December 4th, 2007
05:15 PM ET
13 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. Eissner

    Why not take a look at his record… well…that is, if you can find a political record for him…ask at Harpo productions.

    Obviously these ole boys do not have a clue on the security threat bush and Chaney has caused our great country, we are at odds with most every large country, they will not talk to bush anymore, because he’s daddies spoiled little boy who the weak republicans gave him his way for the last seven years and now they are running and hiding from him. EACH republican shares the blame as bush and Chaney do for the state of this great country. The more obama speaks the more I hear a republican…

    It’s also obvious from the last debate that John Edwards is fighting with anything he can think of, which we need a fighter; he’s only attacking Hillary though? As the good ole boys are sticking together, is he scared of oprah and obama? The reason you’re not hearing allot of negative about obama because OBAMA IS TOO INEXPERIENCED, there is no history, other than he doesn’t show up for work, he's missed almost all important senate votes? We already had a president the played instead of worked, look at this mess…What’s has this guy been doing? now he thinks he can use Oprah’s money to buy the Presidency? HE IS CRAZY as she is…

    After recent weeks and the personal attacks, I strongly now see the best choice and my vote will go to CLINTON, we need her contacts as well as the great relationships President Clinton has with other countries and experience, to work together so that other counties will share the bill and world security. We do not have time to play politics with the likes of obama and rest of these guys…
    John Edwards would be an outstanding VP for Hillary

    CLINTON 2008, the true SMART choice

    December 5, 2007 07:29 am at 7:29 am |
  2. AJ; Montpelier, VT

    Obama is a liar and a cheat. He will be outed as such during this campaign. Hopefully when Hillary wins the White House, she will send this fraud to political Siberia.

    December 5, 2007 08:18 am at 8:18 am |
  3. anon, San Francisco, CA

    You can keep denying, osama. I know in my heart that you did play dirty tricks on Hillary, because Hillary beats you on getting supports from blacks/whites/women in the early state caucuses and primaris, and on issues.

    December 5, 2007 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  4. Ed

    Not one of Clinton's criticisms has supported by mainstream media investigations.

    Clinton claims her health insurance plan would cover everyone. Her plan is identical to the current plan in Mass that Gov. Romney approved. 20% of people in Mass. do not have health insurance. The mandate does not work unless it is enforced. Sen. Clinton, how will you enforce your mandate.

    Sen. Edwards has a plan to enforce a mandate. Will you copy his plan (again)?

    Chose Edwards (or Obama, or Biden, ...) not slick Hilly.

    December 5, 2007 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  5. Doug, New Jersey

    If you wanted to get as much support as you could from liberal Democrats wouldn't you try to show them that you embrace dirty tricks? The facts sure seem to say so.

    December 5, 2007 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  6. bukky, baltimore MD

    Considering the latest situation with Iran wherein they are NOT progressing on a Nuclear weapons program — perhaps Mr. Obama will think twice about ACCUSING Hillary Clinton of "conspiring with the enemy" with her vote for sending a message to Iran via her vote for the resolution. It's now becoming knowledge that that's the reason Iran is backing off — thanks to the resolution vote.

    Posted By VN, Sugar Land, TX

    What kind of special cool aid have you been drinking... You are saying that the vote that took place a few weeks ago convinced Iran to shut down its program a FEW YEARS AGO? How in you pea sized brain does that make a lick of sense?

    December 5, 2007 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  7. bukky, baltimore MD

    I'm a African American, I honestly can not say that my support goes to that Barack Obama guy. He is a lier and does not have enough experince. Yes hillary voted for the war with the information she received. Obama said that he would not run for president. So the truth is Politicans do lie. I beleive that we need history to be made. Let's elect a women that we know is able to do the job from day one. I beleive Hillary will win.

