December 2nd, 2007
07:43 AM ET
9 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. Bill W, Coatesville, PA

    "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. "
    --
    These are the LIES the pro-illegal groups having been shelling out for years. Truth is, when you're unemployed and you can't feed your family, you'll take any job you can get. There are no jobs "that Americans don't want."
    There were 3 stories last year about miners dying in a mine collapse hundreds of feet underground. So how can you say there are jobs :Americans won't do?"

    There are jobs that Americans won't do for the wages companies want to pay. People here need to make enough to survive, and Americans don't want to have 28 people living in the same house, all working for $5 an hour under the table. If companies ay a fair wage, Americans will work. But they'd rather pay the illegals less and not hire Americans – THAT'S the truth.

    And you just can't be that short sighted. Even if the illegals here now are taking some jobs that Americans wouldn't do: their kids are attending the same schools are and are getting same education our kids are getting – and for free. So their kids will be citizens by virtue of being born here (and that's ALOT of kids) and they will be competing with our kids for the same jobs down the line.

    Immigration is a hot topic. And the longer we wait to deal with it, the HARDER it is going to be to deal with. Especially if 30 or 40 million illegals get amnesty and the right to vote.

    December 2, 2007 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  2. Chris, Houston, TX

    Comprehensive immigration reform or amnesty is opposed by an overwhelming majority of people, despite political party affiliation. The path to legal citizenship, starts with the individuals feet, planted firmly on there legal home soil and going through the proper processes.

    December 2, 2007 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  3. leefrand

    I was born and raised in Iowa and I know they won't stand for evasive answers. They want straight answers. Hillary's answers are evasive and vague. She's so afraid of saying something wrong that she says things wrong. Not presidential material.

    December 2, 2007 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  4. Bill, Streamwood, IL

    Memo to Hillary and her staff: the question should have been answered with a "yes" or "no."

    It is sad, but inevitable, that Hillary Clinton is beginning to respond to questions as if she were Mitt Romney, Rudy Giuliani or one of the other Republican candidates.

    Most educated, open-minded Americans are looking for straightfoward answers from candidates of either party. Maybe someday one of those seeking the presidency will figure that out.

    December 2, 2007 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  5. Kim, Dallas, TX

    Geez Jennifer, where were you during the prior debate when the audience did the opposite-booing Obama and Edwards? Were they the RUDE Clinton supporters you fail to mention here?

    "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.

    (WATCH ALL DEBATES BEFORE SPEWING AN UNFOUNDED ARGUEMENT SUCH AS THIS)

    Posted By Jennifer, des moines, iowa

    GO OBAMA "08

    I do agree that booing is extremely juvenile, but we have seen it amongst supporters of all sides.

    December 2, 2007 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  6. Kim, Dallas, TX

    How interesting the news was regarding Bill Clinton's stand on the war in Iraq. He came out saying he had opposed it from the beginning (sounds like he thinks more like Obama than his wife). It's funny considering there are those who strongly support Hillary thinking she will run the country as Bill would, since she gained sooooo much presidential experience from him. They think she will have him to help her with these HUGE difficult decisions. Seems she messed up on the one that could have helped shape our country into a very different and much more positive direction, had she only listened to her husband....and of course, read the paperwork. What a sham she will be if elected president. More of the same, corrupt, misguided government we have seen for the past seven years now.

    December 2, 2007 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  7. Linda Carpenter, Phoenix, Arizona

    I am so sick of all the whining negative comments about Hillary Clinton. She is one of the smartest and most dedicated leaders we have in this nation. She knows how to get things done, cares about working America and will bring back the leadership and light that we used to have in the eyes of the world!
    I like John Edwards, Barack Obama, love Joe Biden and hope that they will all have a place of leadership in the next American government.

    Stop listening to the right wing media spin- Hillary Clinton is an intelligent and proven leader and I hope she is the next President of the United States. What a relief to have the war mongering , war profiteering, dishonest and traitorous Bushies out of office! I cannot wait

    December 2, 2007 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  8. Terri

    Thanks Hillary, for an honest, stright-forward answer. So unlike Obama who, at the last debate, nearly swallowed his tongue while trying to stammer out an answer about drivers' licenses for illegal aliens. (Well-earned boos there, too, but we didn't hear much about that.) You are strong, brilliant, dedicated, and ready to lead our nation. I can't wait for you to take office so our great country can begin healing. GO HILLARY!!

