Earlier today, Barack Obama’s campaign called accusations that its staffers are berating Hillary Clinton supporters in Iowa and New Hampshire a “flat-out falsehood.”
The Clinton campaign supplied Josh Marshall with a woman who claims to have received such a call. Here’s what she had to say:
Last Tuesday evening I received a call from the Obama campaign, a gentleman identifying himself as from the Obama campaign in New Hampshire. He wanted to know my thoughts about the upcoming election in New Hampshire. I identified myself as a Hillary supporter.
He wanted to know what my thoughts were and why exactly I was supporting her. He started to argue that Hillary did nothing as a First Lady, what makes you think she’ll do something now. It was definitely prepared.
Then I went on to say, well, women’s rights are important to me. Then he had another prepared statement. He claimed that when South Dakota passed legislation to outlaw abortion, Hillary refused to fight it and to help try to support women’s rights. He claimed that Obama was the only one would aid the people in South Dakota trying to fight that.
Then when I talked about her experience, he went on to say, I must be the sort of person who likes dirty tricks and politics as usual and said I would be supporting someone who would never change anything. I said he was insulting my judgment. He wanted to fight with me more, but I ended the call at that point.
If this has happened repeatedly, that would be evidence that the Obama campaign has scripts that instruct its staffers to bully supporters of its opponents. As of now, though, all we have is an overzealous caller.
It’s also worth pointing out that the Clinton camp’s original accusations made some serious charges (people were spreading misinformation about caucus locations, for example), but only charged the Obama campaign with an indefinite number of rude phone calls. This hasn’t been hashed out completely, but it will likely poison any public appearances the two candidates have in the near future. The main confrontation in this race went from being Edwards sniping at Clinton to Clinton and Obama bodyslamming each other repeatedly.