporations?

    YO!! FV Tampa;
    If Pedro and Jesus and Ernsto were back in their own country where they belong, then American citizens could have those jobs. And I'll bet their money will spend just as well.
    and you call Iowans stupid.

    December 2, 2007 03:04 am at 3:04 am |
  9. Jose Card

    Have you ever seen a live session at the British Parliament chamber?

    The parliament members would do more than just booing to show their dissatisfaction or disagreement with the speaker any time.

    I think booing is a civilized expression. If the voters do not have a chance to speak, what else do you expect them to do? Are the voters only allowed to applaud? Then what is the difference between our election and the Chinese election? Have we lost our mind or freedom of speech?

    What really bugs me is how some people treat Hillary as if she were the princess. This is what happens when you have one spouse after the other in the White House. Father and son is not as bad.

    Global spread of democracy is stalled and worsened in the United States if we elect Hillary.

    What can we say of Chevez or Putin's elections? We are practically doing the same thing here if Hillary is elected. There should be a constitutional amendment against spousal continuation of presidency. Two terms is the limit for a couple. You can't blame Hillary for feeling like royal if she is elected. Our fascination with royalty may be the cause of it. Some people forgot why we threw lots of tea into Boston Harbor a while ago.

    December 2, 2007 03:10 am at 3:10 am |
  10. Bernie C. Denison, Texas

    I don't know about the rest of this country, but I think we should have Hillary Clinton for President. Women have been cleaning up mens messes for years and I think she will clean up our country and make America a proud country again, now that men have dug a hole and has almost buried us. Give a woman a chance to prove that women can be strong. Look how she stuck to her husband after his little fling in the white house wing. Bill Clinton wasn't unfaithful to this coutry, just his wife. She stuck by him no matter what and I think she'll stick to making our country a better place to live. Men has always tried to run things and as usual, look what's happened..Women know how to keep house, let's let her get the job done...

    December 2, 2007 03:10 am at 3:10 am |
  11. Kelly Bird, Denison Tx.

    Well, I think that Hillary Clinton should be President... What's this country affraid of??? A woman might make us great again... oh, what a shame, looks what has happened with the President we have now.. what a joke... I think it's about time women show the men of our lands that we are strong and we can do just as good a job if not better..

    December 2, 2007 03:13 am at 3:13 am |
  12. katharine

    the booing is unacceptable, but Clinton's answer was lame, and made more lame by the fact that she is the candidate who will be least able to work with congress. Obama said he would not wait until he was inaugurated to take action, but would, as president-elect, immediately call leaders of activist groups to help set his presidency's agenda. That's presidential. Senator Obama, by the way, got a standing ovation. When the mother of a little girl told her story, Cathy Hughes took the little girl by the hand and led her to the Senator. This tall gracious man leaned down and hugged the little girl like one of his own. This man touches us all.

    December 2, 2007 03:22 am at 3:22 am |
  13. S.B. L.A. CA

    The Clintons have a long history of Hispanic love. It runs in the family on Hillary's side,%20Bill

    December 2, 2007 03:36 am at 3:36 am |
  14. Andrew, Austin TX

    Honestly, if Clinton wins the nomination, I've lost all hope in our democracy. Thank you, adults, for this awesome future you're leaving for us "young'ins".

    December 2, 2007 03:44 am at 3:44 am |
  15. Les WA

    The far left is as bad (and nutty) as the far right. The question that illicited the boos was "would you inact legislation to give illegal immigrants a path to citizenship in your first 100 days". A non-lying (and dare I say moral…) candidate will give the response Hillary did. A lying and pandering candidate will say "yes" and give the answer that Dodd gave.

    By the way, the boos were coming from the Chicago group (90% of them wearing "Obama" t-shirts), which made up OVER half of the attendees…If it had been in reverse and Obama was booed (as he was at the Nevada debate) all of the Obama supporters would be saying "Hillary is horrible. How dare she have her supporters boo Obama." Give me a brea.

    Posted By Ken, San Diego, CA : December 1, 2007 8:18 pm


    I'm with you, the magic word to that question is "legislate". HRC gave them a truthful answer the people of Obama booed her. She can't legislate it, it doesn't belong to the Executive branch, but legislative branch.

    Reading comments of some people here labeling her as "non-committal", it's apparent, some people here don't understand the three branches of our government and its function. No wonder Bush was able to get away with a LOT of things and destroy this country.

    December 2, 2007 04:25 am at 4:25 am |
  16. bbln


    'The group, despite the Iowa location of this event, appears to have brought a large portion of the couple thousand people here from Chicago (they keep cheering at the mention of the city, and the Gamaliel Foundation, for which Obama was once an organizer, chartered two buses) and the questions are heavily focused on issues related to immigration, punctuated by the occasional chant of "Si se puede."'

    December 2, 2007 04:26 am at 4:26 am |
  17. alan St Louis MO

    Posted By Chris, Atlanta, Georgia : December 2, 2007 2:36 am

    You must be part of the blind faith Clinton supporter. A typical Moron Clinton supporter A Racist Democrat????? What is shocking you are from Atlanta Georgia !!!

    You are part of the Left Wing Nut cases that will push the Republicans to win the election.

    GO Bidden
    GO Obama

    The only two that can UNITE the country. Not by further Dividing the country. And the only experience Clinton brings is 35 years of dividing the country even further. Bush done enough already for the past 8 years with Bill additional 8 years. 16 years of dividing is enough. We don’t need a another 4 years on top of it.

