December 6th, 2007
07:08 AM ET
12 years ago

Clinton volunteer's sending of anti-Obama e-mail causes stir

An anti-Obama e-mail sent by a Clinton volunteer is causing a stir in Iowa.

(CNN) - One of the recipients of a controversial anti-Barack Obama email forward that put Hillary Clinton’s Iowa campaign on the defensive Wednesday said the volunteer county coordinator who sent the original message may have been unfairly targeted.

“She thinks people misunderstood her intent,” said Gary Hart, who said he spoke with the volunteer, Judy Rose, a short time ago. The former Clinton volunteer insisted “she was just sending it along so people know what kind of information is out there,” not because she believed the charges herself. He added that Rose is baffled by the uproar.

The controversy began early Wednesday when an Iowa supporter of presidential candidate Chris Dodd posted a comment on the liberal Daily Kos Web site, accusing an unnamed Clinton volunteer of forwarding an anti-Muslim e-mail aimed at the Illinois senator, containing charges that have been widely discredited.

The e-mail - one of several hoaxes that have been circulating since the Illinois senator announced his candidacy - claims that Obama is a Muslim whose campaign is part of a plot to destroy the United States. Obama is not, and never has been, a Muslim.

Within minutes, Clinton Internet Director Peter Daou posted a message from campaign manager Patti Solis Doyle disavowing the remarks. Rose, a Jones County volunteer, was immediately asked to leave the New York senator’s campaign, and did.

The war of words between both candidates, who are running neck and neck in Iowa polls less than a month before Election Day, has reached a fever pitch over the past week. Within the past few days, both have asked supporters to track attacks and “dirty tricks” aimed at their campaigns.

The Obama campaign is not commenting on the incident.

Earlier: Obama camp denies 'dirty tricks' accusation

- CNN’s Rebecca Sinderbrand

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Hillary Clinton • Iowa
soundoff (211 Responses)
  1. Chris, Cincinnati, Ohio

    I agree that you cannot possibly screen all of the volunteers. However, all of these games are originating from the same camp. It is the same kind of slash and burn tactics that Jim Carville started under Bill and it worked so why would Hillary do any different?

    December 5, 2007 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  2. Tamika Williams Dallas Texas

    Hillary Clinton is not only the most polarizing figure in America today but also the most dishonest. As soon as the polls showed the race tightening in Iowa and New Hampshire the Clinton mud slinging campaign started in earnest. This woman will not stop at nothing to become president. There is no limit to the lies and dirty politics she will put the electorate thru. I hope and pray the voters in Iowa and New Hampshire realize what's going on and vote for anyone other than Hillary Clinton.

    December 5, 2007 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  3. Reggie, Germany

    The former Clinton volunteer insisted “she was just sending it along so PEOPLE know what kind of information is out there,” not because she believed the charges herself.


    December 5, 2007 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  4. Walter, Long Beach

    This is kind of yammering is not helping our Party. Ending the war in Iraq and the criminality of the current Republican regime are far more important than Obama, or Clinton, or any of the other candidates.

    In my state's primary I will vote for the Democrat that matches up best with the likely Republican nominee. I don't care if he (or she) plays dirty tricks, changes policy positions, lacks experience, or believes in aliens from outer space. If he (or she) will restore the rule of law and repair our relationships abroad, the rest is unimportant (the drivel dished up by the media notwithstanding).

    December 5, 2007 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  5. Walt, Belton, TX

    Hey, its' just another one of Hillary's vast right wing conspiracies at it again!! If not, it certainly must have just been an innocent mistake, cause we all know how innocent the Clintons are............

    Just how far will she/they go? Judging by the past, we ain't seen nothing yet!

    December 5, 2007 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  6. Judy Rose, Anamosa, IA

    “For those who have no sin, you may cast the first stone”. Shame on me for sending an email to my family members and a couple of fellow Central Committee members to show an example of “dirty politics”. Shame on Gary Hart for taking this email and posting it onto a blog for a questionable reason. I was told to resign from Clinton’s campaign which I have, but I decided on my own to resign from the Jones County Democratic Party. I no longer understand what the Democratic Party stands for or for whom they serve. Judy Rose,, Anamosa, Iowa

    December 5, 2007 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  7. Dan Ward Saranac Lake ny

    This is a case of Ted Kennedy Politics. He has stated something to the effect that spreading lies about your opponent will cause them to defend against the allegation and not allow them to speak to the issues. If they don't mount a defense, people will believe the lies. Remember the Swift Boat Vets?

    December 5, 2007 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  8. Robert, St Paul MN

    "The war of words between both candidates, who are running neck and neck in Iowa polls less than a month before Election Day, has reached a fever pitch over the past week."

    We have elections in January?

    Anyway, I've gotten those emails too, and I just trash them as the spam they are. I guess Judy didn't know any better.

    December 5, 2007 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  9. Markie Bee, Sacramento, Calif.

    If Judy is so innocent then why has she been asked to leave the campaign?

    December 5, 2007 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  10. Dave, Atlanta, GA

    As a democrat, it saddens me that people who would resort to such racist and xenophobic attacks have the nerve to call themselves democrats. When we do that are we really any better than the republicans? I used to think so.

