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. Steve Metz, Carlisle, PA

    I won't even get into the fact that Hillary Clinton has a greater capability than any politician I've ever seen to hold every conceivable position on an issue simultaneously. What jumped out at me is that being pro-criminal is now seen as "progressive." I myself think there are better adjectives. "Disgusting" jumps to mind.

    December 2, 2007 06:57 am at 6:57 am |


    December 2, 2007 07:07 am at 7:07 am |
  3. ANDROLOMA, Commerce City, Colorado

    Mac from GA, once again like all blind apologists you miss the point. "Jobs Americans won't do" is an old, feeble line that's been around for years. The truth is, illegals subvert the entire labor system by staving off proper supply and demand. If you can't hire veg pickers @ 5-10 dollars per hour, pay 20-25. All of a sudden, those jobs might look attractive to Americans. Then all the paper pushing yuppies might find their cushy jobs radically devalued, when a dramatic turn in the economy realizes their intrinsic worth at zero.
    I'm opting out. I'm a middle-aged, middle-income moderate. I'm sick of seeing extremists of the political system drag this country down. A bad idea would be to have children in a society which won't appreciate their own citizens as manual laborers; instead of importing an underclass of untouchables.
    This country and its citizens will never appreciate their workers until they become as scarce as diamonds on the beach. It's well past time for American industry to endure a severe labor shortage. There's no other way to get equitable treatment. Only then will the worker get any respect from his employer. Until then, stop feeding society your children, you poor idiots!

    I'd have booed Hillary too. Vote Libertarian, or vote for the same old problems.

    December 2, 2007 07:10 am at 7:10 am |
  4. Cody Harding, Kinsley, KS

    Let the bashing begin!

    For those people who read the article, pointing out that she did give an honest and useful answer, thank you.

    For everyone who said she sidestepped...where? She answered the people with a straight, fair answer, and got booed for it. She practically said that she would do her best to enact new reforms, but would need Congress to help out in doing so.

    Where do people find this offensive? I am against illegal immigration, with the fact that many legal immigrants give to a valued part of our massive melting-pot culture. I bneleive that those people who cross without legal blessings are either impovershed or willed to do illegal acts within the country. This, in essence, is Mexico's problem as well as ours.

    She gave an honest, starightforward and experienced answer to a question that has plagued the White House for years now. From what i'm reading, the people of Iowa don't want immigration reform.

    So, who is in the wrong here?

    December 2, 2007 07:15 am at 7:15 am |
  5. Fay Allen, Va Beach, VA

    Hi to the person who believes that we are dumping on Hillary, that is not the case. Hillary has an opportunity to give straight forward answers. America is changing we want the real deal.

    Regarding Rudy building up the military, I believe Senator Obama has stated the first thing he will do is rebuild the military, but he is also looking at capturing Osa Bin Laden, something the republicans don't want to talk about, they want to use terms to scare people without really taking care of the terrorist.

    Anyway – a real strong President is not afraid to tell the truth or to fight the real enemy.

    that's my 2 cents and I'm sticking to it.

    December 2, 2007 07:15 am at 7:15 am |
  6. David Atellea NH

    WAKE UP IOWANS!!! Republican even know have said and disclosed publically that If Obama wins the nominee, the next president is for sure a Republican!
    look at the polls! he cannot win against any republican running??? ARE YOU CRAZY! CLINTON IS THE CLEAR CHOICE! SHAME ON THOSE IOWANS supporting Oprah/Obama white house bid!
    If you want to educate your children,give them health care and keep your home in the future...DO NOT VOTE for OBAMA/OPRAH


    down with obama winphrey

    December 2, 2007 07:23 am at 7:23 am |

    Obama is certain (in his mind) that all he needed was Oprah??? That great IOWANS will support him for that reason…this guy thinks we all are idiots!
    Again this guy is showing lack of good judgement, sense and experience…
    CLINTON has been working extremely hard and successfully reaching out to those of us who are interested in the issues and fixing this mess bush/chaney has made in 8 yrs, not the color of her skin when it benefits her. Obama tries to be a black man in Harlem, but wants to be a white man everywhere else…
    Send this guy to HARPO Productions, not the White House!
    Obama is certain (in his mind) that all he needed was Oprah??? That great IOWANS will support him for that reason…this guy thinks we all are idiots!
    Again this guy is showing lack of good judgement, sense and experience…
    CLINTON has been working extremely hard and successfully reaching out to those of us who are interested in the issues and fixing this mess bush/chaney has made in 8 yrs, not the color of her skin when it benefits her. Obama tries to be a black man in Harlem, but wants to be a white man everywhere else…
    Send this guy to HARPO Productions, not the White House!

    December 2, 2007 07:36 am at 7:36 am |
  8. Anonymous

    FYI... text for link "forum" is spelled "fourm."

    December 2, 2007 07:56 am at 7:56 am |
  9. Ross Lippincott; Davenport Iowa.

    ANDROLOMA, Commerce City, Colorado
    Thank you for setting Mac straight.
    The only thing I'd like to add is,
    GO OBAMA/EDWARDS/08!!!!!!!!!!

    December 2, 2007 08:16 am at 8:16 am |
  10. Carmen, Los Angeles, CA

    Havin read post after post resorting to name calling and other mindless drivel, I had to double-check that I was on CNN's site and not TMZ's. Can't anyone express their views without sucumbing to playground tactics? Grow up!

    December 2, 2007 08:28 am at 8:28 am |
  11. Jack Kunkel Norcross, GA

    In the article, I notice that Ms Yellin uses the term "progressive activists" to refer to liberals. (They use to be "liberals" before they wrecked that title, so now they call themselves "progressives"). Anyway, Ms Yellin's use of the new term shows whose side she's on, as clearly as if she had a sign on her back.