    STATUS QUO=Bush=Clinton =16 years of failure

    The Best two Obama and Biddenfor 2008

    say NO to status quo= say NO to clinton

    December 2, 2007 05:02 am at 5:02 am |
  18. Kyu Reisch, Radcliff, Kentucky

    Margaret Waterloo, I think you should check up your ear, eye and heart. Charles, Lansing, Hillary gave a correct and honest answer, you should ask Bush-Cheney if you are not happy. Jonathan, Florida, you are right, Republicans and Obama supporters don't remember how our government works, they are bold in word only.

    December 2, 2007 05:26 am at 5:26 am |
  19. NY, NY

    This is the only issue (immigration) that will keep me from voting.

    I wonder how will these candidates (pro immigration) feel if an illegal alien used their SSN and vital info. Actually since their politicians they can just wipe it out of their records but what about ordinary people?

    These illegals have more rights than US citizens. Take for instance the landscaper, who's an illegal alien, attack by a dog because he and people provoke the dog. The illegal collected $250,000 and they want to euthanize the dog? if that's their dog and attack you can you collect $250,000 from illegal alien?

    I think I'll vote for Ron Paul.

    December 2, 2007 05:30 am at 5:30 am |
  20. Chris Orlando, FL

    Hillary has NOTHING to offer any of you. There will be no extra handouts for the Lib supporters (beggars).

    At least the GOP cut my taxes and gave less of my money to pathetic losers.

    What has the Lib Congress done for you......NOTHING.

    December 2, 2007 05:31 am at 5:31 am |
  21. Steve Wimer, San Bernardino, California

    Hillary is out of touch with the voters, but so is the Republican party. Their debate failed to include Iraq or the economy. Will we need to kill the rich before they understand Americans want to improve their standard of living, not regress?

    December 2, 2007 06:06 am at 6:06 am |
  22. Mac, Augusta, GA

    I have been reading the comments and every one seems to think that illegal aliens are taking away job from American people. Someone might want to look at the jobs they are actually taking. The jobs they perform most "Americans" wouldn't deign themselves to do. And if we are removing illegal aliens because they are a drain on the economy, then why haven't we removed those fit workers who are consistently on welfare. I guess it is easier to justify an American-born citizen sitting on the porch drinking than for someone who wants to make a better life for their family doing whatever it takes to make that happen. Funny thing is, that is exactly what our ancestors did.

    December 2, 2007 06:11 am at 6:11 am |
  23. Matthew Hayes Lansing Michigan

    With all the clutter surrounding any/everything,i dont even know where to comment, but i for one am a little livid at the fact that i just saw on the CNN-Youtube spot that another god fearing politican is making yet another attempt at derailing the scientific community's effort by saying we cannot "afford" to go to mars. Has he even been watching anything at all in the past decade on global warming? Doesent he/we all benifit from the impact of even just the basics from what NASA has contributed, he benifits are too many to list, and the research from even an attempt at Mars, or what we could/will learn from going their could be profoundly spectacular. Furthermore im even more astounded that other religionist's can blatenly take it upon themselves to accuse those with different views like being an athiest, of being outright negetave and bad in point, their was a brief debate recently about the "meaning" behind the movie recently released called 'The Golden Compass', and how parents should keep their kids protected from it because of the religious/anti-religious themes and the possibility it could lead to Athiest beliefs. Their is alot i and many could argue on these two subjects alone, but if alot of people out their would just open their eyes to what could be...or even what IS and has been proven they could understand that religion and science could (in some ways) lean toward one another instead of repeatedly attacking and using eack other as an excuse, an Athiest person is just proactive and is open to rational judgement, a person trying to go to mars is far too busy to go out of their way to stop into a church and show an allready proven science theory to try to convince someone who is devoutly convinced toward their belief, The trial held in Colarado concerning "Science Vs God" is something that anyone arguing either side of the subject should see. Science, and people who make the attempt to understand the basic outline of it, has absolutely no reason at all to use religion or god in any way to make itself look better, so why do those who are pro-religion...or in politics...etc. try to combat what they themselves arent even involved in in the first place....

    December 2, 2007 06:31 am at 6:31 am |
  24. Trang, Fremont, CA

    It seems Hillary has not improved after all this time.

    What is she saying – that she can't do anything unless Congress pass the bill?

    If this is all she sees, then she can't do much when she is in the White House.

    So much for the so called experience.

    I feel sad for you Hillary, having spent most of your life in politics, yet I don't see you have leadership skills.

    A leader leads. A leader should have the confidence that he/she can push things through, primarily through persuasion. And with the answer that you have just given, it does not give me the confidence that you can push things through.

    If you believe in comprehensive immigration, then make the case for it. Persuade them that this is the way to go. Now people have problems – mainly their insecurities – ie. job insecurities that they believe is partially due to illegal immigrants willing to work for lower pay. People are in pain, and when they are in pain, their views can be distorted, and you have to address their pain. It's not a simple problem to solve, because there are many factors involve, but if you believe comprehensive immigration is the way to go, then make a case for it.

    There are people who are afraid and feel threatened by 'illegals', but there are also people who believe that people are 'children of God', and as such, they should be treated decently, and there's no such thing as an 'illegal alien'. You have to make a choice, and lay out your strategy on how to get there.

    December 2, 2007 06:49 am at 6:49 am |
  25. DEF, Norfolk Va

    Congratulations to Iowans. They are seeing through the "typical" washington politician.

    December 2, 2007 06:52 am at 6:52 am |
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