    This is not a case of one bad apple. I've seen a lot of Clinton supporters throw around the muslim smear on this very website.

    I've heard a lot of Clinton's supporters say that we should support Clinton because she is a winner and she can give the White house back to democrats. Personally, as much as I want to see a democrat in the white house, there are certain things I am unwilling to do to win.

    Clinton supporters: I realise you want your candidate to win. But when you resort to Karl Rovian tactics to convince me to support your candidate, you don't get my vote. You just make me ashamed to be a democrat.

    December 5, 2007 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  11. Abd. Samad Yusof, Shah Alam, Selangor, Malaysia

    Interesting, it shows how rabid Islamophobia is in the US. If a candidate were God forbid 'Muslim' he/she would probably have been stopped at the gates.

    December 5, 2007 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  12. Alice, Evanston, IL

    I, and many people I know, received this e-mail. The woman's intent was clear. These were accusations, not just "Hey look at these weird rumors."

    December 5, 2007 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  13. Markie Bee, Sacramento, Calif.

    La’Kitgum, can you please list Hillary's experience for me and the others? Then match that up to Obama's 11 years of elected legislative experience. Matchup what they have accomplished as senators even though Obama has been one in about 50 percent less time. Go do that now and come back and report your findings. Let the GOP worry about Obama's experience. The Democrats and Whigs did the same thing to Lincoln in 1860, he survived the political assaults and became perhaps our greatest president with NO NATIONAL POLITICAL EXPERIENCE just a boatload of common sense, judgment and courage.

    December 5, 2007 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  14. Dorothy, Atlanta, Ga.

    What a load of crap!
    What do you think the Republican attack machine will do if Mr. Obama were to get the nomination. This is nothing. Which candidate do the Rebublicans want? Obama of course, he will be the easiest to destroy in the press. Sean Hannity is defending him on his radio show everyday." Poor Obama, get that mean Hillary".
    Vote your fantasy and lose the White House.

    December 5, 2007 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  15. Luk, Toronto, canada

    I do not know why Hillary's capm is bringing all this nonessen thing. being in another country does not mean you are going to convert to what that country believe in. If so why Hillary herself always mention her trips to Saudi Arabia? when wore those muslim thing. as we do know that woman are not allowed to not cover their head

    December 5, 2007 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  16. Mary, Michigan

    What a shame. The more I see of Hillary, the more disappointed I get. As a woman, she is not the candidate that I was hoping for. Barack is looking more presidential each day.

    December 5, 2007 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  17. Dalton Hoffine, Winston-Salem, NC

    Although I don't think that Clinton should be specifically responsible for her volunteers, this does look bad. Very bad. Someone associated with her campaign made obviously false and smearing accusations about Obama, and now it's hurting her campaign.

    I like Obama–I like his positions on issues, and I think he's fine experience-wise. Not too little, and not too much either. It's not exactly easy to become a Senator, and I think we forget that.

    Obama/Edwards '08!

    December 5, 2007 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  18. Jack

    Aw, cut her some slack, Freeman. "I don't recall" has already been overused. 😉

    As for Obama's "lack of experience", considering the "experience" of the others, it's his greatest strength in the mids of many, including myself. As it is, he still has as much, if not more, than say, Hillary....
    He certainly has over 40 years more experience being a decent human being than any of them.

    December 5, 2007 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  19. SilverB, Lilburn, GA

    These Clinton volunteers need HOPE

    December 5, 2007 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  20. Bob Wuchte Sandwich, IL

    Being from Illinois I find Barack Obama a disappointment, because when it comes time to vote on critical issues he does not vote. At least Hillary Clinton makes a effort to get back for important votes. Though I feel Barack Obama is a good candidate I truly believe the american people still have racism feelings and when it comes to voting for a african american I do not believe they will follow through in the national elections. My gut feeling is we Democrats will do best to support Hillary Clinton or Joe Beiden....
    Sandwich, Il

    December 5, 2007 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  21. Henry, VA

    Why are Americans so racist/religiophobic?

    December 5, 2007 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  22. Brian, Milwaukee, WI

    Yeah, well, as much as I dislike Mrs. Bill Clinton, they are correct. Obama DID attend Muslim school.

    December 5, 2007 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  23. C

    This is really STUPID. Get religion and race out of the election. Vote for the best person to bring all people together and that would be OBAMA.

    December 5, 2007 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  24. Christian, Tampa FL

    This is very unfortunate for the Clinton campaign. First Kindergate, and now this? If Hillary wants to run the nation, she needs to gain control of her campaign.

    This ridiculous conception that Barack Obama is a Muslim shows the bigotry and moronism of our nation, and for Clinton to be linked to it even remotely is just going to damage her. It's unacceptable and she needs to make a HUGE apology.

    December 5, 2007 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  25. biggdawg

    I'm sorry. Did I miss something? Did she write it and send it along?

    I'm sure Obama campaign folks send along slanderous emails about their candidate so people know what's out there.

    CNN is now strangely working overtime on behalf of Obama.

    December 5, 2007 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
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