    December 2, 2007 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  9. Darrel Schmidt, Iowa

    Oh we ARE awake here in Iowa. Don't you worry about that.
    However Hillary has passed away in our book/Seems like the undertakers just won't bury her.
    Reminds me what my Good Old Dad said to me with a SMILE! If you don't bury me when I die/ I'm going to make a big
    stink about it/ nuf said
    Alive in Iowa (and well to thank You)

    December 2, 2007 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  10. Linda Price,Manteca CA

    Mrs. Clinton was "booed" because, as usual, she did not give a straight answer to the question posed to her....
    " a conversation, a dialogue" was NOT what the questioner wanted, it was a STRAIGHT ANSWER!! Haven't we had enough of word game answers from Bush?

    December 2, 2007 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  11. David MTL Ca

    Clinton can't manage her house hold let alone America she is used to seconds

    December 2, 2007 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  12. jeremy,Iowa

    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…
    HOW DARE YOU OBAMA THINK IOWA IS STUPID ENOUGH TO SUPPORT YOU ONLY BECAUSE OPRAH SAID SO…?
    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…
    HE IS THE ULTIMATE EXAMPLE OF A FLIP FLOPPER!!!
    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…
    HOW DARE YOU OBAMA THINK IOWA IS STUPID ENOUGH TO SUPPORT YOU ONLY BECAUSE OPRAH SAID SO…?
    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…
    HE IS THE ULTIMATE EXAMPLE OF A FLIP FLOPPER!!!
    Send this guy to HARPO Productions, not the White House!

    Posted By IOWANS FOR CLINTON : December 2, 2007 7:36 am
    ######################################
    I want to remind you that Oprah is not Paris Hilton. Oprah can be a president by her own merit. She is educated and she touches real issues with real people. She knows politics and she is not coming to tell people how to buy things. So,try do some more research about her.

    December 2, 2007 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  13. Tired of Corruption LV

    Although I am against booing and wouldn't have if I had been there, Clinton deserves it.

    She gave her usual vague answer that left the heavy lifting to others(congress). She has no idea, but if president she will look at what congress puts in front of her. Wow – now that's leadership.

    The vague non-answers worked for Bill, but after 8 years of him and then 8 years of Bush, the non-sheeplike citizens of this country are demanding more.

    Clinton and Bush were the two most divisive presidents our country has ever seen – we don't need a repeat of that with putting the Clintons back in the whitehouse. Remember, it was Clinton I that single-handedly lost the congress to the republicans.

    December 2, 2007 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  14. Michael Arnaud-Glen Burnie, MD.

    Hillary gave the same type of answer that every politican gives when asked a direct question. Dance around it and give no real yes or no to it. Proving yet again how she and all the other candidates who claim to be for "changing Washington" really don't.

    December 2, 2007 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  15. jason bel, wis.

    i would never boo a canidate,i think she answered correctly.that forum was a joke anyway.

    well im voting biden his expierence is over the top of all democrats..i hope he gets in,and this obama oprah thing,its a race card she has never voted in 15 years...and now she wants him president ..i beelive he should go work at harpo to...and get some expierence first.i have a friend who travels all over that area, and he was on that road and seen those busses of kids coming in from chicago to iowa they had signs n the bus windows obama,,now is he getting all them people to cacus from illinois...thats cheating i think,what about real iowans..

    December 2, 2007 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  16. from Europe

    "I want to remind you that Oprah is not Paris Hilton. Oprah can be a president by her own merit. She is educated and she touches real issues with real people. She knows politics and she is not coming to tell people how to buy things. So,try do some more research about her.
    Posted By jeremy,Iowa : December 2, 2007 11:54 am"

    Oh my God! So low standards Americans? White House becoming the centre of easy talk? Not that bringing Obama and Michelle there would be much different. It would be a good laugh around the world.

    December 2, 2007 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  17. therealist

    Hillary wants to give 10 million illegals immunity at the same time she wants to mandate new laws on me. How can I vote for that??

    December 2, 2007 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  18. E.H.HInojosa,Irving,Texas

    Electing Barack Osama,Obama,is like electing Bush all over again. Why do we want somebody that has no experience in the White House? We have gone through that with the idiot that resides there now. Osama,Obama has no experience and just like Bush he will do a lot of damage to our country. I don't say the former first lady is the one,but at least she has knowledge of what goes on in our government. Being in the White House for eight years and being around President Clinton should help her quit a bit. Why do we want to make the same mistake again? I say,one Bush is enough.

