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. Uma, mpls, MN

    Most people know Barack Hussein Obama will do any thing to win Iowa. If Iowa people are dumb enough than vote for him.

    December 4, 2007 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  2. Rick Green, Green Bay, WI

    You can help capture the headlines on January 3rd for Barack Obama!

    We will set a one day political fundraising record on January 3, 2008!

    January 3rd, 2008 is the Iowa caucus. The nation and the world will be watching.

    I want to show my support for Barack so badly, but I don't live in Iowa! Pass the word. YOU can make a difference. You WILL make a difference. Make a difference for your children and for a world of potential.

    pass the word.

    If Ron Paul can raise millions in one day, then we can raise tens of millions for Barack.

    January 3, 2008, go to and donate a dollar, ten dollars, twenty dollars. America will be watching and listening. Send the fence sitters a message!

    You can ensure Barack Obama gets the headline on January 4th. Your dollar vote will send a powerful message.

    I'm not a regular blogger. You know where this message can be posted to get exposure. You can copy and paste this message in an email to your friends. So this is what we can do. You and me and everyone who supports Barack Obama as the candidate of hope.

    Be heard on January 3rd.

    Rich Green pass the word.

    December 4, 2007 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  3. Kyu Reisch, Radcliff, Kentucky

    Osama, Chicago, IL, it is true, but he missed the Senate vote is not related with LAZY, he doesn't know what to do, so he sat on the fence, now he is taking both way. He is disgraceful and dishonest fellow.

    December 4, 2007 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  4. Derek, Walpole NH

    It's discouraging to see that so many folks refuse to believe that ::shock:: Obama is just as much a politician as the rest. And it is certainly disturbing to see that voters may decide based on rhetoric over record. Obama wasn't present to vote for the Iran resolution, nor was he even playing with the big boys when we first went to war in Iraq. Anyone can say they would have done things differently if they weren't even there. Perhaps Senator Obama should focus more on talking about issues instead of sound-byte-esque notions of "hope" and "return to greatness."

    December 4, 2007 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  5. Jessica M., El Paso, TX

    I seriously wouldn't doubt this-just looking at how spiteful Obama supporters are. All one has to do is look at the blogs EVERYWHERE to see the filth that comes out of these people.
    And for the people who wrote here saying that they work for his campaign and nothing of sorts occurs....Well good for you, what do you want, a cookie???
    It doesn't mean that its not occurring somewhere else!
    I am so glad that you are the spokespeople for EVERY single Obama campaign headquarter in the nation.

    December 4, 2007 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  6. Barry, detriot, ny

    Obama just used the dirty tricks of Huckabee on Hillary. That is the only way that Obama can get votes. The fact is Obama lost to Hillary Clinton on issues and electability.

    Shame on you, Obama!

    December 4, 2007 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  7. Allan, Sydney NSW

    Hillary is well known all over the world. Obama who? I lived in Sydney and i am baffled at what people say against Hillary Clinton, she is the best person to lead your country now and in the future. Hope you don't make the same mistake with Obama? and Oprah and make those Republicans and Bush pay for their arrogance!

    December 4, 2007 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  8. OBAMA 2008

    Obama is the right person to elect I mean he may have missed important votes but thats better than hillary flip flopping on the MOST IMPORTANT issues to face america. I also think yeah hillary may have more experince but that doesn't matter what matter's is what she did during her experince and from what i heard no one know's so either she didnt do a good job or she is hiding them because she is so good she doesn't want any other canadidate to still her idea's which i highly doubt the second one is true i mean if you if listen to her talk I usally turn down the TV on debates. OBAMA CAN WIN AND WILL WIN!

    December 4, 2007 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  9. Jane, las vagas, nevada

    I said many times before that barrack obama has no substance. There is no way he can get votes without dirty tricks (push polls).

    If Obama gets nominated, the democratic party is finished.

    If he gets elected, america is finished.

    NOBama 08!

    December 4, 2007 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  10. Melissa l. Jones, Katy, TX

    Hillary, please leave the race with some dignity and spend more time with your husband before he runs off with Guiliani's wife.

    December 4, 2007 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  11. anon, detroit, ny

    For a long time, I wondered why Hillary could not be higher in polls in Iowa or New Hampshire, although these same polls ranked Hillary best in issues and electability over Obama and other candidates.

    Now the truth comes out: push polling by Obama.

    Obama played dirty tricks.

    I was right to question his abilities, and I coudn't imagine that Obama sank that low. He should go under the rock he came out from.

    December 4, 2007 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  12. mohamid, san francisco, ca

    Hussein Obama now gets caught with his hands in the cookie jar!

    Deny?! Deny?!

    December 4, 2007 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  13. Heather, Nashville, TN

    Well Mr. Obama it looks like you are finally having to answer for the things you have said and not done.

    December 4, 2007 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  14. Michael Columbus, IN

    Sometimes missing votes is better than a terrible and wrong vote. Besides, McCain missed crucial votes related to war funding over the summer. He didn't get any heat for that.

    To say that Obama has been planning this run for awhile...of course he has. Just like anyone else with a brain. Hillary has since 1999/2000. Give me a break. She's much more calculated.