    December 2, 2007 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
  12. Max Robinski Manhatten NY


    How the hell many times do we have to ask the question of them:
    "What part of ILLEGAL do you idiots not understand?"

    These illegals broke into our country.
    What would you do if someone broke into your house?
    My country IS my to INVITED guests.
    There is a PROCESS to be invited into my country.
    If someone broke into your house, you'd call the cops and throw them out.
    If someone breaks into your country, why would you not do the same?


    December 2, 2007 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  13. barbara doyle Cape Coral FL

    As long as we are talking about immigration, we ARE NOT talking about the war in Iraq, the price of gasoline, or the faltering economy. Do you feel that we are being manipulated? I do and refuse to be taken in by this misdirection!

    December 2, 2007 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  14. Cumberland

    She was booed in Iowa, because the voters in Iowa know that Hillary is not right choice in 2008. And Richarson will tell you that Hillary would not make a good VP, let alone Pres.

    December 2, 2007 08:47 am at 8:47 am |
  15. Nancy, La Marque, Texas

    Why do you need to be in the room to feel our emotional energy? You don't have to, to know how America thinks and feels! We have made it pretty clear what we want. We can't help it if Washington DC chooses to be disconnected and clueless from America. A politician of this kind won't get my VOTE!!

    December 2, 2007 08:51 am at 8:51 am |
  16. JB Boston MA

    I love how she continually throws out that term "comprehensive". WE AREN"T DUMB. YOU ARE NOT TRICKING US. WE KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS. Just say amnesty if that is what you believe.

    At least McCain has finally got it right. SECURE THE BORDER FIRST. Then deal with the 12 million here!

    December 2, 2007 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  17. Surrealist, Fort Myers, FL

    The President is not all powerful..the legislature passes laws. Funny, when Mr. Hucklberry "side stepped" issues he was considered charming. Truthfull–Hillary is no a socialist party candidate–so some of the far left–need to look at joining the Socialist Party and not the Democratic Party. Despite what the Republicans may say–she is in support of our capitalist and republican ideals as a nation. The fact that a growing number of Americans clearly see this as a great alternative to the "corporate welfare", military industrial driven Republican Party–is scaring the pants off of them. There are other ways to keep our nation safe, provide world leadership, and restore the economy–than cowtowing to the energy, financial, and military defense industries with exhorbitant grants, tax loopholes, and "preferred customer" status in Washington and the White House. Americans are seeking a candidate that puts them first for a change, and her rising popularity shows the message is working. Despite GOP attacks–even independents and moderate Republicans are taking a second look!

    December 2, 2007 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  18. J. McKinney SW MO

    I think it is interesting how so many comment on Obama's "honesty", tho it is obvious that most saying this don't even know what honesty they are referring to–they are just parroting other posts.
    I would like to note that most 6 year olds are honest. But does that make them capable and experienced?? Honesty is surely a great quality, but it doesn't make him a capable person to run our huge and great country. He needs EXPERIENCE and good judgement in addition to h is honesty, and I don't think he has the experience yet.
    Go, Hillary!

    December 2, 2007 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  19. DJ, Atlanta, GA

    Personally I am seeking a candidate that provides the best possible results for the country as a whole. I don't care what feelings they recieve from a room full of emotion that they are only able to read in person. That room full of people already knew where they stood on the topic, the question was where does she stand. I want a candidate, regardless of race, gender, religion, etc, who knows their own opinion and gives that when asked. We have fallen into voting for a party instead of a candidate who most closely resembles our own beliefs. I think we would all be shocked to find out that we neither believe completely Democrat nor completely Republican views. Voting with our true beliefs could put this country back on track. Therefore, "boilerplate" answers are absolutely unacceptable from any candidate...President, Senate, Mayoral...the only way to vote truly with your beliefs is to find out what the candidates TRULY believes. Clinton deserved to be booed for trying to fool a room full of intelligent people into voting for her non-committing answers.

    December 2, 2007 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  20. Elizabeth, vero bch, florida

    Why would any one think this election could be won for any other reason then moral, social, economical, or environmental strength? If your view point is one from any other reasoning system, then perhaps you shouldn't vote.

    December 2, 2007 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  21. BD

    Where the video? You guys do it to others? Where's the

    "watch Hillary get boooooooooed"


    December 2, 2007 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  22. andrew s. rostolder hillsdale nj

    i have a feeling that her flip flopping and pandering are comming home to bad...

    December 2, 2007 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  23. Don, Lynbrook NY

    Of course she was booed, her position on ILLEGAL aliens is not what the majority of citizens want. She talks about how Congress/Senate needs to pass immigration overhaul, however, every time there is a bill, it includes AMNESTY for the law-breaking ILLEGAL aliens which Americans are OPPOSED to. So, when Congress/Senate can finally Enforce our current laws, SECURE our borders with a zero tolerance mentality, then and ONLY then can we deal with who is left here ILLEGALY. But by her saying she votes in favor of immigration overhaul side-steps the issue that first we need to secure our borders and go after business that hire the ILLEGALS.

    Im an Independent Voter and have not heard from a single Democrat that wants to fix the problem. Perhaps a few Repubicans have said they would. In any case, Hillary lost my support even as NY Senator in my state when she continually wants to just give blanket amnesty without first addressing the broken borders.

    December 2, 2007 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  24. dg,houston,tx

    Hillary is looking forward to bankrupting this country more than it is now if she gets in.

    December 2, 2007 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  25. dg, houston tx

    I love all this negative response for Hillary. She deserves it

    December 2, 2007 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
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