    December 2, 2007 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  19. Hillarylover - SA

    Posted By NO! TO OBAMA WINPHREY:
    Go Hillary! AS ALWAYS, STILL SHE GIVES THE BEST ANSWERES TO DIFFICULT QUESTIONS, UNLIKE OBAMA WHO STEALS HIS OPPONNETS ANSWERS BECAUSE HE ISNT EXPEREINCED ENOUGH TO THINK ON HIS OWN. IOWANS ARE LOOKING MIGHTY FOOLED BY OBAMA WINPHREY.

    Love it! Obama's gotta go. He is a joke – I can't handle how people think (again we think there is a huge conspiracy here) he is all that. For the person that said the racial remark about not voting for a black president that was uncalled for. It's not his color – its his stupidity that gets to me. Cuz you gotta agree he must be stupid to think he has a chance.

    December 2, 2007 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  20. stan pitts pa

    Oh my God! So low standards Americans? White House becoming the centre of easy talk? Not that bringing Obama and Michelle there would be much different. It would be a good laugh around the world.

    Posted By from Europe : December 2, 2007 1:35 pm

    if obama wins it will be proof that american democracy is alive and well, a govt of the people for the people, obama will be sworn in and the american people, would have won, there is a reason america is still the greatest, its our values!

    December 2, 2007 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  21. Jose Card

    Senator Clinton did give a straight answer this time. She actually said she IS for comprehensive immigration reform. But her answer on the procedure of legislation made her sound like a bureaucrat, not a leader. We need a leader with clear principles. We don't need a president sitting in the White House just to collect paychecks. She could do that at Wal-Mart, but not in our White House.

    Out of all Democrats, I like Governor Richardson the best, because he has the best qualifications of all in the pack. Neither Obama nor Clinton is qualified in my opinion. But Obama is a lot more sincere than Clinton. I like neither his race card nor her gender/race cards.

    If the candidate cannot go beyond any minority groups and think for our country as a whole, he or she is not qualified to lead us. It would be nice to have a woman and/or black as our president. But he or she has to be the best qualified of ALL candidates. We simply cannot afford to apply affirmative actions to this most important office in the world.

    Being a naturalized citizen and an Independent, I will never vote for another Clinton or Bush as I want to leave dynasty behind for good. I came for democracy and the rule of law. You don't know how important it is to you and your children till you lost it.

    However, having Hillary back in the White House is not the same as having G.W. Bush in the WH. The parent does not live in the WH with the child if the child is old enough to be president. If the couple stays married, both would live in the WH together for the maximal of 16 years. That's why we need term limits to a married couple in the White House. Living in the WH for 16 years will make anybody feel like royalty and disconnected from the people, whom the president is supposed to represent.

    Our forefathers did not foresee the involvement of women in politics in 1787 so they did not think of setting presidential term limits to a couple. Time has changed and it's high time for us to do a Constitutional amendment.

    December 2, 2007 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  22. Charles in Salt Lake City, UT

    Once again Hillary fails to please anyone by thinking she can please everyone by insulting them with vague generalities. When foolish, star-struck people blithely gush over her "leadership" qualities I honestly don't know whether to laugh or cry.

    We deserve so much better.

    December 2, 2007 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  23. The Hot Potato

    You know who received the loudest applause? DENNIS KUCINICH! He has been working for the rights of immigrants for decades, and he is the only candidate with a proven track record of standing up for what's right, for the best interests of the people. And he will win the election.

    But how, you wonder?? Go to www dot december152007 dot com today!

    December 2, 2007 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  24. Estelle Reyna

    Senator Clinton is a master of evasiveness.

    Adoption Law Pennsylvania

    December 2, 2007 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  25. Christian, Tampa FL

    The position of giving all the illegal immigrants immediate citizenship is so liberal and crazy that even I, a young democrat, am appalled. I may not back Hillary for President, but she is absolutely right that immigration reform, and thus the security of the borders, must come first. Only a small portion of the country actually wants all the illegals to become citizens, and this issue could cost the Democrats everyrthing if they're not careful.

    December 2, 2007 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
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