December 4th, 2007
05:15 PM ET
14 years ago

Obama camp denies 'dirty tricks' accusation

Obama's campaign denied Clinton allegations of 'dirty tricks.'

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Sen. Barack Obama's presidential campaign is denying a fresh accusation leveled by the campaign of Sen. Hillary Clinton that surrogates for the Illinois Democrat are engaging in "dirty tricks" in Iowa.

Clinton campaign manager Patti Solis Doyle made the charge in a letter to supporters Monday night. "In both Iowa and New Hampshire, we have heard that Obama staffers are berating Hillary supporters on the phone with negative attacks against her," wrote Doyle.

She went on to describe accounts of a negative campaign tactic known as "push polling" - a practice where voters receive phone calls from individuals posing as independent pollsters who instead offer details of negative and sometimes misleading attributes about a particular candidate.

Doyle also said some of Clinton’s Iowa supporters have received calls that direct them to the wrong precinct locations.

In a statement released Tuesday, Obama campaign spokesman Bill Burton called the accusation a "flat-out falsehood."

"Our opponents have promised to stop at nothing in an effort to tarnish Barack Obama's character," Burton continued. "Push polling or tactics of confusion have no place in this campaign and we don't or won't engage in them. Unlike some other campaigns, we want every potential Iowa caucusgoer to participate in the process, no matter who they support."

Tuesday's back-and-forth between the leading Democratic presidential campaigns is the latest in a heightened war of words one month before Iowa voters kick off the presidential primary process.

On Monday, Clinton charged Obama "started running for president the day he arrived in the U.S. Senate," and in his "rush to campaign" has missed key Senate votes.

Obama's campaign hit back, saying he "doesn't need lectures in political courage from someone who followed George Bush to war in Iraq, gave him the benefit of the doubt on Iran, supported NAFTA and opposed ethanol until she decided to run for president."

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Hillary Clinton • Iowa
soundoff (148 Responses)
  1. Liberal Chic

    As I have said, Obama is just another everyday meglomaniac politician with the usual tricks up his sleeve. It's ridiculous how his supporters hold him out to be a "different" kind of politician, honest and true. Just laughable.

    December 4, 2007 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |

    Rule #1: Deny, deny, deny...

    Rule #2: See Rule #1...

    December 4, 2007 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  3. Patrick, New York, Ny

    why are Obama suppoters filled w/ so much HATE?!!! I am campaining like hell to make sure Hillary is the nominee but if Obama wins the nomination I will work like hell to make sure he is President!!


    Also Clintons 8 years in the senate after 2009 and her marriage to Bill Clinton is a lot more promising than a man who said he wouldnt run in 08 and because of the media hype decided to run. Obama can talk the talk but cant do anything else

    December 4, 2007 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  4. todd, fort mill sc

    It looks to me like Hillary is getting a little nervous about Barack. She should be nervous, the more that comes out about her the less I like her. I am a registered Democrat and I will be supporting Obama this election. Hillary reminds me of Bush light. At this rate it wouldn't surprise me if she chose Lieberman as a running mate should she get the nomintation.

    December 4, 2007 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  5. Surrealist, Fort Myers, FL

    Doesn't he have enough work to do reading his own campaign memorandums!! I tell you lately he's been on defensive high gear–makes him seem like a kid whose older friends won't let him hang out with them. Run to Mama Opra now–wahhh.!!!

    December 4, 2007 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  6. Christian, Tampa FL

    First of all, the Clinton camp has been firing off a lot of torpedoes lately but they've only succeeded in looking like morons. I can't get over the fact that they cited Barack Obama's "I want to be President" essays from third grade and kindergarten as evidence of his presidential ambitions.

    Second of all, is there anyone who doesn't believe that Hillary herself didn't start running for President when she became a Senator? Everyone knows that she's been planning her presidential run for a long time, and now that she's seriously threatened, she's getting desperate.

    December 4, 2007 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  7. Claude, Mesa AZ

    Sorry Hillary, this won't work either. You are obviously desperate.

    December 4, 2007 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  8. Jesse, Burnsville, MN

    This was a posting I saw on the Des Moines Register website that I just had to share:

    1st she was inevitable so she wasn't even going to go to Iowa.
    2nd she decides to go but doesn't take the time to study her facts.
    3rd she goes and copies Baracks ideas.
    4th she gets caught with plants in the audience.
    5th she complains gender card.
    6th she tells Katey Couric she "will win".
    7th she realizes she is losing it.
    8th she attacks with kindergate.
    9th she is taken away to the funny farm screaming and hollering I am the president I am I really am I am i am i i i i i

    Finally the citizens who said they supported her quickly say it was all a joke ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

    December 4, 2007 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  9. Ryan

    Hillary's camp is getting silly. Everyday they accuse him of something new, hoping that if they do it long enough and loud enough–and the media covers it enough–the Americans will just accept it as truth. The sad part: I wouldn't be surprised if it works.