    Posted By Trenton Benton Harbor Michigan

    You're and "African American" named "Trenton Benton" living in Harbor michigan...? Really? Yeah ok... and Bush is a MENSA member

    Plus what does being african american have to do with you not voting for Obama... that like me saying "I am a caucasian female and to be honest i'm not backing Hillary' BS BS and more BS... i smell a planted post

    December 5, 2007 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  8. Maryann Williamson FL

    We are sick of hearing about obama bashing Hillary, why won’t you EVER cover his lack of experience? Missed important senate votes, yes, even the vote on war! His health plan does not cover everyone, he uses Hillary solutions and tweaks them to suit his opinion, his opinion is what Hillary has been saying for years, he has no voice of his own, he fails miserably when he is standing next to ANYOTHER candidate, He has only been a senator for 104 weeks? That is his experience Oprah is selling for the Presidency?? I don’t care how it is supposed to be perceived. It’s solely RACE motivated, as one person writes...
    Someone needs to tell Oprah she will not be first lady, but barrack will certainly use your name and trash any credibility you have with American public!

    December 5, 2007 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  9. kate lee, scottsbluff, NE

    Ma! He's picking on me again!

    As a woman, I am very distressed by this sort of reaction on Mrs. Clinton's part. It very much reminded me of her reaction to Bill's infidelity and her charges of a base-less conservative plot–"they're picking on us!" Screaming "fowl" without proof is something I would hope no candidate would do, although it seems my hopes are doomed to be crushed by many people.

    So far as electability is concerned, I agree that there will probably be a huge Republican turn-out to vote against Hillary.

    Finally, I must point out that, for good or ill, Iran's stopping its "nucular" program was probably a result of coalition forces in Iraq and certainly not because of Hillary's pro-Bush.

    December 5, 2007 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  10. Eloise Hall, Albany, Georgia

    If Obama had been in the position that Ms. Clinton was in, he would have voted for the war in Iraq under the "weapons of mass distruction" heading that caused us to go to war in the first place. Since the war is unpopular, he is using Hiliary's support as a tactics to discredit her. He should be discrediting all who voted for the war. She could not have carried the vote by herself. Why didn't he speak out before now if he felt the war was wrong.

    December 5, 2007 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  11. Frank, San Diego

    As a California Democrat, I don't expect my vote to matter. It will come too late and be swamped by millions of others. However, I have the perfect methodology for making my choice when the time comes.

    I will look at the last poll before primary that shows head-to-head match-ups with the likely Republican nominee. Which ever Democrat matches up best gets my vote. The importance of ending the war and restoring the rule of law permit no other approach.

    December 5, 2007 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  12. mike

    Since when did being a first lady count as experience towards being President?

    December 5, 2007 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  13. Alex Gallegos, Chula Vista, CA

    If HE is as smart as he would like people to think he is he would back out now and hope that he hasnt tarnished his relationship so bad with Hillary so she might ask him to be her running mate. Think Mr. Obama, would you rather have 8 years in the White House with the possibility of getting impeached ( them right wingers will look for anything) or would you like to have 16 years, 8 of those as VP but what the heck thats the secondest highest position in the land! This will give you more experience and you will be ready to step in to an administration where you know whats going on and not have to clean up someone eles's mess, that was the biggest problem with Mr. Clinton, he had to undo all that was already done. Hillary has been there, maybe not as an elected official but she had first hand knowldge of what was going on and she also has an some idea of what she is about to face. Dont be foolish Mr. Obama you two will be an unbeatable force. So can someone else get on this band wagon with me? CLINTON & OBAMA '08

    December 5, 2007 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  14. Vic Las Vegas Nevada


    Someone in an earlier post said it right, these Obama supporters are really hateful.

    And as for Oprah...she sold out to race pandering.

    VOTE HILLAY 2008!

    December 5, 2007 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  15. Joe, Ohio

    Obama is gaining momentum without needing to lift a finger. Clinton is doing all the work for him by embarassing herself. How do you defeat a 500 pound gorilla? You make it beat itself to death.

    December 6, 2007 12:02 am at 12:02 am |
  16. William Deckard, Kansas City, Mo

    Wow. What a bunch of ANGRY elves! God help us if either H.C. or B.O. (no pun intended...) get elected. Register as a republican and vote for Ron Paul. You'll feel better. 🙂
    BTW, use your real name or don't post. Cowards.