    Here's the fact that so many people can't seem to see. People will vote/support Hillary because they want to return to the days of Bill Clinton. The '90s were prosperous, people were happy, and most were getting rich. Fast forward to 2007....we're all broke, the economy sucks, war drags on, we have an idiot for a president....this is basic psycholofy 101 and Hillary is using it to get elected.

    For every person who truly believes that Hillary can beat the Repub. nominee....I ask how? More people have strong feelings for both Clintons than anyone else. The moment Hillary wins the nomination the following will happen:

    1. Repubs will be strengthen and united in defeating her. It will be a us vs. Hillary. It will have nothing to do with the Democratic party.

    2. Any independent and swing voters who have left the Repub party will go back to the right.

    3. Dem's who can't stand Hillary (and, yes, we're out here) will jump ship so that she's not elected.

    People, we live in a DEMOCRACY, not a monarchy. The conservatives will have the argument they want: We've been so tired of the Bush Regime for all these we really want to trade it for a Clinton regime?

    We need something new.

    1. A National Primary Day so that all voting is equal.
    2. Primary and General Election Day held on Saturdays and polls open 24 hours.
    3. An amendment: wives of presidents can't run for office. period.

    December 4, 2007 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  15. Bye Hillary

    Hillary can call out all the people she wants.

    She will not be winning the nomination. Maybe she can keep Obama out of it, but she has doomed her campaign with this nonsense. At this point, if she wins the nomination, there is no way she can beat the eventual republican nominee. It should be McCain, but we'll see.

    December 4, 2007 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  16. Dave, Ft. Worth, Texas

    Hillary can throw bombs and it is ok. When others do it blame it on them not playing fair or right wingers. Obama and Edwards must be right wingers. Oh and by the way, this independent has heard of HSU, remembers Rostenkowski and Torrecelli. So perhaps the Dems want to scale back their indignation. They are as corrupt as the GOP.

    December 4, 2007 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  17. Bryan, San Francisco CA

    Folks! newsflash: OBAMA IS A REPUBLICAN. He's conservative. He's an eloquent, idealistic Alan Keyes, with a little more potential. Consider: He's related to Dick Cheney. He gets advice from Karl Rove. And his followers are rabid nut-jobs. Sounds like a Republican to me. He is a patsy installed by Rove, the Bush dynasty, and the national GOP as a way to undermime Hillary and steal the nomination from her. If Obama is the Democratic nominee, the Republicans are ensured a victory. Obama will lose against any of the GOP candidates. Thus a vote for Obama is a vote for neo-conservatism, in more ways than one. Hillary, for all her supposed desperation and untrustworthiness, truly is the victim of an enormous right-wing conspiracy. The Clintons are the biggest threat to the GOP and the new world order since JFK was.

    December 4, 2007 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  18. Michele

    Fact: Hillary Clinton's health care plan will cover no more people than Obama's plan. This has been thoroughly researched by the experts now and reported in the MSM.

    Calling something a mandate doesn't make it one. If Sen. Clinton can succeed in winning based on distortions and untruths, there really is no difference between the republicans and the democrats.

    December 4, 2007 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |
  19. Ken, San Diego, CA

    I doubt Obama campaign is doing the push-pull, but I suspect some supporters of his are.

    December 4, 2007 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
  20. Curtis, Buffalo NY

    okie.... we as Democrats need to stick together, and the hate comments need to stop! United we are strong, and if we forget this we fail to win the white house. Overall the clinton camp needs to tone down the talk about "dirty tricks", and talk about the issues this nation faces. When Clinton talks about the issues, and how in the 90's we saw as a party we helped bring the nation to a better place, (she wins) and so do we!

    December 5, 2007 12:01 am at 12:01 am |
  21. Trang, Fremont, CA

    Obama, don't let them get to you. Hillary is getting more ridiculous day by day with her attacks. Let her self-destruct with her ridiculous comments.

    You know when to fight and when to let it go, and so far, you have showed wisdom. And Hillary, despite the many years of 'experience' is clueless.

    December 5, 2007 12:05 am at 12:05 am |
  22. swissdiver

    Obama is an overly ambitious, conceited, narcissistic naive trying hard simpleton, a good-for-nothing oaf and a lying nincompoop. HIllary' 08.

    December 5, 2007 12:13 am at 12:13 am |
  23. Juanito, Washington, DC

    To all the Obamaphobes: This is an ALLEGATION, made by Hillary against Obama. Why don't you people calm down and stop making him guilty of something you have no proof he is guilty of. Are you telling me that you just accept anything from HRC's camp as the truth?
    Even if you don't support Obama, at least be intelligent in your analysis of the situation and stop smearing him with false allegations.

    December 5, 2007 12:40 am at 12:40 am |
  24. Micahel Guinn, Ventura, CA

    This is a new LOW for the Hillary campaign.
    It reminds me of karl rove antics-

    December 5, 2007 12:43 am at 12:43 am |
  25. Bernie Moore-Knowles - Papa'aloa, Hawai'i

    Hillary Clinton just might be certifiable. Are there really Americans that do not see through this candidate? This woman? I honestly held Hillary high in my opinion of public figures that were extremely bright and even more driven. I am not saying that I trust her – because I do not. But, the statements coming out of her campaign are getting more bizarre by the day. Hillary? You have to get a grip. And fast. Otherwise, you are guiding my candidate to the nomination at an accelerated rate!

    Obama 2008

    December 5, 2007 03:40 am at 3:40 am |
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