Clinton Campaign Accuses Rivals of Dirty Tricks

By Jennifer Parker

Dec 4, 2007 3:01pm

ABC News’ Eloise Harper and Sunlen Miller Report: Late Monday night Clinton campaign manager Patti Solis Doyle sent an email to supporters accusing unnamed rivals of "possible dirty campaign tactics in Iowa and New Hampshire."

"Hillary supporters are getting calls that tell them incorrect caucus locations," Doyle wrote, "Supporters have also told us about push polls — when they tell the pollster they support Hillary, they are given negative talking points about her and asked which attacks are the most effective."

Clinton’s campaign manager also pointedly accused campaign staffers for Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., of berating Clinton supporters.

"In both Iowa and New Hampshire, we have heard that Obama staffers are berating Hillary supporters on the phone with negative attacks against her," Doyle wrote.

The Obama campaign denies doing anything outlined in Patti Solis Doyle’s letter.

"This flat-out falsehood is the latest attack in a silly season where our opponents have promised to stop at nothing in an effort to tarnish Barack Obama’s character," Obama spokesperson Bill Burton said in an emailed statement Monday. "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 caucus-goer to participate in the process, no matter who they support."

However the Clinton campaign Monday accused their rivals of not addressing the issue of berating calls to Clinton supporters.

"The Obama campaign’s refusal to deny that their supporters are attacking Senator Clinton at the doors and on the phones speaks volumes," said Clinton spokesperson Phil Singer. "The fact is that our supporters are telling us that they are hearing trash talk at their doors and on the phones, and that some of it is coming from the Obama and Edwards campaigns."

The Clinton campaign has yet to provide reporters with evidence that their rival campaigns participated in any dirty tricks. However, they did provide ABC News with contact information for Democrats who report receiving aggressive calls against Clinton.

New Hampshire resident Barbara Therriault, a Clinton supporter, told ABC News she has had been berated by an Obama campaign staffer, saying the caller was inappropriate. "He was very rude and berating," Therriault said, "He called my judgment into question." 

Another New Hampshire resident, Tiffany Downing, a registered Democrat, said she got a call from someone who tried to sway her to vote from Clinton to Obama, and asked if she though Clinton would be untrustworthy because of her husband’s affair. "I didn’t think that had anything to do with that," Downing said she responded.

"I was told he was from an independent company," she said, but later she pressed him on whether he worked for the Obama campaign. "He said ‘I guess you could say that."

When asked about the accusation, Burton flatly denied the caller was associated with the Obama campaign.

"Of course not," Burton said when asked whether Obama staffers were berating Clinton supporters.

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