    December 6, 2007 01:28 am at 1:28 am |
  17. James Roe, San Francisco, CA

    I was a Clinton Supporter, but now I realize she is just a phoney. Obama is so much more honest and direct.

    December 6, 2007 03:41 am at 3:41 am |
  18. Peggy, McLean, VA

    I don't think "hate" plays a role in the Obama campaign and I don't think the candidate inspires hate in his supporters–they, like me, are just very protective and enthusiastic. Obama is calm and kind–and politically savvy enough to use defensive measures against the Clinton machine. Of course we Democrats will join together when the outcome is clear.

    December 6, 2007 08:06 am at 8:06 am |
  19. Ernest Mathis, Alpharetta, GA

    Everyone here that is against Obama has really only one or two things to harp on in regards to him not being a suitable candidate for President.

    They talk about his inexperience in the political machine. I find that inexperience in the political areana to be very refreshing. I prefer to have someone who will look at something from a different perspective and not just become another cog. There have been several more experienced people with political power that have messed several thing up for America. The system does not work for the American people and World, it works for Corporate America. Now if you want to take someone with valuable experience, why aren't you singing the praise of Joe Biden? A Senator for 20 plus years.

    One of the the other complaints that bothers me is the fact that he has missed certain votes in the Senate. If you are going to hold that against him, then we should see how many votes all of them have missed over their terms as Senators. I doubt very seriously that any of them can say that they have voted on everything that has come before the Senate. So really how valid is that arguement? If you are going to hold one accountable, you have to hold them all accountable, it is only fair.

    I have narrowed my primary vote down to either Obama or Biden. Someone on heared stated that they felt that some Obama supporters would not support Hilary if she is the parties nominee? I doubt that very seriously, if you are a liberal, democrat, or democratic leaning independent, you are going to support whoever is the democratic party nominee in the general election. Who wouldn't do all they could to keep the Republicans out of office?

    December 6, 2007 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  20. Bryn, West Orange, NJ

    Again, the Hillary campaign has made groundless attacks at Sen Obama's camp. However, in today's news, there is a backed-up complaint against the Clinton camp trying to discredit Mr. Obama. Like she said, the "fun is about to begin". I don't know about you, but I don't want a president who is so shallow. Keep running Obama and standing up for the issues. Let's heal America!

    December 6, 2007 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  21. Sho, Baltimore, Maryland

    I am the last to vote on the basis of sex and color lines. I had no clue who I was going to vote for during the primary, but as I see Clinton become more a fanatic, she scares me.

    I wanted to believet that Hilliary Clinton would be as cool as Bill, but we all know this will never be.

    What scares me more than people sending out lies about Barak, is the people who choose to vote for Hilliary because she is a woman.

    I have a father who pretty much votes black (within reason), because he wants a change......that kind of thinking has always been dangerous, just like women who vote for women.

    Hillary scares me because she has no real aim. She believes that 9 years is what makes her qualified, yet we know.....that doesn't make a good president.

    We need someone with a little truth. I'm starting to believe Barak more than I've believed any other candidate in my life.


    December 10, 2007 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  22. Jerry , Adams Center , NY

    Hillary may have followed Bush from the beginning of the war but who would not have thinking that there were WMD once this was found to be not true I would have changed my mind too. I think all americans where for the war at the beginning but once we found out that Bush lied about weapons of mass destruction all our minds changed.

    December 10, 2007 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  23. Katherine

    Obama and his supporters are throwing mud at Hillary in Columbia SC via telephone.

    Obama is not as innocent as he claims. I just received the most disgusting phone message regarding Hillary and Bill Clinton.

    If you want to listen to it contact Hillary Campaign headquarters in Columbia

    If I could contact the individual who taped this message I would sue him for leaving such filth on my home phone.

    I hope children in the area do not check their home voice mails. The message is inappropriate for any child to hear.

    January 23, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
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