    December 4, 2007 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  10. Claude, Mesa AZ

    Hillary, this accusation you ought to save for your so-called husband.

    December 4, 2007 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  11. KD, cherry hill NJ

    Hey Senator Barack Hussein Obama with all due respect if you miss important votes that you were elected to do, Senator then you can't comment and stop making excuses.

    December 4, 2007 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  12. Sick of whining politicians, New York NY

    Wow. Clintons will stop at nothing. I'm telling you, this is textbook Karl Rove tactics by the Clintons. Attack your opponents' strengths, not their weaknesses.

    She's too late though. Now she is beginnning to look a little desperate. Frankly, I think she's a smart woman who she needs to stop listening to all of the so called "campaign managers" and just "be who she is". The question is, does she even know anymore? She's so calculated right now it's sickening.


    Sick of whining politicians

    December 4, 2007 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  13. Eli, Canada

    I wouldn't be surprised. Just have to read some of the posts by Obama's supporters on CNN political ticker to imagine what behaviour they might adopt in this campaign. I could never imagine to see so rude, uninformed and unfair comments against the other candidates, especially Clinton.

    Obama's supporters worship him which is a danger to democracy.

    December 4, 2007 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  14. Dan, TX

    Now Clinton is outright lying.


    This is pathetic.

    This was investigated at Clinton's request and nothing was found. She is now just mud-slinging, period.

    Outrageously lying. She has self-destructed completely now.

    December 4, 2007 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  15. Richard Tabuteau, Atlanta, GA

    Sen. Clinton's campaign is out of control. Not one respectable reporter or pundit can continue touting how well her campaign is being run. It's one unforced error after another with them. For the life of me, I don't understand how they cannot see that they are exacerbating her negatives with these constant, trivial, and unsubstantiated claims against Sen. Obama. Naturally, I don't care all that much because Sen. Obama stands to benefit ironically.

    December 4, 2007 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  16. Nando, Palm Coast,FL

    Hillary you should hold your chaeting husband to the same standards you want every other man to treat you with.


    December 4, 2007 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  17. hattrick

    Obama can't win in the electoral college. Someone name the "purple states" that he's going to persuade. Iowa? Ohio? Pennsylvania? Florida? Are you kidding me- he won't win in any of those states. A vote for Obama is just another way to help the Republicans keep the White House. Because of the electoral college we have George Bush instead of Al Gore. Keep it up Obama supporters the Republican party is rooting for you!!!!!!!

    December 4, 2007 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  18. Adrienne, Portsmouth, VA

    Is Senator Clinton that desperate now? Please Senator Clinton, at least hold on to your dignity.

    December 4, 2007 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  19. Adam, Pittsburgh

    I know some of the Obama staffers in Iowa, and there's a strict policy to never EVER bash the other candidates, because they want good "second choice" numbers. It's not morality – just smart politics.

    December 4, 2007 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  20. Surrealist, Fort Myers, FL

    Hey folks–the congressional record shows all of his absences!!! Frankly, I believe he was afraid to make "the stand" along with the majority of Senators because he would have had to "back track" on his previously comments of setting up meetings "with our enemies". Yep, I'm sure all of our rational minded islamic fundamentalist enemies–would be pleased to discuss a peace plan over tea. What a dufus. Now this is caucusing!!!

    December 4, 2007 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  21. Ryan, New Jersey

    I would really like to see a shred of evidence for any of her claims, any of her so-called policy positions, any REAL information out of her campaign at all. She wants to radically change the face of Health care, but can't tell us how it's going to work! Would you buy a flying car from someone who can't tell you how a flying car works??

    December 4, 2007 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  22. Meena Burbank, CA.

    Clinton is very brave to say Obama has been, "running gor president" since the day he joined the senate. She is the one who has been planning her campaign since before her husband became the president. I will not support a candidate that cries that people are picking on them everytime someone challenges her position.
    OBAMA 08'!!!!

    December 4, 2007 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  23. chantelle

    Quite whining about lectures, Barack. Just vote. If you can't take heat from Clinton on this problem, you can bet that you won't be able to stand it when the Republicans toast you with it in the general election. This is one Democrat who sees a big mistake if the party nominates the inexperienced Obama. I will not be voting for him.

    December 4, 2007 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  24. Brad, Salt Lake City, UT

    Every day, another baseless attack from the Clinton machine. Every day, she gets more and more desperate. Is this all these "seasoned professionals" have to throw at Obama? Not that I mind. Obama stands to benefit a great deal.
    Obama '08

    December 4, 2007 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  25. Daaron

    I love that Barack supporters just assume Clinton is "lying." I guess all the people who are complaining about push polls are lying too. I have friends in Iowa who confirm this, so back off Obama. You're starting to smell.

    December 4, 2007 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
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