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. Honestly, Tx

    Obama just gained another 2% in the polls. Thanks Hillary!

    December 4, 2007 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  2. Jack Haggerty Iowa

    Obama is a political joke, he's trying to take the attention off his inexperience…
    Yes, Americans are more intelligent, anyone can be dazzled by show biz names like Oprah for a few minutes, but when it comes to your Childs future, safety, education and health, HILLARY is the BEST choice for President.

    just say NO to obama

    December 4, 2007 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  3. Jesse, Burnsville, MN

    Obama's supporters worship him??? Um, look at the messages posted by Clinton's supporters. You will know one when you see it because it will contain baseless accusations accompanied with the claim that he can't win because he is black. Either that, or they will just say something dumb like "Hillary is ready to lead from day one", without stating what experience she has that will help her accomplish this.

    I have supported John Edwards throughout the campaign. I still do. I have to admit, however, that Obama has really won me over and my support is about split. If I lived in one of the early voting states, I would struggle between the two.

    Clinton, with her politics as usual, however, makes me mad that she even calls herself a Democrat.

    Edwards/Obama or Obama/Edwards '08

    December 4, 2007 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  4. Robb, New York

    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.

    Talk about the pot and the kettle. When did Hillary begin her run for the White House? Try her Senate campaign—in 2000. Hillary, do us all a big favor and stop talking. Just stop talking. Don't say another word, because frankly, no matter what you say it's either a lie, a falsehood, a half-truth or hypocrisy. Nobody believes you anymore, and you've been exposed for that. Just stop talking, please. Your polls might go up.

    December 4, 2007 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  5. Chris, Middletown, CT

    A democrat needs someone to tell them that Hillary is not trustworthy?? Talk about blind followers....

    December 4, 2007 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  6. Maryann Rothchild NH

    This guy is nothing but lies and dirty tricks...voters are sick and tired of his type politics,again showing his INEXPERIENCE!!!!! I agree, ALL VOTERS say "No" to obams and oprah!!!


    December 4, 2007 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  7. Joe Ossai, Bedford, NH

    Hilary is a joke, what a freaking idiot. This idiot sent somebody to Indonesia to dig out some dirt on Obama, only to end up with a 5th grade essay Obama wrote about wanting to be President. My God, I wanted to be an Airline pilot when I was 5 years old, will she hold this against me.

    December 4, 2007 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  8. Bruce Taylor,Berkeley,CA

    Hillary just cannot seem to understand that she is fading.She is now resorting to anything to keep herself afloat. She cannot accept that she is not the heir apparent. Obama will win the nomination. She is like Hubert Humphrey. Obama reminds one of Robert Kennedy. The stakes are high in this election and Clinton is definitely not the antecedent for renewal.

    December 4, 2007 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  9. anon New York, NY

    I never imagined Hillary CLinton could become so desperate.

    December 4, 2007 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  10. Ryan, New Jersey

    Jack Haggerty in Iowa, maybe you know something I don't, so tell me, WHY would your child be safe under Hillary than Barack? Why? I just don't see it.

    December 4, 2007 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  11. Henry CA

    THis has been the best so far:
    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 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  12. Shannon, South Hadley, MA

    This really does seem like a lot of grasping at straws by the Clinton campaign.

    Given that, Dennis Kucinich is the true candidate for progressive change.

    December 4, 2007 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  13. Ruth Bethinger, New York, New York

    Folks –

    In just hours, Clinton's claims have already been debunked and shown to be false. Read this link, where Talking Points Memo Election Central has contacted the Clinton supporters that the Clinton campaign claimed had "dirty tricks", and their conclusion was that there's nothing to back up this accusation.

    December 4, 2007 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  14. tired of corruption lv

    Everytime Clinton & her supporters make their outlandish claims against Senator Obama, it reaffirms my support for him.

    The Clinton / Rove political games are not appreciated by the intelligent public.

    December 4, 2007 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  15. Monte Brown

    Obama is a Republican-lite and he has a bunch of Karl Roves on his team.

    December 4, 2007 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  16. osama, chicago, IL

    OBAMA IS LAZY IN HIGH SCHOOL goofing off & drinking), LAZY AT HOME (stinky and messy per michelle), AND LAZY AT THE SENATE (missing senate votes).

    Like race, he is half of everything. HE WILL DISPPOINT.

    December 4, 2007 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  17. Reggie, Germany

    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.
    Posted By Eli, Canada : December 4, 2007 4:30 pm

    Eli I think you got it backwards as to who is rude, uninformed and unfair. Here some examples:

    Does Anyone Notice When Hilliary Makes A Statement At Odds With Mr Obama He Makes Sure He Retaliates,But When Romney,Mcain,Guilliana,Richardson,Dodd,Kucinnich,Fred Thompson,He's Like A Kid Who Forgot How Easily He It Were To Attack Hilliary,A Woman,But He And His Campaign Croonies,Won't Respond To Their Attacks He Shies Away,I Wonder Do He Talk To Michele The Same Way He Attacks Senator Clinton,I Know She Can Handle Anything He Throws At Her,But I Thought It Odd That He Would Hastily Attack A Woman,But Not A Man,What's Wrong Are You Intimidated By Kick Back From The Men Candidates.Mr Obama You Are The Worst Thing That Could Happen to This Country,But It Looks Like Those Arrogant Iowans,& New Hampshire Are Intent On Putting A Arrogant LIAR In The White House,One Last Thing The Republicans Don't Want Hilliary In The White House,What Makes You Think They Would Want You In The White House Over Hilliary,At Least She Is Of Caucassian Persuasion,And You Think Hard About What I Want Say About This Issue And I'am Sure You And The Rest Of Your Croonies Can Read Between The Lines,The Republicans Aren't Even Attacking Democrats Right Now And You Want To Know Why……..Because People Like You,Edwards,And Now Biden,Richardson,Dodd,Thompson,Macain,& Gulianni,Are Doing It For Them,And Mr Arrogant So-Called Inteligent Mr Obama Don't Know A Hook,Line,& Sink Job When It Slaps Him In The Face,As Bad As I Hate To Say It,Racism Has Been Around For Over 200 Years What Makes You And Your croonies Are Going To Change That,Because You Have A Black Man That Knows How To Lie Intelligently.The Black & Brown Summit When He Were Asked About How He Were Going To Bring The Hip-Hop Generation Into The Fold,His Remark Were As Follows,We Have To Bring The Hip-Hop Generation Into Fold So We Cant Make Some Changes,Wow I Though That Were The Question That Werte Ask of him…..Mr Obama You Are A Ship That's Sinking Fast,You And Your Croonies.
    Posted By Captain-Sky : December 2, 2007 6:44 pm

    A vote for Obama is a vote for racism. He, Sharpton, Jackson, and Oprah are all hate mongers who get away with subtle racism on a daily basis.
    So what can we serious voters do about it? I say vote white this year… or to put it subtly like Obama and his supporters would: it's time for a white president. Seriously, Obama is running on the race card and worse than that, he's not exactly intelligent or substantive. I put him in the same league as GW Bush. Vote for that.
    Posted By White Man, America : December 2, 2007 9:09 pm

    I'm just looking forward to watching the nation be torn apart by government enforced REPARATIONS and RAP MUSIC under an Obama administration.
    But what's worse, that or Huckabee's Bible-babbling insanity?
    Posted By Joe : December 2, 2007 9:22 pm

    These are just the Hillary supporter comments held in one ticker comment tread. It goes on and on. Disgusting!!

    December 4, 2007 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  18. EE

    As an Independent who was lending towards Hilary I feel very bad.

    I dont support Obama but I admire his humulity and candor.He even went as far as speaking well of Hilary and Bill a thing Hilary will never do.

    I was surprised when Obama complimented Bill the other day as a great President and spoke of Hilary as a capable and smart politician. What he gets in return is a string of baseless attacks and accusations.

    Wait and see how Iowans punish her for these! Quote me in Jan 3.

    December 4, 2007 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  19. stan pitts pa

    well who is correct again? barack obama said do not attack iran, i do not support it, clinton voted with bush again recently to list a part of their military a terrorist organization, and look at the latest intel....iran stopped trying to enrich uranium in 2003,obama once again exercising good judgement!!! obama 08!

    December 4, 2007 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  20. Tevin, Raleigh NC

    This is Funny! Thanks for the support Hill! You're showing your true dirty colors! People are seeing you for who you are, finally! I wonder what MuD you'll be wallowing in tomorrow!

    December 4, 2007 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  21. Jan, Des Moinese, Iowa

    Playing dirty tricks is the only way Obama get votes.

    Obama definitely cannot get votes with his inexperience, or with his poor political issues, or with his un-electability.

    Obama is just a big liar and flip-floppers.

    NObama 08.

    December 4, 2007 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  22. MK, Los Angeles, California

    It is obvious that Clinton is in desperation mode.

    But there is something even more disheartening with her desperation attacks. I read Clinton's campaign manager's letter and while it is long on accusations of supposed "dirty tricks" nowhere does she go and specifically say that Obama's campaign is behind them. Instead her campaign manager says rival campaigns are doing such and such. If Clinton is going to accuse Obama or any of the other camapaigns of doing something specifically then she and her staff should have the courage of identifying who specifically is doing it by name. Unless and until she or her campaign staff do so, this is nothing but a bunch of made up do do. So what is Clinton do you have the courage of saying it? If not, then stop it.

    December 4, 2007 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  23. Daniel, NY

    SUSA just came out with a new general election poll of Ohio, and it has Obama running particularly poorly, losing three of his four match-ups (versus only one for Clinton).

    December 4, 2007 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  24. AJ, IL

    Wow! The Hillary camp must be getting desperate. The Clinton camp is flinging untrue accusations on a day-by-day basis against Obama. This really makes Hillary look like a whiner and victim. This latest accusation against Obama has already been addressed. If you look at all the present Presidential candidates that are in Congress, Republican or Democratic, and compare their Congressional voting attendances after the times they declared their presidential candidancies, you will see that they all have similiar voting attendances. So it is easy to see that Clinton is telling untruths or half-truths. Sorta of reminds me of GW Bush. Below is the website that tracks voting records. In the age of the Internet, don't be easily fooled by "old school" Clinton campaign spins.

    OBAMA in '08!

    December 4, 2007 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  25. well? ny ny


    In addition:
    There is only one war, and it's not between the whites and the blacks, Labour and the Conservatives, Democrats and Republicans, or the Federation and the Romulans...
    It's between those of us who aren't complete idiots and those of us who are.


    December 4, 2007 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
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